Glenn Weiblen, Mike Jagge, Durwood Blasingame and Roy Roberts
from Castroville Municipal Airport.
Shelly Tumbleson, Glenn Weiblen, and Durwood Blasingame register
their aircraft for AirVenture 2008.
Three airplanes and the six Texas pilots
who flew them are among the first few dozen airplanes to have arrived
this week at Wittman Regional Airport for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008.
The gaggle of Vintage flying machines from Castroville, Texas, arrived
Thursday morning after a day and a half of flying that included three
stops, minimal mechanical difficulties, and an overnight with friends in
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Glenn Weiblen, a first time AirVenture
visitor, summarized their trip by saying, "Man, we're really here,
and we're lookin' forward to it."
Weiblen, a pilot since 1978, flew a
recently purchased 1955 Cessna 180, along with his friends, Shelly
Tumbleson in a 1953 Cessna 180, and Durwood Blasingame in a 1948 Navion.
Each carried passengers who are pilots and they plan to meet up with
other pilots from the Castroville Municipal Airport (CVB) over the next
few days. The group will camp together under the wing of their six
airplanes in the Vintage airplane parking area. "It's my most
enjoyable vacation every year," Tumbleson exclaimed. He's attended
AirVenture since 2003.
Roy Roberts, with 51 years of flying
experience (30 as a crop duster) and an airframe and powerplant mechanic
with inspection authorization, is eager for AirVenture to begin.
"We'll be here all week. This is a great place to see new things
and spend a week with friends under the wing, and of course, to meet new
people and talk about their airplanes."
Tumbleson was happy that Roberts came
along. "I lost my generator at our first stop in Sulphur Springs
and made it the rest of the way with just a handheld radio and a
portable GPS," he said. The group left Castroville on Wednesday
morning, flying all the way to Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport (PDC).
They made stops in Sulphur Springs, Texas; Neosho, Missouri; and
Washington, Iowa. The most they paid for 100LL was $5.13; the least was
in Iowa at $4.52.
Mike Jagge was the most philosophical of
the group. "The destination is the best part, but the trip makes it
all worthwhile," he said. "Flying with these guys, they have a
lot of knowledge, and I learn from them along the way." An avid
motorcyclist and owner of a 1946 Champ, Jagge learned to fly just four
years ago, and said that by watching his fellow pilots, and by asking
questions the right way, he can apply what he learns to his own flying.
Flying was something Jagge wanted to do all his life. "I'm enjoying
it," he said. "As we get older, we have to keep our brains
These good-natured guys from Castroville
are looking forward to sharing the same camaraderie they do back at
their home airport. "We're a group that gets together at the
airport every weekend to have a good time-have cookouts and talk about
airplanes, and we welcome anyone who is interested in aviation,"
"We plan to get educated in aviation
while in Oshkosh," Blasingame added. "I learn something new
every year, especially at Oshkosh."