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Flying to Northern Canada


201er
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It’s cliche but true for you Mike, a mile of runway has opened you up to the world. We have awesome traveling  machines, all that’s needed is time, money,  patience, proper training and planning and we’re off to adventure any place we like.

Uncle Bob’s day is off next with his grandson on a whirlwind trip that will further there bond and create lasting memories. Our common thread is FLY MOONEY 

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For the final installment, I have to get gas from the next to last barrel remaining at Iqaluit, change of plans, and flying over Yves!

Iqaluit was notammed no fuel but I called in prior to flying from Goose Bay and learned that they had 2 left. I carried enough fuel to be able to divert back the mainland in the event of a missed approach or no fuel, but we would not be able to continue the planned trip route. So getting gas was a pretty big deal. Luckily they had a pump installed for the avgas and I did get the next to last barrel all loaded into my plane.

Now we were originally set to fly to Puvirnituq as a lunch stop and then on to Sanikiluaq on the Belcher Islands in the Hudson Bay for the night. However, due to very low marginal IFR and fog at Sanikiluaq, we decided to buy more time for things to clear up by making a diversion to Cape Dorset instead of Puvirnituq.

After an IFR departure in Iqaluit, beautiful warm VFR in Dorset Bay not a full 1.5 hours away. However, the beautiful weather did not change the fact the 3500ft Gravel landing strip at Cape Dorset is lodged between rocky hills, ocean, and far from level! FSS turned out to be closed for the weekend which would not have been such a big deal except that I wasn't able to get phone reception or wifi at Cape Dorset at all so I could not close my flight plan or check the weather and file our next leg! We walked all around town looking for internet and a place to eat but except for the coop supermarket, everything was closed. For some reason I was not able to call outbound but did receive an inbound call from Canada Flight Planning about my unclosed flight plan and managed to get it closed. However, to get a weather briefing, we had to beg to use a landline to get the outbound call.

Weather at just about every possible destination between Cape Dorset and Val D'or was not good. If it wasn't fogged in, it was really windy. Front moving through. So I decided to file for Val D'or and if there was any major change in the weather on the 5 hour route. Just some miles short of Puvirnituq, there was a large VFR opening and it looked like our only chance of landing anywhere except Val D'or that day so we dropped down and made a visual approach. There was a lot of traffic. A Dash 8 landing and PC12 inbound. Had to talk a bit on the radio to sequence out. Very windy but an easy gravel landing. However, when the 737 was taking off, it made a heck of a dust storm.

Walked to town and tried to see if we could get a hotel room. Again, no working phone or internet. Receptionist was gone and nobody to talk to. Just hung at the hotel hoping someone would show up. A few hours later, the receptionist stumbled in back from the bar and we managed to get a room. The only restaurant in town was the Coop on the other side so we had to walk there. A meatloaf dinner served cafeteria style and a view. However, most of the locals were not there for the meatloaf but for the booze. The restaurant also doubles as the premier bar in town. They had signs posted about how it is prohibited to bring alcohol in or out!

Next morning we were set to depart early to make up for time flying back because we were further north than originally planned. The airport was totally closed with no coded gate or way to get in or out. So we walked the perimeter of the fence and found an easier spot to get through and made our own way into the ultra secure zone. Some morning IFR and we were promptly enroute. Unfortunately headwinds and icing potential in the clouds not far above. Had to stay low and deal with the less favorable winds to avoid the icing. We flew past the Belcher Islands that were not fated to visit this time. When we rejoined land, the sky went full blew, the wind shifted to the back, the temps went up, and things started to move.

Approaching Val D'or, heard another Mooney landing. After arriving and not being able to find anyone at the FBO for fuel or internet, Mark who just landed helped us out. Not only that, but he even gave us a lift into town for lunch and back to the field. Out of Val D'or, it was a quick flight past Ottawa to get back to the US. Yves got on the radio and tried to flash me. He asked me to fly wing for him at Oshkosh and wanted to make me an honorary Canadian. Ogdensberg was right across the river from Canada, we you can practically be flying the pattern in another country. Cleared customs in Ogdensberg and flew back to Linden pretty quickly and concluded about 25 hours of flying in 4 days.

 

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17 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

It's impossible to watch your videos or read the accounts of your flights without logging on to Skyvector... planning/dreaming.

Good stuff Mike!

Don't dream, just jump in your Mooney and do it! Best airplane for going places!

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36 minutes ago, 201er said:

Don't dream, just jump in your Mooney and do it! Best airplane for going places!

You are correct. I haven't been able to match your trips yet, but I like to think I put my Mooney to good use. I can always do better and your trips are an inspiration.

I particularly like how comfortable you are with weather, fuel management, "interesting" runways, etc. 

Looking forward to catching up at Oshkosh.

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