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The Patrician Victoria Flying Club

May 2009

All in a day's work - a C185 follows a Beaver into Coal Harbour, BC, an iconic scene.







Short Final

Letters to the Editor

Bears Air

Memories of the Seabee

Cross Canada Century Flight

How Real is This?




S hort F inal

Newsletter of the Victoria Flying Club

MAY 2009 Editor:

Eleanor Eastick Publisher: Seaside Designs (250) 383-7777 Published monthly. Unsolicited articles welcome. The deadline for submissions is Friday, May 22, 2009.

Board of Directors President Vice President Treasurer Secretary Directors

Lloyd Toope Colin Dormuth Ellen Wood Rob Shemilt Sean Steele Colin Williamson Don Devenney Bill Vanderboor 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

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.

sky’s the limit for YOUR business communication solutions that work for you 250.383.7777


SEASIDE designs & photography

Long Cold One And I’m not talking about a beer! I’m talking about the winter and the spring. It’s almost seasonably warm now and better days are ahead – I hope! Again this year, I am fortunate enough to have a tiny hummingbird nesting right outside my windows in an oak tree. The little nest is about 20 feet above the driveway, so fingers crossed that neither of the babies falls out. Unlike other birds, hummingbirds cannot walk or hop so are never on the ground and for that reason, I suspect Mother Nature never allows the fledglings to fall from the nest. Sweet and Tweet will have to fly with complete finesse when they do their first solo and leave mother Emerald in about three weeks.

Piece of Cake Al Whalley sent along this link of a routine landing of a 747 into San Francisco. It’s two 10 minute videos – most interesting. How to Take Off & Land a 747 at San Francisco International Airport | Laughing Squid

Martin Mars BC’s famous water bombers are again contracted by the state of California to help fight the devastating fires that occur there during the summer. There is nothing like them. Check out the photos of the Hawaii Mars on the job last year. Magnificent!

Flying into the US in a Private Aircraft If you have plans to fly into the US for the hundred dollar hamburger, watch out! As of May 18, pilots must submit a detailed passenger manifest using eAPIS, a web-portal to enter the data and receive an email confirmation. If you don’t, the penalty for your first offence is a fine of 5000 USD. And be punctual – 15 minutes either side of your ETA, or you’ll get the 5000 USD fine. But only if you land. Gee, this is fun. Read every word in the latest ASL on pages 9, 10 and 11 (COPA Corner – Border-Crossing Procedures revisited). Short Final cont’d on p 3

Letters to the Editor Another very interesting Patrician Eleanor. Was just a little late getting around to it this month. Good to see some sunshine too! A good update and review of US border crossing procedures in the TC Aviation Safety Letter as well!! Cheers! Al PS. PS If we win the Lotto 6/49 there will be one of these (Terrafugia -car/airplane transition) in our garage :>) And here’s a link to its first flight in March: Thank goodness for the Internet and your clue, the mystery plane is the SB2C Helldiver. And thank you Eleanor for your excellent service as the Patrician editor. Cal Why, that’s the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver! (or the Curtiss m84) Dan S.

The Pat is fabulous, once again, thanks to you and Nancy. What will they do without you two? As for the Mystery of the Month, the aircraft is a Curtis SB2C Helldiver. Cheers! Larry D. I have used the rest of Larry’s enlightening letter to explain the April Mystery plane - Ed Hi Eleanor, I got the Patrician today, when I came home for lunch, and read it through. What a wonderful job you’ve done as editor. It’s smart, funny, informative and really keeps the club members up to date on all sorts of news related to flying. Good job. They’ll have a hard time finding someone to keep up to your standard!! I love the way you’ve made it clear that you’re making way for someone new. I can see that it really has been a long, hard labour of love for ten years. You’ve enjoyed it, obviously, but enough is enough…. C. Jordan

Short Final cont’d from p 2

AADs and FLY-Ins

K eep in Touch

Summer is a-comin’ in and there will be lots of Airport Appreciation Days around the province, fly-ins, airshows and other activities. Check out the information on the Nanaimo Flying Club’s Poker Run and Fly-In June 6 and 7. Sounds like lots of fun! Why not try your luck at cards – even if you don’t collect a prize for a good hand, you’ll have the fun of visiting five airports and hanging out with other pilots.

Well, next month’s issue of the Pat will be the last for a while and I will wind up ten years of editorship. I will keep the patricianeditor@shaw email address until someone else wants to use it. Feel free to write to me about anything, any time……….

Blue Skies.......Eleanor

Explanation April Mystery The Helldiver eventually replaced the more famous Douglas Dauntless as the US Navy‚s carrier based dive bomber. Some aircrews did not like the Helldiver as much as they did the Dauntless so they nick named the aircraft “Big Assed Bird” (a most unflattering label). None the less, the Helldiver made a major contribution to the ultimate victory in the Pacific. Following WW2 the French Naval Air Service used Helldivers against communist positions in the early French Indo China conflict.


May M YSTERY OF THE M ONTH This is the last mystery of the month. Unless some deus ex machina saves it, June will see the final issue of the Patrician for a while anyway. These clouds appeared over Mt. Rainier on April 10, 2009. Your mission is to: a) identify the cloud type b) state how they are formed c) state their significance to pilots d) state what phenomenon they are often mistaken for e) state why you should not end a sentence with a preposition

Send your completed information to


Voices in the Sky


rom ninety five hundred feet, the view was a spectrum of two colours; the solid white cloud below topped by a dome of blue sky. The warm sun beating through the windshield was comforting, a sensation not experienced in several weeks. The weather on the ground all that time had been overcast, cold and wet, but up there in another world, a pilot could forget winter. A few mountain tops punched up through the cloud cover but were far enough away that progress seemed slow in such an otherwise empty sky. My flight over the Rocky Mountains would seem longer than two hours. In the welcome sunshine, it was fine with me. On departure, the airport was in the clear, the cloud cover stationary within ten miles to the south. I was flying VFR over the top. There is a preferred VFR route marked on the map, which follows a highway through some mountain passes. The highest point on that road is only about 3,500 feet ASL, quite possibly doable flying under the cloud. However, with the waypoints established in the GPS, I could stay close to the route but remain above the cloud cover enjoying the sunshine and zero wind conditions. Settled in nicely at cruise altitude, listening to the familiar drone of the engine, it was easy to relax in the smooth air. After flying in the same airplane for about 25 to 50 hours, a pilot becomes familiar with the sound, feel, vibrations and other inputs of that particular machine. He knows what’s normal and what’s not. Flying in a remote area, there’s not much distraction in terms of airspace and other traffic. In fact it’s difficult to contact an FSS sometimes, and even when you can, there is no reliable weather information. There are simply too few reporting stations in the vicinity. It’s easy to get the feeling you’re all alone in the world. Occasionally a voice comes on the radio, a call to a flight service station with a request for weather or to file a position report. “Pacific Radio, it’s Mooney Charlie, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, request latest Vancouver weather”. That guy must be three hundred miles away, I thought. There was no way I could hear the response from the specialist, but the Mooney read back the conditions. It was overcast and raining there. So, what’s new?

BEAR’S AIR Barry Meek

I wouldn’t be flying to Vancouver that day. Where I was going was forecast to be CAVOK. I would check in another 60 minutes for an update there. The voices in the sky were my only company, and in the smooth, warm air I speculated about who and what kind of pilots were on the radios making those calls. The Mooney pilot was probably a private pilot flying IFR on a business trip. I’ve never heard of a Mooney in an air taxi fleet. Another call to the FSS came from a 172. The pilot explained she was on a flight from Abbotsford to Williams Lake, Vanderhoof and return. My mind sought memories of my first cross-country flight while earning my private license. That one was a whole lot shorter than this girl had to fly. Have they raised the bar for young pilots so much? One instance that stood out on my trip back then was descending into a thin fog layer above the runway. When the ground disappeared, it scared the pants off me. My first mandatory overshoot, and a lesson learned. A fleet of three U.S. registered Cessnas requested weather updates through the Rocky Mountain Trench enroute to Alaska. Their brief chatter back and forth hinted of a well-planned holiday. They knew where they were headed. Another aircraft was searching for a hole through the clouds attempting to land in Revelstoke. That is high mountain country. He was getting assistance from someone on the ground. I silently wished him good luck. The miles and time slipped by. My vistas remained unchanged …. blue and white. As I clicked off the GPS waypoints, the airplane remained roughly overhead the highway. There was some comfort in that. Should the engine quit, I would not simply settle into the cloud cover and wait for the end. Knowing the valley and road were underneath, at least there was a chance to break out before flying straight into the side of a mountain. It’s lonely enough up there in such an empty world without the thought of dying alone. The radio chatter, although meaningless, is reassurance we’re never totally alone. Who cares what the weather is 300 miles away? Who cares that three American crews are going to Alaska? There’s nothing Bears Air cont’d on p 6


Bears Air cont’d from p 5 relevant except the knowledge that another unseen human being is out there. Sometimes on a longer flight in some remote area, I’d turn the radio off. While some pilots are quite comfortable flying NORDO, it wouldn’t be long before that kind of silence had me wondering if I were missing something, an aircraft close by or a pirep for the route ahead, perhaps a call for help. In fact I have actually flown into controlled airspace with the radio off, having become accustomed to the silence of a leisurely trip. It’s easy to do with the older radios where there is no digital electronic display. The numbers are stamped right on the dial, and when they’re

centered at the top, that was the frequency you were transmitting on. But, there was nothing to indicate the radio was on. It was easy to interpret the silence as a controller taking a nap. It is more a matter of good luck than good airmanship that I’ve never had anything more than a ‘little talk’ with the tower following something like that. No doubt the radio is a big intimidating factor for the student pilot, but it doesn’t take long to become your best friend. The voices in the sky are always there, anonymous, unseen, sometimes interesting, informative and sometimes annoying. A fact of life for flyers everywhere. Barry Meek

Down but Not Out About 35 people attended the Safety Seminar on Saturday, April 18 and all seemed to enjoy themselves. The event took place in the members’ lounge with admission by donation of a non-perishable item for the Sidney Food Bank. Don Devenney organized this second presentation by Major Mitch Leenders, OIC Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria and Sgt Conrad Cowan, Unit SAR Tech, JRCC. The first seminar took place last year and was also well-attended. Search and Rescue topics included: • The SAR system in Canada – how it’s structured and what happens when an aircraft goes missing. • Helping yourself – what to do (and what NOT to do) should you find yourself down in the wilderness • Survival kits, personal beacons and more.

The Club provided snacks and VIH and Viking contributed door prizes. Many thanks to all who made it an entertaining, enjoyable and informative seminar.

Safety Seminar 6

All photos by Marie Woodruff

No matter how careful a pilot you are, there is always the chance that you may find yourself down in the wilderness. This seminar discussed what is done to find you when you’re down, steps you can take to keep yourself safe while awaiting rescue and what you should carry with you every time you fly over unsettled terrain.

Please support VFC instructors (upper) Jeff Lightheart and (lower) Simon Dennis in the

Ride to Conquer Cancer.


This short piece is based on two email letters from Grant Stephens, former owner of Seabee CF-EJE. – ed.

The Seabee was not built for speed or STOL performance but it was a good honest airplane. I flew into Duncan airport one nice afternoon and after shutting down walked over to some fellows sitting against the side of a building. They announced that I had made a big mistake landing there as I would not have room to get the Seabee out again. I said they did not know what they were talking about and that the Seabee would surprise them at how soon it could get off the ground.

Some Memories of the Surprising Seabee

After a while they decided to compare its ability to a Cessna 172 and found a plank to use to mark the spot where the Cessna wheels left the ground. Then it was my turn and my brother helped with the judging. The Seabee was off the ground at least 20 feet before the plank. What they never knew was the Seabee was low on gas at the time which was in my favour. The Seabee is a fairly large heavy looking bird that fools a lot of people into believing it has poor performance. The Republic Aviation Co. that built it were fairly experienced in what they did and the airplane did what it was designed to do very well The climb out after leaving the ground was not spectacular and the Cessna would have the upper hand there but this never came up. Climb out is not too important at Duncan when you leave the runway you are a long way up anyway (300’ ASL).

One day someone parked a Beaver on floats next to my tie down. The Beaver wing was high enough that they let it hang out over top of the Seabee wing and I got to comparing them and measuring. The chord was the same and I would swear the airfoil was exactly the same. The Beaver wing was a little longer but the Beaver was a heavier airplane so that made sense. The internal construction of the two wings was of course very different. There are no ribs in the Seabee wing. It has two spars and an embossed heavy aluminium skin made like a culvert. If you take the wingtips off you can see all the way through like looking through a culvert. As big as the airplane is it has a very simple construction and a low parts count. It was never a high maintenance bird in spite of the dire warnings I got before I bought it. It also was not prone to “hangar rash” like some of its thin skinned contemporaries. The very large cabin and baggage area led to some Seabees being overloaded and there were accidents on this account by pilots who should have known better. After 13 years and over 1000 hours in CF-EJE I became very aware of what it could do.


Cross Canada Century Flight 2009




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. 5180 Airport Road South, Richmomd, BC Tel: 1-800-663-5829 Fax: 1-800-667-5643 12

Achievements First Solo Hunter Gammage Kevin Stokes Frank VanGyn David Kinloch PPL Flight Test Dirk Pritchard Yuya Kakumoto Todd Thomson Terry Doody Kim Sterling

Welcome New Members!

CPL Flight Test Nigel Smallwood Kristen Ursel Bill Wagner

Brendan Hendricks Michael Oliver Charlie Brennan Justin Munkholm Josh McCreight Joerg Transchel

CPL Written Test Victoria Gregory Multi IFR Rating James White RPP Flight Test Robert Whitaker

PPL Written Test Henri Kankaanpaa Ken Wodlinger

OPEN HOUSE Saturday, May 23rd, 11a – 3p Find out how flying for fun can enhance your lifestyle. Talk to recreational pilots, instructors,VFC staff and Air Traffic Controllers. And book a Discovery Flight too!

The Victoria Flying Club 101-1852 Canso Road, Sidney, BC (next to the Control Tower)

SE E YO U TH ER E! Do you hanker for a career as a pilot? Attend the Open House on Saturday, May 23rd • Find out if flying is in your future • Meet the people who can give you the answers • Commercial Pilots, Flight Instructors Air Traffic Controllers • Enhance your flying career with a UVIC Diploma in Business Administration Educational Groups are especially invited to attend.


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 ! ort tha p p nk you for your su



P R I VAT E P I L O T G r o u n d s c h o o l Classes held Monday and Wednesday, 1900-2200 May




04 06 11 13 20 25 27

Flight Operations Navigation Navigation Navigation Radio and Electronic Theory Review (Tower Tour/Written Seminar) Review

Trevor Mann Jeff Lightheart Jeff Lightheart Jeff Lightheart Tristan Nano John MacConnachie Brad Fraser

Note: No Ground School on Stat Holidays

Wouldn’t you rather be flying?



Open 8am 4pm daily


in the Victoria Flying Club

Join us for breakfast or lunch…inside & patio seating 101-1852 Canso Rd 14


• 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

Dave Kinlock (Yasuhiro Koide)

First Solos

Hunter Gammage (Brad Fraser)

as of April 20 • 09

Kevin Stokes (Tristan Nano)

Frank VanGyn (Simon Dennis)


Commercial Groundschool May 1




May 2


Systems & Instruments Radio and Electronic Theory

Mike Chow

May 3


Flight Operations

Brad Fraser

May 8


Human Factors/PDM

Brad Fraser

May 9



Brad Fraser

May 10



Brad Fraser

May 22 May 23

1700-2100 0830-1700

Airframes and Engines Mike Chow Airframes and Engines Licencing Requirements Theory of Flight & Aerodynamics Mike Chow/Ian Watt

May 24



Jeff Lightheart

May 29



Simon Dennis

May 30



Simon Dennis

May 31



Simon Dennis

May 1 - 31, 2009 15

How Real is this? When VFC’s youngest member sent me some photos of his flight simulator, I asked him to write a short article about it. Liam Aloni is 13 and has wanted to be a pilot all his life. He calls the flightsim his “geeky” hobby.-ed. he second I came home, I was hooked. I am talking about my hobby. Five years ago Sunday, I was given my copy of Microsoft Flight simulator 2004. I had always wanted to be a pilot but the sim was a big step forward. That day I crashed and burned and I was quite upset, but about three or four months later, I got used to it and it has improved my knowledge and skills since. I have expanded my hobby to such a point of professionalism, that I keep an old logbook from a used bookstore to keep track and document my flights.


I also use the built in ATC system which is highly realistic. I have acquired over 90 hours in the Cessna 172 alone! There are a couple of newer versions of the sim, but I still swear by 2004, it is a quality product. My set-up has been growing for the last three years. I have top of the line equipment like my yoke and rudder pedals both from Saitek, a British based game controller manufacturer. A plywood back panel holds my self made modified keyboard which I can use control almost any function. The game itself is also modified. It is a perfect blend of performance and graphic quality. I have used a lot of add-on programs to make the sim the best it can be. Victoria is a marvel and looks extremely realistic and close to the real thing. The airport and the city are freeware programs. I use it solely for practice, mainly doing touch and goes around the airport circuit. As you can see, I am very proud of my hobby and my flight simulator. I hope this has inspired you to try this.

Nanaimo Flying Club (CYCD) Fly-In Saturday, Sunday, June 6-7, 2009 Public admission by donation

1530 hrs ne 6th 0930 Ju y a rd tu a S N POKER RU pe for good wx) (no rain date; ho AH3, YCD YPW, AP3, AT4, , B ZB , YJ Y : ts in Check po $5.00 per hand mbingnding, flour bo ter 1530-spot la Special events af before June 1st please register

June 6th Car Show

dash plaques and award s

for partic

ipants PIG ROAST & BEEF DINN ER with dessert, coffee, tea.

(Drink tickets extra.)

Saturday June 6th 1830 hrs - $20 per person Refreshments from 1730 hours Come dance, play shuffle board, shoot pool.

evin Palmer: ation contact K rm fo in re o m For SUNDAY BREAKFAST knpalmer@telu June 7th 0830 hrs WAR BIRDS EAT FREE Static displays, Information booths

On Sunday there will also be a flying demonstration by John Mrazek with his Harvard Mark IV, “Pussycat II” Stay the weekend - Camp under wing or in clubhouse. We have shower facilities. Or, shuttle 24/7 to a hotel. Email for lodging list. *18 hole golf course next to airfield*

For more information contact Barbara (250)756-2680 or email 16

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