When I woke up tuesday, I did the normal routine of showering, we got some grub and then entered the gate around 11:00 am ( a little late). The reason we were a little late was due to going to the seaplane base. The seaplane base is about 10 minutes from Wittman Field so its a little drive. Finally we got there and boy was is just a beautiful place. We were pretty upset that the EAA charges $8 for parking, but I am not here to rant about that. All I have to say is it was money well spent. It is a place that every person going to Oshkosh should stop by and see. There is nothing like it out there.
After about 45 minutes at the seaplane base, we headed back to the airport. We entered the gates and I then proceeded to go on my mary way to the ultralight area. Monday, I had not been able to see that side of AirVenture so I thought I would do that on Tuesday. So as I made the long hike over to that area I browsed through some vintage aircraft and took some pictures. It was a beautiful day out in the mid 80’s with 0 humidity.
Finally I made it to the ultralight grass strip, and to my luck they where performing a helicopter demonstration. All the experimental helicopters where flying around in the pattern. It was a fun thing to watch and take pictures of. Some of the helicopters where single seaters which are called Mosquitoes and those where neat.
After about an hour worth of that I decided to head near show center and hit some exhibitor hangars. So I jumped on the tram and headed back. I walked through a lot of hangars and talked to people about aerobatics, DVD’s, Flight Cameras, etc… They where trying very hard to sell me things. I want a lot of the stuff but you know how that goes. Finally I made it to the last place I really wanted to check out which was the IAC (International Aerobatic Club) building. I got to talking to a lady on how I wanted to get involved in aerobatics and she handed me a half inch thick large envelope filled with information, BINGO! So I have of course read through most of the stuff and am excited to find a place to try aerobatics out.
Finally, I made it to airshow center about an hour before the airshow began. I figured I could get some cool static display shots, and get in a good position for photo taking. An hour later, I saw the 2 men I had friended the day before and ended up hanging out with them a second day in a row. They are great guys and will forever be in contact with them. The airshow began and I didnt even realize it but someone I knew was in the airshow. He is part of TeamRV, a group of Van’s RV pilots that fly the worlds largest formation team aerobatics. They opened the show up flying over and then the war birds started taking off. With so many beautiful warbirds flying, I have always loved the Corsair, the wing design really has always mistified me. So I mad sure to get a couple good shots of the one when it did low passes. My new friend Brian’s rental lens was acting up so I made sure to get plenty of photos of his favored warbird the P-38 to send to him. After that there were performances by: Julie Clark, USA Parachute Team, Sean Tucker, Jelly Belly Act, and many others… All of wich I have recorded on my camera!
At the end of the Airshow they finished it off with a tribute to Bob Hoover one of the greatest aviators in aviation history. Pilots flew the aircraft Bob had flown for years, including the P-51 and the Shrike Commander. They demonstrated some of Bob’s signature maneuvers but weren’t able to perform to the level of Hoovers ability. All in all it was almost a tear jerker at the end when the pilot of the Shrike Commander turned both engines off to land and the whole airport was dead quite as the Shrike came in and landed rolling all the way down half the runway, turning on the main taxiway and stopping right in front of the Bob Hoover. It was just a commemorative moment that I will never forget in my life time!
After the airshow was over, it was sorta weird saying, see yah later to the guys because you never know if you really will see them later. But it was time to go so we parted our separate ways and I head towards the flight line for some general aviation aircraft photos. I was so pleased when a lady had come over to me while I was standing from her flying friends group and gave me a chair to sit in. Its little things like that, that make the aviation community what it is today! I ended up sitting by a man and started to chat with him. I soon realized he was an airshow pilot and that opened the flood gate of conversation from there. I asked him a lot of questions on his flying career and how to get into aerobatics and after about an hour talking to him I had to leave because it was getting dark. But he said call him if I ever had any questions and he gave me his card. If your looking for an aerobatic pilot at your next show call him up, Don Nelson Air Shows
On the long walk back the sun was setting and all of a sudden I spotted many photographers like myself near a unmaned P-51, in perfect view with a sunset backdrop, so I spent a good 10 minutes there capturing some final photos for the blog. After that I went to the S.O.S. Brothers bar/food tent where everyone goes to eat at night and sat down and met the founder and alse met the president of Sporty’s Pilot shop, good guys!
At the end of the night it was sad to exit the gates that brought so much joy to me, but I know that all good things have to come to an end. But even though I had to leave this year I know I will be back many more years to come. It was a great experience, and I wouldn’t trade meeting all the wonderful people I was able for the world, without the help of my friend Dave for taking me along with him this year and last I wouldn’t have been able to learn so much about aviation.
Until Next Time,
Enjoy the pictures, for all the edited photos from Oshkosh 2011 check out: Pilot Ian Photography