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Skiplane Paradise

Perfect conditions welcome 30 aircraft to Oshkosh

2011 Skiplane Fly-In

2011 Skiplane Fly-In
A V-6 STOL arrives from Osceola, Wisconsin, piloted by EAA member Gordon Slattery.

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January 24, 2011 — An early morning dusting of snow gave way to sunny skies over EAA’s Pioneer Airport for the annual EAA Skiplane Fly-In. Light winds helped kick up a bit of powder as each of the 30 aircraft touched down on a runway in perfect condition with 4 inches of snow pack. The crisp January air that reached 10 degrees Fahrenheit gave the air an extra bite, but it was countered by the warm enthusiasm of approximately 250 fly-in and drive-in attendees.

Once on the ground, attendees enjoyed hot chili, cheese soup, cheesy breadsticks, and, of course, coffee and cocoa.  The event also served as a birthday party for EAA’s matriarch, Audrey Poberezny, who, by tradition, was serenaded by the throng before cutting the cake. Also commemorated was the 58th anniversary of the very first meeting of the Experimental Aircraft Association, which took place on January 24, 1953, at Wright Field (now Timmerman Airport) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Lee Hilbert, EAA 600310/Vintage 716290 and president of EAA Chapter 1414 in Poplar Grove, Illinois, arrived in his Cessna 120 accompanied by passenger Ron Hoxsey. “It was Ron’s first exposure to little planes and he absolutely loved it,” Hilbert said.

They were part of a 14-ship contingent from the Poplar Grove Airport. “It’s the best event of the year - better than AirVenture!” Hilbert added with a laugh. “How many people get to fly into Pioneer Field?” The Chapter 1414 gaggle took advantage of the great flying weather by stopping for breakfast on Lake Geneva (in southern Wisconsin) before continuing to Oshkosh.

Along with classic skiplane aircraft, like Aeronca Champs, Cessna 120s and 140s, and Piper Cubs, there were a few unique arrivals including a Maule, a Kitfox, and a beautiful red V-6 STOL - a converted Piper Tri-Pacer with a 3.8L V-6 Ford engine. Its owner, Gordon Slattery, EAA 179526, flew in from Osceola in northwestern Wisconsin.

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