The 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub is being celebrated at Oshkosh this year, but there's a lot going on beforehand at Hartford Municipal Airport (HFX), less than an hour to the southwest as the Cub flies, and the final staging area for the Cubs 2 Oshkosh mass arrival at AirVenture.
"We have all kinds of activities planned starting Friday, July 20," said Steve Krog, owner of Hartford-based Cub Air Flight LLC, and one of the Cubs 2 Oshkosh chief organizers. Cubs will be arriving Friday and Saturday (and some earlier in the week), with many pilots camping under their wings. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, breakfast will be served by the 88Charlies chapter from Palmyra, Wisconsin. Service begins at 8 a.m. except for Sunday, when service begins at 5 a.m. before the short flight to Oshkosh.
A local Boy Scout working toward Eagle Scout heads the lunch effort on Friday with brats, burgers, and hot dogs served 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Friday evening fare is "Fish Fry on the Fly" - a traditional Wisconsin fish fry served from 5:30-7:30. The public is invited to join pilots on the field and get an opportunity to meet and greet the pilots. Later on Friday, at 8 p.m., participants will take in a "Movie by the Hangar," a great aviation-themed movie against the wall of one the hangars at Hartford.
Following Saturday's breakfast, HFX will host an antique tractor display and classic car show, with lunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. by Hartford's local Support Your Troops Organization, with all proceeds going to create care packages for our overseas troops. Cubs are expected to continue arriving throughout the day.
Saturday evening features a pig roast for the participating pilots on the field, including an award ceremony for such things as oldest and youngest pilot, furthest flown, and more. Roger Pepperell, Piper historian, will also attend, and an evening reception will follow with live music.
Sunday is the big flight to AirVenture Oshkosh, beginning at 6 a.m. with 75 Cubs flying in trail for a scheduled arrival of 6:30 a.m. at Wittman Regional Airport. After that groups of four aircraft totaling between 100 and 125 planes will make their way to Oshkosh, scheduled to all arrive by 9:30-10 a.m. Flights are in coordination with the FAA and Oshkosh ATC, and the schedule is subject to weather.
Krog stressed that Cub pilots wishing to participate need to be registered no later than July 10 so food and commemorative T-shirts can be ordered. Pilots can use the registration form and scan and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can call Dana Osmanski, 262-966-7627, at the Hartford Airport to register by phone.