[April 6, 2017]

Today started with another amazing sunrise. We also picked up a new guest at our campsite. Peters friend, James, drove in last night from the Miami area to join us for a day of Sun and Fun! You can see him hydrating in Peter's tent.

A couple of hot air balloons launched in the morning. The wind was blowing pretty good - they booked it North and were out of sight in no time.

One BIG upgrade was the shower facilities at SNF. These new units were very nice. Air conditioned trailers, each with 2 sinks and 4 shower stalls. A few of us HBC'ers got talking about how cold the water was, even when the faucet was on HOT. Then some engineers figured out there was probably an instant hot water heater and a single shower on by itself didn't demand enough hot water to activate the heater, as it has a minimum flow requirement. The solution - run the hot water in the sink or turn on another shower! Problem solved.

Dan Horton showed up yesterday and he needed a ride to the press office for the morning briefing. Peter and I gladly assisted with one of Mary Jane's golf carts. In addition to the SNF media center letting all of us know the day's activities, they also raffle off rides with different airshow performers. Dan Horton won today's raffle for a ride in the Phillips 66 Aerostars Soviet Yak 52TW. Dan was initially excited, but then realized he had other commitments to KitPlanes, and he'd already been for a ride in the Yak. He instead offered me his place in the Yak which I gladly accepted! Thanks Dan!!!

Peter is trying to get James excited in aviation, so he had him sit in a number of airplanes around SNF.

While Peter and James played, I headed out to the Aerostars for the pre-flight briefing.

Paul "Rocket" Hornick (#2 Aerostar) gave us a great briefing on the history of the Yak, their team and also what we should expect in the flight.

My ride - #3 with Gerry Molidor (UAL 777 Captain) as my pilot.

All strapped in and ready for the ride. I can't tell you the last time it was since I was just a passenger in a GA airplane. It felt great to have no responsibilities and to just enjoy the ride.

While we waiting to taxi out, my photographer caught this RV-8 Fastback arriving.


The ride was simply amazing. Formation takeoff, some loops, barrel roll and an aileron roll. The Aerostars were very professional and well coordinated.

An A-10 Warthog arrived just before we did. The Yak I was in is just under the left wing of the A-10.

Our pilots and my fellow media representatives who got rides in the other 2 Yak's.

What a morning! This was an amazing experience with these top rated pilots.

Next up was drooling over some AirCam's.

Rotec had their motorcycle fired up for the crowd. I was a little disappointed in the sound coming out of the exhaust - it was entirely too quite and smooth! Maybe I'm just too used to the sweet sound coming out of the Harley exhaust.

Back to the vendors I caught up with my good friends Chad and Jeff at Vertical Power. They showed off their Primary Power System (PPS) to me, which replaces the master and starter relays and really organizes everything on the front side of the firewall. These guys are simply the best for simplifying the wiring of your project with their patented use of electronic circuit breakers.

Chad and Jeff introduced me to their new friends in the Heavens Landing booth a few doors down from them.

OSHKOSH TAKE NOTE - Sun 'n Fun has some amazing food. Above and beyond what Oshkosh has to offer. Peter and I found this stand, outside Hangar 1 to have some of the best food in the entire event. Their Greek Salad with either London Broil or Chicken is to die for.

The SubSonex Jet is an impressive homebuild. 240 MPH cruise, 480 SM range. I can easily see myself building one of these sweet machines in a few years down the road once my AirCam is complete.

It was a hot one out today - 96 degrees was the official high temp. I found a nice air conditioned trailer belonging to My Radar. Inside they had some pretty cool Virtual Reality based on pre-recorded rides in an Extra 300. This was my first Virtual Reality experience, and it was very enjoyable!

More AirCam's on the flightline for the ultralights.

My friend Curtis Cumberland flying during the airshow in his recently completed Pitts.

Two of my favorite airplanes in formation - The
P-51 mustang and F4U corsair.

After the airshow, we felt like some "off campus" food so we went to Chad's recommended restaurant just east of the field - the WingHouse. Definitely check it out!

After the WingHouse we headed over to the Brass Tap and sampled a number of fine brews from around the world while catching up.



Last Modified: June 11, 2024