The CIX VFR Club Baron over Ireland
Club Events - 2010 Christmas Caper
Canada - Vancouver Island
Home > Operations > Events > Event History 2009 > 2010 Christmas Caper
The CIX VFR Club
Club Events - 2010 Christmas Caper
Canada - Vancouver Island Briefing by: Peter Dodds.
  Briefing December 2010  
Overview and General Information

Vancouver Island was discovered by both the Spanish and the English and was originally called Quadra's and Vancouver's Island.  On the southern tip of vancouver island lies Victoria, the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the warmest place in Canada.  Just over the Strait of Georgia to the north east lies Vancouver, the best city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. Factors that go into city "livability" include access to arts and culture, availability of goods and services, and low crime rates. This Christmastime, you may get a chance to spend some time there during the Club's traditional Christmas excursion to foreign parts.

This year Richard Sinclair has created one of those fictional story based events which he puts together occasionally and which involves a bit of role-play.  So get yourself into a thespian mood, bush-pilot costume and ice-tanned make-up complete, and become a "jobbing" commercial and air taxi pilot flying people and small but important cargos across British Columbia in a light aircraft.  Get set to fly across British Columbia's multitude of lakes, inlets and gigacres of forests, some of the smaller islands that are dotted around the region.

Although none of the flights themselves are particularly difficult, the fact that you have to make them in the Canadian winter with its inherent poor weather adds a challenge that members may not normally encounter.  We will use VATSIM weather as is normal for these events but if the current weather makes VFR flying impossible then we can always hit the CAVOK button.

The Assignments

The event is split up into seven days with certain assignments to be flown on each day as described in the Bush Pilot Daily Flight Assignments section of this page below.  The flights must be made in day order, partly because that is a rule we have made and partly because the event becomes a bit meaningless with no continuity if you don't.

Scenario Downloads Before going any further, you need to download the Flights from the website. Instructions on how to do this (and why it is necessary) are contained on separate web pages for FSX and for FS9.
How to get the best from this Event

We recommend that you follow these simple guidelines: -

  1. Fly by hand - don't use Auto Pilot (where's the fun in getting a computer to fly a computer flight?)
  2. Do not use Auto Mixture. Practice leaning the mixture according alltitude to maintain optimum power output
  3. Do not use Unlimited fuel That really is cheating.  Manage fuel and payload to achieve your flight goal.
  1. Where a day's task calls for more than one landing you are expected to simulate the activity i.e. You must land and simulate dropping off or picking up either cargo or passengers at a suitable point and go through the correct arrival and departure procedures at the airfield.  A Touch and Go is not sufficient.  Don't even try it at Butlers Field - no, really don't!
  2. in the case of water aerodromes, you must land and taxi to a suitable point before departing again. If there is no obvious jetty in the scenery then taxi to the shore and then depart for the next destination. If you get low on fuel you will need to make the necessary diversion to an aerodrome with fuel facilties (most of them in FS) to refuel.
  3. You must fly the assignments in date order.
Start Time and Place

Start from the Victoria Flying Club, located beside the Control Tower on the South East side of Victoria International Airport (CYYJ), Sidney, British Columbia.

Aircraft The type of aircraft you use is entirely up to you.  There are land aerodromes and seaplane bases to be visited, so you will need to use either a small wheeled aircraft and a float plane or an Amphibian for the entire event. Some suggestions as to suitable aircraft are included in the installation instructions for FS9 or FSX .
Scenery Scenery downloads are different for FS9 and for FSX, as you would expect.  The scenery files required for each simulator version are detailed in the installation instructions for FS9 or FSX .
Canadian Flight Information
  1. The VFR squawk code is 1200
  2. Canadians do not "Vacate" runways, they call "Clear of runway"
  3. Just across the water from Victoria is the major airport of Vancouver International (CYVR).
  4. ATCOs are the same type of people as in the UK.  However, speak slowly!
  5. A comparison between the two countries "ATC speak" can be found here.
  6. Charts for British Columbia can be found here
  7. On-line "Sectionals", (UK: "Half million") charts, freely available for download from some countries, are, like the UK, not provided online by the Canadians.  However, there are rumours/hints that, later in 2010, Canadian sectional may start to appear on skyVector.  The lower part of British Columbia is covered by some US charts, and the USA does make its sectionals available on line.
Bush Pilot - Daily Flight Assignments
Bush Pilot You are a one man commercial flying operation with just one small aircraft to your name, so you have to resort to whatever means are at your disposal in order to earn a crust. Fortunately you do have a lot of friends and contacts, and with small fixed wing aircraft and float planes being in abundance and used with the same nonchalance as we in the UK use cars, you are able to "get by". Sometimes you are able to pick up a good earner which involves nothing more than flying from A to B and back again.  Most of the time, however, after you have landed you get an onward contract and this can lead to you being away from your home base for, sometimes, several days. But such is the nature of "Jobbing Flying"

You have your aircraft serviced at the Victoria Flying Club, because they are the cheapest, and this is where our journey begins. You have bought it here for a couple of minor faults to be rectified, but as usual even the smallest jobs can take time. You are fretting to get away because you have a small cargo run to Qualicum Beach (CAT4) and time is marching on and the light is fading fast so you need to get a move on otherwise you may contravene VFR rules.  It is becoming obvious that you will arrive at Qualicum Beach to late in the day to make another trip so you will have to stay overnight, but at least that will give you some time to find another job.


Beat The Light

Victoria Intl. (CYYJ) to Qualicum Beach (CAT4) some 50nm NE of Victoria.

Alternate - Nanaimo

Nanaimo VOR (1CD) 111.4Mhz.

Flight Time about 30Mins at 100 knots

When you load this flight ("Day 1") you will be positioned on ramp 32 at the Victoria Flying Club. The time will be 1530 local onDecember 20th 2010, and the light is fading.

Carry ouit your usual pre flight procedures, check the weather and surface wind, and select a suitable runway, unless otherwise directed by ATC.

The direct track to Qualicum Beach is mostly within Vancouver/Victoria Class C airspace so you will have to climb in steps following the Class C airspace. There is also a lot of high ground so you may have to go round some of the hills. 

You may prefer to follow the coastline but make sure you can land in daylight.

A direct route should take somewhere between 30 and 40 minutes depending on your aircraft, but if you decide to follow the coast……?


Tricky Landing

Leg 1: Qualicum Beach (CAT4) to Alberni Valley Regional (CBS8), 21 miles to the west

Flight time about 13Mins at 100 knots

Leg 2: Alberni Valley Regional (CBS8) to Butlers Field (Latitude 48° 33.41'N Longitude 123° 25.37'W) about 86 miles SE of Port Alberni and 5 miles S of CYYJ

Flight time to Butler Field from Alberni will be about 52Mins at 100 knots

Leg 3: Butler Field to Victoria Intl (CYYJ).

Flight time from Butler Field to Victoria Intl. about 4Mins. At 75 knots

You have stayed overnight at the Columbia Beach Guest House, your favourite Qualicum Beach place to stay at when you are here. You able to relax here but at the same time seek out your next job.

After another lengthy session on the 'phone you arrange to fly some locals over to Alberni Valley Regional Airport, pick up another passenger and then fly on down to Butler Field.

Now Butler Field is not exactly your favourite landing ground. It is an unlisted private strip. It is at an elevation 335ft with a sloping grass runway 1050ft long.  It is not only difficult to find but difficult to land at and take off from, still a job's a job.

Accommodation around Butler's Field isn't exactly the Four Seasons Hotel so you hi-tail it back to Victoria before sundown.

When you load the Day 2.flt file, you will be at Parking Spot 2 Ramp GA Medium at Qualicum Beach.

Our route will take us across Highway 19, the Inland Island Highway and the southern tip of Horne Lake. Horne Lake is within the Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park, and is Port Alberni the salmon capital of the world?

With visibility at 20 miles your view en route will be dominated by Mount Whymper the highest mountain in Canada south of the 49th parallel. You will not find Butler Field in fs9 nor FSX. It is situated alongside a quarry so look for that first.  As you approach the strip the quarry is to the left of the strip. On arrival overhead, determine the best approach and landing procedure. Mind you don't land IN the quarry. You cannot afford to have a prang here!

There is no alternate airfield for the trip to Alberni either press on or turn back. On the leg to Butler Field from Alberni you have Macmillan - Bloedel but this is only a short distance from Alberni.

Click to enlarge Butlers Field (Click to enlarge)


Float Plane Tour

Leg 1: Victoria Harbour (CYWH) to Friday Harbour Seaplane Base (W33)

Leg 2: Friday Harbour Seaplane Base (W33) to Bedwell Harbour (CAB3)

Leg 3: Bedwell Harbour (CAB3) to Port Washington Seaplane Base (CAP8)

Leg 4: Port Washington Seaplane Base (CAP8) back to Victoria Harbour (CYWH).

Suitable aircraft: Float plane or Amphibian

When you load this flight you will be at Victoria Harbour, Dock 2.

The time will be 1300 December 22nd

While you were at Butler Field you received a text message from a mate who is in a quandary. He has inadvertently doubled booked a flight and is asking if you are able to help him out. He needs you to use his float plane to take a couple of passengers on a visit to "check out" various float plane facilities.

You flew back to Victoria from Butler Field the previous day and have now "cadged" a lift down to Victoria Harbour.

Traffic Scheme

Friday Harbour is about 16 miles NW of Victoria Harbour (CYWH) and is in the U.S. state of Washington. It has become famous as the default location in Flight Simulator X.

More Information

Picture & Information

Bedwell Harbour is about 15 miles to the NE of Friday Harbour in Canada.


DIY and Count the Dollars

Your flights today depend on how much money you think you can earn between 10:00a.m. and 16:00 p.m.

You need a seaplane (U.S.: floatplane) with a minimum of four passenger places, such as the 7-place De Havilland Beaver.  Usefully this aircraft is available in FSX as part of the default fleet.

Create your own routes within the constraints of each advertised tour.

The start time will be 1000 December 23nd.

Yesterday was a very successful day and after a few well earned beers and a good nights sleep you are ready for whatever today brings you. The first thing to do is ring your agent to see if he has anything for you.

Normally he would contact you, but you are raring to go so you give him a call. Well, it seems like a cruise ship has docked overnight and is full of passengers with money to spend, especially at this festive time of year. A number of them would like to go on a sightseeing tour in a light aircraft and your agent has booked you, but you will have to rent a seaplane.

When you load this flight you will be at Dock 4 of the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal ( Note that there is not actually a cruise ship in the scenery but......)

Today' s task is to fly any or all of the scenic flights listed on this website.

You will see that each tour has a fee ranging from $99 to $299 per person. The flights showing 'charter rates' you can charge $1200 per flight (not per person).

Whichever aircraft you choose to take today, the aircraft owner charges you $300 per hour dry chock to chock (or buoy to buoy) time. Fuel costs $1.60 per litre and the aircraft is provided fully fuelled at the start of the day and must be refuelled to full at your cost at the end, (much like a rental car).

Make as many flights as you can in the 6 hours between 10:00 and 1600 Starting from and returning to Dock 4 of the Victoria Cruise Ship Terminal. Allow 20 minutes "turn round time" between each flight for embarkation, disembarkation and refuelling, ground checks etc.

By 1600 the light will preclude another flight. Note that there is a minimum passenger requirement, except for the Charter flights.

Add up your total income and costs and post the details in the event topic on the forum.


The Longest Day

1. The complete trip from Victoria harbour to Princeton then Gilles Bay then back to Victoria International is about 3.5 hours airborne.


2. Victoria Harbour to Victoria International (CYYJ), collect the Engineers and continue to Princeton. About 1 hour 20 mins airborne time.

3. Princeton to Gillies Bay then back to Victoria International about 2 hours 15mins airborne.


A VERY Happy Christmas to you all.

Did you have good earner yesterday?

Well today you have a the chance of another good payday. Your last trip before you head off home for Christmas. You have been hired by a mining company to take a couple of Mine Safety Engineers to Princeton so they can check out a few things at their Basin Coal Mine. The mine is not operational at the moment and is under care and maintenance only. The Company have to have it checked out before everyone goes off on their Christmas break. You will be there at least a couple of hours and then they want taking to Comox so that they can report to their boss who is at the Bear Coal Project. After dropping off the Engineers you return, empty (sob sob), to Victoria International (CYYJ) and park up the aircraft at the Victoria Flying Club for the Christmas brea





Victoria International (CYYJ) is about 13.5 miles North of Victoria Harbour.

Princeton (CYDC) is about 125 miles NE of Victoria International (CYYJ). It has an NDB (DC, 326.0Khz). The VOR YDC (113.9Mhz) is about 7.5 miles SE of the airfield.

The nearest NAV aid to Gillies Bay (CYGB) is the Powell River VOR (9S), , which is about 8 miles North of Gillies Bay, frequency 109.3Mhz.

For the trip back to Victoria International from Gillies Bay you can track the Victoria VOR YYJ, frequency 113.7 Mhz. There is also an NDB at Victoria, (YJ, 200.0 Mhz)

Interest Information: -
Compliance Energy Corporation
Cascade Mountains
Gillies Bay  ...more on Gilles Bay


Not a Good Day

Leg 1. Victoria International to Eliza Island. 34 nm. About 20 minutes airborne.

Leg 2. Eliza Island to Village Bay. 31nm.  About 20 minutes airborne.

Leg 3. Village Bay to Village Harbour. 25nm.  About 15 minutes airborne.

The date is January 5th 2011 and the time is 1100.

I hope you all had a very happy Christmas and I wish you many happy and profitable flying hours in the New Year. It is now the year 2011 and who knows what the year will bring. If nothing else you hope you can continue flying and earn your bread in the way that excites you most.

As you would expect your Agent has not been completely idle over the holidays and has arranged for you to take some supplies to the few residents of Eliza Island In Washington State) and then on to Village Bay on Mayne Island.

An easy-ish trip as although Eliza Island has a good grass strip and is easy to find, Village Bay is not.  You are annoyed that your lucky beaver-skin Davy Crockett hat has gone mising.

When you load this flight you will be on the ramp at the Victoria Flying Club.

Don't let an enjoyable Christmas lull you into a false sense of security.

More information on Eliza Island airport

A good tip to find Village Bay is to fly low (about 500ft) along the southern side of the island and look for the flashing red buoy in the Bay.  As you go over the buoy, Village Bay strip will be at 90 degrees roughly to your right. Have a good look to orientate yourself before attempting to land. The grass strip is on an up-slope and about 3000ft long although it doesn't seem so.

DAY 7 Journey's End.

Leg 1. Victoria Inner Harbour to Harbord Field. 21 nm to the SE. About 16 minutes airborne.

Leg 2. Harbord Field to Port Angeles. 13nm to the west.

Leg 3. Port Angeles to Sekiu. 37nm west.

Leg 4. Sekiu to Shawnigan Lake. 35nm NE.

Leg 5. Shawnigan Lake to Maple Bay about 10nm North.

Leg 6. Maple Bay to Ganges Harbour 5nm NE.

Leg 7. Ganges Harbour to Victoria harbour. 26 nm South.

The date is January 6th 2011 at 0830

Despite having had a very nice break at Christmas you owe it to your family to take them away for a few days (School Commitments permitting).  Like you your aircraft is not getting any younger and it could really do with a damn good service, especially as you expect a very busy Spring and Summer period. Quick cellphone call to the maintenance chief at the Victoria Flying Club and book it in.

So after yesterdays drama the first task today is a obviously a test flight to make sure everything is OK. It is not yet fully light but you must spend some time checking out your plane, you don't want a repetition of yesterday. You can either fly a couple of circuits, or an out and back flight of around10 miles or so each way, to check all is OK and if it is then return to the Inner Harbour Docks, Dock 2.

Then, if all is well with the aircraft, pick up 2 passengers and take them to Harbord Field in Washington State, USA.

Now, thankfully, you are done with passengers, their "whims" and "fancies" and can continue the days "bread and butter" business alone, carrying medical supplies to some of the outlying areas of the province. So after you have seen the passengers safely on their way, load up those precious medical supplies and head for Port Angeles (CGAS), Sekiu, across the Juan De Fuca Strait to Shawnigan Lake, up to Maple Bay and finally to Ganges Harbour.

With the last drop made and the sun sinking towards the horizon, depart Ganges and make your way back to Victoria Inner Harbour and tie up at Dock 2.

Total flight time excluding taxi times, allow 85 minutes.

The most suitable aircraft for today is an amphibian.

When you load this flight you will be at Victoria Inner Harbour Docks, Dock 2.

Airfield details:

Harbord Field (WN49)

Port Angeles airfield (SGAS) and here

Seiku Airfield (11S) and  here

Diamond Point airfield (2WA1)

Interest Information:

Port Angeles

Juan de Fuca Strait

Shawnigan Lake

Maple Bay

Ganges Harbour

Weather ...or not Before starting any leg of the trip, check the weather en route. If it is unsuitable, then you can will fix it, something you can do in the simulator. Wouldn't it be nice if we could do it in real life, particularly in Ireland, where the weather, although often gentle, and in the south west positively Mediterranean, can change very suddenly, particularly in the west. To improve the weather: -
  • Select "Clear all weather" in Flight Simulator
  • in FSInn, click the CAVOK button and you get calm clear weather.
  • In Squawkbox turn off on-line weather updates.

NDB and VOR Tracking

The Instrument Flight document in the Training section of the club web site contains a section on NDBs and how to use them. If you are unsure how to track NDBs, download and have a look at this.  The document also covers the use of VORs for direction and distance measurements.  Remember though that most Irish airfields have no radio navaids but you can use VOR radial-and-distance tracking as a means of finding them.

Radio Discipline

Take care not to let our Teamspeak chat cut across ATC. Stop any conversation immediately the R/T comes alive, then continue if "he wasn't talking to us". This is difficult because when transmitting on Teamspeak you can't hear the R/T. So be brief on Teamspeak, and be aware that ATC might be trying to get through. If anyone hears an R/T message which seems to be being ignored, just say "ATC is calling G-CIXN" if you have identified the callsign, or "ATC is calling us" which is a cue for everyone to be quiet on Teamspeak until ATC call again (which they will). Remember too that if asked to "Stand By" by ATC, you do not reply - not even "Roger", but simply wait until you are called again.
Remember also that there are several different ATC frequencies in use, and you may not be able to hear when communications are taking place. Make sure you have set and know how to use a Teamspeak mute switch.
  Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict Valid CSS! Version 1.3 - 23:55 ZULU 29/08/2010