Flight to Victoria, BC (CYYJ)

It occurred to me recently that in almost five years of flying, I hadn’t actually flown to Victoria International Airport (CYYJ), located approximately 35 nautical miles SW from Boundary Bay. It also so happens that I have a brother currently living in Victoria, so a flight to Victoria could serve the actual purpose of picking him up for a visit (rather than the usual mission of boring holes in the sky). This post is mostly going to serve as a set of notes for myself as there were a couple points I want to remember about this flight, notably corrections and reminders from ATC about procedures related to flying in and out of CYYJ.


The CZBB departure was initially slated for 9:00 AM but ended up being delayed to a wheels up time of around 10:25 AM due to heavy low-lying fog that lingered until the sun started to heat things up. The weather was otherwise not too bad - calm winds, some low lying fog over the small islands enroute and a layer above at 10,000-12,000'. A straight forward R25 departure and left turn-out to East Point from CZBB ensued without any drama. The air was extremely calm - once trimmed in the climb the plane held itself dead stable with just a slight application of rudder. I flew to East Point then Stuart Island at 2400", just below the ceiling of 2500' for no radio contact.

Nearing Stuart Island, Victoria Tower called me and asked if I was on frequency, then asked that in the future I call them up earlier (presumably around East Point?) to give them more time to coordinate VFR arrivals. Shortly later I was cleared for a straight in approach on R27. Then another reminder from the Tower that I was supposed to change over to the Inner Tower frequency once in the class C zone. One pretty smooth landing later, I exited on taxiway Sierra and contacted Ground. I was reminded to cross the threshold next time before calling as I was still technically on the active, then cleared to taxi to the Victoria Flying Club.

The Cherokee parked in front of the Victoria Flying Club
The Cherokee parked in front of the Victoria Flying Club

Total Hobbs time for this leg: 0.6 hours


I picked up my brother then called up 1-866-WX-BRIEF again for another squawk. On the initial radio call-up I contacted Clearance Delivery, who assigned me a Beaver Point departure from R27. A switch to Ground and I was cleared to taxi via Sierra, Echo, Whiskey. A quick run-up and we were out of there, with a climbing turn direct to Beaver Point starting below half circuit altitude. We flew back at 2500'.

The flight back was pretty uneventful, and once nearing Boundary Bay I called up the Outer Tower and we were cleared in for a straight-in on R30.

Total Hobbs time for this leg: 0.6 hours

Notes for the next time I fly to Victoria:

Most of these are procedural and can be found in the CFS but I’m throwing them here for future reference anyways.

  • Call 1-866-WX-BRIEF before flight for a squawk code good to enter Victoria airspace (and cross into the US temporarily)
  • Call up Victoria sooner rather than later - East Point in the case of a Stuart Island arrival
  • Maintain 2000' until final or cleared lower as indicated in the CFS
  • Switch to inner tower once inside the class C airspace at CYYJ
  • Cross runway threshold marking fully when exiting before contacting ground (come on, you knew this one!)
  • Remember to contact clearance delivery on the ground for the initial call up when departing (instead of ground)
  • Maintain 1500' and fly direct to departure point on departure (unless otherwise directed by ATC)