Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 2015

Hey folks. Happy thanksgiving, for the Canadian folk anyway! Here are some pictures of the flying I have been doing recently. The ones of the Cub were taken by a good guy named Pat Hanna at Guelph Airpark. Every Thursday evening there is a BBQ at the airport that has gotten quite popular. There were about 10 cool airplanes that came in and a whole slew of people that drove in. Also check out on the right column of this blog I made up a map of all the airports I have landed or taken off from as PIC in the past 3 years of flying. 

 Taking my great uncle Andrew Martin for his first Cub ride. He owns a nice Piper Comanche and it was time to return the favor for all the rides he gave me in his plane!

The rest of these pictures are from a big trip we took in the Cirrus. We went to Hollywood FL to repossess a house that the company had to foreclose on somebody. We were scheduled to leave Lake Simcoe airport at 5:30 am and stop at Buttonville airport to pick someone up who was going with us go look at the property. When we got there I double-checked the weather for our next stop down in Atlanta GA and low and behold the ceilings had dropped down 300'-400' at our time of arrival. This is just so above minimums but with our minimal fuel it just wasn't worth risking it when there are a host of other airport options. We ended up leaving at 7:15 for Pontiac MI to do customs there since they open earlier then any other customs airport. We landed in Hollywood at around 4:30 after a few other delays. After doing the work at the property we left for Ft Myers the next morning. Little did I know that it would be the most intense IFR flight of my life. We managed to squeak into the airport right before a major storm cell moved in over the airport and flew the approach down to minimums. I have a picture attached of the onboard radar. From there we headed north to be in Detroit MI by evening. All along the way we flew between 12000'-17000' and still had to divert around storm cells. It was the highest altitude I have been in a small plane and also the first time I used oxygen at altitude.  We landed in Pontiac MI at around 6 pm and boy was I ready to relax. Enjoy the pictures!

Along the cost of Northern Florida
A highlight of the trip was getting vectored right over top of NASA's shuttle and rocket launch facility at Cape Canaveral. Notice the VAB building to the right of the pictures where all the shuttles and rockets were assembled and then to the right is the 3 mile long runway that the shuttle's used to land on. Very cool flying right through such historical airspace. 

 Here are the launchpad's. Can't help but picture a Saturn V rocket sitting down there 50 yrs ago. 
Down at the house
Here is the screen shot of the cell over Ft Myers. I gained a great amount more respect for the ATC controllers on this flight. They precisely vectored us around and in between the intense sections and brought is in right on time before a huge downpour, along with many other flights 

First time on oxygen while at 17,000. 
Down and clear in Pontiac Michigan at Oakland International Airport. I learned so much on this trip and was in the most intense IFR conditions. Did I ever sleep good that night! The next evening we flew back to Barrie making a total trip of 3400 NM and 18 hours. 
Our track for the entire trip
That`s it folks! Until next time, God Bless!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 2015

Hey folks. time for an update! I have been getting a steady amount of flying in this summer. At the end of July I flew down to Guatemala to visit some friends down there and to investigate an opportunity to serve as a mission pilot. I made the decision to move down there at some point next year to fly a Cessna 206. The mission is called Jungle Breezes Youth Ministries and is focused on ministering to the many youth boys coming from broken homes. The mission is based in northern Guatemala in the middle of nowhere, hence using the plane for transportation and emergencies that may arise. I will be in charge of the plane as well as being a mentor for the boys.... Here are a few pictures of my trip.

Flying the mission Cessna 206 with Paul Jones. Paul is with Missionary Air Group from Guatemala and a true gentleman. 

Huge avacodo that I just picked. 
 Main mission house

  I have done some flying in the Cirrus and also been flying the Piper PA-11 that I flew two summers ago. I have been using it for some aerial photography for a fellow in southern Ontario. It has been a challenge working with the weather doing that since it has to be perfect to get the best shots but I have gotten a few good days in. Very unique flying having to get the best shot while flying and navigating the plane but I enjoy it. Enjoy the pictures!

Formation with a friend in his Fleet Finch

Random pics of cirrus flying....

 One of the buildings the company owns in Detroit MI
My friend`s beaver 

That`s it folks! Until next time!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Overdue Update

Hello everyone. First off I apologize for not updating the blog since January. This has partly to do with the fact that after I completed my training and returned to the frigid north I didn't do much flying at all for quite a few weeks. The last 2-3 months have picked up quite a bit and you will see pictures of that.
A big hurdle I cleared was landing my first flying job. I am flying a 2007 Cirrus SR-22Turbo for a large investment company in Toronto as a corporate pilot. I got this job as a result of a really good connection. As anyone in aviation knows, it's all about the people you know. I fly the vice-president  to his meetings in eastern North America. Destinations include Detroit MI, Atlanta GA, Houston TX, NYC, FT Myers FL, and a couple towns in northern Ontario. Basically what I do is get notified of the destination, plan the flight, file a flight plan usually IFR, notify the destination airport of our arrival to make sure they leave a spot for us and also contact customs if we are going across the border. Then we fly there and I either stay at the airport or go with the guy.  Right now it is part time but hey, it's a start and an excellent opportunity to log IFR time in a high-end aircraft.
Enjoy the pictures!

Camping with friends at a backcountry airstrip a friend of mine owns. Had an awesome time. 

Another friend of mine txt me one beautiful evening and asked if I want to go flying with him. Of course I didn't turn him down. We headed East to visit an Smiths Falls airport near Ottawa. 

 A few weeks ago I stopped by Guelph Airpark to see if any activity was happening there. Sure enough a handful of guys were there flying their airplanes. By the time the evening was over I had gotten a ride in the yellow Dehavilland Tiger Moth and also flew the single-seat, blue and white homebuilt Baby Ace. Incidentally this is the oldest homebuilt aircraft in Canada. 

Flying formation with a new friend with him in a  rare J-2 Piper Cub. He snapped this picture with his phone. 

The Dehavilland Tiger Moth I rode in. These were used to train WWII pilots and are quite a handful to fly. 

A friend of mine owns a Dehavilland Chipmunk that I was fortunate to ride in. These were also a WWII trainer and were the next step up from the Tiger Moth. We flew for about 40 min and did mostly aerobatics. He handed the plane over to me halfway through and coached me through a few basic aerobatic maneuvers. What an exhilarating experience!

A dehavilland Beaver a good friend owns. This is the guy who got me the flying job. 

 And here is the Cirrus. 

Fully equipped with a super-modern instrument panel. Once in flight you basically become a systems manager. The autopilot will fly any heading, course and altitude you program into it. Once you near the destination you program which instrument approach you want to fly and it will fly a precise instrument approach to within 200' of the ground after which you takeover to land. 

Parked at Muskoka Airport beside a Gulfstream jet while waiting to pick up 2 people. I caption this pic as "Now....and....soon"

Me and the 'boss'. He is a very interesting guy and I will be learning so much from him in the coming months not only from flying (he is a pilot, just not IFR certified) and also from the business he does. He is in charge of the many commercial properties that the company owns. On this trip he had 7 meetings to go to back to back and was totally exhausted by the days end. On the way home he slide his chair back and totally fell asleep. 

Cruising at 8000' at 180 kts true airspeed. 

That's it folks! I hoped you enjoyed them. Please stay tuned for future and more frequent updates.