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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedSam Burgess Tribute Flight Continues

Read about Stops 1 and 2
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Read about Stops 6 and 7

Read about Stops  8 - 13

EAA Chapter 157 members in Redding, California
EAA Chapter 654 members in
Sishiyou County in Montague, California
Myrtle Creek, OR Chapter 1444
EAA Chapter 495 members in Roseburg, Oregon

With less than three weeks away from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008, J.W. French (EAA 226884) continues to make progress in his re-creation flight of Sam Burgess’ 1974 flight around the lower 48 states in an open-cockpit Acro Sport. For the past week he has flown throughout the west coast of the United States, visiting EAA chapters and individuals familiar with the achievements of Sam Burgess. The hospitality and generosity he’s received throughout his journey has been greatly appreciated, and will help him make his way to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he and several hundred thousand other aviation enthusiasts will participate in “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration.”

Stop 14: Tracy Municipal Airport (TCY) in Tracy, California (Thursday, July 3, 2008)
Supported by Craig Vincent (EAA 798816), Richard Ortenheim (EAA 835869), and EAA Chapter 1432

After departing Sierra Sky Park in Fresno, California, French safely landed at Tracy Municipal Airport (TCY), where a press photographer greeted him to take photos of his landing. Craig Vincent, the vice president of EAA Chapter 1432, arranged for the press to be there. Richard Ortenheim, the owner of Skyview Aviation, offered J.W. the use of his facilities, an oil change, and general clean up of his Acro Sport. “Craig and the chapter president, Tom Belisle, gave me a tour of the Stockton Airport and showed me Tom’s RV-4 that is well underway,” French said. Later that day he departed for Redding, California, with expectations to land at Benton Field Airport, but elected to land at Redding Municipal Airport (RDD) due to smoke and haze caused by a fire on the ground. “I called Jim Barry, the president of EAA Chapter 157 of Redding, and he picked me up from Benton,” he said. “This evening, Jim and several other chapter members entertained me at dinner and we had a great time swapping flying stories.”

In the morning, J.W. was off to Montague, California.

Stop 15: Montague Airport-Yreka Rohrer Field (105) in Montague, California (Friday, July 4, 2008)
Supported by Chris Tyhurst (EAA 597709), Blair Stewart, and Larry Graves (EAA 101629)

After the smoke and haze from the previous day had cleared out, French departed on what he said was one of his most challenging flights yet. “It was time to take on the pass northward of Mount Shasta, the highest mountain I’ve had to contend thus far,” he said. “The AIRMET for turbulence in that area flashed on the screen of my Garmin 396. Things were not looking good.” Fortunately, he found a clearing through the overcast and landed safely at Montague Airport without any trouble. Once landed, he met his hosts, Chris Tyhurst, Blair Stewart, and Larry Graves. “Chris took me on a tour of the area. Even though the smoke had reduced visibility, the scenery was spectacular,” he said. “Chris and his wife, Robin, had a wonderful Fourth of July barbecue meal and good times and fellowship prevailed.” In the morning, French departed for Myrtle Creek, Oregon, to meet three other biplanes, and then head to Roseburg, Oregon, to meet members of EAA Chapter 1444.

Stop 16: Myrtle Creek Municipal Airport (16S) in Myrtle Creek, Oregon (Saturday, July 5, 2008)
Supported by EAA Chapter 1444

“Myrtle Creek is a challenging place to land for the first-time flatland pilot,” French reported. “With a welcoming committee of three pilots from Roseburg, I managed to bounce the wheel landing with plenty of runway ahead of me.” Once landed, he took a tour of the chapter’s facilities and snapped a photo of a sign proclaiming the area to be ‘French Field at Myrtle Creek.’ A Starduster flown by Paul Schafer and a replica Great Lakes flown by Mike Danielle then escorted him to Roseburg. High cover was flown by Bruce Harrington in his Sonex and he served as the facilitator for the stop. “After visiting the projects and completed planes of chapter members of EAA Chapter 495, my overnight host, John Proctor, arrived in his Super Cub to take me to his home in Umpqua Skylark. “The party [John] threw for the Sam Burgess Memorial Junket was something else,” French said. “I shared my recollections of the life and times of Sam Burgess and again found people who know of Sam and his accomplishments as a builder, pilot, and aerobatic competition judge.” The next morning, Proctor and French took the opportunity to repair an inspection ring and cover on the Acro Sport. French then departed Myrtle Beach to make his next stop in Independence, Oregon.

Stop 17: Independence State Airport (7S5) in Independence, Oregon (Sunday, July 6, 2008)
Supported by Bob Schwarzler (EAA 125721), Jerry Medlock (EAA 410760) and EAA Chapter 292

French arrived safely at Independence State Airport (7S5), but commented that the “mountain passes with the tops in the clouds” were still not his idea of having fun. Once on the ground, his host, Bob Schwarzler, and the EAA Chapter 292 newsletter editor, greeted him. Jerry Medlock offered him a tie down space in front of his hangar and then Medlock, French, and Schwarzler drove to McMinnville to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum, home of the famous Hughes Aircraft Spruce Goose. “The collection of aircraft there is outstanding and would be well worth the trip even without the Spruce Goose,” he said. The three of them then headed back to Independence and were served dinner. “After dinner we joined up with several neighbors to watch the sunset,” he said. “I continue to marvel at the hospitality and friendliness of the ‘plane people’ that I’ve met on this journey.” In the morning he expects to fly to McMinnville, Oregon, to visit two of his nephews.

Since leaving Independence, J.W. has traveled to Snohomish, Washington. Later today, he plans to arrive at the Arlington Northwest Fly-In in Arlington, Washington.


FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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