Firebase Airspeed – OSH 2011

It’s Friday here at Oshkosh and FOD and I have checked off several of our traditional activities. Most important is the annual Bell 47 helicopter ride from Pioneer Airport. This is FOD’s fifth AirVenture. I first brought him when he was five.

We like to get an aerial shot of the campground each year and mark the campsite in a photo like this. We’re again camping with the myTransponder crew and lots of other social media mavens from both hemispheres. I’m very grateful again this year to have access to Home Sweet Road, myTransponder’s Class A motor home, which is providing the electricity to power the laptop for this post and the air conditioning that makes conscious thought possible. We’re at Lindbergh and 48th this year, kitty-corner from the WiFi hut. If you’re so inclined, please stop by and say hello!

FOD Revisited

One of the best things about AirVenture or any annual event is the way that it helps mark the passage of time. Cole got his callsign, “FOD,” last year. And I shot a picture of him standing in front of the sign at the gas station in Russell, Illinois, purposely obscuring an “O” in “FOOD.” It’s the lower half of the composite above.

We hit Russell again this year to walk around the Russell Military Museum and, naturally, we took another photo to mark the time. It’s the top one.

I’m still ingesting media from AirVenture and will likely have some of that content up soon. But, in the meantime, I’m wrapped up in a reverie about the boy and how much he’s growing. Cool, eh?

Russell Military Museum

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These are the show notes to an audio episode. If you want to listen online, please use the direct link below.

This spring, I got a call from listener Luke Donald from Russell, Illinois. Luke volunteers at the Russell Military Museum and thought that the museum might be a good subject for the show. I took a look at the map and realized that Cole and I would be driving right by the museum on our way to Oshkosh, so I wrote Tim back and asked whether I might be able to stop by and interview someone in person.

So, on the Wednesday of AirVenture Oshkosh, Cole and I departed from Airspeed Headquarters in southeast Michigan at about 5:00 a.m. and pulled into the parking lot in Russell at about noon Central Time.

I met Luke and he walked me around the grounds, including having the chance to climb up and walk around on top of the newly-arrived F-15. I then interviewed Mark Sonday, the museum’s director.

We had to get going to make it to Oshkosh and then Appleton for the Cessna Citation Mustang flight, but we stopped back in on our way back on Sunday to interview Luke and talk a little more about the museum and what it’s like to volunteer among these rows of military aircraft, vehicles, and other items.

I’m going to run both interviews back to back here.

[Interview audio]

More information about the Russell Military Museum:

Russell Military Museum
43363 Old Highway 41
Russell, Illinois 60075
Phone: (847) 395-7020
Fax: (847) 395-7025

Frame Grabs from the Remos GX Demo

This is a regular blog post. Show notes and links to show audio appear in the other entries.

I’m still unpacking and sorting the audio and video that I captures at AirVenture Oshkosh last week. An amazing amount of content in a week!

In addition to the Cessna Citation Mustang flight, I got my first flight in a light sport aircraft (“LSA”), namely the Remos GX. As with other experiences at Oshkosh, I’m going to be awhile in putting together the episodes so that I can devote reasonable attention to them. But I wanted to get some frame grabs up to when your appetite.

Here’s the departure from KOSH. Here’s the one drawback to using the 0.3 semi-fisheye lens. You can’t really pick out the six or so other aircraft visible through the windshield. We took off in the hairball that is the usual departure scheme for KOSH during AirVenture. It should be more obvious in the video episode, where movement will show you the other aircraft.

Steep turns over some farmland about eight miles north of KOSH.

The approach back in to KOSH. Eyeballs outside and bracketing airspeed aggressively.

Just prior to touchdown. We asked for the orange dot and got it. Then left a little tire rubber right on top of it. Great control on the landing.

More to come on this one. My particular demo pilot didn’t seem too interested in letting me fly the aircraft. I flew a little enroute and then did some steep turns. After that, I said, “okay, let’s slow her up.”

At which point the demo pilot said “my airplane” and proceeded to deftly demonstrate slow flight and a gorgeous stall all the way into a falling leaf. Being that the demo pilot’s briefing stated that the flight controls his with no quibbling whenever he asked for them or took them, I took it to mean that demo riders wouldn’t be allowed to stall the airplane. A little disappointing, so I told him that I was done and that we could head back.

After talking to some of the other demo riders, I found out that others got to fly the stalls and other maneuvers, so it apparently wasn’t policy. And it could simply have been a miscommunication with the demo pilot. In any case, I’m going to invite a couple of the other demo riders onto the audio episode so that you guys get a full first-hand account of what it’s like to fly the aircraft through a little more of the envelope than I did.

Stay subscribed! Cool stuff coming!

Herding Electrons and Preparing for Oshkosh

This is a regular blog post. Show notes and links to show audio appear in other posts.

Audio pre-production for EAA Radio is done! Listen for Capt force’s sonorous voice on EAA Radio at 1210 on your AM dial or streaming at

I spent some time last night working on the initial tracks for Last Pure Thing on the Radio, a new tune that I might or might not release at AirVenture Oshkosk next week. It all depends on how the song comes along this weekend. The song is also a good test bed for learning how to use Pro Tools. I did most of the EAA Radio production using Audacity simply because I’m more familiar with Audacity and needed to bang out the spots to get them to Afterburner Al in time to get them into the rotation.

But Pro Tools is really stinking powerful and I need to spend some time messing with it so I can expand my studio chops. The projects are still going to Scott Cannizzaro for mixing, but it’s really cool to be able to send him something a little more competent. Thus far, I’ve been sending him .wav files recorded analog from my ancient ADAT with an initial clap as a synch signal.

Probably some more studio production through the weekend and then Cole and I leave for OSH in the early morning hours of Wednesday 29 July. I’ll tweet and blog the location of Firebase Airspeed shortly after arrival and try to keep everyone posted about where we’re wandering on the grounds. Definitely going to get out to the seaplane base this year. Can’t believe I’ve blown that off in prior years.

Look for more updates right here!