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;-)

SPOT Tracker

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.

SPOT Tracker

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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;-)

SPOT Tracker

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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.

SPOT Tracker

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-02

We arrived in Bathurst around 2:30 local today.  We had a wonderful flight along the shoreline of lake Ontario.  Fly right next to the CN Tower as well. We followed it all the way to to the St Lawrence and over flew the Thousand Islands area.  We heard so much about it in school (many years ago) that I was really excited to see it.  It was beautiful, but i think the Perry Sound area was much nicer, from the air at least.  We over flew the Montreal area as well.  First stop was Trois Rivière for a quick fuel stop.

Weather was showing a very unstable air mass creating many thunder storms.  We were not sure if we could even get to our destination.  The flight briefer made it sound even worse. I said we would try and see.  Some times getting a weather brief is worse than not.  We have xm on board so we plan as we go, that always seems to work the best.

We had to fly the first half at 2500ft.  We were above the river so we were good.  Turning inland gave us higher ceilings and we were able to get to 3500.  We watched the radar as we progress and also played the animate weather to see which way it was moving.  There was a scattered line on the Quebec / NB broader and bigger line just west of the Bathurst airport.  I planned to skirt around the southern edge and see if we could get in. Amazingly the cell dissipated as we got closer and getting it was a none issue.

The family was there to greet us and off we went to the house.   Next few days will be spent at the beech and the lake. After that we are off to Moncton.

SPOT Tracker

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-08-01

Tomorrow we depart for Bathurst N.B.  We have around 4hrs of flying ahead of us.  Weather looks great until about Ottawa. After that I think we will be dodging thunder storms.  Sure hope the ceilings stay high enough to be able to pick our way through.  We plan to fly the lake Ontario shore line and follow the St Laurence.  We will likely stop in Trois Rivière for a break.  After that get clearance from Boston Centre and go direct over Maine or follow the river until about Rivière du loupe.  It depends on what the weather is doing.  Should be an interesting day.

SPOT Tracker

2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-07-29

We had a nice flight out of Thunder Bay this morning.  We flew the shoreline to Marathon then direct to Sudbury via Chapleau.  The only weather was near marathon and it was still good vfr, just lower visibility from all the moisture.  I did lots of map reading to ensure I knew where we were even though it was always the middle of nowhere.  Bogs seemed to be the best choice if the prop stopped and we stayed fairly close to some type of road or railway.  I did not have flight following like we had from Brandon as we were to low, so you are really on your own. The flight was 2.5hrs as we flew lower and slower in the thick air.  It was a pleasant ride with only a few bumps near the end.

The relatives were there to pick us up and were soon wizzing through town to their place.  We had a great afternoon and evening, it was great to see everyone.  No alarm for tomorrow, we want the rest.  Then off to st Catherine’s for 3 nights in Niagra falls.  It will be another short day of flying.

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Update!

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We are happy with the decision we made to press on and not stop in Kenora. There is two lines of weather, one that is just missing kenora and the other is partially over Dryden. It could have easily been south 30 miles and we would have possible been stuck if we stayed. Besides fuel is much cheaper here, $2.23/l in kenora, ouch!

We plan to stay off the oxygen today and fly low for the scenery. We will be skirting the edge of the lake and heading inland just after Marathon taking us over Chapleau then into Sudbury. The flight will be just over 2 hrs, so a short day of flying today. We plan to just stay one night and head out to Niagra falls on Monday to beat the weather coming in on Tuesday. We will be in Niagra Falls for a few days.

SPOT Tracker

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2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture – 2012-07-28

Hello,

We are presently cruising at 9500 doing 182kts over the ground burning 10.5 165 kts true. We had to turn south of suffield do to the weather ahead. We like to avoid the areas with lightening;-). Showing 2.5 hrs from Brandon and 461 nm out. After that we head to thunder bay to avoid the thunder storms tomorrow morning.

Follow our SPOT progress at:
http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0K2qUrM1205OcaMGxkSqBFXnY4fQmhF4E

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Update!

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Made it to thunder bay in under six hours.  After Winnipeg we climbed to 11,500 for a smooth ride over the scattered clouds.  We did a bit of a dogleg just to stay within glide of civilization. Total flight for the day was 980 nm.  Very smooth flight for the most part.  Sudbury tomorrow to visit my great aunt and uncle.

SPOT Tracker

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2012 – Troys East Coast Air Venture

Here is Troys spot tracker to follow along if you wish, we leave this Saturday, July 28, 2012.

http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0K2qUrM1205OcaMGxkSqBFXnY4fQmhF4E

Plan is to fly to Kenora, Sudbury, Niagra Falls, Bathurst to Moncton. Then down the east coast towards New York, back through Chicago, Grand forks then home.

Hopefully the weather co-operates as these plans could totally change.

2012 San Francisco Air Venture 2012-07-02 Day Summary

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2012 San Francisco Air Venture Departure (2012-07-02)
2012 San Francisco Air Venture Departure (2012-07-02) @ 08:30 from Chestermere, Alberta.

The first day of the trip is under our belt.  It was a hell of a day of flying, for sure.

We decided to cross the Divide via the Crowsnest Pass route to Cranbrook.  We scraped through between the clouds and some convenient saddles between mountain peaks.  Luckily, the clouds were building, but not dropping.  Very exciting mountain flying, but not dangerous.  We got to chat with Darren Scarlett a bit, too, because he was up flying high west of Calgary.

We each had crappy landings at Cranbrook.  We had trouble with the pumps at Creston, but we got that sorted out and then hopped he 3.5 miles to the border strip at Porthill where we entered the US.  Really easy crossing, and the border people were excellent.

The flight down the Creston Valley, over Sandpoint, and into Coeur d’ Alane was terrific, even though we had a pretty strong headwind at altitude.  Lots and lots of flooding in that valley, same with the Kooteney valley near Cranbrook.

The scenery we’ve seen today has been indescribable.  From the Cowboy Trail to the high mountain peaks, to the fertile valleys, it’s been simply spectacular.  I really think it’ll be hard to match anywhere else on the trip.  Got lots of good video and I’m really looking forward to putting the video together.

Tomorrow, we’ll do two hops; from here to Richland, Washington, then on to Bend, Oregon.  We flew nearly 5 hours today with the longest leg being Kirkby‘s to Cranbrook about 2:20.  Hopefully, tomorrow won’t be as long.  We’re both knackered.

We met guys in Cranbrook who’ve heard of the CRUFC and are pretty interested in the trip.  At Creston we met some guys from Lethbridge, too; namely Ron Janzen and his partner.  They bought Troy’s RV-7 and both know Darren Scarlett.  It was nice to see them again.  They’ll be coming up to Kirkby’s breakfast next weekend.

This is a truly terrific adventure, already.  Both Geoff and I have been this way before, but tomorrow we’ll be venturing into places we’ve not been yet.  Luckily, they won’t be so humid as some of the places in BC were today.

Gotta get ready for tomorrow.  I’ll try and do a daily post to keep you up to date.

Blue Skies,

Stu

2012 San Francisco Air Venture 2012-07-02 @ 17:29
2012 San Francisco Air Venture 2012-07-02 @ 17:29