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 June 2009 - Nr. 6

Georgian Bay Airways takes offWow, this is fantastic and wonderful. I am in heaven. Well at least about 1500 feet closer to it than I was at the dock of the Georgian Bay Airways – Parry Sound - a little while ago, and when Nicole Saulnier handed me my camera after boarding the sleek little white Cessna 180.

Her husband Keith was at the controls of C-YZK, getting take-off clearance. We were ready to conquer the sky. It was a gorgeous sunny day with just a few fair-weather cumulus clouds lacily drifting above.

"Yankee, Zulu, Kilo – ready for take-off" - "Roger Zulu Kilo, you are clear to go", came the reply of what passed for "Air Traffic Control". Very professional, very impressive!

We are off. Well not really, first we had to make the takeoff run on the water – on floats, the two little boats the air plane set on, at the dock side. As we taxied out it got a little bumpy, similar to the way a car passes speed bumps on a road – only closer together. It got smoother as the floats got on their steps and suddenly this also stopped. We were airborne! All the noise now was only the click of the flaps going up, the steady roar of the engine and the cooing noises of the two honeymooners in the back of the aircraft. But they seemed to be more interested in each other than in the beauty below.

The magnificent vista of Georgian BayIn front and underneath of us was the magnificent vista of Georgian Bay. God’s own acreage! This is what He must have had in mind when he created this gorgeous piece of Canada. There are about 30,000 islands up here in many different sizes. Some are just small enough to hold one cottage; others are large enough for almost a small village. But all are beautiful. The grey of the rocks and the green if the vegetation contrasts wonderfully with the blues and greens of the sparkling water below.

This was the first time for me to be that close and personal to flight. Oh, I have flown on commercial airliners and have great memories of those flights. On one flight to Vancouver I sat in a right window seat just behind the wing, and there was a full moon off the port wing. As we crossed the Rockies and I looked down it was almost as if we were on a different world. It was fascinating to watch the areas the moon lit up and the cracks and areas in deep shadow. It looked absolutely ‘otherworldly’.

Another beautiful sight was the string of lights – like pearls – of the ski lift going up Grouse Mountain - when we were on final approach to Vancouver.

But today’s flight was different from any others. I was almost stunned into immobility by the beauty below, until Keith asked me why I didn’t take any pictures. He also pointed out many of the landmarks below. One of them was Paul Elliot’s "Henry’s World Famous Fish Restaurant", about 20 km west of Parry Sound, that can only be reached by boat or plane. I saw about a dozen boats and yachts – some really big ones – and three airplanes at his dock. Keith mentioned that they had about 800 flights last year just so people could dine on the fabulous Pickerel (Walleye) dinners. I found out later that many celebrities and famous people had also dined at this family-run restaurant, on Frying Pan Island. Some of them were fishermen since the area is famous for it’s variety of game fish and the GBA pilots who fly them there know spots that even the locals have not discovered yet. What can you catch, you ask? Trophy-size Pickerel or Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Pike and more. Catch and release is ok too!

When the cottages and sights seemed to become larger and larger I realized that we were on final approach and the end of this ‘uplifting’ flight.

Thanks, "Yankee, Zulu, Kilo" – I couldn’t help giving it a loving pat on the fuselage when I stepped out on the dock again in picturesque Parry Sound.

Thanks also to you, Mr. Bernoulli – he is the one who found out that if you put a curve on top of he wing the resulting lift could make an airplane fly – and Sir Isaac Newton and his law that states that every action creates an opposite reaction, without whom this flight would not have been possible.

For further information, please contact Georgian Bay Airways at 800-786-1704 or check out their comprehensive website:



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