OSH 2016 with N104CD and N14YT!

July 2016

This year OSH had a lot for us. It was one of the more exciting OSH experiences I've had yet!  With our RV-10 entering it's 11th year year at OSH, it had plenty of experience coming to the big show, but with our newborn RV-14 (N14YT) just learning to walk after flying off it's 40 hours, it was time to introduce it to the world.  Taking both airplanes gave us one other challenge as well... I've been flying planes into OSH for about 17 years now, but bringing 2 airplanes to OSH means you need 2 pilots to bring them, so it was time for Andrea to get her first experience flying into OSH as well!  Additionally, we had plans to meet up with 3 other RV-10's for the flight in...N829EC (Ed Kranz), N801VR (Sean Strasburg), and N311LZ (Lenny Iszak).  Sadly, N104XP (Scott Schmidt) would have to make it the following day, so we only had 5 airplanes to fly into OSH.  One added bonus for OSH 2016 was the fact that N14YT was the first and only customer built RV-14 to make it to OSH!  I never thought that I would finish that early to be the only one.

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It's becoming a tradition to start the OSH experience a day early when possible, meeting up at our airport and spending a little time pre-show with our friends. This gives us the opportunity to do a little flying in a less busy environment, and gives us time to hit the water for some waterskiiing and wakeboarding with our friends.
With OSH 2016 promising to be a hot one, getting on the water was a perfect way to start the week!

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After getting the crew to the airport, one of my goals was to get a few aerial photos of my 2 RV children together.  Best done by comfortable formation pilots, we put Sean and I into the cockpits and had Ed fly the photo plane while we did some formation around the area.  Both planes fly real well together, but after flying the RV-14 for a while in formation, I've come to the conclusion that the 2-seater RV people are right...it's easier to fly formation in the bubble canopy RV's.
Not that it's hard in the RV-10, but you definitely benefit from the lack of door posts and the see-thru canopy on the RV-14.  It's also much more fun with the stuff you can do in an RV14.  Here are a bunch of photos that are the results of our flight.

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After letting Lenny and Sean both have their turns flying the RV-14 alone, we assembled the crew for a 5 ship photo shoot before we departed for OSH.  We left the point position open for Scott, wishing that he'd miraculously show up. :)

The flight to OSH was both fun and uneventful.  We showed up a couple days early for the show, which provided a low-traffic environment for Andrea, yet allowed us to fly the published NOTAM.   At the show we got our perseverance award for finishing the RV-14...that's more for Andrea for living with me while building the RV-14 than anything else.  With around 1200 hours on the RV-10, it got the 1000 hour prop tag again this year.  Not looking forward to 2000, as that means an engine bill is coming up soon, but we sure have fun flying them.

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The whole week during the show was the usual camaraderie with friends...more of a family reunion at this point than anything else. The kids had a great time hanging out with friends, and we had a couple of nights of music at the neighboring campsite where a variety of musicians gather and play songs together.  We ended up staying all the way until the final Sunday of the show.  It was probably the first year that I really wasn't that ready to leave when it was time.

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One of the things I like to do most during OSH is get out and fly.  It's one of the few times a year that I can fly formation with the friends I care to fly formation with, so it's good practice for us.  It also gives us opportunity to get some aerial photos of our planes, always hoping to catch "the perfect photo".  None of them came out as the ultimate of photos this year, but it's still awesome to see these pretty airplanes in flight.  I think in future years we need to work on getting some video of each airplane.

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Later in the week we had a surprising once-in-a-lifetime experience...through a friend of a friend we somehow got the opportunity to get in on a tower tour, during OSH.  It was during the afternoon airshow, so the controllers get a bit of a break as the air boss controls the field at that time and there are no arrivals and departures going on.  Still, the view is fantastic, the information we heard was fascinating, and the whole experience was incredible. It really is amazing at how much the tower can see around the airport.  If your airplane were getting broken into at night, it would be very easy for someone in the tower to see what was going on.  If you fire up to taxi when you aren't supposed to, they definitely can see you.

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Later in the week Lenny and I had a great opportunity.  I had to pick up a couple of kids back home to bring to the show with us.  The morning started with 1100' ceilings and then 1300' ceilings so I figured I had a good chance of it all working out.  Then the ceilings dropped to 900' and then 700' as I reached the airplane to leave.  I didn't think it would work but watched the incoming weather on the horizon and it did look like it was going to lighten up.  Suddenly in minutes the field was VFR again and we could depart.  I had filed an IFR plan from an intersection south of OSH, because there were no IFR slot reservations that I could get for that day.  I departed VFR and stayed under the low ceiling in good viz, contacted Milwaukee Approach, and within a couple minutes they gave me a climb to my intersection starting point.  I was able to get in some real good IMC time with Lenny, who wants to get his Instrument rating if he can ever get his butt in gear (yes, that's for you Lenny), and show him how useful it can be.  We spent at least 1/2 our trip in IMC and even flew an approach at both ends of the trip. An instrument rating is something I would recommend to any x/c pilot, and any RV pilot.  It can make your trips much more worktable, and it lowers your insurance rates as well.

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Back at the show we had a few pretty cool things going on.  First, Ed won an outstanding workmanship award for his RV-10, which really is a beautiful airplane.  The Martin water bomber was a big hit at the show. It was very cool to watch it waterbomb a fire on the field.  For those who unlike me, liked to get up early, you could see the balloon launch in the morning.  We did get one day to go to Red Granite quarry for some swimming, as well.  Unfortunately it wasn't early in the week when the heat was unbearable, but later in the week when it wasn't quite so hot.  The Snowbirds were one of our favorite things to see at the show as well.  I actually prefer their routine to the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, as the larger quantity of airplanes they use really give a great show.  They do lack some of the loud shocking thunder of the F/A-18's however, so they all have their place.  My favorite airshow of all times was the year the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, and the Snowbirds all came to Dayton, Ohio for a show. I believe it was the centennial of flight show, but I'm not positive.

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The trip home was uneventful as well, but this year rather than doing it alone, we had a 3-ship flight all the way to my airport.  That was a better way to end the week than the normal single-ship flight home!  Below are some clips of an article in Kitplanes magazine written by Vic Syracuse about our family's flight in.  Unfortunately the name captions are all messed up so the names don't match the photos, but the article was short and sweet.  It really was a great experience having the 2 airplanes there, piloted by my wife and I, flying with our 2 kids.  I hope we can continue that tradition for many more years at OSH.

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