Thursday, September 6, 2018

Up in Smoke!

Well, I'm not referring to my recent flights nor the upcoming legalization of Marijuana in Canada, but more so to the ongoing summer wild fires and the smoke impact on recreational flying here in British Columbia. By all means, maybe having a "legal toke" after this summer might ease the mental pain momentarily, but it certainly won't cure the financial losses incurred once again by tourism, recreation, aviation, in short the fun things folks usually do in the summer and spend money on. Like flying Ultralights and getting their licenses.
On a positive note, here in the southern Cariboo we didn't get evicted this summer and while the smoke got really thick (sickening thick) and parked pretty much anything winged & rotored once again, it wasn't as bad as last year. So keep calm and close the shop doors. Certainly, if I have a choice, stick and rudder always sounds better than chisel and glue but such is the "New Norm" as they call it now.
Building a Fisher FP404 Wing 

Winter jobs become summer jobs and winter really has become almost the prime season for us to fly, teach, and play. I cannot stress enough all the good points about winter (ski-)flying here in the Cariboo. Lakes! Lots of lakes being one of them! With towns, resorts, restaurants and gas stations along these lakes, it's never too far to jog across the road with a Jerry-Can to get more gas for your next leg in the journey or have that much needed warm up coffee and burger. Ever been ice fishing, snow-shoeing, or visited a trappers cabin on a secluded lake only ski planes can get too? Ever gone out with a group, gaggle, flock, pack, murder, or whatever you'd like to call it, of ski planes? Fun, Fun, Fun!
Talking of Fun, I had a return to heli skiing for a few weeks with CMH last winter, but as expected it cut into the best weeks of ski flying. So for this 2019 season I will make the commitment to solely concentrate on introducing as many folks as possible to ski flying here in the Cariboo. If you are reading this, don't delay, pick up the phone, send an email, inquire now and tentatively book your spot! You wont regret it :-)

Our Cariboo Ski Fly In Week last winter in February, coupled with a TC approved Refresher Course was a great event and I do believe we can make it even bigger and better this year. While there are no plans on a TC Refresher for this season, we will extend the actual "Cariboo Ski Fly In" to 10 days over a two weekend period. This will hopefully allow for weather and also have more time for folks to join from further afield. If there is sufficient interest, turn out and participants I'd be more than happy to organize some guest speakers for evening talk sessions and presentations. Furthermore, we will once again work with CZML and have the Snow Runway at the South Cariboo Regional Airport. We do have the 108 Resort and Hangar Restaurant for accommodations and meals available ramp side. Group rates will require some upfront commitment, so how many can we get?
"Nellie" on Lang Lake

As for "Snow How" training, our BushCaddy R80 (Nellie), is finally up and running as of last winter. She has performed flawlessly all summer. With the Federal 1500 Skis it does make for an ideal and roomy trainer, especially with those thick winter coats. Did I mention it has a nice heater?

Some of you might wonder, why the change of heart? Let me start by saying that we have been working in recreational aviation, commercial aviation, aviation related aviation work for the better part of our lives. Aerial Escapades is now in it's 21st year. Before that, there was Sky West Adventures and Eagle River Aviation in the Shuswap. In between there was Ten-ee-ah Aviation Ltd. operating as a 702/703 charter service. So yes, some 30+ years in there comes the occasional doubt of " much longer"? Add to this the loss of several friends on the commercial side of things and doubt starts battling passion.
BUT, flying is a passion for me, us really, and this has manifested itself in most everything we do today. We have literally built our lives around this endeavour and over the years can look back on some amazing flying trips and adventures with wonderful people who share the same passion. Last but not least is our loyal following that keeps us up and running. With their friendship, encouragement and their repeat bookings, business from the shop, training, rental and whatever crazy adventures we decide on next. Thank you! It is really you who keeps nourishing this passion.

Done with the sermon and back to reality. We usually start gearing up for ski flying right after Remembrance Day and here are some 2019 dates to pencil in your calendar:

February 09, 2019 - March 30, 2019                           Prime Ski flying Season
                                                                                     Weekly bookings will have priority over hourly bookings

February 14th - 23rd, 2019                                          Cariboo Ski Fly In*
                                                                                     Rentals, training may be limited, please inquire

Please note that all bookings in our Suite are on a first come/first serve basis! 
Visit us on AirB&B for more information or to make a reservation.