AirVenture (aka Oshkosh)

AirVenture2013Several members of our flying club have indicated an interest in going to AirVenture. I’ll be using this post to collect some of the distilled information for those who might be interested

When/Where

AirVenture runs this year from Monday, July 29 – Sunday, August 4, 2013 at Wittman Regional Airport (KOSH) in Oshkosh, WI.

Costs

  • Getting there – some combination of flying by small plane, commercial, or driving
  • Lodging – camping/hotels/etc for the nights at Oshkosh, as well as any nights en route
  • Admission
  • Food
  • Incidentals

Getting there (and back)

A look at Travelocity now (early June) says you can get a one-way flight to/from Appleton from BUR for about $300. For other LA airports, it seems to be more in the $500 range. Those flights are going to be 2 stops and take nearly all day, so they aren’t getting you there fast, nor would this include the cost to get from ATW (or GRB) to OSH.

Flying a 172: It would take about 2 days (14 hours) of flying to get to OSH from EMT. Let’s call that $1600 each way to be conservative.

Flying the 182RG would be faster (10 hours flying?), but cost about the same as the 172. It might allow a long day with a reasonably early arrival on the second day.

Housing

This is probably the biggest wild card in availability and cost. If you know someone local, let me know… The cheapest option is to camp right by the plane. I’m told this is the authentic experience and the price is right ($25/nt, 3 night minimum). Another option may be a dorm 20 miles away ($50/nt with shuttle available includes breakfast). Other than that, expect very expensive hotel rooms and/or long commutes to/from KOSH. I found a Radisson 20 miles away that has a shuttle to/from OSH for $300/nt. Private house rentals are an option, but that leaves transportation to/from KOSH.

Admission

EAA members get a discount and there are reduced rates through June 15. If you are going to be there for 3 days, the membership almost pays or itself. Daily entry is from $26 (EAA through Jun 15) to $43 (non-member after Jun 15). EAA membership is $40/year. I’ll also note that camping requires an EAA membership for one person in the group.

Food/drink

I understand they’ve improved the options on site, but I’d still expect expensive (for what you get) food of typical stadium/convention/them park quality and genres. $50/day? See here.

Scenario

This is just a quick idea – 4 pilots (2 each way) in the 182RG. Depart EMT early Wed (7/31) and plan arrival at KOSH late morning on the Thu (8/1) [the dates could be moved a day either way]. We’d be there for most of Thursday, Friday (Disney Planes preview), and Saturday. We’d plan to depart KOSH Sunday morning, most likely returning Monday mid-day. Each pilot should expect airplane and instruction to be a little over $1000.  That would assume taking a commercial flight there or back (+$300-500). If the dorm option is available, add $150. Add another $100+ for lodging on the way there and back. Add food and incidentals. Add $125 for entrance fees. Overall, you’d probably need to budget in the $2000-3000 range for the trip. Taking commercial one direction, you could make this a 4 days trip if you didn’t want to stay as long and you’d still get the experience of a real cross country flight + Oshkosh.

Remember

Flying VFR means we are at the mercy of weather, so there are no guarantees. If pilots are flying with me, we could do IFR, but there are large sections of the route where IFR would likely be impossible as a result of terrain and required altitudes. Arrivals at OSH would be very limited if it was IFR at that time.

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