I must commend you for publishing the excellent article by Lisa Kondrick, “Time to get outta Dodge” (Sept. 9 issue) as it relates to the feelings that I have had for years regarding the mass flights to OSH made by type clubs.
I have been attending OSH since 1972 in several types of aircraft and have always followed the arrival procedures. As a professional pilot I agree that it is necessary to have procedures in effect that regulate arrivals and assure maximum safety. Due to the mass formation arrival of certain types of aircraft I have had to depart my home base much earlier to beat the scheduled arrival times of these aircraft. I was lucky enough to beat the weather and the mass arrivals this year, but it was close and I feel for those aircraft owners who had to burn the fuel, subject their aircraft to unnecessary wear and tear and in some cases change their reservations for the night due to the field closing. It not only is unfair to these aircraft owners but borders on being illegal making them hold for the unseen aircraft yet to arrive when they are in a position to complete their arrival. How many pilots really get a kick out of seeing 100 of the same type arrive at one time? Others are waiting to land that were there first and should be able to complete their trip without having to cater to the type club flights. OSH is a public airport supported by our tax money and not the EAA’s to dictate to the FAA the landing sequence. Obviously it is all about money. Get a group on the ground as fast as you can, make them join and let them leave after a day or two. Comments that I have overheard from these mass arrival pilots are that they wouldn’t come unless they were guaranteed a parking place with their group and that they wouldn’t have to comply with the arrival procedure when they come as a group.
I have heard many negative comments from aircraft owners who have had to bow to the formation flights and give them priority which they don’t deserve. If this keeps up, members will be lost in the long run.
Michael R. Baas