The Last Time organization will not arrive at EAA AirVenture this year as a mass formation of Douglas DC-3 aircraft, EAA officials have indicated. Instead, an EAA-organized mass formation called Max Effort will take place July 27. (AirVenture runs from July 26 to Aug. 1.)
The Last Time celebration will continue and will include a mass formation at Whiteside County Airport in Rock Falls, Ill. After the celebration is complete, it is hoped many of the participating aircraft will individually fly to Oshkosh. An EAA official said they have confirmations from many DC-3 operators, including those not attending the Rock Falls celebration, who will attend AirVenture this year.
It is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the DC-3.
The possibility of a mass arrival at Oshkosh became a source of contention between The Last Time group and EAA when, according to some reports, EAA said it needed to control events associated with the AirVenture airshow.
The Rock Falls event is free to the public and free to the operators, including free food, logistics, ramp fees, parking, and transportation, Last Time organizer Dan Gryder said. On July 26, the aircraft will depart Rock Falls for a formation flight to be observed by the public and news media. The flight will make at least one pass back over Whiteside County Airport fully assembled, Gryder said.
The original plan was to join up in the skies over the departure airport and stay in formation all the way to Oshkosh so the attendees there could see it also. Instead, the formation will land at Whiteside for those pilots wishing to do so, Gryder added.