By Kirk Tilley, EAA 1213044, EAA Canadian Council member
It was a chilly cloudless day in February that discovered me whisking off from YYZ on our nation’s service to YUL with my finest good friend and flying companion Scott Knowlton and our AME good friend Mike. Our quest – to seek out Charlie Brown! In reality, it was to do a pre-delivery inspection on C-GOCB (Good Ol’ Charlie Brown), a 1966 Cessna 150 Texas taildragger. Thankfully for us, the airplane was tucked away in a heat hangar at CSG3 (Joliette, Quebec). Charlie Brown was within the custody and care of a terrific pilot. She had bought it with a pilot with the intentions of constructing time towards her industrial ticket. Sadly, the pandemic took its toll, forcing her associate to promote. That left her “holding the bag” — the bag with all of the fastened prices of possession and he or she reluctantly was compelled to half with Charlie Brown.
With Mike and Scott in tow, we scoured the airplane to find out its situation. Mike summed it up in a single phrase — “pristine.” This was one of many cleanest airplanes I had ever purchased (and I’ve been lucky to be the caretaker of 5 airplanes over the previous 15 years since I began my aviation pastime). With nice delight I finalized the acquisition of Charlie Brown. It was now as much as Mom Nature to cooperate in Could to permit the snow to soften from our residence base grass area CFC8 (Flamborough Centre) and a climate window alongside our path to fly Charlie Brown residence!
Like a child ready for Christmas, I couldn’t look forward to the day to return. After a few reschedules the day was lastly right here! A 4:30 alarm is normally not a welcome sound on a Saturday morning, except it’s a flying day! Scott, who I used to be bringing alongside for the journey, and I once more made the similar journey from February, besides that with a transparent climate window and favorable winds at our again we’d be deliver Charlie Brown residence.
After inspecting the required logs, paperwork, and the airplane, we had been prepared for the enjoyable to start. The sky was cloudless, and the wind from the east in any respect altitudes. As I sat on the controls within the left seat it dawned on me that I wasn’t prepared to only blast off into the wild blue. I wasn’t going to let my bravado get in the way in which of our security! So Scott, who’s a flight teacher with 1000’s of tutorial hours, rapidly went from “passenger” to examine pilot/security pilot. As we settled at our deliberate altitude, I took over the controls. I rapidly remembered how difficult flying in turbulent air may be. I’ve turn out to be spoiled flying my early morning/night flights in my open cockpit P-70 (Powell Acey Deucy) the place the one turbulence is flying by your personal wake!
We had deliberate to fly over a good friend’s strip close to Gatineau, nonetheless we by no means did discover it — it helps to have the proper lat and lengthy! Considerably disillusioned, we turned southwest for our subsequent cease, CNP3 (Arnprior) for a meals break and gas.
We touched down in Arnprior and figuring out there was no restaurant obtainable (it’s unhappy what number of of our small airports have misplaced their eating places — however that’s for one more version for Bits and Items) we pulled out a really Canadian lunch of Tim Horton’s sandwiches. As I watched some weekend parachutists float to earth, a father and younger son confirmed as much as eat their packed lunch to observe airplanes. As we sat at our respective picnic tables, the dad requested me – “What sort of an airplane is that?” After telling him it was a Cessna 150, he was amazed. The taildragger configuration with the massive tires actually modifications the bottom profile of the airplane.
Not desirous to spend a lot time on the bottom, as we had been fully mission-focusd that day, we fueled, had one other look over the airplane together with the climate and took to the sky as soon as extra. This time it was my flip to take off, at all times an thrilling time in a brand new airplane. Charlie Brown rapidly confirmed me how he favored (and didn’t) to be flown. As a lot as I had practiced my stream mentally a number of instances en route and had acquainted myself with the airplane, that first takeoff was “fascinating.” Having Scott as my security pilot was a welcome addition on the takeoff roll! Including the brand new complexity of flaps on the climb-out, with no flap indicator contained in the cockpit however as an alternative having to look WAY over your left shoulder to verify they had been absolutely retracted, I as soon as once more proved my teacher right — the airplane will go the place you look and that was up and to the left as a well-recognized voice stated “airspeed” in my headset ( and no it was not my interior voice). I had not flown an airplane with flaps in additional than 10 years and it confirmed. After feeling like a humbled pupil pilot once more, I completed my climb-out and once more settled in to degree flight, subsequent cease CFC8 (Flamborough Centre).
We set the GPS, and the magenta line was going to take us proper by the Toronto TCA and management zone for CYTZ (Billy Bishop Airport). We requested flight following simply west of Peterborough. With Scott on the radios and me doing my finest to carry the given altitude modifications because the wind and turbulence had been conspiring in opposition to me, we flew the Metropolis Tour Route proper previous the CN Tower! It was superb. Listening to ATC directions I once more realized how rusty I used to be with “listening to ATC.” “The place are they taking us?” I requested Scott. (Have I discussed the significance of a security pilot?) They finally terminated our radar service, and we set the transponder to 1200, changing into snug once more with the extra acquainted space of Oakville and Burlington for this weekend pilot.
I tuned in Flamborough Centre and introduced we had been “Inbound to overhead the sphere and be part of the mid-right downwind for runway 15 (people who wish to go to us at CFC8 be suggested we’re proper hand circuits — and please go to!). My air image grew to become acquainted once more, my degree of confidence with the airplane was now a lot increased than after I departed Arnprior, and I carried out a pre-landing guidelines — and deployed the flaps! (They will take a while to get used to however that’s what circuits in a brand new airplane are for). I lined Charlie Brown up on last, with a wholesome however manageable quartering crosswind and the airplane didn’t disappoint. We landed “firmly” and taxied to the tiedown space. It was not till I noticed the sphere welcoming committee of our good associates Brian and Hope that I noticed what a beautiful day we had simply had.
These of us which can be GA pilots generally want mission-oriented days like this to not solely hone a few of our “perishing” expertise, but additionally to remind us of what a unbelievable “magic carpet” we’ve at our fingertips. Bringing residence a brand new airplane additionally excites that feeling of one thing new to be taught and grasp. I proceed to suppose how fortunate I’m to have been launched to this unbelievable sport that has turn out to be a ardour.
And now. the “remainder of the story.” The rationale for buying Charlie Brown within the first place was actually to have a terrific airplane for my daughter to be taught to fly on. After spending the following few days actually getting acquainted with GOCB I proudly regaled my accomplishments of getting snug within the airplane and what a “nice airplane it was and the way unbelievable.” Scott (at all times the one to deliver me again all the way down to earth) remarked, “That’s nice you might be having fun with your daughter’s coaching airplane” — as in don’t get too used to it because it must be obtainable for her, NOT you! Alas, I suppose I must be content material with the thrill of my daughter studying to fly Charlie Brown. (Nonetheless, it was a extremely enjoyable journey!)
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