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Getting Here is Half the Fun

You are cleared direct, so rock your wings and land on a colored dot.

Ground Operations

Arrival and Departure Signs

Presented by:

Starr Insurance Companies

The NOTAM specifies sign codes used to tell ground personnel your destination on Wittman Regional Airport. You need one of these signs for your arrival and another for departure. Signs can be made with dark marker on a light background and should be clearly readable from a 50-foot distance.

If you prefer, these signs can be printed on your computer using one of the following files. Just pick the signs you need and be sure to have them in your airplane for the trip to Oshkosh. Have a great flight! 

Aircraft Arrival Signs

Aircraft Departure Signs

Homebuilt Camping (HBC)

VFR Departure (VFR)

Homebuilt Parking (HBP)

IFR Departure (IFR)

Vintage Aircraft Camping (VAC)


Vintage Aircraft Parking (VAP)

General Aviation Camping (GAC)

General Aviation Parking (GAP)

Camping Signs

Warbird Area (WB)

Camp Scholler Express Arrival Sign

FBO, Basler (FBO)

Seaplane (amphibian) Area (SP)

International Aerobatic Club (IAC)

Request North 40

Request South 40

Aircraft Parking Updates and Reminders for AirVenture

Wittman Regional Airport becomes the world’s busiest airport for one week during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, and that goes for the ground activity as well. As we approach the arrival period, a few reminders and updates regarding aircraft parking:

Arrivals for General Aviation Parking (GAP) or General Aviation Camping (GAC) may be directed to either the North 40 or South 40 area. Both areas are open concurrently, so arrivals will be directed as traffic demands. Amenities have been added in the South 40 area, including shuttles, groceries, avgas, Uber/Lyft pickup and drop-off point, and more.

Arriving aircraft are entitled only to their individual camping or parking site – no “saving sites” for others. Aircraft parking and camping is first-come, first-served, except in areas specifically designated by EAA for aircraft groups. This is true in all aircraft parking and camping areas.

EAA also continues to develop additional aircraft parking areas for future years, to ensure all those who wish to land at Oshkosh have the opportunity to do so, and to accommodate development on the AirVenture grounds and elsewhere at Wittman Regional Airport.

Aircraft Marshaling

Conventional Gear Aircraft Safety

All pilots feel a need to be vigilant regarding safety issues. They carefully inspect their aircraft during pre-flight, run up the engine(s), check the weather. They ask themselves, “Am I physically and mentally ready to fly today?” Simply stated, pilots make many critical, safety-based decisions before the wheels start to roll.

One area that needs close attention is an understanding of the ground environment in which we operate, especially when operating conventional gear, or tail wheel, aircraft. These aircraft have unique challenges when it comes to forward visibility. Challenges that have a direct impact on safe ground operations.

Can I see where I’m going? Have I studied the airport diagram? Have I noted any potential safety hotspots?

These are concerns when operating at every airport, every day. Add an aviation event to the mix and you get people, cars, trucks, emergency vehicles, golf carts, tents, displays and lots of aircraft. You can expect to see aircraft of varying sizes, shapes, and operational needs.

Let’s take a look at a few specific things that may help us plan for safe ground operations in conventional or tail wheel aircraft, especially in the busy air show or fly-in environment.

  • After pre-flight inspection, check your surrounding area for obstructions.
  • Before engine start, review your taxi route, noting areas of high traffic.
  • Ask for help if you are not completely familiar with local ground operations.
  • Review the standard aircraft marshaller hand signals.
  • Obey the commands of the aircraft marshaller.
  • When taxiing, use “S” turns to improve your field of vision.
  • Keep your eyes moving, scanning outside the cockpit.
  • Taxi slowly. When in doubt, stop.
  • Watch for other aircraft entering the taxiway.

As we approach EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, we urge pilots to implement these safety steps to ensure safe, smooth ground operations.

Tying Down Aircraft

When the gusts are strong, and the wind direction is just right, airplanes by nature will try to lift off. Each year numerous airplanes are damaged by windstorms due to negligence and improper tiedowns, according to the FAA. Due to the large number of airplanes in attendance, tiedowns are required at EAA AirVenture.

Airplanes should be tied down with equipment capable of withstanding sufficient tensile forces. The FAA recommends tie-down anchors for single-engine aircraft should each resist 3,000 pounds or 4,000 pounds for multiengine aircraft. The weight alone of a multiengine aircraft will not protect it from windstorm damage.

Several types of anchors are available for tiedowns. EAA does not recommend the "doggie ring" style that can quickly fail. The triangle-shaped top portion straightens under heavy loads and the anchor can easily be pulled from the ground. Screw-type tiedowns are also not recommended. Both the auger and spiral style loosen the surrounding dirt as they go into the ground, weakening their anchorage. Cable anchors (straight stakes with one helix at the end), however, make good tiedowns because of their length.

The best anchors are multi-pin anchors that consist of several stakes entering the ground at different directions (view illustration 1). These anchors can easily be constructed as shown in the August 1993 issue of EAA’s Vintage Airplane magazine.

Effective tie-down anchors can also be made from 1/2-inch diameter steel rods with a minimum length of 18 inches. The stakes should angled away from the airplane and be driven all the way into the ground at an angle of at least 30 degrees. All anchors should be placed outward from the aircraft, not directly underneath the wing (view illustration 2).

Effective tiedowns also depend on the quality of the rope. The best ropes are UV-resistant braided nylon or dacron. Manila ropes are not recommended because they shrink when wet, are subject to mildew and rot, and have considerably less strength. All ropes should be regularly checked for damage due to chafing.

Planes should be tied down only at the tie-down rings. Tying rope to a strut can cause damage and may bend the strut. The tension of the tie-down ropes should allow for 1 inch of movement. Too much slack allows the aircraft to jerk against the ropes and can cause structural damage. The jerking motion can also pull out or damage the tiedowns. Tight tiedowns impose inverted flight stresses that many aircraft are not designed to withstand.

A tie-down rope, however, holds no better than its knot. Antislip knots, such as a bowline or a square knot, are recommended (view illustration 3). For maximum strength, tie ropes through the loop of the anchor and around the stake.

Along with tiedowns, it is a good idea to fully secure your plane whenever it is unattended. Secure all doors and windows to avoid interior damage. Engine openings (intake and exhaust) and pitot-static tubes can be covered to prevent damage and debris from entering.

Locking or restraining flight control surfaces can prevent damaging movement. For airplanes not equipped with integral gust locks, external padded battens (control surface locks) can be positioned or the control stick and rudder pedals inside the cockpit secured.

While it is important an airplane is properly tied down, it may still be in danger if its neighboring planes are not secure. Sharing tiedown information with other pilots will protect their airplane, as well as your own.

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