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Around the Field
Two long-distance fliers alight in Oshkosh
Story and photos by Jack Hodgson
 
Pat Healy with his well-traveled International Scout.
Sue Black and Ed Schoene enjoy the fly-bys in the North 40 on Friday morning.

Sue Black and Ed Schoene are sitting in front of the brown and white Cessna 210 out on the North 40 on a beautiful Friday morning during AirVenture 2010.

The 210 belongs to Ed, who’s owned it for seven years. It’s a 1973 model, and not surprisingly, he really loves his airplane.

“It’s probably the best single-engine airplane ever made. It’s reasonably fast. I can put 90 gallons of fuel in there and still put a half-a-ton in payload.”

Their home airport is Oneonta Municipal Airport in upstate New York.

Ed and Sue use the airplane for all sorts of personal travel.

“We do a mix of just drilling holes in the sky and traveling,” Ed said. “A couple of weeks ago we decided we haven’t had a Philly cheesesteak in too long, so we jumped in the airplane, flew to Philadelphia, had a cheesesteak, and flew home.”

They recently flew down to New Jersey for the Red Bull Air Races; they’ve been to the West Coast twice. “We try to go to Maine every year for lobster.”

This year they flew to Oshkosh the long way. They first went to Colorado and spent a few days camping and horseback riding.

Sue isn’t a pilot but describes herself as “a dedicated copilot.” Ed has been flying for 12 years, and this is their ninth time to the Oshkosh fly-in.

Back when they first started coming to the fly-in, they quickly learned that there was more here to soak up than they had realized.

“We realized it is too big to do in a short time. We started out with one day, then we went to two days. And now we’re up to four days.”

They’re here until Sunday this year and are looking forward to the Saturday night air show and the Seaplane Base’s Watermelon Social.

Pat Healy flew his 2001 “international” Scout to AirVenture this year from his home near Detroit, Michigan.

The tailwheel American Champion Scout is well-equipped for the long-distance international travel Pat’s flown. It can hold 70 gallons of fuel and has the Lycoming O-360 engine. It’s also IFR and has a Garmin 396 with satellite weather.

And Pat takes advantage of it. He’s flown it to some exotic destinations. He recently did a pair of trips up into the high Canadian arctic.

One trip took him up the east coast of Canada to Baffin Island, Resolute, and on to the magnetic North Pole. “Or where the pole was then. It keeps wandering around. Like me I hope.”

The second trip took him up the center of Canada, across the northern part, and into Alaska. He had planned to hop across the Bering Straits to Russia, but weather prevented him from doing that during his allowed visa dates.

You’d think that someone with all these flight experiences wouldn’t be intimidated by the AirVenture VFR arrival procedures, but Pat was a little. Though once he got into it, he found it to be no real problem.

“Even for a single pilot VFR it was no problem, after going through the NOTAMs. I’ve heard a bunch of people say that it’s probably the easiest most stressful thing that I’ve ever done.”

Pat’s mom was a WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) during World War II.

“My mother flew B-26s and AT-6s during the war. And she’s the one who got me interested in this. Seeing a lot of the WASP activities here it’s been really, really fun.”

So he was pleased to meet, and listen to the WASP veterans here at AirVenture.

After having heard about the adventures and free-spirited lifestyle of these great war vets, Pat says with a laugh, “But in some ways it’s a little bit more insight into my mother than I cared to think about.”

This is Pat’s third time to the fly-in. He lived and flew for many years out of Annapolis, Maryland, but has recently retired to Troy, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. He flies out of the Oakland-Troy Airport (VLL).

You can view the archive of past Around the Field columns at www.AroundTheField.net.

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