Club Spotlight: Wright Flyers Make Oshkosh an Annual Tradition

Every year in late July pilots from all over the world flock to Oshkosh, WI for EAA AirVenture. “It’s the one place in aviation that I can say I want to go to every year,” Wright Flyers Safety Officer Todd Shiverdecker said.

The club, based about 10 miles east of Dayton International Airport in Ohio, has 10 members and owns a Cessna 182 and 172. Since 2018, the Wright Flyers have made going to Oshkosh an annual tradition. One couple, Steve and Teresa fly the 182 into Wittman Regional Airport each year, while Todd and his wife drive an RV to Camp Scholler. Other members may fly the 172 in for a day or two. 

Steve and Theresa usually go the Friday morning before the show and stay until Thursday. They always camp in the North 40 and that becomes the club’s base camp, Todd said. “I always pull a big camper to Camp Scholler and that’s our base camp if the weather’s not good or if we don’t want to drag all the stuff out to the airplane. We have those two bases.”

Given the vast expanse of the AirVenture grounds, there are many advantages to having two bases that are spread out. Camp Scholler is closer to the center of the show – Boeing Plaza, Theater in the Woods, the Warehouses with exhibitors, and the Vintage and Ultralight Aircraft areas. The North 40 is past the Homebuilt and Warbird areas and is a sea of aircraft and tents where it’s a little easier to get away from the crowds and hustle and bustle of the show. 

In addition to the members who come early and stay most of the week, other members often fly the 172 in for a day or two. “The 172 came up two or three different times last year,” Todd said. “You’ll have a member who can only come up Sunday and Monday. They would fly in and then they’ll turn around and go back and somebody else might come back Wednesday and Thursday or the second weekend.”

The highlight of the week is the club’s Wednesday night dinner. “What we have done to bring everyone together is every Wednesday night if the weather is good we have dinner at the airplane and watch the night air show,” Todd said. “If the weather is iffy, we have dinner at the camper and either go watch the night air show or stay and watch it at the camper as best we can.” 

One of the club members is a retired Northwest pilot. He comes up to Oshkosh a week or two before the show with a bunch of other former Northwest pilots. Many of them join the Wright Flyers for the Wednesday dinner, where they tell stories of what it was like to fly decades ago. Todd said building the camaraderie and spending time with other pilots and sharing stories is very enjoyable.

Meeting people, building friendships and having fun talking aviation is what Oshkosh is all about—all the interesting aircraft just serve as the conduit to camaraderie. In many ways AirVenture is like a giant flying club event where like-minded people get together to share their passion for aviation. 

Like most flying clubs, AirVenture is volunteer driven. Thousands of EAA members come out to help marshal aircraft, provide STEM education activities for kids, assist in the Learn to Fly Center, check in attendees, or take part in a host of other positions. Todd lives on a farm and likes to drive tractors, so he volunteers for a few shifts driving a tram and Steve and Teresa serve as greeters in the North 40. Just like any good club, members step up to help out.

Teresa is active with Women in Aviation and the 99s, so she and her husband and Todd and his wife attend the WAI breakfast on Wednesday morning and the women get their Women Fly T-shirts and participate in the group photo. It has become another piece of the club’s annual Oshkosh ritual. “It gives my wife something to enjoy on the aviation side,” Todd said. “Otherwise, she enjoys the camping and visiting with friends.”

Even in 2020 when the show was cancelled because of Covid, the two couples kept their summer tradition going. One of the club’s adopted members who was good friends with Teresa in high school lives in northern Wisconsin. “In 2020 when we couldn’t go to Oshkosh, we flew both planes to Taylor County for the week and camped at their place and did our Oshkosh in the woods,” Todd said. 

It’s those kinds of friendships and memories that members of the Wright Flyers cherish. Todd’s advice to other clubs is to start small—if you want to go, encourage another member to join you. Then when you get back, share the experience with your other club members. No doubt they’ll be inspired and want to make the trip next year…and just like that, a tradition is takes root.



Wright Flyers, Inc


Andy Barnhart Memorial Airport (3OH0)

New Carlisle, OH







Year formed



1964 Cessna 182 ($120/hr)

1971 Cessna 172 ($100/hr)


Rates are Tach time, wet and adjusted quarterly for fuel costs.

Joining fee

Share price is negotiated between shareholder and buyer and is estimated to be $20,000


$400 per quarter




Google Calendar


Related Articles