AirVenture Notice Announces Start of Summer

By Scott Spangler on May 30th, 2022

Some may say the transition to Daylight Savings Time is the harbinger of warmer weather, but depending on where you reside (and Mother Nature’s unpredictable climate), this is little more than a chronological tease that primes the wanton emotional relief of winter. (It doesn’t help that my thermostat is still in heat mode at the end of May.) The real start of the summer season of sunny, warmer weather is the release of the year’s EAA AirVenture Notice.

The new nomenclature is but one of this year’s changes. For too many years the AirVenture NOTAM came and went with so few changes that too many pilots relied on rote muscle memory to make it from their home drome to Fisk, where they followed the tracks to Wittman Regional Airport. If memory serves, with Mother Nature’s spiteful mood, this rote reliance resulted in a rough arrival in 2019. Say what you will about the pandemic cancelation of OSH 2020, the break gave the powers that be time to make some long-needed improvements.

Perhaps the best measure of success of the changes were the record number of people who arrived in such a measured way that the controllers in the world’s busiest control tower had time to actually have brief two-way conversations with a number of the arriving aviators. Or maybe the ATC audio shared on the flight line PA pylons was a hallucination. Either way, change is good, and by tweaking the procedures detailed in the AirVenture Notice, pilots not wanting to be publicly embarrassed by their rote reliance will read it before they arrive for AirVenture 2022, July 25-31.

Early birds hoping to avoid the arrival procedures take note! The 32-page AirVenture Notice takes effect at Noon, Central Daylight Time, on Thursday, July 21, and remains in effect until 6 p.m. on Monday, August 1. It also itemizes some of the bigger changes on the cover, starting with Notice replacing NOTAM. The last bullet point announces that camping is not allowed at Appleton International Airport (ATW).

Between these bullet-point bookends are decommissioned VOR-DME waypoints at Rockford, Illinois (RFD), where EAA held its annual convention until it moved to Oshkosh in 1970, and Manistee (MBL), in Michigan’s upper peninsula, for those crossing over the top of Lake Michigan instead of across it. Rounding out the decommissionings is the Victor 9 airway. And just to make things interesting for those working their way north, Milwaukee is holding its annual Air & Water Show July 22-24, which comes with its own TFR.

The notice not only guides pilots in their preflight planning and the various VFR, IFR, NORDO, Turbine/Warbird, Helicopter, Ultralight, and Seaplane arrivals to Oshkosh, and the Fond du Lac diversion procedure. It also itemizes the various arrival/departure procedures for Fond du Lac (FDL) and Appleton (ATW).

For a pilot’s eye view of the procedures, follow this link to the AirVenture Flight Procedures page of the EAA website. This page also links to the notice, NTSB Major Fly-in Tips, and FAA Graphic NOTAM/TFRs. For the latest skinny on this year’s procedures, mark your calendar for the EAA-hosted webinar on Flying to AirVenture, which starts at 7 pm Central Daylight Time on June 22. With proper planning, we all can contribute to what (we all hope) will be another banner pilgrimage to Oshkosh. See you there! –Scott Spangler, Editor


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