It is now a short flight to the transition starting point for the arrival into Oshkosh
I have, against the promulged advice in the Notice, programmed all the waypoints of the route into both of my iPads. The philosophy of the Notice is to spend a maximum time looking outside, which I can fully agree with… but having to look inside to compare the routing on the chart with the outside view of an unknown countryside does not work too well on a track that is supposed to be precisely flown… far better have the autopilot (named Dan in this case) fly the transition, with only very quick glimpses inside to verify one’s accuracy.
What am I saying anyway, aviation shows not lack of experts, all levels confounded
Excerpt of the 32 pages (…) long NOTICE, and the Homebuilt Camping sign to show to the marshalers
It is the beginning of the afternoon, and luckily not too busy. The procedure is to listen to the ATIS, then pick-up and follow an aircraft ahead of yourself, and fly the whole route at a miserly slow 90kts whilst maintaining 1’800ft… were I to fly the approach again, I would certainly use the 2nd offer of 135kts at 2’300ft labelled as if needed for safety of flight…
Approaching the first point I spot a few other airplanes converging, and pick the one closest to my position. Snailing behind my hi wing reference aircraft, my ADSB detects a rapidly approaching boogie in my 6… so just as the collision warning awakes, I make a sharp S turn and spot a yellow RV type aircraft too close for comfort. It’s pilot, certainly following the same hi wing reference as myself probably and not having seen me, now rapidly increase separation
The talk on the frequency is surprising to say the least. Some pilots are not aware of the NOTICE, others ask ATC to explain the whole procedure on a “no talk” approach, whilst others bitch at each other, brilliant.
The wind is given as westerly, 15-17 knots. Runway assignment is done approaching the famous Fisk. The high wing type in front of me gets 27, the attacker behind me 27. “Red RV turn right at Fisk, follow East-West road runway 36L”
My request for 27 meets firm disapproval twice, so I continue for 36L to “land after the purple dot” as a landing demo for the crowd that is avidly watching
Can’t say I’m positively impressed by the whole experience…
Just about to turn finals 36L
I now taxi to the Homebuilt Area Camping. There are already what must be 300+ aircraft, and hundreds of pitched up tents on the ground. On Thursday afternoon, for an event starting officially on Monday!
The EAA volunteers have not yet all arrived, but thanks to my previous visits I easily find HBC and park next to same of kin aircraft
I meet the neighbours, set up camp, and go register my arrival. I’m a Lifetime Member of the EAA, but find the $469 I have to shell out for the week pretty steep. The camping nite retailing for $30 a nite, and minimum charge is 3 nites. Still, I will get a good refund since I will only camp tonite.
Ed, one of the cohorts of fantastic EAA volunteers, drives me and some of my colleagues to the “Red Barn”, where we can provision on food… and beer
YLL at KOSH
Day 33 – 39
Sem período de voo
On the next day I meet some other travellers, Argentinians Tintin and Guille, all the way from southern South America in their RV-7. They went as far up as Alaska, so our paths must have somehow crossed. We befriend readily, and I help them set up for a 100h inspection at the Emergency Repair Booth, another great Oshkosh idea and place, run, as always, by volunteers.
For anyone interested in their adventures, please have a look at their website under Patagonia Alaska
New found friends Tintin and Guille posing in front of their RV-7 “CORRECAMINOS”
As they perform their maintenance, the loudspeaker gives out a weather warning for the end of the afternoon, probable severe thunderstorms with strong winds and rain, and possible hail… A quick check on the amazing Windy app confirms the incoming squall line. As Tintin and Guille move from their previous parking spot to a more shaded by trees area, I decide to do the same. Our new spot is bordered by trees on the West and South side, so the airplanes should now be better protected from the elements.
Repositioned in anticipation of forecast storms
Well, camping is really survival for me… and I’m happy to meet my “Watchdog” Mickey on the grounds, as we will be sharing a room in the dorms for the remainder of my stay here… hey Mickey thanks for the hospitality!
The storms hit pretty hard in the evening, as we are enjoying Mexican food in town.
I’m kinda resigned, YLL is solidly tied down thanks to the Big Screw tie-downs purchased this very morning, and in a shaded area. Hail or other flying objects remain as worries…
Next morning comes:
Seeing some of the damaged airplanes and tents is a sad sight…
Yep, this is aluminum… one of the many damaged rudders around… the gust lock lets go in the heavy gusts and the rudder slams into the elevators
I really fell sorry for the guys affected, go and meet most of them. So sad, flying in with your pride and joy, only to have it damaged before the show even officially starts… I’m lucky, YLL rode out the storms unscathed.
One of the thing which I don’t quit, even whilst at Oshkosh, is walking. The grounds are getting bigger by the year, and South 40’s aircraft parking has now extended South of the city limits, amazing.
There I briefly meet with fellow NAT German flyer Kathrin, who flew VFR in her Grumman AA-5 Traveler. Despite speaking the same language, the encounter is rather brief, pity.
The rest of my stay at AirVenture is more boring than anything else. Oshkosh has over the years become nothing else but a big cash cow. Pity. Priorities have shifted to political and commercial promotions, and the true homebuilder is slowly being left behind. For me Oshkosh has lost most of its shine in trade for fame and fortune.
“Watchdog” Mickey has applied as an EAA volunteer. He then participates in a course, and then nominated as a marshaler in the Antiques area. Pretty cool I think, respect
Mickey on his daily ride
I would like to take the oppurtunity to bow to the all the volunteers at AirVenture, you gals & guys, sacrfiying your vacations, make the show possible. You are the real spirits of Oshkosh!
Hey, YLL is being judged
The RV Banquet, alas sans beer but for the adventurous…
On the last day of my stay, Thursday Aug 28, I meet another NAT flyer, father and son team Salvo and Bruno, who flew across the pond on the same route as I did. In their recently completed and magnificient RV-7… departing as a 4 aircraft team, 3 French and 1 German, they are the only ones having made it.
KOSH Wittman – 2P2 Washington Island – 6Y3 North Fox Island – KSJX Beaver Island – CYAM Sault Ste Marie
Departure day. Finally. I realise now that I got real tired of Oshkosh, too much frenzy, too many people, too artificial.
I pack up my things, untie YLL, and bid farewell to my neighbours and friends, Canadian and Québécois.
The departure procedures are studied and memorised
In the run-up position, I love that picture, thanks Mickey!
One last look, so long AirVenture…
I’m sooo happy being back in the air, “free as a bird”
Rejoining and following Lake Michigan’s western shore, I’m once more dazzled by its size. More akin to sea than a lake really. Even the different hues of the water remind one more of salty waters.
The 1 hour flight is short, and the first stop, Washington Island, already in my sights
Grass runways, parachute activity. No facilities but for the restrooms, my ground stop is short.
Next island please
North of Washington Island, a fascinating scenery. Little islands, mostly covered by trees, seem to be floating on the water…
How about living on this one? South Fox Island
But my goal is North Fox Island. The briefing sheet shows some interesting features
Approaching the island I wonder if it’s the right one… the little jewel is covered by dense vegetation
And so it is only when I’m on the East side of North Fox Island that I finally see the runway, nestled in the hi trees of the jungle like forest
Bloody hell. What an incredible adventure. I hope there was some food among those trees