Cub to Oshkosh Flight

Highlights From Our Cub Adventure

In 2020, the COVID pandemic cancelled most air shows. Some, like Oshkosh, held virtual events. Some aviation museums are starting to reopen slowly. Hopefully people are busy in hangars restoring antique airplanes and readying them for when we can all get out and travel again.

It's no fun to be grounded when you want to fly and explore.

We have had a personal setback too, with some health issues slowing us down.  We don't have the time to check on which venues are still viable and which are things of the past.

So... Post COVID our advice is to check with each air show or museum to see if they are open and operating.  Stay safe.

I've tried to break up our Cub to Oshkosh Flight story to make it more manageable.

This is the page to read if you want to see our day to day adventures on the flight TO Oshkosh.

Things were a little tense at first because the Cub left home with only 8 hours on the engine...

...and there were mountains to get over and a desert to cross...

But you'll see that things went well all in all.

Day 1 - Friday, July 17, 2009
Cub to Oshkosh Flight
California, The Cub and The Ground Crew Hook-Up

The ground support crew left San Martin at 1:50 (1350). Whew, we drove the motor home through 106 degree heat. Thank goodness for air conditioning.

The pilots, that would be Jack and Carol, took off from Camarillo. Engine propped at 1700 PDT. Wheels off the ground at 1710.

The CLC (Cute Little Cub) arrived at Techachapi 6:20 (1820). They reported having to dodge windmill blades coming over the hill because the little Cubby didn't want to climb too much more.

With the longer drive, the ground support crew arrived in Tehachapi at 6:40. We found a friendly airport couple... who just happened to own a J-2... who helped us find the Cub and a place to park the motor home and set up our tent for the night.

J-3 Cub and camp at Tehachapi Airport

Mattie the wonder dog was glad to get out and see that there was grass! We were delighted to have such a nice place for the night.

A little dinner, a little planning session and sleep... such as it was.

Tehachapi Airport Friends
At Tehachapi Planning the Cub flight
Tehachapi - breaking camp for an early take-off

The train tracks ran right next to the airport, and there is no curfew on trains at night.... AND they crossed three roads close by, so the whistles were going all night!

No matter, we're glad to be underway... the Cub to Oshkosh flight has begun!

Day 2 - Saturday, July 18, 2009
Cub to Oshhkosh flight: California - Arizona

Up early. Want to get the Cub in the air as soon as possible.

Jack will fly alone this morning for a little lift over the mountains and the desert. An early start for all!

J-3 Cub takes off from Tehachapi

We arrive in Daggett at about the same time, but the airport is way out of town, and we need gas, so Jack presses on to Needles.

We arrived there about 40 minutes after he did. Took a break for Jack to cool off and have lunch.

Cub at Needles Airport - Not Much There
Temperature Climbs to 117 Degrees at Needles

We watched the outside temperature climb to 117! Decided it was definitely time for the Cub to Oshkosh flight to get out of there!

Brian props the Cub for a fast get away from Needles
Mattie likes laps and the air-conditioning

Arrived at Prescott Arizona for the night. Jack got to Prescott about 4:30. We arrived about 5:30.

Had to leave the Cub, but it was parked outside of an Embry Riddle building, so we figured that was good. Found an RV park that said it had internet.

Cub at Prescott Airport - Embry Riddle behind
CubGuy Camp at Prescott Arizona

It's a nice little RV park where we're camped. It was a long and anxious day. Everyone is done in.

Carol and Mattie were resting. Judy S. was making dinner and the planning continues.... about how are we going to fly and drive so we can stay together.

Tired Pilot and Navigator... Mattie the wonder dog
Judy S. makes sure we eat like royalty
Every night it's where are we going to fly/drive tomorrow?

It was only 90 degrees when we arrived, but with another hot day tomorrow and mountains to cross, Jack will probably be flying solo again.

It's interesting trying to keep a journal like this Cub to Oshkosh flight up to date. We could download the photos and I could write about our adventures, but we often had trouble picking up wifi.

One place where we often had luck was the pilots lounges at the airports. I'd dash in and put up a few pictures and stories as the flight crew was prepping the Cub for take-off.

Day 3 - Sunday, July 19 2009
Cub to Oshkosh Flight: Arizona to New Mexico

Everyone is anxious to get to the Cub this morning. We had a wild thunderstorm last night. Lots of thunder and lightening and the winds were howling.

We were all worried about the plane...... and very glad to see her all in one piece.

One thing about flying in a Cub is that there isn't much room. Getting things to fit takes organization. Carol bought them fishing vest so they could store things close at hand so to speak, but there are just some things that always have to go....

Do we have everything? What fits?
Maps, check, headphones, check, Bear...Oh yeah

Bear goes every flight....

We got Jack off by 8:00, and we were on the road as he flew by.

Beautiful drive for us today as we head up to Flagstaff, then on past the Painted Desert to Gallup.

Painted Cliffs, Arizona
Painted Cliffs Arizona - on the road

Mattie the wonder dog pretty much has all of us trained. She navigates when she wants to and sits in our laps when she's tired.

Mattie loves to navigate and bark at the horses
Mattie checks to make sure we appreciate her efforts

We're driving a long way today.... over 400 miles... so we trade off drivers.

Judy drives relief stretches
Brian drive the long stretches for now

Met up in Gallup all feeling pretty confident. Jack took a break in the RV for lunch, but he's still flying solo.

The plane is performing well, but the Continental Divide is just ahead... We'll all feel better once this Cub to Oshkosh flight has the mountains behind us and a few more hours on the engine.

It looks like good flying weather, but Jack takes off with thunderstorms building...

Gotta take off before those thunderstorms close in!

We were all worried as the storms closed in and we didn't track Jack for about a half an hour....

Just as we decided there was a break in the clouds, "Find Me Spot" told us he was almost to Albuquerque. Then we got the signal that he had landed... and we were only about 20 minutes behind.

When we were driving to the airport we got anxious again.... It was soooo windy at the Double Eagle Airport.

Jack had tied the Cub down outside, but it was rocking and rolling so much... I mean wheels coming off the ground... that we chose to hangar her for the night so we could all sleep and not stay awake worrying!

Welcome to Double Eagle II Airport
Cub in an Albuquerque hangar for the night

Our RV park tonight says no tents allowed, so it's one big slumber party. We're feeling pretty good at getting the Cub over the Continental Divide, so we're having a celebration.

Notice how the planning session has expanded... the group of pilots is bigger... and the map is growing!

Four pilots for the Day 3 planning session

Day 4 - Monday, July 20
Cub to Oshkosh Flight: New Mexico to Kansas

Today turns out to be a four state day. We start in New Mexico. After lunch we cut across the panhandle of Texas, slice across the panhandle of Oklahoma and get just across the border into Liberal, Kansas.

We got out of camp at about 7:05. The Cub is a 3 passenger plane this morning.... if you count Bear and Bernard sharing the front seat....

Notice that they both have their goggles ready and Bear is holding the Find Me Spot Tracker for now...

Bernard and Bear Wait for Ride in J-3 Cub

Got the Cub out of the hangar and gassed up. Jack is nearly ready.

Cub Ready to leave Double Eagle II Airport
Jack is nearly ready for the morning flight

The wind is much calmer this morning and the weather looks great. Jack has one more solo leg to get out of the Rockies. He taxied out at 7:50 and took off at 8:00. There's a lot of long straight open road today.

Lots of Straight Open Road in New Mexico

First stop on this morning's Cub to Oshkosh flight.... Tucumcari, New Mexico. We're down to 4063 feet in altitude.

Good thing we were right behind Jack to pick him up and feed him, because there was nothing at the Tucumcari Airport! We arrived at 11 AM.

Tucumcari Airport Terminal
Not A Whole Lot At Tucumcari Airport

It's hot here. The local airport geezer agreed to let the Cub sit out of the sun in a hangar... not that it was much cooler in there! What you can't see is the tumble weed and the dead gophers inside the hangar!

Jack is feeling so good about the way the plane is flying and about being out of the mountains that he thinks he can take a co-pilot on the next let. Carol agrees to let him take Brian up. They took off at 11:50.

Keeping the Cub out of the sun, Tucumcari Airport
Brian and Jack fly together out of Tucumcari

This was a fun leg... Judy S. was driving the RV northeast on Hwy 54. It was pretty much a straight shot to Liberal Kansas.

We left just as the Cub took off and we flew together most of the time.

When we had no traffic, we pulled ahead. When we had to go through towns with speed limits and stop lights, they pulled ahead.

More wide open country in Texas
We see cattle stockyards and silos, Texas

Because we were on the same diagonal, and traveling at about the same speed, we all arrived in Liberal, Kansas together... well, they landed at 3:55; we pulled in at 4:05. We found them tying the Cub down for the night. They had fun flying the Cub together!

Cub arrives in Liberal Kansas for the night

We stopped for gas, did some grocery shopping then found an RV park.

We are definitely in Kansas.... it's completely flat.

When we asked about trees, they told us there were some about 200 miles south.

It's nice, neat, clean and new though, and the people are friendly. Time for cocktails and a flight planning session for tomorrow.

Yep, We're definitely in Kansas... wide open plains.... And Mattie is out there looking for Toto.

No trees in this part of Kansas
Mattie looks for Toto in Kansas

Day 5 - Tuesday, July 21 - Morning
Cub to Oshkosh Flight: Stuck In Kansas So Far

Good morning everyone, if you're wondering why Spot doesn't seem to be working, it's because we're stuck in Kansas for the time being.

The weather is still pretty dicey in Liberal

There was and amazing lightning and thunderstorm last night. We called the FBO at 10 PM last night and asked them to move the Cub into a hangar.

This morning there are clouds... Jack could fly under those, but it's a little too windy where we are and where we want to go... we're sitting here catching up.... hoping the weather improves by noon. That's what the weather service is promising. We'll pack up and go to the airport so we're ready.

Day 5 - Tuesday, July 21 - Afternoon
Cub to Oshkosh Flight: Unstuck But Still In Kansas

Cub comes out of the hangar ready to skim under the clouds

Spot started tracking again. We left the RV park at 10:35 AM with the weather improving. The Cub is out of the hangar and Jack decides he can make it to Hayes, Kansas flying under the clouds. The winds are not as forceful, but he'll take this leg alone again. Cub in the air at 11:20 AM.

Jack and the Cub arrive in Hayes at 2:10. The RV arrives at 2:40. The weather is so good that we decide to press on.

Mark will fly co-pilot with Jack to Belleville, Kansas.

Day 6 - Cub to Oshkosh Adventure
Wednesday, July 22
Cub to Oshkosh Flight: Kansas - Nebraska- Iowa

Since we've been traveling long days and no wifi... I'll catch you up on day six later... or maybe we'll just skip ahead and not come back to it.

In Iowa, Mark and I picked up a rental car so we'll have transportation in Oshkosh.

Day 7 - Thursday July 23 - We've Arrived
Cub to Oshkosh Flight...
Iowa to OSHKOSH Wisconsin

It took us a couple of days to find wifi and the time to write again. Obviously we got unstuck from Kansas..... that one morning was the only time the weather really slowed us down. We were soon back on track.

A note to Professor Shreve...

Thanks for sending Kirby and Yo to help the "young ones" on this Cub to Oshkosh flight. We think they helped clear the weather from Kansas on... at least that's what they told us, and we believed them after a few cocktails.

Kirby and Yo help J-3 Cub in Thunderstorm

They did tell you we all had gin and tonics before they flew home didn't they? (By the way, Mattie enjoyed their visit. She didn't drink, so she made sure they got safely on their way home.)

Today we made the final push. Jack and Carol wanted to get into Oshkosh before all the NOTAMs take affect.

(That's Notice to Airmen) Without going into the details, those would have made landing more complicated. So....

Breaking camp in Marshalltown, Iowa

We were up early again breaking camp by 6:30. Spent the night at the Riverview City Campground in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Brian and Judy rolled out with the RV straight to Oshkosh. With our newly acquired rental car, Mark and I took Carol and Jack to the airport to see them off from Marshalltown Airport.

Gas is self-service at Marshalltown Airport
Jack and Carol ready - Next Stop... Oshkosh!!

They got into the air by 8:00 AM.

They stopped in Mineral Point for gas, but since they don't have to follow roads, they got there and left before we caught up.

We were driving through Madison, Wisconsin when they called to tell us the Cub to Oshkosh flight was successful. They landed at 12:15. The Cub parked in the Vintage Aircraft Parking Area.

Brian and Judy arrived to pick them up and to claim our camping spot. We camped in Sleepy Hollow Camp Ground. It's surrounded by the EAA's Camp Scholler, but it's a private camp ground. Not quite the trees we hoped for... that's in the front section of Sleepy Hollow. And we are a longer hike from the main gate than we thought we would be.... but the RV Carol had rented starting for Friday was already delivered and we got to move right in.

We did get two camping spots next to each other, and tucked way back into the campground, we can create a nice little encampment.... all set up for parties through out the week when flying friends stop by. It's nice to have a rental car with us now so we can get around to get supplies and groceries. Judy S. took our rental car to drive to Green Bay to pick up a grandson who flew in.

So now, if you want to read on about the Cub to Oshkosh flight and what comes next, here are some more pages...
Cub to Oshkosh Aerial Photos
See the J-3 Cub in Oshkosh and some of our fun and adventures while we were there.
The Cub is Ready for Oshkosh tells you the story from the beginning.
And for homeward bound stories of the Cub to Oshkosh flight, see Cub Flight Home -- Oshkosh to California.

Find 'em, See 'em, Fly,'em! And have a great flight!
Judy and Mark

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