May 24, 2012
Alyssa J. Miller and Mike Collins
In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Piper J-3 Cub, hundreds of Cub owners and pilots plan to fly from Hartford, Wis., to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh on Sunday, July 22, according to Rick Rademacher, one of the organizers of Cubs 2 Oshkosh.
Rademacher said he hopes the event will connect pilots in the Cub community, inspire cross-country group adventures, celebrate the iconic flying machine, and interest children in aviation—and the airport—through this process. “At one point in time in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, every kid knew a Piper Cub,” Rademacher said, “Nowadays, kids have no clue.”
As a passionate Cub owner and pilot who has flow into EAA AirVenture 15 times, Rademacher wanted to help celebrate the J-3’s seventy-fifth anniversary. After talking to staff at AirVenture, he and Steve Krog of the Hartford-based Cub Club volunteered to coordinate the initiative to create what EAA calls a “field of yellow” at the event (Cubs will have a special parking area near the Vintage aircraft section).
Rademacher said he hopes pilots will fly in groups. He will be part of a group of 10 Cubs flying from his home airport, Grimes Field, in Urbana, Ohio, that will comprise experienced pilots who can help those with less experience make it safely to AirVenture. “Going 70 miles per hour to get to Oshkosh, what a trip that’s going to be,” Racdemacher said.
He knows that the turnout will be largely weather dependent: “With a Cub, you have to be flexible,” he said.
Pilots flying their J-3 Cubs in for the event with Cubs 2 Oshkosh are encouraged to sign up on the website and fly to Hartford Municipal Airport. about 40 nautical miles south of Oshkosh, where they can camp Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, if they wish. A fish fry is planned on the field for Friday evening; on Saturday a pancake breakfast and awards banquet will bracket an antique tractor display, classic car show, and Cub flying.
“At last count, 366 pilots and aircraft owners have gone on the website and done a preregistration,” said Krog. “Firm registrations are just starting to come in.” He said the Cub Club staff and a large team of volunteers are preparing for hordes of Cubs to descend on the field.
On Sunday morning, a flight of 75 Cubs will depart as a group for Oshkosh, where there arrival will help to commemorate the iconic airplane’s seventy-fifth anniversary. “The rest will follow in flights of four,” Krog said. “It will look like a continuous mass arrival.”
The strategy will allow pilots not experienced with the AirVenture arrival procedures to team up with pilots who are familiar with the process, he added.
According to the Experimental Aircraft Association website, two airshow acts involving Cubs have been confirmed for AirVenture, July 23 through 29. Greg Koontz and the Alabama Boys will perform “a flying farmer comedy routine featuring a Piper J-3 Cub landing on top of a truck,” and Kyle Franklin will fly a comedy act in his PA-18 Super Cub.
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