Oh Canada Again
I am asked about
all the travelling I have done in this past couple of years...
Surely I spend a lot on air fares...
In 2017 travelling was a necessity, my employer did not obtain a one year visa for me to stay in Thailand and so I had to leave the country every thirty days...
Now there are three reasons for me to travel.
1. I am not a
qualified flying instructor in England, and the CAA requires me
to learn how to be one through doing 30 hours ground school and
15 hours flight training to be able to teach the LAPL but not the
PPL or CPL. This is an expense in time and money I can not
Meanwhile, in Canada I am qualified, with thousands of hours experience, and I can teach PPL, CPL, Night, Seaplane, Multi Engine, and if I renew my Aerobatic Instructor Rating, that too.
Some people say that I am good at what I do. So to do what I do I need to spend six months a year in Canada.
2. There is little
pension for me in Canada, it is a poor country, pensioners are
forced to use food banks, there are people sleeping in the
streets of Vancouver, and it's becoming a city of beggars.
The Canadian Government has legalised marijuana, and has been promoting its consumption perhaps to keep the poor dopey and quiet.
When I do have to stop work, when I lose my pilot medical, the future in Vancouver would be bleak for me, so I need to be in England where the treatment of poor pensioners is somewhat better, and there are many things to do, places to see, and many more social people.
I am thankful for the friends I have in BC, but though of high quality, they are few.
3. Thailand is a place for my heart. Outside of burning season Chiang Mai is a great place to be, and there are many warm places. I feel at home in Thailand, it is a place of serendipity.
I have never had a home and so I will continue to roam.
In 1982 I was sent to
British Aerospace Chester which is in fact in North Wales to
assist BAe Bournemouth in the inspection of the wing leading
edges for the new Airbus 310.
I did my job well, BAe paid me well, and at the end of that year I bought my first aeroplane, a Rollason Condor - G ATAU.
On Thursday 4th April I boarded a vintage Airbus 310 for the flight to Toronto with an onward connection by Airbus 321 to Vancouver.
I am lucky to have some
very good friends, and so I was able to use a studio apartment in
downtown Vancouver for the length of my stay. I would not have
been able to afford to stay in Vancouver if I had to pay rent!
To travel I would have to rely on public transport, and this while expensive, is still cheaper than car rental.
I took the Skytrain and the bus to Boundary Bay via the Ladner Loop on Sunday 7th April... Unfortunately the connecting bus wouldn't be there for another 45 minutes in which time my ticket would expire and I'd have to pay again on the bus, so I decided to walk... It would be quicker.
For many years I had cycled to work at Boundary Bay along the Ladner Trunk Road and some people thought this was dangerous... Not as dangerous as walking it seems, a big white (Husky type) dog ran across the road and bit me in the leg... I had to report this to the police, and it took a few days to heal.
That day I went for a flight with Glen in his Cessna 172 to Langley, visited my brother's, and then took the Skytrain back from Surrey.
You need to be concerned late at night at those Surrey stations, there are drunks and drugged people around.
An objective was to help Glacier Air at Squamish as Colette was short staffed. It would be good for me to work in a school environment too.
The bus to Squamish is
shown on the website as being $15.99 each way, but is in fact
$26.77 each way when you go to pay. Canadian companies like to
advertise low prices and then rip you off when you go to pay.
I took the bus to Squamish on Tuesday 9th April and did four flights with Glacier Air students in the Cessna 172s on that day. 4.7 hours of revenue.
The next two days were cold and wet; miserable and unsuitable for flight training... I took the bus back on Thursday.
Friday was alright and so I went flying with Ted in the Chipmunk, we flew from Langley to Chilliwack and did three circuits there, consumed a bit of food, and then returned.
No flying on the weekend...
In BC they say that Monday follows two days of rain!
15th, 16th, and 17th; flights in the Citabria and Cessna 172s. 5.0/1.8/3.8 revenue hours, with a mag drop and a no-show on the Tuesday.
No-shows, mag drops, and the weather scratch many flights; the life of an instructor.
At the end of the day Cleo watches us leave. She is in charge at night.
The weekend was
unexpectedly beautiful and so I went on an expedition with Daryl
in the Tomahawk.
We did a touch and go at Penticton and at Kelowna before landing at Vernon. 4.7 hours on the Hobbs for the round trip.
There was only a few aeroplanes flying, and Vernon was empty except for one parachute jumper, and a departing Murphy.
We walked to a Vietnamese restaurant a mile along the road and had Pho.
I note that there is a sharp decline in recreational flying around the world. Here in England there were few aircraft around on bank holiday Monday, in Brisbane there was little going on when I was there, and in Canada I passed through the normally busy Glen Valley with none to one or two aeroplanes. It's only busy when commercial training is taking place.
Returning from Vernon
21st April I flew with
Colette (owner of Glacier Air) in the Citabria in the gusty
Squamish is subjected to gusty winds and the effects of the terrain and trees.
Then a 1.2 revenue flight in a Cessna 172 with a student.
Monday 22nd was a miserable
wet day; no flying.
No flying for me on the 23rd either.
24th and 25th were flying days in the Cessna 172s, 4.9 and 4.9 hours on each day.
Friday 26th, no flying for me.
15 circuits plus a steep turn, 20G28 knots
Saturday morning the wind
was reported as gusting to forty knots, it moderated a bit in the
afternoon and so I went for 15 circuits with Daryl in the Piper
The flying schools are reluctant to fly when the winds exceed 15 knots, and so both students and instructors fail to gain proper experience to prepare them for the real world.
Tim did his PPL in the Citabria with me. Now I check him out in the Golden Ears Flying Club Cessna 172s.
This 172 has manual flaps and so in this day and age a pilot needs a special check out in it!
Mark kindly flew me to Rowena's for lunch in the Maule
Mark Reid is one of those
very good friends I have in BC, and every time I've been away for
a while he has invited me to go flying in the Maule and practice
the art of seaplane flying.
This flight was especially welcome as I was to fly another amphibian a few days later, though I didn't know it at the time.
I flew us to an island in Harrison Lake to pick up moss for Mark's wife's hanging baskets.
I was able to do three more splashes in Harrison Lake, and one in the Fraser River to maintain my seaplane currency.
Brooding Canada Goose warming her eggs, and concerned about me.
Upon returning to Langley we took the Chipmunk out for some exercise.
Loops and barrel rolls were the order of the day.
Monday, no flying, but
Tuesday 30th April I did 2.8 revenue hours in three flights in
the Cessna 172s at Glacier Air.
Wednesday 1st May was a busy day. Brittani was the first student I flew with at Squamish this trip, and she had flown three times with me, on the fourth I sent her for her first solo.
I did two more flights with students in the Cessna 172s with a flight to Clowhom Lake for a splash with Allan in his Cessna 182 on amphibious floats.
The Cessna 182 amphibian. We had the rig of the wheels and some other adjustments made following my first flight.
I may not be the most experienced seaplane pilot, but I am available, and I am very good at instructing. I am also good at identifying and sorting aircraft snags out.
Flying with Daryl by Widgeon Lake in the Warrior
The Tomahawk is accompanied
by a Piper Warrior in the Vancouver Flying Club and I am a check pilot!
Thursday 2nd May I flew with Emidio to downtown Vancouver for a scenic flight.
No flying on Friday...
On Saturday I completed Tim's checkout in the Cessna 172 at Pitt Meadows, and flew with Daryl in the Warrior at Boundary Bay later.
Tim solos the Golden Ears Flying Club's other Cessna 172 (electric flaps)
Sunday 5th May I flew with Tim to do some 'Mountain' exercises and a practice forced landing. In the afternoon I flew with Johnny's daughter in the Gipps GA8 Airvan; she is interested in learning to fly.
Student in an Airvan
Through the Golden Ears in the Airvan
On to part two