Seeing as lakes are such a major feature of British Columbia, Canada, I thought a somewhat extended lake-hopping flight could be interesting. Some thoughts I had before starting:
- The obvious aircraft to use would be the Icon (duh!)
- To reduce the gazillion possible lakes one could land on, I decided to limit it to southern BC: from Vancouver east to the Kootenays and no further north than around Kelowna.
- I wanted to do a round trip, starting and ending in Vancouver
- Seeing as the Icon is a Light Sport Aircraft meant for informal flights, I decided to go REALLY informal! No formal flight plan, a loosely defined route, no GPS: total follow-the-map-VFR. Land where I want when I want. Real bush pilot crudeness.
- Low level VFR as some of the hops would be very short.
In the end I randomly picked 38 lakes to start. In keeping with my informal approach I just quickly plotted it out in Google Maps: about as crude as you can get! And I did not recreate a flight plan in MSFS: I used Google maps on my iPad as accompanying aid, like one would do with a old school paper map.
Once I plotted it out it seemed logical to split it over 3 days. I also decided to start and end on a “real” land-based airport as there are now recognised seaplane terminals as far as I am aware.
The overall plan to start was something like this:
LAKES FLIGHT: DAY 1
YVR Land departure
Capilano Lake/ Cleveland dam
On Lake Okanagan @ Kelowna
Land at Kelowna on land to complete day
About 445km in total
LAKES FLIGHT: DAY 2
From Kelowna Airport:
Upper Arrow Lake
Lower Arrow Lake
LAKES FLIGHT: DAY 3
From Nelson airport:
Lower Arrow Lake @ Farquiar
Ross Lake (the bit in Canada!)
Back to YVR
I did the first day’s flying today: turned out to be quite a bit of work! This is the route I followed:
Everything went perfectly until I landed on Okanagan Lake at Kelowna. Not sure what happened but on touchdown my landing turned into a crash. I did not THINK I did anything wrong: either I lost focus and did something silly or there is something strange with the level of the lake: will have to try it again.
I did a video of the first part up to Harrison Lake, after that I just did screenshots. I will have to edit the whole thing and will post video and stills. A couple of screenshots to give an indication of the “flavour” of the trip:
Early morning departure:
Vancouver in the morning
Some of the selected lakes were pretty small!
And sometimes the lakes were big… well, some were HUGE!.. but then I tried to make it more interesting by landing in interesting parts of the lake!
So far so good: more to follow