Around 8-8:30, Lee Devlin and I wandered back to camp. Jon Matcho had shown up, found my plane, and set up the tent. I helped him finish the last bits and we got ourselves settled in. We yakked with Curt Smith and Lee for a while, and then crashed.
At 6 AM on the exact dot (I think that the official atomic clock was used for this timing), some goober started up his engine and began taxiing out for departure. I could have SWORN that startup time was 7 AM, but some folks just HAVE to get there early, I guess. I will admit that it was a beautiful day for flying, as well as for just about everything. So we dragged ourselves out of bed and around 7 AM went to breakfast with Lee and Curt Boyll, and Curt Smith caught up with us soon thereafter. At 8 AM I made it back to the plane and started getting ready for this morning's rides - It would be Dennis Passey, Rhemi Khu, and Mark Knaebe (who had waited since last year for this ride). We flew down to Dodge County Airport (KUNU) after doing the standard takeoff on 36L, with a low altitude turn to the southeast along the shoreline. Mark flew us down, did a few turns and then a few stalls (same demo each time, eh? - I should learn some new tricks). We landed at KUNU, and then Dennis Passey took the right seat. Even though Dennis is just starting to take flying lessons, he had little trouble keeping the plane straight and level and doing some 30 degree turns. Another landing and Rhemi Khu took right seat. Rhemi also did some turns and stalls, and then headed us up towards KOSH.
I had gotten the departure briefing after breakfast, and was told how to do the "demo arrival". This involved essentially doing the "warbird arrival", over the shore, and then reporting a 2 mile right base for 36L. You basically avoid the whole "Ripon-Fisk-billions of aircraft all in the same place at the same time" thing - it was great, fast, and trivial. I requested landing long, the controllers were thrilled because they had departures to get out, and we were parked in a relatively short period of time. All three riders seemed jazzed after their ride, so that was great.
We put the plane away and immediately walked over to the perimeter bus to head over to Mark Beduhn's T-hangar for the COZY BBQ, which had started about 1/2 hour before at 11 AM. Last year, about 30-35 folks showed up - this year, there were close to 75, if not more. It was GREAT. Mark and his wife Regina put on a good BBQ, with plenty of food and drinks. There were always at least 5 great conversations going on at once, and Chrissi and Randi put on a demonstration of their "lo-vac" method for making good looking lightweight parts. I left around 4 PM, and there were still a few folks jabbering away.
I took a shower (the airshow is always a great time to take a shower, since the showers are pretty empty at that time), collected email, recharged my phone, and then headed back to the tent. Jon, Curt, Curt, Gail (Curt Boyll's wife) and I took the perimeter bus and walked over to a Mexican restaurant near the end of runway 09. The food was edible, but nothing to write home about. It was a good change from the burgers, etc. that I had been eating for 4 days, though. We walked all the way back (about 2 - 2.5 miles) through the spam can parking, and then stood around yakking for an hour before I pulled out the computer to write this.
Tomorrow morning, Yair Gil's checkout ride and a ride for Greg Norman. We should get back easily in time for the COZY forum at 1 PM.
Another day in paradise :-).
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