For the love of a Chipmunk

I'm too tired, so Alice picked me up to go to her office, and then for a bite to eat at a Japanese restaurant in Richmond with David and Gloria... Pleased to see me back in 'Vancouver'.
But am I pleased to be back?
I am a social person, I am always glad to see my long term friends, and I am very fortunate that I have such very good friends around the World.
But, the moment we faced the first red light on Granville Street on our way into the City of Vancouver, I felt the same dread; driving here is the worst motoring experience I have had anywhere.
Bangkok I love you, please don't make me drive in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, I hate it, hate it, hate it!

It's been a very good time in England.
When I am back let's go to a cosy pub and get over the Vancouver experience.

In Vancouver there's poverty on every street, sleepers in doorways, homeless people. Vancouver displays it's social carelessness.
The media does its part... Too well, too bad.
There's a huge display of the native first nation's upset over the Residential Schools... A Canadian tragedy... The Holy Roman Catholic Church doing it's bad deeds to children on an industrial scale, as they did in Ireland and everywhere they spread their tragic holy word. People complain about the Taliban in Afghanistan for similar reasons. Historically there's been little difference between the Catholic Church and the Taliban, both citing their adherence to an ancient book no longer valid in a rational human world. Why do we accept religious terrorist organisations?
Canada is supposedly serious about the problems in the World, but is not good in action.

Society needs balance... There's the serious that must be balanced by humour.
What I have found in England more than I have found here is laughter, and we need to laugh to have healthy lives... "Laughter is the best medicine" Readers Digest used to print. I agree entirely.
There needs to be much more laughter here.

My students will tell you there was always laughter, especially in Austers. When we learn in a joyful cockpit, we learn very well.
If we have joy and laughter and share it in our lives it is better for everything, especially in a serious time, it's called balance.


Since my last update I have only been on one flight in England; to Edgehill with Trevor in the Luscombe.
Flying has become somewhat 'not worth the effort' perhaps, as there are fewer people availabe to share the experience with, and the experience is expensive to contemplate when one does not have much of an income.
There's always the need for checkouts, and the cost of joining a club to be considered...
At the club I am a member of, the CFI said that it is a club with a school attached to it... But in the past I have had an aeroplane cancelled due to the need to look after the students first, and so the implication is the opposite.
I see many pilots flying on their own, but to me "pleasure shared is pleasure doubled" has always been the primary SOP. So the inclination to simply go flying that I once had, seems to have died.
In Redhill days, sometimes I'd get up early in the morning and lift off from the misty ground fog to spend a few minutes in the air, trimmed out, the Cub's doors wide open, floating with my feet on the rudder pedals, hands off the stick, just enjoying the view for a few moments before I had to return to Earth and drive to work. There was a joy in those short flights, flights that are no longer available in the present flying club scene.
Perhaps an aeroplane on a strip will enable me to recall that enthusiasm from long ago.

What you leave behind



For Sale: Ford Jaguar XK8 and industrial machinery

Following Martin's departure from this life, I have been helping his widow to clear up the garage which was packed with a lot of old paperwork, rubbish, machinery, and electronic stuff.
It behoves us to try to reduce the amount of stuff we keep for no particular reason or need, to make it easier for the people we leave behind.
I have advertised two lathes, a milling machine, and a hot solder machine. There are a lot of ancillary tools as well.
Several desk top computers went to the recycler's, but a lot of electronic items went to the dump... The dump in itself is an interesting place for the quality and quantity of sophisticated electronic waste.
There is still a lot of electronic equipment, and drawers full of unused resistors, capacitors, and micro chips, still in their plastic bags as new, to be disposed of.
Many items can be resold in car boot sales...

Yesterday I grabbed boxes of my books from the hangar at Langley... I will dispose of these as necessary, many to thrift shops perhaps, as I have many non aviation titles. Some I'd like to keep.
My life has been one of being in transit, and I have lost many prized possessions in my past. 'Never been able to keep things as they have had to be ejected overboard, or washed away by the turbulent seas of my life passage.
Of my prized possessions, what I have succeeded in holding on to so far, are the logbooks with flights carefully recorded as essential proof of experience, and also a form of diary prompting memories of my past life. These logbooks are of no value to anyone else for I leave no heirs, mine is a lonely life with no-one born of me to desire to keep these memories.
My treasured logs will probably be dumped or burned, but I should not grieve their future, rather enjoy the memories to be read within their pages as my life takes the inevitable path we all take..

BC Bound


Train to Gatwick

Train to Richmond

My legacy; a Sea Land Air DA20-C1, and a DA20-100 Katana at Boundary Bay

In 2007 we started a flying school with a bit of a 'British' club atmosphere, Sea Land Air Flight Centre. It was my job to comply with Transport Canada regulations and procedures to set the school up and then to run it as the Chief Flying Instructor. It's still going strong, and it's one of my legacies.
I met up with SLA's CFI: Aki, outside where there was a problem starting a DA20-C1. The IO-240 engine has an awful starting procedure involving pouring lots of fuel down its gullet...
Sitting in there with Aki it finally went with the aid of ground power, and now needed running to charge the battery... "Let's go flying" I said to Aki, "Are you serious" she replied.
Of course, once I have a running engine or even engines, I want to go flying.
So off we went for a quick flight involving steep turns, and ball position in a sixty degree bank... Fun, and so my first flight back here was in a Diamond, the one I picked up in Ontario, and flew across the northern USA a few years ago.


The Chipmunk awaits a pitot static check, hopefully it will be ready to fly this week

The prime objective for this journey is to fly the Chipmunk of my responsibility.
The last flight for this aeroplane was on the 3rd October 2020 when I did a final solo flight, and then left the tanks full... Back soon... But then Covid intervened.

On Friday I went over to see if it would be ready to fly this holiday weekend, sadly no.
I did manage to have lunch with my sister in Adrian's new restaurant in the impressive Langley Airport Terminal edifice.


The Tomahawk at Squamish

Saturday was a wet miserable day; will autumn in Vancouver continue like this?
Fortunately no, as I flew with Emidio on Sunday to Squamish where there was no milk in the fridge nor any biscuits. I can see standards have dropped here since I've been away!
We flew across the Harbour Zone to Horseshoe Bay and up Howe Sound, and then returned via the Indian Arm Valley with a diversion over Widgeon Lake and into the Pitt Lake Practice Area for some airwork.
'Dropped in to Pitt Meadows for some lunch at the Runway Café which is in its final days.
There's little loyalty in business for companies that have provided an excellent service over so many years.
Like Langley, Pitt Meadows has built a huge edifice of a terminal, worthy of any international airport, and there's no place for an economy café unable to afford the expense per square metre such a sophisticated building warrants.
There is a desire for grandeur at Lower Mainland Aerodromes.


Birthday flight, routing up Indian Arm in the Tomahawk

Alice turned thirty and the SOP for birthdays is to get a flight in one's logbook.
So we flew up to Squamish where she learned to fly.
This time up via Indian Arm and then back along Howe Sound in the dusk.
We each then did a few circuits to revalidate our night ratings.


Howe Sound

I've been considering adding the Night Rating to my UK PPL, but I will have to do the full course, this course is less than the Transport Canada one, but it's still an expense.
I read the email notifications from White Waltham and Blackbushe promoting night flying... Better to do it here for the experience, add to my 300 odd hours of night flying and teaching the night rating rather than do a course to gain the UK rating. I doubt UK instructors know much more than they do here in Canada though there's always something to learn from anybody.

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