Fri, Jul 09, 2004
Bonanza Pilots Pre-Flighting Now
With 100 pilots signed up and
another 12 waiting in the wings, the 15th annual Bonanzas to
Oshkosh (B2OSH) formation flight is getting ready for this year's
52nd EAA AirVenture Fly-In. Flightline observers should see
Bonanzas arriving three abreast on both runways of 36/18 and the
parallel taxiway beginning at about 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 25. But
you'd better get there early; it only takes about 15 minutes to
land all 100 airplanes as they arrive from their staging airport,
Rockford (Illinois) Regional (RFD).
Leading the way in N826T, a 1973 V35B, will be Glenn "Bubba"
Wimbish from Burlington (NC). Glenn has made every B2OSH flight
except the first in 1989. Raytheon Corporation is also expected to
participate, joining the formation in row 2 with their latest
aircraft, the A36, flying right next to an original 1947 Bonanza 35
flown by Gary Biba, Austin, Texas.
"We've got about 10-11 Barons, one Beech 95, and the rest are
all singles," said B2OSH Chairman Elliott Schiffman, who flies
N42MM, a 1988 F33A.
Stressing safety, Schiffman notes that 25 of the B2OSH pilots
are Formation Flight Inc. (FFI)-qualified. FFI is for non-warbird
pilots who are able to fly in waived airspace. "Credit for that
belongs to Wayne Collins, originator of Bonanzas to Oshkosh,"
Schiffman said. "He was the impetus behind all that. I'm just a
caretaker for what he started.
"It's an absolutely outstanding group of pilots. We really feel
proud of our formation."
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