Vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1289 posts, RR: 9 Posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5907 times:
Pilot Report – Beautiful Autumn in Alberta (PICS)
Hi everyone. It has been a while since I wrote a trip report so I decided to do another one for you. This year I’ve flown more than any other year, both as pilot and passenger, so I have lots of photos and topics. I will do a few other trip reports in the upcoming weeks as follows:
Calgary – Denver – Orlando (Frontier Airlines)
Calgary – Toronto – Boston (Air Canada / Air Canada Jazz)
Calgary – Los Angeles (WestJet)
Calgary – Denver – Boston (United Airlines)
However, until I have time to write them, I decided to share with you a short trip around Calgary. I’ve done another one that was similar to this, but I’m sure you all enjoy the photos; besides… we need more pilot reports here…
And now… the report:
Aircraft: DA40-180 Diamond Star
Route: Calgary International – Bragg Creek – Elbow Falls, Alberta.
Crew: 1 (duh… it’s a single engine prop… what did you expect?)
Passengers: 1 (Marika N.)
A few weeks ago, my friend Marika visited Canada. She absolutely loves Calgary, so what better way to entertain her, than to take her up for a quick ride “around town”?
She lives in a rather small town in Trasilvania and doesn’t get too many chances to fly, let alone have the opportunity to see “how it works”. I’m sure the 9 hour(+) she spent from Frankfurt to Calgary was “enough flying”, but hey… you can’t compare. As much as I love our national airline a sight-seeing flight on a DA40 is much cooler than cattle class on Air Canada’s A333 flying across the pond… even if they offer that nice little bottle of (free) wine.
The night before I told checked the weather and I was bit skeptical that we’d be able to go. It was raining so I gave it a 50-50 chance. I guess luck was on our side and by the time I woke up the next morning, we only had some cloud lying around Calgary. No problem… We can handle that…
We arrived at the airport around 7:30am, so it was pretty early for both of us… especially for a Saturday. Lucky for us, we both called it a night around 10:00pm the previous day. I never go flying unless I have at least 7 hours of sleep. Safety is paramount to me and if I’m not well rested, I make mistakes… and in aviation these could be costly…
At the airport, I went through the mandatory paper work (W&B, Flight Plan, Insurance Papers, etc). The weather looked good, the aircraft was fueled up and with walk-around done, we were ready to start her up.
Me on the wing of the DA40. Don’t worry… I’m only 170 lbs… It can take it
Fuel pump prior to engine star-up
View from the right side of the plane. Piper Aztec C-FNAD
Initially I got the ATIS information, then called up “Clearance Delivery” on 121.3. The transponder code assigned was 4603 (see photo) and my flight plan was approved & I’d be taking off runway 34.
Going through the check-list
Right side of the instrument panel.. Fuel Gauge, Engine Gauges, Transponder, Autopilot & the Garmin 530/430 GPS. (partial view)
I contacted ground on 121.9 and requested taxi clearance to the holding bay of 34, where I would complete my run-up. Shortly after tower 118.4 and I was asked to taxi to position and hold for traffic departing runway 28. Calgary’s two main runways (34-16 & 28-10) intersect each other and LAHSO is something that’s very common here. Once the WestJet 737 rolled through the intersection I was assigned 250 on the heading and restricted to 4500’. This is standard procedure for West VFR departures out of YYC.
Once in the air, after take-off checklist was performed, then tower switched me over to terminal control on 119.4. Terminal turned me toward Glenmore Reservoir and assigned me 5500 feet. Once over the “water”, it was 250 degrees once again and Springbank Tower on 118.2. It was a VERY busy day for Springbank’s controllers. We were cleared to 6000’ and direct Bragg Creek.
Marika taking a break from filming
Right back to being a “reporter”
On our way toward the Rocky Mountains
Once over the town, we were cleared on route and followed the highway toward Kananaskis Country and Elbow Falls, which are at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. I never get bored of these flights… no matter how many I do. You can understand why Marika was mesmerized. Aside from filming, she didn’t say much, except “I can’t believe I’m doing this…”
Town of Bragg Creek, Alberta
Around Bragg Creek
We came back toward the town of Bragg Creek and called Springbank Tower once again, stating our intentions to return back to Calgary International. I had a “Standby November Alpha Charlie”. I circled west of the town for about 10 minutes before the controller go back to us. It was ridiculously busy. If one wouldn’t understand the chatter, you’d think you’re at LHR. (She had an awesome British Accent).
Heading back toward Springbank Airport
Once she had “room” for us, we were directed to follow the “Banff Coach Procedure”, which is a VFR call point for CYYC. Once there, we contacted Calgary Terminal, which instructed us to fly 070 and cleared us left base for runway 34. Once near the downtown core, it was Tower again on 118.4 which cleared us to land. The winds were light and I must brag... perfect landing... or as Marika said it “Better than Air Canada” HAHA… Well, I don’t think you can compare… but hey, I’ll leave that as is. The girl was impressed and what do I have to lose?
Over the city of Calgary
Canada Olympic Park, one of the sites of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games hosted by Calgary
Flying toward downtown Calgary (left base for runway 34)
Turning final for runway 34. You can see the “Deerfoot” freeway below us.
Final, runway 34
The golf course between 32nd Ave & McKnight Blvd.
Runway 34 is visible
Baseball park south of McKnight Blvd
Short final, runway 34
Taxi back to the Southeast Ramp
We exited on runway 07 then contacted ground on 121.9. We were cleared to taxi via Charlie taxiway to the Southeast Ramp for shutdown.
Me after the flight
Marika’s excitement was quite obvious
Marika & I, after the flight
All in all, a pretty simple, uneventful, yet VERY enjoyable flight. I loved it… the girl loved it… and hopefully you guys like the photos. This isn’t my best effort toward a trip report, but I’m short on time, so you’ll have to settle for this.
Thanks a lot and hope to hear some comments from all of you.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
Oldman55 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1519 posts, RR: 38 Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5212 times:
Very nice report Vio. great pics of inside and outside the aircraft. You have a nice friend there also BTW I hope you didn't spent too much time turning around and facing the camera instead of looking out the window. LOL
too bad most of us get too soon old and too late smart
HAHA! Yeahs, she's a very good looking girl. These pics don't do her justice. Here's a pic of us at my friend's birthday party. The fact that she's Hungarian (living in Romania) is a bonus. I love the way she speaks Romanian though. She has the best accent ever.
Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 8): like the Diamond aircraft. Not only for their glass cockpits but for their hilarious appearance. They look like a giant sperm
HAHAHA!!! They do, don't they???
Quoting Midcon385 (Reply 9): Isn't that the truth? Would love to find me a girl who enjoys aviation! Great trip report, Vio! Regards, Tim
Well you know, she's actually terrified of flying, but wanted to do this. I think this trip made her get over her fear of flight.
SAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 479 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days ago) and read 4136 times:
Vio, great report sorry I've only just got around to reading it, I've not had too much spare time recently....too much work & not enough play!! Alberta looks fantastic I really need to visit Canada sometime soon! Marika also looks fantastic!
What is it about these Central European women that makes them so beautiful? My fiancee is Slovakian & every time we go back its just wall to wall fantastic women...well she says I can window shop but can't sample the merchandise!!
Vio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1289 posts, RR: 9 Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3598 times:
Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 16): Vio, great report sorry I've only just got around to reading it, I've not had too much spare time recently
Thanks a bunch! Oh, I know what ya mean. I too have been ridiculously busy.
Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 16): What is it about these Central European women that makes them so beautiful?
I have no clue, but I'd have to guess the fact that they don't eat a lot (of crap) and barely drink alcohol... At least in Romania.
Quoting EMA747 (Reply 17): Cute girl, cool plane, awesome scenery..man life don't get much better than that does it?! I would love to be able to do that.
Thanks! Well that's true. I am pretty fortunate, but you know how people are. We're never happy with what we have. Now I just wanna start flying for a living. I'm so damn close to it, but I've been a bit "distracted"... Hopefully soon. I wanna start working as a pilot sometime in January '08. I still have a few things to take care of before that.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.