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