Brandi and I attended our 3rd in a row AirVenture. We left out on a Friday afternoon to make it there early. We departed and climbed up high above the clouds as the usual summer pop up storms were about to do their thing. It was smooth sailing above until near Chicago, where we had to dip down to about 1800 feet to go under some overcast clouds. We found a break in the overcast and so did a plane that had been paralleling our track a few miles off our wing. We both shot up through it to some nice sunny skies. Our on-board XM weather let us know there was a big storm line coming up soon that we would have to beware of and once we popped up through the clouds we could see the monster off in the distance towering up to probably 25,000 feet. We had a few options - land somewhere and wait it out, go way around it, or, since we noticed a valley and a break between cells, try to go over it! We made the decision to go over it and let me tell you the -10 handled wonderfully for this even fully loaded. Our neighboring plane must have had the same idea as we both started climbing to hit the top of this storm. We both started around 2,000 feet and long story short is we blasted up to 14,500 pretty quickly and just cleared the clouds. The view was amazing and it felt pretty neat to climb over that the top like that because we could do it. Our neighbor hit about 6k and was nowhere near keeping the climbing pace we had set and they must have aborted that idea because they were lagging behind and then leveled off and we lost track of them after that.
We got to Osh and were one of the first planes in the homebuilt camping area. There were hardly any planes arriving so the arrival procedures were very easy. We have found that the early part of the event is the best because that’s when its mostly pilots and hardcore aviation people, as opposed to a winding down event that puts on a great airshow that attracts lots of locals. So we were glad to have arrived Friday and were planning on departing Thursday morning. When we arrived it was SO cold. We did not pack warmly enough at all. Last year it hit 100 degrees and this time the high was like 62, what up with that, Mother Nature!? Later that week we were enjoying 70 degree days, which were perfect.
It’s neat how some things remain the same every time and some things are different. We enjoyed meeting up with all our friends and making new ones. We also really enjoy hitting up SOS Bros (aka Bikini Bar) for delicious whitefish, fried cheese curds, sweet corn, and beer. Falcon squadron was well represented again this year. Enjoyed some good fellowship with them - more next year for sure. Our buddy Kyle proved to be a great camping companion again this year as he was a couple rows away from us. 3rd year in a row where tent rescue of some sort was required whether it’s ours or other peoples.
We were inspired by the innovations pavilion. Loved the night air show. RV-10 headquarters in Camp Scholler was full of good people and good fun. A real blast all the way around.
Thursday came around way too fast and so it was time to depart. We left out of there with no problems and great weather ahead of us. We stopped by the beautiful Poplar Grove airport to pick up our buddy and fellow squadron mate, Mike B., and headed home. Mike and I chatted aviation stuff the whole way back while Brandi enjoyed a book in the back seat. Mike is a Delta captain so it was ironic that we were flying him home! He did a great landing at Falcon field and treated us to dinner. We left for home, exhausted from the week’s activities and ready for our nice comfy bed. We unloaded the airplane and wished we would have taken a photo because we were amazed at how much stuff we were able to pack in the plane!
I'm already looking forward to next year!