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2006 Oshkosh Trip - Day 4

Date: July 25, 2006

Hard to believe it's been 4 days. I actually woke at the right time today - 7 AM works for an 8 AM flight - time to get the briefing and some breakfast. Tried to eat healthy again, at least for breakfast - got another melon and some toast, along with OJ.

I got back to my plane around 8:05, and Don McClure (a new builder), his wife, and relatives of uncertain origin (to me - remember, I suck at names and relationships) were waiting for me. Since the other person who was scheduled to ride was a no-show, I preflighted, added a quart of oil, and loaded up Don and put his wife in the back seat.

We did not get the royal tour of 18/36 taxiways today - we were sent directly to 18R for almost immediate departure. After heading south at 180 mph at 500 ft. AGL for 5 miles to exit the Class D airspace, we did a quick zoom climb to 3500 ft. I handed the controls to Don, who told me that most of his flying had been a long time ago in a Super Cub in Ethiopia (I hope I got that story right!). He wasn't particularly familiar with GPS's or Sectional maps, but he kept the right side up and had us pointing in whatever direction I asked at 3500 ft while I fiddled with the Fuel Flow Gauge to tell it that I had put in 22 gallons the night before, so it wouldn't keep flashing "LOW FUEL" at us, as it had since we had taken off.

See, it does no good to have instruments that warn you of impending doom if you're:

a) going to ignore them and
b) going to tell them that they're wrong (which, in this case, it was).

Anyway, we flew around for a while, demonstrated stalls and stalls in turns, and then headed back, flying directly over the Ford Tri-motor on downwind, and a Cessna on short final to 18L while we were on base for 18R. The tower kindly pointed out both traffic to me, and they were no problem. After an uneventful landing and taxi back, we had two more psyched folks, ready to go back and continue/start work.

More aimless wandering, as well as doing an inventory of COZY's on the field. Fewer than last year and the year before, I think, but still a decent number. After the show (and another inventory), I'll post a final number. I hit the Emag booth and said hello to the guys there, letting them know that I'll still be interested in another 1.5 years when my right magneto is ready to give up the ghost at 500 hours. I also talked to the guys at Trio Avionics about their autopilot and altitude hold system - very nice - if only I wasn't such a cheapskate.

At 4 PM I went to a forum that was billed as the be-all and end-all of propeller information - I figured that I ought to be able to learn something from a forum such as that. If the guy doing it (Jack Norris, I think his name was) had spent less than the first 20 minutes telling us that he was just so wonderful, talented, and intelligent, and was the only person that had actually figured out how propellers actually worked (from an analytical standpoint), and less time rambling aimlessly about his personal aircraft and the downwash of 747's, and more time expounding on propellers, with slides that were actually visible and had useful information on them, I might actually HAVE learned something. In fact, all I got was an indication that this guy Norris is, in fact, very bright and does, in fact, know a lot about propellers, but also hasn't got the slightest clue how to explain his knowledge to anyone else.

Oh, well.

A bunch of us got some dinner at the beer tent, and then went over to the Theater in the Woods to hear Burt Rutan and some folks from Virgin Galactic talk about the future of commercial spaceflight.



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