Flying Career Day Two

Day two of my flying career started with a rude alarm at 3AM for a 4:15 check in. At least I got to see the sun rise on the ramp while we preflighted.

After a quick flight from CYYC to CYEG to pick up the passengers, I met up with Brennan and helped him load the plane for the trip north to Fort Chipewyan (CYPY). Turns out today we were flying a camera crew heading north for a shoot documenting the history of the town, the oldest community in Alberta (est. 1788)!

As these were my third and forth legs as pilot monitoring I felt like I was really starting to get the hang of the flows and SOPs. Landing in Chip, we got a lift from a local over to the hotel and checked in for a 6 hr rest period. With the early start, I decided to try to have a little nap and mostly dozed for about 2 hrs. I then flipped on the tv and watched the NASCAR race for a little R&R. After the race I decided to head out on the town in search of a snack for lunch and to explore the lakefront.

I found a little Northern Store, which is basically the Walmart of the north, with everything from produce to lawn mowers, TVs and housewares. Not finding much fresh, I settled on a small snack pack with cheese, crackers and some ham slices and a Tim Hortons’ bottled iced coffee.

With my lunch in hand I headed down to the warf and settled onto a huge drift log and ate my lunch. Seeing that the beach extended for quite a ways and a walking path up to a monument in the distance, I keep on my adventure. I ended up stumbling on the oldest Anglican Church in Alberta, and found a friend in a lovely black lab – who was probably more interested in my leftover cheese and ham slices than any lastingly friendships. Regardless he followed me on my journey and I rewarded him with a few treats along the way.

With amazing views and fresh air, it was a great way to spend the afternoon. This lake is huge – some 176 miles at its widest.

Once the camera crew was done, we loaded back into the plane and it was my leg to fly as pilot flying (PF) to get us back to CYEG. Flying a visual departure I performed the take off pretty well, although I seem to be still trying to fly this plane more like the old Seminole with too aggressive of a liftoff. In the climb I started out really fighting to get a handle on the electric trims and getting used to the GPS which forced me to develop a new instrument scan than I had ever had to use before. After about 15 mins in the climb I started to get it sorted out and flew the rest of the climb and cruise pretty well.

The arrival back into YEG set us up for a visual to RWY 12, which we backed up with the ILS and captain suggested I just fly it as an approach to get used to the real plane and flying the loc and glideslope while managing my powers. Determined to hit my speeds, the approach was good, but I flared bit too high and got the nose up and had a bit of trouble holding centerline until the touchdown, but I quickly got it back under control and touched down smoothly – my first landing with passengers!

Bidding farewell to the passengers, who were very thankful for a good day, we secured the plane on the ramp and Sarah met us for my ride home and captains ride to the main terminal for his commercial flight back to Calgary.

With day two in the books captain reassured me that my flying is getting better and that landings will come with more attempts.

The next plans are for me to drive a Cariboo crew car to Calgary tomorrow evening and I am on the schedule for a flight with a different training captain on Monday and maybe back with today’s captain on Tuesday.


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