Oshkosh - July/August, 2003
Picture gallery here!
Chris and I flew to Oshkosh Wisconsin to attend
Airventure 2003, the world's largest air show and fly-in. I
had traveled to Oshkosh the previous year in a friend's plane, but this
was my first time flying my own plane into Oshkosh.
The outbound leg took us from South County airport
near our home in Morgan Hill, CA over Lake Tahoe and on to Ogden, UT
near Salt Lake City. After an overnight stay there, we flew on
to Madison, Wisconsin with a fuel stop in Valentine, Nebraska.
While in Madison, we visited my friend Norm who showed us around
downtown. The following morning we made the final hop into Oshkosh. We
were very fortunate to have good weather on the way out.
Happily, the conditions were VFR. For the week of the air show,
Oshkosh becomes the busiest airport in the world. So busy that
arriving and departing aircraft are allowed only to listen to ATC, not
to respond on the radio. Just as we reached the first visual
waypoint on the approach to Oshkosh, ATC put a hold on arriving
traffic. We then had to fly in circles above the town of Ripon
with about 20 other aircraft of varying types and at varying
altitudes. After about 12 minutes of holding, we were directed
to proceed and everyone formed a mostly-single-file line along the
railroad tracks leading to Oshkosh.
The railroad tracks
took us to a right base for runways 18L (a converted taxiway) and 18R.
There is another runway (9/27) crossing 18 at the approach end of 18
which was actively being used, so we were instructed to fly at 1000
feet AGL until crossing 9/27, then dive for our assigned runway and
land. There were only two other aircraft on my assigned runway,
so I chose a touchdown point well past them and landed.
The Airbus Beluga transport
The Oshkosh experience was amazing.
Approximately 8000 visiting aircraft combined with hundreds of show
aircraft and hundreds of vendor booths and tents created quite a
spectacle. We visited all the vendors that might have
something to improve N8BB with. And Chris, being fascinated
with turbines, took pictures of just about every turbine we saw.
We didn't have any accommodations
arranged in advance, but were able to snap up a cancellation at a nice
hotel just 10 minutes down the road in Neenah. The weather
during the air show was mixed, with lots of sun interspersed with
Some of the highlights were a Ford
tri-motor ride and a visit to the seaplane base.
Big thunderstorm near Valentine Nebraska
flight home was fairly smooth. IFR conditions in the morning on
Monday delayed our departure until the afternoon, and we made it to
Valentine, Nebraska after diverting around a huge hail-producing
thunderstorm. After a restful stay in the Super 8 honeymoon
suite, we set off for home with a fuel stop in Logan, Utah.
Picture gallery here!