• Tom Fox / Fernando Pacheco

Lehigh Valley Flying Club to OSH17

Our adventure began on Thursday afternoon July 27th. After a thorough flight plan and pre-flight, fellow club member Heman Patel, my son Ryan, my son-in-law Geoff, and I climbed into our club’s awesome C182 (N5089N). We filed an IFR flight plan to Youngstown, OH (KYNG) and began the first leg of our journey to Oshkosh. Along the way, on most of this leg, we worked through IMC weather and flew between cloud layers.

At Youngstown, we refueled, stretched our legs and took a relief break. Now, energized for our next leg, we filed IFR and flew into Holland, Michigan. Holland is Geoff’s boyhood hometown and is located right on Lake Michigan. The airport was West Michigan Regional (KBIV), also known as Tulip City by the locals and controllers. We had a restful overnight stay at Geoff's parent’s home, had dinner and walked on the beach of Lake Michigan.

We departed for Oshkosh early the next morning (Friday, July 28) and filed IFR, with a confirmed IFR slot of 1330 Zulu or 8:30am CST. We arrived at Oshkosh on time and were pleasantly surprised to hear fellow club CFI, and 89N’s Plane Captain, Steve Marshalleck on the approach behind us in Gene's Cirrus SR22.

Flying into OSH during AirVenture is awe-inspiring and a little un-nerving at times. We were assigned and cleared to land on the Orange dot for runway 27. While on final approach, two aircraft were cleared for takeoff 27 right in front of us. Challenging and exciting! However, Heman, who was now at the controls, guided us in on the final and touched the mains beautifully right on the orange dot!

Once we touched down we were directed to our parking spot, unloaded the plane, set the tie down system, and pitched our tent next to the plane.

We stayed for 2 nights while attending the show, vendor displays, and forums. We enjoyed the FAA exhibits and had our turn in the hypoxia chamber. The chamber was a great learning experience. The chance to see the human body’s reaction without oxygen at 29,000 feet is something everyone should see and experience (on the ground!). Within a short 2 minutes, traditional tasks could not be performed properly. Safety tip: always remember, everyone’s body reacts differently and you may become hypoxic at lower altitudes than the regulatory oxygen required altitudes.

We saw the Navy Blue Angels in their first ever performance at Oshkosh. That was cool. We saw several bomber runs with the B-29, B1, and B2 bombers.

All in all, the event was outstanding, very well planned, orchestrated, and executed. The site is very clean and the food was great. Showers/bathroom, restaurants, and groceries were available within a short walk of our tent.

We departed OSH VFR on Sunday morning after breakfast, flew across Lake Michigan to Bowling Green, OH as our mid-point home. From there, we flew to ABE. Total time on 89N was 12 hours with no issues. Plane was real comfortable and stable. I would highly recommend flying to Oshkosh as a team with all the club planes in the future. It was a great time and experience to remember.

The flight crew (L-R): Heman, Geoff, Ryan, Tom