AOPA published an article on “Tips for Flying to Airventure”, which highlighted some changes this year. But I figured that there are plenty of pilots that have flown into OSH over the years that may also want to share their tips/experiences. Feel free to reply below with those.
Head on a swivel? Check. Eyes outside? Check.
First time ever to OSH was via a Cessna 152 from Iowa City. I hit Beaver Dam and thought ‘piece of cake, not a plane in the sky’. 20 miles north to Ripon, no problem.
One by one they appeared. One at first, then another, and another, until airplanes in the sky were like fireflies on a June evening. My, oh my, where DID all those airplanes come from? I got in line and from there, all was good. Although the line was long, it was quite orderly. Landing at Wittman was cool (2 at a time - not side by side but first half and second half). Parking was a breeze and the volunteer staff super helpful.
I you are thinking about it, think no more. Do it! You will look back one day and be glad you did.
Keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel – imagine you're flying an F-105 into Hanoi through a sky full of MiGs.
Memorize the arrival procedure – you won't have time to look at it as you do it.
Have someone in the right seat to help.
Nail the route, altitudes, and speeds.
Have been in a "Mass Arrival" and landed on all the runways they use at some point during the past 20+ years.
In preparation to fly into AirVenture, go out and practice flying at 90 KIAS at ~1,000 AGL over a straight road and or railroad track that is about the same distance as Ripon to KOSH. Lean to control airspeed, altitude, and navigation while looking around outside. Practice your precision, short, soft field landings. Also practice and be ready for a go around. Read and understand the NOTAM. I like to make a cheat sheet for frequencies that I need for the possible approaches that are in use. Do your best to stop, refuel, and update arrival info 1 to 1.5 hours flying time before arrival.
Repeating what others have said, keep your head on a swivel.
Be read to divert to another airport if need be. KUNU and KATW are my two favorite alternate airports. Should be able to find ground transportation to KOSH from either of those two.