Mason is one of four Oshkosh friends
who fly in each year and
park together in the Vintage area near the Hangar Cafe.
from Maynard, Massachusetts, and he made the trip here arriving on
Monday over a week ago. Heís been coming to AirVenture since 1983.
been flying since he was 14. His father taught him. His dad, who passed
away a couple years ago, had a grass strip in his backyard. So there
were a lot of chances to fly.
had many airplanes over the years. In 1983 he built a VariEze, then in
1989 a Velocity. Next he restored a 1960 Cessna 180, and now heís
slowly restoring the 1955 180 that brought him here this year.
owns a Flightstar two-seater, which he converted to LSA status a while
coming to Oshkosh because he meets new people every time. "Since I
started parking in Vintage, after restoring the 180, thatís when I
started meeting all these people in the Vintage area."
to fly about 50 hours a year. "Mostly pleasure stuff. Iíll fly
out to Marthaís Vineyard, Nantucket. Go up to the White Mountains. Or
down to Atlantic City. Or New York City. Itís usually local stuff. My
big cross-country trip is to here each year."
one of a group of four planes worth of Oshkosh attendees who meet up
each year. Others in his little Oshkosh neighborhood are from Basin,
Montana, and Peoria, Illinois.
of this gang of Oshkosh friends is Jim Hamilton. Jim
is from Rougue River, Oregon.
flight here took two and one half days in his Piper Tri-Pacer.
people ask, how do you get over the Rockies? But when you take that
route there are no Rockies. Itís just big, high, flat desert.
year was the best trip Iíve ever had. I had 150 mile per hour ground
speeds due to tail winds."
time was here in 1969 in a J-3 Cub. That was the second year the fly-in
was in Oshkosh. He remembers how different things were back then.
Goodyear blimp was tied up way down by the Tall Pines Cafť, and thatís
where we were parked. And none of this [Vintage parking] existed, this
is a 1953 Tri-Pacer. Oddly, his "Tri-Pacer" is a taildragger.
an A&P mechanic, I do my own work. And I made a Pacer out of it.
Most Tri-Pacers now are changed over to Pacers. They only made 70
Pacers. If you see that baggage door, it was never a Pacer."
he decide to convert the tricycle gear Tri-Pacer to the taildragging
Pacer? "Well, the nose tire weighs 90 pounds. So that makes it go
quite a bit faster."
with his newly refurbished Cessna 150.
Nicolayev has come to AirVenture for the first time this
year. And his visit to Oshkosh marks the bitter-sweet fulfillment of a
goal he and his father set two years ago.
his newly refurbished Cessna 150 to Oshkosh from Salinas, California.
took 18 flying hours, over three days. Flying alone, his route passed,
"through central Nevada, up into Salt Lake City. Then Rock Springs,
Cheyenne, Wyoming, then through Nebraska."
found the VFR arrival procedure to be another new experience.
didnít see many other planes really Ďtil I was about half a mile out
of Ripon, and then it was like I was in a swarm of bees. The NOTAM
should just read, get in line behind someone else and follow the leader,
ícause thatís just about all I did."
plane is a 1973 Cessna 150. Two years ago Mark and his dad, George,
began the project of completely refurbishing the plane.
took it apart completely, and basically went through everything. Engine,
paint, interior, has all been redone.
Dad and I started it, but unfortunately dad passed away during the
project. But it was far enough along at that point that he got to see
what it looked like, but he never got to see it fly again."
dad, George Nicolayev, was a pilot before his son was born, but he gave
up flying when the time came to raise a family.
years ago Dad returned to the air. He bought into a Bonanza, and when
Mark went for a few rides, "I was hooked," he says. "We
were out looking for a 150 a couple weeks after that, and found this
They started the 150
refurb project together, and now Mark has completed their dream of
bringing it to Oshkosh.