Volunteering on the flight line
Hello. I had a few questions about volunteering for the flight line at Airventure. What type of work do you do exactly, and where primarily do you work? How long is the normal shift? I would assume that the flight line would get booked for volunteers very quickly, so when does that usually happen? I contacted the master mind behind this operation (can't remember his name), but he gave me a really vague answer that didn't really answer my question. I will be arriving at Oshkosh either late Friday (20th) or early Saturday, so I hope that is early enough for me to get a spot. Thanks for all your help!
I've only volunteered a few times, so I'm no expert at all the subtleties of it, but I do have *some* actual experience.
There's two parts: The south end (I've never worked that), and the North 40 FLO. If you hike all the way north past warbirds, and continue across the grass, you'll see a building relatively close to 9/27 (not close, but closer than the other stuff). That's the North 40 FLO building. Go in there and tell them you'd like to volunteer.
You then register on the computer, and watch a video about how to work flight ops. You then sign up for a shift and show up.
There are two task areas: Parking and flight line. You work in a crew of 5-6 others in the parking crew; basically, if someone pulls off the taxiway and into the parking area, a guy on a scooter directs them to the row being worked. The crew then marshalls them in, and helps push it tail-first if it's a fill-in operation. You then welcome the pilot to Oshkosh and help answer questions.
flight line tasks are stationed along the grass taxiways. Generally, you just keep people moving on the correct side of the taxiway; CAP folks help out here quite a bit as well. There are a few intersections where you might be stationed; at those, you refer to the signs that pilots are supposed to hold up indicating whether they want GAP / GAC / VAP, etc. This is where you really appreciate the guys that used bold font. If they used a ballpoint pen, you'll have to approach the plane (watch that prop!) to read the sign.
FLO is great about giving breaks, providing drinks (Operation Thirst), and sandwiches / cookies.
The shifts are generally about 4 hours; the shifts immediately before the air show are shorter, because they shut down the airport (so you're not needed) about 2:30.
To work the south side (Vintage), just show up for class at the Ops Shack across the street from the Hangar Cafe, south of the Vintage hangar and red headquarters building. Classes used to be at 9am and 1pm but check on the time. Takes about an hour and you're qualified. To go to work just show up at the Ops Shack - there's no assigned shifts. You can work all day if you want. There's usually a 4 hour limit on riding scooters just so others can get a turn. But there's plenty of work to do without a scooter.
Looks like we have the north and south side's nailed properly. Tower (Hi Steve) has it right for Vintage for sure.
Vintage flight line has a bunch of jobs between things like parking aircraft, directing stuff on the taxiways, stopping traffic on the road when airplanes are crossing, etc...
We also provide crowd control (keeping people behind the line and out of the emergency lanes) during the airshow. You can get a nice view of the airshow standing ten feet in front of everybody else.
If you work Point Fondy, you get to listen to Antique Tower's jokes, too.
Last edited by FlyingRon; 07-03-2012 at 05:16 AM.
Thanks for your interest in volunteering on the flight line.
Originally Posted by AgentCOPP1
Carl Orton had good answers for your other questions. If you arrive on the Saturday before AirVenture you will likely find some F.L.O. shifts already filled, but other shifts will need volunteers regardless of when you arrive. It just depends on when you want to volunteer (and when everyone else wants to). In any event, you're sure to find it interesing and fun!
Last edited by Fred Stadler; 07-03-2012 at 03:21 PM.