My Most Excellent Adventure

08-13-2009, 08:11 AM

Mike | My Most Excellent Adventure

My Most Excellent Adventure

I started out a three months ago planning the trip for Oshkosh and was fortunate to make the trek this year. A few weeks ago I departed Poughkeepsie, NY (KPOU) on Tuesday morning and flew direct to Youngstown, Ohio (KYNG). My limit in the air is about two hours before I need to stretch my legs and get some food. While there the weather moved in so I decided to wait till the next morning to continue.

Wednesday morning brought a line of pop up thunderstorms miles (states) long and miles (states) wide which lasted the entire day.

Thursday morning brought fog. Wouldn’t you know I landed at an airport that gets socked in with fog into the mid afternoon. I was told that there was a munitions factory which was located here in the war so if we got bombed it would be hard to find. Mid morning I filed IFR, shot thru the fog and into clear skies. Heading west I had to stop for more storms working there way slowly thru Oshkosh, so I stopped in Gary, Indiana (KGYR). Once again the people were very nice and even offered to hanger my plane overnight. Hell yea! I got a room for peanuts at the local casino, played poker all night long and walked out plus eleven bucks.

Friday I finally got back in the air and opened my VFR flight plan…..GYR direct ORD direct Ripon. The Chicago (ORD) controllers thought I was nuts. Well hell, New York City ATC let’s me go over there airports! Oh well, I ended up going around ORD’s airspace and onward to Ripon. This is the point I dreaded. My head bouncing thru all the quadrants of the clock; I anticipated Ripon to be loaded with planes like bugs on a bumper and / or bees swarming the hive…. I arrived at Ripon at 9:45am and thought I was at the wrong intersection since I was the only one there!!! I flew the Ripon – Fisk approach without any problems or airplanes in site (Well maybe one a mile down the tracks). Down Fisk ave. and onward to runway 36. IT’S OSHKOSH, Yeeee-Haaa.

The first thing I noticed were all the planes landing and taking off (sometimes 3 on a runway and 3 on the taxiway at the same time) in the 15-20knot direct crosswind. NUTS! As for the show; the show was like a candy store for kids with the difference being the cost of the candy bar. Lots and lots of planes. The following link is of the A380 landing . Talk about a hard landing in a crosswind.... Oshkosh was great! The seaplane base was very interesting. What a nice place to hang out, quiet and peaceful. Did I mention the great people and the beer? I met up with Russ and was L@@King for John. This was the first time I had attended and I am l@@King forward to next year.

For the past 2 years as I was flying along and saw a lake I wanted to drop in and get the plane wet however, with “things” being what they are my decision was easy. Not without some training!

After Oshkosh I had the chance to visit Jack in Hayward (KHYR) for training. I spent 3 days completing different takeoffs, landings, taxiing, and miscellaneous procedures. On takeoff, trying to figure out where the first porpoise started was interesting at times since sometimes it was very small and almost unnoticeable. What you need to do if you miss the porpoise was exciting in itself. Approaches to landings must be set up correctly in order to make a smooth landing at the correct airspeed.

One of the days we flew a half hour north and visited Sky Harbor Airport (KDYT) . KDYT has one runway on land and one in the water. They also have a ramp into the water. The following video was taken just prior to going into the water and then taking off . Some of the video is really interesting and I will post more when I get a chance to edit it.

With continued training I was able to fine tune some of my landings and takeoffs on the land as well as learning the ins and outs of the water.

So what have I learned?

1-Pitot tubes do not belong on the nose of the plane!

2-Back Pressure is my friend.

3-Seawinds do leak.

4-Tighten up the nose wheel well plugs before landing in the water.

5-Some things can’t be written down, like the sound the water makes when you too slow.

6-I am happy I got the training instead of trying this myself!!

The seawind handles differently than other planes either on land or in the water. Thank You Jack, I had a great time, best thing I have ever done with my pants on..!!!!!!!!!!!

PS - 1,777 NM flawless round trip KPOU – KYNG – KGYR – KOSH – KHYR – K (bunch of lakes) – KDYT – KHYR – KMBS - KPOU

09-21-2009, 10:15 PM


I finally started editing some of the videos I took. This one is of Sky Harbor.