A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

RV return from annual inspection

February 22, 2015
Emilie Phillips

My airplane passed it’s annual inspection. They did find some cracks in the engine mount which had to be welded. But the brakes weren’t an issue.

Scheduling pick up was tough. The shop in Manchester is open week days. There was a possibility of picking it up on Saturday, but it had just snowed and neither Brookline nor Jaffrey were plowed yet. Tyson thought maybe there was little enough snow that I could land the RV despite the snow. A quick check revealed the snow to be heavy snowman quality snow, so that wasn’t an option. Then just before we were supposed to call the mechanics, they started plowing the Brookline runway. We ran out the door, leaving Isaac with my parents.

At the mechanic’s in Manchester, we spent a while going over the airplane. Then I spent what felt like 20 minutes listening to ATIS, reviewing what I needed to do to take off from a class C airport, and wondering what my plan was for the 2,500′ scattered clouds that I hadn’t anticipated still lingering.

I successfully got my clearance, but I misunderstood the departure frequency. I didn’t quite hear it the first time, and then I mixed up departure and tower. I repeated back my best guess to ATC and they straightened me out.

Taxi around the airport, no problem. Switch to tower frequency and get permission to take off. I didn’t quite catch when I was supposed to turn. I still wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to do about the clouds since they didn’t allow for the proper VFR altitude of even thousands plus 500′ for west travel. Admittedly that only applies when over 3,000′ above the ground. But I wasn’t sure if ATC thought only 2,000′ AGL was kosher.

Took off, controller told me when to turn, and then asked me to check my transponder. I leave it on all the time, but the mechanic had left it off. I should have caught that in the instrument check at startup. Oops.

Then tower handed me off to departure control. I pressed the frequency swap button on the radio, announced my presence, and ground helpfully responded that I was back on his frequency, and here was the departure frequency, again. In that case, I had just been overloaded and missed dialing it into the radio. I had the frequency down properly in my notes.

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From there to Brookline, I was back in my comfort zone, so no more issues.

I found the Brookline runway plowed. As expected, no one had cleared the taxiway, so I parked down by the house. Back at the house, I discovered I really should have left more concrete plans for the grandparents. It was noon, Isaac hadn’t had lunch. They were all headed out to help shovel the taxiway and let Isaac play in the snow, and they had promised Isaac an airplane ride. So, we were about to have a hungry, tired, and cranky Isaac.

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I caved and decided to at least avoid the cranky. So I taxied Isaac down to the hangar to install his airplane seat. We went for a short ride over to Jaffrey while my parents and Tyson cleared just enough of the taxiway. Isaac fell asleep before we made it to Jaffrey.