Pilots who see the words “flying” and “Oshkosh” in the same sentence this week can be excused for thinking someone’s already planning for next year’s AirVenture. But not so.
The skies over Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh will soon be filled with aircraft preparing for the weeklong U.S. National Aerobatic Championships hosted by the International Aerobatic Club that begins September 23. This is a first time the AirVenture site will play host after nearly 45 years at Dennison, Texas. Approximately 100 pilots are expected to compete.
The competition’s five categories – primary, sportsman, intermediate, advanced and unlimited – in both power and glider aircraft, are determined by the maneuvers’ complexity and the aircraft’s capabilities. Pilots are expected to fly at least three routines in either the known, unknown or freestyle category during the week.
Although the portion of Wittman Airport over which the competitors will fly is closed to the public, there are plenty of places nearby for the public to watch the competition up close, including the airport’s parking lots.
The aerobatics competition ends Saturday, September 29 with awards presented at the closing banquet at the EAA Aviation Museum. Top finishers in the advanced category will also secure a spot on the U.S. team expected to compete next year in Strejnic, Romania.