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Most Would Call It “Epic”
By Ian Brown, Editor, Bits and Pieces, EAA # 657159
June 2016 -
When I built my RV-9A it was with a view to making voyages rather than doing aerobatics or local sightseeing, so I was really jealous of the people who were able to join the 2009 Century Flight to Nova Scotia. I always wanted to do an epic journey like that, especially in the plane that I built.
Well, this was almost the year! I had signed up for the Century Flight Club 2016 Yukon Challenge. It’s a 5,000-nm round trip to Whitehorse with a week of local flights and education thrown in. My good friend, and frequent contributor to this newsletter, J. Davis, was to be my copilot for the trip. Unfortunately, engine problems prevented the trip. A cylinder was showing high EGT and CHT readings, triggering alarm levels in the engine monitoring system. Such a long trip comes with added risk, especially over northern Canadian wilderness, so we reluctantly concluded that discretion was the better part of valour. Pilots are scheduled to converge on Whitehorse from all over Canada arriving on Saturday, June 18. You can check out what is happening on their Facebook page here.
It used to be possible to see VFR flights on FlightAware, but no more. Communicating with FlightAware I learned there have been some recent changes in the FAA, and apparently they don’t pass on private VFR flight information to FlightAware any more. It used to be really neat that friends would say “I saw your flight to Oshkosh” or whatever. It’s still unclear whether a purely Canadian itinerary will show.
Evening in Whitehorse
By the time you read this, the epic voyage will have begun. The routing for pilots arriving from the east is to Red Lake, Ontario, then to Slave Lake, Alberta, to Fort St. John, then to Whitehorse, Yukon. That's four or five big days of flying just to get there! They tell me the return is no shorter. The folks flying in from BC and Alberta have to spend less on avgas but will still have a beautiful journey.
The whole project was started by TV aviation personality John Lovelace, and he’s still very much actively engaged. Depending on where you live, it may just be possible to sign up at the last minute. You can find out more information at centuryflightclub.com, and if you’ve already signed up, fly safely and enjoy your time in Whitehorse.
Maybe we'll be able to join in next year!