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Saturday, April 9, 2016

New Career, Same Pie

Good Morning CYNJ

As many of you know, I made a big change in my employment recently. I left behind a job of 11 years working at a grocery story, to work as a full-time flying instructor at SkyQuest Aviation Ltd. at Langley Airport. Now that I'm flying for work, I'm doing way more flying than I'm used to, but I'm absolutely loving it!

The only catch, is that with flying all day, 5 days a week, I am really getting my flying fix, when before I would constantly feel the need to escape work as quickly as possible and run to the airport and hop in the Jodel, to go for a quick spin. It's now much more rare for me to find the time to put hours on the lovely little Jodel, but love her less, I do not.Because I'm flying for work more, and adventuring in the Jodel are happening less, you may see fewer posts from me, but don't fret, the "Author" will do his best to entertain you when he's able. For those not in the loop, Leon nicknamed me the "Author" because of my overly elaborate blog posts, which in truth could all be summed up in a couple of sentences and with a few pictures. Needless to say, I enjoy writing, so I hope you don't mind my stories.

Me and Ritvik
SkyQuest nation, taking over CYCW
Today was a fun day at work. Has anyone ever uttered those words before? With a little bit of modification of my schedule at SkyQuest, I was able to arrange to book an extra long flight with one of my students to go to Chilliwack with enough time to drop in to the airport cafe to get some pie "to go."
With our walk around done, Ritvit (my student) and I blasted off in our trusty Cessna 152, C-GTYR. Eastward we climbed towards the smoke obscured mountains barely visible past Chilliwack. As we passed through the Glenn Valley practice area, we observed an old friend, Mike practicing stalls in his beautiful Stinson 108. It was very cool to see such a seasoned pilot practicing seemingly simple maneuvers solo. It goes to show, that as aviators, we must always practice, regardless of how many hours we have in our logbook.

Tulips in full swing
Across the Mission Bridge we went, and on towards Chilliwack Mountain we flew. The sandbars looked inviting, but definitely not while in a school airplane. Hopefully the people fishing below had some luck.

When we tuned up Chilliwack Traffic 122.7 we learned very quickly that the active runway was 07.

We crossed midfield, and as we did I spotted an old friend's hangar doors were open. We stuck in the circuit for a couple touch-and-goes before making a full stop. Once on the ground, I got a hold of the friend with the hangar and he invited us to visit his hangar. But first, we needed to pick up some pie. The restaurant was packed, and thankfully we didn't need to wait for a table, since we were just getting pie to go. But, as we walked in to the waiting area for the restaurant, I recognized two faces I hadn't seen in over a decade. Riesa Kyne and Aidan Kyne (and their two young boys), who I knew both from way back in the Air Cadet program. After a regrettably all too brief greeting, we rushed to get our pie, and then put it in the back in the plane.
The "Pie" menu

The C-140 cockpit
Dave's hangar
With pies secured, we quickly wandered over to Dave Zoppa's hangar, the friend of whom I spotted the hangar open of, from the air. It was great seeing him again, and it was nice to introduce Ritvik to him. It was also nice having Dave show some of the features of his Cessna 140 that differed from the Cessna 152 that we had flown there in. After a discussion we surmised that the two airplanes were very similar in performance and purpose, but the 152 was simply a newer version of the Cessna 2-seat airplane. We talked about the differences between the types, including the flap actuator and the venturi system for the vacuum powered instruments. Being on a tight schedule we bid Dave adieu and hopped back in the C-152 to get back to Langley for some circuits.
After we started up, the first voice we heard was that of my good friend James, coming in to land at Chilliwack in his Rans S-6 Coyote. As we taxiied past each other, I could also see that he brought along our good friend Greg "Stumpy."
James and Stumpy taxiing by us as we're leaving

As we flew back, I discussed with Ritvik how in the confined and busy airspace between Langley and Chilliwack, many people fly at exactly 1500' both east and westbound. With too many people doing this, the risk of a head on collision is quite high. I suggested to Ritvik, that flying at an altitude slightly higher or lower than 1500' would actually be a safer, so that if there we were faced with a head on with another airplane, at least there would be a couple hundred feet of vertical clearance between us. So, we flew back at 1700'.

The pie got first class seating
Upon returning to Langley we became part of a very busy circuit, but Ritvik, who is very, very close to going solo for the first time, handled it all very well. He was doing so well, I thought I'd experiment with some "old school" teaching techniques that I learned from my original taildragger instructor, Bob Gilmour. Bob provided me with my first 6 hours of taildragger training in his Fleet Canuck (C-FDQE, and I'll certainly never forget that experience. His technique, once I became proficient enough with normal wind conditions, was to create artificial turbulence on final approach, by kicking the rudder pedals, or whacking the control stick either forward or back, or to one side or the other. This exercise heightened my skills very quickly, and gave me valuable practice with getting the airplane back onto a proper glide slope after being knocked off course.

So, I thought to myself, "Why don't I try this with Ritvik?" Of course, I discussed the idea of doing so with him before hand, and to my surprise he was actually quite eager to give it a try. So, starting at higher, safer altitudes I gave him a few practice "whacks" on the controls, and as he proved himself more and more capable, I increased the frequency, and did so at lower and lower altitudes. But, once in the ultra sensitive phase of the approach I told him I would stop doing so, and ceased the onslaught. He seemed to really enjoy it, and I feel that by doing so, I have made him more ready to face gusty conditions of which he may encounter when I'm not in the plane with him. 
A little worse for wear (Bumbleberry Pie)

After going around, and around, and around we decided to land and finally get a chance to enjoy the pie we had carefully transported back to Langley. All I can say is YUM!

Until next time, Fly smart and fly safe!

Written by: David McIntosh