A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Ski flying at Plymouth

January 8, 2022
Emilie Phillips

Saturday, there was a cookout on a lake in New York. That morning, though, Tyson had just one more adjustment to make on the Bearhawk skis. The left hand ski has always switched smoothly from ski mode to wheel mode. The right hand one never quite aligns right. To fix it, Tyson made a custom spacer on his mill. The result works well. Over the six years since Tyson bought the skis, he has tweaked them every year. With this spacer, Tyson may finally have resolved all the issues.

Plymouth airfield

Predictably, by the time the new part was made and installed (and honestly by the time I was done running errands) it was too late to make the cookout. We still wanted to go ski flying, so instead we flew north to the grass strip at Plymouth NH to meet another pilot. This guy was interested in acquiring a Bearhawk. There aren’t many Bearhawks in New England. To give back to the community, we occasionally show ours to interested pilots. As soon as we landed, Isaac ran off asking Mom to come play. He and I ended up drinking hot chocolate at the picnic table while Tyson gave the tour. I regretted not being social, but it wasn’t a big loss given that the other pilot turned out to be ill-suited for a Bearhawk. That done, I took the Bearhawk out for some landings.

Landing the Bearhawk in the snow

The snow was crusty — enough for Isaac to walk on top if he didn’t bounce, but not enough to support the whole airplane. I worried the skis would catch when sliding sideways, but I needn’t have. I didn’t feel anything when I turned around at the end of the runway. Looking back at my tracks, the skis left a swath of crumbled snow where they skidded. Conditions were actually good for start our season — robust, packed snow. It had enough grip to slow the airplane down. Both Tyson and I had to remind ourselves out loud “No brakes” when taxiing. Powder would have slowed the plane down more to the point of making it hard to turn. All in all, we both got in a couple decent landings before heading home. Isaac made sure we were back in wheel mode before landing at Jaffrey.

All Photos

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Comments (2)

  • Is a “bob house” an ice fishing hut?
    My fav picture is the approach to “home” landing strip at that most beautiful time of day. The color. The glow of the lights. Knowing you are “Home”
    Thanks Emilie

    • Tyson calls the ice fishing shacks bob houses. Being from Virginia, I have no word for them, so I use his.

      Tyson took the coming home picture. It’s a good one.