OSH 2018

Posted 5/2019...FINALLY!

This has got to be one of the most delayed write-ups I've ever done.  No fantastic excuses...I just kept procrastinating.

OSH 2018 started out as they all have for the past well over 10 years...with me taking a flight over to KOSH to get our campsites in advance of the show.  This always turns into a much bigger task than it could be, and just like Forrest Gump says "I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floatin' around accidental-like on a breeze.  But I, I think maybe it's both."  Oh wait, no, the other one..."My Mama always said 'Life is like a box of chocolate.  You never know what you're gonna get.'"  Every year we seem to be pushed out further and further, to find a big contiguous block for our group.  But we always find something we like.

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The flight over was great, as usual.  I find the IFR days the best, but it's nice to stake out in the sun.  This year we got a couple of fun things to make the job a lot easier...the Segway Mini Pro 320 by Ninebot.  You see, every year I park as below, right in the grass by what I'll always call "Aeroshell Square", even though it's now renamed and I don't even use Aeroshell.  But that means I must walk for literally a few miles before I'm done.  The gates are locked, so you have to take the long way around to the campground, and then once you find your sites, you have to walk way out to the main gate, while cars pass by.  Occasionally I'll get offered a ride, but generally, no.  So this year I came prepared with my own Segway.  For those shopping, note the above model exactly. They make a new one now that does NOT have a removable knee bar, which you really want, for packing into a plane.  They also make a "2018" model that is the same as the "240" I believe.  The difference is battery pack size. The 2018 model has a range of 12.5 miles, and the 320 has a range of 14 miles. Other than that, they are the same.  The smaller battery model I hear was made to comply with airline battery size regulations. I wanted the biggest I could get for hauling my lard A$$ around.
It made the hike way easier than any other year. You can see it easily packs into an RV-14 below, and you can easily put 2 of them in the baggage area of an RV-10, so it was perfect for us.  One of my good pals at camp had a one-wheel version, and we all tried to ride that. It's easier to pack, and faster, but, you're almost guaranteed to draw a little blood while you learn to use it, and it'll never be as simple to ride.  So save that one for the young and foolish perhaps. :)  For those of you wondering if perhaps I have leg issues, or if I'm just so lazy I need such a toy, I have another quote from a young Forrest Gump:   Young Jenny: "What's wrong with your legs?"  Young Forrest:  "Um, nothing at all, thank you.  My legs are just fine and dandy."  Lets see how many more we can squeeze in...

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A few days later it was time to head over with the gang.  We had 3 planes to get over, with N829EC joining us for the flight.  This proved to be a lot harder this year than any other year.
We had low ceilings, rain, and scud all over the state, and every time we tried to pick a route, things changed.  Technically, it was all do-able, but you would have to take risks.  We started out, skirted around and tried to punch through between 2 low areas, but backed out and headed home for re-fueling.  Then we saw it looked like we could fly all the way South in Wisconsin and skirt around it, but after trying, we ended up stuck in IOWA!  And not just stuck for a short time, but stuck for the night!  I felt stupid for even trying, at that point, but,
as Forrest said: "My mama says that stupid is as stupid does."  And yup, his mama was right.  It did, however, JUST get good enough to depart in the morning, and we scooted out under some overcast that kept getting better and better for us to get into OSH.  Lower ceilings aren't fun, but, as Forrest said, "You have to do the best with what God gave you." It wasn't going to hold out good for long, so we were lucky with what God gave us, and we made it!

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The show was the usual show.  The people were the same people we see every year.  But hey, that's what we come here for!  We spent our time browsing, watching, aviating, segwaying, singing, and eating.  I was on the EAA Radio station one day for a quick blurb, but I haven't even heard if anyone listened.  My awesome buddy Lenny had the adventure coming in.  He had well over 1,000 miles to fly, and so much of it was in weather that wasn't that fun.  I keep reminding him every year...."get your Instrument rating."....and I think maybe even one of these years he may do it!  Way down yonder at the bottom of this page, you'll see a screenshot of his turns in the hold on the approach into OSH.  He ended up being one of the lucky ones with a 2 hour hold.  I'd say, it's probably a miracle he even made it in!  Which leads me into another great Forrest quote...  "My mama always told me that miracles happen every day.  Some people don't think so, but they do."  How about this year we have a different miracle, and just have good weather all week?

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We did have a few of the other "usuals" too.  The usual big storm to get us all worried, as the above picture shows.  And the usual trips out for some formation flights.  Danielle had the most awesome kid from Romania to take out for a flight, and they were both thrilled to get the chance to fly together!  I hear he's coming back this year too, so we already know it's going to be a great year.  To me, just the fact that we can hang out with friends, and eat, and play together, is all what makes OSH fun.

Forrest has a good one for what OSH is like, too:  "When I got tired, I slept.  When I got hungry, I ate.  When I had to go, you know, I went."   That pretty much explains a normal OSH day. :)

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Some of these pics are out of order, but, the last pic in the series basically illustrates what we feel like when OSH is over for the year.  It's maybe a good thing that I'm writing this with less than 90 DAYS left until OSH 2019!  We're so close I can almost feel it.  I can't wait to see my pals again, and spend some time with the family.  We may miss one of our girls this year, as the world of education sucked her in for a summer internship.  But we'll see if there's a way to fix that later.  

For now, I'll leave you with one final Forrest Gump quote that suits me well.

"I'm not the smart man.  But I know what love is."
- Forest Gump

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