Kallithea Oshkosh 2022 Trip - Arriving at Mentone, Indiana

PeterFromLA

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
196
Location
Los Angeles
Aircraft
American Ranger AR-1, Kallithea
Total Flight Time
800+
Oshkosh 2022 Adventure (7) – Arriving at Mentone, Indiana

The next stage of my adventure was to make my way to Mentone, Indiana, to participate at the 60th PRA Convention. The event was scheduled officially for the 5 & 6 of August, but early arrivals usually start showing up in Tuesday of that week. My idea was to be there on Wednesday, August 3rd.
The flight to Mentone is not supposed to be long, so a decision was made, before my departure, to do a demo flight with a local gyro instructor who was very interested to learn about the Kallithea. We strapped in the gyro, and started taxiing to the runways in Kenosha. I was not impressed by the condition of Rwy. 25L, so we asked for Rwy. 25R – a long concrete, freshly resurfaced runway.

It appears though, 25L was not done with us because as we were crossing it on the way to our destination, we heard a laud “puff” and the nose of the aircraft dipped – the front tire was punctured. You can imagine how annoyed the tower was when we told them that we need to shut down and push the aircraft clear of the runway. In our defense, that was the only option, and it took us less than couple of minutes to move the gyro. Our next maneuver was to turn around and cross the runway again on our way back to the hangars.

The gyro itself is very light so I was able to easily keep the front wheel off the ground for the “taxi” back to the hangar.

OK, now what, where can we find a tire? It was clear the demo flight was down the drain, so we just concentrated on finding a replacement tire. Here I have to express my gratitude to Dan, my host, he spent his day running with me to the local Aircraft Spruce warehouse to pick up the replacement tire. By the way, the tire we needed was tubeless, and Aircraft Spruce is selling a suitable replacement as “tubed” … but once I looked at the tire itself, it had a “TUBELESS” stamp for everyone to see. I was very happy we found the tire and be able to install it as we did.

In the meantime, Mentone was being drenched by heavy rain and thunderstorms, so my inability to depart as planned was somewhat of blessing. Same thing happened on Thursday
– heavy rain in northern Indiana, so the planned departure was moved to Friday. Dan and his wife Jill were going to fly their gyro with me to Mento as well, so it was shaping up as a fun trip.

Friday morning in Kenosha was perfect – blue skies, very light breeze. I was packed the day before, so all I needed was to top off on fuel and crank the engine.
We departed in formation on Rwy. 33which was available to us due to the almost calm winds. That also saved us from bumping into the bad surface of runway 25L which is the usual runway given to GA aircraft at Kenosha.

Lake Michigan was as blue as the ocean, its green shoreline dotted by beautiful beaches, expensive estates, famous landmarks. Here and there we flew over a marina.
A Carbon Cub caught up with us and for few moments flew parallel to our course to marvel the two “outlandish” looking machines called gyros…
😊


As we approached the northern suburbs of Chicago, we noticed that there were some clouds entangled with the tall building in Downtown. We were not prepared for the marvelous site presented in front of our eyes as the skyscrapers literally pinned down the clouds in place. I am not sure I will ever see such a phenomenon, but I can take this off my bucket list…
😉


Beyond Downtown we flew over the former Maigs Field airport, now a park. There were controversies involved in the way the airport was closed overnight with some airplanes still stranded there.

Also flew by Soldiers Field… DA BEARS…

As we continued to the south, we were a bit surprised by heavier than expected haze and low clouds. A quick radio conference with Dan came to the conclusion that he and Jill should turn around and head home before their return route from Mentone to Kenosha gets blocked by low visibility. We said goodbye and headed our separate ways.

In order for me to assess the situation ahead of me in a safe environment I decide to land at Gary Airport which was just few miles ahead of me. The airport was in VFR conditions, so there was not danger of getting myself in trouble over unfamiliar terrain.

Gary is a very nice airport with a friendly tower controller and a very large runway. The FBO has a “shade” large enough to accommodate small jets, so I did appreciate being able to park away from the sun. During my stay there, I managed to assess the weather ahead of me, and also give a guided tour of my Kallithea gyro to students from a local aircraft mechanics school. I also entertained couple of FAA representatives from the Chicago FSDO, but they were more interested in doing a ramp check…
😊
I always carry my paperwork with me, so that was just a formality, but it was also an educational moment for one of the agents who saw Special Airworthiness Certificate for the first time in her FAA career.

After sitting on the ground for about an hour and a half, I decided it was time to head to Mentone. Clouds were not all clear, but there were few airports on my route, and I had places to divert to if I encountered low visibility ahead of me.

This part of Indiana is flat and very green, not unlike what I saw in Iowa and Wisconsin on my previous flights. Clouds were fairly low in places, but always providing enough clearance from the ground for me to pass safely… and legally. Here and there I could see precipitation indications on my ADS/B screen, but those were left or right of my route.

For the hour it took me to reach Mentone, I saw dark clouds and blue sky alternating every few miles, so one could say it was not a boring flight.

As luck has it, Mentone was bathing in bright sunshine after two days of rain. There was a crop duster operating over the field next to the airport, so my approach was very careful. That did not stop me from doing a low pass then flying the pattern before landing.

From the air I could see there were no big crowds on the ground, but once I landed and met with old friends, it did not matter how crowded the place was… we were having fun.

I do feel as part of the gyro community…

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DavePA11

Super Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,373
Location
USA
Do you find there is enough vertical stabilizer and rudder to counter act the side loads on the fuselage after your long flying trip? Thanks for the post. Great read. Really enjoy them!
 

rcflier

Junior Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
536
Location
Nexø (Denmark)
Aircraft
Auto-Gyro MTO Sport 914 (upgraded MT-03)
Total Flight Time
65 as student - 2 as PIC
Thank you for posting about your adventures. As a gyro pilot (okay, still solo student) I often feel somewhat lonely,
so reading posts from other gyro pilots is enjoyable.
 

PeterFromLA

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
196
Location
Los Angeles
Aircraft
American Ranger AR-1, Kallithea
Total Flight Time
800+
Do you find there is enough vertical stabilizer and rudder to counter act the side loads on the fuselage after your long flying trip? Thanks for the post. Great read. Really enjoy them!
The rudder is much bigger than anything else you see ot there except for the AR-1. That being said, I have to tweak a bit the trim tab...
 

PeterFromLA

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
196
Location
Los Angeles
Aircraft
American Ranger AR-1, Kallithea
Total Flight Time
800+
Thank you for posting about your adventures. As a gyro pilot (okay, still solo student) I often feel somewhat lonely,
so reading posts from other gyro pilots is enjoyable.
Belonging to a community is very important to human beings, so I do try to bring that feeling when I can. Also, since you mention "lonely", I have to tell you that this trip would have been much more enjoyable if I had a wingman or two...
 

rcflier

Junior Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
536
Location
Nexø (Denmark)
Aircraft
Auto-Gyro MTO Sport 914 (upgraded MT-03)
Total Flight Time
65 as student - 2 as PIC
Hi Peter.
I was in Oshkosh around 1989 and bought a set of Skywheels (23') in order to build a gyro.
I tried to get permission to build a Bumblebee, but that went sour. So I later found the Gyrobee plans.
Over the years i assembled the needed parts - except a tail and a prerotator.
And the I bypassed it all and bought a second hand Rotax 914 MTO Sport :ROFLMAO:
It came at a good price, but I have since upgraded it in several ways.
In Denmark we have "Dansk Gyrokopter Union" and our community is so small,
that we don't even have any clubs. We have a small amount of collaboration with the swedes,
as we have a yearly tour together. This year (spring 2023) the danes have the ball and I'll try to make it a fun one.
My first time with a stick was in 2017 - from Sweden into Denmark on a nice, small-island hopping week-end tour.
And now I have my own MTO - and even an upgraded one. Plus soon my license in hand.
Take care and clear skies to you...
Cheers
Erik
 

PeterFromLA

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
196
Location
Los Angeles
Aircraft
American Ranger AR-1, Kallithea
Total Flight Time
800+
Hi Peter.
I was in Oshkosh around 1989 and bought a set of Skywheels (23') in order to build a gyro.
I tried to get permission to build a Bumblebee, but that went sour. So I later found the Gyrobee plans.
Over the years i assembled the needed parts - except a tail and a prerotator.
And the I bypassed it all and bought a second hand Rotax 914 MTO Sport :ROFLMAO:
It came at a good price, but I have since upgraded it in several ways.
In Denmark we have "Dansk Gyrokopter Union" and our community is so small,
that we don't even have any clubs. We have a small amount of collaboration with the swedes,
as we have a yearly tour together. This year (spring 2023) the danes have the ball and I'll try to make it a fun one.
My first time with a stick was in 2017 - from Sweden into Denmark on a nice, small-island hopping week-end tour.
And now I have my own MTO - and even an upgraded one. Plus soon my license in hand.
Take care and clear skies to you...
Cheers
Erik
Fantastic... I always strive to strengten the community - it is much more fun with friends, right... I think Northern Germany has a strong gyro presence, invite them too... ;)
 

rcflier

Junior Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
536
Location
Nexø (Denmark)
Aircraft
Auto-Gyro MTO Sport 914 (upgraded MT-03)
Total Flight Time
65 as student - 2 as PIC
Oh, back in 2017 one german came along in his MTO. Swedes and Danes the rest.
 

Andino

Active Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2022
Messages
231
Location
near London, U.K.
Aircraft
many FW airplanes + various autogyros
Total Flight Time
>1000 hours
Lovely photos of the Chicago skyline! I flew the same path years ago, but with clear skies. They had recently torn up Meigs Field then. :mad:
 
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