Thursday, July 29, 2010

Oshkosh 2010 - Day 4

We broke Co-pilot Egg away from her booth duties for a few hours this afternoon to make our way over to the seaplane base. We had a nice, relaxing day over there last year and had hoped to enjoy the same today, but it was not to be. For some reason there were plenty of buses running to K-Mart, Target, and the outlet mall, but very few to the seaplane base. It was a long, hot wait of half an hour before we were able to get on a bus. The seaplane area was crowded once we got there, but I was somewhat pacified by being able to score a tasty Wisconsin quarter pound Brat. Egg had some kind of chocolate brownie/ice cream deal. The combo was expensive, totaling in at $10.50, but it was a nice change of pace, especially since I've been subsisting on Jack Links Teriyaki Beef Steak most of the week.

We then waited in another long, slow line to take the pontoon boat ride around the harbor, but it too was worth the wait if only for the photo opportunities it provided.

Egg needed to get back to work so we headed back up to the line to catch a bus back to the show. It was another lengthy half hour wait, but this one was orders of magnitude worse: we were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Fortunately I had had the foresight to bring bug repellent with us when I packed, and even more fortunately I had safely left it stored in my camera bag back in the hotel where it was in no danger of being used. That was a close call! 

She went back to work and I was left to my own devices. There comes a time in a full week at Oshkosh when you've seen just about everything and everyone you came to see, when the pain between your shoulders from carrying a camera and other stuff is exceeded only by the pain in your legs from all of the walking, and that pain is itself dwarfed by the agony of feet that have grown accustomed to a more sedentary lifestyle. When you reach that point, there's not much left to do but randomly select a forum to sit in, whether you know what it's about or not. The chair in the shade would make anything tolerable. Me, I lucked out. I plopped down and listened to Capt. Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles talk about their miraculous landing in the Hudson river.

Once that was done I wandered through the Federal Pavilion to, in the words of a friend, see how my tax dollars are being spent. I stopped at the Light Sport Airplanes display and was approached by an FAA person who wanted to know if I had any questions. I leapt at the chance to confirm once and for all that an FAA Commercial rating is NOT required to receive an Instructor rating for Light Sport. I really ought to get busy on that, but I guess it can wait until I actually have an LSA plane. Not, mind you, that I would be able to instruct anyone but a family member in the RV-12. E-LSAs have a lot of advantages, but being approved for any kind of commercial operation is not one of them. The conversation then took a few turns and it turned out that the FAA guy was assisting in the building of two RV-12s in Virginia and had in fact flown in a completed one. Small world at EAA.

With a little more time to burn, I strolled over to the Fly Market to pick up a few #30 drill bits. I've about used up the ones that I have, and there will be some tough drilling in certain parts of the wing. It did, however, just strike me that the holes that need to be drilled into the steel tube that acts as a counter balance on the flaperon may not be #30. Oh well, it's still a very common hole size and the bits were not very expensive.

It was time to go back over to hangar A to retrieve Egg but I never end up going directly to where I'm headed at Oshkosh.  I'm as easily sidetracked as Cabot in the toy aisle at PetSmart. I detoured to take a look at the military replicas.

I love the look of them and I love the idea of them, but they fall into a very exclusive club: The Planes That I Have No Desire to Fly Club.  Given the aerodynamics of them, I have to think that they are not very pilot-friendly in their flying traits.

It's been a long day and a longer week, and I'm banking on the hotel hot tub to ease away some of my aches and pains. Tomorrow will be our last day - we'll head back towards Ohio sometime in the middle of the night. I like to time it such that we pass through Chicago in the early, early am so as to avoid the murderous traffic. We're both homesick, too, and an early start gets up back home all the quicker.

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