Previous: Horizontal Stabilizer
7/23/06 - 7/30/06 - Oshkosh
For our trip to Oshkosh we left home at around 5:30am. Whataburger was the only restaurant we knew would be open at that early time, so we stopped there and grabbed a Breakfast Burrito. Yummy. That put us at the McKinney airport at around 6:10am. It was still dark, but not for long.
We pulled the planes out of the hangar and made another preflight. I had already checked everything out the night before, so there wasn't much to do but re-check a few things. All of our baggage totaled to just over 100 pounds, and really that's all that will fit in the back of the -9A anyways. We put a cooler up on the floorboard between us, and we were set to go.
This was my friend Todd's longest flight ever, and I thought it would be good for us to travel together for safety purposes. Also I thought it would make his wife feel more at ease about him making the trip if he had another plane to fly with. I had created a flight plan to account for his speed and range, which is about 110mph and 3 hours. I put this in the GPS about a week before the flight and for the past few days we both had watched the weather pretty carefully. There was a cold front coming down through the midwest and if everything held we would be able to depart just after it passed us.
Come to find out that the storm had dissipated, but only after causing some major trouble in St. Louis, MO. There were apparently some tornadoes that knocked out power to a large portion of that area.
At around 6:45am we headed out to runway 35. We had determined ahead of time that I would lead, so we did a run-up and then I called tower and we departed as a flight of two. As soon as we were up and out of McKinney airspace I called and got a squawk code from ATC for flight following. I managed flight following just about the whole way up. It was a bit of a juggling act to talk to ATC and to Todd at the same time, but the Garmin SL40 really was handy to have replica omega, since it has the monitor feature. I was able to listen to two frequencies at once without much trouble.
Todd's plane is nice, but it is slower than mine by a large margin, so it took me a while to figure out a speed that I could fly where I wouldn't leave him behind. At least once I had to do a 360 to let him catch up to me. I finally figured out that I could set the RPM to about 1900 and that would be just about right. At that RPM I could fly at around 105mph. The GRT EFIS calculated that I was at about 35% power, burning about 5.5 gph. Based on previous "slow" flights at 50% power, I found that I was burning more fuel at this speed than if I were to fly at about 130mph. Also, I noticed that the "ball" was out to the right for the whole trip. I guess I was at a higher angle of attack than normal. The bottom line is that the Lycoming purred like a kitten and didn't complain at all. I monitored the temps and everything stayed in the green.
As we departed TKI airspace I heard Tom Moore on the radio as he prepared to depart. Within 30 minutes he had passed us, but then he realized he had forgotten something back at the airport, so he had to turn back. Later, he passed us again, and since he only needed to make one stop, he arrived at Oshkosh several hours ahead of us. We talked to him occasionally on 122.75, so we knew he was up there, but we never saw him until we got to our destination. He ended up camping 3 planes down from me.
Our first stop was Neosho, Missouri (KEOS). I picked this airport because it was the right distance for Todd to be able to fly safely, and because they had cheap fuel. Sure enough, the fuel was cheap, about $3.35 per gallon. As we landed we were quickly surrounded by a half-dozen people who helped us fuel up. They were mostly RVers who asked us about our planes and about our trip. There was a man and lady who were married and are building an RV-6. They saw our AirGizmos caps and asked if we were AirGizmos. Yes. They then said they had bought one of our mounts for their 196 and they were working on their panel. They also asked if we were going to the RV BBQ at AirVenture, since they were planning to fly up a few days later.
We departed Neosho at around 10am, I think. I let Todd go first so I could fly behind him a while. We flew up to 7500 feet. There was a pretty good headwind all morning, but now it turned into a rolex replica crosswind and we seemed to pick up a little speed. I handed the controls to my son, Tim, and I let him fly the plane for about an hour. I just told him to stay behind Todd, but other than that he could do what he wanted. Since we were under our maneuvering speed, he could really get a feel for the plane and make some good turns and such. Even doing this we had no trouble keeping up with Todd, but Todd was wondering what we were doing back there. I told him we were using him as target practice.
Our second stop was at Keokuk, Iowa (KEOK). It's right on the Mississippi River, and I chose it just because it was the right distance from the first stop. As I was landing I noticed a large number of airplanes on the ramp. Hmm. They all appear to be really nice, vintage aircraft. Oh, and all of the hangar doors were open, and there were people walking around. Hey, they're having a fly-in! So, Todd and I taxi up to the fuel pump and immediately there are crowds around our planes, as if we had come for the fly-in. So, it took us a while to answer questions and to get gas hublot replica. It was a nice airport and a nice little fly-in. I would have enjoyed just going around and looking at the planes, but we had bigger plans today. The bathrooms were crowded so it took a while there too. Finally we departed at around 1pm.
We tried to climb up to 7500 feet, but the clouds were starting to accumulate and so eventually we had to descend. At this point the Garmin 396 with the XM Weather really paid for itself. I started noticing several storm cells that were moving towards our flight path. These storms were small, but we didn't want to get into any of them, so I had Todd just follow me and I navigated around them. We did really well avoiding the storms. At one point I had turned to the east to get around one storm and then we turned back to the north to go between two storms. Sure enough, we ended up flying between two rain showers. They were like columns in the sky. In between them was calm, and we only got a few drops on the windshield as we passed through. Once we were on the other side of the storm we were over our last airport, which was only about 50 miles from Oshkosh, so we decided to continue all the way in rolex replica.
ATC had dropped our flight following around the Quad Cities area, which was probably for the best because we were negotiating the storms. As we approached Ripon, we still hadn't seen any airplanes. We were at 1800' and 95 knots. Finally just as we were turning towards the railroad tracks, I noticed a Piper Cherokee ahead and to our left, so I got behind him as we all followed the railroad tracks to Fiske. The controller assigned us to runway 9, which is probably the easiest approach of all because it is just about straight in. I was told to land on the white dot, and Todd was told to land on the numbers. I told Tim to take pictures. Before I knew it we were on the ground. We did it.
As we started to taxi we were told that we would have to wait for the Mooney mass arrival. This was about 40 Mooneys that had landed on 35R just as we were landing, and they were crossing where we needed to taxi. So we waited probably 15 minutes while all of these planes passed in front of us. I thought that it would be cool to have an RV mass arrival, but that would probably shut down the airport for the whole day. :-)
We were finally directed to the Homebuilt Camping area, and we were placed on the second row of planes. I guess the earlier you arrive, the farther away you have to park. No worries. At least we're here.
The homebuilt camping area is just one of the many camping spaces at AirVenture. Below is a panoramic animation of just this part of AirVenture. See if you can pick out my campsite!