Flight to Kitchener/Waterloo

I have been keeping a close eye on the forecast all day Saturday. I can see the sun shining through the window, however the TAF was telling me something different. Today’s flight might be scrubbed, I thought.

I took care of some other things I needed to do that day. A new TAF was supposed to come out an hour before my flight.

I looked outside and saw cirrus clouds… I gotta be able to go, this storm isn’t coming today. The latest TAF agreed with me! I packed my things and headed down to the airport. Todays destination: Kitchener/Waterloo (CYKF).

I got all the paper work done, and filed my flight plan for a departure at 2:30. Did my pre-flight, got my taxi instructions and was parked in the holding bay when I realized my watch battery died. Annoying. From this point on I was using the clock on my handheld GPS, not a big deal, but taught me a lesson: Always make sure your timekeeping device works before hopping in the plane.

This is a beast of an airport. A 7000′ runway and two precision approaches (I think, I don’t have my CFS handy). This is the airport that all the IFR students use to practice their holds/approaches, etc..

My planned route was to go south to Toronto, then follow the shoreline west until Terminal told me I could start heading north. My planned altitude was 2500′. Not because of weather, or cruising altitudes (they don’t apply this low), but airspace. There really was no way I would get higher due to landing traffic at Pearson.

Toronto Terminal dude told me I could start heading north as soon as I passed the Ford Plant (a vfr reporting point) as long as I stayed at 2000′ or below. No problem I said and started heading towards Kitchener.

Terminal dude handed me off to Waterloo tower, where I checked in and was immediately cleared to the right downwind for 07 15 miles out (I wasn’t even in their control zone yet). Nice. As I chugged along I could hear other traffic practicing holds using the VOR on the field. There was two other people in the circuit as I was in the downwind.

Did a quick touch and go and was instructed to depart north east bound. Odd I thought, but then did a double check of the VFR terminal procedures chart in the CFS for Kitchener/Waterloo… Noise abatement! I comply and level off at 2000′. Clear of the control zone, Waterloo tower tells me to call Toronto Terminal up.

I comply, and make my first radio call…nothing. Second radio call, nothing.. WTF? I was just using this same radio to talk to Terminal on the way in! I wait a bit, and magically I hear radio chatter. I didn’t do anything.. hmm.

I call up a third time and Terminal dude asks me how I read him. “five by five” I reply and tell him what I’m doing and where I’m going.

A few minutes later, it is now Terminal chick, and she’s asking me to call up Burlington traffic and to give her a call on the other side. I double check my map and GPS, yup.. my flight path is going to take me right over the airport. I call traffic a few times, and when clear of the “zone” I call back on Toronto terminal and Terminal chick tells me to keep on the heading and intercept the shoreline. As soon as I do, she tells me to call up City Centre tower.

I took some photos, mainly in the Toronto area. I was able to snap a few of the Ontario Science Centre and the University of Toronto field.

Today I was flying VLD. This plane, by some people, is the crappiest in the fleet. I used to love this plane, but today I can see why that opinion stands. The air vents, even in the fully closed position, was spewing out -15°C arctic air right into the cabin. This beast would also roll left if you let go of the yoke. Looks like an aileron tab needs to be adjusted.

I didn’t really care.. I just put on my gloves and enjoyed the fact that I was getting up. The first time in almost a month in a 172 (my currency expires Monday).

An excellent flight, and nice to be able to chock up 1.8 in the logbook.

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