Over a month since my last flight and I'm well overdue moving on!
The weather greeting me on this Friday morning was thick fog. So thick, in fact, that following my previous little excursion from the runway to the nearby buildings, I was unable to see my way back!!
I ended up following the road which took me (fortunately) close enough to the re-fuelling area to be be able to see it. I filled up the tanks because despite the fact that this was only a 550nm flight, I was somewhat concerned that this fog might be around at my destination airport of Rockcliffe, Ottawa. Being only equipped with a multi-com frequency and not even an NDB, it occurred to me that I might have some long winded searching to do at the arrival end to achieve anything like a safe approach for landing.
The temperature was an even 0 degrees Centigrade at ground level. I took off into a world of white. The fog obscured everything, horizon included, and I kept a wary eye on the radar altimeter as I climbed to my cruise altitude of 7,000 feet. In light of my spare fuel capacity, I'd decided that if the fog did clear up, I'd have a reasonable chance of some decent screenshots at that height. The temperature at 7,000 was -7C. Not too frosty after the previous couple of legs.
The density of the fog fluctuated over the next hour or so, leaving me thinking that the weather at my arrival at Rockcliffe was going to be a complete lottery.
The fog eventually diminished permanently thankfully, giving way to some tall clouds and a bouncy trip through the turbulence within them. I got the occasional glimpse of the scenery between clouds, but it remained consistently a selection of snow covered forest, lakes and rivers. The only interlude was an isolated area of agricultural land at about half distance. Made me smile to think that at last I was heading back to the bosom of civilisation.
As I prepared to descend for my approach to Rockcliffe, a glance at the GPS showed me that Gatineau airport lay directly in my flightpath. ATC was fairly quiet but I decided to opt for safety and diverted around it although I went a little closer than I should for the benefit of a quick screenshot.
13.03 local time saw me safely down and heading for parking. After shutting the Baron down, the only task remaining was to hunt down netshadoe who suggested this destination and get a guided tour of the National Aviation Museum which, sadly, Microsoft didn't model.
1) Heading for fuel in the fog.
2) Take off - and the world's a white envelope.
3) Still misty but a vast improvement.
4) Fog closing in again :(
5) Clouds take over
6) Some serious turbulence inside these fellas
7) A break in the clouds reveals the scenery of NE Canada
8) Fields! Civilisation at last!
9) Gatineau airport - right in my flight path
10) Diverting around it
11) Slightly off course on final for Rockcliffe
12) Landing safely
13) Parked up at Rockcliffe - inhabited buildings in the background!
Source code and graphics © J.Consterdine 2003