Route from Smiths Falls to Sault Ste Marie, MIThis year’s trip to the EAA Fly-In at Oshkosh went extremely well all in all. Lee and I had a smooth trip to Green Bay, WI on Saturday, 18 July.


On top, at 8,000 ftThere was low cloud all along the route to Sault Ste Marie, MI when we took off in the morning, but it was forecast to gradually improve over the next two hours. We had a an alternate airport with good weather, in case the cloud did not lift, so we departed IFR. At the start of the trip, we were on top of the cloud at 8,000 ft, but the cloud tops got higher as we went west, so we climbed to 10,000 ft to keep out of the cloud.


Lee and I enroute to Sault Ste Marie, MI


I monitored the weather reports via XM Weather, and was happy to see that the cloud lifted as predicted. Sault Ste Marie, MI (KANJ), our Customs stop, had 300 ft ceiling when we took off, but it was clear by the time we arrived. The only negative point was the very strong headwinds, which had our ground speed down to 125 kt at times, so the trip took 2:52, rather than the typical 2:40.

There was an area of thunderstorms going through northern WI and upper Michigan, which I was watching warily on the XM Weather, but it was eventually clear that it would pass well south of our route, so I relaxed.


Route from Sault Ste Marie, MI to Green Bay, WIWe quickly cleared US Customs, refuelled, ate out sandwiches, then departed for Green Bay, WI.


Tied down at Executive Air in Green BayWe arrived in Green Bay to sunny skies, and tied the aircraft down for the night. The forecast overnight thunderstorms failed to materialize, so the aircraft didn’t even get wet.


Sunday morning we zipped down to Ripon to start the Oshkosh arrival procedure. As we approached Ripon, we saw a long line of aircraft coming up from the south, but there was a good gap between #1 and #2, so I slipped in to that gap. Then I noted that the aircraft I was following had twin tails, indicative of an [Ercoupe][], not known for a good turn of speed. But, he managed to maintain about 85 kt (the procedure calls for 90 kt, or the max possible if the aircraft cannot maintain 90 kt). I managed to get a very good landing (you hate to have an ugly landing at Oshkosh, with thousands of people watching).

Oshkosh camp siteAfter landing, we got the aircraft tied down and set up our tents.