Emilie Phillips updated September 1, 2019
Tyson has landed at Sherman Field before, but we had not yet made it to their fly in. I captured our first trip to Sherman in this video of southeastern Massachusetts strips. Today’s fly in was at lunch time, which was good because clouds from the night before were slow to lift.
In the morning we texted friends at Crow Island, Taunton, and the Vineyard to see who was coming. Bill on the Vinyard had solid fog. Rene at Taunton wasn’t much better, but thought it would lift in an hour. Brian at Crow and us had low scattered clouds. Farther west, the clouds were clearing.
Tyson and Isaac took the Bearhawk. I took the RV4. We ducked under a few clouds and then flew unobstructed from Fitchburg to Crow. I caught up with the Bearhawk in the air. You have to stay alert when approaching another airplane in the air. First you see a black dot. The dot is too small to tell wether it’s approaching or receding. As you get closer, you start to see the shape of the airplane and color. But you may still suffer from an optical illusion about which way it’s going. I like to have the other pilot confirm they see me at this point and wag their wings. Finally, when you get close enough to be certain it’s the plane you meant to tag up with, you can also tell it’s going the same way as you.
Brian was just pulling his Huskey out when we landed Crow Island, so Tyson and I both took off and practiced a second landing. All that flying to and from the Rockies improved our navigation skills, but it didn’t challenge our slow speed handling.
Once Brian was ready, we all three took off for Sherman. It is a 1,500′ long private grass strip, not on the charts. I only spotted it from the air because I saw another airplane land between the trees. The middle of the runway was rough for the RV. I bounced up and down like a car on washboard.
The fly in was simple. The hosts grilled plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, corn, and potatoes. About 15 planes showed up and 20 cars. Rene and Heather made it from Taunton. Bill came a little bit later and brought his instrument equipped Cessna 180, just in case.
We had fun telling everyone about our flight west, and asked about going gravel bar flying out here with our new big tires. Sounds like there are some good places to start, with an experienced pilot there for guidance.
We swapped planes for the way back. Tyson and Isaac took the RV4. I took the Bearhawk. We landed at Peter’s Perch and Crow Island. After each takeoff, Isaac insisted on racing the Bearhawk. Unsurprisingly, the RV4 won every time.