For Hangar Rats, getting there is half the fun. However, a fun destination helps! One important factor when a Hangar Rat is determining where to go is the proximity of good food to the destination airport. Other Hangar Rats can usually be found hanging out in an airport restaurant. Food and pilot talk are plentiful on these occasions. Here we will list some of our experiences, along with some pictures and pilot lies. Submit your own stories, pictures, and Hangar Rat destinations by e-mail to:,or post in the Hangar Rat community.


Berryville, Arkansas (4M1)

This spring Mary and I had the pleasure of flying into Carroll County Airport in Arkansas’s Ozark Mountain area. It’s a beautiful unassuming airport with light general aviation and ultralight activity. Flying in from Tulsa, Oklahoma in a 1967 Cessna 172H at 5,500 feet, we flew right over the top of Beaver lake, which from the air had beautiful blue water.

There’s not a whole lot going on at the airport itself. The airport manager, Sheila, was very nice on the phone the day before we got in, and we were able to reserve a courtesy car to use for the day. We landed in nearly calm conditions on runway 07, and tied the plane down beside the FBO office. When we got inside, there were a couple hangar rats telling flying stories about low and slow Cub adventures.

Mary beside "Pivot Rock"

Mary beside “Pivot Rock”

After getting the local lowdown from them, we took the courtesy car to nearby Eureka Springs. Eureka Springs is a funky little tourist town with the roadside flavor of the 1960′s. We visited some of the attractions, such as the Thorncrown Chapel, and Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge, climbed the stairs to an old fire lookout to a beautiful 100 foot tall view overlooking the ozarks, and walked through some of the shops in town.

According to a chamber of commerce visitors guide we had been given at the airport, one of the beautiful victorian houses near town housed a museum and was open to give tours. We pulled up to the house and walked into the open front door, where a lady was standing to inquire, and we were informed that the house is no longer open for tours, and is now a private residence. Oops! She was very nice about it. We showed her the pamphlet and she confirmed that they did in fact need to get it changed.

Later in the afternoon we took the short drive back toward Berryville Arkansas, to a cave offering tours as “Cosmic Cavern”. The tour guide had a good sense of humor, and the cave had some interesting history.
By the time we got out of the cave, it was after five, and time to head back to the airport. We fueled up the crew car and pulled up to realize the FBO was closed. Coming from Tulsa, I hadn’t even considered that they might close that early. We left the keys where we had gotten them that morning, and there was a very nice after hours accessible restroom.

And one of the best parts, $4.85 Self-Serve 100LL. Having left behind a $6.40 fuel price in Tulsa, I thought it must be heaven. I took on 20 gallons, and we cruised off into a cool, calm Ozark evening.

“Razorback approach, Skyhawk 8254L”
“8254L are you a Skyhawk or a Skylane?”
“We’re a Skyhawk, sir, 54L”
“I’ll fix that then, we got you in here as a Skylane”
“I don’t mind”

I think they might have wondered why we were only getting 100 knots eventually.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin (KOSH)

This is one of the most obvious Hangar Rat destinations. For one week of the year, this otherwise unassuming airport is home to “the busiest control tower in the world”. The KRVS Hangar Rat crew had the privilege of experiencing Airventure, 2012. Airventure is the largest fly in, and combined with the EAA’s museum and other permanent fixtures, is aviation overload.

C172 off the wing, from KDBQ to KOSH



Our caravan consisted of a Cessna 182, and a 172. After splitting up for most of the journey, we rendezvoused in Dubuque, Iowa (KDBQ), and flew the last hundred miles into Oshkosh together.

We landed on Runway 9, where Matt landed “on his dot”, and hasn’t stopped talking about it since.






The Oklahoma Condo


We camped in the North Forty, in an invention we dubbed the “Oklahoma Condo”. Part of the experience was camping out under the wing, among thousands airplanes and other aviation nuts.

The next five days we spent attempting to take in the size of things. We walked until I thought my feet were going to fall off.

We quickly found some planes we recognized from Riverside, and also made new friends along the way. Right off we were directed to the Sacred Heart Catholic charities tent, just north of the tower, where we got some of the cheapest food available on the field. We became frequent customers, going back nearly daily for delicious Wisconsin sausages and kraut.






Team AeroShell T-6 Texans



Of course, one of the biggest events is the daily airshow. Every afternoon we would assemble on the flightline to sit for a while and watch world class performances. Some of these included names such as Kirby Chambliss, Team Aeroshell, Team RV, Sean Tucker, and many others.

We were also privileged to watch Bob Odegaard, who was killed while practicing for another airshow later this summer, do a tribute flight to Bob Hoover, performing Hoover’s famous power management maneuver in a Shrike Commander.




A personal favorite moment in the airshow, watching a cub land on a pickup truck.



This year was also the 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub. There were yellow cubs everywhere! It was said to be the largest assembly of Cubs in one place since the time when they sat at the factory after production.

Cubs were even featured in the airshow, with a variation on the “Drunken Farmer” routine, as well as a cub landing on a special rack on back of a pickup truck.






Hangar Rats, doing what Hangar Rats do best, watching airplanes.



We wrapped up our week on Wednesday, even though Airventure was still in full swing. With a close eye on the weather, we made the decision to pack it in a day early, as none of us had the desire to become drowned hangar rats.

We spent five days at Oshkosh 2012, and it was not nearly enough to take it all in. The number of planes to see and things to do is astonishing. However there is a rumor floating around that certain Hangar Rats already have their rooms booked to go back next year…







 That is, assuming the world doesn’t end on December 22, now that Twinkies are gone.

Headed home. But not on an empty stomach. We made a food stop at the Good Earth restaurant in Muscatine, Iowa (KMUT).

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