A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

We brought our bicycles to the annual Mountain View fly-in so we could have fun after all the fly-in activities.

Mountain View 2016 flier

Mountain View in Wolfeboro New Hampshire holds a fly-in at their grass strip every year. We have attended the last several years (2015 report). The fly-in and cook out would be about the same as other years, so we brought our bicycles and planned to go swimming at the beach on Lake Wentworth.

I had some business to attend to at town hall. Tyson and Isaac flew up ahead in the Bearhawk with all the bicycles. Isaac fell soundly asleep on the ride up, so Tyson mostly hung out next to the airplane at the airport until our friends Kaitrin and Grigory arrived. They enjoyed the potluck lunch and watched airplanes together.

Mount Major
Mount Major

Meanwhile, I finished at town hall at noon, so I quickly scarfed lunch at home, anticipating there might not be much left at Mountain View. Continuing my theme of low stress flights, I plotted my route on my digital flight planner — bearing of 039° and 124.9Mhz to talk to Boston approach. Then I stashed my tablet in the front pouch and off I went in the RV-4. I made sure to set my DG (directional gyro) after running up the engine so that it would hold heading well, but otherwise I just enjoyed the view out the window. Since I was late, I throttled up to 2,400rpm. Normally I cruise on econo mode down near 2,300rpm. Tyson watched my GPS track and said I was averaging 165mph.

Boston approach around Manchester was very busy, but they finally talked to me just before I would have needed to divert and pull my tablet out for replanning. They were so busy, in fact, that over Concord, I spotted an airplane crossing a couple miles in front of me before ATC mentioned it.

The downside to arriving late is airplanes departing from the fly-in fill the runway and traffic pattern. I circled for a while until there was a break after two Sonex’s.

Emilie giving a ride in her RV-4
Emilie giving a ride in her RV-4

After lunch, we planned to bicycle down to Lake Wentworth for a swim. Just as we got up from desert, a couple came by and asked for a tour of my RV-4. They were considering buying one and wanted to test how they fit. The husband worked in air traffic control and had a pilot’s license. The wife had only ridden in a small plane a few times, but was really excited to go places and see the world from the air. They sat in the airplane and decided it fit. I took the wife up for a ride and let her fly for a bit. She really enjoyed the low stress sight seeing and one fly by at the end. I hope I convinced her to take flight lessons so she can fly their future airplane too. While we were gone, Isaac joined the other kids collecting candy dropped from a Cub.

Isaac found candy
Isaac found candy

Tyson then took the back seat to act as safety pilot while the husband flew from the front. They flew out of sight for a long while. On their way in to land, they flew one roll over the airport. They both were smiling when they got out.

Tyson and Isaac bicycling together
Tyson and Isaac bicycling together

Then we hopped on our bikes and headed down to the lake. Tyson rode his folding bike with Isaac in tow on a half bike trailer. I had my standard road bike which just barely fits in the Bearhawk after removing the wheels. We coasted straight down the hill on a bumpy ill maintained paved road and then peddled mostly downhill on the highway. Following Grigory’s directions, we jogged left onto the unpaved Cotton Valley rail trail. The bike path actually parallels the old train tracks. Apparently a local club occasionally runs hobbyist trains along it. That trail took us straight to Albee Beach, a nice public beach with a bath house. Tyson and Isaac did reasonably for the ride down. Tyson kept them slow on the steep bumpy road since he has reduced control on the folding bike. I did fine even on the unpaved rail. My skinny tires finally skidded out in the soft sand at the beach parking.

Emilie and Isaac swimming
Emilie and Isaac swimming

We had fun splashing in the water and encouraging Isaac to try to swim in his PFD. Kaitrin and Grigory joined us briefly and then swam out into the lake for exercise.

Then we peddled back up the hill. The hills on the highway kept to a moderate grade. But when we came to the bumpy back road, Tyson couldn’t peddle both himself and Isaac up, so we all walked the bikes.

Back at the airport, a few locals were cleaning up from the fly-in and hanging out in hangars, but everyone else was gone. We tucked the bicycles into the Bearhawk and flew home. As usual, I talked to Boston Approach when flying over Manchester. This time they re-routed me so far around a Southwest 737, that it would have been shorter to have flown around their airspace.

All Photos

Bicycle Track and Flight Plan

Flight Plan
Flight Plan