A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Planes on Ice

February 12, 2022
Tyson Sawyer

A local friend invited everyone to his place on Harrisville Pond in Harrisville, NH for an ice fly-in. Emilie wanted to fly her RV-4 instead of riding in the Bearhawk. She hadn’t flown it since her not so recent trip to Texas. We met up with my father in Jaffrey with his C-172. After a bumpy ride over to Harrisville, the RV-4’s small tires put up quite a water spay in the melt water puddles on the pond.

Bearhawk and Skyhawk departing Jaffrey

We found fresh, home made pizza and other food when we arrived. After enjoying the food, old flying stories, and conversation, Emilie and Isaac headed for home to run some errands. Her departure included more water spray and a well done fly-by.

Quaint New England town

Another friend is building (yet another) kit plane that is a smaller 2 seat sibling to our 4 seat Bearhawk. He has ordered the same type of skis for his plane as we are using so he was interested in seeing the details of how we installed them. I headed north to his snow covered grass airfield. When I landed I found exactly the type of warm, soft, deep, “mashed potato” snow that had caused problems with different wheel skis that he had used in the past. We went over the details of the ski installation and chatting about the local flying gossip. When I departed, the retractable Datum wheel skis demonstrated their performance in the difficult snow conditions. I believe he will be happy with his choice.

Bearhawk Patrol and Bearhawk 4 place on Harrisville Pond

On the flight home, I found a message on my phone with pictures of another friend with a Bearhawk who had arrived in Harrisville after I had left. (His video of landing on the pond.) That required diverting back to Harrisville and joining another session of flying stories, plans and lies. In addition to the friend up north, this particular group of 5 pilots were all either flying a Bearhawk and/or building one. When we first bought ours 10 years ago, very few people knew what a Bearhawk was. Things have changed!

While on the melting pond ice, I experimented with wheels vs. skis. With the skis up, I could feel each time the wheels hit a puddle. With the skis down, the puddles were not noticeable. I’ll definitely be using the skis for similar melting ice surfaces in the future.

All Photos

GPS Track