Kallithea Oshkosh 2022 Trip - Day 4

PeterFromLA

Active Member
Joined
May 15, 2019
Messages
198
Location
Los Angeles
Aircraft
American Ranger AR-1, Kallithea
Total Flight Time
800+
Oshkosh 2022 Adventure - Day 4

The day started with the knowledge that reaching my destination was not in question, and there was no pressure on me to keep pushing the envelope. Not feeling pressure is not the same as being totally relaxed – there were still close to 6 flight hours planned for the day.

On top of all this, a storm front was rapidly approaching from the West and the first raindrops were beginning to fall.

By the time I was done with my preflight, light rain was covering the Sioux City area, and heavier precipitation was forecast for later in the morning. I calculated that the current light rain was not going to damage the gyro in flight, and I could clearly see the shapes of heavier cells, which would allow me to avoid them.

So, around 10:00 AM I said goodbye to my friend Tom and rolled down Rwy. 32. It took about 20 minutes of flight to outrun the rain. Windshield was wet, but I could clearly see that my prediction for the light rain was right.

As I crossed the Missouri and entered Iowa, I encountered similar terrain to the one of Eastern Nebraska – green farmland, picturesque farmhouses and silos, yellow crop-dusters bussing around.

Oh, ya… those yellow crop-dusters can be very dangerous to a low flying gyro. They are not equipped with any ADS-B equipment as far as I know, and if you count on your GPS unit to look for traffic, you will be unpleasantly surprised.

I stayed around 1,500 to 2,000 feet above the ground, and in my observations, that was enough to avoid the “yellow buzzards”.

Additionally, most local airports cater to the fleet of crop-dusters, so you should keep your eyes open when landing for refueling. Listen on the radio and give them some space on the runways and the ramp. By the way, the crop-duster pilots I encountered were very professional, used radios “appropriately”, and were very courteous on the ground.

The vast majority of airports on my route were non-towered, but there were few controlled ones. For me dealing with their towers was similar to the way I navigate the complex L.A. airspace. Unless I had to go through the airspace (usually a “Delta”), I tried to go around it or over it. Even in those situations I gave them a courtesy call letting them know I would be listening in case they need to contact me for traffic separation.

As I crossed the Mississippi at Dubuque, I said goodbye to Iowa, and said hi to Wisconsin. Red barn houses and silver silos became the norm.

After refueling at Platteville, I contacted my friends in Kenosha, then rumbled down the runway on my final leg to the shore of Lake Michigan. As with the day before, there was plenty of daylight left and not many miles ahead of me, so I slowed down a bit and allowed myself to soak in the surrounding views. It was amazing to see numerous lakes dotting the landscape, and patches of woods added to the variety of the vegetation covering the ground below me.

10 miles out I contacted Kenosha tower and was instructed to line up with Runway 7R and report 2 miles final. That runway is significantly shorter than the other one, but it is right next door to the south t-hangars, my final destination.

When I landed, I noticed that my friends were doing touch-and-gos in their tail-dragger Champ. This gave me enough time to do a proper shutdown of my engine, pull the gyro out of there way and be ready to greet them as they rumbled back down the taxiway.

Well… after 4 days of adventures, Phase 1 of my trip was completed. Next couple of days were dedicated to rest and final preparations for our visit to the big show at Oshkosh.

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