August 5 – Ottawa / Rockcliffe to Brantford

The morning weather had changed significantly with mostly clear skies with some fair weather cumulus clouds. After a good weather briefing we departed Rockcliffe VFR to Cumberland, just 12 miles down the Ottawa River, to take a look at the neighbourhood and house where we used to live.

Then it was IFR at 10,000 feet to Brantford. The cloud tops were at 6,000 feet later increasing to 8,000 feet so we were in the clear but there was a 25 knot headwind. After passing Toronto we were cleared to 3,000 feet and were bouncing around below the base of the clouds. Brantford had strong gusty surface winds making the approach and landing challenging and appreciating our earlier practice at Abbotsford on windy days.

 

August 4 – Ottawa / Rockcliffe to Brantford – Weather Delay

The afternoon weather in Ottawa seemed like a normal hazy summer day, with sunshine and lots of cumulus clouds. However, the situation in southern Ontario and at our destination in Brantford was quite different. A major system  was moving across the Great Lakes with heavy rain, strong winds, hail and lots of lightning. I called Flight Service for a weather briefing and considered going to Kingston. However, after hearing of a tornado watch in the area the decision was easy to stay on the ground. This gave us the opportunity to spend a little more time in Ottawa.

After checking in to the Lord Elgin we visited the National War Memorial, viewed the locks at the Rideau Canal and strolled through the elegant Chateau Laurier Hotel.

 

Later while having dinner the winds picked up quite a bit and it started to rain; the storm from southern Ontario was now reaching Ottawa.

August 4 – Ottawa-Parliament Hill

 

We made it to Parliament Hill. After visiting the ten provincial capitals and their legislature buildings for a photo with our Canada Flag we flew to Ottawa to visit the National Capital for a photo with the flag that has just traveled across the country in the last month. Mission Accomplished.

Our appointment was at 10:30 to meet with Mr. Stuart Barnable, Chief of Staff, Office of the Speaker of the Senate. It was then a VIP guided tour of the Parliament Building with one of his Special Assistants, Jeremie.

Starting at the Senate, the House of Commons, the Library, up the Peace Tower to see the clock, then finally the Memorial Chamber.

Directly behind the flag is the seat for the Speaker of the Senate. Behind the Speaker is the tallest chair for the reigning Monarch and then their spouse.

 

The House of Commons is much less elaborate than the Senate. 

Jeremie was a great help getting around the Parliament Building and past all the visitors waiting in line. We felt very special.

Jeremie pointed out features that we would have missed otherwise. The photo above depicts the last two Monarchs and above them on the upper gallery are their respective spouses.

The Library.

 

We are near the top of the Peace Tower and the mechanism for the clock.

In the Peace Tower, on the Mezzanine floor is located the Memorial Chamber. This Chamber is dedicated to the Canadians fallen in battle throughout Canada’s history. The book above lists airmen who gave their all. It includes the names of two airmen named Leroux. One I believe was my father’s first cousin, and I am unsure of the other.

 

August 3 – Canada Aviation and Space Museum

One of our planned stops was to visit the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa. Kevin Psutka kindly provided transportation and was our personal guide in the museum. Kevin was the previous president of t the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association and for several years provided leadership for that great organization.

Here’s a sampling of the aircraft on display:

Avro Arrow
I couldn’t resist having a photo since the aircraft carries my initials.

 

Avro Lancaster Bomber
I first saw this aircraft in 1968 when I was here with the Air Cadets.

 

de Havilland Beaver Serial Number 1
I flew this type on amphibious floats with Transport Canada.

 

MacDonald Douglas CF-101 Voodoo

When Kevin was in the Canadian Armed Forces he flew this very CF-101 on operations.

 

When we lived in Ottawa my son, Chris, was in Cubs and for one of their outings we bicycled to the museum, had various fun activities, watched an aviation movie then slept under the wing of this aircraft. It was a real fun experience for a bunch of little boys.

 

Douglas DC-3

 

August 3 – Fredericton to Ottawa / Rockcliffe – RCMP Stables

On the way to the Fredericton airport this morning we made a diversion to the Legislature Building for a photo with the Canada Flag. Again, the photo was kindly taken by our taxi driver. There had been a “technical glitch” with one of my SD memory cards so this was a retake.

 

 The weather was marginal VFR with some broken to overcast conditions along the way so we were again IFR at 8,000 feet. The conditions in the Ottawa area were 2,000 feet broken and since Rockcliffe does not have an instrument approach procedure we flew the Ottawa RNAV (GNSS) RWY 32 approach. When we brok out at around 2,000 feet I cancelled IFR and proceeded to Rockcliffe VFR.

 Waiting to greet us was a friend and colleague from my days in Ottawa at Transport Canada and more recently from COPA, Kevin Psutka. Kevin became our guide and host for the day. Thanks Kevin.

After lunch it was on to the RCMP Stables to see the horses for the Musical Ride, then to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

 

It is likely not well known but there is an interesting museum at the stables.

 

 The groomers and riders are regular RCMP officers and most have very little or no horse experience. 

 I couldn’t resist a photo when I saw the name of this horse. 

 All chores are done by the RCMP officers including cleaning the boots after being in horse *&%$. 

 They didn’t want me to take a photo of the horses faces just in case they are used on covert operations and need to remain incognito.

 

August 2 – Meet the Minister then to Charlottetown and Fredericton

The early morning was not too much better than yesterday. Yesterday the issue was frontal weather and thunder storms, and today the issue is air mass weather with a northeast wind off the Atlantic Ocean giving very low clouds and very limited visibility. Our departure was delayed by several hours.

On the way to the airport we visited the Newfoundland Confederation Building and met with Minister Christopher Mitchelmore. His portfolio is Minister of Tourism, Industry, and Innovation. The Minister greeted us at the main entrance then gave us an in-depth tour of the Legislature. Our photos of the Canada Flag in the Legislature were kindly taken by our taxi driver.

The weather had improved enough by noon for a safe departure so I filed IFR at 8,000 feet St. John’s to Charlottetown. We were on top by 6,000 feet in the clear blue sky. As we flew westward along the southern shore of Newfoundland the clouds below us began to break up and by Port aux Basques the sky was clear. For the over water portion to Cape Breton it was up to 10,000 feet to give us better “options”.

In Charlottetown we had a quick lunch, refuelled, then departed for our flight to Fredericton at 8,500 feet in very good smooth VFR conditions.

 

August 1 – A Very Interesting Multi-Purpose Day

We have been in St. John’s for a few days and have seen lots of interesting things and met a lot of interesting people so it’s time to move on, heading for Ottawa. Today started off with a careful check of the weather; not good. A weather system is moving across Newfoundland so we decided to spend another day in town. This gave us time to take care of some logistics, such as having business cards printed for NavPath and for our Canada 150 Flight, and working on the Blog.

 

A nice young man, David, stopped by for a chat and it turned out that he is the concierge at the hotel and when he heard our story he wrote down our information telling us that he would get back to us with some interesting arrangements. Interesting indeed, as he had arranged for a meeting with the Newfoundland Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore. Now that’s amazing. But wait, there’s more!

David’s father is a politician in Ottawa, the Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable George J. Furey. His office is expecting us to contact them on arrival in Ottawa.

We had dipped our Canada Flag in the water in Victoria Harbour on July 1st at the beginning of our journey, so now in St. John’s on August 1st at the end of the journey, it was time to dip the flag in the water in St. John’s Harbour. 

It was suggested that we should go to a small park on the harbour front to visit the Terry Fox Memorial where we could access the water. This marks the spot where Terry dipped his foot in the Atlantic Ocean and began his run across Canada, The Marathon of Hope, to raise cancer awareness and funds for cancer research. Sadly, Terry never made it to Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean.

We were not able to access the water, however, we had a very pleasant surprise. There was a group of people gathered at the memorial surounding a young man with a bicycle. This man, Matthew Pike, had just completed a ride across Canada, beginning in Vancouver on June 6th. Matthew was riding to raise funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation, in recognition of his cousin, Craig, who lost his battle with  Spina Bifida a few years ago. Today, August 1st would have been his birthday. It became somewhat emotional when Craig’s mother began to sing Happy Birthday.

 

So it was a truly interesting, and amazing, day indeed. Tomorrow we fly!