Thursday, December 20, 2007

Air Nootka

A few weeks ago I was in Courtenay doing some small lake training with Mike Seib in his Cessna 182. Mike pushed my limits and taught me how to fly in tight situations. I enjoyed this type of flying. Next to Mike's hanger was a flight maintenance operator who seemed to specialize in deHavilland Beavers - my dream machine. One day there was a beautiful Beaver in the maintenance shop. I had never heard of the operator - Air Nootka. I did some research and WOW! Air Nootka does some great trips for surfers, hikers and the classic remote mail run on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island. Check out the site:

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Learning from the best

This past weekend I spent all my time at a three day seminar at the Boundary Bay Airport close to the US Border attending an excellent seminar on Instrument Flying. My instrument rating is not high on my priority for flying at the moment – getting a float job is. You don’t need an Instrument Rating to land on a lake – you need it to land at an airport with low visibility and low ceilings. So why did I spend all my time sitting in a classroom or driving 2 hours to and from the lecture for something I don’t really need. Well two reasons:

1. One of the best in the flight training business was giving the lecture.
2. It can only help my flying.

The more I learn the better I get.

One of the best ways to learn is to ask the best and listen. I was very fortunate to be able to ask two of the greatest triathletes (Paula Newby Fraser – 8 time IM champ and Mark Allen – 6 time IM champ) questions about training and racing. Each one had many great tips based on experience. They never preached – they just shared a tip based on experience. I could find out through trial and error or learn from them.

I am trying to do the same with flying: ask and learn from the best.

This week I am doing a presentation for StarCite in Florida then it will be back to flight training.

The timeline for the new job is April when I get back from the Solvang training camp with Chuckie V. A few resumes have been mailed but the real push will be April when I drive from operator to operator in Canada’s North hoping to land that first job flying floats.

So, Thanks Todd for the great tips this weekend and to Paula and Mark for helping achieve my goals in sport.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The First Ride in the Multi

Today was my first ride in the Duchess. There have been some restless nights the past two days thinking about flying this machine. Going from one engine to two with a retractable landing gear was going to be a lot to master. It was. I was behind the aircraft the entire flight. Simply things like holding altitude and heading were difficult. I sucked; but, I loved it! There were no paying passengers so it didn't matter. Plus, just like my former triathlon career I suck in training. I always did and seem to excel at it. Prior to my last two flight tests (private & commercial) I failed the practice tests; yet, on test day I scored in the 90's.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My new favourite machine!

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Ah! My new love: a 1959 Cessna 180/182 Float plane.

I wanted to push my float flying training so I booked a week of training with Micheal Seib of Island Air to learn how to get to and FROM small alpine lakes. Mike pushed my limits. I learned a lot from the young float guru.

One of my highlights of the week was a tour of some remote communities and docks along the Inside Passage. The trip re-enforced my dream of becoming a float driver.


In my former career I traveled the world for work. I must say that I have never been much of a tourist.

Well not this year! Malaika and I did some fun tourist stuff in NYC this year: Empire State Building, attended a play (Spamalot), Times Square and long long walks around the city. I guess it all depends on who you are with on trips. Thanks M for the great trip to NYC. Also, Thanks PowerBar for treating me so well. You guys are the best.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What are you doing these days?

The number one question I get when I do triathlon gigs these days seems to be "What are you doing these days?" I was recently at the Clearwater 70.3 with Specialized promoting the new Transition TT machine which I must say is a true gem. We had a lot of curious cycling enthusiasts drop by the booth and for those who recognized me asked the question. I always respond with my generic "A little bit of this and that". It is a decent answer and quite true. For the past year I have been doing a lot of promotions for Specialized and Powerbar, coaching 5 athletes, working at triathlon camps in Tucson, Monaco, and Fuerteventura; yet, my number one activity has been aviation.

I have always wanted to be a pilot. I love to fly. Any chance I get to greet the pilots or observe what they are doing I take it. When I received my first big triathlon prize money paycheck from a 3rd place at the ITU World Long Course Champs in 1995 I used the money for an intro to flying flight at the Victoria airport. Unfortunately, the dumb ass instructor who took me up put the plane into a stall without telling me and I never went back. My dream of learning how to fly was killed by that one moron.

Last year when I retired from triathlon I had a lot of time to kill. I saw an add in the local paper advertising into flights. I decided to give it another shot. This time I had a guy who was patient and had a huge love for flying. What a difference - I was hooked.

18 months since that second intro flight and I am now a Commercial Float pilot.

I trained for flying the same way as I did for Ironman. I had many bad days while training in my search to be the best pilot I could be. It worked! I set a school record for my private pilot flight test and received a great mark on my commercial flight test.

I was a never a great student in school; yet, triathlon taught me that hard work with a focus to excel can be channeled into other avenues. Learning is not easy for me; but, working hard is.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Iron Maiden

Rolling, turning, diving
Rolling, turning, diving, going in again
Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live, Aces high.
Fly, on your way, like an eagle,
Fly as high as the sun,
on your way, like an eagle,
Fly as high as the sun.

Iron Maiden 1985

The First

It has been ages since I posted a blog on the net. It's time that I get back to posting.

Backcountry in Squamish

Backcountry in Squamish

About Me

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Former triathlon pro to neo-pro pilot