Continuing where I left off, I was having an internal debate on whether to stay or flee the ground of Oshkosh AirVenture with my GlaStar from the severe thunderstorms which were forecast for Wednesday night. Hail was my biggest worry. Before I could make a decision, some of my GlaStar friends had the bright idea to acquire some carpet padding from a hardware store in town, so I was down to give it a try!
The store sold 45-foot rolls which worked out perfectly for the GlaStar’s wingspan and tail. At 42 cents per square foot, it was worth a try, so we acquired a truck and went to town to load up the padding.
Others used movers blankets, and I saw people using everything from cardboard, to bubble wrap, to blanket stuffing. Many of the aircraft in Vintage and in the STOL area outfitted their leading edges with star-shaped pool noodles to spoil the lift.
With my GlaStar, I chose to cover the aluminum and hope for the best. The running joke in our Homebuilt camping row was that we saved them all through our efforts by ensuring it would in fact—not hail—after going though so much trouble. We secured the tent, checked our Claw tie-downs, and hunkered down!
As the worst of the storms encroached on the grounds that night, I couldn’t tell if the rain or the wind was responsible for the giving our tent a case of the leans.
Eventually the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning which was eerily blasted over the campground’s loudspeakers. That’s when Eric and I grabbed our stuff and ran to a friend’s house nearby with a basement. We waited there for an hour or so before heading back to camp around 1:00am to see how everything fared. We found no hail, no flipped planes, and mostly intact tents. We made it, Oshkosh!