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Farmer

Canada, Cuba, Central America, and beyond

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Farmer   

Just a quick note to start this trip report.  Duane and I departed KRYN today with first stop in GGJT about four hours.  Next leg was KRIW about three hours.   We have no hard schedule but we're hoping to go through Canada into Alaska and up to the Arctic Ocean.   From there turn east towards the Hudson Bay.   Then with the possible stop at the Oshkosh EAA event.   We have put aside up to six weeks for this trip .

This trip should have been in a C-4 aircraft but we know all  about those issues.   Unbelievably we chose the next best thing in our mind an old Cessna 172.  It burns auto fuel  and with a stol kit  performs reasonably well in and out of gravel strips.   Two of us in a single aircraft seemed better for this trip since removing the back seat  and loading with survival  find us right at Max gross weight.   We have upgraded the panel to a very modern IFR capable platform.  Cuba requires entry on a IFR flight plan.   Part of the plan is if the Cessna gives us trouble, sayin  Central or South America  we can just walk away from the aircraft and our wives will still let us in the house.   Will try to get some pictures and maybe even the spot track page.

 My apologies I know this is really not CT topic but several friends have asked  see just how much trouble we can get into.   No tough goals here just to seniors trying to have fun .

 

Farmer

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Thanks Tim, the spot link for the trip is up and running.  

For those of you  that might want to follow another trip to Alaska and Canada, my Spot link should show our progress - if I remember to turn it on!

I will try to post some pictures along the way.  Do not expect to see fabulous Mountain pictures like Ed's.  I don't know how he does it.

 

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8 hours ago, Duane Jefts said:

Thanks Tim, the spot link for the trip is up and running.  

For those of you  that might want to follow another trip to Alaska and Canada, my Spot link should show our progress - if I remember to turn it on!

I will try to post some pictures along the way.  Do not expect to see fabulous Mountain pictures like Ed's.  I don't know how he does it.

 

first step is to transition from the Skyhawk to a CT to get rid of the wing strut. :)

 

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The wing strut does limit your abilities for sure but I'm thinking we will keep the strut attached for now.

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Buckaroo   

I just had a great visit from Duane and Larry who are on their way to Alaska. I showed them my CTSW and my new hanger. It was really fun meeting CT people and talking CT's. They both have a ton of experience with the plane and I was asking questions like someone who's been stranded on a island for years. 

I wish these fine folks a wonderful trip and hope to see them in Page.?

 

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WmInce   

Great pics, guys. Thanks for sharing and have fun on your trip!

See you at Page, eh?

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CT4ME   

I'm on board, but (luckily) you won't have to figure me into weight and balance!... What a great flying adventure.  I see Canada has quite the network of "NavCams", like Alaska.  I'll be checking them out as you fly North.  

Canada NavCams
Alaska AvCams

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azleejay   

Another trip of a lifetime for these boys, who know how to do it right! Looking forward to trip reports and pics.

 

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Buckaroo   

Yup these guys are cool! Here their going on this big ass trip to wherever and they sit with me in my hanger and talk CT's with Montana thunderstorms creeping over the mountains! It's obvious these guys are in no hurry to go anywhere except to just have a bunch of fun! 

 I applaud these guys!!

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CT4ME   

Looks like blue skies and light winds.... and they're covering lots of ground today, making use of those long days.

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Great flight so far.  Gentle winds and a few high clouds. Roughest part was taking off from Grand Junction, CO at 105 deg and 8100 Density Alt.  We were a sloooowww climber.  Wyoming was nice with  stop in Townsend as Buckaroo mentioned.  Great visit. Cody Wyoming with Yellowstone Mtns in background was beautiful.  Border crossing was uneventful and easy once you get past the eaphis filing.  Canola fields contrasted with hay fields was beautiful.  We stopped in Edson, CA for fuel and the pictured Helo mechanic/Pilot took us to lunch in his wife's car.  Hmmm, maybe that job pay's OK in Canada.  Friendly folks wherever we have gone. The ramp not so good at our overnight tonight at Ft St Johns.

Canada up here is Canola, Farming, Oil/Gas and Timber.  Lots of all three.  Lots of water/streams. Weather still a bit warm.

Our track can be viewed on My spot link at the bottom of this post.  If you go to the left bottom of the map, you can see several pages of past days.

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About the CTLSi vs the 172 for Alaskan travel.  1969 172K burns twice as much fuel and goes 10 kts slower.

The CT has a great panel with the Dynon's and 796 (non certified).  The 172 has updated Garmin G-5 and Garmin GTN 650 and FS-450 for fuel monitoring which requires expensive updates.  Dynon updates free. 796 updates reasonable.

Dynon has a certified EFIS-D10A and is trying to get their product like the Dynon 1000 certified.  If that would happen, the certified instrument world would become much more affordable for General Aviation.

So do you need certified on your Alaska flight?  Not if you are sight seeing like we are.  Yesterday we followed the highway below the clouds from Ft St John to Whitehorse and the scenery was incredible.  We were in light rain showers most of the time and some of the passes required lower altitude but if you follow the road it is very doable. Therefore I think the CT is the better aircraft for your Alaskan trip.

 

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CT4ME   

Wow, these guys are doing it... looks like they've forgone AK (weather?) are are DEEP into Canada's Northwest Territories.  DEEP, like North of the Arctic Circle... Flying around the Arctic Ocean!!!  It looks like they're heading towards Tuktoyaktuk.  Wow, can't wait to see the pics.

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Buckaroo   
30 minutes ago, CT4ME said:

Wow, these guys are doing it... looks like they've forgone AK (weather?) are are DEEP into Canada's Northwest Territories.  DEEP, like North of the Arctic Circle... Flying around the Arctic Ocean!!!  It looks like they're heading towards Tuktoyaktuk.  Wow, can't wait to see the pics.

My plan is to follow them and wait until they experience a dead battery or flat tire and when they ditch the plane I'll zoom in and claim it. 

Why? Larry told me that the old 172 was a throw away plane and if things got dicey they'd just leave her and grab a cab back! (My words) ????????

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Long Day today.  Flew from Dawson to Old Crow then on to Tuktoyaktuk and finally to Inuvik.  Our plan was Fairbanks, tok Junction and Kavic then Deadhorse but the weather was hard IFR for the second day in a row so we decided to do Northern Canada instead. There is NOTHING but terrain and water all along the Artic Ocean and Beufort Sea.  Only a couple villages in hundreds of miles, but the scenery is incredible.  The pictures don't do it justice but I will post some anyhow.  Yellowknife tomorrow and then on to Hudson Bay. We are in the land of the Polar Bear but the only one we saw was in the terminal at Inuvic.  The runways are small and made of gravel but easy enough with the Cessna. When we were forced out of the Eldorado Hotel, we went to Klondike Kate's cabin.  I highly recommend it if you are in town. Refueling at Dawson with 737 in background.  Gravel runway. PIcture of Dawson along the Yukon with the Klondike River coming in just past town.  Klondike water is clear. Old crow runway and entire village (5). The third to the last picture is the approach end of runway 10 at Tuktoyaktuk.  Not much of a gravel runway.

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Olav   

So envious!  What an experience.  Enjoying it vicariously through your descriptions and photos.  Can you put together a slide show to present at Page in October?

 

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Inuvik to Norman wells to Yellowknife today.  Inuvik is failing with gas and oil leaving.  2 of ten hotels open for 2500 or so residents.  Norman Wells down to 800 people and at least one bear harassing the folks at the terminal.  The major air commerce at both airports seems to be the fire fighting airplanes.  Many fires all over Canada.  The terrain for 7 hours of flying today was all the same - yet different.  Beautiful patterns of water colored with Algae and pine trees was pretty much all we saw. The last picture is of "fire boss" planes.  We have seen many of these.  They land in the water, fill their floats with water, and then go fight the fires. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=you+tube+fire+boss&view=detail&mid=593FB0424D9235C4895A593FB0424D9235C4895A&FORM=VIRE

 

 

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Some of you might recognize Buffalo Joe's airplane of "Ice Pilots" fame.  The only C-46 flying freight today. He has many planes in various stages of repair both in Yellowknife and Hay River. At Joe's home he has a neat little yellow float plane tied to one of his barges in his back yard.

The Mayor of Hay River, Brad Mapes, whom we met in Tim Horton's in Yellowknife, invited us over to Hay River so we flew down the next day and we had quite a time.  He treated us to a tour of the town, Jet boat ride to Alexandria Falls,  farmers market, housing and food.  We had breakfast  with prominent members of the community and was interviewed by the local Newspaper.

Most places we go, we are the only General Aviation plane on the ramp and folks always come over to "see what we are doing" while we are trying to see "what's going on with them".  There is a lot going on in Canada. De Beers says Yellowknife has the best diamond mines anywhere.  There is insane money around town.

In Stony Rapids tonight, hoping to make Churchill tomorrow.  Weather not so good though.

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Farmer   

 Very  interesting day yesterday    We worked our way north along the Hudson Bay to a town called Churchhill Manitoba    This is where people hunt polar bears with the camera and will do that later today    Churchhill had been served by a railroad who's tracks were washed out  last winter and now they have no Road or Railroad and no aviation gas    Most of our flying legs here are anywhere from 2 to 400 nautical miles    Our alternate route  Avairt also had a fuel pump either failured 10 day ago and had no gas    We chose a southerly route and then turn north however Lynn Lake  Fuel stop was struck by lightning and had no fuel either   There was a Notam  to that effect being posted three minutes before we landed   

 On a picture of the airplane posted at Dawson city you will see a  round hole behind the copilot seat    That is a reserve tank TSO that we had installed in the baggage compartment to extend our range to about 6 1/2 or maybe 7 if we are carefull That means the old Cessna 172 is carrying 60 gallons of gasoline either 100 low lead or non-ethanol mogas  we chose this engine so that we could burn auto or boat fuel if worst came to worst    We are now at Churchhill a six hour flight from the closest Fuel when you consider the round-trip and the winds.  Yesterday's wind we were 18 gusting 28 30 degrees off the nose and we spent most of the day at 500 AGL in heavy rain  Duane has his camera ready we're going bear hunting  

 

Farmer

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WmInce   
1 hour ago, Farmer said:

 Very  interesting day yesterday    We worked our way north along the Hudson Bay to a town called Churchhill Manitoba    This is where people hunt polar bears with the camera and will do that later today    Churchhill had been served by a railroad who's tracks were washed out  last winter and now they have no Road or Railroad and no aviation gas    Most of our flying legs here are anywhere from 2 to 400 nautical miles    Our alternate route  Avairt also had a fuel pump either failured 10 day ago and had no gas    We chose a southerly route and then turn north however Lynn Lake  Fuel stop was struck by lightning and had no fuel either   There was a Notam  to that effect being posted three minutes before we landed   

 On a picture of the airplane posted at Dawson city you will see a  round hole behind the copilot seat    That is a reserve tank TSO that we had installed in the baggage compartment to extend our range to about 6 1/2 or maybe 7 if we are carefull That means the old Cessna 172 is carrying 60 gallons of gasoline either 100 low lead or non-ethanol mogas  we chose this engine so that we could burn auto or boat fuel if worst came to worst    We are now at Churchhill a six hour flight from the closest Fuel when you consider the round-trip and the winds.  Yesterday's wind we were 18 gusting 28 30 degrees off the nose and we spent most of the day at 500 AGL in heavy rain  Duane has his camera ready we're going bear hunting  

 

Farmer

Great report Farmer.

You guys take care and good hunting!

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