Fresh on Fridays: Countdown to OSH#5


Seaplane Base

Fresh on Fridays: Countdown to OSH#4


Wing Walking

Words on Wednesdays: When Life was Simple


Soaring on Top of the World!

And I dream I’m an eagle
And I dream I can spread my wings
Flying high, high, I’m a bird in the sky
I’m an eagle that rides on the breeze
High, high, what a feeling to fly
Over mountains and forests and seas
And to go anywhere that I please

               — From the Eagles by ABBA

We took off under our own power and climbed in circling turns to about 12,500 ft. “Where are the thermals?” I had asked Bob as we prepared to take-off. “Over there, where the clouds are,” he responded. Once the engine settled down and cooled, he prepared to turn it off and closed the air  vents.

Five years ago today… Continue to read here.

Fresh on Fridays: Countdown to OSH#3


Hee Haw! Great Balls of Fire!

See you in OSH!

Fresh on Fridays: Countdown to OSH#1


How it all began


Re-post from 2002. Looking forward to Airventure 2018!

50 years of Airventure

Finally this year, I had the opportunity to attend Airventure 2002. It was well worth the effort to travel to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. We arrived in Oshkosh on Friday afternoon. The place was brimming with people and with luck we found a decent site to pitch tent and settle in.  Camp Scholler is not only a fun place to camp but is also very close to the action, within walking distance to the airport and the airshow. There are shuttle buses that operate on a regular basis between the campground, the entrance to the airshow, seaplane base and the EAA Museum.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of Airventure. It is estimated that more than 750,000 attended this year; an estimated 10,000 aircraft were flown with a total of 2503 showplanes.  This year’s air show performances included among others:

  • Spectacular performance by the Liberty Parachute team, well orchestrated descent to the singing of the Star Spangled Banner
  • Splendid performance by Julie Clark accompanied to a fireworks display
  • Ethereal performance by Manfred Radius in his sailplane beautifully synchronized to music that soothes the soul
  • Is this for real?  Is that really a woman on my wing? Bob and Pat Wagner in their wing walking act.
  • The most incredible airpower of all – a demonstration of the Harrier II, a Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft (VTOL)  that can hover
  • Performances by Patty Wagstaff though not as spectacular as anxiously awaited owing to weather. But hey she did go up and do some of her tricks!
  • Masterful performances by Sean Tucker in his Oracle Challenger II.
  • Mike Mancuso finding new heights to flying. If it can be done, he can do it dare-devil act.
  • The War birds of America had a daily extended show. The most spectacular was the recreation of “Wall of fire”
  • Daily racing by the Aeroshell team in their T-6’s

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Airventure Oshkosh is a must see event. It is the place once a year that aviation enthusiasts converge. With shows, workshops, booths, aircraft displays, dare-devil aerobatics and best of all the people who make it all happen. With most people it is a tradition. People come year after year to share the joy of flying.

There are other places to see and visit if you are in the Madison area. One such place is Taliesin built by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
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If you have never been to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, visit  http://www.airventure.org and start planning for your trip in 2003 now. From what I hear all the best places are all gone early. But you will always find a campsite at Camp Scholler.

Has it really been 5 years?


Discovery Final Fly By

How ironic is it that it was Discovery that did the flyby today over Washington DC, amidst the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol? Atop a Boeing 747, it soared over the Nation’s Capital at 1500 ft waving a final goodbye before gliding to a landing at it’s final resting place: National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, VA.

After a sweeping low flyby past the Washington Monument, it looped over the National Mall not once but twice, slow, silent yet graceful. Past the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Capitol, The White House, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial. After two graceful loops over the mall, she finally bid adieu headed up the Potomac River past the SW Waterfront,  Reagan National Airport and finally Dulles International Airport. Crowds thronged the mall and other lookout areas taking a break from school, work and other activities to catch a glimpse of history, anxious to snap a photo and discuss the times they had watched a shuttle launch out in Titusville.

When NASA announced the end of the Space Shuttle Missions in 2010, it was finally now or never. It was STS 133 launch that I was scheduled to watch. After several failed attempts to procure KSC launch tickets, my friends and I managed to buy the Dolphin Tours Causeway launch package for STS-133 which was scheduled to liftoff on Nov 1st, 2010. As fate willed it, after waiting almost a week in Florida with daily postponements to the next day, STS-133 launch got scrubbed and re-scheduled for Feb 24th, 2011 when Discovery  accomplished it’s final mission before being retired from service.

It was to be never for me since I have never watched a Shuttle launch or landing. So it is especially a bitter sweet moment to finally see Discovery not on a launchpad strapped to solid rocket boosters 10 miles away blasting off gracefully to space on a crimson and pristine predawn Florida sky but 1500 ft above Washington DC, piggybacked on a Boeing 747.

Discovery  and so we finally meet 🙂

See Also:

Atlantis: Final Flight 
SpaceShipOne Government Zero
SpaceShipOne and I
I touched SpaceShipOne
Lost in Space