Monday, July 27, 2009

Oshkosh Arrival

For a short (one and a half hour) flight, we had a pretty long day today.

We started out having more trouble with fouled spark plugs. This time #3 and #5 were failing. Aborted our takeoff and chased down a mechanic at Anoka, who cleaned out the plugs, only to find that that fixed those two, but a *different* plug starting having a problem. After that he suspected that the spark plug wires were getting worn out and we were getting a weak spark, which is why the plugs keep failing on the ground. He recommended we go around once in the pattern and test the mags in flight.

We preflighted again, took off and tested the mags at pattern altitude -- all plugs firing normally. So we continued on to Oshkosh.

There were a few rain clouds moving through, so we fired up the GPS with real-time weather info and steered our course through the red dots. Arrived at Oshkosh after an interesting tight left turn to put ourselves down. Had a tough time finding a place to stay but finally found the Hawthorne suites had a room available for one night at blackmail prices.

We wandered around the airshow checking out interesting planes and looking at some of the day's airshow activities. Most impressive was the full-power takeoff by one of the Thunderbirds' F-16s, but the Sky Crane dumping water in a simulated fire suppression and a formation arrival of about 20 T-6 Texans were also pretty cool.

Around 4PM the red dots that we had been avoiding on the way here finally got to Oshkosh, and it started raining, which gradually developed into a mild thunderstorm. We hauled ourselves back to the plane to unload our luggage, manhandled the luggage (we have one huge bag that has all of both of our clothes for a month) on the bus back to the bus terminal, lugged it on to a second bus bus which took us, er, close to our hotel, and then carried it over the intervening street and lawn to get to the hotel.

The hotel turns out to have the only restaurant within 2-3 miles, which turned out to be a pretty nice place. Joahnna had crab cakes and lobster bisque, while I had a stuffed chicken breast. Afterwards we put on our bathing suits and went down and relaxed in the jacuzzi for an hour or so. I decided the blackmail was worth it.

Tomorrow we are taking ourselves and our luggage to a nearby university that is renting out some of its dorm rooms. Tonight, we will both sleep well.

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