Emilie Phillips updated October 10, 2018
The annual Wentworth fly out is my favorite fly out. Possibly because it’s the only fly out I’ve been too. I just learned about the Old Rhinebeck fly out, which sounds similar.
The Wentworth fly out starts Thursday, but we have to work. We left work early Friday and flew north for dinner. In the final valley from Plymouth to Wentworth, we joined a flock of Cubs. They’d spent the day up in Maine.
This year we left my RV-4 behind and only brought the Bearhawk.
Photos From Friday
Saturday morning we waited for the clouds to lift (as usual). Then we waited for someone to repair their tail wheel. John Meade announced the official route through northern New Hampshire to Vermont. Lunch was at Basin Harbor, and we were all to stop at the new RAF strip, Allenholm, on an island in Lake Champlain.
Rather than riding passenger with Tyson in the Bearhawk, I hopped a ride with Glenn in his mongrel Cub/Super Cub. The slow airplanes, including Glenn, took off 5 minutes before the fast planes. Tyson throttled back and stuck with the slow planes. Peter was the ring leader for our group of about ten planes. The official route was too long to fly at Cub speed, so Peter led us on his own route.
We flew north through Franconia Notch, and over the Franconia airport where two gliders waited to launch. Someone on the radio said they saw a black bear in the woods.
We landed at Catamount to sign the chalkboard in the hangar. The owner was quite excited to see us all. He’d rushed over when he’d seen one strange plane after another landing.
After Catamount, Glenn let me fly his plane. I like lighter planes. They handle nicer. Then Glenn showed me some proper low and slow flying. We were flying 75 to 80 miles per hour. A bald eagle flew beside us as we crossed over it’s lake. Everyone noted the turbulence behind the wind mills in Vermont.
Then we touched down at Allenholm. Due to miscommunication, half the pilots got ice cream at the farm store, and half stood in line for lunch. Tyson and I picked the lunch line. While waiting, we all checked our phones. Someone had a text from a Wentworth pilot weathered in at Lebanon, New Hampshire. Our aviation weather apps showed lower ceilings to the south, and a band of rain rapidly approaching from the west.
Our band scattered. Each for their own. Glenn had gotten ice cream. He and the other ice cream pilots took off to get gas and beat the rain back home. Tyson and I were still waiting. I’m not sure where the rest of the airplanes, maybe five, went. Once we got lunch, we ate it walking back. It was just starting to rain as we reach the Bearhawk. A few airplanes from another gaggle landed as we took off.
Up in the air, it didn’t look so bad. It was clear under the clouds to the west. And after a few minutes, we outran the rain and found good visibility to the east. We heard Peter and Doug on the radio say they were going to Caledonia for gas, so we headed there too. After fueling up, Tyson and I swapped, and I flew the Bearhawk. John, Glenn, and Allen caught up to us later in the air.
From Caledonia, we flew north over cliff-walled Lake Willoughby. Then over Island Pond airport where we spotted a moose in a creek; and farther north another moose in a logging clearing. Pete led us in a circle to let the Cubs completely catch up before we landed at Colebrook.
I’ve landed at Colebrook before with the RV. It isn’t anything difficult, but it was a chance to stretch our legs. We admired the giant corn stalks in a neighboring field. Then we were off to Dixville Notch. The rain caught up to us shortly before Dixville Notch, but the visibility was still reasonable. Once through the notch, we debated which way to go. Glenn wanted to go to the U strip, but realistically, we needed to head back to Wentworth for dinner. There was a miscommunication about which notch we would fly through to get home, so Pete led the group in a circle again.
We started for Franconia Notch, but the weather in the White Mountains wasn’t cooperating. We took a longer, lower route back. Even that was scenic with fall colors, farm fields, covered bridges, and dramatic clouds off in the distance.
Photos from Saturday
Sunday is the going home day. Many pilots from Ohio and mid-Atlantic had departed Saturday afternoon, worried the prevailing weather would trap them for a week. For the rest of us, there was a pig roast in southern Vermont. No one was inclined to take off early. The weather wasn’t cooperating either.
Around 10AM, a patch of blue sky appeared to the north, and to the south, we could see down the valley. Tyson flew up for a quick look, but decided it wasn’t good enough to the west. Around 11AM, half the remaining airplanes departed headed south. They had decided to go straight home. Tim, though, took off for the pig roast.
He came back a half hour later. Around 12:30, Tim, Glenn and a few other folks tried again to fly southwest to the pig roast. We wanted to follow, but by the time Isaac was in the plane and we were up in the air, they had disappeared down one of the many valleys leading away from Wentworth. We flew down a different valley. But we didn’t like the clouds ahead of us, and we didn’t like the reports from Glenn farther west and south. So we turned around. We flew east to lower elevation and then directly home.
Photos from Sunday
The Wentworth fly out is held Columbus Day (or Indigenous People’s Day) Weekend every year. Details on how to sign up get posted to the supercub.org forum.
Check out all our posts and photos from other year’s trips to Wentworth.