Update from CRUFC Member Troy – Apr 23, 2013 06:00

Update from Troy – Apr 23, 2013 06:00
Round trip flight from Calgary, AB to Los Angeles, CA

What a great airplane, worked most of the day, airborne at 4:00 and still make 700nm trip and land at sunset. The trip over the rock pile at 10,500 had virtually no wind. We descended into Spokane and met with customs. First thing he said when I opened the door, you off to Connecticut! I prepped them when I booked, so glad they played along, great bunch. Kids don’t know we are going to Disney Land!

After that we climbed to 10,500 and the wind gradually got stronger. About 20kts on the tail. I expected more. The ground had lots of dust getting kicked up though. The ride was relatively smooth. The flight past mount Shasta at sunset was beautiful.

We got rewarded with a 21kt 45 degree cross wind in Redding. All and all an easy run. Kids were great, hopefully LA tomorrow afternoon.

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2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-11 (Arrived Home!)

Plan change, we are heading through the US.  Weather is just not looking good between us and Regina.  Lots of lightening.  We just hope we can get through to Montana.  We will rebook with customs when we know where we will end up.

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Update!

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Got in today around 14:45. As mentioned we had to change our plans this morning once we saw the radar. Going direct to Regina was not going to work. I really had my doubts about getting through the US as well. Sigmets issued for most of our flight. The plan was to see how far we could get. We got going just before 7 Calgary time. I really like to make a final plan once airborne. I use the Internet to come with an idea but I really do not commit until we are airborne and reading the XM weather. It seems to be the most accurate over anything, foreflight radar is an idea but not accurate enough on its intensity in my opinion. If I did not have XM many flights would be canceled after information gathering and talking to a flight briefer. Briefer s are very pessimistic, sometimes I wish I hadn’t talk to them.

Once on course I decide if the route will actually work. Direct to Harve MT looked like the best choice. We had two systems to get around, if we could get through them we could make it. The first required us to make a slight deviation to the north, it got fairly rough but we did not have to change altitude. The second was totally blocking our route but was not that wide. We hoped it would not grow to large before we got there. I picked the narrowest location based on the XM and amazingly that was the only location that we could see light on the other side. We told center we were dropping down to get through the line and would be back up in short order. The curtain was closing fast, I slowed down, we all tightened the belts and pounded our way through. It was all over in a few minutes. Back up with center and on our way. Never even got that much rain. We landed in Chinook MT for fuel and a snack. This place is a whole other story, it was a great stop to say the least.

On our way to Lethbridge we had more storms to deal with. We had to come around from the south side to avoid the storms to the east. Weather was marginal but way better than Ontario😉

Costums done and a quick flight to home.

Summary

  • Total flying time for the trip was 32.5hrs
  • Estimated fuel used 375 gal
  • Estimated fuel costs $2600
  • Total distance flown was 4950 NM or 5755 SM
  • Stopped in many places that no airline could have taken us.
  • 2 weeks of great quality family time

All and all a really great trip, even if it did have several stressful moments. That is just part of flying.

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-10

This is the flight for today. Weather looks great. As you can see the weather we had to work around is still terrible. If we would went south through the US we would really be stuck. One thing to make note of with foreflight. There is many places in Canada that only report temperature and dew point. Foreflight shows that as VFR. You should only look at the major airports that report weather, not many in Canada though. The route could show lots of vfr green dots but it is all Ifr. Also I do not find foreflight to show the weather radar as intense as it is compared to the XM. Most of the system yesterday was yellow and red showing lots of convection, foreflight did not show that. Easy day today, we all look forward to it.

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We had a great flight today. It was 500 NM and it took under 3 hrs. We trued out just under 170 kts at 8500ft and had about 10 to 15 kts on the tail, yes tailwind west bound. The high was north of us and the low was south, so the east wind blew. We landed in Fargo as Grand Forks was fully booked due to a convention in town. Fargo has a great FBO and we got a great room. My wife and kids really wanted a break from flying after the day we had yesterday, so we stopped here.

Customs is booked for a 11:00 arrival in Regina. We had planned to fly most of the way in the US but now there is a low sitting to the west of us that may create some IFR weather. Best to play it safe and head north. Hopefully just scattered thunderstorms to deal with. This trip west bound has been very challenging, doesn’t look like it will be easy until we are finally home.

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-09

We had the most challenging day of flying today. If any of you were watching the SPOT this should explain it. We first flew direct to Ottawa Carp from Moncton. I had been watching the weather as the flight when along. There was two systems that were converging and there looked like little time to get through. A quick turn around and we were on our way. We tried to pick our through and decided for pembroke. We dropped below the scattered layer that soon went to broken and ceilings left the building. We turned around. So much for the forecasted 4000 broken. I think they missed a zero;-)

We went back to Ottawa and landed in Rockcliffe. We chatted with the briefer and he figured we would not move for a few days. I did not like that option in the cold rainy weather we were presently in. I said what about going north and going around it. I would have to get east of Montreal but it would work. But we had to get going to beat it.

We took of down the Ottawa river, Montreal was still good Vfr so we new it would get better. Soon through Montreal and just out of the weather, we landed in Joliette for fuel before heading north. If the weather turned on us again I wanted lots of fuel.

Just because the CFS says there is fuel, don’t count on getting any. It was locked up solid. Off again to Trois Rivieres.

I was so close to feeling defeated by the weather and really getting stuck. We likely could not even get back to new brunswick to wait it out for a few days. This was looking like the only choice or let the weather win.

We Filled up and pointed the nose NW bounded. Not long we were in the rain again but with good ceilings. It wouldn’t be long and we should pop out to clear weather based on the XM. When we got clear I was not sure if ahead was a horizon line of more cloud. We had not had a defined horizon for hours so I was not sure. After several minutes it was clear that it was not cloud and we were around the weather. Once in contact with ValDor radio I amended my flight and went direct for Sudbury. We also picked up flight following, it makes you feel a bit better when there is no place to land for hours. Landing in Sudbury was a great accomplishment. I had flown into ValDor before and had no intention of staying there. Amazing that we were only about 45min away from Sudbury when we had to turn around. I so need to get on my IFR rating.

I then called customs to see if they would still accept us. They said yes and we booked for an 8:00 arrival. We landed and got cleared. Direct to grand forks tomorrow. We look forward for a SHORT day of flying. Hopefully we don’t have to fly the route twice like today;-)

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2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-08

This is our planned route for tomorrow.  It will be around 5.5 hrs of flying.  We have booked custom in Sault Ste Marie for a 16:00 arrival. I am tired of spending $2 plus a ltr;-). Some spots are at $1.40 in Michigan.  We are going there to fill all 4 tanks.

Weather is looking good other than the system west of the Sault.  If it looks bad tomorrow we may have to change our plans.  Going south to New York looks like a bad choice weather wise so we decided against it.  This route is the most direct and we plan to stay Friday in Grand Forks at a hotel with a huge water park. We stayed there a couple of years ago and the kids really want to go back.  The hotels will be just about free with all the savings in fuel. Hope the weather cooperates.

Also, here is some shots from around New Brunswick. We flew into a grass strip today in Havelock, it is beautiful there.  Also flew up Grand Lake and then over Sussex to the Bay of Fundy.  We saw the hope well rocks and miles of sea floor as the tide was out. It is a beautiful place to fly.

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2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-07

We got into Moncton yesterday afternoon.  Thankfully the front was small that went through over night.  The wind had changed to more down the runway but still over 20kts on the ground.  It had gotten to over 30 kts that evening right across the runway.  We said our good bye and loaded into the sweltering cockpit.  The climb out was quick but rough.  We immediately headed to my parents place for pictures and really got bounced around down low.  We climbed a bit for smoother air and then headed to see the camp on the lake we stayed at.  We soon turned south for Moncton.

The air was really rough, annoying rough.  We headed for the coast line and viewed all the wonderful beaches passing by.  We soon got Moncton tower and got cleared for a straight in on 24.  The landing was uneventful and we taxied in amongst many jet traffic on the airport.  32c on the ground. It was a hot taxi.

Jody’s parents were there to great us.  The school located a spot for us to tie down and the place was mostly deserted. We were told it was to windy and to low of ceilings, all their flights were canceled.  I thought that was a shame. If students only fly in perfect weather they will not know how to deal with the not so perfect weather on cross country flights.  I never liked the fact that I learned so much more about flying after I got my license.

I will get pictures of the flight to Moncton as soon as I locate my camera cord;-)

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2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-05

We had planned an evening departure today to Moncton.  The weather tomorrow is not good and we figured we had better leave early to make sure we can get there.Well I have made the decision to cancel the flight.

The winds here have been howling all day, and it is not so much the wind as the direction.  It has been 90 degree across the runway.  10 gusting 25 kts.  I have never seen such a gusting wind.  I am sure the trees are causing most of it.  The wind is also forecasted to get worse as the evening goes on.  It is also 32C on the ground before the humidity!

We could take off but every other runway in New Brunswick is east/west.  If we got airborne and could not land we would have to go to Halifax.  Then the incoming weather plays another roll.

The front is just about to the Maine/NB border so we would not have much time to get to a new destination.  Saint John is currently IFR.  Might be always IFR there though;-)

The other strike is they do not sell 100ll in Bathurst, yep you heard that right.  We don’t have a ton of time to do circuits trying to land.

Circling around over heavily wooded areas, trying to land but can’t because of the cross wind and running out of fuel.  No thanks!

Maybe tomorrows weather will not be as bad as predicted and we will be on our original schedule anyway.   Time will tell.

Branch airlines carry precious cargo and they are fine for an extra day with Nan and Pop.

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