Oshkosh Recommendations

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by shinysideup, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    I've been wanting to go to Oshkosh ever since I started flying some eight or so years ago, and finally will have the opportunity to go for a couple days this year. I'll be heading in commercially, don't have an airplane to use for the trip. If you only had two days (and evenings) to spend there, which days would you recommend and why?

    I'm open to everything, from exhibits to airshows to seminars and concerts. My first thoughts were either the opening or closing days, but those are just WAGs.
     
  2. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Cleared for Takeoff

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    We usually showed up Thursday, and left Sunday. That way you get to see all of the exhibitors and all of the airshow acts. Given just two days, I'd do Friday and Saturday (just to have the smaller Friday crowds.)
     
  3. cgrab

    cgrab Pattern Altitude

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    I would go Tuesday and Wednesday and leave Thursday AM. Some of the vendors run out of product later in the week and you don't want to miss the night show on Wednesday.
     
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  4. painless

    painless Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Depends on what your focus is. If you need to talk with various vendors vs fighting crowds, later in the week is best. If you want to look at homebuilts, many pilots are leaving the show by Wednesday/Thursday. If you wait until the end of the week, what was once a sea of RV’s, for example, is down to just a very few examples.

    The main concert is on Monday, with another sponsored by the DAV on Thursdsy, which is the one I usually like best. Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan band, Big Bad Voodo Daddy are example Thursday performers.

    For me, I get there early. Beer tasting party at the homebuilt pavilion in the homebuilt campground on Sunday night, followed by a beer party for RV guys Monday. You see a pattern there??;) I usually need the rest of the week to recover before I go home! I run with a rough crowd! o_O
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  5. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    Sounds like a good time.

    OK, so still torn between early, mid and late week.
     
  6. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    It's all going to be overwhelming and amazing. I would scroll the AirVenture website for the events, forums, shows, etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Pick the days that work. Then you'll be frustrated by what you missed, and you'll be ready to go the next year!
     
  7. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    As post #4 said, what's your main focus or reasons for going?

    If you are shopping for airplane stuff, or want to see a lot of homebuilts, vintage, warbirds, etc. go early in the week. If you are going for the airshows, make sure you are there on Saturday.
     
  8. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Not sure when they’ll put the schedule comes out, but it’s the year of the 747 and the year of fire fighting planes. I expect we’ll see some see water drops and more than a few 747 fly-bys. Going to be a good year, but aren’t they all?!
     
  9. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    I don't own an airplane currently, so I would mostly be going for the experience, exhibits and atmosphere.
     
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  10. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    You’ll wish you had longer! Another good tip is to learn where the trams go and utilize them. They’re free and you’ll cover a lot of ground using them.
     
  11. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    You’re not gonna pick a bad time. Just go.
     
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  12. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would make sure you are there Wednesday night for the night airshow.
    The concerts are good, but I wouldn't plan my visit around them.
    There are LOTS of seminars and presentations for just about anything aviation related.
    It's a very cool experience to be around 100000+ like-minded folks.
    WARNING... you might end up with an airplane out of the deal like I did.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
     
  13. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The best two days of Oshkosh, IMO, are Monday and Saturday.

    Oh, you wanted consecutive days? ;)

    I enjoy the Saturday night airshow, and it has slightly more pyro at the end than the Wednesday night airshow. Monday is when everyone is announcing all the new stuff, and everyone is excited about day 1 of the show.

    Sunday is kind of a throwaway day, it's mostly focused on the locals, the airshow is shorter (because they have 10,000 airplanes that need to leave) and the vendors pretty much just spend the day packing up. You can get some great deals on things that they don't want to cart home with them, though, and they'll be handing out all the swag that's left willy-nilly.

    Friday-Sunday, the airshow tends to have more military hardware in it.

    Tuesday is usually the day that @lprellwitz cooks up chili and gumbo in the campground for us. Wednesday is usually @Jay Honeck 's party in the North 40.

    If you like to watch landings, the Sunday before the show starts will have thousands. If you like takeoffs, Sunday of the show will have thousands. But there are plenty in between as well.

    Really, the only "bad" day of the show is that last Sunday, unless you like swag and takeoffs. There's not nearly as much going on as there is the rest of the week. Other than that, hopefully what I've given you above helps. It's really a preference thing.

    My biggest recommendation: Go for as many days as possible. The show is bigger than anyone seems to be able to comprehend until they've seen it. Based on the size of the grounds and the size of the runway, I estimate that it's about six square miles in total. (Yes, plenty of that is parking/camping area, but still...) I've brought a lot of people in for their first visit, and pretty much the universal reaction is "I knew it was big, but holy ****!!!" I think it would take about 6-8 weeks to see everything, but the show is only one week. 2019 will be my 16th year at the show, 15th consecutive year of going to the show, and my 14th straight year of camping on the field for the entire week. I still discover new things...

    Finally - To me, Oshkosh is heaven. I get to spend a week completely immersed in aviation, talking with pilots, looking at airplanes, watching things fly... I go to bed at night after we run out of airplane stories to tell and I wake up in the morning to the sound of the Ford Trimotor or the Aeroshell T-6s going out for their morning run. My absolute favorite hour of the year is when I get my campsite set up, mix up a margarita and sit down to start talking airplanes with like-minded people. Everything is awesome and fun for a week, and then invariably we get to where the campground looks like this and it makes me sad because I know I have to wait 51 weeks for it to start over... Point being, there's nothing else like it on this Earth and you should go for as long as you possibly can:

    IMG_2557.JPG
     
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  14. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My plan is to fly to an airport West of Oshkosh on Monday. Have flown into Appleton before but am trying Wautoma this year. I have other business in town so will probably take care of that Monday afternoon. Then all day Tuesday and Wednesday at the show and maybe part of Thursday depending on the weather. After two years participating on POA I am looking forward to meeting some of you!
     
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  15. shinysideup

    shinysideup Pre-Flight

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    Thanks for the input guys... Leaning towards either the beginning (Mon + Tues) or middle (Wed + Thur). Sounds like the real solution here is to go the whole week.
     
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  16. aggie06

    aggie06 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Figure out when @weirdjim has his forum. Catch that if you can.
     
  17. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    I was originally going Tuesday-Friday, now I am going Saturday-Tuesday. Now I am not sure if those are really the days I want to be there....haha. I guess unless I go all 7 days, there will be something I miss.
     
  18. TFulwider

    TFulwider Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My son and I went twice and spent the entire week. We still didn't get to do everything we wanted to! They will release a schedule of the events and forums soon. Make sure you look that over really well and see if there are any speakers you would like to hear. Dick Rutan is always a good one to catch!
     
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  19. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    What is Camp Scholler like? I'm interested in going to Oshkosh this year. Looked at the rates of local (and not so local) hotels/motels and as expected, they are ridiculous.

    So how much is it to camp at Camp Scholler? We'll be tent camping most likely. Unless we can find some RV rentals in the area.

    Thanks for any info you may have.

    Chris
     
  20. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I've stayed, always in a tent, at Scholler, HBC and the North 40. For this year I'm thinking HBC.

    Main reason? Foot traffic. HBC has the least foot traffic at night, followed by N40, and then Scholler.

    All are fun. And slightly different.
     
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  21. mcdewey

    mcdewey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Rates: $28/night Basic Site EAA Members. See bottom of https://www.eaa.org/airventure/eaa-airventure-tickets.

    I found Scholler to be crowded at times and noisy from traffic...but still a lot of fun. The couple times I tent camped I was near the camping admissions gate near the Interstate. The traffic noise never stops. There's a lot of people that are not pilots out there...it turns into an RV destination for people who want someplace to take their RV. The ATV's are scary when the kids start tearing around in them. Don't want to sound like an old grumpy guy, but there's an accident waiting to happen out there.

    Got to camp in Vintage once. Nice and quiet amidst all the planes and nice short walk. Shower was just a trailer, but I think it's gotten better in the last couple years.

    Never camped in N40 or North Fond Du Lac, but just from walking around, it doesn't look quite as hectic as Scholler.

    Some people get hotels in Green Bay or surrounding areas and drive in. Prices aren't quite as crazy.
     
  22. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    I stay in Vintage. The showers are trailers, but I'm assuming they're better than what you saw. I say that because they're the nicest showers I've ever had when camping. Each trailer has probably 8-10 showers, they're individual, private rooms with locking doors and you have a small area to dress.
     
  23. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Can you camp among the planes with a plane? I assume that is what you meant by Vintage?
     
  24. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, you camp next to your plane. In our case, we're in the Vintage plane area.
     
  25. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Sorry, that was supposed to read, "without a plane".
     
  26. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Ah, I don't think so. In fact, they try to limit you to one tent per plane. There are camping areas for people with just a tent though.
     
  27. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even if you do go all 7 days, you will miss things... But you'll miss less. ;)

    Why did you switch from 4 show days to 2 show days and 2 non-show days?

    Camp Scholler is like a mini-city that's only tents and RVs. There are three small grocery stores, a theater, and lots of social activity.

    Actually, it's not "Mini". It's a mile from the West Gate to the east end of Paul's Woods (east of there is where Vintage airplane camping starts). From the north end to the South Gate is slightly over a mile. It's an irregular shape, so the camping area isn't a full square mile, but it's likely the largest camping area you'll find outside of Burning Man or something like that. And I'm not even sure Burning Man is bigger...

    RV rentals in the immediate area are going to be gone already. If you're coming from afar, the best thing to do is just drive an RV from wherever you airline into. You'll save yourself some money by going into MSP, MKE, MSN, ORD, etc instead of ATW or GRB, and that puts you far enough away that you should be able to get an RV. MKE or MSN might actually be too close, depending on how early you reserve said RV, so don't delay.

    Interesting. I camp fairly far to the east, so about a mile from the highway, and I've never noticed the traffic noise at all. Our site is also only a couple of blocks from EAA Security HQ, so no kids on ATVs by us.

    Interesting that it's an "RV destination". I suppose $28/night and a free dump site is a pretty good deal if you're a full-timer, and there's plenty of entertainment.

    IMO, the trailers are great! Maybe they're different trailers now, but I found them to be as @Lowflynjack describes (quoted below).

    It seems like, for the most part, the North 40 is pretty quiet. With the exception of the legendary Rubber Chicken party, I spent most of the rest of the week socializing in Scholler at night because it seemed like everyone in the North 40 were morning people. Of course, you don't have much choice when the Trimotor departs runway 27 a couple hundred feet from your tent at 6 AM.

    This. I haven't camped in Vintage, but there's a shower trailer in the part of the North 40 just east of the Hilton that sounds similar. The new shower building in the North 40 is also similar, with private showers with a separated changing area for each. The door from the changing area for each shower opens up to the outside.

    You have to have a plane to camp in the plane camping areas. The rules do say one tent per plane, but that isn't strictly enforced - I'm sure there's families with more than one tent, and I've brought friends in and had them camp under my other wing as well.

    Yep, that'd be Camp Scholler. I've done both the North 40 and Scholler, but these days I'm gravitating towards Scholler. There's more going on, you can have a campfire, etc... But it's worth trying both.
     
  28. Banjo33

    Banjo33 Line Up and Wait

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    Is getting a parking/camping spot difficult at any point in the week? My wife gave me the go ahead to take my son this year in our plane. Been 3 times, but they’ve always parked my jet (military) in the plaza and we stayed in the dorms. So not familiar with doing it this way.
     
  29. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Generally, the later in the week, the easier it is to park. If it doesn't rain and make things muddy, capacity is pretty good and they're always working to improve it, but usually if they're going to close the field to new camping arrivals, it'll be in the Monday-Wednesday timeframe. It's usually not closed for long, but again, a big storm that makes things muddy in spots can affect the amount of space available.
     
  30. mcdewey

    mcdewey Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Glad to hear the shower trailers are good and maybe I'm just too sensitive to the road noise from the Interstate. Earplugs took care of the issue for me.

    But regardless, AirVenture is one of the coolest things you'll ever do as a pilot/aviation enthusiast. There is so much to see and do, people to talk to and meet, seminars, and some of the most iconic aircraft you'll ever see. Meeting some of the personalities from this board is great fun. They are friendly, talented, knowledgeable, and funny.

    There is no way to see it all. Be sure to bring really comfortable shoes, use the trams as much as possible, and bring sunscreen if you burn easily.
     
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  31. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Easy to see the days I was there in 2018. Left Wednesday with 4 hour flight home. Thursday I was a couch potato lol

    7E7C0437-DF21-4B2E-8340-503B81A0BC5B.png B606BE5D-16B4-46A1-9EA5-7D7EB3E8D479.png
     
  32. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I didn't mean to imply you were too sensitive, merely that the road noise depends on where one's campsite is. Earplugs are definitely a good thing to bring, even if you don't end up near the Interstate - I'm pretty sure I got some permanent hearing loss from the Harrier one year because I was taking video instead of covering my ears.
     
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  33. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hah! Yes, Airventure is excellent for getting your steps in. The numbers you posted are not at all unusual - One of the guys I camped with walked 17 miles in a single day!

    I've discovered that I need to take an extra day of vacation on the Monday following the show, because I am *beat* after the show is done.
     
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  34. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you only can do two days my vote would be for Tuesday/Wednesday. The night airshow is a must and only happens on Wednesday and Saturday. The problem with waiting until Saturday is that a lot of the other airplanes on the airfield have already left for the week. You will find many open spots on the flight line starting Thursday morning. If you like looking at cool and unusual experimentals then you need to be there earlier in the week. In all honestly, two days is too short to do much of anything but walk around and get the general lay of the land. I usually go Sunday through Friday and still don't get to everything I wanted to see and do.

    Camp Scholler as described above is a mini city. There are a lot of RV's there but also many people camping in tents and pop up campers. I haven't found the crowds or people there to be bad at all. You can avoid all the traffic if you just go one block over from the main road when walking to or from the show. If you are driving in I would suggest bringing a bicycle along. It makes getting around the campground much easier. You can't use the bicycle in the actual show grounds but there are bike corrals right by each entrance. The other nice thing about Scholler is that it is close to the fly-in theater. My usual routine is to go see the movie playing that night, walk back to my campsite and then go hit the showers. The showers are far less crowded at that time of night and there is almost never a wait for a shower stall. I have stayed off site before and don't miss the days of dealing with the traffic trying to get out of the show right after the movie ended. It is much nicer to just walk back to your campsite.

    If tent camping isn't your thing there are always the dorm rooms. If you put your name on the wait list now there is still a pretty good chance that you will be able to get a room during the show. You can also look into renting a pop up camper for the week and staying in Scholler. There are a few companies that come in and set up a camper for you to use and then take it down at the end of the week. It isn't cheap but if you find a few other people to split it with it can work out.

    Keith
     
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  35. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    I got the impression non-camping aircraft parking would be full come Tuesday morning, and I don't want to deal with the chaos arriving sunday morning would bring.
     
  36. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Compromise!

    Go early and leave late.
     
  37. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    GAC fills up before GAP. You'd probably be OK on Tuesday morning.

    Also, if you want a non-chaotic arrival on Sunday, just come in at 7:45 PM. The traffic flow has usually died down to almost nothing, and Fisk Approach will sometimes send you straight to the numbers from Ripon, and lift the speed restrictions too.

    Just be sure you get there early enough that you're down and done taxiing by 8 PM, because all props are supposed to stop at 8.
     
  38. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Line Up and Wait

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    Hmm....maybe I’ll change it back again then...