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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedCarl and Elayne’s 37th Oshkosh, and Nelson and Nelson aviation adventures
By Jack Hodgson, EAA AirVenture Today

Photos by Jack Hodgson
Elayne & Carl Rump camping in the Vintage
area with their 1956 Tri-Pacer.

Nelson Evans and Gerald Nelson with the well traveled Cessna 172 #790.

July 30, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - It’s another beautiful morning in the Vintage campground. Showcase planes are passing overhead and up and down Runway 18/36. The sun is shining bright even though it’s unseasonably cool.

But it makes for a delightful alternative to Wisconsin’s occasionally hot and humid weather.

Carl Rump is sitting under his wing enjoying the air, watching the airplanes.

Carl and his wife, Elayne, are from Wayne, Nebraska, about 45 miles south of Sioux City. They’ve been here at Air- Venture since last Friday morning.

The flight here from their home was pretty uneventful, other than going around a few thunderstorms.

“We stopped at Reedsburg (Wisconsin, C35), spent the night there,” says Carl. “We do that traditionally and then fly in here in the morning. It’s very nice. The accommodations are within walking distance. There’s a number of motels and restaurants.

“We’ve always been satisfied there.”

This is Carl’s 37th straight year to attend the EAA fly-in—every one since 1973.

“It’s always a great place to come. We base our summer schedule around Oshkosh.

“It’s a time for us to have a family reunion. Our sons come in later in the week. We’ll be here until the bitter end. Sometimes we’ve had other relatives stop in for a few days and visit. They all enjoy airplanes.

“It’s just a great time to get together.” Their airplane is a 1956 red Piper Tri- Pacer. They’ve owned it since 1967.

“I learned to fly in a Colt, which is a two-seat version of this. I’ve flown other Cherokees and Cessnas and things. But I’ve always appreciated the ability of the Tri-Pacer…it’s not exceptional in terms of cruise speed, but it can carry a lot of people and objects.

“We load it up with all the camping equipment, and it gets off the ground and goes as well as any of them.”

They’ve done a lot of flying in this airplane over the years.

“My wife got her license in it. We went a lot of places with the two kids in the back seat. It’s a member of the family for sure.

“Nebraska and Iowa have a lot of flyin breakfasts, usually on Sunday mornings, so we’re usually going somewhere every Sunday.”

The Rumps home airport is Wayne Municipal (LCG). It’s got two paved runways, but it’s also got Carl.

“I’m on the airport commission, and I insist we maintain the grass runway. It’s got a really nice grass runway.”

Gerald Nelson and Nelson Evans are here for their first ever AirVenture fly-in. They flew Gerald’s vintage 172 from Skagit Regional Airport in Washington state.

The trip to Oshkosh was “very good.”

“We flew over the Cascades to Kalispell, Montana. We left in the afternoon, around 4 o’clock. We were able to get up over the top at 11,500 feet and flew right to Kalispell.”

Even before arriving here they were amazed at the hospitality of the general aviation world.

“The airports and FBOs we visited were extraordinarily friendly and helpful,” says Gerald. “And many were having special things happening during Oshkosh week. Like we pulled into one place, and they were offering free lunch…hamburgers, hot dogs, chips, water.

“It was all free.”

The legendary friendliness of AirVenture attendees extends beyond the Wittman airport fence.

“We lucked out a little bit along the way,” says Nelson, “because we landed at Marshfield, and we ran into these guys who said, ‘You need to stay in the vintage parking.’

“I was gonna go to general parking in the North 40,” he says. “But this is the perfect place to park.”

Gerald’s airplane is a 1956 172. The 790th 172 ever built.

Gerald and Nelson do a lot of flying together in the 172.

“We live close to the San Juan Islands, so we fly out there a lot.”

One of their favorite island destinations is Friday Harbor.

“Very popular boating destination,” says Nelson. “Little town, very quaint. Airport close by. Just a nice place to stop.”

“On the San Juan Islands there are airports just about everywhere,” explains Gerald. “And most of those airports are within walking distance to the little towns, and they’ve got little restaurants.

“They’re pretty neat places to go.”

Another island destination they like is a restaurant called the Spruce Goose, on Port Townsend. Another big trip they’ve made in this plane is to fly up to Alaska.

“It was a very interesting adventure,” says Nelson, “and a challenge for flying because the facilities for fuel and navigation are far and few between. We went up the inside passage route, where weather is an issue most of the time.

“We had an excellent time.”

Nelson and Nelson are so enjoying their latest adventure, this visit to AirVenture, that they’re already planning to return next year.

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