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To Plan A Trip

March 2023
1min read

The popularity of the HAA Oshkosh fly-in—which this year runs from July 30 to August 5—means this pleasant community is saturated with visitors, and advance plans and reservations are necessary if you intend to remain overnight. Many reservations are made a year ahead. But the aviators’ traits of ingenuity and flexibility can help. So can the smooth machinery of KAA (mailing address: HAA, P.O. Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086). KAA maintains an information hot line, 414-426-4800, and the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau operates a handy housing hot line all year long: 414-235-300"”. Next to Wittman Field, HAA runs Camp Scholler with RV and tent sites and campground showers and facilities. Its seventy thousand spaces are available for fourteen dollars a day to KAA members (you can join for thirty-five dollars a year). Although the camp has never filled to capacity, those arriving early naturally gravitate toward the best campsites. The weeklong HAA village supports convenience stores, dining halls, and even a temporary McDonald’s.

The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh offers dormitory rooms for rent; it is possible to fly into Oshkosh on a scheduled airline and use shuttle buses to get to the dorm and to the HAA site. The dorms usually fill up early; reservations for 1997 were accepted beginning July 29, 1996! Cancellations occur, and a waiting list is available to those calling 414-424-3226 starting May 31, 1997. Ripon College, located in the cornfields nineteen miles to the southwest, also rents rooms. The college can be reached at 414-748-8164. Marian College in Fond du Lac, about twenty miles south, is another choice, at 414-923-7600; so is Lawrence University, twenty-five miles north at Appleton: 414-832-6652.

Don’t overlook special airline ticket rates you may he able to obtain by mentioning you are going to the HAA convention when making airline reservations.

Want to fly your own plane to Oshkosh? In addition to the show planes, Wittman Hield hosts acres of general-aviation aircraft the week of the fly-in. Overflow capacity is diverted to Appleton. The Oshkosh traffic pattern is busy, and the Federal Aviation Administration publishes a hefty NIOTAM (notice to airmen) treating special Oshkosh fly-in procedures.

If you want to make a day trip of it and stay out of the immediate area overnight, arriving at the field early is an experience. Parking is easier then, and the morning shakes off the clew in a gentle awakening as campers /ip up tents pitched beneath their airplanes. At seven each morning, in a ritual that sounds like Boy Scout camp, loudspeakers relay a yodeling wake-up call. Hggs and hotcakes are served in flight-line cafés.

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