Oshkosh 2019 - 21July2019

The Majors Flying Club, along with several local friends of the club, were well represented at AirVenture 2019 in Oshkosh, WI this year.

Ten members of the Majors Flying Club along with two friends of the club were in attendance at Oshkosh this year. This year the Archer, Clarke Erwin's 182TC, and Kacey Dudenhoeffer's 177RG were all flown to Oshkosh and Jon Bottorff drove from Indiana. On an even more encouraging note, all three airplanes returned safe and sound! The Archer was flown by Dennis Guinn, Denis Rottler, and Mike Smith. Clarke picked up his passengers, Ian Horbaczewski and newly minted pilot, Robert McEnaney in Rockwall (F46). Kacey and fellow club member Ned Howard flew in the Cardinal.

Kacey and Ned got a head start and headed out on Thursday, July 18th. They were anxious to get a good parking spot for their camping adventure and it turns out they did get a great spot. Unfortunately, they received quite a bit of rain Thursday through Saturday with some heavy winds mixed in for an exciting couple of days. It sounded like it was a bit of a mess but survivable. They took one for the team and we appreciate it. It was clear skies Sunday through Thursday for the rest of us.

The Archer departed KGVT around 0730 on Sunday, July 20th and made stops at Hugh Robinson, MO (KEOS - cheapest fuel around) and Southwest Iowa Regional (KBRL) for fuel, leg stretching, bladder relief, pilot changes, and a burger at the KBRL stop. The fuel stops were uneventful and we pressed on to Appleton International (KATW). The first two legs were VFR and the last leg could have been VFR with some cloud dodging. Fortunately Mike has his Instrument Rating and we got to bust through a bunch of clouds without any course deviations. All was good until we got close to KATW. The rain earlier in the week had an impact on grass parking at KOSH and a lot of traffic was diverted to KATW. We spent an intense 30 minutes in an unpublished holding pattern outside of a KATW with a dozen of our "closest" airplane friends. Since there was not an established procedure, hardly any two airplanes were flying the same holding pattern. While Mike concentrated on flying, Guinn and Rottler watched for visual traffic and ADS-B traffic. It was pretty intense but without any ADS-B traffic warning alerts. On one of the laps, Mike announced our position and we were granted the magical "Clear to Land" call from the controller.

Clarke and his crew departed a bit later than the Archer but were on the ground, parked, had the rental car secured, and met up with Jon by the time we landed. Clarke had made arrangement for us to park in the grass but it was too wet. We parked on the concrete and got to stay on the concrete for the duration at the parking on the grass rate!

We rented a very nice house (4 bedroom, 3 bath with a basement) in Appleton that was only about five miles from the airport. Names were drawn, bedrooms and floor space was assigned, air mattresses were inflated, and a grocery list was made. Dinner at a Texas Roadhouse (yes, we were in Wisconsin) followed by a singularly unique shopping trip to the local Walmart with seven guys. We were set for the week.

Three very nice days were spent at Oshkosh. There is just so much to see and do. Lots of vendors were visited, some money changed hands, and airshows were watched under the shade of a C-47. Those fireworks on Wednesday night! We had front row standing spots and it was a spectacular fireworks show.

Departure was uneventful for the Archer on Thursday morning. Gas stops at the same two airports on the way home and the Archer was back in the hangar by 1830 on Thursday. A couple of minutes made all the difference for Clarke and his crew however. They were about 30 minutes behind us leaving the house and apparently the departure queue filled up in those thirty minutes. After an hour wait, they were cleared to take off only to discover they had a flat tire. Fortunately we had the house until Sunday so they were able to get the tire fixed that day and had a place to spend the night. They made it home on Friday.

After dropping us off at the airport, Jon safely made his way home to Indiana.

Kacey and Ned hung in there until about Friday before breaking camp and heading home.

During the week we met up the Karen and Brad Smith as well as Mike Montefusco. We gathered at the arch on three different days in order to get pictures of the NE Texas folks!

If not on your bucket list, you need to consider adding it!