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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

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2009/07/28 Oshkosh/EAA Airventure 2009 Flight and Report
π 2009-07-28 00:00 in Flying, Oshkosh
Here's the complete track of our trip:


As you can see the flightpath went north somewhat to avoid restricted airspace, and then south for the way back to avoid thunderstorms over the rockies.

Flight From Palo Alto to Oshkosh

This year I picked the club's Mooney Acclaim and an experienced CFI. Unfortunately, the plane's payload is abysmal and between the two of us, we could only put 70 gallons of fuel instead of the full 102 gallons that would have allowed for a flight with a single refueling stop.
We left soon after 7 in light IMC conditions (typical morning overcast), and picked up some favourable winds which put us in KRKS with around 15 gallons to spare.

IFR Departure from Palo Alto
IFR Departure from Palo Alto

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe


Salt Lake City's Salt Lake
Salt Lake City's Salt Lake

bis
bis

Fuel stop #1
Fuel stop #1

Weather wasn't bad, but we picked up our IFR flight plan for the second leg as there were still some clouds around our altitude. My forcast said that winds were less favourable at higher altitudes, so we stayed at 19,000ft. In hindsight I kind of regret not knowing what the true airspeed at FL250 was going to be. We only got around 200kts TAS at 30.5" MAP lean of peak.

IFR over the top
IFR over the top

Bad weather on the way, but south of us
Bad weather on the way, but south of us

We were watching the weather on the way, but thankfully the bad weather was moving south and allowed us to land at Appleton without problems and on schedule (before 20:00). I totally could have landed at Oshkosh proper, but I figured we'd try Appleton this time (a reliever airport) to have more leeway on when we could arrive and leave. In hindsight, the $50/1H-ish cab ride each way actually made it longer and more expensive than staying at Bassler FBO at Oshkosh proper, but eh, you can't always know.

Second fuel stop
Second fuel stop

Weather getting worse, even closing up behind us, but clear ahead
Weather getting worse, even closing up behind us, but clear ahead

On the ground at Appleton, just north of Oshkosh
On the ground at Appleton, just north of Oshkosh

Just 45mn before sunset or so
Just 45mn before sunset or so

Flying the Acclaim wasn't too hard, but I totally sucked at landing it, apparently because I didn't quite get the nose up picture during the flare which I thought to be the same than the SR22/TB20, but wasn't the same at all.

Planes on display

The first day, I visited the Airbus 380 despite the hellishly long line.






The terrafugia roadable airplane was moving along nicely



heavy load carrier, mostly used for carrying water and dropping it over fires
heavy load carrier, mostly used for carrying water and dropping it over fires


the border patrol UAV
the border patrol UAV




Overflies

Although I missed the simulated army overflies because I'm a moron, there were still many to see




Airshows

Of course, Airventure still had its daily airshows








The Redbull Helicopter, still doing what helis aren't supposed to do
The Redbull Helicopter, still doing what helis aren't supposed to do


The Spaceship 1 Carrier
The Spaceship 1 Carrier






Flight back home

Flying home was not going to be a piece of cake due to bad weather forecast, but thankfully it passed through in the early morning and we were able to take off by 11 local time. However, this put us quite behind schedule.

my flyties came in handy for staying on the grass
my flyties came in handy for staying on the grass

ready for a flight back
ready for a flight back

bad weather just passed us, ready to go
bad weather just passed us, ready to go

first fuel stop was Winter airport
first fuel stop was Winter airport

fuel was self serve, based on the honor system (you wrote your own fuel use and receipt)
fuel was self serve, based on the honor system (you wrote your own fuel use and receipt)

at least we were still able to fly high enough to benefit from O2 (headwinds died down as we proceeded forward)
at least we were still able to fly high enough to benefit from O2 (headwinds died down as we proceeded forward)

a bit on IFR, allowing me to log a few approaches
a bit on IFR, allowing me to log a few approaches

Evanston, a good place for our fuel stop and deciding how to proceed ahead
Evanston, a good place for our fuel stop and deciding how to proceed ahead

I was joking that if we walked to the end of the runway, we'd be in Utah. I was actually right :)
I was joking that if we walked to the end of the runway, we'd be in Utah. I was actually right :)

thunderstorms over the rockies were nasty, but we found a course around them
thunderstorms over the rockies were nasty, but we found a course around them

well, kinda, with some help from ATC
well, kinda, with some help from ATC

clouds at FL200 gave us traces of icing, but nothing too bad
clouds at FL200 gave us traces of icing, but nothing too bad

nice sky pictures though.
nice sky pictures though.



250kts in the descent, woohoo! :)
250kts in the descent, woohoo! :)

home, sweet home
home, sweet home

Flight times were 8.5H to fly there (air hobbs) and 9.5H to fly back with the headwinds and weather detours. Not as fast as the supposedly 220-240kt airplane should have delivered (POH quoted 220kts+ for our density altitude, which was apparently a sack of lies, by a whole 20kts), but still pretty good and a personal record for me :)
A big thanks to my trusty CFI, Don Styles, for salvaging my poor landings in the plane, and teaching me about dealing with weather, which was part of the point of this trip (we rarely have "weather" in california :) ).

More pictures

  • flight from PAO to ATW
  • EAA displays
  • Planes displays
  • Parked Planes
  • Overflies
  • Airshows
  • Museum
  • Talks
  • Misc
  • flight from ATW back to PAO

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