Trikefest 2010 – An AirVenture-Bound Stopover
Breakfast Fly-out at Trikefest 2009
See the photo gallery
About six years ago, Illinois trike pilot Curt Shoaf noticed that quite a few trikes (and fixed wing airplanes) were stopping at Cushing Field (0C8), southwest of Chicago, on their way to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Curt proposed a trike fly-in for the weekend prior to AirVenture. It became an instant success, and this year the 6th Annual Trikefest will take place July 23, 24, and 25. Everyone is welcome.
About six years ago, Illinois trike pilot Curt Shoafnoticed that quite a few trikes (and fixed wing airplanes) were stopping at Cushing Field (0C8), southwest of Chicago, on their way to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Cushing Field had already become a popular center for trike flying due to the efforts of Mike Hudetz, a trike instructor and dealer (now pilot examiner).
Curt proposed a trike fly-in for the weekend prior to AirVenture. It became an instant success because Cushing Field is a terrific airport with ample facilities to meet all the needs of the sport pilot and light-sport aircraft community in the wider Chicago area. The 6th Annual Trikefest will take place July 23, 24, and 25. Everyone is welcome. There will be fun contests, educational seminars, and great food. After the Sunday morning breakfast flight, the survivors continue their trek to AirVenture with the fastest trikes leading the way.
Trikefest is expecting trikes from places far and wide, including Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Iowa. As many as 60 trikes are believed to have attended previous gatherings, making this event the largest trike gathering in the United States and perhaps the entire western hemisphere. Trikefest 2010 festivities will include a wedding between a local trike pilot and his powered-parachute-flying fiancée. It will be conducted by a judge who is also a trike pilot.
The activities begin on Friday. Camping is permitted everywhere but on the runway. There’s plenty of grassy ramp space to set up your trike and tent, or park a motor home. There are several public washrooms on the field with running water and flushing toilets. Hotels are located in nearby Sandwich, Yorkville, and Ottawa. Cushing Field is a busy place with 74 aircraft based at the airport and a credit card Mogas fuel pump.
The airport is also home to Sport Pilot Chicago,a training center with five very active instructors and up to a dozen fixed wing instructors available. Their fleet of five special light-sport aircraft trainers includes Evektor SportStars and a Thorp T-211. Training and services for trike pilots are supervised by Mike Hudetz, who is a dealer for Airborne trikes.
Visitors expected this year from Australia include ShaneDuncan, head of Airborne, who will be available to help with tuning and adjustment of wings. For more information about Trikefest, see the website at A&M Airsports. Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or 630-879-6568. Aircraft and pilots at this event are encouraged to be FAA compliant as there will be FAA inspectors giving check rides.
On Saturday afternoon, a competition will include the radar gun run, the balloon in the hula-hoop drop, the dead-stick spot landing, and the dreaded TOLRAC – takeoff and landing race. See an example in this video. The barbecue happens during the competition and is located directly in front of the runway, so it’s a good spot to plant a lawn chair. The Cushing Field Trikers supply the barbecue, food, and drinks, but this costs hundreds of dollars; donation jars are near the food.
There are no sponsors helping to pay, and no fees to attend, camp, or participate in Trikefest (just your donations). The food is truly outstanding and well appreciated by hungry pilots on their way to AirVenture. Sometime Friday evening or Saturday late morning,there will be a seminar on Rotax engines given by Jim Leon. Don Cooney, manufacturer of the Prowler trike, will give a talk Saturday evening on his flying in Cambodia. On Sunday morning, there will be a fly-out to a nearby airport for breakfast, and then it’s off to AirVenture!