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This forum is for discussions about Airshows, aviation events and allows WIX member to coordinate a get together and meet ups at these events.
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Oshosh questions

Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:24 pm

Never been to this iconic show, this year might be my first. Basically I would be driving there in a RV from MI and stay 2 or 3 days. Would like to spend at least a day catching arrivals, but I foresee problems.

* Not into civil aviation but I am guessing arrivals are pretty much mixed up with no better time/location to catch military arrivals than others
* 7 day show, so do the bulk of arrivals come the days before the show starts or is the bulk more towards the closing days of the weekend ?
* Viewing spots - Doesn't look promising on google earth, I am guessing they got prime off base potential viewing spots locked down pretty good, most of the surrounding land looks like private property

Any observations/tips would be appreciated.

Re: Oshosh questions

Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:54 pm

Most of the showplanes (warbirds and GA types) arrive on Saturday/Sunday. By mid-week, things start thinning out.

You can find a place reasonably close to either runway, but not both at the same time, so you've gotta make a choice there.

Re: Oshosh questions

Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:50 am

There isn't much of a reason to spot off-site at Oshkosh. If you want to arrive and spot before the week of the show, a week pass or a Monday ticket gets you access to the grounds on Sunday (July 21 this year).

During the week, there will be something arriving, departing, or just going out to fly constantly from sunrise until the start of the airshow, and from the conclusion of the airshow until sunset. The best days for number of aircraft are Monday - Thursday; by Friday, it starts to thin out. Both runways are used for arrivals and departures as well as airshow acts. I wouldn't say that there is one runway that is better to spot along for arrivals or departures because there doesn't seem to be a rule for the arrivals of specific types. Runway 18/36 is the showline for the airshow and most of the feature aircraft will use it. That is the runway you want to spot along for military arrivals. However, many of the warbirds (T-28s, T-34s, T-6s, Yaks, sometimes fighters, jets, bombers and transports) will use 9/27 during the airshow and even during the day. You can spot along 9/27 until the grass warbird parking closes for the afternoon airshow.

If you're planning to be there Monday, there is usually a special arrival or flyover for the concert that is worth sticking around along 18/36 for. Last year, it was a four-ship of the two Shaw AFB F-16s and two P-51s, followed by a KC-135. Depending on the unit or aircraft involved, you also usually get a pretty good beat-up of the field after the flyover. The arrival of the F-4s in 2016 is something I will never forget.

Friday-Sunday are generally the best days for military aircraft, but some come and go throughout the week. It just depends on the aircraft, unit and availability. I personally haven't seen the Heritage Flight aircraft arrive any later than Tuesday and the past few years, it seems most of the heavy aircraft are in by midweek. One of the cool aspects is that any military aircraft arriving during the week do so when the grounds are open. Sometimes, arrivals are incorporated into the beginning or end of the airshow. Most of the military arrivals will give at least one pass before landing. Not all of the aircraft (military or otherwise) will stick around all week though. The past few years, the weekend airshows have incorporated the most military aircraft.

Biggest thing to realize about Oshkosh is that no matter where you are and when you're there, you're probably going to be missing something somewhere else. There have been times that a WWII bomber or a flight of fighters have arrived, and I never even heard or saw them in the air. The scale of the event is tough to understand until you've been there. Don't run yourself ragged trying to see everything all the time. If you're going to look at aircraft on the ground, pace yourself, take advantage of the shuttles that run inside the grounds and again, don't try to see everything every day. I usually attend three days and spend two mornings walking around warbirds, and the other around vintage.

There will be different themed days for the airshow throughout the week. Again, most of the best military flying seems to be at the end of the week or on the weekend. The warbird shows tend to have a different focus each day. Monday is mass formation arrivals (T-28s, T-34s, Yaks, T-6s), then later in the week you'll have a fighters show, a vintage jet focus, and maybe something focusing on another particular theme.

Hope this helps.

Re: Oshosh questions

Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:47 pm

Thanks for the replies, pretty much confirmed what I have been thinking. Think I'll modify my plans, I don't think it sounds like a very good plan to drive 16 hours and spend $1k on RV rental just to watch a gaggle of cesnas fly by. IF I go I'll likely time it out for a FRI arrival and forget about flyins and just experience whatever the show has to offer.
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