Hope Air Flight a Success!

The flight started by having Doug pick me up at CYTZ. This was the first time I’ve ever been at the island airport. Few things of note:

– Build a friggen bridge already! Is the 30 second ferry ride even necessary? All of those of you who voted David Miller as mayor of Toronto should be shot.

– Porter is awesome. The FBO is so slick. One thing I do have to question though is why are the computer stations iMacs, but running windows?! odd.

The patients we needed to pick up were actually at CYKZ, so I told Doug to not bother with filing a flight plan and just head “local north to Buttonville”. Gave him local pilot tips (ie, stay east of the 404 going north) and helped him out in the circuit a bit. We got the “green carpet” treatment by Millionair. Funny being marshaled in at your own airport.

Doug asked, “So is it always this busy here?”. To which I replied “That? That’s about a 6/10 for busyness”. We were number 3 to land. I’ve seen it when they’ve had both tower frequencies going and having to deny people entering the zone. It’s not the 11th busiest airport for nothing ;)

We picked up our passengers (a lady that was wheelchair bound due to surgery on both her legs) and filed IFR up to Timmins. This was the first IFR flight I’ve been on. I was going along as if I was actually the pilot. Writing down clearances, helping Doug with the checklists, tuning his radios, etc.. Pretty much being the typical non-pilot flying “knob twisting” bitch. It was fun.

We were able to fly through some clouds, which is what I was hoping for. So awesome! In the end this flight was the final push I needed to convince me to get my IFR rating.

We had both a Garmin 296 (for my use) and a 396 (for Dougs use) on board. The XM Weather for the 396 is totally awesome. We mostly used it for upper winds while in flight to see if it would be better to climb up higher to get more favorable tail winds. I do think they need to put in a faster CPU, as sometimes, with a lot of layers (like satellite and radar) , the unit took some time to redraw the screen.

As we were approaching Timmins, we were notified that an Air Canada Jazz flight was behind us and going to be using the opposite runway. Doug was kind enough to extend his downwind and slow ‘er down a bit to let the Jazz flight in before us. Later, on the tarmac as they taxied by we got a wave from the pilots in the Dash 8. As Doug put it “It’s the least we can do for the kind folks at Jazz”

We didn’t stay in Timmins very long, just enough time to drop off the passengers, grab some fuel, and have a bio break.

Our approach back into Toronto was rainy with 6sm visibility.

Flying with Doug was a total pleasure and I would do it again in a heart beat! Now, lets see if I can find some loose change in my couch to help pay for this IFR rating.

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5 thoughts on “Hope Air Flight a Success!

  1. Garmin actually did beef up the CPU as well as the GPS update rate in the 496 (and 696). Makes for a much nicer experience… and higher price.

  2. Mac: Yeah you’re right. I did some research after the post and fell off my floor when I saw the price for the 696 as almost $4,000.
    Where does Garmin get off charging $4,000 when it’s essentially the same as the 396, just faster cpu. Brutal!

  3. Firstly, IFR = awesome. Secondly, were you HH16642, or something like that? There we a lot of hope air flight last weekend, but one had picked this rediculously long flight number that was terrible to try to say on the freq.

  4. Joe,
    We were HH216. I dont think the pilots get to choose, they are just told which one to use by Hope Air.

  5. The full flight number as listed on the data sheet was 12216B. That seemed like way too much of a mouthful so I talked to someone at HopeAir and they said to just take the last three numbers rather than the whole thing. So perhaps the other guy was brand new also and didn’t know to drop everything but the last three numbers.

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