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Old 04-22-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Beaverton, Or
Posts: 2
Default Oshkosh Planning

Please let me know if anyone may have recommendations for flying to Oshkosh. I will be flying an RV6A presently without Ox or auto-pilot. I plan to add Oxygen and am hoping to keep the legs to less than three hours with an overnight stay somewhere. Rion has suggested one route (7s3, 6s5, BHK, CNB, BCK, OSH).
Thanks Denny
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:40 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: St. Helens, OR
Posts: 4
Default Oshkosh trip


I've made the Oshkosh trip three times but unfortunately not in an RV. I basically plotted for the shortest distance using the direct great circle route on my flight planning software and then found airports along the way for fuel stops. For terrain clearance I found that crossing between Lewiston, ID and just south of Missoula, MT seemed to be some of the lowest unless you go farther North or South. Even at that I went up to 11,500 on an easterly heading or 10,500 on a westerly heading for comfortable terrain clearance there.

Once you get past Missoula you can let down lower. My first stop on the way is generally at Lewistown, MT. That's a long haul and I'm not sure if your RV would have the range. I did it in a Cessna 182. Once you're there it's mostly flatlands beyond. Jamestown, ND is a nice overnight spot with a nice friendly FBO. They usually have a free BBQ or continental breakfast for pilots and will give you a ride to a hotel. This route will now put you north of the Minneapolis airspace and you can find several fuel stops a half hour or so outside of Oshkosh.

Whatever you do, don't pass up the final fuel stop to top off and stretch your legs. You might need the fuel if you have to circle the lake for an hour or so like I did once prior to getting into OSH after an accident. It can get hairy flying into Oshkosh so Appleton is a nice option if you don't work well under pressure.

If you want a change of scenery on the way back you can swing a little south and fly over Mt. Rushmore or stop by Sturgis, SD. They have a loaner car there and you're about a week prior to the big bike rally so you can see the town during preparation for it. Good hamburgers at One Eye Jacks and if you're in the mood there are several tattoo parlors open that can emblaze an RV on your arm! Last year we stayed at a little town called Round-up, MT where there is also a loaner car. One year we came back further south and crossed over the mountains by Salt Lake. The terrain is lower there but there's a whole lot of nothing on the trip that far south. It takes longer because you have to head north towards Boise and then back home.

Either way you go it will take you longer to get home and probably more fuel stops. I've normally had a nice tailwind going there but always seem to get down to less than 100 kts groundspeed at one point on the way back because of headwinds. A 30 kt headwind isn't uncommon. It's good to have altitude because of turbulence across the desert but along with it comes headwinds. If possible, leave as early as possible to get over desert areas before it heats up. We didn't have autopilot either and my co-pilot and I would switch flying every half hour because the turbulence was so fatiguing. I should have my RV ready for a trip next year and can't wait to do it on autopilot. By the way, flight following is difficult to get for much of the trip because of altitude and terrain. Although most of the time we never saw another airplane in the air until the last leg into OSH. I would recommend a SPOT tracker so the family can keep tabs on your progress and for safety purposes in case you do have a problem. That way someone will always know your last position within 10 minutes.

As long as you have a good GPS then WAC charts are fine so you don't need to locate all the sectionals for the trip. It really makes it nice if you have a newer GPS that shows terrain & obstacles. Of course terrain is great to see what's ahead of you so you know when to start a climb. If you run into a low ceiling in the Midwest there are a lot of very tall radio towers so the obstacles warnings are nice. It's a long trip but you have to make the pilgrimage at least once. Enjoy the trip.

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