I had no intentions of going to Oshkosh, WI this year for AirVentures, but all of the sudden one day in July something clicked and I wanted to head out there. I emailed by buddy Peter to see if he was interested, and within 5 minutes I went from zero-to-Osh! This is my 3rd Oshkosh, and Peter's first. We decided to see what the whole camping experience was all about. Here we are loaded up and ready to go. It's amazing how much the RV can hold.
Weather looked great for the trip out. We had a slight headwind cruising at 4,500'.
Some fog in the valleys between the mountains.
We're excited to be on our way to OSH!
And then some light overcast below us.
We picked up a little more headwind as we crossed into West Virginia.
And then a slight overcast layer. It was nice to block the sun.
Hmmmmm..perpendicular roads..we must be in Indiana or Ohio.
Our first fuel stop was in Gary, Indiana (KGYY) at the B. Coleman FBO. Fuel was super cheap here ($5.00/gallon), and the service couldn't of been better. I will definitely come here again. We waiting out some weather in central WI that was MVFR/IFR conditions.
Once the weather looked good we cruised up the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Show of southern Chicago and Soldier field.
See the two lakes in the distant? That's where we will be floating on in a few days. We are stopping by a friends lake house on the way back from Osh.
After about 5.5 hours, we are at Osh in the Homebuild Camping section. We had a GREAT location - close to the main grounds, bathrooms/showers and most importantly the bar!
No big deal...just landed at the airport with the worlds busiest control tower for the week!
We started to walk around the grounds to see what there was to see. Nice radial engine motorcycle.
Great idea for how to mount a GoPro on the Vertical Stabilizer tip
Free hat from my Buddy Chad Jensen who works for Vertical Power.
Fellow RivetBangers.com forum members Don and Steven gave us a ride to the Black Otter for our annual Rivetbangers dinner of prime rib. Check out Steve Wiz and his MASSIVE king cut prime rib (72 OZ!!!). I played it safe with the Queen Cut - a reasonable 32 oz prime rib.
Painless took a unique method of transportation to the Black Otter.
After a big prime rib dinner we stopped for a drink (or six) at SOS. This was a unique way we witnessed to drink a beer.
I was able to snag some Media Passes to AirVentures due to the fact I run not only this site but also Rivetbangers.com. One of the great perks of this was having access to golf carts to get around the grounds.
Another advantage of the media passes were all of the women who threw themselves at us.
Well, not all of the "Booth Babes" threw themselves at us. Sometimes we needed to improvise when we weren't accepted as legitimate representatives of a major media outlet. This was actually a pretty cool tool to make clamps out of safety wire - the Clamp-Tite (http://www.clamptitetools.net/). If my RV wasn't already completed, I would of bought one of these in a heartbeat.
Peter and I decided to take a workshop in TIG welding. The classroom portion of the workshop provided me with an opportunity to take a much needed nap. Somehow waking up early, flying 5 hours, walking multiple miles, eating 32 OZ of prime rib and staying out late drinking caused me to be a little tired.
P51 mustang....my ultimate dream airplane. Anyone feel like donating $500K to this site??
Incredible RV-8. All airbrushed work.
The horizontal stabilizer tips had lights to illuminate the tail art. Very nice touch.
Unreal detail in this paint job.
The famous N614EF - Bob Collin's RV-7. It looks fantastic.
After a long second day, we somehow ended up back at the SOS Brothers tent. The deal of the evening seemed to be a $15 bud light delivered by a beautiful bartender via a funnel. I of course only did this for pure entertainment reasons to all of the loyal followers of this site.
Day #3 at Oshkosh. This was our home for Wednesday and Thursday night. I can't say enough good about how great of an experience Homebuilt Camping was. I can't wait for next year!
I've never been to the Seaplane Base, so we took the bus over to it on Friday morning.
This was a very cool part of AirVentures. It had a totally different vibe to it that the main show. Much more laid back.
Mandatory photo in front of the main sign.
I found a RV-10 that Van's signed.
We were able to get the golf carts one more time on Friday. It made for a nice way to go through all of the homebuilt areas looking at all of the planes there. Most of the planes had left by Friday, but there were still a good number of them left to look at.
I allowed Peter to do most of the driving. He made an excellent chauffeur and was attentive to my needs. I highly recommend his cart driving services at Osh.
After we did a final tour of the grounds we decided to take off for my friends lake house in Wisconsin. Our destination airport was Westosha (5K6). I have been here a few times. Great airport! Within a couple of hours of landing, we were on the wayer having a great time.
Peter getting broken in properly to the Wisconsin lifestyle.
Everyone having a fun time drinking beers in the lake. Even Gracie the dog was getting some rays.
Me practicing water landings.
Gracie made a very nice lap dog, and in the night provided an additional source of warmth on my feet. We attempted to sneak her in the RV to take her back with us, but alas, we had no Mutt Muffs.
Sunday morning rolled around and we needed to get back to the east coast. Of course I needed to bring back some "extra cargo" - a 12 pack of various New Glarus beers.
Almost all packed up and ready to go.
Nice tailwind on our start home - 13 kts.
Flying down next to Lake Michigan.
The lake was basically dead except for one spot where there were a few dozen sailboats. Perhaps a race?
Can you tell who bought new hats at Oshkosh?
We landed in Warsaw, IN (KASW) for some cheap gas and some food.
They had a nice airport car they allowed out for up to 2 hours.
We quickly found the hot spot in town - mexican food on a lake. Sold!
The ambiance doesn't get much better than this. It was a nice and relaxing lunch.
The rest of the trip home presented it's own set of challenges in the form of thunderstorms and rain showers.
This is the Conesville Power Station in Conesville, OH. It is both a coal and oil burning power plant. From an article I read, it has the distinguished notariety of being "one of the top emitters of cancer-causing metals in the country.".
Weaving between cells. While I don't like to do this typically, it did a nice job of keeping us awake after eating a large Mexican lunch!
The coal burning Harrison Power Station in Haywood, WV. It has one of the tallest chimneys in the world (305 m), built in 1994.
As we got closer to home, there was a large storm cell loitering near KDMW. It didn't seem to be moving all that fast, so we took a shot at making it home before the storm hit. Our backup plan was to land at KFDK and wait out the storm.
Luckily we beat the bad weather to the airport. The storm never did really make it to the airport. What a great Oshkosh and vacation! Peter and I had an absolute blast.
Last Modified: September 4, 2017