EAA 1418 meets every third Saturday at Noon in the pilots lounge at Rohnerville Airport, Fortuna, California.  Lunch and a beverage are provided for a suggested $5.00 donation to the chapter.  Anyone interested in aviation is welcome to attend.


Humboldt County, California Aviation Webcams

North Coast Aviators, EAA 1418, installs and maintains webcams at our local airports. These cameras show real-time weather conditions and have proved invaluable to aviators, local government agencies, and area residents.

All NorthCoastAviation.com webcams, AWOS, and more 

 Rohnerville Airport

Eureka/Arcata Airport

 Murray Field

Kneeland Airport

 Garberville Airport

Shelter Cove

See NorthCoastAviation.com for all the aviation cams, weather and local links, local highway cams and technical information about this program.


Affiliated with Lost Coast Aviators is the
AVI8CANDO Youth Aviation Program
Rohnerville Airport, CA


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Wednesday
Aug102011

AirVenture 2011 and Baraboo and all the rest. – by Marilyn Boese

It seems like a lot has been happening in this world, so this recap is my quick description of this year’s flights to and from Baraboo and Oshkosh, and the AirVenture Cup Race.

NX374WT was ready to go with a new Catto propeller and new smaller wheels and fairings on July 19. This being the Tailwind, our packing and advance planning includes sending a box of clothes ahead to Oshkosh so we can travel relatively light. The Roho air cushions on the seats may weigh a pound or two, but they are worth it on these longer flights. Red also installs two arm rests that together weigh almost one pound, but they are worth it also. My estimate is that it took us about 7 3/4 hours to fly to Baraboo Wisconsin, with a mighty tailwind in the Tailwind. At one point we saw 272 mph on the GPS, our over the ground speed. We stopped at Orland, Wells NV, Douglas WY enroute to Baraboo. Arrived to intense heat and the welcome of great friends Bob and Peggy Danner, Jim Clement and a few other early arrivals for the Baraboo Tailwind Gathering.

Over the next few days we visited with many old and new friends, mostly about Tailwinds, and with milder weather We enjoyed sitting in the hangars and swapping rides, plus eating great meals put together mostly by Donna Clement, Peggy Danner, Michelle Logback, Farmer John and Richard Jamison. If you are not familiar with this area, maybe you recognize the Wisconsin Dells, which is where we stay. We owe Bill a big thanks for letting us use his comfortable hangar. (photo by Gerry Van Dyke)

Saturday we departed for Dayton, where the air racers were gathering for the Sunday race. Weather had been unsettled for days – large thunderstorms kept piling up and pushing east in Illinois, Ohio, and onward. We arrived in Dayton where the heat and humidity were impressive and soon were surrounded by dozens of homebuilt aircraft racers. There were 38 entrants this year for the 400 + mile race to the finish line near Oshkosh.

Race briefings always give last minute details but this one was full of changes - a storm system centered on our race route made it unrealistic, so there were two alternate airports suggested and the plan was made to race to Mattoon IL and stop, wait for the storm to pass, and continue on north to Wisconsin and the finish line. We soon took off in “fastest aircraft first” order and the Tailwind was flying very well, but we were all in a headwind so the ground speeds were not going to be special. Unfortunately the storm was forming or moving onto our path to Mattoon and near there some racers ahead hit severe turbulence. Quick radio calls came in and many peeled off to land at Terre Haute IN to the south of the course. We got into the turbulence and throttled back, kept going, and got through it, landing at Mattoon with about 23 others on a wet airfield with a stiff wind.

Unbuckling, we quickly tied down and made sure the other racers were also safe, then we went to eat at the café next door. After an hour or so we heard from the Race Committee that about 14 of the racers were in Terre Haute and eventually we heard that we would not be continuing the race that day. Several racers departed Mattoon as the weather there was mild, and there was only light rain between there and Oshkosh. Red decided to leave also and we flew on to Oshkosh. Later we heard that the race would be continued on Monday, the next day, starting again in Terre Haute. The final results were that the AirVenture Cup Race was flown by 14 aircraft, and the race segment we flew was named the “Mattoon Challenge”. In the Mattoon Challenge we won our Class, FX-Red, at a speed of 221.54 mph. Our speed when we won at Northwest Air Race without the headwind and turbulence was 231.94 mph in a light rain as a comparison. The airplane flew strong and the new propeller did improve our speed but the conditions were poor.

Congratulations to Bruce Hammer, AirVenture Cup 2011 overall winner at 247 mph in his fixed gear Glasair.

It was a relief to land at Oshkosh and we were parked on the north end of Race Parking, next to the Tailwinds and almost at show center. The first few days of AirVenture when the Tailwind pilots and families are there it is busy and fun with meet ups, Forums, and the Wendt’s dinner on the lake, lunch at Ace’s Cafeteria, etc. We stayed in the home of Marilynn Wilkening and she and her son Dave were great hosts – plus she located bicycles for us to ride to and from the AirVenture grounds.

Part of each afternoon I volunteered in the EAA Welcome Tent, greeting and helping with directions. I entered a Drawing that they have each day and one day I won – a ride for two on the Zeppelin !! This great big beauty was flying several times a day from the airfield beside the Museum. That is quite an airship. I took Red with me Saturday morning for a beautiful ride.  http://farmersairship.com/

This year was a tribute to the US Navy and to Dick and Burt Rutan – so there were dozens of Rutan designed aircraft on display, military fly bys, demonstrations, even the new Boeing Dreamliner came by for a stop. And that is just part of the show. Vintage area is always a favorite as well. We spent some time at the Wittman Hangar (ably hosted by Dave Berelsman) and KidVenture – which is awesome – at Pioneer Airport.  And, I got updated on the Young Eagles program, which has lots of good stuff going on –see www.youngeagles.org and read about the Five Step Plan to reach out to potential new pilots.

We had time to visit with friends from Vintage Chapter 25 (Dave Magaw) and Chapter
1418 (Lindsay and Randal Locke) and other friends from all over the planet.

Thank you to everyone who helped us, took us around, fed us and tried to keep us cool.  On the way home we stopped at Rushford MN, Douglas WY and Kemmerer WY, plus a fuel stop at Wells. Arrived on the coast to coastal stratus and flew to Little River Airport where the plane stayed for a day before we had clear skies and Red flew it home.

Monday
Aug082011

To the showers...or, A newbie's un-varnished guide to tent camping in Camp Scholler

EAA1418 President Lindsay Locke and her erstwhile companions; EAA1418 members Russell Dobson and Randal Locke, returned August 1st, from their 11 day adventure to EAA's AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Three tents, three different people and their very different perspectives are combined herein to give the reader some insights regarding the "Camp Scholler Experience".  Insights not found in the EAA Camp Scholler 2011 Camping Guide.  Careful scrutiny of the pictures below will reveal that "Randal's" tent could fit 7 Russell or Lindsay tents within it.  What you see in the first picture is merely one third of my hugemongous tent, which was set up for the very first time at AirVenture.  It is good to be the website geek.

Before I begin this guide, it should be noted that we all had a good time.  It is probably safe to say that Camp Scholler was the biggest campground in the world this year during AirVenture 2011.  EAA President Rod Hightower announced to the Sunday Air Show spectators that the campground had more campers this year than any previous year, and our experience bears that out.  It looked like multiple overflow camps opened up during the event, including one next to Highway 41 that had no fence between it and the highway.  Never in any of our lives had we seen so many rolling mansions, motor homes, campers and tents of every variety in one place.  We were amazed by the sheer scale of the place the whole time we were there, especially on Sunday when the mass "exodus" occurred.  Camp Scholler is truly a feat of considerable organizational skill and management by the EAA staff and their many volunteers, not one of whom was anything but a saint during the entire event!  (Itself a remarkable accomplishment.)  In fact, neither of us ran into anyone on the AirVenture site, or off the site, that wasn't just plain nice.  We have come to believe that maybe Oshkosh has something in their water that makes everyone so darn friendly.

REGISTRATION AND GENERAL ENTRY INFORMATION AND TIPS
We were camped directly across the street from the registration building, between 9th and 10th on the north side of Hawthorne, which meant we had the best view of the goings on at registration as anyone in the camp.
There was nothing but asphalt and air between us and the front of the registration building.  The first thing to keep in mind is that buying your camp site/s on the Internet in advance does appear to help speed the registration process.  Sign flags on the road into registration directed Internet pre-paid customers to the left of the seven or eight lane "train yard" area in front of registration.  This is supposed to speed things up, but our own experience and watching what actually happens convinced us that deliberate or lucky timing is the critical factor.  If it is busy, you will wait, no matter what line you end up in, and that turns in to a toss of the coin pretty quickly.  Early morning or later evening (like we did) arrivals give you the best chance of getting through the process in a reasonable time.  Everyone entering the campground must stop, get out of their vehicles and go and wait in the registration line and then register.  Be absolutely sure you have your data coded paid receipts and anything else you need including ID and your credit card.
 

HOT TIP NUMBER ONE  Never ever go down that same registration road again during your stay at Camp Scholler unless you know it is clear or unless you are having such a good time at AirVenture you start feeling guilty and need something to kill the happy buzz.  There is another, "Permit Only" gate (West Gate 252) just south of the registration road to use after you are registered.  Do not make the mistake of going down the registration road again or you may risk being "locked in" and waiting.  (We know, we did it... just once.)
 

HOT TIP NUMBER TWO  If at all possible avoid using any off ramp off Highway 41 but the Waupun Road exit at the south end of the property.  If you use the 99/44/South Park exit you will likely regret the decision.  The EAA has done a Herculean job of re-directing and routing traffic and they have an army of volunteers and staff directing traffic, but in spite of all the best intentions the South Park exit is death to your happiness and that appeared to apply throughout the day.  (We know, we did it... just three times, slow learners here.)
 

HOT TIP NUMBER THREE  Avoid, for the duration of your stay, leaving or returning to the site between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on "fair weather" days.  In other words, unless it is raining or storming, stay on site during those hours or you will end up in the daily mass of humanity that descends on the site during the morning hours.  Wait times up and down Poberenzy Road to or from the Waupun interchange can exceed 15 minutes.  (We know, we did it... just once.)
 

HOT TIP NUMBER FOUR  You will notice immediately that the Oshkosh Police are EVERYWHERE desperately trying to keep traffic moving and sane.  They are at every on-ramp and off-ramp and points in between.   Obey all the traffic rules, use your signals, be nice to everyone on the road and wave at the nice policemen and women.  (You will be surprised how many wave back.  You know, the water.)  We saw tickets being given and can only imagine how pissed-off the police must get when they have to issue a citation in the middle of their own version of the EAA traffic nightmare.   (We wondered how much the EAA must pay for all the police.  It's gotta be a huge chunk of change.)
 

HOT TIP NUMBER FIVE  Be sure to stick your sticky back registration card on the inside lower left corner of your windshield immediately after you get it.  If you don't, someone will stop you and do it for you, which holds up the zillion souls behind you and tests that "everyone is friendly in Oshkosh" theory.  (We know, we got stuck behind non-stickers more that once.  We called 'em "turkeys" and uttered other disparaging remarks.)
 

HOT TIP NUMBER SIX  Avoid, if at all possible, searching for a campsite during darkness.  It is an exercise in frustration and ultimately futility. (We know, we did it... just once.)  If you come late and in the dark, register and if possible leave and come back early the next morning to find your spot.  And most importantly on this topic, if, as has happened the past two years, the site has been soaked, you will be entering a quagmire nightmare, literally and figuratively.  Doing so in the dark is only for those who have no choice.  Do not wear nice shoes.  We were lucky, and after a quick and pointless go-round and escape, we had our good friends John and Teresa open their home for us that first evening.  Russell and I took off for the EAA site again at 5:30 a.m. and slam-dunked our side by side campgrounds in no time.  Early birds get the worms and all that.
 

HOT TIP NUMBER SEVEN  Keep in mind Camp Scholler is NOT like your typical campground.  Unless you are in the electric and water equipped sites (which are for motor homes and campers only) you will NOT have access to water (except drinking water and a couple of utility faucets near the showers and store, and at sinks in the shower/bath rooms. There is no place to wash dishes or any place but the shower sinks to even dump dish water, so preparing food at tent based camp sites is simply a major pain in the butt.  (We know, we did it... just once.)  Boiling water for tea and coffee, roasting a hot dog and the most basic food preparation is all that is comfortable unless you come fully prepared and self contained.  Use only disposable plates, cups and cutlery.  Now of course if you are in a camper or motor home, you don't have this limitation and probably have a waste tank.  Problem solved.  The Camp does have a dumping facility.  Just be careful not to fill up too soon or your will have to uproot yourself and go through the rats maze to dump your tank.  (And don't forget the ever present threat, if not existence, of mud.)  This might be one reason the camp showers are so busy.

PERSONAL HYGEINE INFORMATION AND TIPS
Unless you suffer from anhidrosis, you will sweat at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  (We know... we did the whole time we were there.  Both times.)  So keeping clean is a big deal for everyone, but especially for tent campers in Camp Scholler, and I assume our Aircraft camping brethren as well.  In just the past few years the EAA has constructed shower facilities that frankly I wonder how anyone did without before they were built.  (Some of those forum presentations must have been pretty odoriferous affairs in the old days.  Now I understand why the forum buildings have open sides.  Heh heh.)  All three of us had very different shower experiences.  All three of us had to learn the hard way, our own way, to deal with staying presentable.  The entire hygiene aspect of AirVenture actually became fodder for many jokes, funny stories and fun.   And ultimately we all figured it out and stayed clean.  In fact Lindsay said I showered there more than I do at home.  Of course, throughout the whole comedy, I was laughing my butt off inside half the time, mostly at myself.  It had been forty years since I showered with a group of men and that was in high school.  The first sight of 50 ugly naked dudes damn near made me laugh out loud.  Very un-cool, especially when you number in the top 10 of those same ugly naked dudes.  (Average age of EAA members... 50.)  Lindsay on the other hand did something REALLY new and appeared to have adapted quickly, but not without some initial degree of shock.  However, when it comes to the following TIPS, I confess that they are from my experiences alone.  If Lindsay and Russell have something to add, they are welcome, but for now these are my observations.

Before I get started with the hygiend tips, I should tell you a few things.  Camp Scholler campground is not an easy place for we heathen Neanderthal males to urinate willy nilly in the bushes like in the typical campground.  There are no bushes.  Your neighbors (on three or more sides of you) will be close enough to you for you to spit on from a seated position.  Most of the site is without trees.  (We got lucky.)  For old males, the nighttime bladder cruise will have its' duration and hazard potential determined by the distance you have to walk to the can.Keep that fact in mind when you pick your camp site.  And as usual, always keep in mind that the site can turn into a quagmire in what seems like an instant, and that you will then have to walk through the mud, in the dark, half asleep and on a mission.  A combination just begging for comedy.  There are Porta-Potties around the site, and flush toilets in the shower facility so take your pick.

As for me, after my second slippery-slidy, mud-slogged midnight walk, (and an incident I describe further on) I got a wide-mouth jar and called it good.  It looked like I was carrying apple juice to the shower.  Of course when Lindsay moved into the tent near the end of the event, even that "luxury" evaporated.  I just couldn't stand the thought of grossing her out that much.  Of course her Mom will tell you the kid can sleep through a nuclear detonation, but I wasn't ready to take chances.  So I did... the walk.

The showers will almost always have at least a few people using them.  We are all sly devils and figure out pretty quickly that it would be worth the bother to set an alarm and wake up to take a shower at 2:00 a.m. and avoid the crowd of flesh.  The problem is there are a zillion people around you who also think they are pretty sly, and the next thing you know you are going to the showers with a whole bunch of people, just fewer than the peak times (6:00 to 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  When it happened the first time Tuesday night, we all had the same idiot looks on our faces.  It was one big WTF moment for all of us, and I'm not talking Obama's "Win The Future".   After the flesh filled first day at 7:30 a.m., and the 2:00 a.m. experiment Tuesday, I picked the crack of dawn as shower time.  That is when I wake up anyway, even with the two hour time change.  It was busy even then but manageable, and the lines for the flush toilets (just 5 stalls in our men's shower building) were never too long.  I mention this because you will wonder how I got the pictures for this story.   By the end of the week, I had been to the shower building enough times at all hours to figure out that 3:30 a.m. was the best chance to get a nearly empty building.  I took these pictures on Friday morning and still had two guys in the showers who I avoided.  So I walked through the whole place taking flash photos.  (Who knows what those guys were thinking as the strobe fired off.) Very suspicious activity.

I'm not sure exactly what kind of suspicious activity we are supposed to be looking for, besides old fat guys taking pictures in the early morning, but I imagine the idea of theft is top on the list.  However, the three of us found the attendees to AirVenture are like airplane people everywhere... a better and more honest breed.  We never worried about our campsite being compromised and found that with so many really nice people in close proximity, security was kind of universal.  Anyway, we were on vacation and we sure didn't want to wander around AirVenture for a week worrying about our stuff 23 minutes away in the campground.  For us, I think the key was introducing ourselves to our neighbors and we all watched out for each other.  The way it SHOULD be everywhere.

HOT TIP NUMBER ONE  Be sure to note the shower hours.  Even write them down at camp if you have to.  The sign below was only posted on one door, which was on the opposite side of the building from where we entered.  It was three days before I actually knew the hours.  My fault.  (That slow learner thing again.)  Knowing the hours the building is open will avoid surprises and long walks to the closest Porta Potty.  On the other hand, not knowing the hours resulted in some fun for me and the witnesses.  I had consumed a great deal of water for hydration, and beer for fun one evening early at the event and woke up before midnight with a burnin' yearnin' to pee.  So I found my flip flops (remember mud) and gingerly negotiated the dark and tricky walk to the shower building.  There were 6 or 7 guys near the Men's door.  One of them looked at me as I approached and said, "It's closed."  I said plaintively, "Oh no.  When does it open?"  "Not for another 15 minutes.", he replied.  I knew the closest Porta Potty was all the way at the end of the block, through "un-known" mud and territory.  During my walk to the building I had gone past the Ladies bathroom door, which was proped open with a Yellow cleaning cone thingy.I asked myself, "Why not?"  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and I knew I couldn't hold on any longer. The situation had gotten serious.  I walked down the concrete walkway, peeked around the corner of the open door, saw an unattended rolling mop bucket and cruised right in, went to stall three and breathed a deep, and blessed sigh of relief.  Sweet relief.  Being a gentleman, I took some tp and cleaned the edge of the toilet just in case, and exited the stall straight into a woman standing there with a mop, gloves and an extremely un-happy, even pissed-off face on her.  She said, and I quote,"This is the woman's bathroom."  To which I replied, and I quote again, (and will never forget), "I got that."  And I walked out.  That was it.  I couldn't tell you what she looked like even under hypnosis.  Somewhere in Oshkosh some hard working woman is telling people about the big, fat, old, jerk that used her bathroom.  Anyway, I looked to my left as I exited the door to see "my brothers" at the other end of the building grinning and chuckling.  Or at least I think it was chuckling.  They may have been calling me a chuckle head, but I didn't mind, I felt great.  Like that Teeter HangUps guy on TV.  The "apple juice" started the next day.

HOT TIP NUMBER TWO  Do not wear your normal clothes and shoes to the showers.  Below are pictures of the changing room "dressing" wall and the bench at the end of the "shower suite".


There is very little room for your stuff.  The bench along the wall is about 10 inches wide.  You will have one hook and during busy times you will count your blessings for it, if you get one.  The bench you see in the picture above is about seven feet long and sits against the wall between both entrances to the showers.  It actually "pinches" the traffic going from the bathroom side and the changing room side.  Like an idiot, I went to the showers with my cute gallon baggie full of toiletries and changed at the end of the bench above.  OMG.  Leather hiking boots, tight socks, Levi's, Shirt, T-Shirt, tidy-whities and my towel.  (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I brought a full size bath towel.)  Trying to get all that stuff off me and stacked (all the hooks were used) on that bench while a mass of naked men were trying to get by in both directions was no fun.  Don't do it.  Enjoy the experience vicariously through me and pay heed to...
 

HOT TIP NUMBER TWO  Wear as little as possible and take the absolute bare minimum stuff you need for you to accomplish "the mission".  Do not use the benches or the hooks as there is no reason to use them if you plan ahead and know what to expect.  You will not want to spend any more time in there than you have to, so get your Ninja Warrior attitude on and Bruce Lee yourself through the process.  The following is what I wore and took with me, and what I believe Lindsay (and many others in the camp) did after their first shower experience as well.  Wear flip flops.  Wear swim trunks.  Wear a T-shirt if you wish.  Take a towel no bigger than a hand towel.  And take only those toiletry items you must use there, and keep them all in a single small container.  (For example, I took only shampoo, razor, toothbrush and paste in a baggie.)

HOT TIP NUMBER THREE  Do everything in the shower stall itself.  I typically went through the bathroom side of the building and did whatever "business" I could or needed to do.  (Only on a few occasions did I have to wait in line for a stall.)  Once that phase of the mission was done, I simply went to the first available shower stall.  Place your toiletry bag in the wire hanger thing on the wall.  Toss your hand towel up over the edge of the shower curtain or wall.  Step out of your flip flops and stand on them.  Then remove your swim trunks, (or whatever) and your shirt if you have one, and flip them up over the pipe or 2X4 above you where the flexible water hose is attached.  This will keep all your clothing out of the way of the spraying water.  Slip your feet back into your flip flops and you are good to go.

Below is what you will be using to hose yourself down.  You will recognize it immediately.  This is your shower head. 

Because the bathrooms are not connected to any waste treatment facility, all of the waste and water at the bathrooms is pumped out multiple times a day.

To conserve water and reduce to a bare minimum the amounts of water that must be pumped all faucets and these nozzles are spring loaded.  You wash yourself with one hand.  If you only have one hand, things could get interesting, if not down right funny.  What was interesting is that although we all understood the need for water conservation, we didn't quite understand the need for nozzle hose conservation.  The hose nozzle was fully 10 inches above my groin area and I am 6' 2" tall.  Russell, who is 5' 6" had the hose nozzle at about chest level.  So cleaning the vital nether regions must be done with one hand on the nozzle and the other working creatively to direct water and soap to the necessary regions.  You will notice in the pictures above there are no water temperature adjustments.  Everyone gets the same warm water.  That is another good water and energy conserving idea, but do not expect a HOT shower.  Just be thankful it isn't COLD.

HOT TIP NUMBER FOUR  "Hand squeegee" yourself and then "dry" yourself as best as possible with your hand towel, forget about your hair for the moment if you soak your towel, and re-dress yourself in the shower stall.  Basically reverse the process you started with.  (I know you would figure this part out yourself, but it is a guide so I will be thorough.)  You can choose to brush your teeth in the shower, but spitting toothpaste into the large metal grate on the floor that serves as the drain opens opportunities to miss and hit your own feet, which of course means you are going to have to extend your stay and spray your own feet off.  (I know, I did it... just once.)  Brush your teeth in the sinks in the other room and get the heck out of there.  Only one time were all the sinks taken up when I wanted one.  There are mirrors and electrical outlets all around the exterior of the building as shown below.  You can take care of what ever you need in the great outdoors.  Just remember there will be, electric carts, coffee makers, cell phones, camera battery chargers, electric powered skate boards and all kinds of other stuff plugged into the outlets along with people blow drying their hair and using electric shavers.  You name it, you will see it plugged into these outlets, sometimes blocking the entire walkway.  And no one bothers any of it, no matter the time of day or night.  At least we never saw or heard of a single problem.
And, you can always use the trough sink in the changing room shown below.
I preferred using the 10 porcelain sinks in the bathroom area for tooth brushing and hand washing.
HOT TIP NUMBER FIVE  If you are going to finish your mission outside the building, remember this fact.  There will be mosquitoes and you are supposedly clean, which means any repellant you had on you is gone.  You will be eaten, especially in the evening and early morning hours.  Make it quick or bring repellant, or do as I did and get back to your camp asap and bug juice yourself or seek shelter.
 

HOT TIP NUMBER SIX  Be really nice to the people in uniform (T-shirts at least) that you encounter cleaning the facility.  They frankly have a tough job and probably get paid little money for the privilege.  I was nice to every cleaner I met in the men's room, and on one occasion pointed out to one of them  feces that had been smeared on the interior surface of a stall door and on another occasion discovered four of the five stalls blocked and flooded.  Both times the fellows I told made a point of thanking me.  The cleaning staff does a great job.  You can help them, (and most people did), by cleaning the sink areas after using them.  Except for the couple of times I mentioned, the bathrooms were generally well maintained, except for the muddy floors, which are inevitable and impossible to maintain under the circumstances.

I know this article is really long, and I will move it to a new separate section as soon as I can.  There are plans afoot to enhance and re-structure the website, with some ideas suggested by Red and Marilyn. The next article is titled "Costco Socks" and stars our friends, and my saviors at AirVenture, Jill and Archie Archibald.

 

Saturday
Aug062011

Tailwind Tales

Pictured below are Lost Coast Aviators/EAA1418 members Marilyn Boese and Red Hamilton and their Wittman Tailwind. This picture was taken just moments before they took off from AirVenture 2011 last Sunday morning to return to their home in Fort Bragg, CA.  (Note the luggage.)  Red and Marilyn won the Formula FX Red class 2010 AirVenture Cup Race in this airplane.  But for this year's race, Mother Nature was not cooperative and the race ended up with many entrants not finishing the whole race, including Red and Marilyn.  They, and about 24 other race planes did finish the first briefed leg to Mattoon IL. The AVC race committee is calling that the "Mattoon Challenge", and is to release separate results for that leg. The remainder of the race was run by about 14 aircraft Monday afternoon and those results are published as the AVC race.

Regarding this year's race, the following is a post dated 07-24-2011, 06:47 PM from race participant and Vans Air Force member Alan Carroll.

Race day began inauspiciously, with everyone sitting on folding chairs and squinting nervously at radar images on their iPhones, iPads, Androids, or other favorite tech gadget. Thunderstorms developing in north-central Illinois appeared destined to block the planned course, so the organizers devised an alternate plan to fly to Rantoul IL, then wait out the storms and continue. However, after some more delays it became clear that the storms would also beat us to Rantoul, so a new plan was made to go to Mattoon IL. We launched in a a hurry, trying to beat the weather. One of the first planes was the Nemesis NXT, which promptly deposited its canopy on the runway during takeoff roll (canopy latched?). However, the race crew were able to quickly gather up the larger pieces and soon we were all launching for Mattoon, about 185 nm away.

As it turns out the storms weren't done with us yet. Some of the faster racers made it to Mattoon, but the weather was bearing down fast. A couple of racers reported a rough ride beneath some ominous-looking clouds, and soon a high-pitched voice from a Lancair declared an encounter with "severe turbulence", followed by some other unintelligible remarks. The tone of his voice got everyone's attention, and moments later came the report that Mattoon winds were gusting to 38 kts. About 15 airplanes decided in short order to divert to Terre Haute IN. We woke up the tower controller there and somehow all reached the ground without serious mishap (it would not surprise me if some NASA forms are filed). We were able to roll into a large hangar just ahead of the gusts and lightning, and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at the fine airport restaurant. Other racers and race crew scattered to other parts of west-central Indiana and east-central Illinois.

The plan was to organize a restart from Mattoon. However I had been seeing uncomfortably high oil temperatures during the first leg, and decided that my race day was over. I high-tailed it back north to Wisconsin, and one of two other racers also dropped out. The weather was breaking up quickly so I assume the remaining group made it to the finish in West Bend. Eric Whyte and the AVC crew did a spectacular job keeping things organized in the face of challenging conditions.

Red and Marilyn told us that at one point during the "race leg"  that they experienced significant turbulence (my words) during their flight; causing Red to reduce power two times.  Actually, I think they said they "bounced around the cockpit".  (Whatever they said, I just remember thinking I was glad I wasn't in the airplane at the time.)  They did later download information from their GPS that showed the average speed for that leg to be 225.1 mph. From a non-pilot's point of view it seems to me that the Tailwind must be a very sturdy aircraft; that Red is a fine pilot; and that Marilyn is brave, adventurous, and a great right seat.  Overall, a great and winning trio.  Hey, they're alive and well.

Red and Marilyn's Wittman Tailwind is a W-10 and was built over a long period of time by three builders, Red and Marilyn finished it and did the first flights in 2003, a Centennial  homebuilt. The engine is a O-320-E2D Lycoming with increased compression ratio running Catto prop.

To give credit and kudos where due, the overall winner of the AVC race this year was Bruce Hammer, flying a fixed-pitch, fixed-gear, 180-hp Glasair I in the Formula FX Blue class with an average speed of 247 mph.  It also appears that only 14 aircraft finished the race, but don't quote me, current and relevant information about this year's race seems to be hard to come by at the moment... so soon after the event.

Also, during this year's AirVenture, Red and Marilyn invited Lindsay and myself to the Presidents Circle banquet on Friday, July 29th, at the old Poberezny estate on the EAA AirVenture site.   All of the EAA movers and shakers were there including EAA Young Eagles Co-Chairmen, Capt. Chesley Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles of US Airways Flight 1549 fame.  I had been carrying my copy of the Captain's book "Highest Duty" around with me for the entire week and had even made it just one person away from the autograph table after Sully and Jeff Skiles, and a passenger from the flight had given a very interesting and entertaining 75 minute talk, when Lindsay and I and a bunch of other folks were commanded by someone to leave, and go to the end of the line.  We didn't know there was a line, and dutifully obeyed, only to find said line wrapped around the building, and no time to wait if we wanted to make our next forum.  We left.  So when I found myself behind the good Captain at the bar during the Presidents Circle event, I did what all good stalkers do, and whipped out his book and placed it and a pen in front of him on the bar for an autograph.  (I will treasure the unique result for the rest of my days.)  I was also fortunate to have a little more time at this "captive" encounter to tell Capt. Sullenberger how much I enjoyed and appreciated his book, which I have read twice.  He told me "writing the book was a labor of love".  Actually, I believe his whole life has been, and continues to be, a labor of love.  I also believe he represents the very best of us all and serves as a role model for young people only too rare in our times.  (Call me a fan.)  For what my opinion is worth, I recommend the book highly, as do most people who have read the book or who were on the aircraft.  It is a really good tale, written very well (with Jeffrey Zaslow), and frankly a book that actually made me "feel" better about humanity.  (Something that has been getting harder for me to do lately.)

During dinner at the President's Circle event, Lindsay and I were also fortunate to hear from Red and Marilyn insightful and honestly delivered input regarding our EAA1418 chapter and this website, as well as dealing with the ongoing situation with our young Chapter President and the EAA in Oshkosh.  Their thoughtful suggestions and continuing support and advocacy of Lindsay were a highlight of the trip.

I should also mention that Red and Marilyn invited Lindsay and myself and our EAA1418 friends John and Teresa Rubino (official EAA embroiderers in the EAA Wear House) to "hang out" at their airplane to watch the Saturday night air show and fireworks.  The airplane was in a perfect spot for the show, and what a show it was.  Spectacular and awe inspiring.  Beautiful too.  (Rod Hightower should feel very good about the fat check he wrote for the show.  A good decision in my view.)  It was a great show.  It was an awesome show.  Nothing but fun.  Following herewith are just a few shots of the night.
Here are John and Teresa Rubino and Lindsay on a blanket ready for the big show.  Note the blue "Off" mosquito replellant unit in front of Lindsay's left knee.  We were bug free all night.  They work great.

Contrary to what you might think, the above photo was taken during the middle of the show.  The whole show was like the finale we have here in the wilderness at 4th of July events.

Lindsay set her camera to "fireworks".  I didn't even know such a setting existed.  Makes cool pix.

The show was like three fireworks shows in one.  In fact they seemed to be stretched out a good distance down the runway, which made for a "big" show.

This is a close-up timed shot Lindsay got of the show.  Very artsy fartsy.

Saturday
Jul302011

Here's mud in your eye

Actually, after Wednesday's torrential thunderstorms, pretty much all of Camp Scholler and much of the EAA AirVenture site looked just like this.  Besides getting into your eyes, thick, slimy mud was everywhere, and many people got stuck in it.  The scene above is of two large 4-wheel drive Ford trucks tied together and desperately trying to pull a trailer out. Eight wheels and 500 horsepower rendered no advantage, and they were having no success as we walked by.  We saw many scenes like this throughout the day and since.  Even the road in front of Camp Gattuso turned into a quagmire that trapped the little Toyota rental car we are using.  Only our camp neighbor from Oklahoma was able to lend the extra "horse power" to get us out.
Walking across or around all this mud was a challenge too.  Lindsay needed to protect her two pairs of "good" shoes; one pair for the Presidents Banquet on Friday evening, and the other to run the 5K Runway Run on Saturday.  So she opted to wear her flip-flops and ended up with mud stretching from her heels to her butt.  The weather report calls for thunderstorms this evening, hopefully after the night time air show, so by tomorrow morning, if the weatherman is right, we will likely be able to relate (at least in a small way) to the Nazi's invading Russia during WWII.

Other than the mud, the humidity and the heat, we are having a marvelous time. Huge crowds, in spite of the weather, incredible aircraft everywhere and lots of fun with wonderful people.  It is really quite remarkable how friendly and helpful everyone in Oshkosh and at the AirVenture site have been. AirVenture truly is a unique experience.  If you have never been here, this is one place that should go near the top of your "bucket list".  In spite of the mud.

Wednesday
Jul272011

Great ride, great plane, great people

Our regular readers will recognize EAA1418 President Lindsay Locke, but probably not the two gentlemen with her.  The gentleman on the left is Jim Lee, President of Phoenix Air USA, distributor of the beautiful Phoenix S-LSA Motor Glider shown below.

Jim took Lindsay for a ride in the Phoenix yesterday and video taped the entire experience.  Lindsay simply loved this magnificent plane and had a wonderful time with Jim.  After having flown in about 20 different aircraft, this is the first time Lindsay said she would, if she could, own and fly a Phoenix.  She loved this plane.  Thank you Jim.

Jim gave the next ride in the Phoenix to the man on the right, who most pilots wouldn't recognize immediately, but that EVERY pilot knows, Mr. Irving Gleim, President of Gleim Aviation and author of the famous aviation training books and programs used by pilots around the world for decades.  Lindsay got to say thank you to Irv for making her a better pilot and helping her pass her Private Pilots written exam and prepare for her practical which is coming up soon.  It was a beautiful and fun day and a very memorable afternoon.