OSH 2012

Well we made it through OSH 2012 already, and the summer is flying by!  We were able to spend 10 days there this year, and both had a busy, yet fun and relaxing time.  We made it to our favorite swimming hole in Redgranite 3 times, and 2 of the days were at or just below 100F, so those were days to skip out and keep cool.  For those of you who haven't been there, you don't know what you're missing out on!  The show was good, about the same as ever.  The airshow itself doesn't match the 2000-2005 era where Bob Hoover, Wayne Handley, and some of the other acts were there, but it was good just the same.  Here are some pics and notes from our week.

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Once again I went over about a week early and staked out our campsites.  Every year that I've camped we've always been in about the same area.  This year the campsite fees went up to $24/day so it is getting more expensive, but the grounds were in great shape and we were once again very happy with our location.  On the way to OSH, I got a little IMC time in, which is always nice. 

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On the Friday before the show, Scott and family came cruising over, and we took off from KLUM as they were directly overhead, and climbed up to join them for the flight.  This was Scott's first week with NavWorX ADS-B in his plane, and it was pretty cool for both of us as we could watch our traffic targets (eachother) on our screens.  They were very accurate as to position, making it easy to join up in flight.

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Once we arrived, we quickly set up camp and soon we were settled in.  On Sunday night, we cruised over to the RV-10 HQ potluck, set up by Ed Kranz, and it looked to be a raging success.  If you're an RV-10 builder, you'll want to show up for OSH on about the Friday or Saturday before the show, as that weekend is always the best for socializing, since the show itself isn't going on.  You can see Andrea got to meet some Uber RV-10 Celebrities, Brandi and Brian, who flew in for the show in their recently flying RV-10.  We tried to take in some mass arrivals, liek the Bonanza arrivals, and the show was off to a great start.

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On Monday night we took in the Steve Miller Band concert, which was actually very good.  Monday they also surprised us with the announcement of the new RV-14.  I had heard a couple of rumors about the plane before the show, and wasn't really even interested in hearing what it was.  As it turned out though, it was EXACTLY what I have been looking for.  I've been looking for another project to build....something that would be aerobatic for me, like the RV-7, but something that would be a little less crisp and more smooth for training the girls, like the RV-9.  I wanted something that eventually could be used for X/C flights that could both keep up in speed, and in leg distances, with the RV-10.  Sadly, the RV-9 can't keep up on speed, and the 7 can't keep up on distance at all.  I also wanted enough baggage space for some good trips camping.  I had considered building an RV-12, keeping it only 2 years, and ditching it for a 7, but that seemed like a real waste of time and effort.  Along comes the RV-14, and it answered all of my requirements...what seems to be a stable yet aerobatic, comfortable X/C plane!  I'm now hoping Van's puts the pedal to the metal on getting at least 2 or 3 kit sections ready, so I can start!

During the week, we did get out for a couple of flights, which were real good.  One to KMKE for a pickup, and a couple were just rides.  For those who don't take the time to go flying during OSH, you don't know what fun you're missing.

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During the show, we had the typical thunderstorms passing through as we get every year.  I don't know why, but every year there are good sized storms.  Every year I worry about all of the planes, every year I am paranoid...but every year everything is OK.  This year during one storm, I was outside the camper and picked up a marble sized piece of hail, yet no planes were damaged.  During one day, a very sad incident occurred where a small lightweight biplane who's owner cheaped out on ground stakes, flipped over during some high gusts and landed upside down on an absolutely meticulately built beautiful Thunder Mustang.  See the photo of the dog tie downs below.  That was just sad sad sad.  Folks, invest in good tie-downs if you're coming to OSH.  I used my super strong Abe's Tiedowns for the week, which serve me very well.  For trips with much less tiedown time, I have "The Claw" as well, which would be a little easier to get pounded in.  The Stormforce look good too.  Other than that, there aren't too many really super options, so get yourself one of the better rated ones (that's how I found out about Abe's...from Aviation Consumer's testing), and bring them to the show.  The yellow wings below are the biplane wings after they took it apart.

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The daily airshows were pretty good....they did the wall of fire, of course, and had some great acts again.  At night, some really unique characters came out, which were maybe a little Alcohol induced, such as the dragon and other things that paraded around the campground.  I liked the RV-14 so much, I had to go back for a 2nd look later in the week.

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Later in the week as the kids were slowing down, we decided to give them a little fun too, and went out and hid Gatorade bottles in a couple of different areas, marked with GPS position on google latitude.  Then we had the kids use their phones to try to track down the bottles.  They thought that was pretty fun, and we hid out on the flightline while they hunted down the bottles.  OSH is a great place to give them some freedom, and they really enjoy being free to see the things they want, and do the things they enjoy.

Towards the end of the week, we took in the Blooze Brothers concert, which was really really good....and had a blast.  We also stayed for the Saturday Night (Wish they changed it to Wednesday night!) airshow, which was fantastic.  The fireworks put our local fireworks to shame, and were great to watch. They also did the wall of fire at night.  Pretty cool stuff.  By Friday the field was clearing out quick, and by Saturday/Sunday probably 80% or more of the homebuilt RV's were gone.  So if you want to see RV's, DO NOT come at the end of the week, get there early.  Stay all week if you can, but COME EARLY! 

Heading home we had a fun little flight skirting around a big rain/thunder storm, and skimming over a broker layer of low clouds putting us between layers.  It made for a cool flight, more akin to my recent Alaska trip, than OSH.  Once safely back at home, we collected our Dog and now can enjoy a rest after a year that was bigger than it needed to be.  It's good to be home again for a while!

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These remaining pictures I am shamelessly copying from Scott.  Thanks Scott for taking some great ones and sending them to me!

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