Holy cow, I can't believe it's already that time of year for Oshkosh! This year presented some unique challenges from last year. My best friend was getting married the week prior to Oshkosh (Thankfully it wasn't the same week...I might of skipped the wedding). Normally a wedding isn't a big deal, nor a big time commitment, but my friend decided to get married in Belize. So for the 8 days prior to Oshkosh, I was in paradise with my best friends and family. The way back from Belize offered no margin for airline or weather error. The flight arrived at 10pm, I would be at my home at 11pm, wash clothes, pack, sleep by 1am, and then up bright and early for blast-off to Oshkosh! I rolled out of my driveway a little before 6am.
This years haul to Oshkosh.
All packed up and ready for the adventure to begin.
The routing I take out to Oshkosh is the same as I always do - scoot south of KPIT's airspace, swing above Fort Wayne, stop for cheap fuel at KOXI (Free hot dogs), then blast up Lake Michigan and up to Oshkosh.
The day started off easy enough. Nice VFR out east.
I'm pretty psyched.
The fog was burning off in the valleys of central PA.
A good reason why you shouldn't always trust METAR's. KAFJ (Washington County) was reporting Low IFR. It boggled my mind since it was severely VFR about 10 miles from it.
Sure enough, over KAFJ, severely clear.
Crossing the OH river.
I'm not complaining I only have a 3 kts head wind heading west.
In eastern OH the weather continued to be severe VFR.
The storm moving through Northern Indiana progressed south a little over Fort Wayne. I normally go north around KFWA, but I diverted south of their airspace to avoid the weather.
The headwinds kicked up slightly to 12 kts at 4500'.
I'm really digging ADS-B radar being depicted on my GRT Sport EFIS's from the NavWorx AD600-EXP Transceiver. What other EFIS purchased in 2008 could do this? Love my GRT!
ADS-B radar was spot on, as I entered into some light rain showers.
The weather continued to deteriorate to MVFR the closer I got to KOXI.
After a quick fuel stop and grabbing some hot dogs, I jumped back in the air. The ramp at KOXI was full of Oshkosh bound airplanes. I knew all of them were waiting for the weather to improve in WI before they took off. I didn't want to be bunched with them going north, and I had a good idea in the 1.5 hour flight to Oshkosh the weather would be likely improving. Worst case, I would stop shy of OSH.
I love flying by Chicago. Such good sights.
Booyah! A couple of kts of tailwind made an appearance.
The ceiling was about 2,000' AGL as I approached OSH. The good thing about this was everyone else was flying right below the deck, at the same altitude. This made it quite easy to spot everyone converging on RIPON.
The arrival was quite painless this year. I landed a little before noon.
It isn't quite Oshkosh until your oil temps are SCREAMIN'!
My friend Jeff Orear snapped this pic of me taxing to HBC.
All of my neighbors in HBC. I got there just in time - it filled up really quickly!
About an hour after I arrived the 34 ship of RV-6's was passing over.
My Oshkosh schedule every year is typically booked for every night except for Sunday. The RV-10 folks hold and event, but everyone else is just waiting for Monday morning to get their free SteinAir t-shirt. I decided to put out a feeler on VAF to see if anyone would be interested in participating in a beer tasting. Everyone would simply bring a 6-pack of local beer, and all get to sample what they want from around the country. I originally thought this event would only have about 10-20 people interested. Boy, was I wrong! We had over 50 people register for the event, and I am sure more showed up. It was a great event, and Jerry Fischer was the key to pulling it off along with my great team of volunteers. We had 4 tubs filled with beer, used 250 lbs of ice, and the furthest beer was hand-flown from Germany!
It's tough to tell from these pictures if the event was a success?
Charlie Becker even stopped by to suck back a few suds.
The event was such a success, the prestigious Kitplanes magazine covered it!
Many of those who attended the beer tasting probably didn't remember what an awesome sunset we had at Oshkosh on Sunday Night :) I may be one of them!
Some newcomers I ran into from KPYM were a little parched after a few hours of beer tasting. I led them to the closest outlet for the caviar of Wisconsin - Deep Friend Cheese Curds at the SOS Brothers. Sunday night was relatively dead at SOS, so I decided to show my new friends how to properly drink a $10 bud light!
SOS Brothers has advanced greatly in the past year with investing in technology for two people to simultaneously do a beer bong from the same partitioned container.
I'm whooped. 4 hours of sleep and a full day of flying, setting up for the beer tasting and partying late night.
The following is my updated packing list for the trip, in no particular order:
Batteries for flashlight and headlamp
Water Bottles filled with water
Cheapo Styrofoam cooler
ear buds (so the P51's taking off at 7am don't wake you up)
Tent with groundcloth and stakes
Flask (For Van's Banquet)
ATM Card / Credit Card / Cash
Hat (optional, you will surely get a lot of free ones from the vendors)
HBC and VFR Signs
Towel and washcloth
Garbage Bags x2
Small Plastic Clamps x5-10 (for clamping your wet towel to the prop to dry)
Small bedding sheet (some sleep cover when it's too hot to be in the sleeping bag)
Soap and Shampoo
Music Player (Sansa)
Small water bottle
Blue Painters Tape
Bed Sheets (I get too warm in a sleeping bag)
USB Battery Packs
Last Modified: August 13, 2023