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‘SimVenture’ at EAA’s Annual Spirit of Aviation Week Earns Rave Reviews

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), working with NATCA and PilotEdge, came up with a creative and successful alternative to the canceled AirVenture 2020. It was called “SimVenture” and took place from July 21-25 as part of EAA’s “Spirit of Aviation Week.”

Using PilotEdge’s simulator technology, pilots had the opportunity to fly in to OSH, and hundreds did so each day, guided by the air traffic control work of eight NATCA members. There were a total of 1,066 arrivals into OSH, including a high of 404 on the final day, July 25. The first three days featured a three-hour session. The final day lasted more than four hours.

The NATCA members participating were Kyle Franklin (Kalamazoo ATCT, AZO),  Jeff Gross (Austin ATCT, AUS),  David Kaupp (retired member),  Brian Kelly (Dallas Love Field ATCT, DAL),  Brian LaFleur  (New Orleans ATCT, MSY),  Christine Sobczyk (Chicago DuPage ATCT, DPA),  Renee Spencer (Fort Wayne ATCT, FWA), and  Greg Williams (Cleveland ATCT, CLE).

View a playlist of videos from PilotEdge showing many different aspects and angles of the event .

The experience drew rave reviews from many of the pilots. A sampling:

Mitch Fish : “The professionalism of the pilots and controllers was beyond anything I could have imagined.”

Dr. Robert A. Strauss : “I know these were the actual show volunteer controllers because they were freakin’ awesome and as friendly as they are at the actual show.”

Chip DeMoss : “I have always dreamed of flying the Fisk Approach to Oshkosh, but never thought it would be a reality. Now, because the sim was so much fun, I have it on the bucket list to do it for real. The controllers, graphics, NOTAM, and overall look and feel were just outstanding.”

John Neustadt : “You guys pulled it off beautifully, and it was far more realistic than anyone could have hoped to experience.”

Spirit of Aviation Week offered opportunities for pilots and other aviation professionals to increase their knowledge and hone their abilities with tech talks, flight simulators, and forums — and now all the content from the event is available on demand for streaming for a limited time.