Drove over to the airport this morning around 8am with all the gear except the food and the cooler. The news media is screaming about how hot it is going to be, and this time I don’t think they are lying.
I decided to leave Jake at the beach with Bev to stay cool, and maybe go to the pool for the day. I wanted the time to try out various loading schemes anyway, and it would be easier if it was just me. I parked the truck in front of the airplane and started moving equipment to the cargo door as soon as I arrived.
The largest and heaviest piece of equipment is the shade tent. It is too long to carry with the seats in, so I decided to attempt to remove the pilots side rear seat first. I had never removed the seats in my PA30, and wasn’t sure how tough it might be. Turns out that removing only one screw enabled me to slide it back into the cargo area, and remove it through the cargo door. Couldn’t be easier.
With the seat out, the seat belts remained in place and anchored to the floor. Now it became clear that I had gained the ability to secure the load, particularly the heavy items, using that belt. I loaded the shade tent, air mattress, 8 man tent, and so forth after that. It became clear the leaving the other rear seat in would make things more difficult, so I unloaded all that gear and removed the other seat. Again – one screw and it slid right out.
With both seats out now I had gained another 30 lbs of useful load. I began reloading and strapping down the tents and so forth. This year I am carrying 98 gal of fuel (110 capacity); all my camping gear; a full cooler; food and clothes. With all that, I am still a full 100 lbs under gross weight.
Loading all that gear with the rear seats out is so very much easier. Now I have a really fast station wagon.
Weather at Oshkosh looks like moderate rain for tomorrow. I don’t see the ability to reserve an IFR slot for Sunday, so I reserved one for Monday instead. My plan is to check weather in the morning, and if I think I can get in VFR tomorrow, we’ll fly IFR to KFDY and then VFR into KOSH. Otherwise, I’ll use the IFR reservation for Monday.
I am sad that Bev won’t be there this year, but very much looking forward to another awesome Airventure.
Note: I ended up putting one of the seats back later that night. Remembered I had promised to back up a friend and bring him home if his wife went into labor.