Open Water on Lake Winnebago

Usually about this time of year, people are gearing up for sturgeon spearing and bringing hundreds of ice fishing shanties onto Lake Winnebago.

Right now, the ice conditions are downright scary-looking by February standards. I saw some ice fishermen not far from thin ice and open water. A crack has opened up on the west side of the lake, and there are more cracks and open holes out in the middle. Yikes. Not sure if there is going to be much activity on the ice this year.




Lunch Fly-Out and RV-10 Ride

Brennand Airport (79C) in Neenah is changing hands. The airport’s owner, Ted had to sell it for health reasons. He seems to have found just the right person for the job. More on that in a future post.

A small group of us from Brennand got together today to thank the lawyer who helped with the sale. Since the guy likes aviation, someone decided to throw him a surprise fly-out lunch in Shawano. He thought he was just going for an airplane ride. Three more planes took off after the one he was riding in, and a fourth came from Waupaca to join the group.

Jim and I flew the Cessna 172 to Shawano, where everyone met up and walked across to the Launching Pad restaurant. It was a nice winter day for flying and an excellent day for chili. We all had a good lunch.

Our friend Bob H. graciously offered to take me flying in his RV-10 on his way back to Waupaca. Two or three years ago, or whenever it was, my EAA chapter visited his house where he was building the plane. I had never seen it all finished until now. Whoa. It looked very nice, and flew very well. It has the same “just-right” flying characteristics that make the RV series so popular. This plane is very fast and high-performing while burning hardly any fuel. I can’t believe how docile it seems to be on takeoffs and landings. It’s very roomy and comfortable. I’d say it’s a cross between a Cirrus and a Cessna 182 – my two favorite planes – and I’m sure I just offended someone – but now I want one.



Amazing Ice Photos

Recent strong winds of 40 to 50 mph, combined with freak temperature swings, created some crazy patterns of cracks and snowdrifts on the ice of Green Bay. I’ve never seen any ice look quite like this. It was beautiful and amazing!
It was 5° below zero (F) at 6,000 feet and only about 10°F on the ground when I shot these photos. The air was so cold and dry that we could see for over 100 miles. The snowy part of the bay was creating its own clouds, plus Lake Michigan was causing another layer of clouds in the distance.
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