Aviation

Showing 1-8 of 124 books
Sort by:
View Mode:
The Avro Arrow

The Avro Arrow

For the Record
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
More Info
Coffee, Tea, or ...?

Coffee, Tea, or ...?

Feminism and Flight Attendants — A History
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
My Canadian Adventure

My Canadian Adventure

Life as Pilot with the RCMP
edition:eBook
tagged : history
More Info
Excerpt

This day I found myself on top of Bowen Island, a particular troublesome comm sight, but not that high, with a good wooden helipad. I was shut down, two techs were inside the comm shell, and they were under the gun because this was the main comm link between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast. Sitting, reading in the helicopter, I happened to look up from my book to see a significant amount of cloud in the distance over Vancouver Island. Unconcerned, but glad I wasn’t flying over there today, I went back to my book. A few minutes later I wandered up to the Comm shell to see how they were making out. Significant cursing indicated not so well. They are small structures, so additional unwarranted visitors just take up valuable space. I backed out and looked at the horizon again on the way back to my book. The cloud deck was considerably closer, and certainly coming our way, just like a wall of moisture. But from my vantage point I could see that while it looked solid enough, there was good visibility underneath the layer. So I waited, read some more. But it wasn’t going away. I watched as it came closer and closer, swallowing up the Georgia Straight as it came. It was dark and ugly. I decided to give my guys notice and walked back to the shell. “Guys, we have a wall of weather coming in and we are going to have to depart, or risk spending the night here. Who knows how long it will hang around for if we don’t get out. This is your five-minute warning.” My message was not welcome, but they had all been techs long enough to understand the situation. This was one reason I never left the techs alone on a mountaintop. Back at the machine I cleaned up my space and prepared for a departure. I waited. The bottom of the wall looked to be about 1000 ft off the water. I was at about 2000’ so if we didn’t get going we were hooped. Where were they? I knew that if they hadn’t looked outside they would not be aware of what was coming at us. Back up to the commshell I went. “Come on guys; we really have to go!” I gathered up some of their tools to emphasise my statement. “We are going to need another half hour Colin”, came the response. “OK, please have a look outside.” He stuck his head out the door. “Oh shit, come on let's go,” he nudged his partner and started picking up the rest of the tools and equipment. We hustled back to the machine with several loads. By the time the tools and equipment were secure and we were all on board the wall of cloud had completely engulfed us. It was thick. I could see the few nearest trees, but that was it. The moisture in the cloud was soaking the machine, running down the windshield. I started it up just to warm up and sat there at idle thinking about my next course of action. Remember that the average life expectancy of a VFR pilot who loses his reference to the ground is about 90 seconds. He will become disorientated, confused, will have no idea where the horizon is, and will quickly lose control of the aircraft. Now I did have IFR experience, but no helicopter IFR and neither the machine nor I were certified for IFR flying. In any event, that was certainly not an option, to pop up into Vancouver’s IFR airspace 10 miles from the airport.

close this panel
Vertical Horizons

Vertical Horizons

The History of Okanagan Helicopters
edition:Hardcover
More Info
Miles to Millions

Miles to Millions

One aviator's amazing true story
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
More Info
Show editions
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...