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Birds of a Feather: Aircraft Groups Prepare for Annual Oshkosh Journeys

  • Bonanzas arrive to Oshkosh.
    Bonanzas arrive at AirVenture 2014.
  • Three-ship Cessna formation.
    Three-ship formation of Cessna Cardinals.
  • Cherokees arrive to Oshkosh.
    Cherokees arrive in Oshkosh for the 2014 convention.
  • Mooney trio.
    Mooney trio in formation.

March 5, 2015 - While EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 beckons just beyond the horizon, the traditional mass aircraft arrival groups are busy making plans for their annual treks to Oshkosh this summer. Leaders from the Bonanzas to Oshkosh (B2Osh), the Mooney Caravan, Cessnas to Oshkosh (C2Osh), and Cherokees to Oshkosh provided updates this week on their plans for flying into Wittman Regional Airport the weekend prior to opening day July 20.

Bonanzas to Oshkosh is preparing for its 25th flight in 26 years (the 2010 flight was canceled due to “Sloshkosh”), according to flight coordinator Larry Gaines. As of this week there are 50 aircraft registrations, and the late fee and no refund deadline is May 31.

“Lower fuel prices will make this year’s Bonanzas to Oshkosh a big one,” Gaines predicts, also noting that there’s increased interest in being a part of the silver anniversary.

Most B2Osh participants will gather at Rockford, Illinois, on Friday, July 17, and attend the hangar party at Emery Air that night. Departure for Oshkosh is at noon Saturday with an arrival of approximately 1 p.m.

The traditional barbecue is scheduled for Sunday evening at B2Osh base camp in the North 40. Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks, but visit the B2Osh website for more information.  

Cessnas 2 Oshkosh (C2Osh) will again gather at Dodge County Airport, Juneau, Wisconsin, for the flight north to Oshkosh, set for noon on July 18. So far, according to Gil Velez, communications database administrator and webmaster for the C2Osh website, 35 planes are registered. As in 2014, Cessna Cardinals are joining up in large numbers and account for nearly half the registrations thus far.

Since Beechcraft is now under the Textron corporate umbrella, they’re Cessna’s “corporate cousins.” Textron has expressed a desire to put something special together for both groups at AirVenture. More information will be announced as it’s confirmed.

C2Osh is also forming stronger relationships with Bonanzas, Cherokees to Oshkosh, and the Mooney Caravan groups to collaborate in cross training of pilots. This will allow “geographically orphaned” pilots the possibility of participating in training clinics closer to home. Permission is required on a case-by-case basis and will not become the norm.

First- and second-year participants are required to attend a C2Osh training event, but pilots who have flown the last three consecutive years with the C2Osh group will be able to “self-study” and conduct a training flight locally with one of the lead pilots. Keep abreast of developments on the C2Osh website.

Mooney Caravan - The 18th Mooney Caravan to Oshkosh is scheduled to depart Madison, Wisconsin, at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 19, and arrive at Oshkosh at 11 a.m. Organizers are expecting 35-45 planes to participate.

While in Madison, flight participants will practice and brief for the flight, and enjoy their traditional Mexican buffet and roast at Pedro's restaurant. At Oshkosh a Caravan-only pancake breakfast is scheduled for Monday followed by a Mooney owner's forum at 10 a.m. Tuesday evening is the annual barbecue, and Wednesday features a engine operations seminar followed by an expert panel seminar with WINGS credit.

For more information visit the Caravan website.

Participants must demonstrate formation proficiency, which can be obtained at one of the upcoming flight clinics: Yuma, Arizona, March 26-29 (contact: Chuck Crinnian, M.D.); Martinsburg, West Virginia, May 15-17 (contact: Adam Carney); Kerrville, Texas, May 1-3, and San Marco, Texas, June 12-14 (contact: Bucko Strehlow, M.D). Organizers are also exploring the feasibility of a clinic in Wausau, Wisconsin sometime in May or June. If interested, contact Dave Piehler.

Cherokees to Oshkosh - So far close to 30 registrations have been made to participate in the sixth annual Cherokees to Oshkosh mass arrival set for Saturday, July 18 at 11 a.m., departing from Waupaca, Wisconsin. That evening flight participants will enjoy dinner together at the Charcoal Pit. This year’s Cherokee Leads are long-time volunteers Doane and Karole Bailey, of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania.

Registration is filling up quickly, so anyone interested in joining the group in 2015 should sign-up at the Cherokees to Oshkosh website.

Upcoming mini clinics are scheduled for the following dates: March 14-15, Stockton, California, (contact: Dick Filson); March 28-29, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina (contact: C. Wayne Michelli); April 11-12, (Backup: April 25-26), Sumner County Regional, Tennessee (contact Dwane Ferguson); April 18-19 (Backup April 25-26), Wadsworth, Ohio (contact: Tony Harding); May 2-3 (Backup May 8-9), Galion, Ohio (contact: Doane Bailey); and May 16-17, Jefferson City, Missouri (contact: Chip Gentry).

All four of these groups are currently working to put together an EAA webinar focusing on their history, training requirements, and the benefits of traveling to Oshkosh in a mass arrival. Date and time will be announced when confirmed.

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