A Trip North

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Kejidog
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A Trip North

#1 Post by Kejidog » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:47 pm

Good day everyone.

I am in the planning stages of a September trip from NS towards Iqualit if I can make it in my 172 with a friend for a few days. I plan on crossing the St Lawrence at the Matane area and heading north as far as we can go before running out of land or fuel stops. Preferably camping along the way. Then perhaps a loop back through NFLD back home to NS.

I am seeking some insight on flight planning websites and local knowledge about fuel drums, pumping arrangements and the like. We plan to camp out under the wings with gear we bring with us. I have extensive experence outdoors in the lower latitudes but nothing northern.

I have a 172 that has a mogas STC and it seems to burn it comfortably. I wonder is it easier to get 100ll or find ethanol free mogas in northern areas.

My friend and I are both looking online for some info so I thought I would post here to start.

Some of our discussions have entailed packing and what we need. We have settled on my 12 ga, 2 spot beacons, perhaps a rented sat phone, a fuel pump, and assorted camping/survival gear.

Any thoughts and expertise would be appreciated. Routing and fuel options would be the first order of business.

Thanks

Kejidog
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PilotDAR
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Re: A Trip North

#2 Post by PilotDAR » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:33 pm

As you begin your planning, consider what airports are available to you, and thereafter, which will have fuel - not many. If you buy a drum of Avgas, you bought the whole drum, whether you use it or not. Happily, my plane was able to fly to with enough reserve to be safe, yet take a whole drum - no waste. 3 summers ago, that 205l drum, in far north Quebec cost about $1300 cash. I had to pump it. That fuel was available to lodge guests only, and water landing is required for access.

There are no places suitable for a 172 to land up there, other than established runways. Do you feel confident that there are enough runways enroute to be practical? There are a couple of private runways, which are not useable for a 172, and no fuel anyway. If you get nearly all the way, and are weathered out, can you make it all the way back? Schefferville will likely have pumped Avgas. George River might have Avgas. You will not have the range to fly from Scheffervile to the Atlantic and back with any loitering time there, and any kind of reserve. Quebec, east of the Torngat and north of Wabush, is rugged, though not particularly scenic.

You'll need permission to go into (or over) Torngat park. Saglek runway is not open to civil aircraft.

You may find that the minimum camping equipment, survival equipment, and food, along with full tanks may challenge the capacity of a 172 to carry a second person. I flew alone, and (reviewing my load planning sheet), I carried 134 pounds of camping, emergency, and minor repair equipment, and food (5 days worth). I did not take a gun (they are prohibited in the park). I took a flare pistol (as a weapon and signal) and bear spray. I took a sat phone, and was happy I did. If you want to fly coastal, not only a life jacket, but an immersion suit will be required, should you wish to survive a ditching. They are 12 pounds, one per person, and require training and a bit of practice. A raft is a nice to have, but you won't have the payload to carry one, and can't get it out of the plane underwater anyway. If you have not yet, go and take Bryan Webster's dunking course - it's an eye opener for overwater flying.

The far north is amazing, and a Canadian asset of beauty. A 172 is capable, as they are ferried through, but ferrying through and a camping trip are different types of expeditions. The ferry flights are often overgross solo flights. Plan lots, there's more to this than is seen at first look.
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Re: A Trip North

#3 Post by anofly » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:25 pm

Take 4, or 6, 20 l , gas cans, they wont weigh too much, you can use them to put the rest of the barrel in if you buy one, and they might come in handy! it will give you 2 hours sometime and you might need it. Take them empty most of the time.
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PilotDAR
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Re: A Trip North

#4 Post by PilotDAR » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:46 pm

Jerry cans can be handy, if you have the payload to carry them full, the float compartments to store them in, and a place to land to pour them into the tanks. As I said, plan plan.... I did two pages of Excel spreadsheet to plan my fuel use, range and stops.
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Kejidog
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Re: A Trip North

#5 Post by Kejidog » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:38 pm

PilotDar

I was hoping that you'd chime in. Your advice is always well thought out. I would like to do a bit of exploring so I dream up schemes like this often. Maybe Labrador City and Churchill Falls might be the extent this year with a loop back through Sept Iles But I hope to get further north someday. Any thoughts on northern Manitoba? Mossonee or Churchill?
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Re: A Trip North

#6 Post by digits_ » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:57 pm

Kejidog wrote:PilotDar

I was hoping that you'd chime in. Your advice is always well thought out. I would like to do a bit of exploring so I dream up schemes like this often. Maybe Labrador City and Churchill Falls might be the extent this year with a loop back through Sept Iles But I hope to get further north someday. Any thoughts on northern Manitoba? Mossonee or Churchill?
If you bring a fuel pump, you should be able to get cheap avgas in Rankin Inlet (probably around an hour north of churchill for you).

There is avgas in churchill, but it is privately owned and hard to track down.

Thompson and Gillam have avgas as well.
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Kejidog
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Re: A Trip North

#7 Post by Kejidog » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:21 pm

What about Mogas? Anyone have any luck getting any without ethanol? I have an STC for my 0300D
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Re: A Trip North

#8 Post by beaverpuq » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:34 pm

Rapid Lake Lodge east of George's River might help. 1275 foot gravel strip. I've been in there with a Comanche 250. Alain Lagace, good guy. Has web site. Nice area. Rugged country up there. I wouldn't cross at the point to Baffin. Very cold water below.
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Re: A Trip North

#9 Post by PilotDAR » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:04 am

Though I do not speak for Alain Legace at Rapid Lake Lodge, he told me that he prefers his lakes be used by guests, rather than the runways. I have been to both places, and I would not take a tricycle Cessna all that way to land at either of his runways. He has accomplished a lot in making both those runways there, but they are a little too risky for tricycle GA aircraft. You don't want to have a nosewheel problem that far north. Alain told me that his fuel sales are pre arranged, and for lodge guests only. You cannot fly through and buy gas.

As I said, flying up there requires detailed preplanning the entire route.
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Re: A Trip North

#10 Post by citruskelly » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:25 am

Hi there!

If you need specifics about Iqaluit, let me know. I'm the Apron "controller" at CYFB so I know a thing or 2 about airport operations here and stuff to do around town :)

Also, I really don't want to come off as rude, but please learn to spell and pronounce Iqaluit before getting here.
Sounds like EE-Kah-Loo-IT.

Send me a pm if you want to know more!
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Re: A Trip North

#11 Post by PilotDAR » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:43 pm

I really don't want to come off as rude, but please learn to spell and pronounce Iqaluit before getting here.
Not rude at all, Iqaluit is a Canadian city like any other, and should be afforded the pride of national identity we would expect as the resident of any Canadian city.

I admit to difficulty with some of the other arctic place names, that's my problem, pronunciation guides welcomed!
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Re: A Trip North

#12 Post by citruskelly » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:08 am

PilotDAR wrote:
I admit to difficulty with some of the other arctic place names..
Bonus points if you can correctly pronounce them in Inuktitut! :prayer:
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