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  #1  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:51 PM
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Default Oshkosh 2017 - The full trip report

It's hard to believe it's already time for Osh 2017. It seems like just a few months ago I was there. In the past, I have always flown to Oshkosh either on Sunday or Wednesday. This year I didn't have anything really going on the weekend before Osh, so I decided to start my trip on Friday and head over to my College friend's house in Cleveland, and then head over to Oshkosh on Saturday. This plan worked out very well because there was a decent size storm moving across the Midwest. My plan would be to fly to Cleveland, let the storm pass over, and then continue onto Oshkosh.



Packing this year was about the same as years past, with the exception that I finally invested into an inflatable sleeping mat, and I brought a full sized pillow. Neither of which would really significantly change my CG or baggage weight. Of course the normal supplies consisting of good local IPA micro-brews and some Bourbon were onboard.


It was HOT in MD this particular Friday. The OAT registered 102 degrees on the ground by the fuel pumps. Perfect time to jet out of here for some perfect Wisconsin summer days.


Hmmm, on run up I realized my fuel flow wasn't working. I didn't know if this was the new Red Cube I installed in the spring stopped functioning, or my EIS was suffering some issues from my over-voltage event (See "Memorial Day Panel BBQ" entry). Well, out of all sensors to go bad, this is a good one! I will just have to check my fuel numbers on fillup against what I think the fuel burn is based on my EGT settings when running LOP.


There were a few pop-up thunderstorms along my route - nothing to really be concerned with.


This first cell I encountered had an interesting diagonal funnel formation just north of Gettysburg, PA.


The cloud cover was quite nice to give me a break from the sun at 3,500'.




Heading through the mountains of PA, I found a hole and climbed up to 8,500'. While at 3,500' I could of easily scooted above all obstacles, South West PA is relatively inhabitable and not a great place to plan an emergency landing.


The views and temps (63 degrees) were much more pleasant up at altitude.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:52 PM
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Default Day 1 (continued)









The clouds broke just as I neared Cleveland and I touched down at Lorain County Airport (KLPR) right around 6:35pm. By the time I tied down, gassed up and unloaded my night bag, my buddy (who is notoriously late) arrived just as I was walking off the ramp. Perfect timing!! We enjoyed a fun night of vinyl records, Mexican food and delicious margaritas. Great first leg out to Osh!
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:53 PM
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Default Day 2

I woke up early today to see what the weather was doing. Ugh - rain was about the hit Cleveland, and there was another system behind it passing over Chicago currently. This could be an interesting trip.


By 12:30pm the storms had passed Cleveland, and the storm over Chicago had quickly dissipated. It was time to blast off to Tyler Memorial (3TR) for some cheap gas before heading to Osh.


There was a scattered layer at 1,500' just to the west of Cleveland.


The layer quickly dissipated. as I approached the southwest and of Lake Erie.


I had a pretty strong headwind - 17 kts on the nose at 2,500'. I decided to stay low.



Hey, look who I met up with - Captain John and his "Aluminum Mistress". CJ was also staying the night in Cleveland with his cousin. We met up in the air about 30nm from 3TR.


Tyler Memorial (3TR) had a cheapest gas I've seen in a while - $3.52/g!


The place was DEAD. CJ and I thought the weather to our east was going to keep a lot of pilots from going to Oshkosh today, and it should be a walk in the park for us to arrive.


Tyler's FBO was quite nice. Leather recliner chairs. free water and snacks. It was a great stop.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:53 PM
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Default Day 2 (continued)

Off we went again - our route was to scoot over the lake along the shoreline, stay outside of Gary, IN class D and Chicago airspace, then shoot right to RIPON for the arrival procedure.




The winds aloft died down significantly as we crossed over the lake.


CJ with downtown Chicago in the background.




Ah Wisconsin - finally getting close. the clouds dropped as we headed north.


Hmmm...well so much for my theory of minimal traffic going into Oshkosh today. My ADS-B traffic was lit up like a Christmas tree!




Just as CJ and I were about to start the approach to the RIPON intersection (we were 5 miles south), we heard on the approach frequency that all aircraft who haven't approached RIPON should start doing counterclockwise turns at their current location. The approach would be closed for approximately 30 minutes to accommodate a mass Bonanza arrival of 100-150 airplanes. Green Lake's holding pattern was full, and CJ and I didn't feel like doing circles - so we headed due west for 15 minutes, and then we would turn around and head east for 15 minutes to join up with our original route.


When they opened up the approach again, it was pure mayhem. Hundreds of airplanes were headed directly for the town of Ripon. CJ and I found some space to get in line before Ripon - however, it was TIGHT. The plane in front of me started to slow down to 70 kts. A highwing passed 50' under me. I could tell CJ had enough as he pealed off. I stuck with it a little longer, and then the controllers told everyone to peel off and rejoin at Ripon due to too many airplanes being between RIPON and FISK. I came back around and found a nice hole to rejoin at RIPON. No sooner was I following the tracks when someone was flying DIRECTLY TOWARDS ME, the opposite direction of everyone else - maybe 100' below me. The approach this time was much better in terms of spacing. The controllers were doing a good job of peeling everyone off between 27 and 36. However, before I got to FISK, they stopped doing 27 approaches and everyone was to land 36. On the base for 36 everyone was very SLOW. I was down to 65 kts. The controller for 36 couldn't keep up with all of the traffic. For some reason, everyone was landing 36R even though there was no specific instruction given. I looked left and right and didn't see anyone for the 36L approach, so I took it. I landed long and rolled off the end of it. I wasn't about to put myself in danger with the cluster that was happening on 36R.

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  #5  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:54 PM
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Default Day 2 (continued)

The new version of Garmin Pilot has a great tracing feature on it. You can fully see the path I took to arrive at Oshkosh. This was definitely the most crazy approaches and dangerous I have experienced flying into Oshkosh.


You know you're at Oshkosh when your oil temps are SCREAMING!


Finally here, and I ended up taxiing right behind CJ. We had a great parking spot this year close to the show and the showers, with the privacy of a drainage ditch behind it. Definitely the best parking spot I've ever had in Homebuilt Camping (HBC). Let the fun begin!!
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:54 PM
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Default Day 3

The weather on the Sunday before the show started was perfect - a nice overcast layer and the temps were in the 70's. It was nice to talk around the grounds before the public was allowed in.


Walked by the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. It is the first rocket to ascend above the Karman line and successfully return to Earth for a vertical landing.


Not much free time was had today as I was hosting the Second Annual Oshkosh HBC Beer Tasting. The amount of people and beer this year was overwhelming. Easily 250 people. We needed to get creative with containers to keep beer cold in. We even needed to resort to thick plastic garbage bags.



I had an outstanding group of volunteers who really made this possible to be a success. Rob Schroer came back to help out for a second year.


Frank "Knarf" Smidler helped out also with setup.


Paul McCurdy really saved the day. He saw we would be short on beer containers and flagged down the EAA "Pope-mobile" to get a ride over to North-40 to grab some bins from Target. Thanks Paul!!!!


Does anyone here look like they are having fun?


Finally, time for me to enjoy one!


Beer from all over the world made an appearance here. Castle Lager courtesy of Arie from South Africa.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:55 PM
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Default Day 3 (continued)

Not too impressed with the Steel Reserve. This is a CRAFT beer event...not **** beer. Some people will bring anything to get in the door - 80/20 rule proves to persist even at the HBC beer tasting.


My good friend Jim Buechler always steels beer from my at SNF and other Osh's....finally I get even!


Jim brought a "Bad Hombre" beer from Independent Brewing Company of Bel Air, MD for me - his "Bad Hombre"!


With all of the work out of the way and the party on autopilot, all of us volunteers and coordinators were having a lot of fun.


And so was everyone else!










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  #8  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:56 PM
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Default Day 3 (continued)

The last remaining item to tackle after we ran out of beer was cleanup. Captain John's domestic capabilities really shined!


My event also made front-page news on VAF. Thanks to all of the volunteers and Jerry Fischer to make this event happen! Looking forward to next year!!
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:57 PM
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Default Day 4

Today was the opening day of Oshkosh. I didn't really have anything I particularly wanted to see at the show. This year was more about hanging out with the friends who I have made over the years at Oshkosh.

CJ and I stopped in to Vertical Power to visit Chad and Jeff. They showed off their new integration of the VPX and the iLevel3 EFIS running on an iPad.


One of the neatest homebuilt aircraft on display at Oshkosh was from a South African company - Whisper Aircraft.


They had some unbelievable speed claims - 200 MPH running at 75% power on a IO-360.


The interior was very nice. Center stick. lots of baggage room and extremely comfortable to sit it.


It was tough to get CJ out of the airplane!


This airplane not only made CJ and me smile...but also the sky


A lot of thought was put into the design of the Whisper. The wheelpants even had nice doors on them for checking tire pressure. I hope the best for this company and their current ramping up to enter into sales in North America. Once the company proves to be successful and sustainable, I could easily see myself building one of these sexy speed daemons!




Ran into the guys behind Flight Outfitters bags. They especially enjoyed some of my stories of their bags. Their products are made well, designed smartly and are super durable.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2017, 09:58 PM
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Default Day 4 (continued)

Ran into Jim at Champion Aero and let him know how good his seminar was on Slick Magnetos last year. If you own a set of Slick's, make sure you catch his seminar. He is an excellent technical speaker.


B-1B Bomber in Aeroshell Square.


CJ and I enjoying a peaceful picnic in Alaska. Nothing out of the ordinary here...


Next up was the "Beer Fairy" Monday night event.


Got to meet Van finally and chat briefly with him. What an honor. Meeting him was by far the highlight of my show.


Ran into my friend Ulf from Sweden. Years ago he stopped by my homebase and we went for a ride in my RV.


My buddies Brian and his wife Shantel.






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