Slow Flight Maneuvering
Throughout the VFR arrival procedure you may be required to maneuver your aircraft at various altitudes and airspeeds (as well as hold) in order to maintain proper spacing from aircraft ahead.
When this occurs do your best, within the capabilities of both you and your aircraft, to comply.
Please ensure that you “brush up” on your “slow flight” piloting skills prior to your departure for Oshkosh. We (ATC and you) will feel more comfortable knowing that you are operating within the capabilities of both you and your aircraft.
Monitor OSH (Wittman Regional Airport) Arrival ATIS
MONITOR ARRIVAL ATIS prior to your arrival at Ripon. The ATIS will include not only the arrival runways in use but also will identify the applicable pages of the NOTAM that this information will be found. BECOME VERY FAMILIAR WITH THESE PAGES!
ARRIVAL ATIS FREQUENCY - 125.9
The ATIS may also be accessed by telephone at 866-493-5553.
The ATIS is updated frequently.
Ensure Oshkosh is accepting arrivals and not in the process of holding aircraft.
Note which runway configurations are being utilized and the associated NOTAM page numbers.
Locate, review, and have available the applicable NOTAM pages. You may want to print individual pages of the NOTAM which include depictions of the various arrival segments or procedures prior to your departure for AirVenture allowing you to have the applicable pages "at the ready" as you approach Ripon.
Monitor Fisk Approach Frequency (120.7) 15 miles prior to Ripon
Once again, ensure Oshkosh is accepting arrivals and not holding aircraft.
DO NOT CHANGE THE FREQUENCY UNTIL DIRECTED TO DO SO BY ATC WHEN PASSING FISK!
Stay Alert! Look for other traffic
Always be on the lookout for other traffic. You are about to enter what may be the most congested airspace within which you have ever operated!
REMEMBER: SAFETY FIRST!
Check fuel status
If you do not have sufficient fuel for holding or go-arounds, divert to an alternate airport!
Landing lights on
Have your landing lights on within 30 miles of Oshkosh. This will make it easier for other aircraft, as well as ATC, to see you throughout the arrival procedure.
Transponder to standby
Switch transponder to standby within 30 miles of Oshkosh. This is required in order to reduce the burden placed on ATC radar and to allow ATC to more easily maintain radar following of IFR aircraft both arriving and departing Oshkosh and surrounding airports.
Cancel VFR flight plan
Cancel your VFR flight plan prior to departing Ripon or upon your arrival at destination airport.
If holding is in progress (and the Green Lake holding pattern is not saturated), enter the holding pattern at Green Lake.
If the Green Lake holding pattern is nearing capacity, DO NOT CONTINUE inbound to Ripon or Green Lake. Stay clear and proceed no further! Check for traffic and make left turns over a point on the ground and continue to hold, or divert to an alternate airport, until ATC advises holding aircraft to proceed to Ripon and beyond.
Gauge traffic volume. Get a feel for how busy it is and be alert!
Altitudes & Airspeeds: VFR arrival procedure Ripon to Fisk
PLEASE COMPLY WITH THESE SPEED RESTRICTIONS. We know that some of your aircraft are capable of going much faster, and some wish they could cruise at 90 knots. These speed restrictions assist us (ATC) in delivering an orderly and manageable flow of traffic to the control tower, as well as to the volunteers on the ground that assist in your parking at the airport.
1,800' msl at 90 knots/104 mph or if unable - 2,300' msl at 135 knots/155 mph.
UNLESS SPECIFICALLY APPROVED BY ATC, DO NOT EXCEED 135 knots!
IF YOU ARE CAPABLE OF UTILIZING THE 1,800' PATTERN, PLEASE DO SO.
Do not utilize the 2,300' pattern just because your aircraft is capable of flying at 135 knots. It makes it much easier for ATC to develop a sequence most aircraft are at 1,800!
For those with a little less horsepower and a lot more drag maintain a speed as close to 90 knots/104 mph as possible!
ALL aircraft will be required to be level at, or descending to 1,800' MSL, departing Fisk!
When only one runway is available for arrivals, which occurs frequently and often with little notice, (or if the weather does not allow for operations at 2,300' msl) please do your best to blend with the 90 knot traffic at 1,800' msl.
The "Ripon to Fisk" arrival procedure is not tailored to the airspeeds or lack of maneuverability associated with "big and fast" aircraft.
TURBOPROP aircraft should utilize the "Turbine/Warbird Arrival Procedure". (See NOTAM for details)
HELICOPTER arrivals should utilize the "Helicopter Arrival Procedure". (See NOTAM for details)
ATC often requires aircraft to "make a 360º turn" to achieve the desired separation prior to departing Fisk inbound to the airport. This will often occur in the immediate vicinity, if not directly over Fisk! Please be prepared to respond to this request!
In order for this procedure to work properly / efficiently pilots need to be capable of flying reasonably slow and maneuvering (making 360º turns) safely within a reasonably small radius.
Please take into consideration what is best for the overall operation when making decisions concerning altitudes and airspeeds!
The success of this procedure depends upon each and everyone one of us, ATC and pilots, WORKING TOGETHER to make a safe, efficient arrival into AirVenture!
ATC manipulating the sequence
There may be times when the traffic volume is low or ATC needs to manipulate the sequence of aircraft approaching Fisk. The Fisk Approach Controller may request that you "speed it up" or "overtake the aircraft ahead!"
If you receive permission to increase your speed please remember to reduce to 90 knots upon passing Fisk.
If ATC requests you to overtake the aircraft ahead they will provide you with instructions as to how to accomplish this. For example, "Baron 4 miles southwest of Fisk, sidestep to the left, parallel the railroad tracks on the north side and overtake the aircraft ahead", or "Baron 4 miles southwest of Fisk at 1,800', climb to 2,300' and overtake the aircraft ahead."
OSH 233 Radial at 15 DME. Green Lake is west/southwest of Ripon.
Locate railroad tracks at northeast corner of Ripon
Look for the grain silos and the water tower.
The railroad tracks run north/south through downtown then turn Northeast.
Find an aircraft of similar performance at your altitude to follow
The aircraft you plan on following doesn't have to be identical to your type. If you can locate one that will match your ability to fly at either 90 knots (preferred by ATC) or 135 knots it will assist you in maintaining the required 1/2 mile (constant or increasing) in-trail separation required by ATC!
What ATC cannot accept are situations where the separation is decreasing from 1/2 mile to less than the required 1/2 mile. If you started with 1/2-mile in-trail spacing and you are gaining on the aircraft ahead - it will not work!
Maintain ½-mile (constant or increasing) in-trail spacing
S-TURNS WILL NOT WORK! If you have to S-Turn in order to maintain the required 1/2-mile in-trail spacing, IT WILL NOT WORK! Check for other traffic and break off the procedure (turning left/right). Parallel the railroad tracks while proceeding southwest and find another aircraft to follow 1/2 mile in-trail.
NO SIDE BY SIDES OR OVERTAKING! Unless the Fisk Controller advises you to, which is not very likely, DO NOT fly side by side. If you find yourself side by side with another aircraft IT WILL NOT WORK! Check for other traffic and break off the procedure (turning left/right). Parallel the railroad tracks while proceeding southwest and find another aircraft to follow 1/2 mile in-trail.
If you find a gap in the arrival sequence where you will be able to follow another aircraft while maintaining 1/2 mile in-trail spacing without cutting someone else off take advantage of this. Rejoin the procedure following the railroad tracks northeast towards Fisk, if not RETURN TO RIPON, FIND ANOTHER AIRCRAFT TO FOLLOW AND REJOIN THE PROCEDURE!
Why do we need ½-mile in-trail spacing?
We, ATC and pilots alike, want this operation to be as safe and comfortable as possible for the pilots while maintaining an effective/efficient operation. ATC needs a constant or increasing ½ mile in-trail separation at the airport. This ensures that there will be necessary separation between successive arrivals to allow previous arrivals to exit the runway. It also provides the controllers at the airport a gap within which to depart aircraft. (You will appreciate this later as you depart AirVenture to begin your journey home!)
As you are aware, upon reaching the pattern at the airport the aircraft ahead of you is going to reduce speed and when this happens you will need to reduce your speed even further. We certainly don't want pilots to be "flying on the edge" at a greatly reduced airspeed and altitude (while S-Turning) upon reaching the pattern.
Follow the railroad tracks from Ripon (northeast) toward Fisk
DO NOT FLY "POINT-TO-POINT" RIPON DIRECT FISK (VIA RNAV OR PILOTAGE).
COMPENSATE FOR WIND.
MAINTAIN 1/2 MILE (CONSTANT OR INCREASING) IN-TRAIL SPACING.
Stay directly over the tracks
Make your best effort to stay directly over the railroad tracks as you proceed northeast out of Ripon towards Fisk.
Take wind into account and correct for drift.
Not only does this provide for an orderly transition to the airport, it allows the controllers at Fisk to more easily identify and sequence you.
Waypoints: Ripon & Fisk
Though there are both RIPON and FISK waypoints available for your use, PLEASE DO NOT FLY POINT-TO-POINT BETWEEN THESE FIXES.
These waypoints should only be used for situational awareness as you proceed along the VFR Arrival Procedure beyond Ripon.
Since not everyone has the capability to navigate "direct" ATC depends on all aircraft following directly over the railroad tracks in an effort to maintain the sequence and to also give ATC a fighting chance at locating you, i.e. we know where to look! We don't want to be surprised!
Identifying Fisk: Don’t be fooled by Pickett!
Fisk is 10 miles northeast (044º) of Ripon
Rock your wings to acknowledge control instructions
VIGOROUSLY - HOWEVER DON'T OVERDO THE "ROCK" - KEEP IT SAFE!
Do not feel compelled to rock your wings if you have been issued an immediate turn in conjunction with the control instruction, just watch for traffic and turn. By doing so, ATC will know that you are complying with the control instruction.
Aircraft identification type & color
ATC will attempt to identify you as you approach Fisk. This will normally occur between Pickett and Fisk.
Properly identifying the color or type of an aircraft can sometimes be difficult. For example, if ATC refers to you as a Cherokee and you are a Tiger, yet you are fairly certain that ATC is specifically referring to you, follow those instructions rocking your wings to acknowledge.
Think about it. Besides AirVenture, how often do most controllers see a "Tricycle Gear Tailwind", "Bede-4", "Prescott Pusher" or a "Velocity"? Even something as simple as distinguishing a Luscombe from a Cessna 120 is difficult from the ATC vantage point at Fisk.
ATC is far more likely to identify all short wing fixed gear aircraft approaching Oshkosh as an RV than anything else. For all you canard type pilots, please don't take it personally if you are referred to as an E-Z. It will happen (over and over again)!
Speaking of Canard type aircraft, these aircraft are VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE! Canard pilots, if we have not communicated with you by the time you are a mile out of Fisk - Please Key Up and let us know you are there!
PLEASE CUT ATC SOME SLACK AND DON'T BE TOO PICKY!
SPECIFIC TYPES - MANUFACTURER/MODEL
- If the controller is familiar with your type, we may be more specific.
GENERAL TYPES - WING/LANDING GEAR CONFIGURATION
- "Taildragger" - Conventional landing gear (with tail wheel).
- "Tricycle Gear" - Nosedragger
- "High wing taildragger" or "Red and white low wing" or "Yellow biplane" or even "Low wing with wig wag lights", etc.
Ensure the control instruction was intended for you
ATC may issue general control instructions such as "I see aircraft S-Turning inside of Ripon, S-Turns will not work, break it off and find another aircraft to follow" or "make sure you are directly over the railroad tracks", etc. Even though you are several miles from Fisk, these types of general transmissions may be directed at you and ATC would like you to take appropriate action!
Please keep in mind that there are often several aircraft of similar type on the procedure at any given time.
Each and every year, several pilots (each day) take control instructions (turns, runway assignments, frequency changes, etc.) intended for other aircraft. By the time the Fisk controllers realize what has happened - it is too late - the aircraft has turned away from the published procedure and is no longer on the Fisk frequency!
This situation obviously causes much confusion and frustration - both at Fisk and subsequently in the Oshkosh Control Tower.
ATC WILL NOT ISSUE SPECIFIC CONTROL INSTRUCTIONS (runway assignments, transitions to the airport or frequency changes) UNTIL YOU ARE IN THE "IMMEDIATE" VICINITY OF FISK! Fisk is located approximately 10 miles northeast of Ripon.
UNLESS YOU ARE APPROACHING FISK (within a mile or two of Fisk), THE CONTROL INSTRUCTION TO "CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE RAILROAD TRACKS NORTHEAST" or "TURN RIGHT FOLLOW FISK AVENUE" WAS NOT FOR YOU!
ATC will attempt to identify you as you approach Fisk. However, due to the high volume of traffic or difficulty in seeing aircraft, you will not be identified by ATC until you are almost directly over Fisk. If this is the case - be prepared to react to control instructions!
IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE OF FISK CHANCES ARE ATC IS COMMUNICATING WITH ANOTHER AIRCRAFT OF SIMILAR TYPE or APPEARANCE AHEAD OF YOU!
If you realize that you have taken a control instruction intended for another aircraft, check for traffic and then turn back towards the railroad tracks. Rejoin the procedure 1/2 mile in-trail of the aircraft that you were following.
NEVER CHANGE FREQUENCIES PRIOR TO PASSING FISK!
Retractable gear aircraft
If you are flying a retractable gear aircraft, ensure that you extend your gear as soon as feasible!
The controllers at Fisk get anxious if they see an aircraft passing overhead Fisk without the landing gear down. Approaching Fisk may be a good time to "drop the gear" if you have not already done so!
Upon reaching Fisk
If you reach Fisk and ATC has not authorized you to proceed beyond Fisk to the airport, contact ATC on 120.7 stating your type, "Red and White Skyhawk", your location, "Overhead Fisk" and your predicament, "Requesting runway assignment".
This should get ATCs attention! If not, break off the procedure paralleling the railroad tracks southwest towards Ripon.
If you find that you can rejoin the procedure following another aircraft of similar performance 1/2 mile in-trail - do so! If not return to Ripon and start at the beginning!
DO NOT PASS FISK WITHOUT APPROVAL!
Transitions from Fisk to Wittman Regional Airport
DEPENDING UPON THE ARRIVAL RUNWAY YOU ARE ASSIGNED YOU WILL BE ISSUED ONE OF TWO "TRANSITIONS" TO THE AIRPORT.
You will either be instructed to "Follow the railroad tracks northeast" or "Reaching Fisk, turn right (due east) and follow Fisk Avenue."
If you are assigned the Fisk Avenue transition, upon reaching Fisk TURN RIGHT - DUE EAST (090º) and follow (the small road) Fisk Avenue to the east.
Please take the winds aloft into consideration and adjust your heading accordingly in order to remain over Fisk Avenue.
If you are instructed to "Follow the railroad tracks northeast" - do just that and continue following the same railroad tracks that you had been following northeast beyond Fisk towards the airport.
There is a good chance that the aircraft that you had been following inbound from Ripon to Fisk will be assigned a runway different than you!
Once assigned a runway and a transition to the airport, follow aircraft ahead navigating to the airport via your assigned transition to your assigned runway, while maintaining the proper 1/2 mile in-trail spacing.