Our first family trip

This past weekend, Kevin, Betty, and I took our first trip together. (Betty has been a name for the airplane I have been unable to get rid of ever since this post.) I have always wanted to go to the EAAs Hops and Props event. It is held at the museum. EAA invites almost 100 micro breweries. Whats not to like? Aviation people, craft brew, and airplanes. If you can go next year, you should. Its worth the trip.

Problem is work has not let me go since they started doing it. This year the stars aligned and I had the time off. And wouldn’t you know it we even have a flyable airplane. Why not fly over?

The weather was questionable right up to an hour before departure time on Saturday. But the flight was VFR the whole way over. We departed Flemming and were on our way. On the way down we were doing 170 KTS with a  5 KT tailwind. It took 1:20 to get to Oshkosh, it would have been a 4.5-5 hour drive.

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We got the airplane put to bed in a heated hangar at Basler. I don’t have a block heater installed yet, and I didn’t want to try to start an engine with 35 degree or less oil. So thats why we paid for the hangar. We also got an opportunity to show Betty off to Steph and Dennis and a few others.

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Hops and props was a lot of fun and we got to visit with some friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and tried some good beer.

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Sunday the weather was much better than Saturday, but the winds were also much higher. Surface winds were gusting out of the south from 17 to 24. I was expecting it to be bumpy, but much to our surprise it was mostly smooth with the exception of the time spent below 1000 feet. The headwinds were hellacious averaging about 40 knots, but up to 50 for a little while. That made our flight back a bit longer, lasting 1:40 ish minutes. Still much better than driving.

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The best part about traveling via small airplane is we were able to leave earlier than planned, on our own schedule. That got us home earlier than planned. Which meant we were able to get chores done early and then go out to a nice Italian dinner. Betty got to rest in her home hangar.

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Betty’s trip to Oshkosh for Hops and Props and back  home were the first two legs in her “Victory Tour.” Its getting late, so I will have to fill you in on the victory tour in the next post. Including an instrumentation failure I had today while attempting leg 3 of the tour. Until then, good night.

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