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Leg 31: Edmonton (CYEG) - Hector Intl (KFAR)

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Thanks Joe.


Having spent some time around Winnipeg observing the ice road truckers doing their thing, getting stuck in ditches and failing miserably to catch any fish, I was ready to head south to (relatively) warmer climes. Watching Joe's stellar landing reminded me of my less than stellar driving and the horrid amount of damaged fenders I'd left behind, and I stared morosely at the only aircraft I had managed to rustle up for the leg - a Blackburn Buccaneer; an aircraft which always seems to bite me on landings. The old girl was painted suitably and beautifully but she was just that - old - and I would have to use her for both of my North American legs. But the mechanic ensured me all was well, the old girl's curves are still fetching enough to warm the heart, and so it was time to get going.


Baton safely stowed I bid Edmonton farewell. 



Airborne and everybody, including me, is breathing a sigh of relief.



Foggy and plenty of Cold War Era smoke but the weather forecast for Hector is good. 



But a few minutes later a problem pops up. The autopilot begins to fly in circles. I switch if off, check the heading, find no problem and switch it back on but get the same result. Prior experience leads me to the HSI and sure enough if has failed. However, it's not a serious problem and I press on, albeit nervously.



There's not much to see to ease my nerves until we come to the South Saskatchewan river. Turn due east here and I'd eventually get to Winnipeg. 



A little further on and I come to Regina, capital of Saskatchewan province, barely visible through the fog. 



Nothing else has gone wrong and my nerves finally settle as the fog disappears and I reach the United States. Here passing over Devil's Lake with the airport in the background.



No fog at Hector but the clouds have set in and I hear that the cloud base is quiet low.



So it's head down and concentrate.



Breaking through the bottom and there's Hector. 



There's still some low cloud about and I've got a few butterflies: the Bucc does not exactly turn on a dime.



A break in the clouds and there's the airport. It's a touch bumpy and I've got a three knot tail-wind but the engines are good and there's enough height to glide in should something go wrong.



Short final. No landings gremlins this time...




...until the three knot tail wind suddenly turns into a seven knot crosswind, slewing the aircraft sideways.



I straighten her out but, as usual, the gremlins are dancing on the canopy and the Bucc begins to float. Result: I can't tell whether I'm on the ground or not.



A good old fashioned thump and I get the message and throw out the anchor. Thankfully this was a naval aircraft designed for carrier landings, so the wheel stay on! But no greaser for me.



I find a parking space, shut down, do some housekeeping and go off in search of some coffee. Strong coffee.



Ahhhh, coffee. And donuts. And short runways to come. 


Over to you, Remington.

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That Bucc is definitely my favourite RW aircraft - where did you get it? I once had that circling problem... only problem there was I'd left the computer for two hours, came back to find my 737 pretty much where I'd left it!

Good shots, and good luck with your shorter runways!

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A classic choice of aircraft Marcel.

Super flight and a much better landing than you were building me up for!

Well done and thanks for your flight  :hat:

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Well done flight in less than favorable conditions. :thum:  Any landing that doesn't need the call for the fire brigade is a good landing. ;)

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Great flight with some fantastic pictures and a good story to boot, Marcellus.  There is something about the lines of the Buccaneer and other aircraft of that era that still make them eye-catching today.


As for the landing, you know what they say, "Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.".






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