I've been planning this Oshkosh/Airventures trip (coined BullockAir-A-Palooza) for some time now - I've been wanting to shuffle things up from years past as I've had friends move to new locations in the US -- As you have followed along in the past, I use this week off work to do the Oshkosh thing, and then visit a bunch of college friends around the US. This year I had a friend move out to Fort Collins, CO, so I decided to take the RV further west than she's ever been before.
My original itinerary was Cleveland - Oshkosh - Ft Collins - Des Moines - Detroit - Buffalo - Home. Weather was a MAJOR challenge along the route. Low ceilings, rain, headwinds, turbulence, etc.. It was the most challenging trip I've ever taken in the RV.
This is my GPS track from Garmin Pilot running on my iPad. I was only able to hit 83% of my intended cities, as I needed to bail on Buffalo, NY due to poor weather forecasted.
Official BullockAir-A-Palooza Stats:
22.1 Hours flown
178.8 Gallons of 100LL put to good use
3249 Nautical Miles Traveled
18.17 Average MPG
8.09 Average GPH
3 SOS Brothers Bikini Beer Bongs Consumed
1 Bumble Date Ruined
11 States Overflown
7 States Landed In
1 New State added (Nebraska)
1 Tornado Warning (Ft Collins while on Bicycle)
3 Breweries Visited
3 Media Passes
10 Nights Total
5 Nights in a Tent
32 oz of Prime Rib Consumed
1 Torrential Downpour
1,371 Pictures Taken
9 Friends Visited
100's of Aviation Friends Seen
1 New friend I ran into 6 consecutive days randomly!
0.5 Quarts of Oil consumed
2 Autopilot Malfunctions
8.4373 BEERMUGs (Beer Estimated Equivalent Rounded Measurement Units in Gallons).
This was nearly the trip that didn't happen. The weather looked absolutely horrible for the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest for the indefinite future. My first stop was a quick flight to Cleveland to visit a friend. I knew I could make it there, but I was very concerned I might be stranded there for multiple days. All of the forecasts said to not go. I spent almost all today trying to find a forecast or weather model that gave me a little hope of making it in VFR conditions. As I drove to the airport, I was fully ready to turn around at any moment and head home, cancelling this trip completely.
When I got to the airport, I unenthusiastically loaded the airplane. I kept checking the weather, hoping by some miracle things would of changed. They didn't. Worst case I'd make it to Cleveland, airline it back home, and collect the RV at a later date. The thought of showing up at work on Monday with my tail between my legs was the deciding factor...OFF WE GO!!!!!
No, I'm not a complete lush. Those Solo cups are for my epic beer tasting, as well as acting as forward-CG ballast.
Weather in MD/PA was perfect this Friday afternoon.
Weather in Cleveland, however, left a little to be desired. A system to the southwest was moving to Cleveland and I was trying to beat it.
Obligatory "Going to OSHKOSH!" smile...even though I didn't believe I'd make it.
Hey, a nice tailwind. Things are slightly looking up.
nearly 200 MPH across the ground. Can't help but smile.
I've yet to figure out the ADS-B weather intensity color coding. You would think dark red and purple would mean certain death?
And this is my view out the window. Bad to the north, but fine along my present heading.
You call that a purple???
Once clear of that line of storms, the weather drastically improved. The line of storms which was approaching Cleveland dissipated to nothingness. It was smooth sailing.
Well, almost smooth sailing - KLPR (Lorain County) had a pretty stiff direct crosswind - 25 kts. However, the RV handled it perfectly. Even heavily loaded, it was a piece of cake landing - it surprised the heck out of me!
Bunkered down for the night.
A nice use of some AN365-832A nuts and AN960-8L washer hardware in the men's bathroom at KLPR!
Last Modified: August 13, 2023