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Tips for flying to AirVenture

The notam for EAA AirVenture will be in effect from July 22 through August 1, a longer time period than past years. In previous years, the notam went into effect the Friday before AirVenture. This year, the notam will go into effect at noon Central time on the Thursday before (July 22) and will run through the following Sunday, August 1, until 8 p.m. Central time.

That’s just one change pilots flying in will notice. To highlight the changes, the Experimental Aircraft Association hosted a webinar in June to walk pilots through the arrival procedures, discuss changes to the arrival, and provide tips for flying in. Fred Stadler, the EAA volunteer notam chairman who coordinates with the FAA on behalf of EAA for the notam, provides insights on the 32-page notam during the almost 90-minute webinar, “Tips for Flying Into EAA AirVenture 2021.”

A big change is for “new ATC-assignable transition points approaching Oshkosh from the west that will ease holding and congestion,” EAA said. The three new transition points are Endeavor Bridge, Puckaway Lake, and Green Lake. “They will be announced on the arrival ATIS when ATC puts them into use at times of highest traffic flows.”

In addition, Taxiway Alpha at Wittman Regional Airport, which becomes temporary Runway 18L/36R during EAA AirVenture, has been widened from 50 feet to 60 feet. The extra 10 feet in width could come in handy during strong crosswinds, Stadler said.

The notam also notes that the Falls (FAH) VOR in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and the Kankakee (IKK) VOR in Kankakee, Illinois, have been decommissioned.

During the webinar, Stadler walks pilots through the arrival procedures, pointing out checkpoints with aerial photos. He offers tips for flying the Fisk Arrival, including things to consider if you are following an aircraft that is slower than you, flight planning, landing, and departing.

Stadler said air traffic controllers might call pilots by registration number and tell them to turn to a certain direction, but he reminds aviators that the controllers are not providing separation services. It’s up to pilots to see and avoid.

EAA officials are working to expand general aviation camping to accommodate as many attendees as possible. They have created the “South Forty” aircraft camping area that adds 400 more spaces, Stadler said.

Whether AirVenture will be your first aviation fix since the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020 or your first time meeting up with your “Oshkosh family” in almost two years, make sure you have a safe arrival by planning your flight and studying the arrival procedures and notam in advance.

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