Home » News » World’s Busiest Airspace – AirVenture Fisk Arrival with US Coast Guard – Oshkosh – ATC audio

World’s Busiest Airspace – AirVenture Fisk Arrival with US Coast Guard – Oshkosh – ATC audio

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 10.51.22 AMAirVenture was insane this year! My crew and I had managed to get in with the Cessna mass arrival on Saturday which had marginal Wx. Then Sunday morning was foggy, and then ~36 hours worth of arrivals all came Sunday afternoon when the Wx was good.

We filmed the insanity of the Sunday arrivals from the ground (we covered the traffic converging at Ripon and trying to line up on the tracks toward Fisk (in many cases there were too many at once and lots of them had the good sense to bail and try again…. We also captured the insanely busy arrivals on runway 27 at the orange dot. We got to the Fisk tower to do some shooting, and controllers reported it was the craziest they’d seen it in many years. Anyone who flew the arrival that afternoon with footage they’d like to share for a “Flight Chops” video, please email me at:

flightchops at gmail dot com


In this Episode:

2000+ planes arrived in a few hours, and it tested ATC as well as the Pilots!

#AirVenture #Osh16 broke records for attendance: 500,000+ people and 10,000+ planes flying in; but due to a literal perfect storm, 2,000 of them tried to fly in all at the same time on Sunday afternoon – and we were filming.

This is a fairly epic story, and telling it in an efficient and engaging way required some serious mental gymnastics. I solved most of the creative problems and basically wrote this while I had a clear head and no other work distractions at the cottage last week.

– As some of you may know, we have Dan on board as an editor helping with some of the episodes, but this one was all me 🙂

Glad my “editing chops” are still sharp – hope you enjoy this one!

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 10.39.58 AM

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 10.39.43 AM


MASSIVE thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for being a part of this one!

USCG Recruiting: http://www.gocoastguard.com/

USCG Air Station Traverse City: http://www.facebook.com/AIRSTATVC/

And for more context about how crazy the arrivals were on that Sunday, here’s a link to an article about it:


And some additional context regarding that visualization from Philip at FlightAware:

The data here is combination of (high-quality) ADS-B data and (low-quality) MLAT data from Mode S aircraft. Of the unique tails depicted here, there are 247 ADS-B aircraft and 106 Mode S aircraft.
As we discussed via email, my high guess for ADS-B equipage in the GA fleet is maybe 16% – applying that assumption to the ADS-B/MLAT split in the data would indicate that I’m probably showing 23% of the traffic. If we guess higher and go with 20% equipage, then I’d be showing about 29% of the aircraft.
So overall, I’d say that absolute best case, we’re seeing 30% of all the arrivals in this video. Which is still pretty impressive (and/or daunting) to think about.

And here’s the link to Steveo1kinevo’s Coast Guard FlightVLOG:



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I’m a Private Pilot, doing my best to stay current and learn. I fly for fun and might just be the least cocky pilot on the internet! My self analysis videos can seem self deprecating at times, but I am trying to learn from the small mistakes to avoid making a big one; I’m happy to share and find it rewarding to help other pilots or aspiring aviators in any way that I can. How does the saying go? “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards”. And in aviation, not all tests are survivable.

My virtual “ride-along” flying videos are aimed and sharing my experiences and giving back to the aviation community which has been so helpful to me. I shoot multi-camera angles, get detailed real time instrument panel shots, and have radio intercom audio. I respect people’s time, so I put a fair bit of work into editing to keep the videos concise and engaging; I add animations and further graphics and voice overs where needed to add context and explanations.

My hope is to continue to grow and evolve the “Flight Chops” project with input and support from the aviation community!

Steve Thorne, aka "Flight Chops"

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Flight Chops Disclaimer

I am a “weekend warrior” private pilot, I fly for fun with no intentions of going commercial. I have had my PPL for over 15 years, but still consider each flight a learning experience – I generally take detailed notes after each flight to remind myself what went well or what I could do to improve…. Having the GoPro cameras to record flights like this is invaluable. I find these self analysis videos very helpful in my constant quest to improve, and am happy to share.

Feedback is invited; however, please keep it positive.

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