December 2, 2011

EAA Part 2 - Wednesday

 New power supply has been procured!

Wednesday, July 27th

Wednesday greeted us with cloudy skies.  On top of that, I knew, deep down, that the day ahead could never be like Tuesday.  Tuesday was amazing.  But at Oshkosh, there is always something new to see; I just had to figure out what I wanted to look for.  

First things first:  We couldn't all take the bus to the airport again.  Wednesday was going to be a half day for me, anyway.  I was going to meet my (then) girlfriend's mother (who happened to live in town) for dinner.  We hopped in NJ's car and we parked at the seaplane base.  A brilliant idea.

  The seaplane base was cool, shady, and just a straight-up chill place to hang out.  It was a great, relaxing way to start the day.  Yet there were still airplane-type things going on.  I have always had a suppressed desire to one day own a float plane.

......That feeling has become less suppressed since I get to see one bobbing around everyday on the Merrimack River just slightly downstream from my current residence.  Perhaps one day I'll just knock on their door and ask if there is a CFI around.........

So I meandered my way over to an on-going presentation in one of the tents set up around some picnic tables.  It was a detailed discussion about how pilots who fly float/sea planes can easily make themselves wet, inverted corpses if they don't act more cautiously.  A pleasant thought, indeed.  I learned a lot of other useful tidbits over the next hour (calm water is hardest to land on since it becomes invisible as you are about to land on it), but it was getting late in the morning by now, so we hopped on the school bus/shuttle to the main gate.  The seaplane base had revitalized us to a certain degree, so we were ready to hop right to it.

Front and center, a jetBlue A320 was proudly on display on the main ramp, 12 oclock and 1 mile.  Tours were not currently available when we arrived.

New arrivals to the main ramp were some of Burt Rutan's principal works.  Apparently, Erik has a Starship fetish, so he was happy.

I mentioned last time that planes just randomly fly over in formation for no good reason.

It was drizzling on and off, so the early afternoon was spent in the vendor hangers just west of the main ramp.  These hangers were filled with row upon row of stuff you can buy for your airplane.  I don't have an airplane.  I had $34,837 burning a hole in my pocket.  Must spend.......  Highlights included the Garmin section with their new fancy touch-screen GPS's, the guy who can program your GPS to listen to your voice commands "Insert Golf Delta Mike, Victor Four Three One, Lima Oscar Bravo Bravo Yankee, Kilo Bravo Echo Delta Enter", and the super detailed model airplanes (I'm currently saving real money to get a model of Skyhawk N172DM, in which I flew my first solo flight).  

By 2:30pm, it was time for jetBlue to leave so the airshow could get started.  They got ground stopped to JFK (or something to that effect).  NJ and Erik stayed for the airshow.  I caught the city bus back to the house, changed into something a little more respectable than my NAS CONFUSION T-shirt, and found my way across town to my (ex)girlfriend's mother's house.  It was very pleasant, the home cooked meal was fantastic, and I got to spend some quality time with her dogs in the backyard.  Planes staging for the airshow were constantly flying overhead so I still got the full OSH experience.

I was to graciously leave my dinner hostess around 8pm to pick up my old college roommate at the Appleton airport, but a massive line of thunderstorms predictably delayed his flight (that which he was actually going to be flying, as Expressjet's newest Captain).  As luck would have it, this now delayed flight would have been cancelled, sans a captain, until Josh stepped up and volunteered to fly it to Appleton.  The flight from Ohare to Appleton takes about 30 minutes.  The drive from Oshkosh to Appleton's airport is also about 30 minutes.  We took the dogs for a walk and waited for the flight to depart on

Josh's airplane was finally recovered from a Columbus, OH diversion, and in no time flat, both he and I were bound for the farm-set aerodrome known as Outagamie Country Regional.  The passengers were all quite flabbergasted by the sheer amount of lighting that had surrounded their plane on the way up.  After the terminal area had cleared out, Josh and the rest of the crew followed, also shocked that they had made it!

We returned to a full house.  Chris, another friend from high school, and a coworker from Frontier had arrived from Milwaukee a few hours earlier.  Josh's recap of his day led to some passionate aviation nerd-talk.  Three airline pilots, two controllers, and an avionics technician.  Who gets to sleep on the couch?

Till next time....


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