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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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