Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

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Lou
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Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by Lou »

Wayne has been posting some great stuff on his Caribbean travels. Warm waters, lush green scenery and icey cocktails in the evening I’m guessing.

I thought I would take us the other direction. The Town of Lac La Biche is a 200+ year old settlement in northern Alberta located on a beautiful northern lake. For you folks who live on the Gulf Coast and wonder where the pelicans and cormorants spend their summers, this is it. When conditions are right in the wInter, they make an ice runway and have a fly-in. In 2015, 85 aircraft attended. Pilots get together, townspeople come out to see the airplanes and they organize some fun activities like horse drawn sleighs and ice racing. Of course there’s food for the pilots who visit and everyone makes a donation.

The runway this year is 31/13, 4000’+ Long and 100’ wide, which is good because the CRFI is essentially zero :D ! As it happens today had a particularly strong westerly wind around 270 and gusting up to 30 knots, so it was a definite challenge. There were some excellent pilots with tail draggers who brought their A game to land in these conditions. Great to see such proficiency. Our DA40s make guys like me know what they are doing so it went okay: maintain the centreline, drop the upwind wing and slip on to the runway. As we taxied back on the ice the wind actually pushed us off the taxiway centreline.

The Club gives you an “Ice Pilot” certificate and a touque with the same crest.

A couple of funny surprises. The TAWS went crazy of because it thought I was putting it into the drink. :lol: And the Synthetic Vision had me on the surface of the lake.

Watched some ice racers on the race course. There are different classes: no studs, Chevettes only, or full on ice tires which look like something out of Mad Max. Hilarious and if I ever get tired of flying, that’s gonna be on the short list.

(I apologize that the photos appear rotated. I don’t know how to fix this. If anyone has a suggestion please PM me and I can fix. If you click on the photos they display correctly.)


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Chris
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by Chris »

Lou wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:33 am
(I apologize that the photos appear rotated. I don’t know how to fix this. If anyone has a suggestion please PM me and I can fix. If you click on the photos they display correctly.)
Photos should be fixed now, although you might need to Shift-Reload the page to see the update. It's a known issue that the phpBB folks don't seem keen to fix (claiming it is an iPhone problem). Best way I've found to avoid it is to open the photos in an app (I use Preview on my Mac) and re-save them after rotating them, even if it means rotating it through a full 360°.

Looks like a nice adventure! A bit cold for my taste, perhaps, though it'd be fun to be able to say I landed on a lake without a seaplane (or a seaplane cert for that matter).
Chris
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by Antoine »

This must have been wonderful, Lou! I would love the experience.
I do have a question for you: how did you manage the cross wind with such low adherence? I am asking because I recently took off from a wet runway with 20G26 crosswind and it was really borderline: the plane was skidding away and it was a hell of a fight- The speed zone where the wings were starting to unload but control authority was low was especially hairy. Does the DA40 also do that?
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Lou
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by Lou »

Antoine,

It was a little crazy for the reasons you described! When I added power for the take off roll the plane lurched left — a lot. Normally I touch the right brake and that’s all it takes until the rudder gains authority. Here we were more of a passenger (think toboggan) plus the strong crosswind meant the plane wanted to weathervane, also to the left. When the rudder authority came I swung the nose and moved quickly back to the center because of the snow banks, and then said “to heck with this” and decided to fly in ground effect (ie soft field technique) until I had airspeed for the climb out. My friend, who has some pilot training, was amused.

It’s one of those situations where aggression is good. Airspeed is your friend and the important thing is to get it as quickly as possible.

I wasn’t concerned about the aircraft and I probably did not move more than 20’ from the centreline, but it was different. We get used to icey roads up here so it was not really a surprise. I knew it was going to be weird.

Lou
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by Antoine »

Lou wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:07 pm
Here we were more of a passenger (think toboggan)
:D :D :D
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by AndrewM »

I was hoping to do Alton Bay in New Hampshire this year, but unfortunately the weather has been too warm for the ice to become thick enough for the "airport" (B18) to open.
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by waynemcc999 »

Lou, I love the Lac La Biche destination! And yes, we enjoyed nice icey cocktails and local beers in the Caribbean 8) .
All the best,
Wayne
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Lou
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Re: Lac La Biche Fly In 2020

Post by Lou »

Update on the Fly-In. Day two (Sunday) the weather was calm, warm and brilliant blue sky. Total attendance was over 100 aircraft over two days. At one point there were 11 aircraft in the pattern, but apparently everyone was well behaved and it all worked out.
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