Oshkosh AirVenture 2017 Day 0
By Willie Bodenstein & Juri Keyter
Airventure 2017 has not even started yet and already we've had lots of fun and excitement. We saw many aircraft for the first time including a Chinook (or a flying banana as some of the earlier variants were called). Even a B29 Superfortres landing meters away from us.
Flying in to Oshkosh is a carefully choreographed ballet that requires the utmost attention from both the controllers and the pilots who follow a 32 page procedure document. It is the busiest airspace and tower in the world with more than 10,000 aircraft visiting the event. 64 controllers from around the US are required to direct traffic from approach all the way to final parking space. All controllers wear pink shirts, visually separating them from other aircraft operations personnel at the airport. As aircraft approach, horizontal separation minimums are reduced from the normal 3000 feet down to 1,500 feet between airplanes. This allow controllers to land multiple aircraft at a time on the same runway with landing clearance granted specific to coloured marks painted on the runway.
Some aircraft types arrive in mass. For as far as the eye can see, there are aircraft of the same type on what appeared to be an endless long final. The Beechcraft Bonanza arrival lasted at least 40 minutes and we saw 9 aircraft landing simultaneously on two parallel runways at times.
With the sun already rising before 5AM and setting only after 8PM, the days are long, very long! The nice thing about this is that you have a lot of time to see a lot of things. Our GPS tracker indicated that we already walked 16Km on our first day and the event has not even started.
If the 2 days leading up to Airventure 2017 is any indication of the rest, this will be a specta4so make sure you return again tomorrow to see what the first official day of Airventure 2017 had to offer.
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