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U.S. National Aerobatic Championships Returning to Oshkosh
December 14, 2017 - The U.S. National Aerobatic Championships will be returning to Wittman Regional Airport in 2018 following a successful event in its first year in Oshkosh in September 2017.
The International Aerobatic Club made the decision to return to Oshkosh during a special board of directors meeting on December 6. The 2018 contest will be held September 22-28.
Prior to moving to Oshkosh for the 2017 event, the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships had been held in Sherman, Texas, since 1972.
IAC President Mike Heuer was pleased that the decision was made to return to Oshkosh and said that the facilities in place for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh played a large role, with the IAC using Press Headquarters, exhibit buildings, Boeing Plaza, and the EAA Aviation Museum among other locations.
“The outstanding facilities are very important,” Mike said. “All of these wonderful facilities have been built for AirVenture and we used them for our event.”
Mike said he’s anticipating about 90-100 pilots to compete in the event, similar to the number present in 2017. With the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships being held for the first time in Oshkosh this past September, a few minor issues arose that Mike expects will be ironed out for 2018. He’s specifically hoping to arrange for more social activities among the pilots and their families and have more community engagement surrounding the event.
With EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton personally pledging his support for the event returning to Oshkosh, Mike was confident that the correct decision was made.
“Jack Pelton pledged full support to fix any problems,” Mike said. “That’s what excited me the most, is Jack’s personal commitment. To have that commitment, it means a lot.”
The contest director for the 2018 U.S. National Aerobatic Championships will be John Smutny. In addition, next year’s contest will be used as a qualifier for the 2019 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Aerobatic Championships in Chateauroux, France. The top eight pilots in the Unlimited category will qualify for the World Aerobatic Championships.