PILOT REPORT - G.A. (Calgary – Bragg Creek) PICS
This report covers a quick local flight in a (four seat) Diamond Star.
My friend Jeff and his fiancée expressed their desire to go for a plane ride around Calgary. We picked Monday October 9th 2006 as the date. That morning I flew back on Air Canada Jazz from Winnipeg (via Edmonton), so from the main terminal I headed directly to the South East Ramp of Calgary International Airport. I was there a little early, so the DA40 (C-FNAC
) was not back from its other flight.
I chatted with the flight instructors for a bit and shared a few “Thanksgiving” stories. I told them about my trip to Winnipeg, where I met my girlfriend’s family for the first time and how much fun I had there. Anyway, moving on... time quickly passed by and around 13:00, my friend and his fiancée showed up just as our plane taxied back to the ramp.
I had a brief chat with the other pilot about the weather conditions & how the aircraft performed. Everything was good. There was nothing major to report except a few bumps over the foothills and Springbank areas, which were of no concern. I checked the documents, re-fueled the plane (28 Gallons total) completed the weight & balance, walk around & some other required paper work.
#1 Calgary International Airport (CYYC)
#2 Calgary Downtown
#3 Tour Area
#4 Bragg Creek Area
#5 Springbank Airport (CYBW)
#6 Calaway Park
#7 Banff Coach Road & Trans Canada Intersection (Bridge)
Diamond Star DA40 (C-FNAC). (Picture taken earlier this summer by the fuel pump on our ramp.)
Once all that was complete we strapped in and I briefed my two passengers on the features and safety points of the aircraft. I started the engine as per check-list, set all my flight instruments, obtained ATIS and contacted Clearance Deliver on 121.30. I was assigned squawk code 4554 (if I remember correctly). Runways 16 & 10 were in use at the time and I was asked if I can take off from RWY 16 at the intersection with Uniform taxiway. I acknowledged and Clearance instructed me to contact Ground on 121.90.
Running through the checklist after engine start
Ground run-ups are usually performed in the holding bay of runway 34 and this time was no different. The Ground Controller granted me permission to taxi via Charlie taxiway to the holding bay and asked to inform them once my run-up was complete.
Photo taken in the 34 holding bay during run-up. The Piper Aztec C-FNAD will be the next plane I will train on for my multi-IFR. That day it was going for a training flight with a fellow student and his instructor.
Me: “Ground, November Alpha Charlie, run-up complete, ready to taxi to the active”
Ground: “November Alpha Charlie, taxi North on Charlie, cross runway 07, turn left on Uniform, hold short of 16 then contact Tower on 118.40”
Taxiing on Charlie to Uniform
I read back the clearance, taxied to my assigned spot & switched to the tower frequency. “Tower, November Alpha Charlie is on Uniform, holding short of 16”
Tower: “November Alpha Charlie hold short”
. I could see a WestJet Boeing 737 on final for 16 so I expected that answer from the controller, however I still want to inform them that I’m “here” and ready to go. After the NG
exited RWY 16, tower called me back. “November Alpha Charlie, after take-off fly heading 250, not above 4500, wind (???) at (?), from Uniform, cleared for take-off runway 16, no delay please”
As I powered up and rolled from the taxiway to the runway, I read back the instructions and in no time the Diamond Star was off the ground climbing away. At safe altitude I started a gentle turn to the right (West) climbing up to my assigned altitude. Once established on the heading I performed the “after take-off checks” (flaps up, lights, etc) and continued in the same direction.
During take-off roll from Runway 16. You can see the Contro Tower in the far right
After take-off. Runway 07 can be seen. C-FNAD was holding short of that runway
After turning to a heading of 250 degrees, climbing out, over Deerfoot Trail (freeway)
Tower: “November Alpha Charlie, contact Terminal now on 119.40, see you later”
Me: “Nineteen Four, November Alpha Charlie, thanks”
(Switched Frequencies) “Calgary Terminal, good afternoon, November Alpha Charlie with you for 4500”
Terminal: ”November Alpha Charlie, radar identified, climb to 5500, city tour approved, you can now turn toward the South, stay South of the downtown core and West of McLeod Trail at all times.”
Turning South toward the downtown core
I read back the clearance and proceeded in that direction, climbing to 5500’. Just before we reached the main downtown area, terminal contacted us again and instructed me to descend to 5000 feet for traffic separation. We stayed at that altitude for the remainder of our city tour, which is around 1500 feet AGL.
Bow River and the Western part of the city
Calgary downtown seen from 5200 feet
A few more photos from around Calgary
Once my tour of the SW
quadrant of the city was concluded, I contacted Terminal and requested clearance to Bragg Creek (which is a small town near Kananakis Country), just before you enter the Rocky Mountains.
Terminal: “November Alpha Charlie, turn to a heading of 250 degrees, climb to 6000, contact Springbank Tower on 118.20. Good day.”
I switched frequencies as assigned. Springbank Airport (CYBW) is a little airport West of Calgary, just North of the Trans Canada Highway. I was a few miles south of the highway, so there wasn’t going to be much traffic.
Springbank Tower: “November Alpha Charlie, Springbank Tower, hello, cleared direct Bragg Creek, climb to 6500. Does that work for you or would you like to go higher?”
That altitude was okay for me, so I politely informed him that 6500 will do just fine.
Checking my fuel selector, while climbing to 6500 feet
Flying toward Bragg Creek
We reached Bragg Creek in no time and flew a few “race-track” patterns around the area for some nice photo shots. Once we were ready to return to CYYC, I called Springbank Tower again with my intentions.
Bragg Creek Area
Main plaza in Bragg Creek
More Bragg Creek Area. Beautiful scenery
Springbank Tower: “November Alpha Charlie proceed direct to Calaway Park; at your discretion descend to 5000 and follow the Banff Coach procedure. Are you familiar with it?”
Me: “Affirmative, November Alpha Charlie”
Flying toward Calgary
Calaway Park is very close to Springbank Airport (South of the highway). I flew over the little amusement park, turned East-bound following the highway, until I reached the 2nd bridge which is that of “Banff Coach Road” and it crosses the Trans Canada Highway. At that point I heard on the radio:
Reaching Calaway Park and Trans Canada Highway
Springbank Airport to our North
Springbank Tower: “November Alpha Charlie, contact Calgary Terminal now on 119.40. Have a nice day”
I repeated the clearance and thanked him. I find everyone in Calgary to be very polite. They are more than happy to accommodate you. Air Traffic Controllers should get tips for being courteous. ?
Me: “Calgary Terminal, hello again, November Alpha Charlie with you over Banff Coach at 5000”
Terminal: “November Alpha Charlie, hello, Calgary Terminal, squawk ident.”
(I pressed the button on my transponder) … “November Alpha Charlie, radar identified, Calgary altimeter is (30.??) cleared right base runway 10, are you able to land runway 10 and hold short of runway 16 with (????) feet available?”
Me: “Affirmative, November Alpha Charlie”
Terminal: “November Alpha Charlie, you’re number two, following an RJ (?? Miles) at your one o’clock position ”
Me: “Number two & November Alpha Charlie has traffic”
(looking at the AC
Flying to join final for Runway 10. Country Hills below us
Terminal: “November Alpha Charlie, follow him, contact tower now on 118.4”
Me: “Eighteen Four, November Alpha Charlie”
(switched frequencies) “Calgary Tower, hello, November Alpha Charlie is with you for runway 10 with traffic”
Tower: “November Alpha Charlie, good afternoon, #2 following the RJ on short final, hold short will not be required, keep your speed up, descend at your discretion”.
I recognized the voice of the controller as he’s the only one with a strong (yet nice) Eastern European accent. I would like to meet him one day and buy him beer. He’s extra helpful and accommodating.
Following the RJ
and trying to stay out of his wake turbulence I slowed down just enough to be able to lower flaps, and continued my approach. After the RJ
landed and cleared off the runway, tower gave me clearance to land. “November Alpha Charlie, after landing exit right on Alpha, caution turbulence from landing RJ, wind (???) at (?), cleared to land runway 10. No delay please. You have traffic landing behind you.”
Approach to Runway 10
I touched down and kept my speed up as I exited the active runway onto Alpha Taxiway. With the corner of my eye I saw an Air Canada Jazz Dash 8 on final for 10.
Tower: “November Alpha Charlie, thank you, contact ground now on 121.90”
Taxiing South on Alpha
I switched to Ground Control and I was cleared to taxi South on Alpha, crossing runway 07 and following a Piaggio Avanti that was taxing to the Shell ramp. I was told to hold short of RWY 34’s threshold for departing traffic off RWY 16. As we taxied by the Shell ramp, there were a few RAF (I think) Tornados, which were parked there. I wonder how it would be like flying those, 200 feet off the ground… at 500+ kts. Pretty cool I bet. Any Tornado Pilots here?
S.T.A.R.S. Helicopter (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society
After getting permission from the Ground Controller (a lady with a nice English accent) to taxi across RWY 16, I taxied back to our ramp, shut-down the engine & secured the aircraft. Total time recorded on the HOBS: 1.1 hours
It was an enjoyable flight, with good weather and nice scenery. I try not to make too many “city tour” flights. I rather fly x-country, but sometimes I just can’t say no to my friends.
I hope you enjoyed my little trip report and feel free to ask me any questions. I hope I remember everything correctly, even though I’m sure it’s not word for word. I can’t recall the winds, speeds, distances or temperature (around 10 degrees Celsius) so I put questions marks instead of the info. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
P.S. Fort those of you who haven’t read my previous reports, you can find them by clicking on the links provided below:
Pilot Report - "Bush Flying" 1 Of 2 (pics) (by Vio Jul 14 2006 in Trip Reports)
Pilot Report - "Bush Flying" 2 Of 2 (Lots Of Pics) (by Vio Sep 4 2006 in Trip Reports)
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.