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Thread: AirVenture 2022 - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    AirVenture 2022 - The Good, Bad, and Ugly

    This is from my personal experience and does not reflect the opinions or experiences of others. This year most of my group stayed in Scholler. We arrived mid-day on Saturday. Overall we had a great time as usual despite a few setbacks.

    The Good:
    1. Registration at Scholler was fast and smooth. The volunteers did an excellent job at keeping traffic moving.
    2. Shuttles were running frequently and despite often being full, we never had to wait long.
    3. Every volunteer that I encountered was helpful and friendly. The army of volunteers definitely deserve kudos for a job well done.
    4. The grounds always appeared to be very clean and well maintained. The staff and volunteers play a major part in this, but it also shows a great deal of respect from the attendees.
    5. Port-a-Johns are often atrocious. The ones in the campground were frequently cleaned and did not smell too bad.
    6. The camp store was well stocked and had decent prices.
    7. The selection of Warbirds to see this year was great.
    8. I usually don't take trams, but this year we took advantage of the yellow and red to get across the grounds to warbirds. Trams were running frequently and we were always able to get a ride.
    9. The Ham radio station was back at Pioneer airport.
    10. I had my doubts about the wrist bands this year but mine lasted the entire week. Definitely a improvement over last year.

    The Bad:
    1. Wait times at the shower houses could be bad if you go at peak hours during the morning and afternoon. With Scholler being so full this year, I think they needed at least some more portable shower houses trailers.
    2. The shower houses tend to get stuffy and smelly during the day. I still don't understand why they don't mount a few large exhaust fans to keep air circulating through them.
    3. Those low flow toilets stop up easily and often multiple stalls were out of commission. Remember folk, always courtesy flush and use multiple flushes to get rid of any paper in smaller amounts! I also came aross several stalls that were out of TP, might be beneficial to mount a larger or second dispenser. I always bring my own to be safe.
    4. We arrived Saturday and made the bad decision of setting up camp before the storm... my tent and many around me were destroyed by the heavy wind. In hindsight, we should have roped off our site and waited until after the storm to set up camp like some of our neighbors. Our thinking was setting up camp in pouring rain sucks, so we rushed to get the tents up before the storm. A late night trip to Walmart yielded a replacement trip, so minor setback. Pro tip: The WalMart near the airport got cleaned out fast of any tents on Saturday. I instead drove 20 minute north to a different WalMart which was well stocked.
    5. My brand new Canon 90D DSLR literally died on Tuesday morning. I had received this a week before the show due to being backordered so didn't have much time to field test it. Luckily the camera shop where I purchased it back at home exchanged it with me new camera yesterday. So I missed out on getting good pics for most of the week.
    6. Saturday evening when I was trying to dry out my bedding at the Scholler laundromat, at least a 3rd of the dryers were either not working well or broken. The change machine was also out. Luckily I had enough quarters for myself and a handful of extra to hand out to others. Does the campground have a maintenance crew on call who can jump on these issues as they come up?
    7. While the food available on site was decent and at the expected event prices, I wish there was a more diverse selection available. I understand due to real estate and logistics they probably have to stick to only a few of the larger commercial vendors like Subway and A&W, instead of allowing more of the smaller mom and pop type food trucks that you often see at other events and fairs. Would be nice to have some good taco trucks and better quality options to choose from.
    8. Since Canon pulled out, there didn't appear to be any camera vendors on site (unless I missed them?).

    The Ugly:
    1. Some guy was racing his loud (no exhaust) dirt bike back and forth by our sites (non-generator area) well past 10PM several nights that we were there. He appeared to be joy riding. I wear ear plugs at night but this was still loud enough to wake me.
    2. Scholler really filled up by Monday and people were getting desperate and often pushy to get a spot that wasn't all the way in the back section.

    -We had 8 people and 3 vehicles, so we paid for 3 sites. I arrived two days before the others on Saturday so I displayed the proper credentials and roped off sites just big enough for our tents and vehicles. The fist of us to arrive spread out our tents and screened tent across all 3 sites to help stake out our claim. We had several people completely disregard this and drive across our orange marking tape to setup their camp before we chased them out. On Monday, before our last two tent campers with their vehicle had arrived, some guy felt the need to yell at my friend and make threats because we were "hogging the campground" and demanded that we forfeit part of our site to him. They told him to pound sand. When our entire group had arrived we utilized 100% of the space that we had paid for with no extra room.
    -The family next to us had a site just big enough for their tent and car. They also roped off a small area for their mini-van parking. While they were gone one evening a guy in a camper took their parking spot despite being clearly marked off.
    Last edited by Jeremy S; 07-31-2022 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Gary.Sobek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    This was the 21st time I flew my airplane into AirVenture Oshkosh.

    Went a day early (Saturday) because I was forecasting IFR Sunday morning and expected that to saturate traffic Sunday afternoon. My forecasting was off a little as I had forecast 11 AM when VFR traffic would start arriving and it was more like 10:30 when arrival started in mass.

    Saturday I had weather as I approached Chicago area. I had diverted south and west of my planned route. Turbulence was such that my A-20 headset left my right ear and was only on part of my left ear. G-meter recorded +2.5 and -1.5. I ended up 115 NM off course because of weather. I was 35 NM west of my intended fuel stop but knew I could get fuel at C73. I was avoiding C73 as I knew there was a large group there practicing formation and would be doing a mass arrival.

    Departure for the last one hour flight into OSH was about as expected. It felt that I would be arriving after the Cessna mass arrivals were over. I was wrong. The Cessnas were using runway 36L and ATC was using one mile spacing for arrivals as they only had one runway that the Cessnas were not using. No issue there as I could not see any aircraft in front of me but ADS-B in showed one 2 or 3 miles ahead. As I approached FISK, I head ATC direct an aircraft right turn to runway 18. A little while later, I also was directed to turn right to runway 18. As I got closer, runway 18L was where they wanted me. Never saw the aircraft in front of me but it did a go around. I put the aircraft right where ATC wanted it so I think I was the first aircraft to land on 18L after the Cessna mass arrival. Parking and tiedown was as usual.

    Having flown into OSH AirVenture before, I knew the routine. I do NOT like the security checking bags every time I come back on the airport. I flew in and could have brought anything including an item they do not want. The security check line was longer with waits to get in much longer than any year in the past. No were near enough people to check incoming bags. I was using the gate from the bus stop that is due east. I departed Thursday as I felt it had the least Wx issues for me heading home. I felt like I spent 5-minutes in line getting my suitcase, backpack, and water cooler inspected before I could get to my airplane.

    Flying my airplane into AirVenture then needing to get my belongs / bags check to depart is getting to be an issue with me. This may be my last trip to AirVenture as I do not like this security search.

    Trip home again has Wx to deal with. Lots of airplane departing Thursday. After 50-minutes of taxi and holding, I was till not on the runway. My airplane spend the first 16-years in the Southwest where high temperatures are normal. My airplane was built to be able to operate in high heat with high temperatures. After 50-minutes, I was at 220 F oil temperature. I know at this temperature that I can have missing due to vapor lock on my takeoff roll. I did have a little engine stumble on my takeoff roll but I was able to get to full RPM (constant speed prop) and smooth running engine as I accelerate on my takeoff roll. No issue to my first fuel stop. Was suppose to met friends that taxied out in front of me there but they were already refueled and taking off 1/2 hour before I would arrive. After fuel stop, I was not able to go direct on course due to Wx. I had to fly South for a while before turning toward Atlanta. Watching ADS-B Wx, I knew there were strong radar returns (Reds, Pink, and Orange) to avoid. Started out flying under but do not like flying at 2,000 MSL under clouds. The broken layer had big enough holes that I could go up and come back down so I decided to go up and take a look. Much nicer on top. Had holes large enough that I could get back down. I could see sunlight on clouds ahead and to the east. Turned more direct toward home with the idea I could turn back toward Atlanta if needed. As I approached home, I figure I would stop and fill up as I do not have fuel at my home base. Arrived home after 6.3 hobbs hours. This should have been about a 4.5-hour flight.

    I am more out of shape now that I am older. Only walked 19,600 steps on Monday. Tuesday was down to 12,100 and I was tired as I did not get enough rest Monday night. Guess I need to admit that I am part of the Medicare crowd and should not be pussing myself.

    I will review this post next year to determine if I will fly my airplane to AirVenture again. I may be IFR rated but would not fly IFR in the weather that I had on the way to and from OSH. I would rather drive 16-hours over two days than fly in turbulence. Searching bags of people that flew into OSH when they come back on the field is another issue that will keep me away.

    Maybe I am the only person that does NOT want the bags that will be in their personal aircraft inspected by EAA security people. Having my bags searched is enough to keep me from flying my aircraft back to AirVenture in the future.
    Gary A. Sobek
    EAA Lifetime Member
    A&P, Homebuilder, Pilot

    When once you have tasted flight,
    you will forever walk the earth
    with your eyes turned skyward,
    for there you have been,
    and there you will always long to return.
    - Leonardo da Vinci

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary.Sobek View Post

    Maybe I am the only person that does NOT want the bags that will be in their personal aircraft inspected by EAA security people. Having my bags searched is enough to keep me from flying my aircraft back to AirVenture in the future.
    I usually went into the gate early each day so the security lines weren't that bad. They hardly checked my bag, just glanced in and poked with a stick. I suspect they are mainly looking for firearms. Sadly, this is just a sign of the times and the EAA is possibly being forced to do bag checks by airport policy and/or their insurance. I personally don't mind the inconvenience if it helps keep the crowds safer.

    My friends got caught in the weather on Saturday as well. We drove right through it near Chicago.

  4. #4
    mazdaP5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Just outside of Grosse Ile NAS
    I was very pleasantly surprised to see high quality model kits in the shops. The last few years had been cheap Revell kits and even cheaper snap kits. I always said if EAA had high quality kits in the shops I'd buy, I ended up with five.

  5. #5
    mazdaP5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Just outside of Grosse Ile NAS
    Also, the Thursday airshow was just one of the best. It was my Brother in law and nieces first Oshkosh, and they were blown away by the F-35 on Wednesday. On Thursday, it flew three times in the airshow, plus the jet warbirds, and it was well paced. My niece commented that she loved Oshkosh, I think we have them hooked.

    Also on the good side, I was not almost run over by a single cart or gator all week, grounds traffic seemed much improved.

    On the bad side, I wasn't too happy with converting the Sky Shoppe to an "exclusive" building, inclusion really is the name of the game.
    My brother in law was not too thrilled with the Eagle Hangar being closed off, a sentiment I have been echoing for years. Membership gets you free admission, but only to part of the museum. His interest is in Warbirds, and 95% of members only ever get to the museum during the convention.

    For the ugly, the south shower house flooded with grey water on Tuesday night, it was really quite gross.
    Last edited by mazdaP5; 08-01-2022 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Got my days mixed up

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    KLDM Ludington, MI
    Hey Jeremy,
    I would agree with all your "good" items, especially trams, clean porta-potties, great volunteers, and great people overall.
    I would add:
    1. Webcams were Much better this year, very good resolution, lots of coverage.
    2. Lot of good vendors
    3. Great airshows
    THE BAD:
    1. Cellphone coverage (AT&T) not so good.
    2. EAA WIFI coverage so-so, bandwidth so-so, but somehow the wifi did not allow email retrieval, pop3 email blocked for some reason.
    3. We were camped (in "improved camping") next to a vendor area with a big party tent. He felt that everyone in a 100 yard radius wanted to hear his loud music.

    Overall, another GREAT Oshkosh!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Back home to my Chicago 'hood - sigh - after a near 4 hour drive following my 8-4:30ish tram conducting shift today. THANKS Milwaukee for shutting down a stretch of the VITAL North-South expressway, forcing ALL traffic to divert to surface streets. Oh joy, oh rapture. But I'm safely home none the less.

    This year I worked the Blue tram route all 9 days on the morning 8:00-2:00 shift. The dedicated 'road preservationists' at Wittman were able to keep ALL the prior big potholes and heavy bumps and even added a few new ones, just to keep one's internal organs from getting complacent staying in one spot. The weather IMHO was PHENOMENAL and was the longest stretch of nice conditions that I can remember. Airplane people are good people, the crowds were substantial and as always 99.99% of the attendees with whom I had the pleasure of interacting were a treat. As I expected there were of course two or three unpleasant souls, but I think that for those few the worst thing that hurts their happiness is that everywhere they go, they bring themselves along.

    I now begin counting down the days till next AirVenture, and oh yes indeed, I've already secured my motel room reservatiuons for next year.
    Last edited by CHICAGORANDY; 08-01-2022 at 05:12 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see or read on the internet" - Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    The Good:

    - The (I think) new vintage tram tour. Our narrator was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot.
    - Seabase was relaxing as always and the busses were running efficiently
    - The volunteers in general are almost always very friendly and inviting
    - Seeing a Mig 29 in action

    The Bad:
    - As someone above stated, half the museum is closed off every year. My son has been wanted to see that area for a few years now, and we don't get to Oshkosh any other time.
    - A few people in the non-24 hour generator area way out south in the campground didn't get the message
    - I miss the Ford tent.
    - It would have been nice to have a B17 and the B24 on display
    - The near miss from a seaplane pilot a little over exuberant on the the throttles that caused the dock attendant to go into the water. That could have been a bad accident.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    My "ugly" was the shower house in Camp Scholler nearest the entry. It smelled bad last year, (the stalls that share the wall with the urinals on the other side smell like stale urine), and this year, I tried several locations. Those stalls still smelled of stale urine. The mildew smell Sunday was overwhelmingly bad, and it was mixed in with a sewage smell.

    The camp stores had good selection and surprisingly low prices. The food out on the airport was surprisingly more expensive. $11 for cheese curds was a surprise. $17 for a pasta + chicken + sausage dinner in the area near Boeing square was high. I don't recall exact prices for Subway from last year, but my first (and only) sandwich from them this year was very highly priced.

    The crowd Saturday was a good size, but overall, it seemed quieter this year. I haven't seen numbers. It was very sparsely attended Sunday. I know that's usual, but the Sunday crowd this year seemed well down from average. I missed the big Ford Pavillion - not so much for the vehicles, but they usually had a climbing wall or similar set up near by. And free icecream some afternoons if you were lucky.

  10. #10
    Auburntsts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary.Sobek View Post

    Maybe I am the only person that does NOT want the bags that will be in their personal aircraft inspected by EAA security people. Having my bags searched is enough to keep me from flying my aircraft back to AirVenture in the future.
    Next year call the Homebuilders Welcome Wagon. We’ll pick you and your bags up anywhere on the EAA grounds and take you to your airplane with no bag check.

    As for me:

    The Good:
    — Definitely the weather (minus Saturday July 24th of course). Best we’ve ever experienced at Osh hands-down.
    — Volunteering—first time my wife and I volunteered at Osh. We were Welcome Wagon drivers and had a blast
    — Food trucks. I really like added variety and they were a pleasant surprise.

    The Minor Annoying:
    — The aircraft Marshallers. I get they are volunteers and typically they do a phenomenal job. But the 2 guys who parked us in HBP need to chill. I stopped and shut down short of the line in my parking spot so could put boards under my wheels. Immediately after shutdown I opened my door to explain what I was doing and that I’d pull it forward the last couple of feet. But before I could get a word out the guy doing the directing and his companion still on his scooter were almost yelling at me to move forward. I finally was able to tell them what I was going to do, but by the looks on their faces you’d have thought I was speaking in tongue’s or something, Ultimately they simply jumped on their scooters in a huff with a parting, just make sure you move your plane up. Far cry from welcome to Osh that I’ve received the previous 6 times we’ve flown in.
    — my eBike died on the first day. Luckily it’s not bad as a regular bike, but I was really bummed at the time.
    — Sleepy Hollow couldn’t get the campground washer fixed. Wouldn’t had been a big deal but we packed assuming we would was clothes. Ended up riding over the the Red Market West laundromat which is close to Sleepy Hollow.

    These are all nits as we didn’t have any real complaints this year and definitely no bads or uglies.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 08-01-2022 at 09:50 AM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    EAA Lifetime Member

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