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Hawaiian x-country!!

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here is one of my favorite recent x-country stories - <BR><BR>Some of you may remember this from canadianaviation.com when I posted it last year - but for the rest of you, it's something to get back into the flying mood after a long crappy winter and a horrible spring... thank god the weather is starting to feel like summer again...<BR><BR><BR>Anyway - this story is from a business trip I had in Maui last spring.<BR><BR>I did a bunch of research befopre my trip - I was going to be there for over 3 weeks, so I knew I'd find some free time to go flying if I could get my paper work in order, and find a place to rent from...<BR>Turns out all you need is a US issued PPL, which I got in advance from Rochester FSDO.<BR><BR>The nice fellows at Maui aviators (http://www.mauiaviators.com/) were good enough to spend some time on the phone with me before I left Canada to help me sort out what I would need.<BR>So once I got to Maui, it was more a less already arranged!<BR><BR>So finally when we were on the trip, we actually ended up having a few days off, so it wasn't stressfull to fit in a day to go flying!<BR>After a brief checkout, and briefing about the local area, I rented a plane for an afternoon and I took a couple of my co-workers in an old cessna 172 for a trip around the nearby Islands! <BR>(open the links as you read - the photos are in order to go along with the description - this board doesnt seem to allow for HTML to be clicable - so you'll have to cut and past the links into a new window I guess...?)<BR><BR>http://www.24fps.ca/maui/sectional1.jpg<BR><BR>We departed Kahului airport heading west along the north shore of Maui, and passed Kapalua (to fly over the hotel we stayed at) and then headed across a stretch of ocean toward Molokai. <BR>I have to mention that as a Canadian, it felt pretty weird to commit to going over that much open water in a single engine plane; but down there it is common practice, and the instructors asured me that with the warm water, and amount of boat traffic and what not, ditching wouldn't be the end of the world...<BR>I am still pretty sure the engine started to sound rough as we began to leave the implied safety of land... 3.gif<BR>The first land mark near the eastern tip of Molokai is "Elephant rock" ­ I was amazed at how clearly it resembled an elephant.<BR><BR>http://www.24fps.ca/maui/Elephant-rock1.jpg<BR><BR>We tracked along the north Molokai shore admiring the cliffs and huge water falls ­ some of the falls are near 3000' falling into the ocean.<BR><BR>http://www.24fps.ca/maui/molokai-cliffs1.jpg<BR><BR>We crossed the middle of the island and headed south to look at the pristine beaches and two large ship wrecks from WWII along the north shore of Lanai. <BR>Then we headed back over a large stretch of open water toward the south Maui Shore planning to head back to Kahului. At

around the mid point, we saw a group of what I assume were humped back whales breaching ­ that was really cool, I circled a few times to get a good look ­ they were really well lit in the direct sun ­ what a great way to see whales! <BR>The last really unique landmark we passed on the final leg is Molokini Island. It is half of a submerged volcanic crater that has become a great coral reef.<BR><BR>http://www.24fps.ca/maui/molokini-1.jpg<BR><BR>Landing at Kahului was challenging as they seem to always have strong x-winds due to the constant north easterly trade winds funneling through the valley.<BR><BR>http://www.24fps.ca/maui/sandra-steve1.jpg<BR><BR>This was a very memorable flight, and really reminded me why I got my licence in the first place...<BR><BR>when we were packing up to leave after tieing down the plane, one of the commercial pilots out on the ramp told one of my co-owokers that if we had charted a plane or chopper to take us on the same flight we had just done our selves, it would have cost over $1200 USD - and we did it for about $300! <img src='http://www.caaviation.com/idealbb/images/smilies/16.gif'>

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I have used the same company and done several flight around Maui and to the nearby Islands. After you fly across to Molokai a couple of times the distance doesn''t seem so far. The thing that bothered me was being able to see the water through the floor boards and the cushion I had to use to prop up the back of the pilot''s seat that was on a 45° angle. Otherwise, it is a great thing to do. Try flying into the Haleakala crater next. Just go early before the trades start blowing

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I wanted to do a flight what I was on my cruise last year. At one port, I think it was the Canary Islands, we docked right beside a small airport... But, my wife wasn''t into it, and I was a very new pilot...


I just wish that it was easier to find rental places on the web, and arrange things before you get there. I find it hard to locate information prior to going.


Anyone have any tips for locating and arranging rentals in foreign countries? Do they respect your Canadian license?

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The Hawaiin trip was the only time I have rented outside of Canada...

But I would think to get good info you just need to spend a couple hours serching the web to get the phone numbers to FBO's around the area you are going - then call to speak directly to an instructor about requirements.  I have heard Canadian trained pilots rank very high in terms of international standards - so I expect not many countries would have a problem with us.


As for the States - the BFR (Bi annual flight review) is still a debatable requirement for Canadian Private Pilots, but the medical validity is 24 months even if you have the 60 month limitation here...  So it turns out despite all my efforts to be legal when I rented in Hawai, I would have probably been left with no insurance coverage had I needed it.

Funny thing is, I went to Transport Canada before leaving and got them to print me a new copy of my medical with the updated 60 month limitation info on the back to show the FAA.

I told TC thats what I wanted the print out for - and they didn't point out that is was irrelevant for US flying...  naturally - I didn't take a close look at it and notice that myself.

Neither the FAA in Rochester or the FBO in Hawai noticed the foot note in the 60 month section of my medical certificate:

*24 months outside of Canada 


I guess my point is that you have to be pretty good at doing your own research despite what you hear from officials.

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OK Schteevie, I accept your challenge. Here is one of my stories. It has been posted on the MPAviation web site since July. I too enjoy a good flying adventure story. Let's hope this keeps up. I have a few others that have been e "published" .



Maybe we should have an entire discussion topic for CROSS COUNTRY ADVENTURES. The Piper Owners Organization does this; its great!


here goes!


While the flying season started very late this year, actually the latest I ever dragged the Decathlon out from winter hibernation, I’ve more than made up for it by a series of cross countries to interesting venues.


I spent some time and a lot of money renewing my multi IFR in truly atrocious spring weather so some hard core flying was accomplished while my Decathlon slept. We never seemed to have had more than one day with winds less than 25 knots and several in the 40 knot range. Just great conditions for those non-standard NDB holds and single engine cross wind non-precision approaches :) .


The first flight of the season with my red and white delight was to a gravel strip near CFB Trenton. Since CFB Trenton is still not allowing general aviation operations I had no choice but to use the very poorly maintained gravel strip in Belleville and that with a howling 35 knot wind, most of it cross wind to add to the joy. The return flight home was directly into the wind. I have stalled at higher speeds than the ground speed we were making!


After a few more weeks of very poor flying weather summer finally arrived leaving whatever excuse for a spring we had as a sudden distant memory. Glorious weather and time for another trip to the Trenton air show: again, no landings at Trenton. Such a pity especially when the theme was celebrating the centennial of flight! The positive side was an invite to land at Stirling airport just north of CFB Trenton. Now this is what sport aviation is all about. A friendly well maintained grass field with challenging treed approaches. Great folk and a free ride to and from the airshow. A good airshow mostly thanks to the Snowbirds and our American neighbours who burnt more kerosene at this one show than our airforce does in a month.


Since great weather still prevailed and the July 1 long weekend beckoned I decided that my long hoped for trip to Old Rhinebeck was the right destination. Now this is THE place for all aviation enthusiasts to visit. Old Rhinebeck is Cole Palen’s legacy of antique aircraft. Not aeroplanes on a stick: these are flying antiques, and mostly originals!

The flight is beautifully scenic over the Finger Lakes and the hills (some astonishingly high!) of Upper New York State. Unfortunately, landings at Old Rhinebeck are discouraged in order to preserve the antique look of the grass field. The field itself would be most imposing to many light aircraft pilots anyhow. It is in a hollow, surrounded by tall trees and does not seem to have a truly flat spot on it for more than 50 feet at a stretch. Maybe Cole collected his aircraft from hapless pilots attempting this approach.


I flight planned Brampton to Niagara Falls (KIAG) to clear customs. I pushed my luck by landing early in hopes that the usually surly Customs Officers would be there and forgive the early arrival, but no such luck. The Customs Officer was late, but at least he was friendly. The tardiness however caused a major delay in our arrival at a strip near Old Rhinebeck titled 46N. The “N” stands for Nothing. Nothing at all! The place was rough, deserted and like Old Rhinebeck a bit of challenge. There were a few aircraft tied down but there were no signs of life, so it was off into he wild blue once again to a paved field that I had spotted on the other side of the Hudson River. Five minutes later we were on the ground, really late for the 14:00 hour opening of the Old Rhinebeck airshow and now had to wait a half hour for a cab for another 20 minute ride back across the river!





We paid full pop to witness the last half hour of the 2 hour show but it was worth every penny! This is truly a fantastic and wondrous place to be. The smells of castor oil permeated the air as thick as fruit blossom in an orchard. Antique aeroplanes lined the show line for a couple hundred yards along the rolling runway edge. Everything was close enough to touch. We were treated to a flight of the Hanriot. This flying stick was equipped with wing warping and piloted by a truly brave sole sitting bolt upright on top of the fuselage fully exposed to the wind blast of a hearty 35 hp Anzani and all of 30 mph flying speed. Brave soul. Even on this perfectly windless day the Hanriot bumped along like a piece of tissue paper in a force 1 gale.







Next was a Keystone cop routine involving a pre WW2 vintage BMW motorcycle with side car, a 1930 Buick and a Great Lakes Tr1. Great kid’s routine. I even enjoyed it. Following that was a truly spectacular aerobatics display with a Cub. It was another entertainment act: the old “stolen cub” thing but you can not take away from the flying skills and pure entertainment value. The boys of Old Rhinebeck sure like to entertain as well as show off the amazingly well preserved antiques. A flight of four bi-planes took to the air for the next bit of aerial fun. Nearly in formation were the Great Lakes Tr1, a Waco 2 and two Tiger Moths. They all engaged in a balloon busting contest while never exceeding 500 feet of altitude and ¼ mile from the runway.


Even when the show was over the pilots and participants, still dressed in period costume, happily explained the unique features of any of the aircraft that you cared to discuss. In the background, Hudson River scenic rides in an American Standard were offered for a mere 40 bucks, but they were booked until sunset!


After exploring the various hangars, again all period pieces also, and drooling over the likes of an Albatross and a Ryan Lindbergh replica being built ( and nearly completed !) it was time to find somewhere to stay. First chore however was just finding a way back to the airport across the river. Old Rhinebeck is in the sticks. You can only arrive by car and hence, having no car I was about to call for a cab on the cell phone when I jokingly asked two guys who were standing by the split rail fence along the road if they happened to be waiting for a bus. No bus of course, they were waiting for their cab to take them to that deserted airstrip that I had first landed at, the one with the “N”. Being pilots and all the attendant well bred manners of such, Kevin offered us a lift in his C182 from Red Hook Skyport to Kingston, just across the river. I gladly accepted. Kevin and Peter turned out to be a couple of New York City cops who had just flown in to see the days show. Buck 82’s are great birds, and Sgt. Kevin’s was beautifully equipped with all the toys American aeroplane owners seem to have the financial wherewithal to afford, even a cop.


Back at Kingston airport the decision was made to start heading back home. We could have easily made it back to Brampton in three hours but Customs needed to be arranged and all that so plan “A” was to stop in Elmira New York. I like Elmira, although it is awkwardly situated well away from civilization. I have flown there many times before to participate in car racing at the Watkin’s Glen racetrack. Along the way however we decided that a little place called Endicott NY would be a suitable landing for the night as it was situated just outside of a small city and should offer a good selection of food and hotels. The FBO was very friendly, as are most in the U.S. He tossed us the keys for the airport courtesy van and recommended a few places. Two hours later we were back at the Econo lodge that we could have walked to from the airport! We had run smack into a kid’s soccer tournament. Every single room in town was booked and occupied! Six tons of pizza must have delivered around town that night!


Fed and bed the day was done.


The morning’s forecast was distressingly gloomy. Severe thunderstorms and high winds all over New York State and all of Southern Ontario. Where did that come from? The weekend was originally forecasted to be most pleasant. Back at the FBO I discussed the cursed weather with the nice man at the FSS. Bottom line, VFR not recommended. Those Met guys are just so pessimistic. With careful timing a good lookout, every available alternate plotted we mounted up and launched into the angry skies. Actually the conditions were good. Very bumpy indeed, very hazy for sure, but nothing that hasn’t been traversed before in my trusty little red and white bird. Closing in on Buffalo NY I checked the Wx with Flight Service. Those guys were trying to scare me, I’m certain of it. Extremely strong cells everywhere, some with hail!. St. Catharines was our customs port of a call, just minutes across the Niagara River, and the falls of Niagara are in my murky view. There was a fast moving squall line associated with a cold front sweeping about 400 miles of nasty weather from London to Peterborough. We met at the threshold of Runway 24 St. Catharines! With just enough time to call Canada Customs and a beg to stuff my rag and tube delicate flower into the open bay doors of the St. Catharines Flying Club hangar, a successful and most critically timed VFR flight concluded. I do need to mention that I got a thorough soaking while helping to move the club’s Cherokees into the hangar as payment for my shelter.


CYSN flying club, being my flying alma matter, made me feel at home, but we were not yet, quite. Brampton was our final and that was still around the end of Lake Ontario. More gloomy news, a second squall line was forming up and was due within 90 minutes or so. While DVX was tucked away I hunted around for a ride off the airport for a lunch break. This hard flying sure whets the appetite. YSN is your typical Canadian airport:. named after the town that it is nowhere near. A ride was a hard thing to come by until I spoke with the guys at Niagara Air Tours. A friend of mine started a scenic air tour using C207’s to take tourist over Niagara Falls. Doing the very same helped pay my commercial pilot’s licence, but Claude was cleverer than I and made a business out of it and quite successfully too. Claude was not there but Rob, one of his pilots, graciously lent me his Dodge truck, so off for a bite we went.

The sky darkened but never really developed into anything too serious to prohibit flight so I decided that I would wait for the next hourly SA and make a go / no go decision. There were a few brave souls in the circuit, wind was right down the runway at 25 knots gusting 35. To my amazement I saw a guy pull out a gorgeous yellow Waco YMF7 from the Air Combat Hangar. I had to go and admire it, naturally. The owner must have noticed my puppy dog eyes and the doggy drool coming from the corners of my mouth. He knew immediately that he had to offer this pathetic soul a ride in his magnificent flying machine lest he have a couple hundred pounds of unwanted drag hanging from his tail wheel as he attempted to taxi away. Dr. Peter actually let me fly the aeroplane of my dreams! Yes the sky was angry and yes the winds had become cross but yes I was just so darned delighted to handle this most magnificent machine that there was absolutely nothing that could prevent or distract me from this once in a life time opportunity. A Waco is beautiful thing, truly. Forty five hours on the airframe is all this shiny, leather lined, IFR equipped, big, beautiful aeroplane had! It was Peter’s second Waco after the first one, which he bought used, had a gear collapse on landing. He bought a brand new to console his grief.


I have entertained thoughts of buying one of these babies ever since I first laid eyes on one at Oshkosh so many years ago. The price (and quality) has escalated beyond my reach over the years, but I still dreamed. Now having flown the object of my desire I reluctantly must admit that I was a little disappointed. It truly is a gorgeous piece of kit but it is slow; 75 knots, it is thirsty; 17gph, and it is a little unresponsive; like mixing a bag of cement actually. In all fairness however I was wringing this beauty out in very strong winds and she was taking it all on those big beautiful stacked pair of wings. Somehow the thought of that brave pilot on the back of the Hanriot at Old Rhinebeck came to my mind.


The day ended happily in Brampton. Only got a little wet while passing by Toronto’s Pearson airport. Now where can I get my hands on a half million so I can buy my own Waco YMF and take her to Old Rhinebeck where she belongs?

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