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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS Feed Around the Field: South 40
Things are quieter and a little slower-paced down in the south.
Joe Roux
Joe Roux or Urbana, Ohio (photo by Jack Hodgson)
Steve Herrick
teve Herrick of Kiowa, Colorado(photo by Jack Hodgson)

By Jack Hodgson

AirVenture's North 40 is a neighborhood fairly pretty well-known to most EAA members. But a less well-known neighborhood exists - the South 40.

Located down beyond the Ultralights area, the South 40 began life as overflow parking. But these days many fly-in attendees request parking there because it's their favorite place on the field.

Joe Roux of Grimes Field in Urbana, Ohio, is one of those people.

"I prefer parking down here. It's quieter. And during the air show you don't have people hanging on your airplane. Sitting on your wheelpants.

"So I just prefer it down here."

Joe's been coming to the fly-in for about 20 years.

His dad flew the 1950 Cessna 140A to the EAA fly-in for many years. In the early '90s Joe started flying along with his father.

"Now I continue the tradition."

Joe still flies the 140 to visit his dad regularly.

"It's getting tough for him to get in and out of the airplane. But he likes to at least see it. It's a good time."

Joe's dad, Henry, now lives Pennsylvania. He's no longer able to attend the fly-in - his last time here was 2005 - but he hasn't lost his interest in the planes or the EAA fly-in.

"Every night I call him and tell him about something. Whatever the day's events are."

"He's always interested in what airplanes I've seen. I take lots of pictures. I write lots of notes for each airplane that I take a picture of. And when I get back there we'll go over all the pictures."

Steve Herrick and his friend Pat Fogerty are sitting under the wing of Steve's Northstar.

This is Steve's 12th visit to the fly-in since 1984.

He takes his time making the 900-mile trip from his ranch in Kiowa, Colorado.

"We go for the trip, not the destination. So it's landing here, and landing there. Hitting the grass strips, and talking to the people."

"It's such here a different environment than where we live. My home strip is 6,100 feet in elevation. It's a grass strip on the ranch, and the grass there grows in little clumps about this big," he makes an 18-inch circle with his hands.

"It's such a pleasure to come back into the Midwest. The beautiful grass strips and of course the low altitude."

He also prefers to park down in the South 40. "We always come down here. There's a little bit less foot traffic. And a little bit less noise."

He built the Northstar himself.

"It's a Canadian clone of the Super Cub. I finished it in 1999. It's got about 1,400 hours on it now."

Steve's plane has big bush tires on it, in part to help with the patchy grass and uneven surface of his home strip. They're 31-inch tires.

"You know, you can pay to have the strip rebuilt, or fly big tires and smooth it out that way."

It says Open Sesame on the cowling of his Northstar.

"You know that 'Open Sesame' is Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The magic words to open the treasure cave. Well this airplane opens the treasure cave, and by the time you've built a homemade airplane, you think you've dealt with 40 thieves."

Enjoy "Around the Field" all year long at www.AroundTheField.net.

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