by Scott Thompson
As I write this I am ten days out from departing Lincoln in my RV-8 and making my way to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2018. This will be the second time I’ve flown in with the RV-8, and my fifth visit overall. As anyone who has ever been to the EAA show at Oshkosh, it is an aviation wonderland for pilots and enthusiasts.
I know of numerous guys and gals from our chapter who are going to make the journey this year, some by flying themselves and others by the more mundane but practical air carriers.
But for me, there is the challenge of flying into Wittman Field along with 10,000 others with the same intentions, and parking on the field with a thousand of other homebuilts. I am planning on making the trip each way in a day of flying, with two fuel stops and about 10 hours of flying. That’s my plan, but I’m well prepared for that not working due to weather or any other number of issues but you have to have a plan to deviate from.
It is a fun flight because the closer you get, more planes around you are doing the same thing. It’s like concentric rings of airplanes centered on eastern Wisconsin, all the circles getting smaller the closer you get to Oshkosh. Even before you get there, a sense of aviation kinship is in the air and on the frequency.
Also for me, the fun of Oshkosh is behind the (admittedly great) airshows in the forums and presentations and opportunities to interact with
other like-minded aviators. Some of those forums are presented to chapter leaders on how to run things better, how to help a chapter grow, and how to celebrate sport aviation on a local level. I plan to take in some of those, and also some special EAA social events for chapter leaders. I would expect to pick up some useful stuff at those gatherings but, if nothing else, get to meet some other people doing the same things we are.
It should be a good year….Oshkosh has become big industry and it attracts every element from across the wide gamut of aviation. My taste is
in warbirds, and there is more than enough there to satisfy. But I’ll also look at the vintage and classics with some astoundingly rare machines available for close inspection with its pilot owner usually right next to it like a proud mama or papa.
I’m hoping that those chapter members who make the trip will be available to share a bit at our August member meeting. Even if you can’t get there, we should be able to bring a bit back with us.