Thursday, 15 August 2013

Battle plans part 1.

Traditionally the end of summer is marked by a public holiday called “Labour Day” in North America. Like many immigrants I have no concept of the history behind it, I just happily accept the paid day off of work.

To me Labour Day weekend marks a special anniversary, it was the weekend we moved into our new home in Toronto, a condo which has everything that I dreamed of when we were still back in the UK and still planning our move overseas. I think it says a lot that initially we only planned on being here a year until we figured out where we wanted to be and we stayed. It would have to be a very special place for me to want to move from here.
Labour Day also marks the weekend of the Toronto Airshow, a fact of which we were unaware until I looked up from cleaning our new kitchen and saw the Snowbirds about level with my window in tight formation, blasting past! That was one hell of a welcome.

From a flying perspective the airshow closes down the airspace around here for a large chunk of the weekend. Last year I managed to squeeze a flight in the morning and ended up following a group of 7 Harvards in to land. While the airshow is great for spectators, it sucks for the flight school. The planes are pretty much grounded for the long weekend.

Or are they?
The owner likes to encourage people to take the planes out of the closed airspace and do something with them. In a moment of insanity RTH and I have decided to do exactly that. Our longest trip EVER, by a long shot.

We are going to the States; Plymouth, Massachusetts to be exact. A trip that Google informs me, by road is about 940Km.

There are so many things to consider, we have to cross an international border and so have to plan where we can land that is a Port of Entry. We have to plan fuel stops, comfort stops. We have to look at refueling prices, tie down availability. We have to navigate totally unfamiliar airspace in a country that handily uses totally different airspace classifications. We’ve had to order new charts for the US, their version of the CFS and a guide to US Radio comms.
Slowly but surely we are breaking the planning down into stages and looking at figuring this whole shebang out. I don’t know whether to be excited beyond belief or scared beyond recognition.

This is what planning central (aka our dining room table) looks like at the moment.

 Note that the Cessna may not be to scale and yes the mugs of tea are an integral part of the planning process!


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