Las Vegas's Premier Flying Club - Giving You A Reason to Fly!
Posted by: In: Uncategorized 16 Oct 2021 Comments: 0

By Lauren Scott, DFC CFI

The Experimental Aircraft Association is a non-profit organization made up of a large group of aviation enthusiasts. It is a diverse organization with many local chapters around the world.  Local chapters gather regularly for meetings for camaraderie, education, youth programs such as Young Eagles, scholarship opportunities, and aircraft building workshops. One of EAA’s greatest attractions is their annual weeklong fly-in convention held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, called AirVenture. It started in 1953 as a small gathering of less than 150 people, and has grown to attract 10,000 planes and over 500,000 attendees each year. As the largest fly-in worldwide, many aviation enthusiasts make it a goal to attend AirVenture at least once, and thousands of people make a point of attending every year.

Oshkosh AirVenture (shortened to “Osh” by regulars) really does have something for everyone interested in any facet of aviation. History, military, corporate, flight schools, aviation supply shops, universities, professional associations, and air traffic control are all represented. A week may sound like a long airshow, but even a week is not really long enough to see everything. I have visited 3 times, and the following are some observations and highlights I have experienced from my visits. More detailed information can be found at https://www.eaa.org/airventure.

A low pass during one of the many airshows
Desert Flying Club members

2021 Stats

Attendance: Approximately 608,000 – Only the third time attendance has surpassed 600,000 and within 5 percent of 2019’s record total.

Total aircraft: More than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. At Wittman alone, there were 16,378 aircraft operations in the 10-day period from July 22-31, which is an average of approximately 116 takeoffs/landings per hour when the airport is open.

Total showplanes: 3,176 included: A record 1,420 vintage aircraft registered, plus 1,089 homebuilt aircraft, 354 warbirds, 148 aerobatic aircraft, 112 seaplanes, 33 ultralights, and 27 rotorcraft.

Camping: More than 12,000 sites in aircraft and drive-in camping accounted for an estimated 40,000 visitors.

Volunteers: More than 5,000 contributing in excess of 250,000 hours.

Commercial exhibitors: 747.

Forums, Workshops, and Presentations: A total of 1,055 sessions hosted throughout the week.

Attractions

AirVenture has an abundance of activities from which to choose. There are dozens of aircraft manufacturers and sales representatives present with their aircraft on display, including gliders, helicopters, electric vehicles, jets, turbines, and seaplanes. It is a great opportunity to check out the latest aircraft being manufactured just for fun, or for those in the market to purchase a new aircraft. There are also aircraft parts, avionics, and accessory manufacturers and suppliers. In addition, there are presentations by prominent aviators, FAA and industry leaders, historical presentations, museums, and tours, scholarship awards, airline recruiters, and safety presentations for pilots, mechanics, ATC and experimental/homebuilt aircraft builders. One of the most popular attractions is the daily airshow, operating from runways 18/36 at 2:30-5:00 pm. It includes demonstrations and performances by drones, military, general aviation, and aerobatic aircraft. Spectators bring lawn chairs or blankets and relax on the grassy area west of the runway to watch the many amazing performances. Do not miss the night airshow, held a couple of times during the week after sunset, with illuminated aircraft performing stunts and igniting fireworks.

Highlights for me this year included attending a safety seminar for CFIs, taking a warbirds tram tour, meeting up with Desert Flying Club members and women pilot organizations, taking a tour of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, seeing the Short Field Takeoff and Landing (STOL) competition, flying a Boeing 787 simulator, watching the hot air balloon glow and night airshow after dark, and visiting the seaplane base.

Trying out the Redbird full-motion sim
Fireworks following the night airshow
Visiting the seaplane base
Flying a visual approach on the Boeing 787 sim
Checking out the Diamond Aircraft booth
Hot air balloon glow
This C-47 led the invasion at Normandy in WWII

Admission

Admission to AirVenture can be purchase by daily pass, weekly pass, weekend pass, or a 2-day pass. Children 18 and under receive free admission, and active-duty, reservist, and veteran military receive a discount. Free admission may be provided to exhibitors and volunteers. It takes more than 5000 volunteers to put on the fly-in each year, so there are many opportunities to help out and earn free admission. For EAA members, daily admission is around $50 per day and weekly admission is around $130 per person.

Getting There

Plan early! If you plan on flying a plane into the KOSH airport, research the arrival and departure procedures carefully, and consider flying in with an experienced pilot. For the week of AirVenture, the air traffic control tower becomes the busiest in the world. Visitors may also fly commercially into several airports in the vicinity, including Appleton, Wisconsin (KATW, 20 sm), Green Bay, Wisconsin, (KGRB, 55 sm), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (75 sm), Chicago (KORD, 150 sm), and Minneapolis, Minnesota (KMSP, 240 sm). Rental cars and shuttles to KOSH will be available, however, rental cars frequently book up early in these cities, so book your reservations well in advance. Many people drive rented or owned campers/RV’s into the park, and camp right on the airfield at one of the areas set aside for camping.

Oshkosh and nearby airports

Lodging

There are basically 4 options available for lodging at AirVenture: hotels, private rental homes on VRBO/AirBnB, camping, and staying in a dorm at a nearby university. We booked our reservations late this year and were still able to find a motel 20 minutes away for around $100 per night for a double bed with a sleeper sofa and kitchenette. There were a few hotel rooms still available in Oshkosh, but most started at $250 and up per night. Some visitors travel together and share expenses on a private rental together, while many attendees camp right on the grassy areas under their plane wings in tents, or drive campers/RVs in.

Dining

There are a wide variety of dining options all around the AirVenture campus. Some offer healthier options like fruit cups, fresh corn on the cob, and salads, while others have the traditional hamburgers, brats, Wisconsin cheese curds, pizza, and beverages. There are typical fast food and chain restaurants available off the campus. We brought snacks and water bottles in with us, and stayed on the campus to eat our meals more conveniently.

Enjoying Fresh Midwest Corn on the Cob

Flying Activities

This year, attendees could purchase short rides onboard a Ford Tri-Motor for $77, a Bell Helicopter for $55, and a B-25 ride for $360+. We did not participate this year, but it sure looked like a fun opportunity that I would love to try in the future. These rides are very popular, so it is suggested to show up at the appropriate booths early each morning for the best chance of reserving a spot.

B-25; Photo from https://www.eaa.org/eaa/events-and-experiences
Ford Tri-Motor; Photo from https://www.eaa.org/eaa/events-and-experiences

Weather

The summer weather in the upper Midwest can be cool and very pleasant with blue, sunny skies, or hot, muggy weather with poor visibility, wind and thunderstorms. We experienced all of these conditions while there this year. One night there was even a severe thunderstorm warning with tornadoes possible, so that many tent campers had to find rooms with friends or seek shelter until the storms passed. Watch the weather forecasts and pack accordingly. Umbrellas are very helpful for possible rain and for sun protection on the hotter days.

The Goodyear Blimp flies over many times each day

As you can see, AirVenture is an exciting fly-in experience, attracting enthusiasts from all over the world. The airshows, attractions and camaraderie, all about celebrating and sharing in the exciting world of aviation, are amazing to experience. For more information, please visit www.eaa.org/airventure. Many DFC club members have also visited AirVenture and would be happy to help with any questions or planning issues you may have. Reach out to Jan Greenburg, Lauren Scott, Gabi Thorp, Tim Miller, and Alan Zwick for more details. Hope to see you there next year!

AirVenture 2022: July 25-31!

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 27 May 2021 Comments: 0

We’re very excited to announce the arrival of a shiny, brand-new, fancy Redbird LD flight simulator.  This is an AATD, which means you can log 2.5 hours toward a private pilot license, 20 hours toward an instrument rating and 50 hours toward a commercial license!  Of course, all these hours have to have a CFI working with you in the SIM to log the hours. 

The new simulator is setup as a 172 model with GNS 430/530 GPS and auto-pilot.  It offers 200degree wrap around screens and very realistic graphics.

Even better, DFC is offering the simulator at $60 per hour, the same price as the previous simulator.  We also have several block hour and unlimited options:

Unlimited Plans:

 $999/year (only offered until June 15) – only for a single person, can’t be shared

Private/Procedures Special:

 10 hours for $399

IFR Currency Hours:

 3 hours for $149

Instrument/Commercial Training Specials:

 20 hours for $699

 25 hours for $799

If you’d like to get checked out on the simulator, please contact Leslee Carrescia – call 928-486-3881 or email: LesErin600@gmail.com

Happy Skies (and sim room),

DFC Board of Directors

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 19 Feb 2021 Comments: 0

DFC held our online February safety seminar, where We reviewed Risk Management, ADM and SRM concepts from FAA publications and through common flight scenarios such as preflight, take-off brief, pattern ops and examples from the AOPA “There I Was” podcast series. We applied them to actual flight scenarios.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 21 Jan 2021 Comments: 0

DFC held our online January safety seminar, where we introduced the new DFC Safety Team, discussed some current stats about safety in General Aviation in the US, talked about how to strengthen our safety culture at DFC, and introduced some new ideas and incentives to help us fly safer in 2021. You can download the slides below as a PDF.

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 12 Dec 2020 Comments: 0
Posted by: In: Uncategorized 28 Aug 2020 Comments: 0

Summer greetings DFC pilots.

A few items of note that I see on the flight line:

Fueling:  It’s surprising how much fuel expands in airplane tanks during hot weather.  This creates pressure that will force it out under the cap or the overflow vent, or both.  It can also be a surprise during preflight when the cap is removed and avgas gushes out all over the wing.

Please do not fill tanks all the way up in this heat.  If you must take full fuel for an extended flight, request the fueler or FBO to stop at least 1” from the top.  Each plane has its own fueling policy, archers to the tabs, 172 1” from the top, cardinal bottom of the collars, etc.  This will provide around 3 hours plus reserve in any of our planes, which is about as long most people like to be in a plane anyway.  Get fuel at your destination or intermediate stop.  After the flight send the receipt  to admin@desertflying.club and it will be deducted from the flight cost.  No plane should ever be fueled to the tip top in summer. 

Glare shields and windscreens:  Please keep all metallic items off the glare shield, including headsets, iPads, iPad mounts, etc.  Also, do not attach suction mounts (RAM) to the front windscreen, which I saw recently.  ADS-B receivers will receive just as well and are best attached to a side rear window where it won’t obstruct vision.  ADS-B are ground based transmissions, not from a satellite.

Control locks:  Please attach after flight.  The wind often picks up unpredictably and puts undo stress on unsecured control surfaces, including cables, bellcranks and bushings, especially ailerons.  It may be calm when you secure the plane but turn windy before the next flight.

Welcome our newest CFI Troy Martinez and our new admin. assistant Joanna Smardz.  Troy migrated south from teaching at a busy flight school at KVGT.  Joanna has become the “go-to” person for new member questions and keeps things running smoothly at DFC.  Joanna just moved to Vegas in April from Boston where she got her Private Pilot License. Her passion for aviation started while working for Virgin America as a customer service agent who got to deice a jet and had a lesson of “what do all these buttons do” in the Airbus A320 cockpit. After that she took to the skies as a flight attendant for United Airlines and finally went for it and got into GA. She grew up in Poland so flying isn’t just fun and exciting, but it also allows her to see her family in Europe. In her free time she enjoys cuddling with her Great Pyranese/Hound mix Lucy and hiking with her fiance. Getting her instrument rating is next on her list, but right now she will be using all her flight attendant skills to try and make everyone happy here at DFC.

Student/Member Achievements:

Private Checkride: Jon Jensen

Student solos: Brianna Francis, Glynis Olgado, Chloe Gardner, Eric Bentley, Tyler Hill, Robert Griffiths, Rudy Chimo, and Todd Austin.

When you see them around the clubhouse, please congratulate and encourage them in their achievements.  We look forward to hearing about their successful checkrides in the next newsletter!

Aircraft news: 

The DA40 N165PS should be back online by early September.  The rebuilt engine is in the hanger and a power flow exhaust will be added along with a new interior.
Cardinal 20313 just came from the paint shop and had the wings and stabilator re-painted along with a new glare shield.  A new power flow exhaust is has also been ordered.
Musketeer 5204M is also getting a power flow exhaust.  This airplane is probably the best time building value anywhere at $99/hr.  

Attention Remos pilots:  when you call for fuel after your flight please write the amount you ordered in the book so the next pilot knows how much fuel additive to add.

Cardinal pilots:  remember to order fuel only to the bottom of collars which is 33 gal usable.  If you need to add fuel for an extended flight please stop at the holes (43 gal usable), to account for expansion in hot weather.

Finally: Please remember the overnight rules of the club.  If you plan on taking a trip in one of the club aircraft, it is the responsibility of the member to make sure the plane gets back Henderson in a timely fashion.  If you do plan on taking a long trip, we have several cross country aircraft, such as the Cardinal, Comanche and Baron that are great options for a long trip.

A power flow exhaust is a type of “tuned exhaust” system that literally increases horsepower by 15-20 percent, increasing climb rates 200-300fpm and cruise speed 5-10 kts.  Ask anyone that’s flown a power flow equipped aircraft and they will enthusiastically attest to the performance increase.  You can read more at powerflowsystems.com

Fly Safe,
Gary Kauffman
Chief Pilot, Desert Flying Club

Posted by: In: Uncategorized 09 Dec 2014 Comments: 0

DFC’s Launch Meeting A Success!

Thanks to everyone that attended our very first inaugural meeting. We have 16 attendees, and a lot more people interested that weren’t able to make it! Here’s a little highlight of what we went over:

  • DFC’s mission &  vision
  • Bylaws & Operating Agreement overview
  • Introduction of Board of Directors
  • Elections & volunteers for the Board & Officers
  • Marvin L. will be our Membership Officer
  • Patrick B. will be the Chief Flight Officer.

Congrats to Darcy Wood for being elected to the Board of Directors! Even though the turn-out was great, we still would be grateful for some volunteers needed to fill some of the various Club Officer Positions. Make sure you contact us if you’re interested in any one of the following positions:

  1. FLEET OPERATIONS OFFICER(S) – Each Fleet Operations Officer shall coordinate and manage the daily operations for Club aircraft at the airport of their responsibility, including, but not limited to, aircraft insurance, member scheduling, aircraft lease arrangements, collection activities, and flight payment deposits.
  2. MAINTENANCE OFFICER – Subject to control of the Board of Directors, the Maintenance Officer shall keep track of all pilot squawks, monthly aircraft operations work sheets, aircraft inspection status and aircraft log books.  The Maintenance Officer shall have power to ground any aircraft at any time as he deems necessary.  All aircraft and aircraft log books returning for service after an annual inspection shall be reviewed by the Maintenance Officer before returning to service.
  3. Marketing Committee – We need volunteers that will help spread the word & get our membership base up!
  4. Activity Committee – Interested in deciding what events the club will do next? Like will we take a McCarren tower tour, fly out to Big Bear, or what? Join this committee!
  5. Community Outreach Committee – If you’re interested in getting involved with Boy Scouts, doing Aviation Merit Badge, representing the club during other community programs, or just helping us further GA in general, join this committee!

All in all it was great! Thanks everyone for attending, and we’ll see you at our NEXT MEETING December 18th, at 7pm.