Valerie’s Oshkosh Airventure

We left Florida Friday before Oshkosh and spent the weekend with friends in Louisville. Flying up was uneventful. The Kentucky countryside is just as gorgeous as advertised – rolling hills, green pastures surrounded by trees. We knew we were getting close to Louisville when most of the other traffic in the area were UPS xxx heavy. We saw a clearing in the distance and thought we had the Bowman KLOC airport in sight. Nope – that is the UPS distribution center. The airport was several miles farther.

We headed out Monday morning expecting to make a fuel stop on route. As we got closer, everywhere that that had been VFR was going IFR. We diverted to Champaign Urbana IL, KCMI and got in = ceiling about 2000, just before it went IFR. We decided to drive the 5 hours from there
rather than wait for clearer weather and fly about 2 hours. As it turned out the weather was better as soon as we had driven about an hour, so we just drove the rest of the way.

The house was good. We had dinner Tues with Julia and Mark, Alanna, Kitty and the Nepalese ladies, Pat and Joe and friends from Spruce Creek – Dave and Karen. Great evening.
Oshkosh is a little less overwhelming the second time. We enjoyed everything. I went with Alanna to the 99s breakfast. Great fun. I met several NJ 99s who are long time friends of several of our Spruce Creek neighbors.

Fifi the B-29 was a big hit. So was the Dreamliner 7-late-7. Fewer vintage airplanes than last year. Good crowds. We attended a couple of good forum sessions – flying in the Caribbean, and iPad aviation applications. Didn’t buy anything other than a new commemorative hat.

So we had to drive back to KCMI – 3 hours Sat night after the night airshow (which was even more spectacular than the first one last year), and 2 more Sunday morning. Then we flew home with a couple of stops. It was VFR on top for part of the way – very pretty and smooth. We have XM weather which was helpful as we got to southern Georgia. We were able to navigate north and east of one line of weather, and get home before the next line came through. Long day but we made it!

We flew about 16 hours total, but we didn’t actually fly all the way to Oshkosh / Appleton and back. We split the flying about 50/50. This was our longest trip together in the Skylark. In the fall Scott and I flew to Bakersfield and turned back. Scott fly to Texas a couple of weeks later. Mike flew back from Texas alone.

Mike is working on his US Instrument rating, so we went to Pompano Beach for a weekend ground school a couple of weeks ago. He passed the written. He should be ready for the flight test soon.

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