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Fly-in Pancake Breakfast.

The Virtual Horizon's fly-in pancake breakfast took place on a weekend in August at the Seal River Heritage Lodge in Churchill. The location was as exotic as possible, what with beluga whale spotting, polar bears, caribou, northern bird watching, and an archeological treasure hunt among 30,000 year old Inuit tent circles.
The story is told as it "virtually" happened, rather than as it was happening. Join along right from the beginning as we fly up from Nigeria to meet with our friends in Churchill for an adventure filled weekend.

As It Happened: On Route to the
Fly-in Pancake Breakfast.

DHC-2 Mklll Turbo-Beaver
The all Canadian Turbo-Beaver as rebuilt by Viking Air in Sydney, B.C.

Klaus, the Turbo-Beaver pilot, and I have decided that we really need to show up for the pancake breakfast in a truly great Canadian aircraft. So we've prepared the Turbo-Beaver for the trip. Since there are very few floatplane facilities enroute, we regret that we have to take the floats off and put on the wheels for the trip. We draw straws as to who does the first wheel take-off and landing.
I get the honour. The bush strip is only 600 feet, but no problem for the Beaver. From the changeover strip we make the short flight to Lagos where we outfit the ferry tanks.
Installing the ferry tanks are a chore, because all the fitting are missing. That, of course, is a ferry pilot trick where all the fitting are custom made and removed by the pilot after delivery of the aircraft. Although they can't take the tanks back they can leave them disabled so that just anyone cannot be hired to ferry the aircraft next time without making a new set of ferry tanks.
That is unless you have a machine shop. With calipers, a tap and die set, and the machine shop tools we quickly replace the original custom fittings using salvaged parts and one small fuel drum bung slightly modified. The British engineer of the company doing our Beaver's maintenance is not impressed and will not "sign off" the ferry tanks.
I argued that because it is basically a normal flight within the certificate of maintenance we do not need to be signed off. On our test flight I discover that the machined plug we used has only 1/2 the flow of the original, and the engine is burning fuel faster than the fuel pumps can deliver from the ferry tanks. I calculate that we can still complete the flight without delay as with a worse case scenario our total burn will equal about 10 hours instead of the planned 13 hours. If we power back for several hours during the flight the fuel pumps can manage to catch up with the burn and we can make up the difference. I take the responsibility to go ahead with the flight, and we depart on the scheduled hour.
After getting our military over-flight permits for the next two countries, we head North. There will be nine countries and seven fuel stops altogether.

Getting Ready!
Changing the Turbo-Beaver to wheels on the barge
and floating it over to the bush strip.

In the meantime, the pancakes are cooking. I hope you are hungry. Imagine 100% Canadian maple syrup, blueberry compote, the world's best Canadian bacon, and fresh cold yellow butter to top off those golden stacks of cakes.
So, gas up, check your oil, warm up your engines, and get prepared to head for the horizon. Follow Klaus and I on our flight over. E-mail me to tell me about your favorite fly-in breakfast.
My favorite fly-in was Tofino when we camped along the West Coast's Long Beach. Louis and myself, in an Island Air Beaver, flew in the only floatplane to show that weekend. That night we got absolutely drowned in our tents in the pouring rain. But, the morning was glorious, the coffee was hot, and we went on to have an unforgettably blue sky day.

*First Destination Travel Dialogue. From rainforest to desert.

*Second and Third Destination. North Africa to Spain and across Europe.

*Fourth Destination VFR through the heart of Britain.

*Fifth Destination Crossing the cold North Sea to warm by the heat of active volcanoes.

*Sixth Destination. Across the wind swept North Atlantic to the land of Ice.

* Last Gas! Navigating the Davis Strait to our last destination fuel stop before Churchill.

*Final Destination. Churchill and the Seal River Heritage Lodge.
Ringed seals and Inuit tent rings. Polar bears and beluga whales.
We have it all! Including the pancakes.

Note from the Editor. Take your time reading the travel dialogue. If you don't finish in one go, just book mark the spot and come around again later. To browse the rest of the site for awhile longer let the attitude indicator take you back to the home page.

Where all our flying is cross country.

home page.

John S Goulet Editor

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           Last modified on June 01st, 1999.
              Virtual Horizons, 1996.