Saturday, June 22, 2024

Flying: To CYTZ In Actual IMC

Did my first international flight today.

Last night I did an outlook brief and then did the US CBP electronic paperwork for the flight.

This morning I got up, did the weather brief, filed my IFR flight plan and then called Canada Border Services to let them know I was coming.

At the airport I did a full preflight and got N914P ready to go. A good run-up and I got my clearance and departed form Runway 27L and off I went.

First I talked to Detroit Approach, who directed to climb to 5,000 feet, and then Great Lakes Approach, and finally Selfridge ANGB on the US side. 

Beautiful day for flying.

I was making good time with a nice tail wind for 162 knots over the ground.

I then crossed the border, unlike other times I've crossed at Port Huron/Sarnia, here there was no lineups, no delays and no issues.

I then got handed off to Toronto Center.

Toronto Center had me report a few waypoints and then got me on radar. I was flying the T781 T-route towards Toronto Island Airport and it made for easy routing and reporting.

Weather started getting more interesting, I started being in and out of IMC conditions at 5,000 feet flying through clouds and haze.

The clouds and haze continued and I got transferred over to Toronto Terminal and was cleared for the RNAV 8 Z   approach into Billy Bishop Airport.

The Airport with haze was going IFR and it made things interesitng. This would be my first actual IFR conditions approach done completely on my own.

The approach was neat, they had me descend to 3,000, and then I was soon down to 1,700, then 1,500, all in a haze where I could not see anything to the front of me but had ground (and lake) contact to the sides of the aircraft. I finally broke out of the haze just above minimums, and did not do the best approach I've ever done. Indeed, I got a bit behind the aircraft, but I got it handled.  No pictures as I was busy, with both finding the runway, and interestingly,  dodging sailboat masts on short final (yes, that is a real issue on this approach). Approaching Toronto Island runway 08 looked like I was landing on an aircraft carrier.

I landed without my usual grace and aplomb, but got it down in one piece, and I can reuse the aircraft, so that's something.


I then taxi'd to the FBO, Stolport, and then shut down, called Canada Border Services to report my arrival, and ended up taking to the same officer I had spoken with before I departed.  Super nice guy,  really friendly, and he got me handled and issued me an arrival number and had me on my way no problem.

That's 1.8, .8 actual, and 1 real IFR approach, an ok landing, and my first ever international flight.


B said...

Cool. Real IFR is different, innit?
Especially in an unfamiliar airport.

Aaron said...

B: Yep real IFR sure is different, as is feeling your way to find the unfamiliar airport in haze. The dodging sailboat masts on final was a rather neat and new experience.