As I have mentioned in some of my previous posts I am Intending to visit Airventure in 2013, and trying to fit it in with a visit to Britain to see my relatives in the same trip. Checking the 2013 air show dates I can certainly make the trip work, being able to attend the big shows at Duxford and Fairford the previous weeks as well!
With a rough block of dates I'm about to wander off to my travel agent to start putting some plans in place. I am still a little sketchy on getting to Oshkosh, and this will have a bearing on the flights and dates etc that I chose.
My dream is to arrive by air in some form of taildragger aircraft (I would love to fly the legendary Fisk arrival just to say I have done it!...) but exactly how to do this is tricky. Firstly, I dont want to spend more than one day on the flight in, as I have limited time, and want to spend most of that on the ground at the show. Therefore I was guessing my best port of entry from the UK would be Chicago. Therefore..
1. Do I try and rent something like a Citabria from somewhere near Chicago, spend a day getting current (I fly a taildragger of my own design, so although I have Citabria time in the past I would need a referesher), or do I hire an instructor to fly to Oshkosh with me (sounds expensive!). Is there somewhere near Chicago that hires such aircraft (I e-mailed some flight schools that had Citabrias listed on their webpages and got no answer)
2. Do I "scrounge" a ride with a Local EAA person who is heading that way anyway? My concern about this is firstly making touch with someone about it (Any local chapter contacts?) and secondly being confident that such a ride will actually go ahead and I don't get bumped for wife / new girlfriend / dog etc that may want the seat. Having come from the far side of the world I would hate to miss out with the last link of the journey! I am happy to fly as passenger and can certainly contribute to lookout etc (and share costs) and I can tell good stories! The big advantage with this is there is someone used to US procedure etc, which can be a bit different from little ol' NZ...
3. Is there a better entry point than Chicago, where there is a better chance of arranging such a flight?
4. what about getting back? eventually I would need to get to Los Angeles for the flight back home to New Zealand, so whether that means return to Chicago (or wherever) and passenger tube to LAX or whether another, more scenic method by light aircraft is another option.
So, where do I start hanging this together? is there any advice from anyone who has done this before? what do you recommend?