70 pilots have already signed up for the 19th Bonanzas to Oshkosh formation
flight and the actual number participating will likely be near 80, said Larry
Gaines, B2Osh organizer.
Weather permitting, the group will depart
Rockford, Illinois at noon on July 26, arriving at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008
later that day.
Bonanzas to Oshkosh began in 1990 when Wayne
Collins and a few friends decided the only way to ensure camping together was
to arrive together in formation. Since then the group has expanded and
perfected its formation flight. 2008 will be the 19th annual group flight.
"Our annual pilgrimage to Oshkosh is part
air show attendance, part trade show attendance, part adventure and a big part
'family' reunion," Gaines said. "Most importantly, our formation is a
means to an end - our camping together. Camping and hanging out with all those
friends…is what life is all about."
The 2008 flight itself will have a few new
rules, Gaines said. The most significant will be the prohibition of any radio
frequencies other than those assigned by the flight leader, to ensure pilots
can communicate in case of emergencies.
In addition, a few other minor flight rule
changes may be implemented. "We very stringently measure all ideas and
suggestions against the KISS principal - Keep It Simple, Stupid," Gaines
said. "While an idea may have a safety benefit, if it also adds
complexity, that in and of itself detracts from safety."
Gaines said the key to the group's safety record
is its network of regional clinics or formation practice sessions that enable
newcomers to get a good start in the art formation flying and enable the
veterans to stay current.
For more information or to register for B2Osh,
go to http://www.b2osh.org.