Airport comments by @32Aret

Comments 1 to 10 of 11

Picture of 32Aret

Blissville, on CFB Gagetown

In 1981, CFB Gagetown was the location of the largest deployment of canadian troops since the Korean war, for an exercise calle Rendez Vous 81. About 10,000 troops took part in the exercise. Blissville was the centre of most helicopter activities for the duration of the exercise. At the height of RV81, 73 helicopters were based at Blissville (Kiowas, Twin Hueys, Chinooks from Canada; and Cobras and Chinooks from the US Army). A transportable approach radar (PAR) was installed to serve temporarily as the only approach aid (pre-GPS times!), with precision limits (200 - 1/2). The airport was temporarily given the ident CH3. I was flying the first aircraft (a CH-135 Twin Huey) to flight plan into CH3 under actual IMC, coming from YOY. Shortly after we changed from Boston Center to Moncton Centre, over the Maine-New Brunswick border, the controlled gave us a clearance to Chatham beacon (ident CH), which we promptly refused... I guess that the message about the temporary ident was not distributed to all controlllers.

Picture of 32Aret

Cap-de-la-Madeleine BCATP airport

One of the BCATP airports that does not exist anymore. No trace of the runways remains; one or two hangars were still in use in the late 1970s, but barely recognisable. The position given is approximate. The Wikipedia article mentions its existence, but does not give its location. I know the approximate location because I come from the area and one of the old hangars was used as a huge disco night club in the late 1970s.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_British_Commonwealth_Air_Training_Plan_facilities_in_Canada

Picture of 32Aret

Tofino

I drove to the airport out of curiosity, when I was vacationing in the area, in 2003. A Canadian Forces team was there running tests on a UAV.

Picture of 32Aret

CFB Lahr (EDAN?)

This airport used to be a Canadian Forces Base. The airport was used mostly for the frequent flights to and from Canada and for intra-Europe flights. In the 1980s and into the early 90s, the aircraft hardened shelters were used as an army garrison. One of the hard shelter areas was used by 444 Sqn, a tactical helicopter squadron flying the CH-136 Kiowa. I think that the ICAO code was EDAN at that time; I have no idea why it was changed. Even if the vocation of the airport changed drastically, I see no reason to change the ICAO code...

Picture of 32Aret

Previously Loring Air Force Base (was KLIZ?)

In the 1980 and 90s, this was a USAF base that flew B-52 bombers and KC-135 tankers. I flew a PAR approach into there once, in a CH-135 Twin Huey, en route from YCX yo YOY. On short final, we were called "dangerously left of centerline" by the radar controller. Getting out of clouds at about 300 ft, we were about half way between the centreline and the edge of the runway... In a B-52 (wingspan = 185 ft), I agree that it would have been touchy, even on a 300 ft-wide runway; the wing-tip outriggers would have been in the daisies... but in a helicopter??? Anywhere within half a mile of the button is close enough! After "landing" on the runway (skid-equipped helicopter) we had to "roll" all the way to the high-speed turn-off, about 2/3 of the way down the runway, to air-taxi all the way back behind a follow-me truck to the transient ramp, abeam the threshold of the runway we had shot the approach to, at the south end of the airport. I guess helicopters were unusual beasts for their Operations staff.

Picture of 32Aret

Almost a movie star!

The Lincoln airport was the scene of the action for the 1970 movie "Airport", based on Arthur Hailey's novel of the same name. The movie was apparently not shot here; the airport scenes were filmed in MSP.

Picture of 32Aret

GFA

I flew there from YMJ in a CT-114 Tutor (spring 1979), while taking my pilot training. We were in a 4-plane formation. Wx was broken clouds getting here... On the way back, we entered clouds at about 2000 ft and stayed in until about a 2-mile ILS final in YMJ, in the same 4-plane box formation until we were about 20 miles from YMJ, when we broke into 2 x 2-planes elements. At that time, I had less than 200 hrs total flying time; this trip cost me a whole lot of sweat!

Picture of 32Aret

Brooklyn Coast Guard Air Station

In the early 1980s, this was known as Brooklyn Coast Guard Air Station. I landed there in a helicopter to drop a passenger. We had flown down the Hudson River for about 100 miles, did a bit of sight seeing around Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and the south tip of Manhattan, before getting here. We just landed to drop our pax and immediately took off to the north east, about halfway between JFK and LGA, followed the coast for a while and headed into BDL for fuel before coming back to YOY... I had never seen so many airliners in my life all in the air at the same time as around NYC!

Picture of 32Aret

YED

This used to be the airport with the longest runway in the Commonwealth (12,000 ft). The Canadian Forces Base (CFB Edmonton / Namao), in the 1980s and 90s flew C-130 Hercules, DHC-5 Buffalo, DHC-6 Twin Otter fixed-wing aircraft and CH-147 Chinook, CH-136 Kiowa and CH-135 Twin Huey helicopters; what a waste of 12,000 ft of concrete. YED is now, probably, the heliport with the widest helipad in the world!

Picture of 32Aret

YCH

This used to be Canadian Forces Base Chatham (hence the CH in the identifier), where a squadron of CF-101 Voodoo used to fly. The base was closed and the airport became a civilian one around the time the CF-18 was adopted as the fighter for the CF. Chatham was the name of one of the towns that were amalgamated into what is now Miramichi.