Image credit: NASA

First Time Flying Into Oshkosh

Sounds like fun….this is an excerpt from a VAF member’s account of his first experience flying to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI:

“We arrived at Ripon and found the requisite railroad tracks. At this point you are monitoring a frequency and acknowledging calls with wing rocks. We got slowed down to 90 KIAS and followed in behind a high wing. My head was on a swivel as airplanes were sneaking inside of the conga line and then realizing they were too close, exiting. Planes were starting to converge from all directions. Our flight of six were trying to stay in line together with our required 1/2NM spacing and planes just appeared in between. Apparently, there are controllers that are sitting in a field with binoculars and a radio calling out planes as we entered the procedure. Occasionally, they would tell an offending plane to move out and start over. It gave the feeling of some level of order, but it felt much different.

So there we were, a flight of 6 RV’s aligned along the tracks heading for FISKE, a nav fix just outside KOSH Class D airspace. At this point you should be monitoring the Tower at KOSH and getting ready to enter the pattern to land. You still are only acknowledging calls from the controllers with wing rocks. They don’t have time to listen to your call backs. A basic controller instruction set goes something like “RV, red and white tail, rock your wings. Good, now make right close traffic RWY27, keep behind aircraft in front of you.” You simply do, not reply. Interestingly enough, we had planes trying to sneak in at FISKE. Tower would call them on it and tell them to get out and start at RIPON. It does not pay to cheat.”

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