Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Flight to Oshkosh 2016

I was probably about fourteen years old when I first heard about it. Oshkosh. My Mom thought it had something to do with kid's clothes. I had made myself a promise that some year I would fly there in my own airplane. However life gets in the way sometimes and while I always intended to keep my promise, I never thought it would take me fifty years. Never, ever in all that time did I think there would be a bonus, that my son would make the trip with me.
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sunday 7/24: After a breakfast at WaWa we drove out to the airport to begin the preflight. Weight is always a concern when flying an LSA. We eliminated all non-essential bags, clutter, plugs an covers. We kept the pitot static cover, a bottle of oil, tie down ropes and the "Claw" tie down hooks. We opted for a can of canopy cleaner and a few rags. All of that went into the left wing locker. My small travel bag went into the right wing locker. Nate's clothing was in a small backpack and went into the space behind the seats with a small box of snacks. We would fly with about 20 gallons of fuel, my "bingo" target is 6 gallons (3 on each side). Fuel burn is less than 6 gal/hr. 

KVDF: We took off about 0730. Weather was not a factor. Light headwinds.

KTMA: En route we practiced a few standard rate turns, discussed IFR terminology and reviewed some approach charts. Nate did his first ILS. We took off about 1030. Weather was not a factor. Light headwinds.

KRYY: More IFR discussions including the different types of approach procedures and memory aids (6T's). Clouds had turned from few to scattered to broken and the bottoms were dropping to 3500'. We asked for clearance through the Class B and were granted but at 4500'. Instead we flew under the "shelf" to the west of Atlanta and enjoyed seeing familiar terrain and landmarks.  The area around the airport has changed significantly with a longer runway and many new buildings. I had biscuits and gravy at the Elevation Chophouse and Skybar, he had some kind of healthy salad. We took off about 1300. Weather was becoming a factor with Cumulus building in all sectors. 8-10kt headwinds.

KBWG: We climbed out to the north and looked for ways to fly around the build ups. We asked for 4500' the 6500' and finally 8500'. That seemed to be a good level so we stayed there and set up for cruise. Surprisingly smooth air and the GPS reported "LT" winds on the nose. Nate tried on the "Foggles" and we discussed "Power + Pitch = Performance". I occasionally gave him heading changes to avoid the clouds building in front of us. XM weather began showing some yellow and red cells off in the distance, and ATC was getting busy diverting the commercial jets around the weather. We began a descent just north of Chattanooga to get beneath the cloud decks. 3500' worked out fine as we had a much better view of the heavy rain to see and avoid. Nate took the Foggles off and made a nice transition for the visual approach into Bowling Green. Just a fuel stop. We took off about 1600. The CU's were still in the area but becoming more scattered as they dissipated. 12-14kt headwinds.

KDNV: We still had some cells to avoid but the storms were becoming a non factor. Headwinds picked up to 20-24kts but still smooth air. My fuel checks weren't looking good. We could make our overnight destination but it would be tight. Already tired from a long day of flying, it was not a good time to question my personal limits on fuel remaining so we scheduled an intermediate stop. As we pulled a line captain said that there was a problem with the fuel truck and would take him a few minutes to get it fixed. (Oh no, this could be awhile.) But he fixed it quickly and we were ready to go. "Want to see something cool?" He took us into a hangar to show us the wing skin of a BF109 recently pulled out of a Russian lake. FLAC holes still evident, he explained that this is the home of a restoration company. He took us into another hangar with a magnificent P51 being restored with amazing detail. My first P51 of the trip! These are the kinds of stops that make GA amazing. We took off about 1900, weather was not a factor. 8-10kts headwind.

KIKK:  Uneventful trip at 2500'. Very hazy summertime weather and there were storms predicted for the evening. We secured Sally, borrowed the crew car and went to the Holiday Inn Express.

Monday 7/25: We arrived at the airport just as they opened at 0700. Nate pointed out that the nose tire was a bit low so we ordered an air bottle. I leaned on the tail so he could rotate the tire stem into the tiny notch on the wheel pant. It only need a few pounds, but that could make a big difference taxiing on the campsite turf at Oshkosh. We took off by 0800. Weather was not a factor. Strong headwinds at 22-26kts.


Video Notes : Fon Du Lac Adventure


Cleared to Land

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