Jade Hofeldt’s Top 10 Tips in Preparing for AirVenture 2023
June 22, 2023
We are just about a month out from EAA AirVenture 2023 and if you haven’t started prepping for your trip to KOSH, don’t delay any further as you are already behind the power curve. Here are my top 10 tips in preparing for one of my absolute favorite weeks of the year:
1.) Make your hotel/camping arrangements – From the local dorms to hotels to VRBOs and of course, camping, there are lots of options, however, if you are looking to be as close as possible to show grounds, options are getting slim, so book something now. EAA puts many of your lodging options in one placeHERE. In addition, I HIGHLY recommend calling local hotels even if they show sold out online, as there are daily cancellations that may be available.
2.) Download and review the NOTICEHERE– Plan for your arrival and parking. All IFR arrivals must have an IFR reservation. All VFR arrivals start at Ripon, WI and require you keep your head on a swivel. All pilots landing at OSH must use a printed sign to designate their intended parking or camping area upon arrival. If you want/need paved parking – suggest reaching out to Basler (only FBO on field) ASAP!
3.) Plan your itinerary / schedule – depending on what day(s) you plan to attend, there is always way more going on than you will have time for…but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in your must-sees & must-dos. From educational seminars to the airshows to the runway 5K – make sure to check out the scheduleHERE and start finalizing your plans.
4.) Purchase your AirVenture ticketsHERE– sure you can buy tickets upon arrival, but doing so ahead of time allows you to skip any lines and get right to the good stuff! Daily, 2-day and weekly passes are offered and tickets vary in price, but purchasing an EAA Membership will save you a few $$ and is for a great cause. Bonus – Ages 18 and under are FREE!
5.) Reserve your spot in the Aviators Club – in review, it appears the EAA Aviators Club is completely sold out already for 2023, but put it on your list for next year, as this is one of the few air-conditioned spots on the grounds that offers all-day catering, drinks, ice-cream, come and go access, and some of the best seats around to watch the airshow. With adult pricing starting at $144/day ($175 on night airshow days) or $813/week (must be an EAA member), trust me when I say you won’t be thinking about what you spent when you are relaxing inside the cool air with an ice cream sandwich in hand.
6.) Pack an easy to carry (lightweight) bag and a chair – Probably goes without saying, but don’t forget to pack the essentials such as sunscreen, hat, umbrella (hopefully not needed), sunglasses, SPF chapstick, snacks, refillable water bottle (yes, there are filling stations around the grounds), and your favorite easy-to-transport “camp chair”. Sure you can sit on the grass but watching the airshows from a comfortable chair really makes for a much more enjoyable experience.
7.) Pre-Book your Aircraft Rides – Historic aircraft such as the Ford Tri-Motor, B-25 Berlin Express or my personal favorite, the B-29 DOC offer pay-for rides during AirVenture, and will ensure a very memorable experience. These usually sell out – so pre-book your ticketsHERE.
8.) Pack / dress appropriately for your time at AirVenture – perhaps another obvious one, but you will be doing LOTS of walking (i.e. this is not the time to break in those brand new sneakers) and if the weather holds true to season, it WILL be hot…and this isn’t a “dry heat” type of hot…this is a humid hot, maybe pack a 2nd shirt if there’s no breeze type of hot. Good news – this event is the epitome of casual, so leave those dress shirts and polos at home and break out your favorite t-shirt and shorts and you’ll fit right in.
9.) Consider becoming an EAA Donor – Your generous gift to the EAA Aviation Foundation illustrates your commitment to EAA’s mission of growing participation in aviation. EAA’s “large donors” often get the AirVenture VIP Treatment…from pre-arranged IFR slots to reserved ramp parking, Aviator Club access (see #5 above), golf cart allotment (to travel the expansive grounds), admission tickets, VIP parking passes and more. While I can’t make any promises, these are just a few of the VIP perks we’ve seen allotted to those willing to give sizable monetary donations to EAA – a community of passionate aviation enthusiasts that promotes and supports recreational flying.
10.) Check out my blog from last year’s EAA – top 10, don’t miss list for EAA AirVenture! LinkHERE …And a reminder that if you find yourself attending EAA AirVenture this year, let me know, I’ll buy you a beer at the bikini (ahem, SOS Brothers) Beer Tent.