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  #1  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:27 PM
Darren S Darren S is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 443
Default A date with Maddy - part 1

Saturday dawned and I found myself in a unique situation. My better half was away for the weekend, Grandma had some of the kids, the Nanny was watching some of the other kids which left me with only one of the five to ?babysit?. Madeline, my second daughter is 11 and is the only one of the five that can handle flying in the RV ? aerobatics and all. She loves it and has been wanting for some time to go for a ride.

So the plan was to leave out of our local field near Calgary, scale the Rockies enroute to Kelowna, BC, have lunch, go look at our old camping sites and then return home to collect the boys before they drove Grandma up a gum tree.

Foreflight said the flight time was 1.5 hours but this doesn?t really consider the 11,000 foot mountains we have to clear, plus the usual West to East headwinds. So I figured about one hour and 45 minutes from take off to touchdown.

Preflight was done, tanks were topped off, passenger briefing completed then we blasted off into some beautifully smooth air.


Ready for departure


Mountains await


This is the first year I?ve done some mountain flying and I?ve crossed the Rockies about a half dozen times this summer. It?s still intimidating and makes my gut tighten a bit, but oh so exciting. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. You see the world from a perspective that few get to see.


Maddy and I


In Alberta we get to blast low and fast over the prairies if you go East and you get to go high and into a new world if you go West. Kind of unique and something I didn?t really appreciate until recently.

The highest mountains are just West of Calgary. I try not to stay up above 10,000 feet for too long but here we had to go up to at least 11,500 to clear the ?sharks teeth?. Dang them mountains are jagged.


?Sharks teeth?

Maddy said she was fine but after about 20 minutes up there she said her head was hurting a little bit. Me too, but good thing, at this point it was time to start our descent out of the hypoxia zone.

Once clear of the highest peaks the VNC says that the next set of hills are in the 8000 ? 9000 region. Not too bad.

The head winds were about 15 knots on the nose so the ride was silky smooth. Absolutely beautiful scenery and pictures just don?t do the view justice.

I kept telling Maddy that when she grows up and gets her pilots license the one thing she has to keep in mind is, ?If my engine fails, where am I going to land?. She began to spot roads, lakes and houses way down there. I told her that when flying across such harsh terrain like the mountains, there are times when there are NO places to land. That?s when you say a little extra prayer and ask the Lord to keep your engine running. Then she asked, ?Well what if the engine stops?. I said you tell God you are going to see Him in a few minutes. Kind of a grim thought but that?s the reality of what we do. I think she got the message.


No place to land


When sitting shoulder to shoulder with your 11 year old daughter for a few hours, it?s a special time to answer ALL the questions kicking around in her little head. There are no phones, no siblings, no TV?s or ipods to compete with and you just chat as you watch the lovely scenery go by. She expects me to have all the answers. Most I know, others I just make up We covered topics from school, friends, church, astronomy, anatomy, why this, why that?.. even the valsalva manouever

Before long we were descending into Kelowna. The speed we lost climbing isn?t necessarily gained back on the descent. The first limiting factor is the VNE. At 200 knots, it?s easy to knock on that door in a descent. The second and most painful limiting factor is your ears.

Coming from 9500 feet to a circuit height of 2500 isn?t bad but there isn?t a lot of distance to do this. I pulled the power back a bit and did my best to keep the descent rate tolerable. Maddy was deaf, as was I when we contacted Kelowna Tower. We were cleared for a left hand base. Touch down one hour and 40 minutes after take off. Not bad. Beats the 7 hour drive


Tying down in Kelowna

We weren?t sure where to go and this is half the fun. We eventually found the pilot?s gate to leave the ramp. Maddy had never been that close to jets landing and we watched a few Westjet 737?s land.
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:29 PM
Darren S Darren S is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 443
Default part two

The nice place to eat was in the terminal but was beyond the Departure gate. We weren?t commercial passengers and had no boarding passes so Tim Horton?s it was.

With guts full we took off and left the control space to go look for the resort we use to stay at. Things look so different from 1000 feet up. Kelowna is a beautiful city right on the Okanagan Lake. After a few tries we found Barona Bay Beach Resort and circled it for a few minutes. This was our yearly vacation spot.


Aerial view of Kelowna harbor


Barona Bay Beach Resort


Glamour Girl ready for departure


All too soon it was time for home. Yea I guess you could do the trip in a C172 but man it would take a long time. Where the RV?s shine is in the climb ! Getting out of a valley to climb back over some large hills?. No sweat. Black, blue, red knobs in full, get to Vy and away you go.

We were blessed with a nice 20 knot tailwind and the return trip took us an hour and 20 minutes.


Not bad numbers. Gotta love these planes

The ride home was pretty quiet??Maddy slept most of the way.



All in all a wonderful start to our Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:30 PM
RV8R999 RV8R999 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: na
Posts: 1,457
Default RV Grin X 2

Nice work...the smile says it all, you just created a future pilot. The very last photo confirms she will be Air Force
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2011, 08:44 PM
lorne green lorne green is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Oliver, B.C. Canada (Okanagan valley)
Posts: 786
Default

Darren: Nice write up!
Next time you're up this way, consider flying 20 minutes farther South. I'd be proud to buy you and yours, brunch-lunch-dinner.
Oliver is only sort distance from Kelowna. I learned to fly out of Kelowna. It wasn't the 11th busiest airport in Canada back then.
Use that PM button!
Regards.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is online now
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,110
Default

Great write up.

Good lookin kid, and plane.

Thanks for sharing
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Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2011, 11:05 PM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,297
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
Great write up.

Good lookin kid, and plane.

Thanks for sharing
+1 Great story and pics!
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Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2450+ Hrs
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2011, 04:24 AM
chevy's Avatar
chevy chevy is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia, QLD
Posts: 41
Thumbs up Wow

Hi Darren,

Wow that was a great story.

As you already know I love your plane and with stories like this I must say your my inspiration in banging those rivets.

I showed this thread to my 4 young boys and they can't wait to have our own stories just like this.

Great photos with a great story.

This should be put on the VAF front page as this is what it's all about.

Awesome
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2011, 08:11 AM
N418BV's Avatar
N418BV N418BV is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Wadsworth, OH
Posts: 2
Default Great Pics...

Great article, great shots, beautiful daughter & sweet airplane. You are one lucky dad..!
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2011, 08:34 AM
wacarlton wacarlton is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 65
Default Great writeup

Hi Darren,
What a great writeup - Maddy is so blessed to have a dad like you!
It's such a great feeling to share your joy of flying with your kids and friends. Well done!

Now back to the barn to bang some more rivets with my son! - We should have started this project 3 years ago!
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  #10  
Old 10-10-2011, 10:04 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is online now
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,110
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevy View Post

This should be put on the VAF front page as this is what it's all about.

Awesome
Justin, you win
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Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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