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2004 Western Trip - Day 15

What I Planned:

Date: On or about July 26, 2004

A short day, which should allow us to get into OSH relatively early - well before the airshow starts.  I'm hoping to be able to get into OSH on either Monday, July 26th, Tuesday, July 27th, or at the latest, Wednesday, July 28th.

The jog at Madison, WI (KMSN) is to get us around some MOA/restricted areas, and will also position us reasonably well for the Ripon VFR approach into OSH.

I'll be setting up camp with my tent (3 man, so I can take a guest) in the Homebuilt Camping area - that's where Lee usually sets up, and it seems like a nice quiet area, with more than a few canards (especially if a bunch of us camp there). There are bathrooms and showers nearby, as well, and you don't have to take a crowded bus to get there :-).

What Actually Happened:

Date July 26th, 2004

We woke up, took showers, and ate some breakfast at the Day's Inn. Norm came by and picked us up at about 8 AM and took us to the airport. Denny Mortensen was waiting for us there, and about 15 minutes after we got there Curt Smith landed in his COZY MKIV. We lined up the planes for some pictures, and then eventually (after a lot of yakking) loaded up for the flight. Lee, Curt, Norm and I had agreed to do a loose formation flight in right echelon - Lee in the lead, since his L.E. was slowest, then Curt, me, and Norm on the end since this would be his first formation work, and we wanted to give him the most freedom to move away if he felt uncomfortable.

We took off as a flight of four and climbed to 5500 ft. for the 1.5 hour flight. It was an uneventful flight over some pretty farmland, but a bit hazy - maybe 30 mile visibility. I got up close to Curt's plane once or twice so that Rick could get some pictures and so that I could get some formation practice, and I let Rick fly for about 1/2 hour in the loose (maybe 1/4 mile) formation.

As we got close to Oshkosh, we descended from 5500 ft. to 2300 ft (the 135 knot Ripon VFR approach speed - keeping us out of the "low and slow" folks). We transitioned to a 1/4 mile in trail formation, and got in line with a few Bonanza's. The approach controllers gave us 36 Left for landing, and we rolled down to the end and over to the new Homebuilt Camping area. We set up our tents, and then spent the rest of the day wandering around, talking to folks, looking for things, and hanging with Nat. He gave Rick and Lee a beer (I wasn't interested) and then he and Shirley invited us to dinner. Tim Sullivan (a L.E. flyer), who was at Nat's tent at the time, also came with us.

Later, after a bit more wandering, we went out to dinner with Nat and Shirley to Friar Tuck's, which had some pretty good sandwiches for the money, and it's within walking distance of the airport on the north side of runway 27. That evening, we relaxed by the planes and talked.

Here are a few pictures from the day's flying.

Here are the four aircraft lined up at Waterloo Airport. Curt, Norm, Me, and Lee, respectively.

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Here we are, taxiing out behind Curt and Lee.

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Here's a view of the Wisconsin countryside on the way to OSH.

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This is the palace Chez Zeitlin, set up at Oshkosh next to the plane.

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