Cross Canada Flight

Two Shoal Lake Flying Club members participated in the Cross Canada Flight durinf the summer of 2009 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Flight in Canada (see the Links page).  Here's what was written leading up to the flight:

Ken and Colette Pierce will be joining the Flight as their busy farm life allows, likely in Calgary on July 17 or 18.  Their Cessna 182 C-FWQK will be carrying decal #48 and is well equipped for the flight with a new collision avoidance system and a SPOT personal locator having been recently added.  Ken is a relatively new pilot having completed his flight training at Shoal Lake Aviation in 2008; he's now working on a night rating.  How far they go on the Flight will depend on how the haying season goes this summer, if the first cut of alfalfa is done they may make the entire trip to Baddeck and Sydney, Nova Scotia.  We'll be following Ken and Colette's SPOT trail and wishing we were all with them!

The Flight arrives in Brandon on Sunday, July 19, spends all day on Monday, July 20 in Brandon, and leaves on Tuesday, July 21.  Won't that be something to see, over 100 airplanes including Ken and Colette's!

The Pierce's 182, Bluebird is based on their farm just west of Beulah where Ken has 2 runways.  A hangar is being planned.  The Pierce farm is along the Minnewasta Creek which flows into the Assiniboine Valley just west of their place at the site of the historic Uno trestle.  This is a spectacular sight from the air especially with a train crossing it; it would make a great photo for the Manitoba Aviation Tour!!

Ken and Colette joined the Cross Canada Flight in Calgary where they attended the COPA Convention.  While there were many highlights, the mountain flying course which included a flight among the peaks wih an instructor, and the night pyrotechnics by Team Rocket (check the Links page for their web address) were what they talked about  the most.  Weather on the Flight was good until they got to Ontario and pretty much bad all the rest of the way!  What would any prairie aviator expect but good weather where you're comfortable and bad weather elsewhere!  With the combined experience of all the pilots the flight was made safely in spite of the weather conditions, they made it to Sydney, NS for the closing ceremonies, and also made it by bus to Baddeck where flight started in Canada 100 years ago.  Even the trip home was an adventure.  They kept in touch be email as much as they could, the Cross Canada Flight web site also was useful but it was really their SPOT that allowed us to track them and share some of their flight vicariously.  What an experience, once in a lifetime really!

The Pierce's shared their pictures with our Club members and visitors from Russell at a barbeque they hosted at their farm on Sunday, August 23, 2009.  It was a beautiful evening, we didn't realize it then, but one of the first nice days of a month of fine summer weather we finally got in the fall.  There were four airplanes on their strip, they fed us well, we had a great time - thanks Ken and Colette!  

Ken and Colette will be on another adventure in the summer of 2010 with John Lovelace and the Century Flight Club!  This will take them to the Yukon in the second half of July.   They will get to use those mountain flying skills learned in Calgary and build on their experiences from the Cross Canada Flight.  Good luck Pierce's!

We understand that member Bruce McEwing is also registered, hope you have a great adventure Bruce!

Our members have become more and more adventurous in their travels in the last few years.  In fact aircraft have become the preferred method of travel for a number of them.  Trip destinations have included:

  • Arizona
  • Mexico's Copper Canyon
  • the Carribean
  • the Arctic Ocean
  • the Okanogan
  • Minot, ND

This list is not to discount the many shorter trips that our members are constantly taking.

Ken and Colette started on their biggest adventure yet in late 2016 when they headed off to the Osoyoos area in their 182 with a stop with friends in Alberta planned.  Their 182 was to be left in the Okanogan while they travelled to Vancouver to catch a flight to Australia.  Unfortunately strong winds prevented them from getting through the mountains so their aircraft stayed in Alberta while they got to Vancouver and then Australia.  In Australia they used a rented 182 to travel in the western part of the country accompanied by a couple of friends.  They shared photos on the SPOT page but the real story will be told when they get home after returning to Vancouver and unwinding in Osoyoos before reuniting with their aircraft for the flight to Pierce International near Beulah, MB!

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