A year after becoming a sport pilot, Sean O’Donnell arrived in Oshkosh today to a bit of fanfare in AeroShell Square. For the past week he’s been flying his Sky Arrow around the eastern part of the country promoting Able Flight on a “barnstorming tour.”
(The picture is from a cell phone… see Sean’s pictures at the link further down for much better ones.)
I left my house bright and early in order to get a ride to Oshkosh and meet up with Sean. Since he was ahead of schedule, I missed his arrival by a few minutes but he hadn’t gotten out of the plane yet. He and Brad Jones, another Able Flight graduate, talked to several media representatives. I said hello to a few of the Hansens and the director of Able Flight, whom I hadn’t seen in about a year.
After the media interviews were over, I experienced the Oshkosh departure procedure from the back seat of the Sky Arrow with Sean. Pretty neat! Sean has the story about it here (plus his arrival story). We flew the Sky Arrow to Brennand Airport where we’ll base it until I fly it back to Philadelphia.
Once back near Brennand I flew the Sky Arrow for a while including a couple of landings. Ted, the airport owner, saw us and asked over the radio if we would like to join him for lunch. We gladly obliged since we were hungry, and joined Ted, Dale, and Jim for lunch. When we got back, we went flying again so that I could get more used to the plane.
I drove Sean back to Oshkosh, taking the “secret” back way in to a good drop-off point. On my way out, I happened to catch the Boeing Dreamlifter coming in on final to runway 36.
As if this wasn’t enough to do in one day, later I had some fun flying with my student Tony in the 172 in the evening. He wanted to work on soft-field takeoffs and landings, so we flew to Iola. Amazingly it seemed like we had the whole sky to ourselves until we heard our friend in his Ercoupe. I asked him how the runway was over at the private airport he flies from, and when he said it’s great, I decided Tony and I should fly there! I had never flown in there (Northport) but had looked it over well from the ground once, and gotten permission to visit anytime. We landed on the nice smooth grass runway, took off again, practiced a lot of stalls, and flew back to Brennand.
All in all a fun day.
*Thanks to Dale Uecker for the pictures of Sean & me flying the Sky Arrow! (Added 8/22/08)