Western Canada

21st July:
Winnipeg to Regina Saskatchewan, 16:26z - 19:47z.(Totaliser = 11.5 USG used)
Prairie flying. On arrival we went to the flying club for fuel but learned that due to a computer fault they could not supply fuel so we went to the Shell Aerocenter.
Regina to Black Diamond (CuNim) Alberta, 21:30z - 01:28z
The objective here was to visit Simon, an acquaintance of mine who flies gliders here.

22nd July:
Black Diamond - Local
The night before I ran the takeoff distance through my mind and decided the Taifun should make it off the grass runway... But the Taifun requires careful control. Takeoff is like an old jet, meaning keep the nose low and let it accelerate. If you pull the nose up the aeroplane will lift and drop, and lift and drop, "your aircraft" I was told, I lowered the nose and flew off the end of the runway, it was a close thing, airborne just before the end of the runway, winding the undercarriage up in ground effect.

Enough of that... I told Daryl I would fly the aeroplane solo to the nearby hard runway at Okotoks where a takeoff with two on board should be easier.

Two days later the Cessna 182 towplane collided with a sailplane just after release above Black Diamond, the two people in the sailplane died.
I have noticed that there have been more than a few accidents so far this year, so it is a time to be extra careful.

With no wind I decided the uphill takeoff on 34 which exited over a field was preferable than the less tempting 16 over houses.
Okotoks to Cranbrook BC, 19:18z - 21:27z.
Again the nose was raised too high twice consuming valuable runway, and the aeroplane veered to leave the right side of the runway... "I have control", again I lowered the nose and flew off the end of the runway... The crop was a nice light green, a carpet just below, it would be so easy to land in there... Ahead there was a road, and telegraph wires; I was not going to make it over those wires.
To the right were more wires, but further away, and so I did a careful ground effect turn while winding the wheels up and gaining energy to leap over the wires.
To assure everyone that all was well, I overflew the airfield before setting course for the Crowsnest Pass.

Above Sparwood with the rain over Fernie to the left, setting course direct to Cranbrook

At the Rocky Mountains we used the available lift to climb and by Fernie we were at 9,500 feet. But there was a TCU raining on Fernie and the rain took the Taifun down to 9,000 feet, no future in that!
Backtracked to Sparwood, and could see clear across the mountains towards Cranbrook, but not at a comfortable height.
I found a thermal and circled up to 10,500 feet and we comfortably flew across the mountains direct to Cranbrook BC. Added 35 litres 100LL.


Cranbrook to Nelson BC, 22:10z - 23:05z
Nelson is a favourite place to stop with the classic Hume Hotel, and the Thai Cafe restaurant. Also, I have a customer who wants to do a seaplane rating in his Searey; this should be my next Canadian project.

23rd July
Nelson to Penticton, 16:26z - 17:50z
I did not want any problems taking off from Nelson so I took control from the start raising the nose a little, allowing the aeroplane to accelerate in ground effect, with an easy departure down the river.
We used the mountainsides to find lift and ease the aeroplane up and up.
There was some rain showers along our route to be avoided.The final rain was between us and Penticton Airport as we crossed the ridge into the Okanagan Valley, but we had height to lose and so it was not a problem for us.
At Penticton we had to wait for the passage of a nearby thunder storm to the west before we could add 40 litres of Avgas to the tanks.

Penticton to Boundary Bay, 19:14z - 21:17z
I had to call FSS and advise them to revise our ETA due to the weather delay.
On departure I had decided to go to the south of the thunderstorm to the west, but after becoming airborne I could see that this would not be wise, so headed up to Summerland, using the ridge lift ione valley over from Okanagan Lake.
There were a few cells to be avoided as we made our way west, sink to be avoided, and lift to be found.
Half way between Penticton and Hope the weather was clear, and the run was pleasant, gaining height, crossing the final ridges, and then into the Lower Mainland descending gently in familiar airspace to arrive back at Boundary Bay.

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