All by myself!

Submitted by on Mon, 09.01.2012 - 00:00
Believe it or not, there is actually someone out there crazy enough to let me fly their airplane ALL BY MYSELF! I started my lessons in June at Rocliffe Flying Club which operates out of a small un-controlled airport in Ottawa, Canada. The circuit there is pretty tight due to noise abatement issues so the less planes in the air the better.

Alone in the sky - my first solo

Submitted by on Sun, 08.01.2012 - 00:00
30th April 2003 – I got up very early this morning, I don’t know why, I just felt it wasn’t going to be an ordinary day. I had a booking at 0930 with James Feagan, my instructor at Rockcliffe Flying Club and I wanted to check the weather to see what the trend was. I logged on to the NAV Canada web site and went through my morning ritual of checking the met. Surface Analysis to get the big picture, Graphical Area Forecast for the regional information and then the METAR / TAF for CYOW and CYND. Things looked good. An area of high pressure was settled over the Ottawa Valley, there was no ceiling, visibility was 15SM and winds were north-easterly and light. My…

Air Canada DC9 Arrival CYRO

Submitted by on Sat, 07.01.2012 - 00:00
In late 2001, Air Canada made a decision to phase out the DC9 fleet. We were also interested in possibly donating aircraft to a Museum and Aviation Colleges. The Canadian Aviation Museum in Rockcliffe was an obvious choice and arrangements were made to have Air Canada donate a DC9 to the Museum. With some research and through experience with the aircraft we determined that a landing in YRO would not be a problem.
A great sunny day, a lot of people wanted to see this historical event. A CF18 landing at the Rockcliffe airport.

A rookie in the Rockies

Submitted by on Thu, 05.01.2012 - 00:00
What does a pilot in an airport do, after a five hours commercial flight? Go flying for real, of course! I found myself locked for an afternoon in Vancouver last may, waiting for a business event that was being held on a Sunday morning. I gave a call to the Pacific Flying Club who connected me to flight instructor Robyn Stewart and that started my first pilot venture in the Rockies.

Victoria Day Flight 2003

Submitted by on Wed, 04.01.2012 - 00:00
On Saturday morning, it was still by no means clear where (or indeed IF) we were going. We'd considered Halifax, Riviere du Loup, the Ile aux Coudres, Trois Rivieres, Bromont, Montreal, Toronto, Stratford, Tobermory, Owen Sound, or even Picton (John Ainsworth's not entirely serious suggestion). There appeared to be "weather" in the west, which narrowed our choices to any place east. In the end, by mid-day, we were definitely going to Bagotville (on the Chicoutimi map) and John was speaking to the military at that airport, by phone. But Bagotville wanted everybody's call sign, registration number, address, phone numbers, grandmother's middle name and so on, before they'd give us permission to land. At this point, three people from our group dropped out in disgust and…

Learning to Fly in Australia

Submitted by on Tue, 03.01.2012 - 00:00
Sitting in the departure lounge in Ottawa with Laurie Davis and our wives Alison and Elva and realising that my log book was in its normal place on the shelf in the kitchen at home was an aeronautical low point of our three week trip to Australia. Being told at Sydney's Bankstown airport that conversion to a VFR Australian licence would require a 1 hour familiarisation flight, two 2.5 hour navigation exercises and a 2 hour Biennial Flight Review (BFR) was, however, the nadir.

Rockcliffe Air Force Invades Washington

Submitted by on Mon, 02.01.2012 - 00:00
aftermath On the evening of Victoria Day 2001, five Rockcliffe aircraft were still parked in Maryland. C-FWFG was home, as was C-GVAX... but only because they could be flown on instruments. Does this scenario remind anyone of Victoria Day 2000, when we left most of the fleet in Maine? Once again, bad luck with the weather was to blame. However, nobody made an unsafe decision and I don't think anybody regretted taking part.