Ultralights & Light Planes

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Two years ago, Christian especially enjoyed watching the ultralights at Oshkosh, and his interest in them has not waned. On Airventure‘s Wednesday evening we attended the Ultralight & Light Planes Demo on the Ultralight Runway (grass strip). Christian told me this yellow aircraft is a Kasperwing, one of his favorite styles.

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This one looks like a motorcycle on wheels:)

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As the planes finished their demo, they would taxi over to the edge of the field, and an attendant would lower this spectator barrier rope for the plane to taxi back to their display or camping area.

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An interesting way to tow a helicopter!

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7.30.14
EAA Airventure 2014
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Daytime Airshow Airventure 2014

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The U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds were not an official part of Wednesday’s airshow, but we spotted (and heard!) this F-16 circling the airport just for the fun of it:)

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My favorite performance in the daytime airshow involved the GEICO Skytypers. Far above the airport, these disjointed letters circled the sky. This skytyping involves “five planes flying in an abreast formation less than 250 feet apart typing dot matrix style messages in the sky.” Amazing!

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Later, those Skytypers flew down closer to the ground to perform an aerobatic show.

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7.30.14
EAA Airventure 2014
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Airventure 2014

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Although the rest of my family had attended Airventure on Monday and Tuesday, I waited until Wednesday to enter the airport. Even with Terry’s EAA membership discount, those daily tickets are expensive!

Anyway, we began our Wednesday in the homebuilt section. Terry hoped to see some Super Rebels built by other pilots. He explained to me that the instructions for the Super Rebel he and his Dad are building are incredibly vague at times. Seeing how other people completed their kit planes would help.

According to the ID card on this plane’s prop, it hails from Louisville, Kentucky.

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While we were riding the tractor-driven tram from one area of the airport to another, Terry spied Rebecca and her fellow pink-shirted campmates at this welding exhibit. Alas, the tram was moving at a relatively quick pace! I was tempted to jump off and talk to Rebecca, but I refrained, allowing her to enjoy the authentic (away-from-family!) camp experience.

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7.30.14
EAA Airventure 2014
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

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This peaceful spot along Lake Winnebago within Menominee Park was just what I needed.

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On this particular Monday morning in July, I had already dropped Terry and Christian off at the huge mass of humanity called EAA Airventure, where I learned that parking lot attendants are not always friendly. I had argued with Dum-Dum the GPS, who instructed me to drive on several routes blocked off by Oshkosh police. [I suspect Oshkosh police sat in patrol cars behind those barriers chortling at out-of-town folks' confusion.] I had negotiated 3 consecutive 2-lane roundabouts in busy traffic where I’d never before traveled. I had traversed a 2-mile circuit on 1-way campus streets 3 times as the tiny parking lot (where our letter directed us to park) was completely full. I had finally wedged my Pacifica into the single available parking spot on that 3rd circuit. I had delivered my 14-year-old daughter to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh dorm for her aviation camp. In short, I was a mess.

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Ahhhhh.

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When I wasn’t photographing these entertaining waterfowl, I relaxed in my Pacifica. Even from the car, I could hear gentle waves lapping against the shore of Lake Winnebago.

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Tuesday’s traffic was slightly better while I dropped off my menfolk, and I had no need to drive onto UofW’s campus. I made my way back to the same spot in Menominee Park. On this day, winds were lighter and Lake Winnebago was nearly silent.

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I spent several hours gazing and reading in blessed serenity….

Finally I pulled myself away—a late lunch in town and more crazy airshow traffic to pick up those menfolk.

7.28.14 & 7.29.14
Menominee Park
Lake Winnebago
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Women Soar EAA Airventure 2014

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This was Rebecca’s summer HIGHlight—she flew in a Ford Tri-Motor!

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Rebecca was 1 of 82 girls from across the United States who attended EAA’s Women Soar You Soar Aviation Camp in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Only 20 of those girls were selected for the Tri-Motor flights, so Rebecca was especially blessed to be one of them!

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The Ford Tri-Motor is uniquely constructed of corrugated aluminum. Here are some other facts regarding the “Tin Goose.”

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I’m glad Rebecca captured these excellent photos, since I wasn’t around to play photographer.

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above Lake Winnebago, Wisconsin

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Visible in this aerial photo is the Oshkosh Seaplane Base, which Rebecca later visited with her campmates.

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Rebecca enjoyed hearing stories from women aviation pioneers, such as the WASPs featured here.

In 1942, the United States was faced with a severe shortage of pilots, and leaders gambled on an experimental program to help fill the void: Train women to fly military aircraft so male pilots could be released for combat duty overseas.  The group of female pilots was called the Women Airforce Service Pilots — WASP for short.

Female WWII Pilots: The Original Fly Girls

You can find Rebecca just left of center in this mass of pink. She is standing directly behind the middle two WASP members. [If you click on the photo, it should open a larger image in Flickr.]

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On her 15th birthday, Rebecca texted: “I am up in the tower! :)” She meant this Oshkosh Air Traffic Control Tower, which she and some other campers toured.

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Also on her birthday (celebrated entirely away from her family, I might add), Rebecca attempted both MIG & TIG Welding and controlled EAA’s Flight Simulator. Other mentor-guided workshops she attended during the camp were Cross-country Flight Planning, and Wings: Exploration of Aerospace Engineering.

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On the final night of her 4-day camp, the neon-pink girls viewed an evening airshow.

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The Women Soar You Soar program was a fantastic experience for our Flygirl. She highly recommends this camp to other teen girls interested in aviation. Check the program website around April next year for 2015 camp details and online registration. Each teen who applies must also write an essay to accompany their application. We paid only $75 for the entire camp, which included a weeklong EAA Airventure wristband and 3 days of room and board at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Of course, it cost a bit more than that to drive from Michigan to Wisconsin, pay for the rest of our family’s Airventure tickets, and feed and lodge the rest of us, but those expenses must not count, right?

7.29.14 & 7.30.14
all photos by Rebecca (except, I suppose, the group photo she was in:)
Women Soar You Soar Aviation Camp
EAA Airventure 2014
Oshkosh, Wisconsin