Monthly Archives: July 2018

Anti Splat Gust Lock

I recently bought Anti Splat Aero’s gust lock for the RV-8 and thought a brief review for RV-8 owners might be of benefit since pictures of installation in an RV-8 are not on Anti Splat’s website.

Bottom line is that I am happy with the unit. I did have to drill an extra hole in the shaft to get the geometry right with my adjustable pedals. As a relatively short person (5’8″), the pedals sit aft and there just weren’t enough adjustment holes to get the geometry right. Easy fix

In terms of holding power, the rudder and elevators are rock solid. The ailerons less so, but there’s enough resistance there to get the job done. The design of the lock has inherently less power for the ailerons. This is noted in their videos and the requirement is that the gust lock be set as tight as you reasonably can to resist aileron movement.

I like the fact that all three surfaces are locked with one mechanism and that there’s no way you’re going try and take off with this thing between your legs! Also harder to steal. I used this at Oshkosh and on Saturday night when we had intermittent rain showers and full time wind. Everything was in it’s correct place the next morning. It folds up nice and small and is very well made.

It’s not cheap at $189.00, but it’s less expensive that having a hole punched into your rudder because it’s flapping around in the breeze. And to my surprise, there was more than one RV at Oshkosh in HBC with its rudder doing exactly that.

Oshkosh-What a Goat Rodeo!

Lastly, there is the Goat Rodeo. The worst of the three, it is beyond even profanity. It describes a situation that involves many individuals’ screw ups, and implies that the fuck up is already well underway meaning that there is no hope in stopping the mess. Usually said with a defeated tone.

Source: Urban Dictionary

Yep, that about sums it up. I flew to Oshkosh. For anyone who made the trek to Oshkosh this year, you know what I mean. The weather was horrible on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The winds were gusting, it was raining and low ceilings pervaded. ATC shut down runways 9/27 so all traffic was directed to runways 36 L/R. Many people had to divert, and many never made it into Oshkosh. It was one of the most dangerous situations I’ve ever seen (well, flying into Destin, FL would have ranked up there until they finally instituted a tower there).

We had a plan. The weather forecast was bad for Saturday but forecast to be good in western WI. I was meeting a friend and his son. They weren’t instrument rated, so we decided to meet up in Prairie Du Chien, WI on Saturday, stay the night there and then ease in OSH first thing the next morning. To say this plan didn’t work out is a vast understatement!

The weather at PDC was clear but extremely gusty. I arrived early afternoon and hitched a ride to the worst Motel 6 I’ve ever seen. After eating lunch and checking on my friends, who were at that time just into MO, the weather forecast changed and VFR was not forecast until well into Sunday, but a window of VFR weather was forecast for Saturday evening at about 6PM.

After considering the depressing thought of spending the night in that dump of a hotel, I decided “the hell with it, I’ll just leave and see if I can get into OSH tonight”. Failing that, I’d just come back and spend the night.  So, I got a taxi ride to the airport (no UBER or LYFT in Prairie Du Chien!), filled up with gas and took off.

As you can see from my Flightaware track above, it wasn’t a straight shot. Lots of low hanging clouds and rain. Barely VFR and flying in the mist and scud with 1000 other people. My ADS-B screen was lit up like a Christmas tree. I had to zoom into the 2 mile view to make sense of anything. The drill to flying in to OSH is that everyone crosses RIPON intersection at 1800 ft and 90 KIAS. To say the least, it was a wasp nest at RIPON and I had to break it off and restart at RIPON 3 or 4 times before I finally got into a stable line of planes. Even as it was, I had to slow fly at 65 KIAS to avoid gaining on the Cessna ahead of me.

My friends tried getting in, but decided to spend the night at the Wautoma, WI airport (Y50). Wautoma is an excellent place to stage for OSH and is only about 30 miles west. They and about 50 other planes spent the night on the field there. Rumors abounded that pizza and beer were consumed there and all in all, it wasn’t a bad experience. They ended up getting into OSH on Sunday.

I ended up getting into OSH that Saturday evening around 6:30 just as the rain started. I was lucky. Many never got in, some flew around all day on Sunday and never got in. Some who have flown in for decades on an annual basis said it was the worst they had ever seen. I believe them.

At the end of it all, I got parked in Homebuilt Camping, got my tent up, grabbed a pre-fab ham sandwich and a bottle of lemonade for dinner and then crawled into my tent and listened to the wind and rain much of the night.

Oshkosh Packing List

Here’s my personal packing list for Oshkosh:

  1. Backup Battery for Phone and iPad
  2. Bath and Beach Towel
  3. Beer
  4. Cash
  5. Charging Cables (Apple, Mini USB, Micro USB, Type C, Wall Charger)
  6. Ear Plugs
  7. Folding Chair
  8. Haircut
  9. Hand Held Radio
  10. HBC/VFR Sign
  11. Insulated Cup for Coffee
  12. NOTAM
  13. Pillow
  14. Relief Bottle
  15. Sandals for Shower
  16. Sleeping Bag
  17. Snacks/Food
  18. Soap
  19. Soft Side Cooler
  20. Sun Hat
  21. Sunscreen
  22. Tent
  23. Therma Rest Pad
  24. Two Garbage Bags
  25. Wind Breaker

Oshkosh Tools and Supplies

Here are the tools and supplies I take to Oshkosh:

  1. 1/4” to 3/8” Sockets
  2. Adjustable Wrench
  3. Boards for Wheels
  4. Brake O Rings
  5. Canopy Cover
  6. Cleaners and Rags
  7. Flashlight
  8. Fuel Tank Drain
  9. Funnel
  10. Gust Lock
  11. Paper Towels
  12. Quart of Oil
  13. Ratcheting Wrench and Extension
  14. Safety Wire .032
  15. Safety Wire Pliers
  16. Scoop Plug
  17. Screwdrivers
  18. Skybolt Parts
  19. Skybolt Tools
  20. Spark Plug Anti Seize
  21. Spark Plug Gaskets
  22. Spark Plug Socket
  23. Spark Plugs
  24. Tie Downs
  25. Torx Drivers
  26. Various Fuses
  27. Wrench Set

Puppies in a RV8-It Can Be Done!

Several years ago, I was active in Pilots N Paws when I owned a Bonanza. It was a great plane to haul almost any size dog. In fact, I hauled so many aged and injured Pit Bulls, I took to calling my plane “the Pit Special”…ha. I sold the Bonanza and aside from a brief interlude with a Cirrus, I didn’t have a plane to continue hauling animals and gave up on it temporarily.

I always found it very rewarding and always intended to do it again after I finished up the -8, but always wondered about how realistic it would be considering the space available. Seeing some of the recent stories reawakened those thoughts and I recently and unexpectedly had an opportunity to jump back into it right before Oshkosh. It’s a story of two coincidences.

Out of the blue and with no action on my part, and for the first time in years, I was contacted by a rescue organization based in WI and asked if I could fly 8 puppies (later to be 4 puppies) from Magee, MS to my home airport Fayette County, TN. That was convenient! The pilot I would hand them off to happened to be someone I had met for the first time less than 24 hours prior to being contacted and whose hangar is less than 50 yards from my own. What are the odds? Sean would then fly them to Waupaca, WI on his way to Oshkosh.

Needless to say, a RV-8 is not a freight hauling machine and I was concerned about the weight and the size of the crate with 4 puppies in it. The puppies averaged about 6 lbs each and the foster mom found a small crate for them. I removed the back seat and laid a moving blanket down to quieten things a little and it all fit fine.

We kept the dogs overnight and my daughter, a former vet tech, and my wife, a certified dog nut, just fawned over them for hours. They named them. I was afraid they would want to keep them. They had a great time in our backyard.

Later they had a good night’s sleep in one of our crates after some energetic wrasslin’.

I took them to the airport the next morning to meet Sean’s wife and daughter, who fostered them for one night. I heard later from Sean that they were named again. Those were four spoiled little dogs and now they are residents of WI courtesy of Pilots N Paws.

It was just as rewarding as I remember, and I’m looking forward to another mission if I can find one with smaller animals in my area.