July 2013



I'm not going to clutter this up with a lot of stories because, honestly, the pictures tell the story quite well. In the interest of history, I'll share a few items, but for the most part it is pretty simple. Rob and I go to Oshkosh again, this time bringing Gavin and Rossi. This is Gavin's second trip since we took him 4 years ago, and this was Rossi's first trip. Rossi had flown in Rob's plane previously and is a trooper with air travel and riding in race cars and Gavin and her get along great so we expected no issues. Also coming along this trip is my new nikon that we got just before this trip. While I'm still learning to shoot well, I got lucky with some and they came out incredible (lucky...and good camera!) and got printed in large format for adorning the walls! Speaking of pictures....I left a lot of them LARGE in this report because I just couldn't shrink them anymore because I think they look too good. Bandwidth is cheap, scroll a bit! I took several gigs worth of pics...wahoo!!

So Rob and Gavin fly down early in the morning and we meet them at the airport and load up for the hop to Wisconsin. We make a quick stop for fuel in Missouri and arrive into Oshkosh airspace several hours before dark. Now, with over 12,000 planes coming to Oshkosh there are ALWAYS stories to tell and if you've read some of my previous reports then you've heard some doozies. Thankfully this trip does not disappoint and I've got a few more to add.

We are turned into air traffic control about 2 hours out from OSH and hear an urgent call for a course deviation to an alternate destination. The female controller quickly and in the standard monotone asks "reason for course deviation?", to which the pilot rapid fires "personal hygiene". The controller keys the mike and after a second of dead air stammers "uh...well, sure...course deviation approved". I'm sure a few hundred of us in the area were laughing at that one.

Over OSH the controllers are rapid firing directions to the long lines of airplanes so they can land 3 at a time on each runway. When there is an issue a controller simply makes a correction and the pilot responds or simply wags their wings in acknowledgement as there is no time for the typical back and forth chatting. One OSH controller called "yellow biplane over the railyard, circle left to the end of the line......no! circle to your other left!".

One call we DIDN'T hear this time, but we'd heard in every previous visit was a tower controller telling an airplane on final to put their landing gear down. Now, we only heard maybe 5-6 hours of direct OSH chatter, so I'm not saying it didn't happen this year, just that we didn't hear it!

Okay, enough gabbing, here are the pics!

Above: The red bump in the backseat is Gavin, the black bump is Rossi


Above: Next stop: MIssouri!


Above: Ros had an iPad, games, coloring books, snacks and toys....but spent a lot of time just watching the earth go by. WE MADE IT!!


The kiddos learned "photobomb" because Rob photobombed them when they were getting ready for their first pic with the B17. The kiddos picked up on this instantly.



Gavin and the elaborate photobomb retaliation...


Rossi returning the favor. If any of you need pictures of kids leaping in front of the camera doing the best ninja stance, I've got a few snaps for you!


Okay...enough photobomb....(but I could go on...and on, and on...)... 

First up we rode the B-17 "Aluminum Overcast". When Gavin was 4, he got to ride in the bombardier's seat as we flew over OSH and Rossi had seen that picture many times and was eager to "ride in the front with all the windows" and I assured her we would do that. We purposefully started in the back so as the 10 minutes went by to get to OSH (the 17 flies out of a nearby airport) it would be our turn in the front when we got there. The 17 crew did not disappoint!

Five years old, first trip to OSH and she is going over the field with thousands of planes on it in the nose of a -17. She loved it but as she realizes later in life what it meant, I hope it means even more.


We were still in the cockpit and nobody was "in line" to go down below and the attendant told Rossi to go back down and she just sat in the bubble watching, wide-eyed, for another solid 5 minutes. Too cool to share this with her.

No it wasn't cheap, yes it was worth every freaking penny.



Above: Ros was picked to be in the cockpit on final and landing. As soon as we touched down, she got to stand up behind the pilot for the taxi'ing all the way back to the ramp.

Rob chatted with the -29 co-pilot and he said they also came up from Texas. In case you're wondering what kind of fuel burn this thing gets, with the superchargers disconnected and the throttles pulled back to economy-cruise at 190kts, it uses 70 gallons per hour, per engine. So, 280 gallons per hour for the plane. Wow.

First thing we did upon getting to OSH was seek out the helicopter rides. We knew from past years that the lines in the afternoon were brutal and we wanted to knock this one out.


Above and below: Snaps from the helicopter flight around the grounds. As expected, kiddos freaking LOVED it and asked to do it again....every hour or so!

Every time the hondajets flew the announcer would proclaim "here are the FAA CONFORMING hondajets", "and, coming in for another pass are the FAA CONFORMING hondajets", "the blue FAA CONFORMING hondajet is configured slightly different than the red FAA CONFORMING hondajet", "make sure you get by the honda booth and see the FAA CONFORMING hondajets". Seriously...I think he got paid 100$ every time he said "FAA CONFORMING". It was painfully annoying. 

Above: Dusty Crophopper from the Disney movie "Planes".

We did the museum which had TONS of hands-on activities for kids and we had a blast. Kids loved it!

Next up we flew on the Ford Tri-Motor. Takes off at 90, cruises at 90, lands at 90. True story!


Rossi loved the toy plane that had a mechanical hookup to the stick like a LINK trainer. She could make it do everything the guy told her to and she won a set of wings!!!

Finally, on the last day, we did ANOTHER helicopter ride....for the kids, of course! (heh)


Airshows every day, thousands of planes, booths with planes, parts for planes....it was awesome, as usual. Love this pic of Ros as we load up to head home. Our hotel had a heated pool and the kids played there every night and on the last night they were bummed to have to go home, but happy for one more plane ride for sure! So far Rossi has flown in the Mooney (a lot!), the B-17, the Ford Tri-Motor, a Bell47 twice and a C-47 (along with many commercial flights). She loves to be in the air!

Us heading to Texas as the sun falls in the west. This is one of the last snaps I took on the trip. Huge thanks Rob, it was awesome!!!