Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Oshkosh Day 5 -- Ask the Dumb Guy in the Campground

Chad Jensen and his gang of very smart people from all over the country (airline pilots, computer scientists, electrical engineers etc.) have arrived. Brad Oliver took this picture.

... the thread from which I stole it can be found here on Rivetbangers.

I have very little scheduled today so I'm not sure how much I'll be posting. There are three Van's-related forums. Ken Scott has "so you want to build an RV," which I'll pass on. There's a forum on building better RVs and one other one whose name I've now forgotten.

As I indicated in the judging "show," I'm not sure how many more times I'm going to patrol the RV corral. The workmanship is so good, it makes me want to start my project over again. This, for those of you who aren't building your own airplane, is the hardest part of building -- deciding when good enough is good enough. However, my plan is still in place should I ever fly it to Oshkosh; I will never park it next to another RV.

Dear Dumb Guy in the Campground

I've got quite a few messages to open today so let's see what they say. WiFi in the campground has been quite poor for the most part so these have accumulated. Apologies.

Hi Bob,
Just read your Day 4 report - aren't you glad you went? ;-) Last year was my first, and now the problem is that I know exactly what I'm missing by not being at OSH. Before last year, I always thought, "Man, it would be cool to go to Oshkosh", but now I know just how REALLY cool it is. But instead, today I got to watch #1 son at basketball camp, slapping the floor and yelling "We love defense!!" and learning the fine art of dramatizing the charge foul. That's pretty cool too. After we got home I went to the shop and confirmed the leaky rivet in my right fuel tank is indeed fixed so I put it on the wing and am ready to start the top skins. Anyway, I'm really glad you, D.R. and others are there taking pictures and reporting for those of us at home.

So, what to ask the guy in the campground...? Not really campground related, but I'm interested in the GRT EFIS systems too. I read on VAF that they have a new large screen - can you get a picture of it? The GRT Sport is probably more in my line, but it doesn't hurt to dream. I would also like to have seen some of the electric powered airplane stuff that was promised. I could see myself tooling around the local area in an electric Moni.

Seen anything of that other Bob Collins this year? Wasn't he the one that decided to buy a Ran's last year with his daughter and fly it to OSH this year?

Hope the rain holds off. Stay dry and keep those reports coming.

Best regards,
Scott Fechtig
Patuxent River, MD

Hi, Scott. The "other" Bob Collins stopped by on Sunday. He's camping a few streets over. His daughter, the aviation nut and homebuilder who will make some RVer a fine daughter-in-law someday is here too. They did fly in here this year, although they went with the kind of flying where the folks doing it lose your baggage.

I'm going to stop over at the GRT booth this morning so I'll take a picture. I'm with you, I'm more a "Sport" version. I'm "redisciplining" myself to go cheap on the panel. I stopped by Dynon yesterday but I didn't get anyone to talk to me in the short time I had.

update: Here's some shots I took today:

(The second one I think you can click on and get a bigger picture)

Sorry you can't be here, but I can tell you that as good as Oshkosh is, there's nothing better than spending time with your son, even if you're just watching. Oshkosh will always be here. Your son will get big... Trust me on this.

Just wanted to let you know your posts ARE being read and very much appreciated. You had me in stitches with your Port-A-Potty prayer. Too funny! Thanks again for what you are doing. I'm reading 4 different daily blogs from there and yours is the best. I didn't realize how much I was going to miss it... I will be there next year.

Thanks again.
Bill Settle
Winston-Salem, NC.

I'm sure I already wrote this somewhere, Bill, but a week or so ago somebody looked at my RV-7A project and said, "man, you have a long way to go." It was a deflating, demotivating, and depressing comment to hear, which made the decision to go to Oshkosh easier. Though I didn't have that much enthusiasm this year for Oshkosh, my original plan was to spend the week working on the 7A. But after his comment, I thought "why freakin' bother?" I'll have to deal with that when I get home.

But a word to you folks flying your RVs: Don't be a schmuck when you look at someone's project. Provide some technical advice, lie about how far along it is if you have to, but remember your roots and the challenges of building. It doesn't take much to lay down a verbal blockade and don't we have enough challenges to overcome in building an RV?

Hi Bob,

Have you been to Lasure's for Breakfast yet? Oh, I's closer to the North 40 campground so it would be quite a distance for you...but you do have a car. Here's the link to a map

As you can see it's just north of the approach end of runway 9. Across the street from Friar Tuck's, I believe. You have to get there early, like 6:30 because there'll be a line onto the sidewalk outside, and it's a small place; but they do a good job of getting the folks fed and out the door. Omelettes, pancakes, bacon and eggs, biscuits...yum, yum.

In 2006, I was the third of three tents in our North 40 camp. I brought along a small (very small) camp stove to heat water for instant coffee and instant oatmeal. I let my peers pressure me every morning into walking about 30 minutes to Lasure's. Just one morning I wish I had stood up to them, stayed at camp and fixed my own little instant breakfast. (That's the same reason [excuse?] that I didn't get to tag up with you way back in 2004 or was it 2002. They wanted me to tag along with them and I didn't get back to camp in time to meet you.) I still regret that. I feel a kindred spirit with you. My RV-7 has been on hold since 2004, but it will SOON, very SOON, get back to high priority status.

Gotta go...keep the reports from Flyover Country coming! I like the way you write!

Best wishes,


Thanks for writing, Don. I'm actually trying to do Oshkosh on the cheap this year. I've bought one round of food over at WalMart and I'm trying to make it last (bacon that turns green is still OK, right?). For those of you who have never camped here, you need good math skills to do this. You have to balance the cost of the daily 20 pound bag of ice for the cooler, vs. the cost of just buying your food already prepared.

Peanut butter and jelly, cereal, hot dogs, eggs, and a gallon of milk are charged with getting me through. Oh, and lots of bottled water. If I play "happy hour" right, I won't need to buy any more beer. (g)

Regarding your project, I hope you get back to it soon. You don't have far to go on it, you know.

We've never met but I'm a daily lurker and sometime poster on VAF. I'm enjoying your Osh blog, next best thing to being there. I was wondering if you've asked any of the homebuilders there about their opinions on the new 51% rule "clarification" the FAA has recently published? I'd be interested to here the perspective of those at the show.


John Russo

As I indicated in an e-mail, there are a couple of forums here on the 51% rule that I'll try to get to. Opinions? RVers? Yeah, everyone has one but there's a ton of hypocrisy on this issue, as you're probably aware. Everyone talks about not killing the golden goose, but few companies can prevent themselves from selling kits to folks that they know are heading toward a builder's assistance center. Now, yes, I know there are some builders assistance centers that are hard-working and legit. But let's face it, some of us are building RVs for a combination of reasons -- the experience and journey being one. Some are having theirs built because they don't want to pay money for a certificated airplane. It doesn't take a genius to determine who the real homebuilders are, so why allow the others to 'sneak' in under the entire concept of "homebuilding" and experimental. There's nothing experimental going on at a builder's assistance place, especially those ridiculous two-weeks-to-taxi things.

Not a question, just wanted to say "Thank You" for the reports! By the way, I have said your prayer a few times myself. Charlie Moseley N174CM

Amen, Charlie.

Drop me a note when you have time, folks.

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