ZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1986 posts, RR: 6 Posted (7 years 11 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6260 times:
Hello all, as the title suggest i was fortunate enouph to encounter a P-51 while flying around.
Alright as for videos they can be found at the end of this message, the one with the P-51 is horrible but seeing as how excited we were (you will hear that) you cant ask for much more.
As for Photos aperently i have to add it to photobucket or my profile, i dont have time i got to go to class but they will be on in a few hours, how you guys enjoy.
Now some background.
I used to work as a fueler at the Boundary Bay Airport (CZBB). The airport is the 3rd or 4th busiest airport in Canada as it takes a majority of the GA traffic from the Vancouver area. One of the tenants at the airfield have a P-51 (authentic) which spends half the year down in Santa Barbra i believe it is and the summer up in Vancouver. As i am a fueler at the airport I have had the pleasure of filling up the aircraft (as well as the rest of the families fleet) quite a few times and there for became very familiar with the pilot.
Now getting on to the day.
My friend and I were planning to leave ZBB and fly over to YNJ and meet up a friend in a C172 and fly in formation over to YCW for pie. For all those pilots that live in BC you have all heard about the Chilliwak pie. It is incredible, i am living in YLW right now taking my commercial aviation training, even though we are this far away from YCW everyone planes x-country trips down to YCW for pie. If any of you live on the NW part of the states i highly recomend doing at least one flight up, it is deffinatly worth it.
As i am doing the walk around of our aircraft we notice the P-51 is outside his hangar, halfway through the walk around the unmistakable sound of the Merlin V-12 roars to life. After completing the walk around me and my friend wait for the P-51 to take off. He did not disappoint. For those of you familiar with ZBB he took of from RWY 25 climbed out did a left hand turn climbed up to 1500 feet and proceeded on the left downwind for RWY 30 after completing a rather large speed gathering circuit he turned base and final in quick secession in order to do an incredible low and over. Doing about 250-300 kts (gauged from previous L&Os he did, and he regularly asks tower for the speed limitation cancellations) he roars over the runway reaches the end and pulls up hard and right, flying right by our fuel truck (the fueler at the time told me he just noticed at the last minute and had to change his pants :p) right past the terminal and left the circuit to go on a scenic flight. As for me the walk around is done and we start up & run-up and proceed for take off, after seeing such an inspiring performance i kept my little 152 in ground affect right till the end of the runway and pulled up. I could almost hear every one laughing at me, but one day i will own a warbird . Flight over to YNJ was normal from what i can remember i joined the circuit to wait for my friend to come up, after one touch and go he was taxing into position. Soon after he took off i did a low and over of YNJ and we departed for YCW. We joined up in formation not long after and flew together over to YCW. As we were a mile back of mid field at YCW we heard a RV-6 call up that he was over the city, after telling him where we were he told us he had us in sight was going to pass over us as he can go quite a bit faster. He passed us quite closely and proceeded into a left downwind for RWY 25. Both me and my other friend in the C172 agreed we were going to take the same runway as winds were light and we did not want to create any conflict. With me being on the left hand side of our formation it was my job to "break" the formation first in joining the left downwind. From what i remember downwind base and final were all normal. I extended the touch down till i was halfway down the field inorder for my friend to have room if he was to close behind and the restaurant is quite a ways down if you touch down on the threshold of RWY 25. I exit the RWY followed by my friend touching down and taxiing of the first exit, this was his first time to YCW and did not know how long of a taxi it was. I parked beside the RV-6 that was previously mentioned. He told us we looked good which is always nice to hear. After my friend in the 172 shutdown we went inside for lunch & pie.
During lunch we just talked about everything pilots talk about just totally random. For lunch i had the Jack Burger with fries like i usually do, its alot healthier that lunch at ZBB for all those of you have ate at The Skyhawk Restaurant. After lunch we talked about our flight back and the formation we will be doing. Now for the best part. The pie arrived, well actually for me it was their lovely cheese cake, i cant say enough good tings about it. Its incredible. Now lunch is over we go to our planes taxi out and away we go. I take off first followed by a very tight circuit to allow time for my friend to taxi out. As soon as i call final on the low and over he adds power, i stay directly south of the runway and after his rotation we are fairly close and just close in the gaps and off we go.
Dog fight time!!
So us and the C172 are flying in tight formation working our way over to stave lake for some low level flying. As we approach stave lake we spread out by about 100 meters and continue down, i stay at about 200 agl in order to take a video of my friend doing some low level flying over the lake. About 10 seconds after i take the video my friend says, Hey Chris!! look at that P-51 and sure enough at about 5000 feet the P-51 is flying past overhead, thinking he is on a different frequency (we were on the Glenn Valley Practice Area frequency we did not try and contact him. My friend climbed slightly and we both did a 180 degree turn so we were heading the other way by now. By this point i am giving my friends direction over the radio on where to go and what not, this is what i said, "Hey C if you take a right turn you will see a break between the mountain and the WWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! now that is probably word for word what i said. At this point the P-51 came riping by my right hand side about 50 meters off and proceeded to fly right underneath the C172 about 50 meters below him and then pull strait up after he passed by, he did give quite a bit of distance and no ones safety was put at risk. After the pull up the P-51 decided to take it to the right and i decided to "engage" and applied full power, the C152 came to life, adding about 50 RPM's and about an extra 5 FPM clime rate, and the P-51 easily got away and to a higher altitude. It was then up to me to make it hard for the P-51 to get me and i decided to slow it down, however by the time i was slowing it down the Mustang was already on my tail. I slowed to 80 Kts and the P-51 sailed right by. I applied full power but could not get a decent shot at the P-51. At this point i wish Cessna would have made a STOL version with jato rockets, however due to there absence the P-51 was able to get away. This continued until he finally got both me and my friend and we declared it a game over. As we turned to head back to the lower mainland i told the P-51 pilot who i was and he decided to have some more fun with us. As he was behind me he came flying up behind me and told me not to turn right and he passed by me at about 10 meters off at 290 kts (he told this to me later) he proceeded to fly strait away from and when he reached 750-1000 meters away he pulled hard up turned around and flew strait at me, he also told me not to turn left. He passed by me closer then the following time doing 320 kts (which he also told me after the flight) after this he declared he spent to much fuel with us (he burns about 90 gallons an hour at the power setting he used) and headed back and also told me to come to his hangar when i got back. I replied by, roger i will come by, but you will be waiting sometime but i will fly direct. He chuckled.
After the fun.
Both me and my friend decided to take a minute in a very loose formation in order to settle down. We joined up again and flew towards ZBB. As he rented from YNJ he broke off from us passing by the airfield and we returned to ZBB. The approach was strait in which was nice, it was surprisingly not busy we landed taxied off and had to hold short for a T-28 taxiing passed. After it passed we parked our aircraft and shutdown. While tieing the aircraft up we noticed the T-28 was taxiing out to RWY 25 he proceeded to do a regular take off a regular downwind in which he passed a Citabria and joined base and downwind with the wheels up and the throttle fire walled. He did a nice low and over a nice pull up and away he went. It was a fitting way to end the day. We finished all the paper work quickly and walked over to the hangar which houses the P-51 as well as another T-28 two mint conditioned C185s (tailwheel) and usually a Turbine Beaver (i still prefer the piston version) we get there and the P-51 is still outside. We talk to the pilot for about 25 minutes or so, but then we have to go cause i got to be back for a dinner.
Leezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5999 times:
Looks like you guys had a great flight, and the scenery looks fab.
Best thing I've seen when flying was the BBMF flying past us, same height opposite direction, 2miles south. Just a shame the guy with the 400mm lense on his camera was on the wrong side of the a/c to get some pics.
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
Thepilot From Canada, joined Jan 2010, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5931 times:
Quoting ZBBYLW (Thread starter): and applied full power, the C152 came to life, adding about 50 RPM's and about an extra 5 FPM clime rate,
That's why I call it a One-Shitty-Two!! That thing climbs like a grandmother, and the cabin is very cramped (two 200lb guys will definetely get to know each other. I am glad I have upgraded to the 172, 182, and 206. Great report, by the way!
Ronglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5778 times:
Sorry guys, but it has to be said:
Playing follow-the-leader 50 ft off the surface of a lake in mountainous terrain, and accepting impromptu encounters with a high performance aircraft, is just not good airmanship, never mind the likely violations of the Air Regulations that occurred.
I see most of you are in the 16-20 age range.
Remember: there are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots.
ZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1986 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5741 times:
Quoting Ronglimeng (Reply 7): Playing follow-the-leader 50 ft off the surface of a lake in mountainous terrain, and accepting impromptu encounters with a high performance aircraft, is just not good airmanship, never mind the likely violations of the Air Regulations that occurred.
I knew this was going to come up and i accept that, as many safety precautions as possible were taken, besides the locations life jackets were worn, not just in the back seat, we had a radio for communications and we had discussed what we were going to do before we went. Of course when the P-51 came that all went out the window. But i ask you, if you were flying around and a P-51 (a real P-51) came an intercepted would you not engage in this once in a life time opportunity. Of course some will say yes some will say no. The pilot of the P-51 screamed by another C172 earlier in the week and that 172 was no game. He simply flew away. Fair enough P-51 didn't chase. What you bring up is a very valid point of argument, thanks for bringing it up. I try to believe i have good airmanship. You just proved that i can have my lapses. If i were to be intercepted by a Spitfire in the future you know i will probably do the same. Everyone has there weakness and i am more then willing to admit mine.
ZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1986 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 19 hours ago) and read 5677 times:
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 9): You're lucky you didn't stall/spin and end up at the bottom of the reservoir.
Yes however i made sure to keep my airspeed up the slowest i let it get to was 80 kts... 80 kts is good for alot of things its still relativly fast. Expessially when the aircraft stalls at 45. I kept my airspeed up for everything except when i let the P-51 pass. I knew this thread was going to get some people to respond in a postive and negative way.
ZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1986 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 5668 times:
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 11): Well good for you, you did something right. Now what kind of preflight planning did you do to make sure you maintained an appropriate airspeed during the encounter with the P-51? Nil?
Preflight planning with P-51 Nil... This was unexpected. Me and my friend already talked about the rest of this.
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 11): How about your friend in the other Cessna? Did you coordinate any of this dogfighting with the P-51 preflight with him? Let me guess, nil again?
Right again, mind you over the radio we told each other to stay on either side of the peninsula (hard to tell you what I am talking about but we did divvy it up. Did we talk on the ground again you got me there Negative.
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 11): What consideration did you give preflight to classic high wing / low wing aircraft visibility problems?
I understood my aircraft did not have good visibility 152 have very bad visibility. However i did not push the envelop of the aircraft. I maintained unareobatic flight. This improved visibility. I knew the P-51 had great visibility from talking to him in the past. Also we were on the same frequency and we agreed to call it off we we are having trouble seeing each other.
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 11): I'd suggest you take a look at TSB & NTSB accident databases. Lots of examples there of low time pilots doing silly things with their airplanes.
What can i say you nailed it on the head. However i made the call there was nobody below us and thus no one on the ground can get hurt. I am not sure what went through the mustang's pilots mind but I told my self. There is no one on the ground, game on. If this happened over a populated place i would have thought twice. I dont even need to look into the accident/inccedent datebase i know you are right. It is what it is. The call was made by the three PIC's and we all made the same choice that it was fair game.
ZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 5662 times:
Quoting ZBBYLW (Reply 12): There is no one on the ground, game on. If this happened over a populated place i would have thought twice. I dont even need to look into the accident/inccedent datebase i know you are right. It is what it is. The call was made by the three PIC's and we all made the same choice that it was fair game.
Glad you made that call for your passenger, the folks who own the airplane, your family, and the other General Aviation pilots that suffer when somebodies stunt goes wrong....
Please think twice before you engage in something like this again....
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
ZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1986 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 18 hours ago) and read 5661 times:
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 13): Glad you made that call for your passenger, the folks who own the airplane, your family, and the other General Aviation pilots that suffer when somebodies stunt goes wrong....
My passenger was also a pilot, in fact he is a commercial pilot, with more experience then me. Did i ask him directly no, however he implied that i should continue. I do realize it wasn't the smartest thing to have done. I did not write this TR in order to get praise for this. This is simply a very interesting event that happened and i felt it would be worth to write on here. Was it smart, ill admit to know, was it smart well yes. But tell me when was the last time you have done something that is not incredibly smart. Everyone has done some things some more then others, and some people have done more sever things then others. Some live some die. Its a fact of life. But thanks for your opinion as you do have a very valid opinion.
FlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
Well I'm certainly jealous. Seems like it's right out of the 1920's/30's flying circus, two pilots meeting up in the air, maybe fooling around for a bit and then landing in some open field for lunch (well, minus the last part). As for it being legal... if you briefed it on the ground with the other pilot, thats all thats required and your good to go (with regard to formation flying). And since there is no way in hell you did formation flying with the Mustang in your 150, no brief is required (prbly a good idea but not required). I rent out of LGB back home and will take a 172 about 800 ft over the water south towards laguna (under SNA airspace). Then I'll drop it down to maybe 60-70 feet over the water and just haul ass by the beach looking pretty much eye-level with the people (were also below most of the houses as they are all on cliffs). I even had some kayakers wave their paddles at me and I gladly rocked my wings back. THATS what flying is all about (for me anyway)
Yes let me tell you it was quite the meeting for sure. About the talking before hand yes i do agree it would have been better to talk on the ground about it first, but really it was a once in a life time opportunity. About your flying story I am really happy to hear that there are some other people who enjoy flying to go have some fun and share this with other people (like the kayakers). This is what aviation really is about, sure you can have fun flying from one airport to the other at 7,500 feet but really what is the harm of bombing around burning some hydrocarbons. And yes i would agree that is what aviation is all about, with transportation coming in as a draw. BTW thanks for sharing your vision on aviation, and welcome to my RU list.