Penultimate week in British Columbia

Spotted outside a bank in Richmond
One of my favourite places

It's a rainy Sunday here in Richmond and so I will take the opportunity to update this website.

Yesterday I hurt myself again, it gave me a little shock too as I slipped while pushing the Warrior and nearly dislocated my left shoulder. It hurts, but I retain most of my left arm's movement, painful in a couple of directions as I believe I have strained a couple of tendons.
I am aware of my age and the fact I should be more careful.
I look at many in my age group who are nowhere near as fit as I am, many overweight, many with aches and pains and illnesses.
I appreciate that I have been very lucky in my health life, but much of this has been to do with my attitude. I must stay healthy to fly.

3rd October 2018

I do not envy the poor people who every workday morning and evening put up with Vancouver's seriously bad road system.
I am very fortunate that I have never had to put up with commuting for very long in my life.
We're going the other way, to go and experience the freedom of flight.

Fires are a feature of this year in BC; forests and houses, businesses and barges.

Emidio picked me up from Richmond to do a quick trip in the Piper Warrior; he wanted to see altitude.
So up we went to 5,200 feet to pass between the Golden Ears and then head eastbound to Chilliwack for a bagel with cream cheese.
'Flew back through Abbotsfords' airspace to Boundary Bay.

Up among the rocks of Mount Blanchard and the Golden Ears in the Warrior with Emidio

Later the task was to do circuits with Gloria in the Tomahawk, but first we had soup and a sandwich in the Pitt Meadows Airport Café.
The transponder stopped working and so the circuits had to stop, and we returned to Boundary Bay. We were fortunate that ATC at Boundary Bay permitted our return sans transponder.

4th October

Circuits into the Sunset in the Volmer with Ryan

Radio troubles have plagued the Volmer Sportsman based at Boundary Bay. The ICOM A210 has proven to be unreliable; the audio reception circuit fails with the volume decreasing to unreadable.
The replacement A200 radio's intercom is no good.
So I had an ICOM portable radio plugged into a separate intercom with transmit using the radios' own microphone and was able to do some tailwheel training with Ryan.
Ryan did his seaplane solo in this aeroplane from the water, now he needed to learn how to fly it from land.
We did both power on and power off approaches... Power on is easy enough, but power off the Volmer is like a Stuka dive bomber especially as we used extra speed to give a very short float and hold off before a three point touch down.
Ryan did a good job and so he will be okay for solo in calm conditions, or wind down the runway. Crosswinds will need to be explored one day.

I bought a new Becker 720 channel radio for one of the Condors in 1983. It was lightweight, easy to fit, and reliable. Why is it so difficult to produce a reliable radio 35 years later?
In England 8.33kHz channel spacing is now mandatory at many airports and so yet another level of radio equipment is necessary there. Most often this requirement is fulfilled by the use of ICOM radios, but almost everyone has trouble making these work.

The next big expense will be 'mandatory' ADS-B equipment.
The days of flying aeroplanes without transponders or radios have almost passed into history. We will all have to pay for electronics, but will these be more reliable than the avionics of the past or will their complexity produce expensive maintenance and replacement costs?

5th October

On Friday I went to Langley to top the fuel tanks of the Chipmunk up. This meant doing an aerial taxy to the fuel pumps via the Golden Ears, and Widgeon Lake.
Bill, who is the owner of the Whistler/Langley Volmer Sportsman (there are two in my World), came with me for the ride in which he was introduced to the first barrel rolls and loops he has ever experienced.

Taking the opportunity to take pictures of Autumn here in British Columbia.

Serene scene.
A quiet pause before the Winter storms; the environment takes a rest after the active Summer.

Standard passage between the Golden Ears peaks followed by a gentle barreling looping descent.
The milkyness of the air is due to the light snow falling on the peaks.

Mirror smooth water soon to be frozen in the depth of the winter.

Darkened landscape.
A subtle indication of the seasons' change from the brilliance of Summer into the dusk of Autumn on the way to the darkness of Winter.

6th October

Larry has come back to flying after a few years since he sold his Piper Archer.
He is a licenced engineer and engineering instructor who is a very useful member of the Piper Warrior and Tomahawk group.
There's a process one has to go through if you have not flown for more than five years. You have to be assessed by a flying instructor to ensure that you would meet the flight test requirements for the PPL.
Of course for many older pilots the present PPL flight test is far more complicated and involved than the one they took many years ago.

We train for a few hours to bring the candidate up to the standard.
On Saturday we went to Abbotsford to do circuits beginning with flapless landings.
In the Cherokee series I find that flapless produces the landing attitude that I want to see... This was hard for an older pilot who always lands with full flap to accept, but it's done in the name of training.
We did three landings sans flaps, two with 25 degrees, and two with full flap.
Many Cherokee landings are plonkers with the nosewheel touching just after the mains, and so I tell the students that they will pay me $5 every time the nosewheel touches the runway this way!
I could be a rich flying instructor this way.

After seven landings we departed to cross the Oggin at 4,500 feet to land at Duncan.
Duncan on Vancouver Island is a stationary aircraft carrier and takes care and precision to land on.
We went around after the first approach, touchdown would have been half way down the strip, and this go around in itself was a good exercise.
The second approach was better and we landed, taxied to the end, turned around and taxied to the parking.

The objective here was Thanksgiving Dinner with Larry's family.
I flew back later alone, crossing the sea at 3,500 feet to land at Boundary Bay at 19:12, 2 minutes into official night.

4,500 feet above sea level

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