A week’s VFR flying holiday in North East USA – Part 4 of 5 – Portsmouth, Hyannis

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Thurs May 14 – Portsmouth and Hyannis

A great start to the day with breakfast of blueberry pancakes at Two Cats in Bar Harbor.

Two Cats
Two Cats for Breakfast with blueberry pancakes

David flew us direct from Bar Harbor (KBHB) to Portsmouth (KPSM), a very large military base hosting an airborne tanker fleet but shared for civilian use. I’m sure it’s the longest runway I’ve used at 10,000 feet (over 3,000 metres). The FBO served us quickly with six ground crew filling us up with 14 gallons. Donald Trump’s 757 landed shortly thereafter, and was served by the same six crew who were asked to load up 10 tons of fuel.

Bar Harbor Town
Bar Harbor Town
Bar Harbor from south west
Bar Harbor from south west
Plenty of interesting landscape
Plenty of interesting landscape
An airport enroute
An airport enroute – Probably Portland
Right base for Portsmouth with its 10,000 foot runway
Trump 757
Donald Trump’s 757 dwarfs other GA aircraft on the ramp
Efficient ground crew at Portsmouth FBO

Portsmouth to Hyannis

Then I flew us on to Hyannis (KHYA) serving the town of Barnstaple on the Cape Cod peninsula. We asked for and were granted a transit of Class Bravo to the east of Boston, which necessitated a couple of extra frequency changes. Later, we dropped out of radar coverage a couple of times before and after Provincetown (the controller explained low level service for the area around the north of Cape Cod was poor), but he announced our position each time we came back on screen (to validate that it matched our known position). Joining base leg at Hyannis, I was cleared to land at the same time as a Cessna 406 was cleared to take off on the perpendicular runway. He took so long to get ready that the controller, having urged him to get a move on and becoming frustrated with lack of activity, cancelled his take-off clearance and made him wait until after we’d landed. Since we used Flight Following (and had a dedicated squawk code), you could track our flight on public websites such as FlightAware. It turned out that Kelley back at Mansfield had been using this (and Facebook) to keep an eye on us throughout the week.

Flightaware track
Flightaware tracking Portsmouth to Hyannis

We hadn’t arranged a specific FBO to handle us, so the controller helpfully directed us to Griffin Avionics and we switched to their local ground frequency as we taxied in. At this airport, security requires all crew be escorted to and from their aircraft – you can’t just walk around the apron – but there was only a few dollars handling fee for the service.

FBO at Hyanis
FBO at Hyanis
Lunch with a French Flavour nearby
Lunch with a French Flavour nearby- the French Onion soup was excellent

We walked into town and down to the beach, visiting the Veterans Memorial Park and enjoying a visit to the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream shop. The Kennedy Family originate from these parts, and there is a Museum in main street which would be worth a visit if we had had more time.

Walking into town
Walking into town
Harbor Tours
Plenty of choice for tourists
Veterans Memorial at the beach
Beach south of Cape Cod
Beach south of Cape Cod
Black Cat
Black Cat restaurant/bar in the town centre
Ben and Jerry
Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream shop – hard to avoid
Solar Panel Farm
One of two huge solar panel farms at Hyannis airport

Our return leg back to base at Mansfield was uneventful.

Part 5 recaps our last day of flying, visiting several of the islands followed by sightseeing in Boston the following day.

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