Thursday, July 30, 2015

Planes, Helicopters, and other Aircraft

After our last tour to a northern Alberta fire tower, Hailey and I made it back to camp, and eventually back home for days off.  The grassland around my house was more like a hayfield, but after boosting the riding mower, the grass was slashed back to a more presentable and manageable level.  This also had the effect of exposing all the gopher mounds that were regularly popping up.  I’ve rarely seen these critters and they seem to be more active at night, but there was one that seemed to be a bit confused.  He therefore caught my attention, and that of my GoPro camera.  A bit later – Hailey also noticed …!

Check out the video here.

I had some possible plans for the days off, including a music festival, but the weather reports looked bad, so that idea was scrubbed.  At the last minute, the weather looked good enough for an airshow a bit over an hours drive away, so that was the spur of the moment decision.


There were a lot of different acts and performers including sky dive teams, aerobatic planes, a CF-18 painted in Battle of Britain colours.IMG_9404

IMG_9577And, of course the Snowbirds were there.  All Canadians know the Snowbirds, but for those south of the border, they are our version of the Blue Angels.IMG_9568IMG_9538IMG_9520IMG_9516IMG_9474IMG_9469

All too soon, it was back to ‘work’.  But after only a few days, yet another opportunity arose and Hailey and I were only too happy to volunteer for it.  I think we are getting the routine down to an art.  Go home and load up the Rubbermaid containers, cat food, and everything else for a mini road trip!  As usual of late the road trip would end with an airlift, so it takes some care to cut down the mountain of gear to a manageable load.  Once again, it was a rental vehicle, this time a GMC suv.  The timing was good because I got to leave the big GMC at the GM spa and garage, where they were to install the new updated communications gear that will give me an on-board hot spot, just like the brand new vehicles!

Came across this out in a pasture one day as I was out to troubleshoot a lightning detector that forms part of the provincial system.  This is not the lightning detector!IMG_9383

Prior to departure I had an opportunity to swing by our tanker base at the local airport – where there had also been an airshow that week that I had been unable to attend.  It seems that the Snowbirds were expected to perform at that show as well, but some of their craft got damaged in a hail storm and the their show did not go on Sad smile.   But I saw three of the aircraft close-up as they rolled out to depart to the next airshow down in Lethbridge.


I forgot to get any photos on the road trip portion, but as usual we stopped by an airport to arrange the last leg of the trip.  First time in this type of helicopter for both of us; and both of us got to sit in the front seat.




The runway ends in the lake, so a beach fly-by was mandatory.SlaveLakeBeachHaileyHelicopterKimapproachFlattop

After a fairly short flight this time, we got to see our latest cabin in the woods, and office in the sky!


Unlike many towers in the boreal forest where there is no view unless you are up in the tower, this one boasts amazing views from the ground of nearby lakes, and even back to town.IMG_9596IMG_9599IMG_2323

I had thought that the flying part of the day was over, but that evening I got my own personal airshow as the birddog and a tanker came by to dispose of an unused load.


That’s it – till we get back to civilization …

1 comment:

  1. Your just having way too much fun out there again this summer. That F-18 Hornet painted in Battle of Britain colors will be the same one that was in Goderich back in late June. Definitely the same Snow Birds & maybe the skydivers were the same Canadian military jumpers too. Your very fortunate to have something useful & constructive to do during the summer months. Sure makes time fly by plus it's great way to put a couple dollars in your pocket.