Oshkosh Trip Report 2002

by Paul A. Rosales

Hello all! I’m finally able to get a report together for our trip to OSHKOSH 2002 :-) Victoria & I departed Rosamond (Airport Identifier: L00) on Friday morning (July 19th) towards Holbrook (P14), AZ for our first fuel stop, just shy of 3 hours flight. Enroute, we flew near Meteor Crater and avoided a TFR for the HUGE wildfire near Show Low and the Mogollon Rim, AZ.

We continued east about 2.5 hours to Dalhart (DHT) on the Texas panhandle for fuel and an EXCELLENT lunch at the little (6 booths, 6 stool) cafe-diner on-field. We visited with the owner of Ingram Flying Service, Mr. Imgram himself - a good 'ol boy!

We finished the day with another 2 hours to Cleveland (95F), OK not far from Tulsa where we had a great dinner then spent the night at the home of my adopted Step Dad, Bob Kneip. Saturday, after fueling for $1.70/gallon, we departed from Cleveland under clear skies towards West Virginia (we'll get to OSH eventually) to visit with a friend and RV-6 builder Rick Gray. We landed about 2.5 hours later at Harrisburg-Raleigh (HSB), Illinois for fuel then 2.5 hours more to Ashland-Boyd County (DWU), KY. I really didn't need to stop for fuel in Kentucky but Kentucky was 'missing' from our list of ‘pin in the map’ states! 30 minutes later we were on the ground at Parkersburg (PKB), WV which lies southeast of Columbus, OH. Those last three hours out of HSB were spent at 7500' meandering around and 'round scattered cumulous clouds, VERY beautiful and FUN! Rick greeted us upon arrival at PKB, and we checked out his plane that was just moved to the airport. Rick is building an AWESOME RV-6, and he just flew his first flight on August 7th! Dinner and a movie at his house rounded out the day! Sunday morning, we flew east 30 minutes to Garrett (2G4) Airport, MD (needed a pin in the map for Maryland) then 30 minutes towards Pittsburgh to Rostraver (P53), PA (another pin). Rostraver is home to our RV-6 friend Gary Sobek. From there 2.5 hours west to Versailles (VES), OH near Dayton (our life is now pins in a map!) for fuel.

We then continued on to DuPage (DPA), IL (2.5 hours) which lies under Chicago Class B, just west of troubled Meigs field (CGX - I had the chance to land at Meigs last Christmas). This was about a 6 flight-hour day, which is just about right for Victoria and I: 6 hours on the hobbs ends up being about an 8-hour day. We spent the night at the home of a couple whose wedding Victoria and I were both in (her best friend married a friend of mine). Victoria and I met each other at their rehearsal dinner back in 1978, and it was great seeing them again! Monday morning we were off from DuPage for Monroe (EFT), WI for fuel then on to get map pins for Waukon (Y01), IA and Houston (CHU), MN, about 2 hours flight time. From there it was 20 minutes to Boscobel (OVS), WI to meet up with 3 RVs from the SoCAL Wing of Van’s Air Force. There, we fueled and briefed our arrival to the famous town of RIPON! The 1-hour flight towards RIPON was uneventful, and it wasn't until we were minutes out that we saw our first planes. We were in trail at that time following leader Gary Sobek, and he got us 'in line' to FISK from RIPON without running into anyone! The controllers were not as 'formal' as I remember from the last time, and as a result, we ended up doing a 360 for spacing then back inbound from FISK for the Purple arrival to RWY 27 at Oshkosh. The controllers had us about a mile out over the lake before having us turn inbound to RWY 27 to land; lots of water out that way! FINALLY I hear "White/green GLASAIR out over the lake, turn inbound for final!" Ok, I'll be a Glasair that far out!

We landed on the green dot and parked front-and-center with other 1000-hour homebuilts, east of the control tower near ‘Homebuilder HQ’ on the main flightline. The hobbs showed about 22 hours flight time since we left home.

We ran into Greg Scates (Thundergull Ultralight Pilot) from Rosamond Skypark shortly after arriving. Greg had flown in commercially and was ‘solo’ so we hung out together as we did at Golden West two years ago. The week at OSH went by VERY fast, and we had a great time seeing it this time! During our first trip to OSH in 2000, we spent 5 days sitting with our plane talking about it (my first flight was 20 days earlier). We really did enjoy the visiting then, however, we did not SEE much of OSH in 2000! We made up for that this year! First things first: We found the famous 'sign' and had our picture taken:

We saw what seemed like a million planes and booths, and I ended up buying a replacement GPS (our screen is wearing out!) as well as a nice ICOM A-5 handheld radio (been wanting one for awhile). We still missed getting over to the Seaplane base, maybe in 2004 as we are hoping to make a trip to the Bahamas in 2003! With MANY thanks to Chapter 49er Herb Carlson and his sons Laine/Landon, we camped VERY nearby in the back of a private residence where Herb has been tent-camping for the last 25 years or so! Camping with the friends like the Carlsons was a whole lot of fun and hope to do it again! It was about a 5-minute walk to the plane, and for anyone who has camped at OSH, you know a 5-minute walk from camping to the Tower is unheard of! Food-wise, I bought 2 styrofoam ice-chests (one for the plane, one for the tent) from the local Wal-Mart that we restocked every night with ice/water/food from the local market (those prices I could afford). I just couldn’t bring myself to spending $5 for 2 donuts and milk, $5 for a coke and a hot dog etc! Victoria had packed power bars for breakfast, tuna/chicken ‘lunchables’ for lunch, and every night, Greg drove us into town for a nice dinner. Food prices at OSH are horrendous to say the least so we kept our on-site EAA food costs to a minimum. I can’t imagine how much it costs to feed a family of 4 three times a day for a week at OSH! As for airplanes, having recently received my ‘FAA blessed’ formation flying card for wingman, I was able to fly in FAA-waivered airspace as part of a 30-ship RV formation honoring Van's 30th anniversary on Thursday. Our 30-ship turned into a 24-ship with 6 VANish 'stealth' aircraft....it all worked out great even though the 6-ship from the east coast couldn’t make it! The ‘Showcase’ Chairman approached me after the Van's flight to participate with a bunch of other different types of aircraft to ‘present’ them to the public (EAA IS about experimental planes!) The Friday ‘Showcase' was basically two passes around the pattern while the announcer talked about your plane (you do the writeup for the announcer beforehand). Another chance to fly at OSH :-) The planes were all spaced out with the faster ones going first, and the next plane was not launched until the first plane is turning crosswind. I was told that I would not see any of the planes in front of me once I took off, and they were right. The pattern flown was a ‘corkscrew’ pattern, which kept us single file and safe. It was fun though I was disappointed that Victoria could not join me for either flight! We departed OSH Saturday morning westbound as weather prevented us from heading south to Kansas City where we had planned to overnight with friends. We ended up 3 hours later near Omaha, NE at Fremont (FET) airport after spending an hour of that VFR on top as Iowa was completely overcast. We had lunch in Fremont at 'Whiskey Creek' after being handed the keys to the airport car (I love those airport cars!) We then continued on 3 more hours to Colorado Springs landing at Meadow Lake (00V) airport. We stayed the night with Chapter 49er Tony Ginn’s brother and sister-in-law: Scott & Diana Ginn. We’d seen Scott and his son at OSH just a few days before, and he mentioned that we could stop in to his home near Colorado Springs ‘anytime’. Well, ‘anytime’ ended being a few days later as we hadn’t planned on a weather diversion. Scott and Diana treated us to something that I’d never been to before: A Hawaiian Luau!!! We had the best time enjoying a GREAT evening of food, song and dance! Sunday morning, we departed south towards Pueblo then west through Monarch Pass over Gunnison and into Montrose (MTJ), CO for fuel, about 2 hours flight. From there, we spent 3 hours flying west, southwest over Lake Powell and Lake Mead into North Las Vegas (VGT) airport via the 'Showboat' arrival, cleared through Class B.

We had a nice lunch at the Cafe that overlooks the field then headed the last hour home towards Daggett (DAG), CA and into Rosamond. Total trip time on the hobbs including the flights at OSH was 36.1 hours burning 4 quarts of oil. Average fuel burn was 8.1 gallons, and the plane ran beautifully! Our travel map of the USA (thanks for the idea Tony!) now has pins for 42 states with landings at over 300 airports, all in a plane that we built in our garage at home! Many thanks again for all the help we received from EAA Chapter 49 while building our plane!!!! I hope that all of you building a plane make it to OSH at least once in the plane YOU BUILT as it's a feeling that can't be put into words!!!!!!

Keep poundin' them rivets as it’s all worth it!!!! Paul & Victoria

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