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Flying BC - Pilot Stories and Aviation Adventures

Pilot stories and aviation adventures from Canada. From mountain and float flying stories, to warbirds and airshows, and flight training and career discussions. Flying BC takes listeners on a journey into the world of west coast flying and beyond. Hosted by Warwick Patterson.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Pilot stories and aviation adventures from Canada. From mountain and float flying stories, to warbirds and airshows, and flight training and career discussions. Flying BC takes listeners on a journey into the world of west coast flying and beyond. Hosted by Warwick Patterson.

Peter Grimm: Flying Seaplanes on the West Coast

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"Your decision-making skills, everything, it benefits drastically by making the step into the float plane world."

Peter Grimm is the President and Chief Pilot at Van City Seaplanes in Vancouver, BC. If you've ever wondered what it takes to be a float plane pilot on the West Coast, this episode is for you. Peter dives into how to get the experience and training you need, the intricacies of coastal weather and flight planning, the differences between lake and salt-water operations, and why the Dehavilland Beaver is still the workhorse of choice. 

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SIGN UP for the Flying BC mailing list and you'll be first in line to hear the latest episodes and other sneak peaks. 
www.flyingbc.com/mailing-list

Follow Flying BC on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia and Facebook

Oct 18 2021

1hr

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Linden Hoover: Flying in Antarctica and Northern Canada

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"So we flew all the drums out, and laid them on the blue ice, and then we went back with pictures. We were all so happy because, you know, 100 drums, we did a good job and it looked really nice. And just the way he looked at the pictures when we showed him...we were, like, 'uh oh'. He's says, I'm really sorry guys but this won't do..."

Linden Hoover is a First Officer with the legendary Canadian company, Kenn Borek Air. He has been flying the Twin Otter and Basler (Turboprop DC-3) in Northern Canada and Antarctica for the past few seasons. A graduate of University of Victoria’s Aviation Business program, he earned his CPL in 2017 and has some great insight into what it takes as a young commercial pilot to make connections and get your foot in the door at the jobs you want.

Follow Linden on Instagram @lindenhoover
Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE): @antarcticlogistics

And of course, follow Flying BC 

To get first crack at the Flying BC Aviation Adventure Camp, held at Tsuniah Lake Lodge on July 31-August 2, 2021, sign up for the mailing list at www.flyingbc.com

Apr 06 2021

36mins

Play

Christine Gervais: COPA's Strength in Numbers

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"People don't necessarily know that this doesn't have to be a career. This can be something that is an add-on to your life...a fantastic add-on to your life."

In North America, we enjoy a freedom of the skies that is the envy of the rest of the world. And a lot of that is due to strength in numbers, and advocacy efforts from organizations like COPA – the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. There’s a lot of change and new faces coming into COPA head office in the past few months, and as a member and regional director, I’m excited to see the organization revitalized. So, I asked COPA’s new President and CEO, Christine Gervais, to come on the show to talk about what COPA has up it’s sleeve for the future, and what she sees as the organization’s strengths and opportunities.

Find out more about COPA at www.copanational.org
Student Pilots get a free 1-year membership!

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SIGN UP for the Flying BC mailing list and you'll be first in line for the Aviation Adventure Camp, July 31-August 2nd! 
www.flyingbc.com/mailing-list

Follow Flying BC on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia and Facebook

Mar 24 2021

45mins

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Katie Cowley: Adventures of a new Commercial Pilot

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"So I sat down in the roughest water I think I've ever landed in, and it's not that big of a plane so it was pretty big waves for those little floats. And I landed so far from the camp because I just wanted to be down on the water sooner than later."

On this episode of Flying BC, I chat with my friend Katie Cowley about her first couple years as a new commercial pilot. For the past year, she’s been flying on floats and wheels out of Sioux Lookout in Northern Ontario, living the bush pilot life. I caught up with her just as she was coming up to the 1000 hour milestone, and we talked about her adventures – and misadventures – on her path through flight training, some of the lessons she’s learned along the way, and what it’s really like being a newly-minted commercial pilot trying to gain experience and find jobs. It’s not always easy! 

You can find Katie on Instagram @katie.cowley

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Please send feedback, show ideas, and your questions to podcast@flyingbc.com

Join me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
or on Facebook.

Videos on YouTube 

Mar 02 2021

57mins

Play

Michael Wilton: Tips for Buying and Selling an Aircraft

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"One of the things we recommend for all clients if you're going to purchase in the US, is to send a Canadian Maintenance Engineer down across the border to view the aircraft and do your pre-buy for you."

Michael Wilton is the President of FlightSimple Aircraft Sales, and his job is to help pilots navigate the world of buying and selling an aircraft. On this episode, Micheal walks us through the steps people should take when buying a plane, the pitfalls to avoid, and answers some of the listener questions about importing from the USA, and whether purchasing for time building or in a partnership is a good idea.

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Patreon Supporters receive a regular stream of exclusives, extended cuts, and early previews…plus a chance to get your questions in front of our guests. I just got some new Flying BC flight suit patches, and for a limited time I’ll send one out to everyone who joins at any level. http://www.patreon.com/flyingbc

Please send feedback, show ideas, and your questions for the guests to podcast@flyingbc.com

Join me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
or on Facebook.

Videos on YouTube 

Feb 23 2021

59mins

Play

Anna Serbinenko: Sky Dancer

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"If a commercial flight test is not successful, it's typically not a question of stick and rudder skills or knowledge. More often than not it's the lack of attention to detail."

Anna Serbinenko is an airshow performer, Chief Flight Instructor at Canadian Flight Centre, and a Transport Canada Pilot Examiner. But her life involves a lot more than just flying. She’s has a PHD in Financial Mathematics, is fluent in eight languages, has lived around the world, and is a competitive athlete. Upon moving to Canada, she took her first flight and she was hooked…

On this episode, we talk about how to master learning, Anna’s journey into aerobatics and airshow performing, what she see’s as a flight examiner, and we wrap up with Anna sharing some of her experiences on the Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour which brought a travelling airshow to over 60 northern communities in 2017.

Check out Anna's website: www.annaskydancer.com

Watch CFC's Flight Test Debrief video series.

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A new Flying BC episode comes out every second Tuesday. 

Patreon Supporters receive a regular stream of exclusives, extended cuts, and early previews…plus a chance to get your questions in front of our guests. I just got some new Flying BC flight suit patches, and for a limited time I’ll send one out to everyone who joins at any level. http://www.patreon.com/flyingbc

Please send feedback, show ideas, and your questions for the guests to podcast@flyingbc.com

Join me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
or on Facebook.

Videos on YouTube

Feb 16 2021

52mins

Play

Dave Hadfield: 5000 miles in a Spitfire

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"The ideal candidate is someone who's got some Tiger Moth time or Stearman. Those two airplanes are exceptional initial experience trainers because they tend to amplify your faults without killing you."

Dave Hadfield is the Chief Pilot at Vintage Wings of Canada, home of the Michael Potter Collection. Dave grew up around airplanes, and after a career with Air Canada he found himself in the right spot, with the right experience, to start flying warbirds. We discuss what it's like to fly the Spitfire, Hurricane, Kittyhawk, and Mustang, and the quirky characteristics of the Westland Lysander - one of only three left flying in the World. He also had the honour of flying the Y2K Spitfire over 5000 miles across North America to a homecoming back at the Comox Air Force Museum. Dave is also an accomplished musician, and he tells us the backstory of one of his favourite aviation-related songs he's written. 

Watch Dave Hadfield's YouTube channel.
Listen to Dave's music at hadfield.ca

Photo by Peter Handley

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A new Flying BC episode comes out every second Tuesday. 

Patreon Supporters receive a regular stream of exclusives, extended cuts, and early previews…plus a chance to get your questions in front of our guests. I just got some new Flying BC flight suit patches, and for a limited time I’ll send one out to everyone who joins at any level. http://www.patreon.com/flyingbc

Please send feedback, show ideas, and your questions for the guests to podcast@flyingbc.com

Join me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
or on Facebook.

Videos on YouTube

Feb 02 2021

1hr 28mins

Play

Kimberly Lysak: Flight Instruction is Broken

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"Does your instructor have a mentor? Does your instructor have someone more knowledgeable, more skilled than they are, that they are unafraid to ask questions to?"

Kimberly Lysak is a Class 1 instructor, holds an ATPL, and is ICAO-certified in Advanced Flight Instruction and Aviation Training Management. As the flying school she worked for pressed pause in 2020, she launched her own online community to help instructors weather the storm, and improve their craft. She’s a big believer that we need to adapt flight training to take advantage of modern learning science, and that flight instructors can make more money and have more fun by empowering themselves with knowledge beyond just the basics.

You can find Kimberly Lysak and Advancing Aviation at www.advancingaviation.com

A new Flying BC episode comes out every second Tuesday. 

Patreon Supporters receive a regular stream of exclusives, extended cuts, and early previews…plus a chance to get your questions in front of our guests. I just got some new Flying BC flight suit patches, and for a limited time I’ll send one out to everyone who joins at any level. http://www.patreon.com/flyingbc

Please send feedback, show ideas, and your questions for the guests to podcast@flyingbc.com

Join me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
or on Facebook.

Videos on YouTube

Jan 19 2021

55mins

Play

Vignesh Rajasekar: Inspiring Young People into Aviation

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"So if you have the love of aviation and you want to spread it among youngsters, and have people come into aviation, I don't think there's a better place to start than in schools. One person joins and then all of a sudden you have a huge class."

Vignesh Rajasekar has already accomplished a lot in Aviation at the age of 23, and he’s not slowing down. He’s a Class 1 instructor, Chief Flight Instructor at McMurray Aviation, Founder of his own aviation consulting business, and just recently co-founded a new Flight School in Kamloops. At McMurray he has developed a successful high school aviation program, which now leads to a College program. We talk about inspiring young people into aviation, and what makes a good student and instructor. You can find Vignesh at https://www.bluejayaviation.ca/

A new Flying BC episode comes out every second Tuesday. 

Patreon Supporters receive a regular stream of exclusives, extended cuts, and early previews…plus a chance to get your questions in front of our guests. I just got some new Flying BC flight suit patches, and for a limited time I’ll send one out to everyone who joins at any level. http://www.patreon.com/flyingbc

Please send feedback, show ideas, and your questions for the guests to podcast@flyingbc.com

Join me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
or on Facebook.

Videos on YouTube

Jan 06 2021

39mins

Play

Bonus: Story from Tight Floats and Tailwinds

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"The men we were picking up were jubilant about finally getting out after many weeks of solitude. Not so for the men we were leaving behind..."

On this bonus episode, W.T. (Tim) Cole reads one of the many bush flying stories from his book & memoir, Tight Floats and Tailwinds. Patreon supporters enjoyed an advance listen to this bonus. If you'd like more exclusives, advances, and perks, consider supporting the podcast at http://www.patreon.com/flyingbc

You can buy Tim's book on the BCGA store: https://www.bcaviation.ca/store/p52/tightfloats.html

You can reach me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia or email me through the website at http://www.flyingbc.com

Dec 24 2020

8mins

Play

W.T. (Tim) Cole: Bush Pilot to Bureaucrat and Back

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“It’s pretty intimidating for an Ontario farm boy to be out there saying, holy mackerel I’m just about at the tip of mainland North America and everything rests on this big ol’ round engine.”

W.T. (Tim) Cole takes us on a journey through his aviation career starting in the 60’s at the legendary bush operation, Laurentian Air Services, all the way through to his various roles in Transport Canada on the West Coast, and his flying adventures post-retirement in his Cessna 172. His career is a great example of the sort of interesting and fulfilling jobs you can find as a pilot.

With over 13,000 hours in his logbook, half of which is on floats, skis, and in the bush, Tim has a treasure trove of stories, and he’s published a lot of them in his new memoir “Tight Floats and Tailwinds” - it's well worth the read. We touch on some of those stories, and more in this episode. 

You can buy his book on the BCGA store: https://www.bcaviation.ca/store/p52/tightfloats.html

I hope these full length episodes are entertaining and worthwhile for you – fire me a message or an email and let me know! Do you want shorter episodes, or do you like the in-depth long format shows? You can reach me on Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia or email me through the website at http://www.flyingbc.com

Dec 13 2020

1hr 12mins

Play

Greg McDougall: Harbour Air and the Electric Beaver

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"There's certainly an economic aspect to it, an environmental aspect to it, there's a disruptive aspect to it. There's a whole bunch of things that make it (electric aircraft) make sense for us." - Greg McDougall, CEO and Founder, Harbour Air

As an aspiring float plane pilot, and a fan of technology and business, this episode's guest is someone I’ve been angling to talk to since this project started. I finally had the chance to sit down with Greg McDougall, Founder and CEO of Harbour Air, to discuss the electric Beaver project that first took to the air almost a year ago, and the challenges and opportunities ahead. But first, we look back on the journey through his rough and tumble bush flying years, and the start of Harbour Air nearly forty years ago with just two Beavers. The company now flies over 40 aircraft and transports nearly a half-million passengers a year, making them an iconic sight on the coast of British Columbia.

If you’re a fan of the show, please leave a review on spotify or itunes or whereever you listen, and share it with your friends on social media. The audience is growing every episode and your shares really help.

So, strap on your life jacket and let’s dive into the world of float planes with Greg McDougall.

Follow Flying BC on Instagram / Facebook / YouTube

You can find past episodes, videos and ways to support the show at:

www.flyingbc.com

Oct 12 2020

1hr

Play

Geoff Latter (Part 2): Learning to fly a Yak-50

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"This is one of only a few planes that I've flown where it has such a high degree of thrust to weight that you can do a maneuver like a tail slide; decide you don't like the tail slide, apply power, and fly out of the tail slide while going backwards."

Part 2 of our discussion with Geoff Latter, airline captain and airshow pilot, where he explains the origins of the aerobatic Yak-50, his quest to get one to Canada, and the process of learning to fly an obscure single seat aircraft. Geoff even taught himself Russian so he could read the operating handbook! 

Geoff Latter Airshows website

VIDEO: Complete Yak-50 practice flight walkthrough

www.flyingbc.com
Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
Facebook: Flying BC

Sep 25 2020

41mins

Play

Geoff Latter (Part 1): Aerobatics, developing a show routine, and the business of airshows.

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"I know that airplane pretty well, but it doesn't matter. We go through the same process every year as if you're coming to a new aircraft. Because the only way to train proficiency, is to be disciplined."

Geoff Latter is an airline captain and an airshow pilot flying a Nanchang CJ-6 and now a Yak-50. In this first of two episodes, we take a deep dive with Geoff about aerobatics, developing a show routine, and the business of airshows.

We talked for well over an hour, and as you’ll hear, speaking with Geoff is like drinking from a firehose of knowledge and stories…so I wanted to give the discussion it's full due over two episodes. Part 2 features in-depth discussion about his new Yak-50.

VIDEO: Geoff's engine failure on takeoff

VIDEO: Flying BC - Harvard Aerobatics: Inside an airshow evaluation

Geoff Latter Airshows website

www.flyingbc.com
Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
Facebook: Flying BC

Sep 25 2020

38mins

Play

Helmets in Flight: Discussing safety in warbirds and GA aircraft, with Flight Chops, Kevin Maher, and Ryan Van Haren.

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"You know, it would be embarassing to get out of an upside-down SuperCub with a bent-up prop and a scuff on my helmet. But it would be better than not getting out and having to pull me out and waking up three months later with a brain injury." - Steve Thorne, Flight Chops

If you're a fan of Flight Chops on YouTube, you may have recently seen an episode about helmets and his first flight in the Harvard wearing one. On this episode of Flying BC I catch up with Steve for a follow-up now that he's flown with it a few more times. And I also bring Kevin Maher and Ryan Van Haren on board to expand on the idea of whether we should be wearing helmets while flying. Even if you don't think you'll ever wear one, this episode has some great discussion about safety and survival that is worth a listen. 

This is just the start of a discussion, so please send your comments and feedback about what we talk about in this episode.

www.flyingbc.com
Instagram @flyingbritishcolumbia
Facebook: Flying BC

Jun 09 2020

47mins

Play

Steve Thorne on creating Flight Chops, and how he stays safe flying 50+ different aircraft.

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"The way we do it at the museum is we brief the plan and we fly the brief, and we don't improvise. It says on the board in real big letters that never gets erased...No Improvising."

Steve Thorne, perhaps better known as Flight Chops, has over 300,000 subscribers and 47 Million views on Youtube. His context-laden aviation analysis and learning videos take viewers through everything from warbird flying to tailwheel checkouts to seaplane training. In this episode, we discuss the challenges of making aviation television and what drove him to create Flight Chops. We also dive into why video is so useful for de-briefing, how he stays safe jumping from plane to plane in short order, and the importance of pre-takeoff briefings. Be sure to check out his channel at www.youtube.com/FlightChops

Follow Flying BC on Instagram / Facebook / YouTube

www.flyingbc.com

May 25 2020

50mins

Play

Bonus Episode: "Scratch" Mitchell Q&A

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Special bonus episode with former Snowbirds Lead and CF-18 Demo Pilot, Rob "Scratch" Mitchell. He answers listener questions about how the Snowbirds create their show routine, how aerobatic pilots adapt to new airports, whether he prefers solo or team flying, and how they deal with turbulence while in tight formation. 

This is an example of the sort of exclusive bonus content you will experience as a supporter on Patreon. Among other benefits, patrons will have an opportunity to get their questions in front of future guests.

Patreon.com/FlyingBC

As always, the main podcast and videos will remain available to all, and if you feel like supporting the cause I’d love to have you on board for the journey. I hope you enjoy this extra session with Scratch Mitchell.

Instagram: @FlyingBritishColumbia
Facebook: FlyingBritishColumbia

www.FlyingBC.com

Apr 24 2020

11mins

Play

Rob "Scratch" Mitchell: Snowbird Leader, CF-18 Demo Pilot, and Film Producer

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"I remember that moment. There was 22 sets of eyes just staring at me, and they all said the same thing, 'What do we do now, Boss?' That's when the penny dropped for me that, ah, this is what leadership is about."

Rob "Scratch" Mitchell's 20-year career in the Royal Canadian Air Force is highlighted by his time as a CF-18 demo pilot, and two tours with the Snowbirds, including as Team Lead in 2006-2007. Performing at airshows sparked his interest in acting and film, and eventually it became his calling. Since leaving the air force, he has thrown himself into the world of producing, directing, and acting for film and television. His credits include the likes of Discovery Channel's Airshow, and the Midway movie. On this episode, we talk about tough lessons in leadership, what GA pilots can learn from the military, and how his air force experience lends itself well to the film world.

And be sure to stick around to the end…you won’t want to miss his story about spiders and what the g-loading limits are on a tarantula!

Be sure to check out a special bonus episode available to everyone at Patreon.com/flyingBC where Scratch answers listener questions, including how the Snowbirds design their show each year, and how they deal with turbulence while in tight formation.

Follow Flying BC on Instagram / Facebook / YouTube

www.flyingbc.com

Apr 09 2020

50mins

Play

James Marasa: Out of the clouds, into the trees

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"I could feel the trees smacking the bottom of the airplane. It was like a machine gun sound. And then, all of a sudden, they went back into the cloud."

178 seconds to live. Just under three minutes. If you're a pilot you've no doubt heard the statistic. Continued visual flight into instrument conditions claims a disproportionate number of general aviation pilots every year. It's easy to think, "I'll never do that." And yet, it keeps happening. 

James Marasa is an IFR Air Traffic Controller in Vancouver, but he was once a young flight instructor who used up a LOT of those seconds. He lived to tell the tale, and this is his story. 

Book: Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All The Facts by Annie Duke.

Find James at www.JamesMarasa.com

Follow Flying BC on Instagram / Facebook / YouTube

www.flyingbc.com

Mar 26 2020

28mins

Play

Angie Tanton: Flying overseas and off-the-grid

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"When I started feeling like I was overwhelmed...my brain went automatically to private pilot school default. Hands and feet. I disconnected the autopilot, and I flew it raw."

Angie Tanton is a pilot with a penchant for flying in the overseas, off-the-grid world. With 8000 hours under her belt, and 6000 of those on floats, she's chasing a career full of adventure. Whether its flying a Beaver for a fishing lodge, a Dash-7 for the UN in Africa, or Twin Otters in the Maldives, Angie is proof that you don't need to follow a traditional path in aviation. 

Follow Flying BC:

Website: http://www.flyingbc.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/flyingbritishcolumbia

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/flyingbritishcolumbia

YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/flyingbc

Mar 19 2020

40mins

Play

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Looking forward to more!

By uwecavok - Mar 26 2020
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A rare gem in the already sparse Canadian aviation podcast scene. Good quality with interesting discussion. Looking forward to more!