Anne and I carpooled up to Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (CYLS) for a 9:30am departure.
Our route took us first to Lindsay (CNF4) then Oshawa (CYOO), Buttonville (CYKZ), to the Mans VOR (YMS), Collingwood (CNY3), and then finally back to Lake Simcoe.
I planned the flight to cut across Lake Simcoe. I did the math and we would have to be 4500′ above AGL to be within gliding distance of land. So the climb out of CYLS was up to 5500′ eastbound to Lindsay.
For this leg I was flying. The visibility at altitude wasn’t the greatest but still > 15 miles. The ride was smooth and a great start to the poker run. Spirits were high and we were enjoying ourselves.
Approaching Lindsay there were two people in the circuit already. Did a standard “mid-downwind” entry into the circuit and landed without incident. The winds were calm so the landing was easy peasy.
After a quick stop to collect our cards, Anne hopped in the left seat for the leg to Oshawa. I took care of the radios when we got closer to the busy airspace.
We grabbed the ATIS and I called up the tower 8 miles out. We were given a squawk code and were allowed to enter into the zone. This is when we realized that our transponder wasn’t working as it should. The interrogation light wasn’t flashing like it was supposed to and Oshawa tower said our squawk code was showing up as all zeros. Interesting.
The controller was working hard, and as we got closer to the airport, we could hear that he was telling people to hold outside the zone for a few mins and to call him back. Hah! We just beat the rush.
I mistakenly told Anne that the circuit altitude was 2000′, when in fact it is 1460′. This didn’t help the situation. The controller cleared us to land just before we turned base. Anne was doing an amazing job of handling the busy circuit and I was watching the controller try to fire off all the departures before we were on short final.
This is where things didn’t go too smoothly. We were on short final when we heard over the radio “overshoot! pull up, go around!”. Full power, back up into the circuit we went. Round we go again (at the wrong circuit altitude to boot). The last aircraft to depart was a little slower than the controller anticipated and would have been in our way as we landed.
Anne nailed a perfect landing and we taxied into the main apron to get a new set of cards.
Off to Buttonville. The quick 15 min flight or so was easy as I just followed highway 407 to the airport. The controller had a tough time seeing us on radar as our transponder was pooched.
Another kick ass landing and in we went to grab another set of cards.
On the way up to Collingwood now via the Mans VOR. We didn’t go direct as we had to skirt around the restricted airspace at CFB Borden. Plus, this gave me an opportunity to practice some VOR tracking. Anne asked if we could see the VOR from the air, I told her we should be able to.
As we got closer we started looking and boom! There it is just to the left of the airplane. It was easy to spot against the lush green background of a farmers field.
This was the leg that I decided to eat the turkey and swiss sandwich I had packed for lunch. Anne started munching on some pineapple. By this time it was starting to get a little bumpier, but still intermittent light chop. It was still early in the day and the daytime heating wasn’t in full effect yet.
A quick stop in Collingwood to pick up our last set of cards. The airport seemed empty at 12:45 so we decided to head back to Lake Simcoe.
We were wheels down at 13:30. I called up London FIC with my cell phone at 13:36 (6 minutes into our SAR time) to close our flight plan. All in all I logged 2.4 hours in 4 legs. Anne is a great pilot and co-pilot. We had a lot of fun, the weather was great and I would totally do it again next year.