Day 7 – Home
Flagstaff is a beautiful place. Sitting at 7,000 feet and covered in pine trees you get the feel of Lake Tahoe but with out the crowds. The airport was a busy place. About 4 days ago an Allegiant Airliner had an engine fire traveling to Phoenix and had to make an emergency landing at Flagstaff and they were replacing the engine while we were there. The most entertaining thing we saw was a Robinson R-22 trying to take off at that altitude. Apparently they were passing through and landing is not a problem but taking off at that altitude is a different story. Fully loaded with fuel, baggage and two people that little helicopter just didn’t want to fly. Having a couple of helicopter pilots on our plane made watching this unfold very interesting. They had enough power to just barely lift up the helicopter so what they ended up doing was virtually skidding across the ramp out to the runway and the skidding down the runway until they had enough forward speed to lift off, kind of like an airplane but with no wheels. Needless to say they made it and it was very amusing.
Our route home took us over the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, Palmdale and then direct to Hayward. Landing at Hayward was bittersweet. We all were looking forward to getting home but none of us wanted the trip to end. This has been a trip of a life time. They appropriately named the event in Rock Falls “The Last Time” because this will probably not happen again getting this many DC-3’s/C-47’s together from all over the country. I haven’t heard the total number of aircraft yet at Oshkosh but I bet it is over 40 and something like this only comes around every 75 years!
Here are a few quick statistics from the trip
We flew 28.7 hours
4276 miles roundtrip
We used 2669 gallons of fuel
Oil consumed was 27 gallons
27 total airplanes at Rock Falls
21 planes open the show at Oshkosh