I woke up early today to see what the weather was doing. Ugh - rain was about the hit Cleveland, and there was another system behind it passing over Chicago currently. This could be an interesting trip.
By 12:30pm the storms had passed Cleveland, and the storm over Chicago had quickly dissipated. It was time to blast off to Tyler Memorial (3TR) for some cheap gas before heading to Osh.
There was a scattered layer at 1,500' just to the west of Cleveland.
The layer quickly dissipated. as I approached the southwest and of Lake Erie.
I had a pretty strong headwind - 17 kts on the nose at 2,500'. I decided to stay low.
Hey, look who I met up with - Captain John and his "Aluminum Mistress". CJ was also staying the night in Cleveland with his cousin. We met up in the air about 30nm from 3TR.
Tyler Memorial (3TR) had a cheapest gas I've seen in a while - $3.52/g!
The place was DEAD. CJ and I thought the weather to our east was going to keep a lot of pilots from going to Oshkosh today, and it should be a walk in the park for us to arrive.
Tyler's FBO was quite nice. Leather recliner chairs. free water and snacks. It was a great stop.
Off we went again - our route was to scoot over the lake along the shoreline, stay outside of Gary, IN class D and Chicago airspace, then shoot right to RIPON for the arrival procedure.
The winds aloft died down significantly as we crossed over the lake.
CJ with downtown Chicago in the background.
Ah Wisconsin - finally getting close. the clouds dropped as we headed north.
Hmmm...well so much for my theory of minimal traffic going into Oshkosh today. My ADS-B traffic was lit up like a Christmas tree!
Just as CJ and I were about to start the approach to the RIPON intersection (we were 5 miles south), we heard on the approach frequency that all aircraft who haven't approached RIPON should start doing counterclockwise turns at their current location. The approach would be closed for approximately 30 minutes to accommodate a mass Bonanza arrival of 100-150 airplanes. Green Lake's holding pattern was full, and CJ and I didn't feel like doing circles - so we headed due west for 15 minutes, and then we would turn around and head east for 15 minutes to join up with our original route.
When they opened up the approach again, it was pure mayhem. Hundreds of airplanes were headed directly for the town of Ripon. CJ and I found some space to get in line before Ripon - however, it was TIGHT. The plane in front of me started to slow down to 70 kts. A highwing passed 50' under me. I could tell CJ had enough as he pealed off. I stuck with it a little longer, and then the controllers told everyone to peel off and rejoin at Ripon due to too many airplanes being between RIPON and FISK. I came back around and found a nice hole to rejoin at RIPON. No sooner was I following the tracks when someone was flying DIRECTLY TOWARDS ME, the opposite direction of everyone else - maybe 100' below me. The approach this time was much better in terms of spacing. The controllers were doing a good job of peeling everyone off between 27 and 36. However, before I got to FISK, they stopped doing 27 approaches and everyone was to land 36. On the base for 36 everyone was very SLOW. I was down to 65 kts. The controller for 36 couldn't keep up with all of the traffic. For some reason, everyone was landing 36R even though there was no specific instruction given. I looked left and right and didn't see anyone for the 36L approach, so I took it. I landed long and rolled off the end of it. I wasn't about to put myself in danger with the cluster that was happening on 36R.
The new version of Garmin Pilot has a great tracing feature on it. You can fully see the path I took to arrive at Oshkosh. This was definitely the most crazy approaches and dangerous I have experienced flying into Oshkosh.
You know you're at Oshkosh when your oil temps are SCREAMING!
Finally here, and I ended up taxiing right behind CJ. We had a great parking spot this year close to the show and the showers, with the privacy of a drainage ditch behind it. Definitely the best parking spot I've ever had in Homebuilt Camping (HBC). Let the fun begin!!
Last Modified: August 13, 2023