Emilie Phillips updated September 23, 2020
It’s a Wednesday, so I wasn’t expecting any interesting flying. I needed to get Isaac over to Jaffrey at lunch so his grandparents could watch him. And I needed to pick up the Bearhawk from Manchester after it’s annual inspection and new oil cooler installation. The wind was blowing 14 to 25 knots most of the day, so I knew it was going to be challenging.
I flew Isaac over to Jaffrey in the RV-4. Landing back at Brookline, the wind blowing over the hill on base leg was strong enough to make sink on the east side. I have not noticed that before. I anticipated the wind sheer, sink, and turbulence over the swamp at the end of the runway. I think my airspeed went all the way from 60kts to 80kts and back again. With my extra air speed, I couldn’t afford to bounce or float down the runway. I needed to put the plane down and keep it there. I did it! I did my best wheel landing in years. I think the difference is that I was very assertive at keeping the tail up and pushing the plane into the runway.
Later that afternoon, it was time to pick up the Bearhawk. I had three challenges to contend with — the wind, air traffic control at a big airport, and the new oil cooler. Almost assuredly the oil cooler would work fine, but still, I should continually monitor it and have backup plans in case it failed catastrophically (which would then result in the engine failing catastrophically). Once again I did great. I made no mistakes with air traffic control. I took notes so I got my read back correct the first time. Taxiway Alpha to the far end of the runway was closed, so I first asked to depart from Echo. But then after hearing the passenger jets get cleared to back taxi to the end of the runway, I called in with a request to change my departure location. I never would have tried requesting that change before my last BFR. This way I now had a safer departure for monitoring the oil cooler. The wind was so strong down the runway that I barely needed any runway at all. The Bearhawk took off like and elevator. I’m notorious for forgetting to look at the engine gauges. But the last best part of today is that I frequently monitored the engine gauges during takeoff and flight.
While I was at Manchester, I snapped a photo of Airforce 2 which is grounded for engine repairs after a bird strike.