Archive for August, 2007

Oh my gosh – Oshkosh

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007


Just returned from the ‘world’s greatest’ General Aviation event – Air Adventure 2007, known as Oshkosh ‘cos that’s where it’s held. UK-based friend and colleague Rodger made a US visit to accompany me (I’d been pestering him for years to do so).

We departed N57 Thursday in the Cirrus, IFR, headed west through rain showers, past Cleveland and Detroit, across Lake Eire through Canadian airspace, and stopped-over for fuel and bladder relief at Muskegon. Appleton – our destination across Lake Michigan – was weathered-in but the bad stuff was tracking south so we stayed on the east side of the lake, flew IFR up north to Manistee, then across the great lake towards Green Bay. We diverted to our destination – Appleton – as the weather cleared, per our revised plan. Great flight. We joined a whole gaggle of aircraft and pilots on the ground at  Appleton, all going to the Oshkosh show.

Red Barron Line-Up.jpg
The air show, Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday was just great with aerobatics by both teams and singles. The weather improved each day, with Saturday being stunningly beautiful – the blue skies being the perfect backcloth for all the action. The C-17 Globemaster reversing down the runway under it’s own power was a highlight for me, the display of power was just awesome. The B-2 Stealth Bomber made several passes, each quiet and sinister. The F-22 Raptor was the opposite – intentionally noisy and in-yer-face brute force. The WW2 fleets of aircraft flying in formation at different altitudes was stunning.

We both made the required purchases of aviation must-have’s, and some trivia from the numerous aviation stands.
The return flight was as challenging (but as enjoyable) as the outgoing trip. We flew VFR then IFR, with ugly weather at our home-base showing up on our Cirrus displays. We put-down in Franklyn PA for fuel and lunch.

Departing Franklyn IFR we’d worked up several options if we couldn’t get into N57 due to the string of thunderstorms showing on the NexRad in the Cirrus. Flying around heavy cells was favoured and supported by ATC. By the time we reached Harrisburg the weather was clearing. I canceled IFR at Lancaster after getting below the cloud-base, then flew VFR into N57 with 1700ft ceilings.

A great experience, a great airplane and great company – my pal Rodger.

Trip photo’s here