Victoria Flying Club
Getting ready for a flight; a DH Beaver waits at the seaplane base at Coal Harbour.
Photo by Robert Clark
Letters to the Editor
In My Travels
$100 Bowl of Soup
Banner Day Student Pilot
S hort F inal
Newsletter of the Victoria Flying Club
MAY 2008 Empty Nest Editor:
Eleanor Eastick PatricianEditor@shaw.ca Advertising inquiries: Bob Mace (250) 361-6996 or email@example.com Publisher: Seaside Designs firstname.lastname@example.org (250) 383-7777 Published monthly. Unsolicited articles welcome. The deadline for submissions is Thursday, May 22, 2008.
Board of Directors President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Directors
Paul Levie Doug Marin Lloyd Toope Colin Dormuth Eleanor Eastick Ellen Wood Sean Steele Jim Sutherland
General Manager Gerry Mants Chief Flying Instructor Graham Palmer 1852 Canso Road Victoria, BC V8L 5V5
Phone: Fax: Email: Web:
(250) 656-4321 (250) 656-2833 (250) 655-0910 email@example.com www.flyvfc.com
Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone. No part of this newsletter may be reproduced in any format without the written authorization from the publisher or author.
We can help YOUR business GROW and FLOURISH. Call today.
250.383.7777 firstname.lastname@example.org seasidedesigns.net
SEASIDE designs & photography
Has this been a freezing cold April or what? We’ve had snow, hail and sleet, not to mention many frosty mornings. Despite the adverse weather, the brave little hummingbird who nested near our front window in mid-February successfully raised her brood of two. Chip and Chirp vacated the nest on April 1st, late in the afternoon. It happened to be one of the few really nice days we had – and a good thing too, for a first solo. For those of you who enjoyed the photo of mother Esmeralda in the March Pat, I now present Chip and Chirp on their last day at home. They’re doing fine as far as I know.
New Line Up The NavCanada seminar held April 3rd, introduced some new changes in ATC phraseology as of Apr 10th. Don Devenney reports: 1) “taxi to position (and hold)” is being replaced by “line up (and hold)” This is to bring us into alignment with ICAO standards. (No one I’ve talked to likes the term “Line up.” – ed.) 2) Multiple landing clearances. This one they expect to be used somewhat sparingly in Victoria but we need to be aware of it. Essentially, if you’re following someone in on final you could hear something like “KMY, you’re cleared to land runway 09; PFW, you’re #2 cleared to land following the Cessna in front”. Basically - if the controller can see an advantage to doing so, if the following traffic is aware of the traffic in front, and if they’re moving about the same speed & doing the same thing, ATC can clear you both to land.
Avro Arrow – 50 years The first flight of the beautiful but ill-fated Arrow was made in March of 1958. It was the mystery plane of the month in December and evoked a lot of comment. Since there is still much interest in this “national dream set adrift by those Fools on the Hill”, many of you may enjoy this memorable music and wonderful footage:
The AVRO ARROW’S FIRST FLIGHT - Yahoo! Video http://ca.video.yahoo.com/video/play?vid=210755&fr
Water Bombers The Alberni Flying Club will not be holding the Mars Fly-in this year. Instead they will be hosting an Open House/Fly-in celebrating the club’s 60th Anniversary on Sept 13th of this year. Coulson Group, who purchased the two Martin Mars from TimberWest in April 2007 will have the base open to visitors while the giant planes are on Sproat Lake. Plans call for the water bombers to be on contract to the province from May 15 to August 15 after which they will fly to San Diego, California for September and October before heading to Australia from mid-December to mid-March. Short Final cont’d p. 4
Letters to the Editor Hi Eleanor, That would be the British built DeHavilland Comet. The first ever jet airliner :) That plane (in the photo) was being taken out of the De Havilland hangar at Hatfield in April 1953. Blue Skies, Liam Hi, Eleanor. Mystery plane - the DH Comet? Thanks again...
Hi Eleanor: That was an easy one for historians. It’s a DeHavilland Comet, the first commercial jetliner (not counting Avro Canada’s prototype). Sadly, inflight airframe breakups on early production aircraft led to temporary groundings that allowed American competitors Boeing and Douglas to command the marketplace. Much later, updated Comets were flown by British tour companies to vacation destinations. I recall watching them on final during holidays in Menorca. In later years survivors were rebuilt as Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft for the RAF. The latest Nimrods are virtually all-new though still based on the original Comet design. Thank you Liam, Marie and Philip! The mystery plane is indeed the DH Comet.-ed. Philip continues: Of YTZ and Central Airways Flight School Like you, Eleanor, I grew up in Southern Ontario, born in the Balmy Beach area of Toronto. When I moved here a few years ago I was struck by the similarity between the Victoria Flying Club and its airport, and the Central Airways flight school at Toronto Island airport. When I learned to fly in the mid-80’s YTZ was the fourth-busiest in Canada. The circuit at times looked like the nearby Gardiner expressway at rush hour. With the city’s downtown highrises next door and Pearson
terminal surrounding, it was a great place to learn about traffic and communications. Central’s school and busy charter service were eventually closed by then-owner Brian Holmes and its fleet of aircraft was sold… rumour had it that divorce may have played a part in the unexpected sale as the business was apparently quite profitable. Unfortunately it meant the loss of Canada’s oldest continuing flight school, a staff of 11 instructors, 22 aircraft including a King Air and Citation, plus a busy social group of past and present students and renters. The history of the Toronto Island Airport itself is fascinating, including the war years when it was used as a training field for the RCAF and for Norwegian pilots who were taking advanced training with Harvards. They were housed on the Toronto mainland in an area that became known as “Little Norway.” There’s a plaque to that effect in a playground near the ferry docks. I’m not familiar with all of the airport’s history but after the war the flight school was taken over by the Wong brothers, who operated it successfully until Brian Holmes took over after their retirement. Our airport was noted for other reasons, one being that it was located next to downtown Toronto. Another that it could only be accessed by ferry, often described as the “world’s shortest ferry ride.” The trip took less than two minutes, more when struggling through the Western Gap’s winter ice. Sadly the airport is under attack from a small group of Island residents who are attempting to have it shut down, though they’re opposed by the Toronto Port Authority, which wants to expand the services. Needless to say, the airport was there long before any of those residents occupied the former summer cottages, all of which are at least a mile from the nearest runway button. Cheers —Philip
Mystery of the Month
Send your educated guesses to
The manufacturer of this month’s mystery plane redesigned one of its earlier tail dragger models in 1953 and fitted it with tricycle landing gear in order to introduce pilots to easier, safer flying. This started a new direction in light plane design standards that are still followed to this day. Many of these attractive little fabric-covered aircraft and their earlier relatives may be seen at airports all over North America.
Short Final cont’d from p 2 The December ’07 Pat featured a number of photos of the Mighty Mars fighting fires in
discrepancy in the input of initial conditions would change the end result in a big way. Thus, in order to forecast weather accurately, a perfect computer weather model was needed as well as the exact conditions of wind, temperature, humidity etc. around the world at the moment of creating the prediction. Now we know why forecasting is, well, not great, especially in this difficult area, but we still have to rely on the TAFs when flight-planning.
California. There’s nothing like them!
May 19 Flyout
Speaking of Weather…
Let’s look for good weather for the holiday Monday, May 19th. Book your plane and receive special reduced rates. The planned routing is more than 250 NM in total, with the two mountain legs totaling about half the flight. Lots of chance for everyone to fly.
American meteorologist Edward Lorenz, who died recently at the age of 90, was one weatherman you could believe. He said a perfect weather forecast was an impossible fantasy. He was working with computers back in 1961 and came up with the “modern chaos theory”, which meant that even the smallest
See you at the flyout! MADRID, Spain, April 3, 2008 — Boeing Research & Technology — Europe conducted three test flights in February and March 2008 of a manned airplane powered by hydrogen fuel cells. A fuel cell is an electromechanical device that converts hydrogen directly into electricity and heat with none of the products of combustion, such as carbon dioxide.The research is an example of how Boeing [NYSE: BA] is exploring future improvements in the environmental performance of aerospace products.
Boeing Successfully Flies Fuel Cell-Powered Airplane
“Given the efficiency and environmental benefits of emerging fuel cell technology, Boeing wants to be on the forefront of developing and applying it to aerospace products,”said Francisco Escarti, BR&TE managing director.“ The Fuel Cell Demonstrator Airplane project is an important step in that direction.”
A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts hydrogen directly into electricity and heat without combustion. Fuel cells are emission-free and quieter than hydrocarbon fuel-powered engines.They save fuel and are cleaner for the environment. The Boeing demonstrator uses a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell/lithium-ion battery hybrid system to power an electric motor, which is coupled to a conventional propeller.The fuel cell provides all power for the cruise phase of flight. During takeoff and climb, the flight segment that requires the most power, the system draws on lightweight lithium-ion batteries. The demonstrator aircraft is a Dimona motor glider, built by Diamond Aircraft Industries of Austria, which also performed major structural modifications to the aircraft.With a wing span of 16.3 meters (53.5 feet), the airplane will be able to cruise at approximately 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) using fuel cell-provided power. Excerpted from boeingmedia.com
Afraid to Fly
Afraid to Fly
Flying freaks me out!!!!! I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown when we were landing after the first circuit. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m going to try hard to fly somewhere other than the airport but I think it’s going to take some time and probably a lot of valium before we fly to your place! Just the thought of getting into the plane turns my stomach sick and I start tearing up ... go figure ... maybe I need a hypnotist??”
Fear is controlled by a small area of the brain that directly activates your response to that fear. The conscious mind is bypassed, actually short-circuited for a period of time, thus not allowing the victim to rationalize the fear. In other words, when someone is afraid of spiders suddenly sees one, he reacts immediately by jumping back or killing the insect. But when he’s reading a book about spiders, and there’s not one present, he’s able to rationalize that spiders can’t hurt him.
This is how the wife of a good friend and fellow pilot describes her feelings about flying. I would think just about everyone reading this article is either a pilot, or would like to be. People who would rather fly than eat. Thus it’s probably difficult to understand this woman. However, AVIOPHOBIA is a very real problem for up to 30% of our population. Symptoms can vary from trembling, chest discomfort, sweating, faintness, to extreme panic attacks where the victim is convinced he’s unable to breath and that death is imminent.
The fear itself comes from the memory that created it. Sometime in the past, an event initially traumatized the victim, and each time it happens again the fear is triggered. But, when you recall something, you don’t recall what originally happened. You actually recall WHAT YOU RECALLED the last time you recalled it. This is proof that a memory can be updated and modified. In other words, your memory of an event is only as good as your last memory of it. Each time it’s susceptible to change. The last memory becomes your reality, and that is why alien abductees can pass lie-detector tests. It also explains why fishermen catch bigger fish each time they tell the story.
The fear of flying may come from other phobias such as claustrophobia, the feeling of loss of control, a fear of heights, the fear of terrorism, flying over water and so on. In some cases, it can be somewhat controlled with the use of prescription benzodiazepines. Countless entrepreneurs sell their various methods, videos and mechanical devices they say will cure the problem. Some may be effective, some not. A few airlines hold seminars and workshops to assist people in overcoming aviophobia. And of course there are those who will choose a few quick drinks before and during the flight to get through it. The already proven treatment for phobias, called “exposure therapy” requires sufferers to face their fears head on. However, it’s probably not a good idea to force someone who is terrified of flying into an airliner and take off. The panic attack triggered by such a move would undoubtedly result in an aircraft diversion to the nearest medical facility. It’s a very scary thing to watch. Recently, there has been new scientific research aimed at controlling phobias. Some in the neuroscience community feel that it’s possible to eliminate deepseated fears by removing the memory that created it. Here are some of the ideas put forward.
So these are the discoveries neuroscientists are working on. What are they doing with this knowledge you ask. The theory is that by eliminating the original cause of a fear, it can be eliminated. Because the part of the brain that reacts to the fear has been identified, it now becomes a matter of using drugs to stimulate or short-circuit that tiny section of neurons. They’re doing exactly that in tests with rats. The rats are given a small electric shock after an audible tone is generated in their cage. After a few cycles of tone-shock, tone-shock, the classic Pavlovian response occurred. The rats heard the tone, the rats froze (expecting the shock). But when given a particular drug at the moment they expected the shock, they soon forgot that the tone meant shock. What it means for people with aviophobia is that there’s a possibility someday in the not-too-distant future, you’ll be able to take a pill just before your flight, and the fear you have will be eliminated. Once you have no recollection of the fear, or the last time you felt that fear, you’ll be good to go and can get on with enjoying what the rest of us have loved doing for years. story cont’d on p 6
Bears Air cont’d from p 5 While still quite early in the research, it’s important enough to aggressively continue. Phobias can be a minor discomfort for some people, and for others a major lifealtering dilemma. Business leaders, sports figures, politicians, celebrities, the ranks of them all include aviophobics. It’s unfortunate that flying for my friend is among his greatest pleasures, while for his wife it’s her greatest fear. Barry Meek email@example.com
Always lots of great gear in
VFC's Pilot Shop books • clothing • accessories • flying gear
A Pawnee glider tug If you know any pilots looking to build some time and don't mind living in or around Port Alberni, then have them contact Andre at the soaring centre up there. He's open as a private operation now, owns the club's Pawnee as well as a tandem glider. Needs a towpilot pretty bad. Requires 250 hrs. TT, 50 tailwheel and 50 towing. That last figure can be juggled, but insurance dictates the others. The contact is Andre ....
He can't pay much or promise lots of flying. But someone can build a bit of time this summer.
Here is the explanation of the April Mystery Aircraft
de Havilland DH 106 Comet 1 Thank you to all those readers who sent in their answers to April’s Mystery Plane. Yes, the Mystery Plane is none other than the majestic de Havilland DH 106 Comet 1. Developed by the de Havilland aviation company and powered by four de Havilland Ghost 50 turbojet engines of 5,000 lbs static thrust each, the Comet was the world’s first turbojet aircraft to enter airline service. British Overseas Airways Corporation offered the first regular jet passenger service in the world using a DH Comet (G-ALYP) with its inaugural flight on May 2, 1952 from London to Johannesburg, South Africa. The Comet carried 36 passengers on the 6724 mile flight for a total elapsed time of 23 hrs + 34 min. The Royal Canadian Air Force acquired two de Havilland Comet 1’s in 1953 making this a first for any Air Force in the world to have a turbo jet powered transport aircraft. I remember as a young boy sometime in the late 1950’s seeing one of these beautiful RCAF Comets on aerial display during an Armed Forces Open House at CFB Esquimalt. Its graceful lines and the roar of its turbo jet engines left a lasting impression on me. RCAF Comet purchased in 1953
In My Travels
by Larry Dibnah
The Auster Mark VI One of several aircraft currently under restoration at the B.C. Aviation Museum is an Auster/Taylorcraft Mk VI two seat, high wing, fabric covered aircraft originally used by the military for aerial observation. The company began in 1938 at the Britannia Works, Thurmaston near Leicester, England as Taylorcraft Aeroplanes (England) Limited, making light observation aircraft designed by the Taylorcraft Aircraft Corporation of America. During World War II, a total of 1,604 high-wing Taylorcraft Auster monoplanes were built for the armed forces of the UK and the Commonwealth. The name change to Auster occurred on March 7, 1947, when production shifted to Rearsby aerodrome, also in Leicestershire. Following the success of the Taylorcraft Auster Mk I, the new Auster firm developed an improved version of that aircraft and called it the Auster Mk VI. From March 17, 1948 to March 27, 1958 there were 36 Auster Mk VI’s in service with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Army as Airborne Observation (AOP) aircraft, aerial photo/reconnaissance, artillery spotting, and liaison duties. The Mark I and early production Mk VI Austers were equipped with an external, wind driven 500-watt generator providing 12 volts of power for the communications system. Later production models of the Mk VI Austers flown by the R.C.A.F. had internal generators and electric engine starters. When Auster was merged into Beagle Aircraft in 1960 the high-wing design was developed still further as the Terrier and, with a nose wheel, the Airedale. The Auster name was dropped in 1968. The B.C. Aviation Museum’s Auster was acquired from a civilian owner in Sandspit, B.C. in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Restoration should be completed by the end of 2008 Auster Mk VI Specifications: Engine 145 hp Gipsy Major 10, Mk I–I Wingspan 36 feet Length 23 feet - 9 inches Max T/O Weight 2350 lbs Max Speed 122 mph
References and photos: BC Aviation Museum RCAF.com Canadian Forces website Wikipedia
80+ and still flying? Read on………….. If you are 80 years of age or older and flew an aircraft on or after your 80th birthday, in compliance with the regulations required of your aircraft, the United Flying Octogenarians invites you to become a member. An international, non-profit organization, UFO, has members in the United States (including the U.S. Virgin Islands), Canada, Argentina Australia, France, and the United Kingdom. Started in 1982 by a group of about 25 aviators over the age of 80, today the United Flying Octogenarians (UFO) has a membership of over 600 men and women all of whom were over 80 and still flying when they joined. Today, many of them are no long at the controls of an aircraft, but their love of aviation still binds them to this elite group. Our oldest member is 101. If you qualify and want to join the UFOs, contact Liz Lane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Life Raft Club
FIRST FLYOUT OF THE YEAR
Three or four VFC members interested in sharing the cost of top-quality life raft? I need a raft for my flight to Europe this June, and probably in the future for a trip to the Caribbean. Perhaps you have the occasional requirement, and would like to invest in a share? Please contact Raymond 598-3325. Club member, Raymond Rosenkranz will be flying his single-engine aircraft, a Beechcraft V35B v-tail to Europe! What a fantastic adventure! Raymond continues: Because I don't want to install ferry tanks, I'll fly the northern route (Iqaluit-Greenland-Iceland-Faroe Islands-UK) which minimizes over-water distances. My wife and I will tour southern France, Corsica, the French Alps, Switzerland, Venice, and will return in late July or early August via Berlin, Norway, and the Faroe Islands. Once back in Canada, we're thinking of traveling down the Labrador coast, since we've never been to eastern Canada, and then back via Toronto, and possibly Colorado.
Vic t or ia D a y, M onda y M a y 19 Routing: Victoria Chilliwack - Pemberton (optional ldg at Squamish or Qualicum) - Victoria. Mountain endorsement for leg to and from Pemberton required. Flyout rental: $20 off per hour for 172s, $15 off per hour for 152s
Call Dispatch to book your plane. Weather and Ground Brief at 9:30. Wheels up at 10:30.
My biggest challenge on this tour of Europe will be the French and Swiss "altisurfaces": high-elevation (6-7000'), steeply sloping (10-15%), short (1000'), and one-way airstrips. I did my French mountain pilot rating in Courchevel in July 2003, and am keen to return to these exciting strips in my own airplane.
The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire. "Unskilled" pilots are always found in the wreckage with their hand around the microphone. 8
Enhance your employment prospects in the aviation industry by earning a Certificate in Business Administration (CBA) or Diploma in Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Victoria while you pursue your Professional Flight Training at the Victoria Flying Club.
Th e H u n d r e d D o l l a r. . . B o w l o f S o u p ?
by Don Devenney
Most of us have heard of the now famous book “The Hundred Dollar Hamburger” by John F. Purner, or are at least familiar with the concept: jump in your plane with a couple of friends and burn a hundred dollars worth of gas to fly somewhere for lunch. Closer to home we have the equally famous “Chilliwack Pie Run” – I’m sure I’m not the only one who, when filing a flight plan that includes a Chilliwack stop, has been on the receiving end of a comment like “going for a pie run, eh?” Well, I’ve got one more for the list – the “Hundred Dollar Bowl of Soup”, courtesy of
“The Final Approach” restaurant at Qualicum airport. Ted, Ellen, Chris, Chris’ dad Peter and I have stopped in there several times this past winter, usually when weather prevented us from heading across
"The Soup Master"
the Straits to Chilliwack. It’s certainly not large – probably only 7 or 8 tables inside with a small patio – but it’s well appointed with REAL table cloths and solid cutlery – no plastic forks here – and personal, friendly, unrushed service. What caught our attention, however, was the soup. No boring “vegetable, cream of mushroom or clam chowder”; the menu lists a roasted red pepper soup (which is very tasty!) along with a soup of the day. So far, the soups of the day we’ve been lucky enough to sample include “butternut squash and apple (my favourite)”, “potato and blue cheese” and beef bourguignon (it was soooo good!) and I can say without reservation that the soup alone was worth the trip! The Final Approach offers a varied lunch and dinner menu with daily specials. On one occasion we went for the chicken salad with cranberry jelly sandwich; last time we all had the steak sandwich. On each occasion the food was very tasty, the portions were generous enough that we considered re-calculating the weight and balance and the prices were reasonable. The menu also lists standard fare like fish and chips and burgers – something to try on my next trip up. Oh, and the pie…they may not have as many varieties as Chilliwack, but Chris and I can guarantee you that the chocolate pecan or banana cream pies are as good if not better than that famous pie stop. The Final Approach is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11am to
8pm. They take reservations and, if you’re headed up there in the evening, you may need them – it’s a popular spot amongst the locals. So if you want a change from the usual, head on up to The Final Approach at Qualicum – just tell them you’ve come for the “Hundred Dollar Bowl of Soup”. Oh, and before you go – check the noise abatement procedures in the CFS….
Aditya Sharma (Emily Harvey)
Chris Rodgers (Koide)
as of April 15•08
James White (Jeff Lightheart) Rahul Rathee (Marcel Poland)
Jessica Dearman (Mike Chow)
Wouldn’t you rather be flying? • Tax and financial planning • Rapid refunds (electronic filing) • Personal, corporate and estate tax
Owner Evelyn J. Andrews-Greene, CA Sustaining Member of VFC since 1983
386-4466 #202-31 Bastion Square Victoria BC V8W 1J1
VIEW…AND AIR PLA ITH A W NE M ST O O O R
Open 8am 4pm daily
in the Victoria Flying Club
Join us for breakfast or lunch…inside & patio seating 101-1852 Canso Rd
A Banner Day in the Life of a Student Pilot by Philip Powell
reparing an aerial banner for pickup in winter is a harrowing experience. I learned about this on a bitter cold day when Alex Grouchy, who flew a yellow-and-black Cessna 170 out of Toronto Island Airport (now City Centre) for Specialty Air Services, invited me to join him as co-pilot. I was near the end of my student training so the chance to gain extra experience, particularly in a vintage taildragger, was an irresistable lure.
What I didn’t realise was that the price of the ride would be the agony of preparing a banner for pickup. I also hadn’t counted on the weather. The day of our flight turned out to be one of the coldest of the year. Temperatures dipped to minus-14. Winds were gusting to 30 knots. The wind chill was enough to freeze water to granite. Our destination was Peterborough, Ontario. After checking with the weather office and downing a quick coffee and donut we headed for the aircraft. A mechanic was pre-heating the engine. Unfortunately the warm air didn’t penetrate the cockpit, which was jammed full of nylon letters, ropes, poles, 2X2’s, a sleeping bag used as an engine cover, charts, pilot cases, plus a pilot and student pilot squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder in the remaining space. It had the look of an early bush plane, which was entirely appropriate to the conditions we would encounter. But the worst was yet to come. I had no idea of how much preparation precedes the towing of a banner and how difficult, even intimidating, it can be on a frigid windy morning. After flying from Toronto, Alex parked the Cessna to the side of Peterborough’s runway intersection. Our first objective was to lay the banner flat. To do so involved what seemed like a quarter-mile of ropes, poles, stands, and even a large red traffic cone to aid the pilot in sighting his pickup point. In those conditions I felt like Scott of the Antarctic. Within minutes the art of banner-towing had totally lost its glamour. Airport plowing had created a 6-foot vertical snowbank at the runway’s edge. We would crawl up one side and jump down the other, arms loaded with equipment, then struggle through knee-deep snow. The wind was so biting that we were forced to walk backwards. I
was dressed for the cold and yet exposure to a flat, open airfield was totally unexpected, even for a Toronto native. A banner is composed of nylon letters five-feet tall. Stretched out, it is half-a-block long and when the wind blows it will sit on its edge like a picket fence. Persuading it to lie flat was a challenge. After what seemed like an hour of clambering through the snow, fingers numb and faces stinging, we began setting the uprights that held the pickup line. Really nothing more than two poles in a pair of oversize Christmas tree stands resembling an exaggerated high jump, this nevertheless required a precise method of attaching the rope. Alex used masking tape, which allowed the line to pull clear of the poles. He wrapped it like a master sculptor while explaining the importance of having the pickup line suspended on the downside of the aircraft’s approach. If the rope is set wrongly it can grab the pole, pulling it out of the snow and into the sky with the banner. The significance of Alex’s explanation suddenly became clear. My job, if he should hit the pickup line with the hook yet not succeed in pulling it up, was to reset to reset the line on the poles, correctly. Alex suggested standing in some bushes, a few yards to the side of his approach. When I sank into snow up to my waist we agreed that I could move to the cleared runway after takeoff. Minutes later Alex was descending toward the line. I had mixed emotions. On the one hand, viewing a banner pickup at close quarters helped me ignore my frozen limbs. I even felt moderately important; a participant in one of the world’s rarest occupations. But I was praying that Alex wouldn’t miss. What if I forgot how to tape the rope? Will the pole tangle the banner or even worse, put my friend at risk? Will it descend over Peterborough and fall on the populace like a deadly arrow? My hands were so numb I wasn’t certain I could manipulate the tape. My brain was numbed at the responsibility. The Cessna came in at 65 knots, a long line trailing with a hook on its end, which Alex tossed out the window after takeoff (I swear this is true!). A crosswind was making his approach difficult. I was mentally flying the aircraft, mindwrestling it into position. Fortunately for me the dragline hit the crossbar square-on, sliding along until the hook A Banner Day cont’d p. 14
A Banner Day cont’d from p. 13 grabbed. With remarkable slowness the banner unfolded, being pulled back- to-front to avoid sudden jerks that could tear it to pieces. Alex made a perfect pickup and flew away to tell the good folks of Peterborough about a fire sale at the Cooper Cole store. I breathed a sigh of relief, which immediately froze into ministratus. I must still assemble the remaining equipment and haul it back to our parking spot before I can drag myself to the airport coffee shop to thaw out, then be on the job again before Alex returned, ready to flatten the banner after he dropped it. Later, after Alex and I had warmed ourselves with Peterborough airport’s hot coffee, we returned to base. With Alex, a former instructor, pretending to be asleep, I was told to “fly the plane and find Toronto.” He handled short final, for this was no time to teach a still-shivering student the techniques of landing a taildragger.
The next day, warm and alone, practising in YTZ’s “Local East,” I thought of Alex Grouchy. Knowing what he must do before taking his ads aloft had given me a keen appreciation of his remarkable talents and the hard work involved. As a way of making a living it’s unique. As a way of spending a nasty winter’s day it was an experience I was in no hurry to repeat. Epilogue: Alex Grouchy, a Newfoundlander, knew how to escape the cold. He became a helicopter pilot and together with his boss migrated to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, where they established a sightseeing and charter service for Club Med. Managing choppers with bikini-dressed young women as passengers had to be the ultimate flying job and apparently still is, as Alex is now chief pilot for a small but booming business.
A very proud "Uncle Mike" with his nephew Evan Sudul who soloed at VFC at
the age of 14 and is now working his way towards F-18s. Evan was recently in town with his instructor on a cross country from Moose Jaw. The aircraft is a Raytheon CT-156 Harvard II.
VFC Smile Cards The Victoria Flying Club is very excited to partner with Thrifty Foods in their successful
Smile Card Program. Pick up your Smile Card today and 5% of all your Thriftys grocery purchases will go towards creating scholarships and awards for VFC members.
To date, we have been able to create three new bursaries! Pick up cards for your family and friends too. This is a great opportunity for VFC members. We thank you for your support!
SMILE CARD TOTAL TO DATE
PRIVATE PILOT Groundschool Classes held Monday & Wednesday, 1900-2200
Achievements First Solo
Systems & Flight Instruments
Aditya Sharma James White Jessica Dearman Chris Rodgers Rahul Rathee
PPL Flight Test
Human Factors & PDM
CPL Flight Test
Chris Mathison Digvijay Lamba Paul Robinson Jeremy Walz
Radio and Electronic Theory
Review (Tower Tour/Written Seminar)
Louis D'Lapointe Jessica Moir Karim Gharios Gwen Hill Logan Reid
PPL Written Test Aubrey Morrow Joy Bradstock Nigel Smallwood
NOTE: The week of June 30th to July 4th there will be no ground school.
Private Pilot License Mike Ketler Logan Reid
Flight Instructor Written Tristan Nano
PART TIME dispatchers and line crew now Aviation experience an asset. Apply at Reception at VFC with resume.
L indair Ser vices Ltd Specializing in Cessna, Piper, Beaver float and wheel equipped aircraft. A high quality Service Department that is ready to complete any inspection or repair requirement you may have.
Welcome New Members! Hans Raj Ken Chang Raj Negi Anayas Rai Jonathan Thomson Robert Whitaker Julie Williams Mike McCreesh David Jones Chelsea Webb Dave Aylesworth Clayton Nicholby
5180 Airport Road South, Richmomd, BC Tel: 1-800-663-5829 Fax: 1-800-667-5643
Spring ‘Rust Remover’ Workshop Regional Airport 08:30 to 16:00 hrs
Bill Wilkie COPA Flight 65 and the Vernon Flying Club 250-260-1675 email@example.com
Cache Creek, BC
Ninth Annual Fly-in Breakfast Starting at 08:30 hrs. Everyone welcome.
Andy Anderson 250-453-2281 or 457-7333
July 9 – 13
North West Chapter EAA Fly-in Arlington Airport
Nimpo Lake, BC
BC Floatplane AGM COPA Flight 72 and Nimpo Lake Social, and Pancake Breakfast. Guests welcome.
Nimpo Lake Resort 250-742-3239 firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Old-Fashioned Fly-in at 3W5, Concrete Municipal Airport.
Port Alberni, BC
Alberni Valley Flying Club’s 60th Anniversary Open House & Fly-in
F I R S T F LYO U T O F T H E Y E A R Vic t or ia D a y, M onda y M a y 19 Routing: Victoria - Chilliwack - Pemberton (optional ldg at Squamish or Qualicum) - Victoria. Mountain endorsement for leg to and from Pemberton required. Flyout rental: $20 off per hour for 172s, $15 off per hour for 152s
Call Dispatch to book your plane. Weather and Ground Brief at 9:30. Wheels up at 10:30.