Sunday, August 10, 2014

July 26th: "Cleared to land runway 27, green dot..."

I wound up waking up way before my alarm the next morning, so I had plenty of time to check the weather before we left the hotel. There was an area of marginal VFR to the north but it looked like it was already clearing up, so we checked out of the hotel, drove back to the airport, and preflighted. The marginal VFR area eventually lifted to about 2400' and we were off!

The beautiful ceiling and visibility that morning. Not the best, but it was still VFR.

We flew up to OSH at 2200', which made it really easy to dip down to 1800' for the arrival over RIPON. I figured we'd start to see lots of planes since we got off the ground a bit later than I had planned, but I guess everyone was scared off by the weather...we only saw three other planes the whole time! I saw one plane near RIPON, so I fell in trail about a mile behind him. It was so slow that the controllers were getting chatty, offering everyone their choice of runway and often asking where they were flying in from and what kind of plane they had. It was a lot different from the last time I flew in, which was much busier! The controller offered us our choice of runway, too, so I picked 27 since that was closer to where we'd be parking and would cut down our taxi time.

Hello, Oshkosh! Entering the right downwind for runway 27. We were the only ones in the pattern since the plane in front of us chose runway 36. The tower told us to base abeam the numbers and cleared us to land on the green dot. So easy!

Looking south. You can already see some of the bigger exhibits setting up just behind the strut (and you can see the green dot just behind the strut, too).

Final for runway 27. You can see the other North 40 earlybirds parked on the left side of the runway; by the end of the day on Sunday those planes stretched all around the end of the runway and over to the other side!

'don't land early, don't land early...'

After one of the more unstable approaches I've flown in a long time (which was partly from slightly overshooting my downwind to base turn - oops), I plopped down just past the green dot and taxied into the grass on the left side, where we were marshaled into our spot. We made it! We pushed the plane back into our spot, said hello to our neighbors, and started setting up camp.

It is totally different being able to camp with my own plane instead of a rental!   :)

We grabbed some lunch, registered our camping spot, then grabbed our camp chairs and Dave's handheld com radio and plopped ourselves down along the flight line to watch the fun. The weather had lifted a bit and the arrivals started flooding in. 

The volunteers do an awesome job getting everyone pointed in the right direction.

There are at least six planes on base and/or final in this picture. It was pretty fun to watch the tower cram them all in.

The Cessna mass arrival showed up about the same time as one of the sketchier landing setups. That jet was cleared to land on the orange dot or the numbers (I forget which), and that low wing was cleared to land on the green dot. 

I don't know how that jet didn't eat the low wing for breakfast! And with where the tower had the low wing turn base, it's likely that he never knew the jet was so close.

A Cessna 340 with a rubber chicken painted on the side. I Googled this and it was registered to Rubber Chicken Airlines.

The winds started to pick up as the day went on, which made me feel bad for the people flying taildraggers. This Stearman pilot got his butt kicked pretty good and saved it from a ground loop at the last minute.

I liked how the green dot was reflected on the bottom of some of the planes.

I have no idea what this plane is, but the landing gear was crazy! It had one main gear, a smaller tailwheel, then two tiny wheels on stalks that came down from the wings. I bet that was fun to land.

The clouds eventually cleared out and it turned into a gorgeous day. 

This was one of my favorite paint jobs from the day...I really liked both the colors and the design. I'm saving this for future reference!

Dave and I spent most of the day watching arrivals, then eventually went to grab dinner at the North 40 cafe only to find they'd already closed. Since we'd eaten a late lunch it wasn't that big a deal; we figured we'd just go to bed early and get an early start the next day. We were sitting in our chairs, under the wing of the plane, when an SUV pulled up in front of our spot and two people got out. It was my buddy Ken from HWY! He was there with his buddy Dave (who lives in NM), and they were just heading out for dinner. We tagged along and wound up having a great dinner (including cheese curds, which are AMAZING), then went over to Ardy & Ed's (a drive in restaurant that's apparently a classic Oshkosh stop) and closed the place down with some of the Bonanzas to Oshkosh guys. We wound up having a really good time and didn't get back to the tent until 11pm. Oops! Oh well, it's not like we had anyplace to be the next morning since we were already living at the airport and the airshow didn't officially start for another whole day.   :)

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