Volkswagen Across Canada

Pre Purchase

The desire had been to buy a Valentin Taifun motor glider in Washington State. This aeroplane had the 115hp Rotax 914 engine and seemed to be desirable, but let's think about it...
In thinking time the aeroplane was sold.
Sometimes if you want an aeroplane for a purpose you have to simply go for it.
There's inspections to be done, liens to be researched, and a purchase price to be agreed.
In my experience I have been involved in deals with aeroplanes purchased unseen, aeroplanes not purchased through taking too long investigating them, and aeroplanes purchased following all the 'proper' procedures.
Many good deals were missed when the time taken investigating the aeroplane meant that someone else made the purchase with the customer losing the investment of time and money made so far.

You have to decide what aeroplane is right for your needs. Buy the aeroplane you'll fly often, rent the aeroplane you need occasionally.
Many buy four seat aeroplanes which after they fly their few friends are then flown alone to the boredom of the owner, then less often, with Annual Inspections costing greater amounts of the overhead, as the aeroplane does less and less and no flying year after year...
I believe for most people a two seat aeroplane is the best bet, easier to fill the other seat, less expensive for solo flying, and often much more fun than a four seat airliner.

Some aeroplanes are rare, and specialised, and in these you have to take a gamble if you want one.
The Valentin Taifun is one such rare aeroplane. If you want one there is only one on the Canadian Register, otherwise you are looking at an expensive import of one of the few that might come up for sale.
So be prepared to pay more, and to take a little gamble if necessary if you want something special.
On the other hand, rare aeroplanes are often owned by passionate people who look after them, you are likely to be buying the aeroplane from someone who is trustworthy, and this is an asset.

Never buy an aeroplane for resale unless you are a dealer.
Buy an aeroplane for a purpose, and if subsequently you sell it for less money than you paid for it, divide the amount you think you have lost by the number of hours you flew it. You'll usually find that your cost per hour is still economic.

Fly five hundred hours and sell it for 2,000 less than you paid for it, and that means you pay 4 per hour which is insignificant when compared with rental rates and the convenience of owning your own aeroplane.

Buying the Valentin Taifun 17E from André at St Hubert near Montreal was buying an aeroplane from a person passionate about the aeroplane he had owned, with the accumulated knowledge and training available for the new owner.
There is ground equipment with the deal that enables the wings to be folded and the aeroplane stored in a small space at the side of the hangar.
The aeroplane had a wheels up landing in 2013, and the advantage here was that the engine had been overhauled in Germany, and the propeller was as new.

The Beginning

It is not easy to survive in Vancouver as a freelance instructor and so my plan is to look elsewhere towards my old age. Perhaps the best plan for me is to make concentrated trips where I am needed ensuring that my time is well spent.
So I had two primary tasks to complete within five weeks in Canada.
The first was to complete seaplane training for Sam in the Volmer Sportsman, and this was completed quickly and efficiently.
The second was to inspect, and if accepted, fly the Taifun back to Boundary Bay from St Hubert.

Air Transat delivered me back to Vancouver on the 5th July, I completed Sam's seaplane training on the 8th, and during the morning of the 9th I was on an Air Transat flight to Montreal.
Very efficient so far, but now for some trouble!



The Taifun turned out to be in good condition, and well maintained by its owner André. Its price was a little high, but then how do you value an aeroplane with no comparable type on the Canadian register?
Like any piece of art the value is in the eyes of the beholder. Paint and canvas is cheap enough, but the image applied by the artist creates an emotion that has its own value.
For Daryl the purchase of this aeroplane was going to be an act of love.

I have flown touring motor gliders before, but under the European regulations I am not permitted to fly the type without some training and a sign off.
Under Canadian rules I am permitted to fly the touring motor glider as an aeroplane, but I must not turn the engine off and soar without a Glider Pilot Licence.
I had my first flight in the Taifun with André on Wednesday 10th (0.7/0.9), a flight in the local area with steep turns and stalls.

Primary was the training of Daryl, and for this purpose André employed a young gliding instructor.

I didn't fly the aeroplane again until the following Saturday, doing a few circuits at Trois Rivières, and then flying to Bromont for fuel before returning to St Hubert. (1.8/2.2, 0.5/0.6).

The Delay

We ran into insurance troubles... The current insurance agent was based in Quebec and so was not permitted to apply insurance to aircraft based elsewhere in Canada.
Canada is not one country, it is ten countries, all with their rules... You can not import some items between provinces!
The Taifun is a complicated aeroplane and so getting insurance was going to be difficult. One insurance company wanted both Daryl and I to do 25 hours training in the Taifun before being allowed to fly it solo!
With my experience I could not see the justification for this, and then there was the amount of time it would take to accumulate this flying time.
Insurance acquisition delayed our departure for a few days... In the end we obtained insurance through COPA which was both cheaper, and did not add more dual flying than we already had.

We spent nine days staying in the R100 (Airship) Hotel at Saint Hubert with trips into Montreal... We'd only intended to be there a couple of days, and so new underwear, trousers, and polo shirts had to be purchased and laundry had to be done.
Meantime we became regulars at the local coffee shop in the mornings, and took trips into town in the evenings.
Canada like most places has a lot of shopping malls, and strip malls, industrial buildings without souls, but Longueuil and Montreal have old more human place to eat and socialise too.
We did the industrial, and we did the classic and old. Even though the food may be the same quality, I prefer the classic human places. I like architecture; boxes beside motorways do not interest me.

Met up with Redmar who is now flying airliners from Dorval Airport

Oshkosh was happening, but arrivals were being delayed due to rainstorms that were crossing the continent and the camping area was inundated there. This weather also delayed us.

On to part two