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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedCessnas to Oshkosh Plans Largest Group Arrival Ever

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 Southeast.

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 Association.

"This is really about Cessna solidarity," he said. "And we really don't see it stopping."

For more information contact Swanson at rodney@cessnas2oshkosh.com or visit www.cessnas2oshkosh.com.


FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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