A growing fly-in only about 20 nautical miles east of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is becoming a popular EAA AirVenture stop for the taildragger community.
While the New Holstein Super Cub Fly-In is presented by SuperCub.org, all tailwheel aircraft are welcome, and tricycle-gear airplanes are tolerated (they must park on the hard-surface ramp). The camping event begins the Friday before AirVenture and ends the Wednesday of the show; many attendees fly to Oshkosh or make day trips to the show on chartered buses.
“We had a little mini-short field contest that first year,” Johnson added, and it’s grown from there. Fly-in participants are asked to register in advance so that infrastructure and catered meals can be planned. Camping is encouraged, and the event raised funds for the New Holstein Airport Pavilion, which was built in 2005. It’s available for camping and other aviation events throughout the year. “We raised the money to put in showers in the new terminal building,” he added. “This is really a jewel of an airport.”
Sunday is the fly-in’s big day; it’s also New Holstein’s Airport Day. Breakfast is prepared by the Lions Club, while the Kiwanis serve lunch; other civic organizations offer dessert and other edibles. Many members of the local community come out to eat and watch the airplanes. A kid zone includes balloons, bubbles, and other activities. The short takeoff and landing (STOL) demonstration is very popular. “I can’t say enough good things about the city,” Johnson said. “They really have a strong desire to welcome other groups to the airport.”
First, however, come the Young Eagles flights, which the pilots see as a way to give back to the community. Most years they fly 90 to 100 young people; however, this year weather delayed their start on July 22 and even though the STOL demonstration was delayed to accommodate more Young Eagles, the 2018 total was only about half the average.
Andrew Salm, 10, of Meeme, Wisconsin, took his first flight in the back seat of an SQ2. “It was amazing,” he said. “My friends will be surprised. They all think I’m afraid of heights.” Andrew, who couldn’t spot his house from the air but recognized several local landmarks, said he wants to learn to fly. His great uncle, Richard Salm—a former Air Force and American Airlines pilot—brought him and his brother, Henry, 9, to the airport.
Dan Nett lives in New Holstein and although his kids, ages 5 and 3, are too young to fly, they still enjoy the event. “The kids love it,” Nett said. “They love seeing the airplanes go over the house. It’s a great event.” He took Madeline and Henry on a tour of the flight line. Later, Nett would help the Kiwanis serve lunch.
Randy Corfman of Minneapolis coordinates the STOL demonstration. “I’d say a third of landings are disqualified because they land short,” he told the pilots during the briefing. “When you do your landing, come to a complete stop. If you don’t stop, you’re disqualified—that’s the second biggest error.”
Jim Crane flew his Carbon Cub from Exeter, Maine, to participate. It was his second trip to New Holstein, and he was accompanied by his son, Andy, who flew a Citabria. “We made the whole trip on Thursday—12 hours in the saddle,” Crane said. That was their only weather window to make the trip, but “it was really spectacular weather.”
Crane said he enjoys the camaraderie. “It’s such a wonderful group of people. Sometimes you don’t see people for a couple of years, and you pick up where you left off.”
The STOL competition was followed by the flour drop contest. “These days, we call it flour dropping, not flour bombing,” Johnson said.
About 20 local youth, riding in the back seats of participating airplanes, had three tries each to hit a target from 100 feet above ground level with flour-filled paper sacks. “These kids get a huge hoot out of this,” Corfman told the pilots beforehand. “And you get negative points for hitting the judge.”