OSH 2015 - A spectacular year!

Added 9/2/2015...I know, it took a while...priorities!!

This year turned out to be a very fun OSH for everyone!  Of course, we had the usual...more plans than time allowed for, but we got a lot of fun in, in a way too short week.  It was all the usual "family reunion" of friends, something that we look forward to every year.

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This year we got on the stick before OSH and ordered up some lightweight chairs.  Above is pictured the Helinox Chair One, next to the G4Free version also available on Amazon.  I found that they are made ALMOST identically.  The Helinox looks to be a little stronger and more refined all the way around, but both worked well for the show.  That said, one person in our camp had the Helinox Camp Chair available from REI, and I prefer that one, so I ordered one after the show so I'm ready for 2016 OSH...it's right around the corner, you know.  These light chairs make hauling them around for a week, much less of a chore.

Above I included a couple of photos of the flight over when I went to get our campsites, too.  We had almost the usual location, but as it turned out, we were happier this year than ever before with our camp.

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This year we were lucky enough to get Lenny and Anda to come up a little early...yet it wasn't quite early enough!   We spent a bit of time Friday before the show out on the river for some waterskiing and wakeboarding.  In my family, that's the #1 summer activity, foregoing the whole flying thing for much of June through August (except for OSH).  Give me water when we're in the hot months!

After a bit of water time, we were up in the air to beat the field closing at OSH.  The NOTAM usually is in effect Friday, so you have to be on the ground by 8pm.  In a different twist this year, we didn't get to fly formation with Scott or Sean, as they were a day late in coming, but Lenny was there to provide some great formation and aerial photos on the way over.

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In no time at all we were landing at OSH on 36, and pulling into our usual RV-10 parking spots.  It was a great trip over.  Now it was time to quick set up camp. One of the first tasks was mowing the grass.  Due to the genius idea of Ed, who suggested a reel type mower, and Robin, who outlaid the cash for it, we're now the proud owners of an OSH campsite lawn mower.  If you have a campsite at OSH in 2016, and need it mowed, we have a couple of kids who would love to do it for a few bucks a site. :) 

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The next day we awoke to one of the more fearful times at OSH...storms.  Ever year we battle at least one big storm, it seems.  This year we got it overwith right away.  In the first picture, we awoke and I looked to the East as I visited the port-o-let.  It was a beautiful orange sunrise, with an overcast ceiling above me.  Looking back at the camper, the clouds were thick and rolling in.  You can see the radar picture on foreflight above.  One look at that told me that we were going to be in for a heck of a ride.  Then looking West you could see the clouds all it up in orange from the sunrise behind me, but they were also an ominous dark grey, with lightning flashes.  VERY eerie to be in!  I ended up holding on to our Coleman Straight Leg Instant Canopy, which proved to be a futile attempt at saving it.  I will NEVER leave the canopy up again when in such a storm!  As I held on to the canopy, gusts of winds at 60mph or more hit camp, and crushed the gazebo to the ground, breaking some of the scissors bars.  Later that day, however, we had another one purchased so that we wouldn't be without.  In the first photo below you can see a rainbow that appeared in the orange sky.  And in the photos after that, you can see a slight bend in my rudder that the storm left, and Lenny's bent gust lock.  Our rudders had been hit broadside by the 60mph winds, which proved too much for the tubing on his, and my lock mechanism wouldn't hold that much force. I'm now searching for a more suitable locking telecoping pole setup. I found some that are plenty solid, but they are too heavy and bulky.  Needless to say, before next OSH we're going to have ideal gust locks.

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Throughout the week we hung out with the friends, played games, and had a general great time at OSH.  The A350 arrival and flight was a spectacular demo for a commercial jetliner, too!  We did the usual trip to the rock quarry for some swimming on one of the hotter days as well.

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One new thing we did was joing a group down the row from us for some night music playing and singing.  What a fun bunch of folks they are.  Next year we plan to be back and have even more fun with them.

We also got out for a little formation flying time with Lenny, which is my personal favorite activity to do at OSH.  It wouldn't be OSH if we didn't fly!

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Above are some general pictures of our camp and many of our greatest of friends.  That is really what OSH is all about.

Below are shots of one of the more spectacular airshow events we saw.  Usually I'm not the biggest fan of the skydivers. It's a great sport, but not a spectatator sport so much.  But this year they had well over 100 skydivers going for a record at OSH, which was phenomenal!  When they jumped out of the plane you couldn't hardly see them due to their altitude, but as they free-falled you could make out the circle patter they were doing in red, white and blue, and suddenly it EXPLODED in the sky as everyone spread out and got their safe chute-opening position.  That was really fantastic and really made the show wonderful!

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After living through a couple more near-miss storms, we all too soon reached the end of our week at OSH and it was time to head home.  One of my tasks was to pick up our dog, who had been staying with family for the week, so in a quick surprise, I landed at a grass strip near them to pick him up.  As you can tell he was thrilled to see us.  What a way to end a week of airplanes...a beautiful grass strip and a happy dog.  I'll probably have that same look as the dog has, come next mid-July, as we prepare to get together again.

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