Blog by Brent Blue MD
Oshkosh Day T-1
Camping was a proverbial water torture. No long rain storms, just one for fifteen minutes every couple of hours. Then it got cold so those who came to the North 40 without sleeping bags were a tad bit chilly.
Drove around the grounds and the number of planes is down but this is probably due to the recurrent thunderstorms that kept us wet. I am sure more will come during the good weather today. At least density altitude will not be a problem.
Took the grandkids to Parnell’s for chicken and Andy’s for ice cream. Figured I would get the best off airport experiences for kids out of the way first!
During our nightly sit around the airplane, we had a nice visit with Alex who is in the Air Force stationed in Alaska. He flew an American Champion down in a mere 35 hours. Convinced him he needed to stop by the Oregon Aero booth to pick up a seat pad for the trip back. His butt is pretty skinny and certainly is flat after that much butt time. He stopped at the Champion factory on the way to Oshkosh and was treated royally. Nice to see an engage and excited young pilot willing to fly solo from Alaska to Wisconsin in a VFR aircraft.
Glad to report the North 40 showers are working as well as the bathrooms. Sure wish there was a way to keep the water running for shaving!
Saw what appeared to be a funnel cloud over Lake Winnebago but turned out to be a “cold air funnel” accord to the weather experts. Sure reminded us about the potential damage from severe weather on the EAA grounds.
Mark Baker, President of AOPA, talking about 3rd class medical reform.
Oshkosh Day 1
Attendance is up and parking is 99% full. Pilots are being redirected to Appleton and Fond du Lac! In spite of some clouds, the folks who were held up by the weather on Sunday have made it in.
I presented Wayne Boggs, Air Boss, at the 11:30 AM air-show safety briefing with a Rubber Chicken Emmy for Best Actor in the broad category “Aviation Theme Shows about Air Bosses” for his starring role in “Air Boss.” The air-show performers enjoyed the event.
My lecture on concentration for the air-show performers included the hint about sniffing rosemary but that is now an inside joke!
Air-show was very good highlighted by Matt Chapman, Bill Stein, and the US Marine Corp Osprey. One off airport landing was reported by the ultralight folks without injury or damage to the aircraft but the pilots did have to do the walk of shame as the aircraft was trailered back to the field.
The Thunderbird show line has been explained and many pilots are unhappy about not being able to go to their aircraft in they are parked in front of the T-Bird line from 1:30 PM to the Thunderbird show is finished about 6 PM. Some are planning a departure on Friday to avoid the issue beginning Friday afternoon. However, advance sales for the weekend tickets are way up so EAA officials are happy.
Mosquitos were out Monday night as the wind died down and it warmed up a bit. More rain is predicted so the North 40 campers, including us, are preparing.
The grandkids really enjoyed the show and especially dinner at the camp site which consisted of hotdogs, baked beans, and s’mores. What’s not to like.
Been though two exhibit halls (B & D) and the normal folks are still there. Lots of empty booths (I’d say 5% in D) and no Microsoft this year. Lots of kids trying to find simulators to try out but vendors are more interested in selling to pilots as they are true training sims. EAA might want to consider a sim experience next year.
No medical issues have come up so far.
The Osprey showing its’ stuff.
Oshkosh Day 2
Day two opened with the 0730 safety briefing. I attend as one of the air-show “doc of the day” which could be dock on the bay but whose interesting in inadvertent rhyming—or I am just tired sleeping in a tent with 0730 meetings!
Attendance is up. The Osprey is pretty amazing. The crowd has actually cheered at the short field landing and takeoff competition and no mishaps except one wheels up landing in Appleton (no one hurt-pilot error).
My lecture on Special Issuance Medicals was well received with lots of questions. I hope it is my last lecture on the subject with what I think will be a great step forward- discontinuance of the 3rd class medical in the near future.
Got to catch up with Mike Goulian and Patty Wagstaff—true air-show professionals. Patty is performing on Wednesday. Michael performed today and did his normal awesome job.
Went to the Aircraft Parking party at Steve and Pat Owen’s house. It is always great to be able to thank these folks for their hard work and sometime thankless jobs. Remember, they are volunteers trying to accommodate a large number of folks. Give them a break and thank them profusely.
Also went to the ICON party for a few minutes to catch up with the usual suspects. Party is always great but will be more exciting when they have a production aircraft.
Rain and thunderstorm came in tonight. Pretty wet but no damage. Hope this pattern does not continue all week.
Dr. Brent Blue