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2005 Oshkosh Trip - Day 1 (The Longest Day)

Date: July 24, 2005


Today I woke early and headed out to the airport with my son. I had packed up for Oshkosh, WI (KOSH) the night before, and he had packed for a week on Long Island with his cousin. We took off around 8:30 AM EDT and headed for Brookhaven, NY (KHWV), where his cousin would meet us. After an interminable 45 minutes (having a rambunctious 17.5 year old in the right seat does not lead to a calm, serene flight) at 6500 ft., we landed at KHWV and unloaded his stuff. I said goodbye for the week, and then fueled up and added a quart of oil. Next stop, Waterloo, IA (KALO).

Well, Western PA, OH, and the Chicago area were forecast to have lots of T-storms all day, so I decided (not having the lightning protection mesh in my airplane that we discussed a while back and that would help the plane explode just slightly slower if I got hit) to do an end run to the left (south). I headed over NY harbor, then down the NJ coast and in between the Patuxent Restricted area and the Washington CD ADIZ (isn't GPS wonderful?). I went around some more restricted areas to the south of the ADIZ, and then turned westward.

I had originally planned on using Lonesome Pine, VA (KLNP) as a waypoint, but I didn't need to go that far south (the weather looked pretty decent as far as I could see to the north of me, and the AWOSes I checked were all calling for clear skies), so after another 1/2 hour or so, just north of Roanoke, VA, I removed it from my routing in the GPS and headed straight for Frankfort, KY (KFFT). By the time I got there, I had been in the air for a little over four hours - my longest single leg yet. I ran the engine at about 22 in. MP, 2700 RPM, and a fuel flow of about 10.5 gal/hr. at 8500 ft.

After eating a couple of egg salad sandwiches and some grapes along the way, I made a pit stop at KFFT for fuel and a bathroom break, as well as to check the weather computer to see if I had made it around the crappy weather, and if KALO was clear. Everything looked good, so I saddled up again and climbed back up to 8500 ft. I tried running at 22 in., 2500 RPM, and 8.5 gal/hr. for a while - with the headwind, I was only making 140 Kts. ground speed, but my MPG was better than the first leg. It's fun to play with the Fuel Flow gauge and see how efficient different settings are.

Well, there sure isn't a lot to look at flying over western KY, IN, IL, and IA. Flat, more flat, and more flat, with the occasional road here and there (that almost always run N-S or E-W). I'm sorry, but this is a BORING place, at least from the air :-).

Another 3 hours or so, and I called up KALO approach (why they have an tower, not to mention approach control, is beyond me - all of two airplanes called in in the 15 minutes that I was listening, and this was a clear blue sky [well, 15 mile visibility, anyway] Sunday afternoon) who immediately cleared me for a straight in approach to a runway I wasn't even remotely lined up with. No big deal - I circled to the east and headed in.

After landing and parking at the Livingston FBO (very friendly and helpful folks there), I checked the hobbs and realized that I had been flying for 7.7 hours today - by FAR the longest day of my flying career (and too long, if you ask me - I have a slight headache and I'm pretty beat - of course, it's still WAY better than driving 7.7 hours, and WAY WAY better than driving the 1500 or so miles that I had flown).

So here I am in Waterloo, IA, and sadly only one other canard flew in here - Bill Siebold and his wife, Marilyn. Norm Muzzy and I will be going out to dinner in an hour, and then I plan to get a good night's sleep before the mass flyin from Fond-du-Lac, WI (KFLD) to KOSH tomorrow around noon. Norm, Bill and I are supposed to be in KFLD before 9:30 AM, so we'll probably leave here around 8 AM.

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