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.
Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be. And no, I’m not talking about relationships. I had to cancel my first night training flight in over a year due to a number of factors, but mainly due to an INOP defrost/heater system. Most pilots who fly in the lower mainland are used to cancelling flights due to weather, but its far less often that cancellations occur due to aircraft deficiencies. I’m hoping I look back on this post as a reminder that it’s better to cancel a flight and stay on the ground than to try to push through unsafe or sometimes just unfavorable or distracting conditions.
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).
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Yesterday, I decided to make use of the gorgeous weather we had been having at the start of October and take a quick flight out to Squamish (CYSE). I had overflown the airport before when enroute to Pemberton but never actually landed, so this would be the first time I’d been on the ground there. The weather was forecasted to be CAVOK but very windy, 15 gusting to 25 knots in some areas near the water, so I anticipated some significant turbulence near the mountains and at CYSE, which is known to have strong surface winds.
This last weekend provided an awesome weather outlook of CAVOK around Vancouver and inland so I decided to take a buddy and head east to Princeton for a short but nice mountain flight. I would have liked to take another passenger but unfortunately the combo of Princeton having the 100LL pumps unavailable and a gross weight limit of 2150 pounds on the Cherokee meant it was a one passenger, full tanks flight.
A couple weeks ago I decided to head to a small airfield on the coast that I had overflown when enroute to Powell River from CZBB. Sechelt (CAP3) is a nice little field with a 2400 x 75' asphalt runway and open clubhouse complete with leather couches and a ping pong table. For this flight I brought along a good friend of mine who also happens to be a geology student, so I figured flying up the Howe Sound close to the mountains would make a nice detour enroute.
After a several month flying hiatus during the foggy and cloudy Vancouver winter, the weather finally turned up and gave me a chance to get back into the air. Something I had been meaning to do for some time was get some mountain flying experience, and given the sudden occurrence of unlimited ceilings it seemed like as good a time as any to take a maiden voyage into the mountains. I loaded up ForeFlight on my iPad and planned a flight up to Pemberton via Squamish then back down via Lillooet Lake/River and Harrison Lake.
I recently bought a share of an airplane share corporation, where 38 shareholders get the use of 3 airplanes at a very competitive wet rate. After completing my initial checkride yesterday, I wanted to make good use of one of the last remaining sunny and cloudless days of the season so I took the Cherokee 140 out for some circuits to practice landings with the &“Hershey Bar” wing (named so due to the rectangular profile as viewed from above).