AUGUST, 2011 - I flew the RV to AirVenture and back.  Great flights and a super time at Oshkosh. 

I flew out Saturday morning (7/23) at 6.  I’d planned to leave at 5, but it wasn’t quite light yet and TS to the west.  Dodging weather in daylight is one thing, but not in the dark for me.  The XM WX on the GPS 495 was great for dodging storms along the way.  I stopped in Youngstown, Ohio for an hour or two, waiting for Cleveland area storms ahead to pass, and arrived OSH at 2:30 via ducking under Chicago Class B & up the lake shoreline, right next to (and not much over) the skyscrapers.  It was a cool sight.  I went right over Meigs Field and gave the appropriate salute to Richard Daley as I went by.

The only hiccup on the flight was, when I arrived at KOSH, they put me into a right downwind for 27 and said they'd call my base.  So, I flew and flew and flew the downwind.  Finally, several miles out over the lake, I called on the radio and said "hey, weren't you guys going to call my base?  I'm way out over the lake by now."  Apparently, they had forgotten me, so they had me turn and come back straight in for Rwy 27.

I left Oshkosh after the airshow on Friday.  I can see how people can make mistakes on takeoff from the fly-in, as it's very much "hurry up, hurry up, hurry up" getting to the runway.  I  went back down through Chicago, under the Class B, and landed at Goshen, Indiana about 15-20 minutes after sundown.  I slept beside the plane there because the FBO was closed.  The FBO was also a couple hours late opening on Saturday, so I didn't leave until about 11.  They loaned me a car and I had a nice breakfast in town, though.  It was getting very hot by the time I left for VSF; mid-upper 80s.   That leg was over 700 miles; 4 hours, and cruise fuel flow in the high 6s gph.  I attended a seminar on leaning at AirVenture, and it paid off for me on the flight.  It was smooth all the way, except the last 20-30 miles into Springfield, which was quite rough.  After slamming and bouncing around the pattern at VSF a couple times, with significant changes in wind direction and velocity, down drafts, and wind shear, I landed after one go-around, without slamming it in.  It was the most awful-looking final ever, but I did finally manage to plant both mains with the nose up, and make it stick, before I ran out of runway.  Fabulous trip.

No aircraft issues at all.  The TruTrak EFIS and A/P I put in the RV recently was money very well spent, and they worked superbly.  The WingX and ForeFlight on the iPad were also most helpful, both planning on the ground and flying in the air.  I got some goodies for the both planes on specials at the show; a combination audio panel/second comm for the RV, so I can check weather while I’m on with ATC, and some of the brilliant new AeroLEDs lights for increasing air-air visibility in both planes.  Aircraft Spruce and Wicks were serious about cutting prices and making real deals, so I took advantage of it and saved several hundred dollars.

I’m considering trying Copperstate (AZ) in October.  That would be an interesting trip.  WingX made making a tentative flight plan for it a simple task.


Other trip reports HERE