Oshkosh July 2014

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Jer/ had wanted to fly Redbird to Oshkosh and back, Bob said "yes go!". But then another friend Rick wanted Jer/, a CFI, to fly in with him since this was Rick's first time. And first flight into Oshkosh is certainly a bit intimidating! So Jer/ will be flying in with Rick.

Bob and Sue hadn't flown into Oshkosh since 1996. Several events conspired this year, including the passing of several friends, to make us remember life is short and work is long, and we should not wait yet another year to return to Oshkosh.

Bob talked with Jer/ about Bob flying Redbird to Oshkosh and Jer/ flying it back. Bob would catch a ride back with Rick... except that Rick wasn't returning till Friday and Bob would miss a Shakespeare play with tickets already bought at CU Boulder that night, and Sue was NOT happy about Bob going to Oshkosh for a week without her! So Sue talked to bosses at work who said yes we're in crisis mode, but we've been in crisis mode since before xmas, so yes we all need a break, go.

Plan became for Bob to fly Redbird out with an overnight at Aunt Alice near Des Moines, Sue follows next day, both planes stay at Oshkosh a few days, and both of us return in Sue's Cessna on Tuesday. Show starts Monday so we only get one day of full show, but get to watch (and help) with all the arrivals and show setup.

After an incredible amount of fun and Sue saying every 5 minutes "we MUST return next year and stay longer next year"... we departed Tuesday 11am, fuel stop Wayne NE ($5.00/gal fuel and very friendly!), but an hour from home XM weather kept showing huge HUGE storms from Denver north to nearly Cheyenne WY, east to Akron. We didn't see a way through, Flight Service agreed, so we debated stopping in Sidney NE or Cheyenne WY. Cheyenne is a military control tower, Sidney is a small non-towered airport. And Sidney has Cabela's for dinner, so Sidney won. Rich was wonderfully friendly, loaned us the courtesy car to head to Cabela's for a great elk sandwich dinner. Upon return radar still looked horrible so since we had camping gear we just stayed at the airport, comfy with sleeping bags and all the gear. Highly recommend Sidney!

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  Last fuel stop before Oshkosh - Portage WI C47. Pretty Globe Swift on the ramp. Fuel credit card machine is housed in a port-a-potty... though the port-a-potty roof blew off in a storm a while ago. At Portage, the typical advertisement board...

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  except in the top middle - Jer/ Eberhard from Ft Collins! Typical cluttered desk. Very friendly place! Redbird tied down at Portage. Bob walked into town for lunch while waiting for Sue to arrive. Road next to runway. Airport isn't far from town :-)

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  Grass in the tailwheel of a Stinson that flew in going to Oshkosh too, life is good. Sue and Marc arrive at Portage in 82H. A Breezy comes in for fuel. Notice the wheel pants for that extra knot of speed! Haha!

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  Solar panel runs the electrical system. Camping gear strapped in. Interesting paint job on this Sonex N157SX Unloading at Oshkosh! Friday 7pm arrival in row 91 of Vintage parking. Volunteers parking us were SO nice we asked how do we volunteer to help park tomorrow! Bob got in a few planes earlier, he's in row 90. Notice the "burn line" which lines up the front wheels of the parked planes.

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  View out of the tent Saturday morning. We're parked just south of the blue tower. One of the dreaded speaker towers that plays yodeling at 7am. Argh! Hate that damn thing. Our tent beside Redbird. Marc's tent is next to 82H. Yes a push mower and yes it was used. Our guess is that the planes being judged wanted everything around the plane to be clean and freshly mowed.

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  N182H at Oshkosh 2014. Redbird N89297 at Oshkosh 2014. Notice 82H behind Redbird. Saturday morning, still empty south of row 91. DC3 back around row 100. Lots of empty space - 2 more DC3's are supposed to arrive later. Saturday morning empty rows north of the DC3.

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  Huge expanses of empty space up front reserved for some reason. They later parked later arriving planes there. Vintage west of the road, mostly empty still. Flight Ops building looking north, lots of space for show planes yet. North-west of the Flight Ops building, a few Waco's and Staggerwings have arrived. Looking south from Flight Ops building, DC3 off in the distance, empty beyond (Saturday morning).

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  Lots of empty space on this "burn line", with spectators watching all the arrivals Saturday. "Magoo" intersection where planes taxi from runway 36 west across the road into the west parking area. We worked that area as crossing guards Sat pm. Sue taking photos. Marc taking photos. Zebra paint job

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  N224BC at Oshkosh 2014 Hard to tell but Vintage parking down by the DC3 is starting to fill up. Bob taking photos of past grand champions. Gorgeous!

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  Bonanza formation arrival. MANY Bonanzas on final, in formation. Just dots in the photo. Nice formation landings. World's Busiest Control Tower

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  HondaJet setup Saturday 4 motors, in case 3 isn't enough. 4x300hp=1200hp. Customs and Border Protection Landscaping going in around the temporary buildings. Vendors and Exhibitors setting up in Homebuilt area.

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  RV's and Delta wings. N18DW and N71AW Dyke Deltas at Oshkosh 2014. Van's tent with gorgeous RV's on display

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  Bede Corp Planes The James Bond Bede Jet Beautiful Bearhawk. Way cool paint job. "Bad News"

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  Bob and Marc. Warbird ramp is pretty empty still on Saturday. P-38 Lightning P-38 Lightning "Marge" nose art We hiked up to GA camping aka the "North 40" to watch arrivals.

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  Bonanzas all camping together. Thousands of planes... Formation of 4 jets arriving. They break into two groups of two for landing.

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  Cessna on downwind with jets further out on downwind. Jets on final runway 27, Cessna formation arrival taxiing west towards us, Vintage and homebuilts taxiing east. Jets landing side by side.

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  Next pair of jets landing while more Cessnas taxi by. These jets land side by side too. Interesting because the Bonanzas land staggered. Another formation of 4 landing. Jets on the runway with an endless line of Cessnas2Oshkosh taxiing by.

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  Another formation landing More Cessnas taxiing by, twin on the runway with more aircraft on base

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  Cessnas you go this way. RVs you go that way. "Small world" note - the first Cessna behind the twin is Steve Wolf from Fort Collins, who flew in with the CessnasToOshkosh formation! go-around, too many planes on final. more Cessnas... two RV's told to go around...

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  It is seemingly endless... Rubber chicken! This yellow biplane nearly ground looped, but saved it. Don't see any damage to bottom wingtip. Thought it may have dragged a wing. Finally the last of the Cessnas To Oshkosh arrivals.

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  Things calm down to just "normal" arrivals. Notice the VOR on the field (white cone building). Gorgeous Lancair. Velocity? After this we leave the "North 40" and head back south. Cute bug on Marc's shirt.

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  Replica Fighter Association, lots of homebuilts in the background. More buildings going up (Saturday afternoon). Beautiful! Oshkosh Trucks :-) Same Lancair we saw land, on display now.

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  Main area of the Convention with tons of displays. The landscaping these vendors put in to make their planes look nice is over the top. Gorgeous Husky here. N58NF. When we see this again there will be landscaping nicer than my house added all around it. N61NF Husky on Floats Landscapers hard at work at the Pilatus area.

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  More landscapers than planes during Saturday setup. Beech! Cessna! Embraer Jet setup Sport Plane (10th anniversary!) setup.

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  One Thunderbird arrived early for display. After this we worked Magoo crossing, then dinner, shower, and bed. Sunday morning, M&M aviatior! Bob and Marc. We hiked over to the EAA Museum Sunday morning. Lots of hangars on the north side with classic planes. Museum entrance, free with EAA Airventure wristband.

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  Tons of planes on display. The museum is a Wow! Aviation heaven. A Spirit of St Louis replica. Wonderful area dedicated to Paul and Audrey Poberezny, who started EAA.

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  Marc and Bob next to a gyroplane. rain rain go away... Sunday noonish, Flight Ops building looking north again. Looking north-west - more Waco's and Staggerwings now. 4-5 Lockheed Electras will arrive today too.

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  Same view south with DC3 off in the distance. Vintage parking is now way south of the DC3. Beech 18's just south of Flight Ops building. Sunday lunch at the campground - Bob, Sue, Marc at Redbird tent.

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  Dan Doner's C180 N9204T at Oshkosh 2014. Cool Serenity logo on the tail! N9954L at Oahkosh 2014 with an insane amount of gear, tent etc that all fit inside that Mooney. N182H tail with Redbird in row ahead.

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  Sunday afternoon camping at Oshkosh. Looking north from our row 91 to Flight Ops building. Walking south from our row Only one empty row north of DC3, saved for more DC3's arriving later. Marc taking pictures.

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  Looking north from tail of DC3 Just south of DC3 is a no-parking area - extended centerline of ultralight runway. Just south of that is already filling up with more Vintage parking & camping. White line and 1 empty slot in each row - this is the east edge of the Thunderbirds aerobatic box, edge of the spectator line during the Thunderbird show. Constant arrivals. Cool arrivals! Warbirds!

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  Only 3 seaplanes so far Sunday noonish, most are at the seaplane base. More vintage camping / parking south of the seaplane row. We decide to suit up and head back to Flight Ops to volunteer to help with parking down here.

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  "south shower" truck - at the north end of the "south 40" with seaplane row and DC3 to the north. Bummer for everyone parked south of the DC3. As we're about to head north we see this cool plane just north of the DC3. It's a Le Broussard

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  Belly bomb holds oil for smoke. "My plane" :-)

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  N1001D, gorgeous C195. Notice black pickup truck. Grill and tables were probably in the truck. Beer and coolers came in the truck. That's a LOT of beer... Rows of 195's Flight Ops shack looking north. Storm clouds threatening. Looking north-west. Grey "Hangar Cafe" on left (good food!)

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  Looking south. "South Fond du Lac" shack at south edge of Runway 36, about even with the DC3. We start work here. Lots of planes taxiing into here - south and east to the far left of this photo then onto the grass and south (right). Tower controllers (pink shirts) next to the AWOS. N1204X taxiing in the grass, southbound. Notice all the scooters.

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  Pretty v-tail bonanza, constant arrivals. Each plane is escorted by a scooter, taxiing south. The ATC sign says "Monitor 118.9 now" Tent under the DC3 wing is collapsed from the wind while an ultralight lands on the strip in front of us. Tons of scooters here to escort planes south. But we're on foot so not useful here. We ask to hike south a mile to where the planes are being parked.

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  Pretty amphib N6012V at Oshkosh 2014 Parking planes in the "south 40", threatening clouds coming in. We're gonna get wet! Everyone has rain ponchos on. Sue on right directs plane to Marc on the left for parking. Rain is pouring. Wind is blowing.

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  Marc points where plane should line up. Parking the pretty Luscombe, N1448B. Sue out standing in the field, ready for next inbound. Wind and rain was pretty fierce for a bit. V22 Osprey's arrive!

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  Osprey's still in formation Sunshine returns, Marc on parking duty. Marc directing a twin.

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  Sue taking a break. Sue directing another pretty V-tail. Notice the burn lines out here too. We're way south of Runway 36 south end, around row 130 now. We continued to park planes Sunday eve till airport closed at 8pm, then dinner, shower, and bed. Monday morning, wandering the main show area. Rutan has some cool designs! Dual flaps... 1982 Rutan Grizzly N80RA

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  Another beautiful Rutan design. 1997 Williams V-Jet II Rutan V-tail jet. Diamond Lil, B24 bomber Sport Plane area is now filled with planes and people on Monday.

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  Jet with Androids in the pilot seat! Notice the Flight Pro team logo (formerly Avilution), one of the first EFB apps to run on Android. It's a Czech L-39C jet Monday airshow has started - tons of formation fly-overs Parachutist with the flag is circled by the 4 fighters with smoke on

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  Another formation flies overhead Yes this is a different formation 30 seconds later

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  Next the V22 Osprey performs a demo flight With props rotated into "airplane" mode, ~300 knots speed. With props rotated into "helicopter" mode, vertical takeoff and land. A bit of a tilt, and slide sideways. Breezy's at center of flight line, this one a "Sea Breezy" on floats. 50th anniversay of the Breezy!

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  Fun logo Bob looks at the same Breezy we met at Portage - with wheel pants. More Breezy's, this one with a 3-blade prop Notice tail is much higher on this one, 2-blade prop 5-blade prop, completely different landing gear

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  Lots of different designs on these Breezy's "Air Conditioned" Bob and Redbird at Oshkosh 2014 Bob and Redbird at Oshkosh 2014 Departing Oshkosh, controller in pink shirt waves us onto the runway. Tower had called for 86H to take off so we were confused :-)

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  Departing on Runway 36 (purple dot), with VFR sign in the windshield Rows and rows of planes, we didn't have time to see many. Gobsmacking how many planes are here. We hadn't even noticed the planes circled together.

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  Show center with all the vendors and exhibitors. Show planes in the foreground, behind on right is homebuilt camping, further back on right is "north 40" camping. Further right is warbirds. But we have to turn right and depart south-east. Easy to see why the helicopter tour is so popular.

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  Even north of the VOR, north of runway 9/27 is more "north 40" camping. One last look as we depart to the south. MUST come back next year... MUST come back next year... and stay longer... MUST come back next year...

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  Amazing how far south the "south 40" camping extends. Oshkosh nearly filled up on Vintage and did fill up on "north 40" for a few days. Saw both the B17 and the Ford Tri-motor up flying as we departed.

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