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Ottawa / Rockcliffe Airport
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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my school

Took my PPL here in 2010, love the people.

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Maintenance

Best mechanic in Ontario - Red Sutton

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Very Convienent to Downtown Ottawa

Wonderful GA airport. Cooperative personnel easy access to fuel.

Able to get IFR clearances on the ground by radio

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Airport closed Saturday 9 June 2012 for "Classic Wings and W

The airport will be closed from noon to 3:00 pm local time, and road access will also be restricted for part of the day. Details here: http://www.rfc.ca/news/216

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ARCAL runway lighting issues

The antenna for the ARCAL type J (5 clicks) runway lighting is on the west side of the museum building. Because the huge museum building is in the way, it is difficult or impossible to activate the lighting on the ground in the east half of the field (including holding short for runway 27), so you may have to taxi to midfield to activate the lights first, then taxi back if you're departing from 27.

When approaching from the east in the air, you may also have trouble activating the lighting (unless you wait until mid-downwind). Approaching from the west, it should be much easier, since you have the antenna in line-of-sight.

That said, the ARCAL is very picky, and may take several attempts even when you have it in line of site. The flying club experimented with a lot of sensitivity settings last summer in an attempt to improve it, but with no luck. Just be patient and keep trying, or call UNICOM to see if anyone's still in the club to activate the lights for you.

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Musical Ride horses

This is where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police graze the horses for their famous Musical Ride. I guess that the airplanes passing 50-100 feet over the horses constantly get them used to loud noises, so that they don't startle easily.

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Seasonal Barbeque

Tony runs a seasonal barbeque (and other food) with very reasonable prices. The original grill was destroyed in May 2009 by a tree during a tornado, but club members have been working to build a new space for the grill.

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Road to the airport

This is the only road into the main part of the airport (and yacht club). It's now called "Airport-Marina Drive," not "Polaris Drive", and turns off the Rockcliffe Parkway about a kilometre east of the Aviation Museum exit. There is also pedestrian access through the museum, but only to the museum's own ramp, not to the rest of the airport.

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Parking

In addition to the parking at the flying club on the north side of the field, you can park on the south apron by the museum if you are visiting. You need to call Rockcliffe Unicom on 123.5 MHz for taxiing instructions. I think that the parking is free.

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re: IFR

I came into Rockcliffe a few weeks ago with a 1,000 ft AGL ceiling and good vis underneath (daylight), and it was no problem transitioning from the Gatineau VOR/DME 09 to a visual landing at Rockcliffe.

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Come to Rockcliffe!

Convenient, quaint airport with great club atmosphere. BBQ every day in the summer. Bring your bike... Direct access to one of Ottawa's great network of paths.

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Aviation Museum as well

I should also have mentioned the Aviation Museum which is right behind the airport.

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My Home Base

After being based at YOW for a few years, we now tie down at Rockcliffe. Take a drive west along the parkway, for stunning views of the Ottawa river. Governor General's residence is nearby, as is 24 Sussex (PM's residence), and the Byward Market (for a wide selection of restaurants). Check out Piccolo Grande (55 Murray Street, just east of Sussex) for good homemade gelato in a variety of seasonal flavours (pumpkin, cinnamon, lychee, as well as more standard chocolate raspberry, etc.).

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Night landings

When the wind is light, most pilots land on runway 09 at night instead of 27 -- that way, they can land on the lit part, and overrun onto the unlit part if necessary.

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BBQ

There's a BBQ going most of the time in the summer with hamburgers (and veggie burgers, I think).

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IFR

CYRP does not have an instrument approach, but some pilots shoot an approach to Gatineau (about 4-5 miles away) then break off and scud run over. I'd want a pretty good ceiling to try that, and wouldn't even consider it at night. Fortunately, CYOW is also close, and has two ILS's.

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