blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bananas at dawn!

Wheels up at sunrise
Having thought of the title, I had better write the blogpost to go with it.

We went to see our son George who was visiting Canada at this year's International Astronautical Congress in Toronto, helping his colleague Robert Hollow promote the PULSE@Parkes project to Canadian high school teachers and other interested parties (they have already introduced this Australian scheme to schools in Japan and the UK). Rob has been the co-ordinator of the project since its inception in 2007 and George is the chief scientist involved in it. During the week George also gave a talk about pulsars at the University of Toronto.

The idea was to save time by flying to Toronto in PTN rather than taking the car––it's more fun to fly in any case––but because of a dubious weather forecast for the day when we needed to travel (October 3rd) we realised we'd have to set off in good time. We woke up in the dark, grabbed a banana each for sustenance, and reached the airport just as it was getting light. We were the only people there, but we have a key for the gate, and the 'plane was ready, fuelled and oiled. Chris filed his flight plan on line and opened it in the air. We were wheels up at sunrise, heading out over the river.

Toronto, on a hazy morning
Which was all very well, but the commercial flights were taking off too, from YOW, meaning that we had to be diverted to the north (almost as far as Wakefield) while those large planes cleared the airspace. After 25 minutes of frustration we were finally allowed to cross the border from Quebec to Ontario again and head in the right direction, into wind unfortunately. The whole flight to Toronto therefore took us longer than anticipated, about 2.6 hours, finishing with a "visual approach" to the island airport over the lake, landing on runway 08. When we taxied up to the Porter FBO on Toronto Island airport though, all was forgiven, because there was George to meet us and help us with the luggage. He'd been following our progress on FlightAware.


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