NV25 Blog: 06-26

Last updated 2022-07-06


Finally, I can advance! Ceilings are high enough to allow a decent cruising altitude and only a few showers forecast for [CFB] Winnipeg [International] (CYWG). Also a decent tailwind allows the trip to be made in a single leg, rather than having to make a precautionary fuel stop, at an average GS of 123 kts.

7,500′ works until shortly after passing the Langruth VOR, when the ceiling over the southern end of Lake Manitoba starts to require some turning and descending to remain in VMC. This isn’t too welcome since I’m relying on altitude to give me glide range clear of the lake if things go suddenly silent. Anyway, with no radar coverage YWG Tower want VFR traffic not above 3,500′ within 30 miles of the field and at 2,500′ within 5 miles, all the way to the base turn (TPA is 2xxxx).

When I’m about 10 mins out I hear “Ascot 4-0-5-7” being cleared for take-off. This (FR24 quickly tells me) is ZM417, an A400M, heading back to Brize via Gander. I’m tempted to say something but they’re busy taking-off and there’s no time for lengthy explanations. Would have been cool to have landed in front of them as they were holding short!

Arrival is a breeze and landing long I’m soon off at B and switched to Base Ops who direct me to the southern end of CFB Winnipeg’s ramp where I’m met by a marshaller and Capt. Chris MacLean who I’ve been liaising with for a couple of months to get the necessary PPR for calling-in where the original team were accommodated in 1997. My arrival is only a minute behind my ETA but shut-down is slightlky embarassing becasue it seems I’ve lost a p-lead and have to shut-off the fuel before I can shut-off thenengine. This is all above the heads of most of the techies who come out to see this vintage wonder, but a couple know enough to use the situation as a training occasion and a reason to tell their colleagues why they shoul keep the ‘blank’ away from the prop.

Chris is very enthusiastic and has the techies put 833 into a hangar with four CT-142s. They’re Dash Eights, for those unfamiliar wirh Canadian mil aircraft designations, so that makes it a ‘dash thirty-three’ combo for the night.

Chris is also very indulgent and great company. After he’s helped me purchase a few bits of hardware to patch the broken p-lead he takes me to my hotel, the Fort Garry, which I’ve booked because that’s where the team stayed twenty-five years before. We later meet for beers and fish & chips.

The Fort Garry has a sense of decadence about it and of modernity made to fit into a building which had little accommodation for today’s plumbing, wiring and communications, when it was built. But it’s very comfortable, a point which I will value in just another 24 hours.

Stats: 2.0 hrs logged, 1.8 hrs flown, 224 nm track.

Farewell Yorkton – you’ve served me well and it was an interesting visit
Navigating on 25 year-old 1:mil charts is hard going – the only topographical features are lakes, and there seems to be many more roads then back then. And its difficut to tell highways from dirt roads.
And there’s so many bloody lakes!!! Even the big’uns seem to have changed shape with the large volumes of precipitation that have fallen over the winter.
The Langruth VOR (on the track flown in 1997, that’s why I’m here) passes alongside as I turn towards CYWG and the crossing of lower Lake Manitoba …
… and the ceilings start to descend, obliging me to do likewise
Now downwind left hand for 31, still at 2,500′ (having been admonished for descending as I joined the leg),
CFB Winnipeg in the foreground.
Base personnel gather around WP833, most never having seen such a machine before.
Some of the techies pose with myself and Capt. MacLean (to my right).
Photo WO Allen (rightmost in preceding photo).
DHC-8 CT-146 (rear)
DHC-1 T.10 (nearest)
Had to create this! Lower photo Capt. MacLean,
upper, Ced (L) and Tony C … taken by another ATW97 team member