In March 2017, I moved to Toronto and with the change, left my airplane partnership in Vancouver. This meant I had to find another way to fly. I ended up choosing Durham Flight Centre for their convenience (located at Oshawa airport, CYOO) and the fact that they have quite a nice Arrow II available for rental. It’s a 1973 model with a GNS-430W IFR GPS, STEC-30 autopilot, digital HSI, three-blade prop and nice interior/exterior.
Contrary to what most non-pilots think, a lot of flying is actually very mundane and uneventful. There is a saying among pilots that flying is 99% boredom punctuated by 1% moments of sheer terror, indicating that routine flying can quickly become exciting - but not in a good way. Something that’s always helped me stay on top of the airplane - maintaining good situational awareness and preparedness should an emergency occur - is the HARPEL check.
Yesterday, a buddy and I made it up to Lillooet (CYLI), which has an airport I intended to visit last summer but had to cancel multiple attempts due to thunderstorms. Yesterday being a crisp, clear January day made it a prime opportunity to see the airport. We flew the leg to Lillooet via Hope and Lytton at 7500', getting into YVR terminal airspace around Cloverdale. With the exception of some turbulence near Lytton, where several valleys converged, the flight was super smooth.
I did another low pass over YVR, this time over runway 26L with a friend who’s camera is significantly better than the Sony action camera I normally use.
It was my great honour this September to be featured on the cover of Aviation News Journal Magazine. Accompanying the front page photo is a short bio of yours truly to accompany the cover photo, mostly describing how I got into aviation and hope to inspire others to do the same.
What does one do when on vacation in Toronto during a sunny July? Go flying of course! I chose to fly out of Toronto City Airport (CYTZ) for a touch and go at Oshawa (CYOO) before returning for a few orbits around downtown. The weather was fantastic (albeit a bit hazy), and the air was very smooth once above a few hundred feet. We (instructor and I, I didn’t want to have to do a checkride just for a scenic flight) flew to and from Oshawa along the shoreline and passed over the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.
Preparing for a flight is something every pilot does in his or her own particular way. We’re taught the basics in PPL ground school and demonstrate a prescribed method for the checkride, but it takes hours (and years even) of experience beyond the basic training for each pilot to enhance and refine their own methods. With the many technologies available today, we no longer have to rely on measuring angles and distances on paper charts to plot routes.
Tofino has been a destination I’d had in mind for some time before finally being able to make the trip. The airfield is an old military field with three large runways, located only a 10 minute walk from a gorgeous beach. It’s also known for intense fog in the mornings even during the summer, so it’s generally a less popular destination in the winter. That being said, I managed to get lucky the past long weekend and made it in for a great day on the beach and some awesome tacos from Tacofino (highly recommended!
Yesterday marked the longest flight I’ve done to date at about 188 nautical miles (or 347 km). It was an excellent November day with just some SCT 125 clouds and smog/haze, so I chose to take the opportunity to push a bit further into the interior than my last flight to Princeton. My eventual goal is to fly to Castlegar (CYCG), so Oliver (CAU3) was a logical intermediate airport at about 76 nm from Castlegar (straight line distance).
This past Sunday I managed to take a windy, mid-November flight to Campbell River. For most of the first leg up the Sunshine coast we faced 25-30 knot headwinds from around 330°M but did manage to enjoy the same winds on the return leg. I took a bunch of photos on both legs, mostly of the cool cloud formations brought out by the two weather systems meeting in the area.