Cessnas to Oshkosh will
mark its third group flight to AirVenture this year.
Organizers for the third Cessnas to Oshkosh
(C2O) are expecting about 75 aircraft to take part in the mass arrival at EAA
AirVenture 2008. That would represent the most airplanes participating since
the group organized in 2006.
Rodney Swanson, C2O's director of training and
operations, reports that 72 aircraft are signed up, with many more interested
in joining the group. Even with a 10 percent attrition rate due to
cancellations and other reasons, which often occurs with large group fly-ins,
C2O should easily make its goal of 75 airplanes, he said.
Fifty-one airplanes participated in the
inaugural mass arrival in 2006 to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
Cessna 172 and 182. Last year, 26 airplanes participated.
Pilots signed up to take part this year are from
as far away as Switzerland, and include Alaska plus 37 of the 48 contiguous
states, including the four corners of the U.S. Swanson said big concentrations
of Cessnas are coming from California, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, and the
Organizers will hold one last formation-training
clinic in Juneau, Wisconsin on July 25, and then the group will head to Oshkosh
on July 26, arriving at about 2:30 p.m., Swanson said.
This year C2O expects the Juneau training
session to be larger than usual to help pilots defray fuel costs; instead of
flying to a regional training clinic, many will opt to combine it with their
trip to Oshkosh.
While their training materials and curriculum
were submitted to and approved by the FAA, each year the curriculum is tweaked
to accommodate the participating airplanes. This year, for example, a wide
variety of types are signed up, including the 172, 182, 205, 206 210, 310, 336
and 337. Last year three-quarters were 172s and 182s, Swanson said.
Because of the wide range of engine power,
aircraft will be grouped by types. "We're actually going to have 25 groups
of three, instead of one giant bird formation," Swanson said.
Once at Oshkosh, the planes will park together
at Cessna Base Camp in the North 40, where they'll gather for barbecues and
other special events. The group is partnering with the Cessna Pilots
"This is really about Cessna
solidarity," he said. "And we really don't see it stopping."
For more information contact Swanson at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit www.cessnas2oshkosh.com.