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November Airport of the Month - Keene Dillant-Hopkins Airport (KEEN)

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Written by CHI Dispatcher Joe P.

To reward ourselves for our hard work so far this semester, Kam and I decided to fly to breakfast. We woke up at the crack of dawn and after a thorough preflight of N271VA, we began the 63 NM hop over to the Flight Deck Restaurant at Dillant-Hopkins Airport in Keene. Check out our flight plan and the airport information below.

It was a cold morning and we lifted off the runway quickly, climbing to our cruising altitude of 4500 FT. We checked into Boston Approach and we were en route in no time. We listened to the typical morning rush of departing traffic out of MHT, with FedEx, UPS, and American Airlines filling up the departure frequency. Once we were clear of the airspace, it was quiet all the way to our destination.

As we approached Mt. Monadnock, we began our descent down to Keene. We planned to overfly the field at 2000, descend down to the pattern altitude of 1500 and perform a direct entry to the left downwind for Runway 02.

This was one of the better approaches I have flown. But what was to follow would create an adventure that filled Kam and I’s afternoon. On touchdown, the left main tire slowly deflated, giving us a flat tire on the runway. We informed other traffic and airport support of our problem and we shut down on the runway. This is where things began to get interesting.

After monitoring the Unicom frequency, we heard a flight of four RV’s approaching from the west with intentions to land on Runway 02, the same runway we were stranded on. After I informed them of the situation they gladly transitioned to land on Runway 14. Shortly after, airport services picked us up and towed us to the maintenance hangar.

Kam and I realized that it would be a bit until someone would be able to fly out a new tire. We decided the smartest thing to do was eat breakfast! We weren’t going to let this small hiccup get in the way of our mission. Pictured below is what we ate.

I had confetti pancakes with bacon and home fries.

Kam had a "flamboyant" avocado toast. As we enjoyed our well earned breakfast, Chief CFI John Tiplady was dispatched as CHI’s well known and successful, Quick Reaction Force. He hopped in our Cessna N1355F and flew over with our spare tire. Monadnock Aviation had a mechanic standing by and N271VA was ready in no time.

We departed back towards Pease as a flight of two, flying right over Manchester.

Also, we flew directly over my house and my father got our formation on video.

After completion of our overhead break at PSM, we returned to the hangar after a long day. This airport of the month adventure was stressful and demanding, but a learning experience I will never forget. Big thanks to Monadnock Aviation for their help in fixing our flat tire and CFI John for flying QRF on his day off!

Where should we go next?

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