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Thread: Oshkosh first timer.

  1. #1

    Oshkosh first timer.

    My wife and I booked our room yesterday for our first trip to EAA AirVenture. Booking flights this week as well.
    I'm ecstatic about this trip. It's been a bucketlist trip for me for many years. My wife on the other hand is quiet skeptical of this big "airshow" (in her words). Last night we watched a lot of YouTube from past years.
    Hoping she falls in love with it like we all have.

    We will fly into Appleton on Weds morning and are staying about 30 minutes away from Oshkosh. I'd love to camp on the field, but until we get the experience, we will stay off field.

    I'm looking for any and all tips and tricks for beginners, as we prepare for our first trip there.

    For now, I will immerse myself into the many threads here.

    UPDATED:
    Since reading through the responses so far, I thought I'd post a bit more here about myself.
    I'm 45 and my wife is 44. Both are active and have no problems walking several miles a day.
    I fly small GA airplanes. Most of my time has been in a C152 since the early 2000's. I also own an Ultralight (Fisher FP202). I plan to spend lots of time in the Ultralight and GA area, as that's what I've spent years in and around, but my wife will want to see the "pretty" airplanes. LOL
    We definitely will want to see the float plane area and the Warbirds.

    We are flying into Appleton on Wednesday (the week of the show) arriving around lunch and out early Saturday morning. So we will be there for the Wednesday night airshow and all day Thursday and Friday.
    Yeah, a short trip. But a chance to get our feet wet so maybe I can convince her to go ALL WEEK next year.

    Thanks for all the info so far guys.
    Last edited by TinmanJones; 03-04-2020 at 09:31 AM.

  2. #2
    robert l's Avatar
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    Hi Tinman, I know about the wife being skeptical, my wife has never been but said if she ever did go, I could leave her at the beer tent! Anyway, not knowing your age or physical condition one thing I would suggest is, go for comfort and not looks, it's going to be hot and it may get cold so I always have a pair of long pants and a jacket. And, it's going to rain at least one day so I carry several disposable rain ponchos. They are small and light and work ok. I generally have a small mesh back pack for water, snacks, camera, batteries etc. On the comfort part, there's going to be a lot of walking so just keep that in mind. Sun screen, lip balm, sun glasses, some kind of hat are a must have also. I'm sure others will have more info for you. I know the excitement, I planned one trip a year and a half in advance and had a count down app on my computer home page. I plan to be there this year also but dont know yet if we are flying in or driving. Good luck.
    Bob

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    2,560
    Wear comfortable walking shoes, a sun hat and sun glasses and put on sunscreen, I would not carry all that other stuff around with me. How long do you have and what is her interest? Get the shuttle from Appleton and look at the the program guide and plan your day. Here are some highlights, warbirds at north end of field just south of 9-27, there is a tram the goes through the area or walk, warbird clothing shop, if a bad weather day museuem is 1 mile to the west, theres a shuttle, Pioneer old style airport is just behind museum, theres a shuttle and you can get a helicopter ride around the grounds for bout $75 person, even better in Ford Tri Motor ride just south of warbirds for $90 e. its noisy. Commercial vendor tents are 2/3 way south on field in big hangars, again good if bad weather, and they have real toilets. Food court ( not great ok) is east of vendors, and big square with big planes on display. Further south, there;s trams, are the antiques and the ultraligsths have their own runway. It might take 3 or 4 days to cover most of this. There are also fourms kind of rigth in the middle with lectures on various topics some more technical. Airshows are in the afternoon, often very noisy. There is a bus to seaplane base about 5 miles east and a cool quiet respit, try not to miss it and takes bout part of a day. Hilton Hotel, on grounds, on northwest side of runway 9-27 has a/c and a cool bar for tired wives and great view off the roof. Food is ok not great. Enjoy
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 03-03-2020 at 11:30 PM.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    The earlier you arrive the better, traffic builds quickly and the parking lots fill up as the day progresses. Download the AirVenture app for volumes of info and maps. Get a printed map when you arrive and understand that North is to the left on the map.

    I'm a tram conductor and suggest you use them to get a feel for the basic layout of the event, get off at the next stop when you see something of interest, wander till you're tired of walking then wait at the nearest tram stop headed to the next area. The grounds are HUGE!!!! There are 4 different tram routes identified by small colored pennants on the tractor and at the back by the conductor. The tram system runs from the North 40 gate all the way South past Ultralights, with one route going from the Tower to the Bus Park.

    The maps and all pertinent info are also on the AirVenture website which might help you cherry-pick the things you'd like to see during your stay. You can't see it all in just a few days, so might as well start developing a game plan. EVERY first-timer I meet agrees on one thing -"Wow, this is a whole lot bigger than I even thought it would be." Have a great time.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Driving in isn't too bad. There are certainly peak times, but I've arrived mid morning and haven't really seen much of a delay. Similarly, unless you try to exit immediately at the end of the airshow, you won't have any problem leaving.

    I'd ignore the stupid "pre purchased" tickets thing. It seems to not only not have saved time for those who used it (as you still have to exchange your credentials for wristbands), it actually took longer (hopefully they'll fix this) as there were more venues open for selling admissions outright than redeeming the online ones.

    Camping isn't all that hard. I've done it since 1993 after staying in the dorms once.

    The big problem with the trams is that there's this strange guy sitting on the back of one telling bad jokes throughout the ride

  6. #6

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    The big problem with the trams is that there's this strange guy sitting on the back of one telling bad jokes throughout the ride -

    Dontcha just HATE it when that happens. LOL! In fairness to ME - I ALWAYS offer my passengers the standard choices of riding along hearing my corny jokes....or walking. Most all choose to stay onboard - LOL
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  7. #7
    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    As others have said, dress for comfort. After 2-3 days no one gives a flip anymore and we’re all just walking around hot and sweaty (hopefully with a shower each day) and we all look the same regardless of your socioeconomic quadrant. If your wife really gets bored, there are a few craft tents. Some bring a good book or two and just sit in the shade and read. There are free or low cost busses to the outlet mall across I-41. There are busses to the big antique mall in Appleton. I’m into home building so I volunteer in the workshops or check out the exhibits or attend relevant forums. I never see my wife until suppertime cuz she’s into history and warbirds. In short, if both of you don’t find SOMETHING that puts a smile on your face, you’re not trying.

    Carl Orton
    Sonex #1170 / Zenith 750 Cruzer
    http://mykitlog.com/corton

  8. #8
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Realistically assess your ability to walk and stand for long periods.
    Not much shade - plan and prep accordingly.
    Water stations are available; carry a refillable bottle.
    Arrive before the show officially opens and get your admission out of the way. The Admissions line on opening day are long and slow.
    It’s a lot of real-estate to cover. Have a mental plan of what’s important to you. For example, do you really want to walk thru the area where schools are trying to recruit kids to attend? Is walking thru the homebuilt camping area important to you?
    Weather fronts moving thru can generate some big swings. Windy, hot, wet, and chilly are all possibilities.
    Dont be afraid to ask questions, look but don’t touch.
    Expect “captured audience” food and drink prices. Carry a snack or two.
    Lots of handouts and info if you’re so inclined. A back pack or sling pack helps.
    WELCOME TO OSHKOSH
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  9. #9
    I've updated my original post with more info about myself and our upcoming trip.
    Thanks guys.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    This might be of some use to you -

    https://www.eaa.org/airventure/plan-...ing-to-oshkosh

    The Bus park is quite near the Main entrance, and a convenient starting point to AirVenture.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

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