No-one hurt





Edmonton AB to Golden BC

Breakfast was good at the hotel.
Ted was keen to get going to Wetaskiwin to make full use of the day, and this would mean missing out on the Edmonton Aviation Museum which was to open at 10am.
That was before I got into conversation with maintenance at the Edmonton Flying Club!

In the past I had communicated with EFC as the school's Diamond DA20-C1 had come from there, "We could have told you all about that aircraft" they had said the first time... This aeroplane had a lot of troubles after we obtained it.
Like Sea Land Air, EFC have Diamond aircraft and they are disenchanted in many ways as the London Ontario Diamond Aircraft factory appears to be going through troubles.
They also have a Thielert powered DA42, and they do not think that these diesel engines are ready for prime time.
All support comes from Germany, parts are expensive, and the factory is under the delusion that shipping an engine from Western Canada to Germany for a problem is economical!
I too have come to this conclusion and suggested the DA42 be replaced by two Tecnam twins, but then again where do you find Rotax engineers in Canada?
Thielert and Rotax engines need what I call "Artist engineers" with a feel for these mechanical things.
Efficient as they might be they are more complicated than the simple Lycoming and Continental lawn mower designs.

In England I was not afraid of Gipsy and Blackburn engines, Hirth, Le Rhone, etc. They were mechanical devices that a true engineer could fix.
If your engineer dislikes the engine you give him, you can expect trouble.
If your engineer delights in novel ideas such as synchronising carburettors, CDI units, gearboxes, and clutches, then Rotax engines are the best.

Engineers look favourably on the Cessna 152, a crude machine by modern standards.
Pilots look on the sleek Diamonds, but these new aeroplanes cost more and so they gravitate to the cheap. It's a shame as it's not progress!
I believe that flying in Canada has become too cheap, this means older aeroplanes with old avionics and unhappy flying instructors making the same money as twenty years ago in an economy that has changed.
But then, with the cost of living, many Canadians do not have sufficient disposable income.

It was now 10:00am so we might as well visit the museum!
We would learn later that this was to turn out to have been a good idea
The museum was definitely worth visiting as it is packed with history. There are some pictures on here to illustrate some of what is on display. Entry for me was $10.50; it was less for Ted who gets the 'senior's rate'.

We departed 30 at Blatchford Field at 17:38z (11.38 local time), turned south towards Quensnell Bridge while climbing to 4,500 feet.
After passing the bridge we were told to call Edmonton International Tower (118.3) who cleared us southbound via the 20 and 30 thresholds.
The controller suddenly and urgently asked us to descend, her radar showed us at 4,700 feet! Our altimeters don't quite agree front and back but we were at 4,500 feet indication on the front one, and the encoder is required to be within 200 feet, so even then it met the tolerance. No other controller has given us any indication that the radar altitude was outside of the 200 foot tolerance.
There was a lot of traffic inbound to Edmonton at the time and so perhaps because the controller did not trust our encoded altitude we were told to turn to 090º for several minutes prior to being turned on to 120°, and then cleared direct to Wetaskiwin.

Most places on this trip were either not windy or calm but Wetaskiwin had a really good wind.
We made the calls and joined overhead to see the windsock and use the correct runway. There was no other traffic.
Landing was at 18:14z after 36 minutes flying.

After signing in in the terminal we wandered the hangars on that side of the aerodrome.
Alberta's climate allows for the preservation of a lot of old junk which becomes treasure as time passes.
There is always a lot to discover.
A glance into one hangar showed some bits of aeroplanes being restored, on one side was what appeared to be a Lysander looking better than new, and in the back there was a P39 Airacobra. Outside, the hulk of a Norseman fuselage sat waiting for attention.

We taxied across to the museum only to find it was closed on Mondays as of the beginning of September... The point of this trip was to visit the Reynolds collection and in this we were disappointed.
Two ladies out for their walk chatted to us across the gate and gave us some suggestions for where to eat lunch...
A phone call to Red Deer and there was a suggestion for sub sandwiches there, and it's as short in time to fly there as to go a few miles from where we were on the ground.

Takeoff was at 19:19z and we wended our way down to Red Deer making traffic reports to Ponoka, Lacombe, and Mustang (Helicopters) on the way.
We joined through the overhead and turned to follow a Cessna 172 around the circuit. Red Deer has its share of Indian students!
The Cessna landed and was turning to backtrack the runway. There was some confusion as he was deciding whether to continue this or to exit onto runway 34 with the Chipmunk on final... We decided to go around.
Landing was at 20:00z.
We decided to leave fueling to later as I was hungry! It was a ten minute walk to the local General Store which is multi role being a pub and a café at the same time.
The shop attendant - sandwich making girl was sitting outside the quiet General Store smoking a cigarette, and later there were others smoking outside. I suppose life must be a bit boring and so you might as well shorten it.
Ted had a sub, I had a wrap, and I took the opportunity to buy some bananas and granola bars as rations in case we needed them later.
Fuel was more expensive here at $2.03/litre, and we needed 37.6 litres to fill the tanks.

I looked at the route to Golden with the marked VFR route beginning to the west of Calgary, or we could go straight across, flying up the remote Red Deer River valley to rejoin the VFR route north of Lake Louise.
For this flight I drew a line on the map as we were crossing the country without a road, or railway to follow, and the river isn't straight.

Takeoff was at 22:01z heading 235° magnetic aiming for the source of the Red Deer River at 4,500 feet.
The objective was to climb when we needed to climb for by that time we would have burned some fuel and a lighter aeroplane climbs better. There was no upper tailwind to make climbing earlier an efficient proposition.
Ten miles into the mountain valley (22:57z) we reached 9,000 feet using the mountains to assist our climb.
Lift was evident in the small cumulus clouds that formed in the rising air on the sunny sides of the mountains.
We passed north of Mount St Bride at 23:03z where I took the picture of "The Red Deer Valley, looking east".
Around the corner over the Pipestone River and heading southwestwards we picked up the TransCanada Highway and did the U turn to north west to descend into Golden where we landed at 23:42z, 1hour 41min, and we added 54 litres 100LL at $1.94/litre.

I went into the little terminal to close the flightplan and met the meteorologist lady who was sitting in an arm chair reading a philosophy tome with her dog at her feet.
It seemed like an idyllic relaxed lifestyle she was living.
Outside a chap had come over to look at the Chipmunk while Ted was fueling it.
Another chap turned up on a bicycle and helped us find rope to tie the aeroplane down... We moved the aeroplane to one spot, and then right across the 'apron' to another spot besides the 'terminal' where we tied her down for the night.

The met person told us of where we mught stay, and where we might eat in Golden. We decided to stay at Mary's Motel and a pickup truck was sent out to pick us up.









Not taking the VFR route on a nice day reveals beautiful vistas
Don't worry, I flight planned for this route


We moved the aeroplane from here as the spot appeared to be somebody's

I saw a documentary film on the building of and set up of this bridge








The DC6 was from Buffalo Air




It's always good to see people who do their jobs well

We walked into the town where there seemed to be plenty of places to eat and drink, all were very nicely presented. The impression is of a community that likes to be clean and who like character in their town. Architecture is attractive, artistic, and human; a huge difference to what we might anticipate being built on Edmonton City Centre Airport.
Circling around we crossed the bridge, except you can't just cross the bridge, it's a wooden bridge, very attractive, and there are panels to be read along the way.
I was reminded a little of the wooden bridge in Lamphun.


I had a double take on this
Especially as there were three tables of Germans!

The walk to the Eleven 22 restaurant via the lanes was interesting as among the newer style houses there were classic houses of a different time, perhaps 100 years old. Ted said that these houses would have belonged to bankers and local administrators in past times.
Two of these houses did not line up with the grid but were in echelon formation angled to face northwest. You could imagine a time before grid development.

Food was excellent at Eleven 22, and people were social with four young Germans and an older Australian couple to engage in conversation.

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