|Piper Cherokees arrive en masse at AirVenture 2012.
March 19, 2013 - Cherokees to Oshkosh - the youngest of the AirVenture mass arrival groups - is busy prepping for its fourth consecutive journey to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2013.
The group will be the first to arrive at Wittman Regional Airport this year, Friday, July 26, at 1 p.m. With 30 aircraft already registered and up to 50 possible, Cherokees to Oshkosh will have a 70 percent returning participation rate from the past two years.
Cherokees to Oshkosh represents the true purposes of mass arrivals: like-minded people sharing in the joy and privilege of flight, increasing proficiency, maximizing safety, and, above all, connecting with dear friends, said lead pilot Terry Hocking.
"Cherokees to Oshkosh is literally and figuratively a family reunion," he said. "The energy, inspiration, and lifelong connections realized from the mass arrival experience are second to none. Our group looks forward to welcoming new members into our extended family this year."
Prior to the AirVenture migration, flight participants must attend a spring mini-clinic. They also need to arrive at staging airport Waupaca Municipal (PCZ) for at least one "dry run" formation flight on or before Wednesday, July 24. Some of the more eager participants will arrive for AirVenture prep as early as Sunday, July 21.
Although much of the group's time in Waupaca is spent training, there is also time for celebration and fun. There's a spot landing contest, with prizes from sponsoring organizations such as Goodyear Tires and Tempest Spark Plugs. Then on Thursday night before the flight to OSH, participants enjoy a traditional hog roast dinner.
Once on the ground at Oshkosh, the Cherokee group will join pilots from the Mooney Caravan on Sunday, July 28, for an evening barbecue. Cherokees to Oshkosh will then host a wine and cheese party on Monday at their base camp in the North 40.
Cherokee pilots who want to participate this year can still sign up on the group's website. Or visit the Cherokees to Oshkosh Facebook page for more information.