Around the Field News #103

ForeFlight Fly-Out for ideas on where to fly... Around the Field Archive: Two Ozzies flew to Oshkosh in 1998... Finding shade at AirVenture 2019... Remembering Brad Marzari.

Third time’s a charm

Thursday July 8, 2021 #103 — We’re still under drought conditions up here in New England so, no washing your airplane. But hopefully the forecast of rain, and especially the remnants of Hurricane Elsa, will get some water back in the ground here.

Oshkosh 2021 is looming. Getting excited. I’ll be driving out a few days before the official start, pitching my tent in Camp Bacon, and probably heading home midweek as we ease back into this concept of gathering in crowds.

We’ve pared back the “Uncontrolled Airspace” activities for this year’s OSH. No full length episodes, and no Tiedown Party <sad face>. But I hope to do shorter UCAP Dailys while we’re there. And I also plan on doing TWO issues of this newsletter that week. So subscribe, and don’t miss out.

Visit cool airports around the U.S., and win swell prizes.

Throughout the summer of 2021 ForeFlight, the popular flight briefing, navigation, and logging software, is conducting a fun program called: ForeFlight Fly-Out.

Each month of the summer a different region of the US is highlighted with numerous suggested destinations. Visit one of these destinations, while using the ForeFlight system, and you’ll be entered to win an end-of-summer prize.

July’s featured region is the eastern part of the US from Maine to Tennessee.

To participate, pilots who use ForeFlight can download the Regional Location Content Pack for the month of July; look at the custom trip kits for each of the featured airports to plan activities at the destinations; then plan, file, and log your flight through ForeFlight. The tracklog will automatically enter you in the contest, and you’ll receive an email from ForeFlight verifying that you are entered.

Read the AOPA story about it here. Or go direct to the ForeFlight details page.

“Around the Field” from 1998

From Oz to OSH98

(Originally published in “EAA Today” July 29, 1998.)

Hey mate! Let's go to Oshkosh. John Murray had been thinking about it for a few years, so finally this year he and Kevin Green jumped into John's Bonanza F33A in Moree, New South Wales, Australia and flew to Oshkosh '98.

They put two 77 gallon tanks in place of the back seats and headed off through New Guinea, The Marshall Islands, Hawaii, California and on to Oshkosh.

In New Guinea they missed the recent tidal waves by a day. In Hawaii they calculated that the headwinds would run them out of gas before reaching the mainland, so they went to a hardware store and bought three 5-gallon cans and two hand pumps ("One as a backup, just in case"). They filled them with gas and headed out. No worries, mate

John and Kevin are ag pilots back home. They spray cotton fields at night. Ironically Kevin had a reservation to come to Oshkosh '98 on the Oshkosh Express 747, but John made him a better offer.

So, 53 flying hours, 5513 nautical miles, and 3140 liters of fuel later... Welcome to Oshkosh.

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Remembering “Launchpad”

In my activities as an aviation podcaster and journalist I often report on aircraft mishaps, many of which involve fatalities. I always try to be respectful of the fact that these are real people who have been hurt, and their families injured. But it’s usually pretty academic, almost unreal. Unfortunately, this week, it is all too real.

This past week Brad Marzari, aka “Launchpad”, a friend of mine, and a passionate cheerleader for General Aviation was killed when his plane crashed in a field near his home airport in Killeen, Texas. He was alone in the plane.

I first “met” Brad over ten years ago, when he sent me and my podcasting partners a care package of gourmet chocolates. It was a box with like 20 different chocolate bars, that he bought in Germany where he was living and working at the time. Over the years those gourmet chocolates became part of his signature. He’d alway have a small cold pack slung over his shoulder. And when he’d see you, he’d reach in, grab a couple snack-sized chocolates, and hand them to you with a big smile on his face (also part of his signature).

Over the years Brad’s enthusiasm for aviation was diverse and inspiring. He loved warbirds. He became a certified crew-member for the legendary restored B-29 “Fifi”. He worked with aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel staffing their booth at shows like Sun ‘n Fun and AirVenture. Brad was particularly passionate about Pipistrel’s all electric airplanes.

Brad appeared on my podcast “Uncontrolled Airspace” many times over the years, and he was a regular contributor to the “Airplane Geeks” Podcast. In recent years he revived the “Podapalooza” podcaster gatherings at Lakeland and Oshkosh.

For the first few years I knew Brad I believed that the chocolate care package was my first contact with him. But later I discovered I’d met him earlier. In April 2008, while doing a live podcast from Sun ‘n Fun Radio, I was interviewing people in the audience. Years later I went back and listened to this ep, and one of the voices was “Brad from Stuttgart”. He was attending his first Sun ‘n Fun, and looking forward to his first Oshkosh. Brad was everywhere.

This week aviation lost one of its great cheerleaders, and I lost a friend.

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