(Updated September 3, 2021)
We had 1.5 month of terrible forest fires all around BC, poor or no
visibility and serious restrictions where and how to fly. Everything suddenly
changed. Crisp clear, but cold morning provided perfect weather to do some
local exploration. My original plan was to fly to
Interesting birds views of Tremont Creek fire, the east side of burned out areas. The fire started in July 12, 2021, 27 km west of where I was flying, burning solid for 2 weeks. I did not use in this video my usual short cuts, but I kept continual views from my full view front camera.
It is interesting to note that not everything is burned out. The fire is actually very choosy and the result is patch work of black/brown and green areas.
I started east of Mt Savona then follow close to
It looked like nice weather for change, but it did not last very long. I
was planning to fly to Merritt, but right after take off I saw it would be
impossible. The smoke on south site of the city was so thick that the upper
Exceptionally nice weather with good visibility, rarity in these days
I could not wait to get back into the sky. We are here in
The visibility was very poor with two lines above horizon: smoke line at around 7000’ and very close above it the cloud line. I could not go higher then 8,500’ to have clear view, because the clouds were low. There was certain beauty in this ugliness and very spooky feeling. The visibility was very bad on the way back.
I took off into smoky (forest fires) skies in west direction to check on
developing and existing, out of control fires. Previous day, I visited some
those effected places by motorcycle and now it was the time for the distant
bird view. I had to climb to over 3048 m / 10,000 ft to just clear the smoke
layer to see distant fires. I hit the smoke wall above
We have 320 wild fires burning in BC. The air was loaded with thick smoke, which looked worse with the increasing elevation. It was decent when I left home, but it was changing quickly. I ended up with fire ash covering my front camera lent.
I wanted to check the latest fires (from distance, of course), but the west side was like wall of smoke. The east side started to get very turbulent, when I reached the valley level when the latest fire was burning. I turned around and cut this flight short. The video still turned out interesting, with rising sun just slightly poking through like orange ball and layers of smoke of different colors and shades.
We have in British Columbia (BC), which is the most western province
I had to go up to almost 10,000’ to clear the smoke.
I took off at 6:30am at 26C, no ground wind and perfectly sunny day. It quickly changed into 30 km/h headwind and very unpleasant turbulence, which was coming in serious bursts. I was looking for different elevations, but it was actually getting warmer with height and more unpredictable higher up. Eventually I did not want to push my luck and turned back I could feel the hot blast from the concrete runway during landing. The air temperature was already at 28C
I took off soaked in my own sweat at 7:45 pm and 28 C (82 F) and almost
cold at 2290 m (7,500’) at 17 C (63 F). It felt at about 1000’ above ground
while coming down like opening oven and walking through it. It was good flight
above our nature beauty which is all aground us here in
Explored new region to me, which is set of lakes around
I started at 6:30 am to avoid thermal turbulence, but it did not help.
Within 5 km the situation changed almost instantly from peaceful to dangerous.
I had to cut short my original plan to check the both
This was my 2nd flight (https://youtu.be/3pdqw_gorPY)
to the highest mountain peak in this region. The flying conditions here are by
default unpredictable and they change within minutes or few kilometers. I took
off at 6:40 am to beat the sun generated turbulence. The flight started right
off the deck with turbulence getting progressively worse. I was contemplating
to call it off and suddenly everything stopped into very peaceful flight. I
flew up to
The mountain area is spectacular and huge. I spent more time there then in 2019, to record and absorb all that beauty. How lucky I am to do this! I wish I could take a busload of people with me to share my experience there. I was glad when I was back in the river valley, back to civilization. The mountains are spectacular, but potentially dangerous. The return flight was peaceful down to Barriere village, then another challenging spot to overcome through the canyon valley and then turbulence really started. I was flying lice garbage bag in the wind. There was no return for me; I had to carry though it. Everything stopped again in about 15 minutes. Landing was another issue when landing on hot dark runway. I was bounced there very well.
I discovered new (to me) lakes, meadows, hills and plains in this spectacular region, lucky to be living in.
This was different and very unique experience for me. I was joined by
another local pilot in his beautifully built Zodiac homebuilt aircraft. We took
of at 6:30 am to avoid turbulence from the powerful
This early morning flight was very relaxing and enjoyable. I took off
early and 6:30 to beat the powerful sun heat and of course turbulence as shown
in my previous video. This made the trick. My first leg was east, straight into
very low rising sun. I felt like Lindbergh in his Spirit of St. Louis.
could see nothing with that sun shining directly into my face through the
windshield and my helmet visor. I had to look sideways to see where I am going.
Everything changed when I turn north towards the
I landed and taxied to my hangar at 8 am and suddenly, like if someone turn switch on, the wind started to blow but only in the east part of the airport. The wind sock in the west side was still limped. It was very good flight
My plan ended up totally differently from the original one. I started in
calm, sunny and warm weather, but it changed quickly into very nasty and few
times terrifying turbulences. I was looking into different elevations but no
luck. I made it just 20 km north from the airport, just 1/3 of my planning
I was thinking about this flight long time. I wanted to know how those
navigation lights would look like in darkness. It was exceptionally warm
evening from 24C to 19C and surprisingly no surprises from touchy
This is return leg of my 223 km cross-country flight, this time from
Salmon Arm back to
Very scenic flight following shore of famous and in summer popular Shuswap Lake to charming city of Salmon Arm. This is first part of my 223 km long cross-country trip. Return trip will be more challenging over hostile terrain and unpredictable weather condition.
Very scenic flight over complex terrain and spectacular views. It was good day.
Very good flight east through South Thompson Rive valley, one of the
most scenic area in
After several days of serious winds, this day was totally calm with blue sky and +8C. I was really looking forward to my cross country flight, but it was quickly clear that it will not happen. I was bouncing like yoyo as soon as I took off. I was in one continual turbulence which eventually made me nauseated. Four days before I flew on commercial flight (as passenger) in heavy turbulence, which was my second worse turbulence on commercial flight. I become air sick which I felt for 3 days. My flight only multiplied that sick in stomach feeling. At least I have very good video from just 30 min flight.
I took advantage of perfect weather to fly through spectacular BC countryside.
I attempted to fly this valley several times already, but the non cooperating weather always changed my plans. I was lucky this time. It is very nice area which I explored on motorcycle from ground up. It was time to do it from the air. The valley is usually very windy with crazy turbulence, because the air is compressed into narrow and winding trough. One of my 4 cameras did not record anything, so I lost one view, but I still have nice video into classical music.
It was decent day for flying with no wind at the Kamloops airport. I had an ambitious plan, which was quickly changed when I entered worsening turbulence. Kamloops has own unique micro weather, which is very unpredictable and challenging. The countryside is extremely beautiful with complex terrain. Several valleys are joining in one point right in downtown. This alone is usually not very good for predictable fun. Well, regardless, it was very good flight and I have this video to prove it.
I was getting anxious to go back after 40 minutes flight from Kamloops. I did not want the weather change on me. I was already experiencing unpleasant turbulence when flying in.
I met another ultralight pilot there, Daniel Berwin who landed after me. He decided to follow me a bit and take some aerial pictures. It was nice change, because it is just 2nd opportunity in my life to fly with somebody. Another excitement happened in about 10 minutes in my flight when I spotted another plane (Cessna) well down under me flying to Cache Creek. He really sucked the air from my track resulting good bump. I started in -2C in Kamloops landed in +6C in Cache Creek and +8C back in Kamloops. It was very good and exciting day.
This was the first leg of my 1.5 hour flight to Cache Creek. I flew via golf and residential area high above Kamloops Lake, Tobiano and down in the valley on the end of Kamloops Lake, Savona. I continued in the complex valley of winding South Thompson River creating spectacular scenery. I flew over small historic village situated high above the river valley, Walhachin. I continued towards Ashcroft through to deep canyon of South Thompson River, but I felt in my bones that it would not be smooth sailing. The complex terrain and shifted winds create unpredictable flying conditions. Eventually, I had enough of bouncing around and got out before it would be too late. The Cache Creek Airport and its location are a bit intimidating. First it looks very small from the air especially when flying from Kamloops with such large airport runway. Secondly the location in the middle of the mountain slope creates good crosswinds and up or downdrafts by winds from the perpendicular valley. I met there another pilot, Daniel Berwin with his Zenair bird. We exchanged few Covid distant words and experiences. He followed me on my way back and took several pictures from his ultralight. It was nice.
Finally, after several windy days of real winter in Kamloops, there was no wind and temperature just below freezing. It was beautiful flight after morning snow starting to melt on sunny sides. The contrast between the snow and bare surfaces creates unique enhancement of the Kamloops very complex topography.
It was gorgeous day after overnight fresh show, blue sky and above freezing temperature. I took off downwind (~13 km/h) west, turned to east in totally calm air and in about 200 m higher I got into serious tail wind of up to 45 km/h from west. The wind was flowing simultaneously from opposite direction within short elevation difference. I flew over Juniper Ridge subdivision, which looks very flat from the air, but it is actually very hilly and assuming also challenging to drive those steep streets in winter. I explored Rose Hill and Knutsford area too. It was very good flight.
I sold my GoPro Hero 7 and replaced the front full view camera with the latest GoPro Hero 9 Black. The reason is Hero 9 horizon lock to prevent horizon tilt when turning. Tilting horizon is annoying in my videos, so I always switch in those moments to side camera views. Well, the horizon lock did not work very well and actually it was very bad. I could use only few clips from this miracle Hero 9 camera. I return the Hero 9 back to store. Now, I need to buy another Hero 7 Black. I am showing examples of badness and my interpretation of how this horizon lock would not work in my case. I was hoping for steady “Super stabilized” views, so I could run video 4x faster without any distractions. I am sorry to report that the result was totally unacceptable. This is excellent camera for other application, but not for what I wanted it for. For that purpose Hero 7 Black is far superior. If you are considering to buying it for flying then you should watch this video.
I sold my GoPro Hero 7 and replaced the front full view camera with the latest GoPro Hero 9 Black. The reason is H9 horizon lock to prevent horizon tilt when turning. This was annoying in my videos, so I always switched at those moments to side camera views. Well, it did not work very well and actually it was very bad. I could use only few clips from this miracle camera. I return the Hero 9 back to store. Now, I wish to buy back my Hero 7 Black camera. I am looking. I will post me experience and example, why this camera is no good for aviation at least for full camera view without any part of airplane in the view. It was expensive experiment for me. I sold my like new camera cheap and most likely I will pay more and most likely for abused and bruised camera.
It was beautiful and calm (!) day, but not for long. Within of about 5 minutes it started kicking up and down. It was getting progressively worse on the way back. I was looking for some smoother air level, but there was nothing available for me. When I crossed the N Thompson River west, the peace returned again. At least I have good video.
I have very good video from cold flight. We had some traces of new snow, which makes the surrounding scenery more contrasting and more interesting.
Pictures taken from the top (south) of Peterson Creek in small increments through downtown then west up to airport. Pictures are from video # 327
Pictures taken only in Nicola Valley during the flight shown in video # 327
It was an excellent, but a bit chilly flying day. I tried several times before to fly low in the Nicola Valley, but it was always very drafty a of course unpredictable. I was lucky this time. This is one of the most scenic roads in BC and especially on motorcycle. It looks so peaceful from the road, but it is totally different from the air due to the complex terrain causing unpredictable winds and wind flows. I have very good video from one hour flight at 90 to 140 km/h ground speed.
The airport area was without clouds when I took off. As soon as I was above their level I could see that it would be wise to stay within that hole only. The clouds eventually cleared on the west side and open up also south. I flew over Ajax mine, Tobiano and sandbars. The flying conditions were very interesting. I could see just peaks of the Kamloops landmarks poking through to cotton balls. It was warmer by 5C just under the clouds then by the river. The ground was calm, but 40 km/h wind at 5000’.
Finally after 16 days of warm, but very windy weather, the Mother Nature finally brought crispy, blue sky and no wind day. Masses of people enjoyed this sudden change together with several local flyers. I was planning to go for low and close aerial exploration of Buse Hill which looks very cool on its north side. I soon discovered that I would be lucky if I even make it there. The air was very bumpy with many very sudden kicks and pushes, which took a bit of optimism from my joy. I made it there, but I did not dare to go any close to it. The flight on the way back was not any better. I saw 9 wild horses on at the foot of North Ridge. I finished my flight with a victory lap over the river delta sand bars. They are amazing creation of nature, which could be seen only from the above, high just enough to see the underwater formations. When I landed I found out that my full view, front mounted camera refused to record. Those cameras are not very reliable. It was very good day anyway.
This is radio interview with me about my flying in Kamloops. I turned it into a slide show to make it more enjoyable to watch. It was very good and I am happy how it turned out.