Alternate airports...

Discussion in 'Airventure' started by cowman, May 3, 2019.

  1. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    I've discussed this with a few people before, wondering if any of you have tried this. For someone who doesn't necessarily want to deal with the bedlam of flying into OSH what about flying into one of the nearby airports like FLD Fond Du Lac or ATW Appleton and driving in?

    Are those fields also incredibly crowded and still difficult? I'd heard there might be a shuttle available too... if that's the case it seems like a much lower stress way to go.
     
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  2. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, FLD is a very workable option. They have bus, Uber, & Lyft options to get to Oshkosh. With a buddy, the Uber types are less expensive. The notam does cover a few of the reliever type airports, Appleton is another. One can camp at Fondy too, not as special as Oshkosh itself though.

    I know a guy who always flys to FLD & rides up. It is much simpler, but can get just a tad busy if a bump of diverts are in progress.
     
  3. Avi8or2012

    Avi8or2012 Pre-Flight

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    FLD is a good option. I'll give you a summary of pros and cons from my experience last year.

    The flight in tends to be much less crowded than the OSH arrival, but can get dicey of you choose to divert rather than flying there in the first place as you'll have to find a hole through the arriving OSH traffic. The GAC area at FLD is right along the main taxiway and there was plenty of space when we arrived during the Sunday chaos last year. The ground controller will get you to camping and there will be EAA flagmen to get you the rest of the way. Big upside to the fact that it's only $50 for the whole week to camp! You can uber to nearby Walmart for groceries. If you bring a small propane camping stove, theyll let you cook pretty much wherever. The FBO will sell you ice. Bathrooms are porta potties, which they keep pretty darn clean. There is one shower trailer, and hot water was never an issue. The earlier you get there, the cleaner it'll be!
    This could be a plus or a minus, depending on how you look at it - there is a Lifeflight EC135 Helicopter based in the hangars near the GAC area at FLD. You will probably experience a 12am departure and a 3am return at some point. Itll probably light things up and make some noise, but we loved it! In the morning, theres a local cafe that sells Jimmy Dean's breakfast sandwiches and other gas station fare at the FBO.

    The mosquitos at FLD were pretty bad last year and we got attacked almost every night (they are the State bird, after all). We were told that they weren't nearly as bad at OSH. The shuttle bus at FLD was the biggest issue for me. They used a coach operator last year, as they do every year, which has made the experience fairly expensive and the service was pretty bad, in my opinion. For two people to travel back and forth for three days, it was almost $200. That and their schedule doesn't really allow for the activities taking place later at OSH. I think the last bus taking people back to FLD for the night was like 2030, so plan to take an uber back on the nights you want to stay late (they do run a later shuttle for the night shows, but it's not that much later). Furthermore, on the stormy Wednesday night, we ran to the bus stop, only to have an empty bus leave early on us. When we called and asked why they left early, they had NO explanation. We weathered a thunderstorm waiting for the next bus, and got back barely in time to batten down before a line of severe storms came through. Towards Tuesday and Wednesday, if you wait for a later bus in the morning to OSH, it may be full, in which case you'll wait an hour for the next.

    That being said, I will always use FLD as an alternate with confidence that it's a safe and convenient bug out option. If you're concerned that OSH itself may be more than you're comfortable with, it's definitely a great option. Even during the chaos last year, where we held in dense (putting it mildly) traffic for 3 hours, FLD was the easiest (once you find a way to sneak through the arrival corridor to OSH) 15 minutes of the flight and I was on the ground with a huge sigh of relief from my wife :D.
    If you have any other questions, let me know!
     
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  4. Avi8or2012

    Avi8or2012 Pre-Flight

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    Also, departing was a piece of cake.
     
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  5. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    Brennand Airport, 79C seems like an interesting option, though I’ve never done it myself.

    Coming in from the South I go to Oshkosh if they have room & WX allows. My 2nd choice has always been Fondy. I’m usually a day parker, if staying a few nights I get to Oshkosh.

    Depending on my work schedule this year, I may come mid to later week. In the past I have always went Monday morning.
     
  6. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    ATW has gotten extremely expensive, they do have a shuttle to the show. You have to bring tie downs or buy their tie downs which are not very effective. The overcharge for everything from rental cars,hotels,tie down, ,during OSH. I’ve done Green Bay, which did have a shuttle. Prices are more reasonable and you can tour the Packers stadium.
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew in commercial to ATW a few times. The bus gets you right at the "terminal" and takes you right to the front gate of the show. Easy peasy. Actually, the second time I just chatted with a guy next to me on the plane who was renting a car. In exchange for giving him driving directions, he gave me a ride to the show.

    My first time, I flew into FLD but we had a car waiting for us there.

    I've flown in to 79D. It's a cute place but I had my own transportation to the field. Actually I ran up there to take a shower a few years back (they have nice showers in the bathrooms there) and get fuel. Unfortunately, someone crashed on 27 while we were gone and I gave up getting back before the airshow. I just left it there until the next day. You can't get much closer, it's like 7 miles driving distance. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any organized ground transportation there.
     
  8. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Paging @skyflyer8

    She can give all the ins an outs of that one.
     
  9. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In order of most popular to least popular alternates:

    * FLD has always had camping and it's in the direction most people are coming from, so it's a popular option. There are some people who have diverted there and liked the experience better than OSH and just kept going back there, but personally I would never want to not be right on the field at OSH. There is a temporary tower at FLD during the show. There's an official shuttle to the show from here.
    * ATW didn't allow camping until just last year. I haven't checked to see if they're doing it again this year. They have regional airline flights that come in here, but as airline airports go it's pretty small. Also has an official shuttle.
    * GRB is kind of a hike, and is a ways past OSH for most people, but I know people go there, and even stay in hotels there. Kinda far IMO, but to each their own. No shuttle.
    * 79C is very close physically, and does allow camping on the field. The FBO now has a small bowling alley in it if you're into that kind of thing, and I think they do have a shuttle that's "unofficial" (it's run by the airport, not EAA). This is the only non-towered field on the list so far.
    * Pretty much every other airport within 100 miles that has an FBO will have about a dozen people who land there, rent a car and drive the rest of the way in. There are people who stay farther from the show than I live, and drive over an hour each way every day. Not for me, but again, to each their own.
     
  10. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The cubs have their own little flyin accross the lake at New Holstein. It's not convenient to drive (since you have to go around one end of the lake or another.
     
  11. skyflyer8

    skyflyer8 Line Up and Wait

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    79C - Brennand Airport info: http://www.brennandairport.com

    Owner/Manager Keith Mustain (920) 376-0064

    Brennand Airport in Neenah, WI is a great alternative to Oshkosh during EAA AirVenture as long as you are comfortable dealing with its limitations, like a short, narrow, obstructed runway, and lack of scheduled transportation to the show. There are no fees. You can park, tie down, and camp with your plane for free. You will most likely need to park on grass. Self-serve fuel is available 24/7. It's a privately owned, public-use airport with no tower and no special procedures. The airport welcomes EAA visitors each year. Several people tie their planes down and a few people camp. It's very quiet compared to the craziness of Oshkosh and the main reliever airports, Appleton and Fond du Lac. It's been my year-round home 'drome for 14 years even though I moved away. It's currently owned by my former student Keith and his family, who have poured a lot of time, money, and effort into revitalizing this place, so please thank them profusely. It's one of those few places left where you can go have fun in aviation without badges and fences.

    Since there is no "official" FBO, there might not be anyone around to help you when you arrive, but help is just a phone call away. The place can get somewhat deserted when everyone is out having fun at the show. It's best if you call Keith ahead of time to let him know you're coming for EAA. That way he can give you the door code, tips on parking, field conditions, etc. Reservations aren't required (or taken, except for hangar rental). You are welcome to drop in anytime, and the phone number is printed on the door if you need it. I might be around, and also if you see random hangar doors open, feel free to go say hi to strangers. It is a very friendly place. The main building has really nice bathrooms with showers, a kitchen, wifi, and a computer. As a side note, there's a good mechanic on the field in case you need maintenance. Sorry, the bowling alley is usually off limits unless you know someone who knows someone.

    As for transportation, don't worry too much, because it seems there is always someone available to give rides between Brennand Airport and Oshkosh... just call ahead. It might be Keith, his family, someone from the airport, or even me. It may not be on your exact desired schedule but it'll get you there. If you're lucky, you'll get to experience a ride in the airport's spiffy party bus. It's unlikely you'll ever get "stranded." If you do somehow get stranded though, you've got Uber, Lyft, and taxi services. If you're looking for something more prearranged, there are a few rental car options. Enterprise has an off-airport location in Neenah. There are other rental car agencies in Appleton and Oshkosh. People have also had luck in the past with local car dealerships like Kolosso Toyota bringing rental cars directly to the field. I can't emphasize enough, call ahead. This stuff gets sold out and spoken for a long time prior to the show.

    Please let me know if you have any questions about the airport, and please call Keith if you'd like to give him a heads-up that you're coming. I hope to see your name in the guestbook!
     
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  12. charheep

    charheep Line Up and Wait

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    How is the transportation after the night airshow? I want to come in early tomorrow and and depart after the night airshow. FLD says there last bus leaves at 1030, I would rather spend a little and know I have a bus waiting than worry about waiting for an Uber with the million other people leaving at the same time.