Night X-Country to Peterborough

I went on a x-country flight to Peterborough and back with my friend Mark last night. Overall the flight went well. I always love flying at night because its much quieter and it’s much easier to see other traffic.

The flight was pretty uneventful until we got to Peterborough. I always call up Unicom first, even though the CFS says its unavailable at the time. Who knows, someone could be there. There was nobody.

I dialed in the AWS frequency. This was the first time I had ever listened to an AWS before. I wish I had a recoding of the voice synthesizer, it was tooo funny. It wasn’t your typical text to speech voice. This one had attitude.

The winds were coming 250°, so runway 27 is in order.

Called up Peterborough traffic and another airplane was practicing the NDB approach for 09. We both said hello, confirmed we had each other in sight and continued on our ways. I called my downwind, base, and was just about to call final when the other aircraft came on saying he saw us turning for final and would continue he approach south of the field so that I can do my touch and go.

This is one of those situations where as a VFR pilot, I understood what the IFR pilot was practicing, but I couldn’t figure out the timing as to when he would be on final for 09. I was glad (and thanked him) that he allowed me to do my t&g even though he was there first.

Being the first night landing in almost 1.5 months, it was too flat. Didn’t flare enough.

The way back was via YTZ (The city) to give a little city tour to Mark. Did a couple of orbits around the CN Tower. Neither of us had our camera, which is a pity since with the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, City Hall, and Dundas Square all light up. He used his phone to take a few shots, which naturally are of substandard quality.

On the way back I made, what I consider, to be a “medium” sized mistake. The active runway was 33, however I was setting my self up for runway 15, thinking that it was 33. I had just entered a right downwind for 15 when I realized my mistake. Thats when the controller asked me confirming I had the airport in sight.

I have edited the liveatc.net archive clip to include only my communication (and edited out dead air). It wasn’t until I listened to the clip did I realize I made another mistake.

Did a 180 turn directly to a left base for 33. This time my landing was the opposite. I flared too soon and landed a little hard. Didn’t add a little throttle when I should have.

The controller wanted me to report 3 miles south at 2000′. However I reported 3 miles south at 1700′ (circuit height is 1650′). Does this constitute a violation of an altitude restriction? I know why he said 2000′, thats because of the class C airspace above Buttonville, which starts at 2000′. So the fact that I was lower, was probably better, than being higher.

In other news, the school got a brand new 172S (C-GJMD) with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit. The school is offering a transition training course for $40 on April 6 from 9am-4pm. Those attending the course will have their valid currency extended. As well, a limited time 5% discount on all rental and dual flights on GJMD for those who are transitioning to fly that specific aircraft.

I have been reading Aviation Mentor for a while now. He is an avid user of the G1000 and offers quite a few tips about the system. I’m hoping that will give me a little bit of a heads up during the “ground school”.

I’m also excited to get into the new aircraft and fly a glass cockpit for the first time. Of course, I’ll blog about it here.

One other thing I wanted to mention: I noticed that the controllers are starting to append the aircraft type to your call sign on initial contact. They never did that before.

4 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    Unless the controller specifically says “not below” with an altitude order (assuming a descent) then I don’t believe its considered an actual restriction.
    Oshawa is famous for altitude restrictions arriving south from the Scugog area in order to let the less experienced students transit north, and its always announced “not below x feet”.
    If they just want to hear from you at a set altitude or distance its not a technical restriction so far as I know, and the old rule of “Aviate, navigate, communicate” can push it back to last priority IMHO without reprocussion, so long as its justified. It sounded like you had your hands full, so I’d expect the controller would understand.

  2. Apoorv says:

    Hey,
    I flew to Peterborough today, and Muskoka yesterday..
    Unlike ATIS at controlled airports (Kitchener, City Centre, etc).. the AWOS recordings are hilarious! Especially if you try the one at Muskoka, the guy sounds like he is high (i know its just a recording, but..).. Worth a try!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’m a VFR controller and you are right if he wanted you at 2000′ he would have stated “not below 2000 feet”, or “maintain 2000 feet”. Sounds like he wanted you below 2000 by 3 miles south. And no, we are not to apend the type on initial contact.

  4. Blake says:

    Thanks for the clarification anonymous 🙂 It’s always nice hearing it from the “horses mouth”.