5 Ways to get the Most out of EAA Airventure

With the ever famous Airventure 2016 Airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin rapidly approaching, here are some expertly compiled tips to help you plan your trip to EAA! Whether you’ve been a thousand times or this is your first time visiting EAA, we hope this will help you prepare and get excited for this year’s Airventure. Also, be sure to stop by the Pilot Training System booth this year and sign up for your free e-learning account!

Look Through the Master Schedule of Events

Like the Vatican Museums, Airventure has more sites to see than there is time to see them; prioritizing what you want to see will help you decide which days you want to attend EAA as well as make the most of the time you have at the convention.

Flying In? Review EAA’s Resources to be Prepared 

Flying in to Airventure is no doubt a monumental experience for any pilot. However, flying into Oshkosh will require some planning and preparation, as it becomes the busiest control tower in the world during the airshow! How wild is that? If you’re planning on flying in for the first time, consider bringing another pilot with you. Two sets of eyes is always better than one in an airplane.

Make sure to review EAA’s fly-in resources on their website; these resources will help you ensure that you have all of the appropriate procedures on hand in the plane. You will be expected to understand the arrival procedures and follow instructions quickly and precisely as there will be a lot of traffic. You can also watch videos of other pilots flying into Oshkosh to help wrap your head around what it will be like to rock your own wings at KOSH for Airventure this year.

Use EAA’s Trip Planner

EAA has a comprehensive trip planning tool on their website; look up admissions prices, camping and lodging options for your stay, coordinate a ride-share, or access maps for driving up to Oshkosh. The trip planner also provides information on dining options, shuttle services, and maps of the convention grounds. Printing out maps of the grounds can help you plan your schedule and avoid walking in circles.

Check your Membership Status 

If you’re a member of EAA, make sure your membership has not lapsed and if you’re interested in becoming a member you should consider joining before you go to get discounts on admission for daily and weekly fees. Also consider that joining EAA is likely to be offered to you at many junctures during Airventure and one of the easiest ways to avoid this bombardment is to already be a member. Check out the benefits of membership on EAA’s website.

Socialize!

Every booth and display will have something amazing to offer, whether you’re looking for aircraft parts, hoping to see some vintage planes, or learn more about flight training (hint, hint). However, the most valuable part of Airventure is no doubt the countless other pilots and aviation professionals and enthusiasts that you’ll meet and have the opportunity to network with. Make sure you take the chance to talk with people and share experiences and stories; also consider bringing some business cards for an easy way to swap contact information.

5 Things Aspiring Pilots Should Know

Know your Goals

Think carefully about your motivations for beginning flight training. Perhaps your dream is to become an airline pilot or fly fighter jets in the military. Understanding what is driving you to sit in the pilot’s seat is an important step in determining the best way to achieve your dream. The journey to a pilot’s license is a commitment; you have to be willing to put in the time in the airplane and on the ground. Solidifying your goals early on will help you choose the most efficient way to earn your wings.

Don’t be Afraid of Air Traffic Control 

Talking with ATC can be an intimidating experience for new pilots; proficient radio communication requires you to understand and articulate information as succinctly as possible. However, don’t fear the controllers, they’re there to help you! Never let the fear of annoying a controller stop you from confirming a clearance to land or asking for help in an emergency. That said, be considerate to your controller and sneak in a “thank you” every now and again in those radio calls.

Get Ready to Become Obsessed with Weather 

Understanding weather is a key step to becoming a good pilot. Knowing how to interpret weather data as well as understanding weather trends and the deeper underlying causes of different weather phenomena is as important as learning your stick and rudder flying skills.

Being the PIC is a Huge Responsibility 

Sure, the glory of telling all of your fiends and family that you can fly an airplane is pretty great. However, when your check pilot is shaking your hand after your checkride, you should also feel the tremendous weight of responsibility. A pilot’s license holds within it the trust that you’ll make good decisions and fly safely. Don’t let external pressures compromise your integrity as a pilot.

Being a pilot can’t always be flying to pancake breakfasts; sometimes you will have the task of telling a friend that you can’t make a flight due to weather. Just remember that the safety of you, your airplane, your passengers, and other aircraft are in your hands every time you sit in the pilot’s seat. Take the famous “with great power comes great responsibility” advice to heart. Not only is it true, but it also basically means that you’re a superhero.

A Good Pilot is Always Learning 

No matter what stage of flight training you’re in, there is always more to learn!