I must respond to the Oct. 7 letter from Michael R. Baas complaining about the mass arrivals of type specific aircraft at AirVenture (Just say no to mass arrivals). His complaint centered about the need for him and others to hold during the arrival. As leader of Bonanzas to Oshkosh I can answer most of his issues.
Our arrival plans have been implemented in cooperation with the FAA, their tower personnel, the regional administrator and AirVenture ground personnel to provide an orderly arrival and impact as little as possible on other aircraft. We have used the general arrival runway 9/27 only once in 16 years because of adverse winds, and then only because requested to do so by the tower. Our standard arrival on Runway 36 enables us to land three abreast and we typically accomplish this in 15 minutes or less. Traditionally we have not interfered with the Runway 9/27 arrivals. Because of the unusually heavy downpours preceding our arrival this year, Oshkosh personnel correctly felt taxi to parking on the grass would be hazardous and closed 9/27 temporarily for our taxi. This was a most unusual occurrence and not requested by us. While the Mooney Caravan generally takes longer to land because of the difference in their formation, the same general rules apply.
We cannot control the weather. The unusually intense thunderstorms preceding our arrival delayed everyone and bunched up arrivals. I regret that Mr. Baas was inconvenienced, but the FAA Notam Booklet clearly states that holding may be necessary, that extended periods of slow flight may be required and to watch fuel status. If we had arrived by the standard Ripon arrival with 101 aircraft followed by the Mooney Caravan with another 50 aircraft, I can assure Mr. Baas that his hold would have been much longer, far more hazardous and not a pretty sight.
Bonanzas to Oshkosh