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2004 Western Trip - OSHKOSH Day 4

What Actually Happened:

Date: July 30th, 2004

So the basic idea today was going to be rides for Mark Knaebe, Rick Wright, and a few others. The weather, however, did not cooperate, as the conditions were 1/4 mile visibility in fog with a couple hundred foot ceiling. That lasted through most of the morning, and although the conditions did improve to VFR and many folks started flying, I was NOT happy with the visibility and wasn't going to go buzzing around in the busiest airspace in the nation with some folks I didn't know very well just for a joyride. Safety before fun, I always say (actually, I've never said that in my life, but in this case, it was the case).

After eating breakfast, I spent the morning wandering around the flight line looking for COZY's. This year was a particularly fruitful one for an expedition such as this, and I was able to count 17 COZY's of one sort or another on the flightline, only one of which I didn't know the name of the owner (but will look it up on the web when I get a chance).  I do believe that's a record, and it included two previous OSHKOSH Grand Champions (Todd Morgan's COZY III and Tim Merrill's COZY MKIV), as well as Nat's COZY III prototype and a bunch out on the line and in Homebuilt Camping. Excellent turnout.

Around 10:45 AM, I ran into Michael Joyce and we took the bus over to Mark Beduhn's hangar on the north side of the field to attend his cookout, which started at 11:00 AM.  I'd guess there were 25 - 30 folks there, and John Vermeylen had his COZY MKIV there next to Mark's. Mark and his wife Regina put on a great spread, and it was a very relaxed atmosphere to look at planes and talk. Mark had the rough cut of his video of flying his COZY MKIV running on a TV, and it looks as though it will be a nice one when done. After seeing Mark's "SIRS" compass stuck to his canopy (something I had been contemplating) I decided that I would do exactly that, although a bit higher on the canopy than he had it.

Here's the full crowd at the cookout, including children and significant others.  We're all standing in front of Mark Beduhn's aircraft, with John Vermeylen's plane off to the left in the picture. This bunch is standing around talking about some aspect of Mark's plane. As is this crowd, apparently viewing something inside Mark's plane, since the canopy is open.

Lots of folks hung around until 3 PM or so, and we watched John try to leave (with his girlfriend Donna) and return about 15 minutes later with a possible engine problem. It turned out to be a bad CHT sender (most probably), and they thought about heading out to try for NJ, but decided against it due to weather. We then took the bus back to the main area and walked over to the "COZYJET", Greg Richter's modified COZY III with a jet engine.  Greg was scheduled for a showcase flight, but chose not to go up due to the crappy weather (low ceilings and clouds - the F-15 that flew a few minutes prior was in and out of clouds at about 500 ft.) and the fact that his GU canard didn't respond well to moisture in the air.

I then headed back to the tent (as the sun had come out a bit) to see if I could dry out the towel and sleeping bag. I draped the bag over the wing in the sun, and the towel was dry enough that I actually went and took a shower prior to going to the COZY dinner at the "Robbins" restaurant. We drove over there, and if I remember correctly, this was the second most highly attended COZY dinner, with about 97 attendees. Daryl and Kim Lueck did a GREAT job organizing a nice dinner with a lot of folks. People hung around for hours talking, and everyone introduced themselves and described their projects and status.  It was a great way to put faces to names.

We drove back to the campgrounds, dropped off the COZYGIRRLS, and went to sleep - tomorrow is the beginning of the trip home, weather permitting.


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