Lunch run to SEP: (4/3/10): Here it is...proof of life. It's true, I'm alive and well...and so is "13". It's also true that I have suspended racing operations and only get to enjoy flying thirteen once a month. It pains me greatly, but I do have other canard types to fly via my job in California. It's a very different type of flying, but flying non-the-less. So, when I get back home, I'm looking for any excuse to fly MY airplane. This time, I actually remembered to bring the camera...so here are some pics. Three of the "McKinney Racing Team" members decided to head out to Stephenville for some great BBQ. SEP is far enough away that we get to throw in some formation practice on the way. Race 21 (RV-7A, Tom Moore) was lead this time with Race 19 (Glasair-IIS, Dave and Susan Wilson) in #2 and I was #3 on the end taking one-handed pictures. We landed at SEP with a flurry of other aircraft and filled the ramp but managed to find a place to park. I noticed we were in good company and met up with a few other racers. Even my nemesis Larry Henney (Lancair 360, Race 36) was there with a buddy in a different Lancair that had just recently taken to the air. After the meet-n-greet, we all piled on the golf cart and headed down the trail.
A few minutes later, we were in BBQ Heaven. (last time, they were welcoming aliens) The "Hogs" had already invaded and the smokers were fired up! The wait in line was definitely worth it. We all had a great time and enjoyed the beautiful weather on the trip home too.
Sloshkosh AirVenture 2010: (7/10): Here it is again...time for Oshkosh, and THIS year I actually get to go!! YEAH! Sandy and I made all the usual arrangements and planned to do the AirVenture Cup Air Race as well. It's a good thing that I did all the packing/shipping the previous month while I was home because due to the weather we had to launch a full day early! We crammed all we could into the Berkut and blasted off for the 3.5hr flight. The weather for most of the flight was clear but there was a very large storm system over the entire state of Iowa. After an extra hour of flight, and going two states off course, I was happy to put that system behind us. We arrived at OSH on Wednesday, 4-days before the show starts...and it was a damn good thing we did. I parked up next to EAA Radio on the asphalt so it would be easier to get back out to Mitchell, SD for the race. We were so early, there were almost no airplanes parked and they had not yet changed the year on the sign. We quickly went to the campsite and setup the trailer and went to the store to stock up on food. Good thing...because that evening...IT STARTED. It rained all night, and into the next morning. It was now too muddy to move...no cars, no campers, nothing. The campsite was basically shut down. It continued to rain, and by the next day, it was REALLY bad...and for some it was as bad as it gets! Back at camp...we really didn't have much to do but eat and drink. We didn't even bother wearing shoes because even after 2 days, the ground was so saturated that it was like walking on a wet sponge even in the "dry" spots. I had to drink all 24 beers just so I could have a door mat. ;-)
The water problems didn't end there. I had not been out to the flightline for a few days due to the mud. On Saaturday, we went out to check on the plane and fuel it up for the trip to Mitchell for the race (note the water around it 3-days later). As it turns out, this area flooded and the nose was under water...AGAIN! It soaked one of the main gear relays and shorted out the system blowing a fuse. We were going nowhere! So, Sandy and I dried out the nose and headed back to camp for more relaxing and called Eric to let him know that we would have to scrub the race. I figured I'd find or order a new relay later in the week when the show was active. The next couple of days were very low-key...no planes were being allowed to land, no planes were on the grounds, and the mass-arrivials were all cancelled. They did run the AVC race, but all the racers were stuck in Fon DuLock and were not allowed to land at OSH. It was a mess...all around. We were very happy to have a camper and not a tent, be co-located with the Berkut, and just be able to take it easy not worring about trying to just get to OSH.
Later in the week, I was able to push the Berkut over to the race tent via a road. It took 6 people to push it 10ft on the grass, where it immediately sank into the mud. OK..not moving it again! At least #13 was prominently displayed.
We took it easy this year...mostly hanging around with friends at camp and watching the blimp and other things fly around. I think we spent only one afternoon at the airplane, and that was to replace one of the relays. Sandy and I went to a couple forums, like the one that Scott Carter and Chris Esselstien gave on their modified Cozys. The night airshow was spectacular and I think it was a big hit with the crowd too! It was complete with fireworks.
Sandy and I flew back to Dallas in formation with Scott Carter and his wife Lynn. It was also my birthday, so I celebrated with some puffy chocolate Zingers at 12,000ft. It was a beautiful day and perfect weather all the way home - quite a contrast to what we had been through.
Lack of updates: Hi gang. Several of you have sent me email regarding the lack of updates on the website. Well, let me assure you that the Berkut, Sandy and I are all just fine. I've taken a "perfect job" in California that allows me to follow my aviation passions, but it IS one heck of a commute. I'm only back in Texas a few days a month so my time is extremely limited but I still find the time to fly "13". Sandy and I still plan to make it to the AirVenture Cup race/Oshkosh and we're looking forward to Rough River too. I'm still taking lots of pictures, and will post the updates on the website when time permits - whenever that might be. Till then...get back to work on your own project, or keep on flying if you can - We'll see you out there!
You can Google "Mobius UAS" for more public information regarding that project and keep up with the latest events and happenings.
Believe it or not, there will be more sections...someday.