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Fly High and Fast – Vol. II: Chapter 18 – Experimental Aircraft Association Convention (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

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JJ Meehan
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The Meehan Family

The Experimental Aircraft Association Convention (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin is held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin during the last weekend in July and the first part of August each year.  The EAA is the Mecca for pilots from around the world.  There are more planes landing at Oshkosh during the EAA Convention than at any other airport the world.   Normally you land two at a time on the same runway and you take-off two at a time on the same runway.  They bring in the best of the Air Traffic Controllers from around the USA and they do a fantastic job of handling all the traffic.

I’ve been to Oshkosh three times and each has left several positive memories.  In all cases the approach and landing is like nothing you will see any where else in the world.  You are brought into a location about five miles from the runway and put into a holding pattern until they can handle you and your plane.  You tell them the color and type and wait for the magical command to start the approach which comes as follows: “White Baron over Bing start your approach”.  You will be sequenced with another aircraft of similar speed and you or they will be told to land long or land short.  This means that you will either land on the last half of the runway or the first half of the runway.

During the week of activities, many pilots will fly up or drive up for the week and stay in either motels, campers, tents, or even the dorms at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh.  The activities include hundreds of aircraft on display, air shows once or twice per day, training seminars for pilots and for anyone wanting to build their own aircraft.  You have the opportunity to visit with thousands of pilots from around the world.  Normally the weather is at it’s best in Wisconsin at this time of year.  My route of flight for all of my trips started in Cedar Rapids, and went over Madison, Wisconsin and ended at Oshkosh.  The return trip was a reverse course.

My first trip was with the members of the Rockwell Flying Club and I was flying an A-36 Bonanza.  The second trip was with my daughter and we were in a Beechcraft Twin Duchess. and the final trip was in a Baron 58 with my good friend Ken Turner and several of our friends.  Ken Turner is on the left, I’m (JJ Meehan) flying and I’m in the front seat.  On the right is a friend of Ken Turner – Claud ?


The last trip with Ken Turner to the Experimental Aircraft Association Convention (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin may have been my favorite .  Ken Turner is the person in the picture below on the left.  He is standing on the right.





The weather was perfect during all three of my trips.  When I flow up with the Rockwell Flying Club I had 3 others on board and we all enjoyed the trip.  My daughter who was not into flying was more interested in listening to the music on the radio as we flow up to Oshkosh but even she had a great time when we landed.  Ken and I had a bond and we both enjoyed flying and this trip was really special to both of us.

We stopped in Dodgeville, Wisconsin for dinner on our way home after the EAA Convention.  At the time there was a very good restaurant with a landing strip right on the property.  You could park your plane right in front of the restaurant just like a car.  The runway had a slope of about 1.5 degrees which meant that you would take-off downhill if winds permitted.  You always took off into the wind.  There was no moon and we did take off down hill but we used every bit of the runway.  It was dark with hills and trees at the end of the runway.  We did make a safe take-off but was it just another of my nine lives.  A few weeks later I would loose power on take-off at Des Moines and was able to land safely on the runway that I was departing.  I have always wondered what would have happened if I lost power on this take-off.  I firmly believe that you can not use runway that is behind you.  Always use the full length.


You can see all my blogs on flying on my WEB Site – “Flying High and Fast”.


Written by jjmeehan13

February 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

Posted in Flying

One Response

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  1. Very interesting you go into to detail but not to much I liked the bit about the restaurant. It must be great to have such a passion for something!


    April 29, 2010 at 4:19 am

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