AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 – Day 2 – Part 2

This is a regular blog post, but you can listen to the episode that we recorded last night at Firebase Airspeed at

Spent a lot of time at KidVenture with Cole and got our annual Bell 47G helicopter ride. Great weather for it. And one of the best places at AirVenture to kick up your feet. The scenery beyond them is truly cool!

Here’s the obligatory shot in the chopper. Whereas Cole hat some trepidation about crawling in last year, this year, he just scampered in with no problem. He was also heads-up and eyes-out the whole time and seemed to enjoy the ride a lot. I interviewed one of the volunteer pilots for EAA Radio and the sound quality was a lot better than I expected it to be considering that he was fairly soft-spoken and we had a helicopter landing outside the hangar every two or three minutes as we recorded.

One of the Volunteer helicopter pilots with the show grounds in the background. These guys fly a full of gas (about 1.5 hours) before taking a break. The EAA owns one of the choppers and the other two are leased. No problem with takeoff and landing currency for these guys. Assuming a six-hour flight-duty day, each probably gets something like 60 takeoffs and landings a day. But nobody seems to be counting.

Cole with Jackie the Koala Bear waiting for the helicopter flight.

I had Jason Miller, Rod Rakic, and Kent Shook, as well as others, to Firebase Airspeed last night to play a little guitar, sing a little, and record an episode. Actually, the episode was a little spur-of-the-moment and occurred somewhere between beers. Jason also recorded for his show and was kind enough to pass the phone around and let Rod, Kent, and I hold forth on how AirVenture is going.

Rod Rakic got to plug’s beta a couple of times, which is great. The site is going to go huge when it launches. The community is already 130+ strong, and it’ll grow exponentially soon. I try to contribute often.

I think Jason has arrived at the pinnacle of early-21st-century rock stardom. Where Peter Frampton and Lemmy merely autographed fans’ body parts backstage, Jason transcended celebrity last night by recording the outgoing messages on two fans’ mobile phones. Jason Miller joins NPR’s/Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’s Carl Kasell in the new elite!

Listen to the audio at

Stay tuned!

AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 – Day 2 – Part 1

This is a regular blog post. Please check the other posts if you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio.

Day 2 of AirVenture Oshkosh draws to a close. It seems that I left my camera battery charger at home (just about the only thing that I didn’t lug to Oshkosh this year), so this might be the last post with pictures for a little while.

In any case, try to identify what’s in the picture above. Give up? It’s the undercarriage of the Goodyear Blimp. It made several passes directly over Firebase Airspeed while we were getting ready to head to the showers to hose down Cole after two days of airshow and campground grit, grime, and JP-8.

Sean Tucker’s just plain amazing. I can’t believe that he’s able to deliver his own commentary while pulling huge gee loads (positive, negative, lateral – you name it). We were abeam the last ribbon cut at his performance yesterday. I need to find a way to get asked to hold the pole for a ribbon cut sometime and record the close-up sound of the pass for the show. It’s probably very brief but very cool.

Cole and Jackie the Koala Bear at the EAA Radio offices. I think Jackie is the most photographed mammal-shaped object at the show. Cole’s averaging more than 150 pictures a day of, near, and with the little guy. I think giving him his own camera to record the event was a good moved. He’s very vested in the show and it’s cool to download his pictures every night while he’s asleep in the chair next to me and get a view of the show through his eyes. I highly recommend this for any kid. And any parent.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 – Day 2 – The F-22

This is a regular blog post. Please check the other posts if you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio.

The F-22 Raptor took to the skies at Oshkosh yesterday and it was a really great demonstration. I understand that airspace restrictions required that the team perform only a part of the usual demo, but the flying I saw (and heard!) was pretty impressive. The sound is reminiscent to me of the F-14 Tomcat. You get a little rocket-style crackle in the thunder and I’ve always been a fan of that.

Here’s a pass with the weapons doors open. Part of the F-22’s stealth comes from the fact that all of the weapons are internal t the fuselage. That also makes it a pretty big aircraft (weapons take up space), but it still manages to have a gnat’s-ass radar signature. A ghost in plain sight.

Here’s a shot of the heritage flight with Dale Snodgrass at the controls of the P-51 Mustang.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 – Day 1 – Part 3

This is a regular blog post. Please check the other posts if you’re looking for show notes or links to show audio.

Yeah, Patty Wagstaff gets her own post. In a class all by herself. Really nice, really precise aerobatics in an Extra. Can’t quite figure out why I failed to post these last night. Might have been that it was getting pretty late, but these shots turned out pretty well.

She seems to make sure that she flies quite a few low passes in front of the crowd and shows a lot of airplane whenever possible. I do note for the record that I don’t seen to have a lot of shots that show the cockpit. The light just happened to catch my eye when she was presenting the underside to the crowd.

I’m posting some downsized shots here. The bandwidth is a little strained here in the early evening and it seems that uploading slightly downsized files is probably the neighborly thing to do.