It’s That Time Again

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Oshkosh traffic jam of 2018.

If I read my calendar correctly we are just four weeks away from joining all of our aviation friends in the skies over Ripon, headed to Fiske. That means it’s time for us aviation journalists to trot out our well-oiled please for practice, tolerance, and good decision-making (not to mention READING THE NOTAM!) in order to get everybody safely to their parking spots for AirVenture 2019. After last year’s chaotic opening weekend, a lot has been written about why things went sideways due to many factors –  and many ideas have been floated as to how to make the arrival better. Unfortunately, a lot of those ideas are still in the development stage, not ready for this year. There are a couple of new things in the bag –  The Fond Du Lac diversion and probably more importantly, a text message system (text OSHARRIVAL to 64600 to sign up) to hopefully keep folks better informed while enroute.

Meanwhile, here are the usual tropes.

  1. Practice, practice, practice. – It’s not just to get to Carnegie Hall anymore! 90 knots, over the railroad tracks, 1/2 mile behind the aircraft you are following. Go find a friend and fly to breakfast in trail this weekend.
  2. Know the procedure – cold! Quiz your friends while they’re waiting for that hundred-dollar plate of eggs and bacon – what’s the holding procedure at Green Lake? What frequency to expect for Tower for 9/27? Where can you divert if things get dicey?
  3. My pledge – I’ll NEVER hold in the air if arrivals are saturated at Fiske – I’m going to one of the many fine Wisconsin airports within fifty miles of Oshkosh, and waiting it out on the ground. It’s cheaper, safer, less stressful… what’s not to like?
  4. Remember – everyone is human. Show a little tolerance, give more than you get, and if you absolutely have to rage and confront someone, do it on the ground once you’ve landed.Me? After many, many years flying the Fiske arrival, I’m planning to be a rookie on the Turbine approach this year – new stuff to learn, new folks to mix with. Regardless, I’ll hope to see you on the ground when we are all safely at the show.
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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

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