After a year-long hiatus, the general aviation community finally landed at Wittman Regional Airport again on Monday, July 26. We have missed a lot about the annual EAA gathering while cooped up during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are sure you can relate. Between the air shows, exhibits, workshops, events, and networking and fun among friends and colleagues, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the antithesis of our past year. Here’s what we've been enjoying the most at KOSH.
1. Boosting Pilot Proficiency
The week at AirVenture always provides great reminders and inspiration to improve your flying. Watching world-class pilots fly aerobatics, attending safety and proficiency seminars, and learning about the newest updates to your avionics and electronic flight bag give you the knowledge and motivation to start new habits in your flight training and flying. After a year indoors, AirVenture is more valuable than ever to give you the boost you need to get your mind back on the flight deck and your hands back on the yoke. Fortunately, several initiatives on the AirVenture grounds will provide you with resources to improve and maintain your proficiency.
Get a Personalized Proficiency Plan at the Redbird Tent (Main Aircraft Display - Booth 304)
All week at AirVenture, stop by our booth to complete a benchmark flight in one of our FAA-approved flight simulators, and a Certified Flight Instructor will work with you to create a proficiency plan tailored to your personal preferences, needs, and goals. You also will have an opportunity to enroll in the beta program for our newest product—one that is years in the making.
Fly VFR and IFR Scenarios at the Pilot Proficiency Center (Main Aircraft Display - Booth EAA 4)
Next door to the Redbird Tent, you can visit the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center (PPC) to experience how training on a flight simulator can help you stay on track in your proficiency plan and build your skills. The PPC features several Redbird Advanced Aviation Training Devices and crosswind trainers. CFIs from around the country are there to guide you through professionally developed flight scenarios and exercises, and they can work with you to select the best ones for your proficiency plan.
The PPC also features a full schedule of Tech Talks with topics including procedures, use of aviation tools, tips and tricks, weather planning, and use of charts.
If you are not able to attend AirVenture in person this year, you can still fly scenarios from the PPC remotely if you have access to a Redbird Aviation Training Device at home or in one of the fourteen participating flight schools throughout the United States. Using Redbird Connect, a flight instructor will guide you through scenarios virtually to help you take your proficiency to the next level. For more information on participating in the PPC remotely, check out this page.
2. Attending the Air Shows
The precision aerobatics and vintage and military aircraft showcases at AirVenture are a sight to behold. This year, highlights include expanded warbird flying activities to commemorate the 75th anniversary (plus one) of the end to World War II, the aircraft and personnel of the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), multiple aerobatic champions, and—of course—the Night Air Show on Saturday. If you have ever seen a Night Air Show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, you know your Independence Day fireworks were just a warm-up.
3. Introducing Youth to Aviation
AirVenture provides tremendous opportunities to garner interest in aviation from the next generation of potential pilots and aviation professionals. That is especially true this year, as people ages 18 and under will be admitted free all week at AirVenture. No matter if you have young children or a child in grades K-12, you will find hands-on activities and learning opportunities all over the grounds for the whole family to enjoy.
Take classes in the Redbird STEM Lab (Main Aircraft Display - Booth 304)
The Redbird STEM Lab provides interactive, aviation-themed courses in a fun and impactful learning environment. With a wide range of classes for students in grades 7-12, which includes several opportunities to use flight simulators and participate in various hands-on activities, the Redbird STEM Lab is a great opportunity to discover (or re-discover) the joy and challenges of aviation. Topics this year include aerodynamics and the physics of flight, stalls, aviation weather, applied aviation regulations, instrument flying, and navigation. Check out the full class schedule here.
Participate in a range of hands-on activities at KidVenture (Pioneer Airport across from the EAA AirVenture Museum)
Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., KidVenture allows young people to explore the world of aviation in several ways.
- The hands-on mechanics activity area has workshops for young people to learn about riveting, engine maintenance, electronic troubleshooting, prop-shaping, and wooden rib building.
- The flight education area offers a series of activities to teach aspiring pilots about regulations, weather, navigation, air traffic control, aircraft design, pre-flight inspection, post-flight debriefing, and more.
- Once participants have mastered the basics, they can fly a real electric-powered model airplane under the guidance of the Northern Aces R/C Air Show Team.
Fly custom warbird flight simulators (Warbirds Youth Education Center)
In Warbird Alley, four warbird simulators are available for young people to fly throughout the week at AirVenture: a P-51D Mustang modeled after “Sizzlin' Liz,” a P-51D Mustang modeled after World War II Triple ace Col. C.E. “Bud” Anderson’s “Old Crow," an F4U Corsair modeled after “Korean War Hero," and an F4U Corsair modeled after CAPT. Thomas J. Hudner's aircraft. The simulators provide an opportunity for the next generation of aviators to take the controls and enjoy learning about flying and aviation history.
4. Taking Aircraft Rides
Taking an aircraft ride is one of the coolest experiences you can have at AirVenture. Soaring over the EAA convention grounds in a B-25 Berlin Express, Ford Tri-Motor 5-AT-B, or a Bell 47 helicopter will keep you on cloud nine for days to come. Prices for the rides vary depending on the aircraft you choose and whether you are an EAA member. If you are interested in taking an aircraft ride this year, you can find more information on the AirVenture website.
5. Being Back on the AirVenture Grounds
If we're honest, we’ve missed all of it: the first cheese curds of the week, the seventh bratwurst, the vintage airplanes, the new innovations, the early morning coffee runs, the first beer at the evening air show, the unpredictable weather, and—most of all—seeing everyone in person. If you are at the show this year, be sure to swing by our booth and say hello!
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