Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cub (on Rob's way) to Oshkosh!

Plane: Cub, 65 hp 
Route: 40I, Local 
Weather: Clear, 84 degrees, wind 120 degrees at 3 knots

Pilot friend Rob (who used to blog about his aerial exploits) emailed me months ago asking if he could stay with us tonight. You see, he's in the midst of a crazy adventure to Oshkosh - riding all 2,015 miles from Philadelphia to Wisconsin and back on his motorcycle! The last time we said hello was when he and Gary flew out to visit nearly two years ago. We said yes to the visit, of course, and have been looking forward to seeing him.

Now if you know anything about me, you know I don't just pass up an opportunity to take a friend up in a J-3. Especially when they're a pilot! So that was the plan for tonight - a little slice of vintage flying in a Cub.

The best part of tonight's flight - getting up close with the Stearman!

The airport was especially active tonight - just the perfect example of grassroots aviation. Lots of taildraggers, a couple pilots camping there overnight in their Aeroncas, and some hot air balloons. We took to the air and Emerson pulled up on our wing shortly after takeoff as we headed east towards the lake. As you can see in the video above, the view was spectacular.

Our airplane of choice, shortly before we climbed in and took off

Has a PT-17 ever not looked stately in the sky? I say no.

After the Stearman broke off, we flew over the lake and then down the valley towards King's Island. Rob was enjoying the view out the open door and took some great photos. Nearly all the photos and video in this post are his handiwork - thanks for capturing the flight so well, Rob!

The lake was rather active tonight - lots of boats down there

We had a great view of King's Island

Turning back towards the airport, we saw that the hot air balloons had launched. I climbed up to about 3,000 feet to get level with them and we passed by at a distance, waving the wings as the folks in the basket waved back. Then I handed Rob the stick and he enjoyed having the controls for a little while.

You fly a Cub for the pure and vintage experience, not necessarily to go somewhere!

Passing by a balloon - there were quite a few out flying tonight

Shortly thereafter I re-entered the pattern and touched down softly on the grass. We parked the venerable J-3 in front of its hangar and hopped out, both having enjoyed a perfect summer evening flight. Good times, for sure.

A rare, front-seat view of the takeoff and landing

In case you're wondering about the title of the post, I'm playing off the name of the mass fly-in of Cubs scheduled to arrive at Oshkosh on Sunday morning. A group of over 100 J-3s are arriving together to celebrate the 75th anniversary of iconic yellow plane. Head on over to Cubs 2 Oshkosh for more info!

Flight Track: Google Earth KMZ File 
Today's Flight: 1.0 hours
Total Time: 222.8 hours


  1. Thanks Steve! It sure was good to see you and Gina again and the flight was a nice treat!

    1. No problem - it was a lot of fun. And even better is the fact that your Airventure trip went off without a hitch! Well, ignoring all the rain at least...

  2. Looks like a great, idyllic evening of flying!