A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Hay Field RV-4

November 16, 2019
Tyson Sawyer

I’ve flown into the hay field across from the Stuart & John’s restaurant a number of times with the Bearhawk, which is designed for backcountry/back-yard work. I wanted to try with the RV-4, an airplane that can cruise at 160+ mph. Landing in the hay field is a bit like landing on a mini-golf course. There is plenty of space, but none of it is flat, there are a number of obstacles to avoid, and a few banked shots that have to be taken. Fortunately, one doesn’t have to time a pass through the rotating arms of a windmill. During a previous visit I had walked the field pacing off distances, checking where the side slopes were less severe and looking for any woodchuck holes or other obstacles. I concluded that so long as the side slopes didn’t bite too hard the RV-4 could be landed.

Short final from the south at Stuart and John’s

I had hoped to be the first to land at Stuart & John’s with a faster airplane than the Cub styles planes that had been in previously. Unfortunately, while flying the Bearhawk instead of the RV-4, looking for the right weather and surface conditions, or just busy, another guy beat me to it with an RV-7. The reports were that his landing was, ahh…, edited out of the video to avoid embarrassment. I still had a chance to be the first to make a good landing with a faster airplane.

I had passed up an chance to try 2 weeks earlier because it rained during the preceding couple of days and I was concerned the surface might be too soft. Reports from a neighbor who went confirmed my concerns. This weekend seemed nearly perfect. The air was cold and dry which helps the wings generate lift and helps the engine produce power. There had been no rain for a few days and the ground was likely frozen solid. Calm wind would have made it perfect, but I didn’t get everything I wanted. It was moderately windy and a bit gusty, but at least the wind was nearly down the direction of landing. Calm would have been better, but this would work.

Four Cub-types arrived before me. I touched down smoothly, and not one of them was outside to see it or get a video. I approached a little fast because of the gusty winds. I touched where I wanted, just past the drainage dip. I aimed just below the house to counter the side-slope, but I did end up slipping downhill some anyways. Roger, the old grandfather at the farm, loved seeing a new sporty plane.

Fly8MA testing out a Bearhawk Patrol

As we were walking back out to the airplanes after breakfast, we spotted another airplane flying in. It was the Fly8MA folks flying cross country in their new Bearhawk Patrol. They made a video.

All Photos


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Comments (2)

  • pretty short runway!I see a pole in the feild.must be interesting landing!
    bumpy eh!
    how’d you find out about this place and the restaurant?
    That big round open top tank is a “shit silo”what fun it would be to crash into that!
    my cousin built a shit silo,then he put the shit pump way across the tank,when it broke,he had to wade thru 4’deep liquid shit n pis to get to it!
    anyways have fun!

    • One of the guys I sometimes fly with found it by scanning Google Maps for restaurants with fields that might be land-able in a Cub and called the owner. Since this event, the state decided that airplanes flying in to spend money was in violation of the tax status of the field so there are more restrictions now.

      …and yeah, I know what the big tank is and I made darn sure to not end up in it!