Oshkosh '09 page 1

1890 Statute Miles (round trip)               Flight Time: 16.9 hours total               Fuel Used: 149.8 Gallons total

July 25th - August 1, 2009

During the last week of July, the largest fly-in and airshow in the country occurs every year - Airventure Oshkosh. It is almost a right of passage that homebuilders bring their completed airplanes to Oshkosh to show them off.  Michelle and I decided that this year, we would make the trip.  

The following is our story of an interesting trip. A trip filled with a lot fun, some laughter, some tears of frustration, mixed with challenges to overcome and friendships made. In the end, looking back, we were blessed by God every step of the way.

Determined to live the whole Oshkosh experience, we bought a tent and some camping equipment and decided that we would camp right there at Oshkosh for the week.  We started off by packing everything needed for the week into the Bearhawk (tent, equipment, air mattress, sheets, bedding, pillows, ice chests full of bottled water, suit cases, lawn chairs, etc.):

Here is our self-portrait as we make our way up to our first stop in Tunica, MS just few miles south of Memphis, TN.:

Can you tell that Michelle is not a morning person?
Our plan involved leaving Saturday morning and just making the first leg of the trip up to Tunica for the day. There we would would meet with some friends and have some barbecue, a few beers and a good time, then spent the night at the Gold Strike Hotel Casino.  

Most of Mississippi looks pretty much the same from the air - lots and lots of open spaces and fields.  An engine failure here is not usually a problem - just pick a dirt road or an open field:

Here we are approaching the Tunica airport (KUTA) on the GPS showing 131 mph ground speed with a slight headwind:

Tunica AWOS was indicating a 14 knot quartering crosswind gusting to 19 knots from about 45 degrees off the runway heading. Here we are turning from base to final:

After landing and securing the Bearhawk, we headed off to our friends house for some good food and some great beer, wine and conversation. We slept well that night and woke the next morning in anticipation of the rest of the trip.  

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