Airport comments by @dazuppa

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One beautiful airport

Best thing about Golden airport its is location - simply gorgeous! The town itself looks a bit beaten by today's economy, but still cute.

Approaches are wide open, though terrain is quite high and circuit looks pretty "interesting" on the downwind. Look for the electric station, cables and posts while on short final northbound. Nothing special, obstacles clearly marked - just don't come in too flat.

Active helicopter traffic, so stay on the radio - and these guys are professionals! Hangglider and paraglider ramp on the mountain SE of the airport - like a huge bald spot near the top - with corresponding activity. Keep an eye on them while flying towards Alberta, following the published VFR route

Friendly and clean FBO, runway and the ramp in good conditions. Pleasure to visit.

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Lovely airport

Nice and quiet mountainous airport - located in a beautiful valley, with excellent runway, very well cared about, and just slightly challenging approaches due to elevated terrain surrounding the field. Nothing to be worried about if your plane can perform - and the scenery around is simply adorable! Note that you can easily barge into US airspace flying southbound, so keep your eyes open unless that was your plan...

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Rough field

Been there a couple of weeks ago, mid-May '13, passed low and over. Fairly easy to find, though not many landmark features around. Looks like a private airstrip, currently not quite taken care of. It is listed in CFS, though without a chart - unusual! There was an empty hangar at the end of the airstrip, and southbound approach was almost over the rooftops of the farmers' house. I refrained from landing there due to a visibly rough and deteriorated surface - and that's a pity, as location is pretty neat. Hope this strip will recover at some point, heard rumors about that, but please check with the owner before arriving!

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Lee waves!

Been there yesterday, and man, wasn't that an example of mechanical turbulence... Brutal! My poor 172 was tossed around like a paper plane, yoke hitting the stops and ASI jumping from 60 to 100 in a blink of an eye. Twice got sucked down in a wind shear while on short final, adding full power to arrest the descent... Overall - three awesomely challenging circuits, totally worth visiting the place. And no one around that wonderful day (wondering why?)

Initially I thought that horrible turbulence was a result of the crosswind blasting over the airport buildings, but no - it was as "bumpy" all around, low and high, thanks to a bunch of irregularly-shaped hills just west of the airport, with a lee wave stuck aside of a mountain ridge nearby.

Besides that, a very nice aerodrome - easy to find, with clean approaches and lots of space around in case your engine decides to quit. Runway is in the good shape, and airport name is written on a main taxiway - very welcoming and friendly.

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Nice place to discover

Vulcan is a bit of challenge to discover, sitting "in the middle of nowhere", close to a little town next to a railroad. When approaching from the West, main runway looks as long as the town itself!

There is no doubt when you find Vulcan, as its name is written in huge white letters on the ramp. I haven't stop there yet, just touch and go's - but the place looks clean, nice, and well maintained. Reasonably wide, long, asphalt runway in a very good condition, easy approaches.

NDB sitting next to the runway is... well... not really useful. I mean, when you finally get a steady signal, it means that you are just a couple of miles from the field. Should be interesting to shoot some training approaches, though.

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Sleepy Airport

I have been to High River twice, always in winter, and found it hibernated. Looks like there is a community somewhere, but I wasn't able to catch up with them.

Runway is huge, long, clean and well maintained. Note the long displaced thresholds, though. And caution with crosswinds, these can be quite intense as the prairie around is flat for miles and miles around!

Easy to find, with clean approaches and light traffic - though somehow there was always someone on the frequency (or in the circuit) when I was flying there.

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Friendly ATC

I've only been to CYHM for touch and go's, but flew through their airspace and near it quite frequently while going to Niagara area and back - day and night, winter and summer.

Airport itself is large, way too much than average GA pilot may ever need - and located in a strategically excellent spot. Easy to find, and though there is a lot (as in - a lot!) of through and local traffic, never a problem to deal with thanks to an excellent, very professional ATC. Thanks guys, you set the standards in my books! Few controlled airspaces I've been to are as friendly and comfortable to deal with.

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One Man Airport

Private airport, registered and opened for the flying community. Runway is built and maintained so that owner's C182 can use it comfortably. A bit tricky to find the first time, as the lakes around tend to change their size, but absolutely worth visiting. Wayne Wilderman is an awesome person, keeping his airport in a great shape - friendly and open to the visitors. It was great to land there, will be happy to make it there again!

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Good airport

Ostergard's is a well-maintained private strip, made available to the general flying public out of courtesy. Being part of that public, I can only appreciate that - as there are few non-restricted airfields around Calgary, and Ostergard's airport is located in such a beautiful corner! Right between the canyons and the wind farms, both panoramas are just awesome...

Runway is in a very good shape, approaches are clear, and the airport is reasonably easy to find - though I believe that one must expect significant crosswind many of the times. I liked how the northbound runway drops right after the edge, and I enjoyed taking off southbound - towards the wind farms.

Location itself is definitely not a place to goof around - one could clearly see that people live and work there. But I'm glad I visited Ostergard's and hope to be back at some point.

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Nice airport!

I've been to Bishell's for a fly-in and loved everything about it. Interesting short final southbound - passing just by the tree line, touching down on a hill top and then rolling lower and lower... Easy to find, good approaches, no significant obstacles around, the runway is kept neat and clean, airport facilities are in order, people around are simply great - awesome! Loved to be there and would be happy to visit this place again.

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Confirmed no go

Been there again two days ago - it's listed as registered, but looks like a private cropdusters strip. Farm machinery in and around the hangar, instead of airplanes, and a red truck parked on the first third of eastbound runway. Didn't look welcoming, though it's a long strip - and surface was quite beaten. Looks like the owners just did not update their official airport status to "restricted".

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re: Okotoks

Reply to @camroe: You probably meant the Okotoks Air Park, just a couple of miles southeast, right? Skywings is there... As for this grass strip, it's restricted, and in a very decent conditions - just overflew it two days ago, looked very nice and landable. Loved the runway numbers cut in the grass, cool touch! :-)

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re: Good place to visit

Reply to @dazuppa: Correction - SE ramp mentioned above, sorry! :-)

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Good place to visit

Brantford is very easy to find - an obvious triangular shape next to the only big town in the area. Wide, long, well-maintained runways and not so well maintained taxiways, huge ramps. A couple of semi-dismantled C-117 with square tails and oversized elevators at the end of the SW ramp (aviation buffs, check them out - those birds are rare now!) Reasonably busy, but with well-organized traffic and helpful unicom. A nice place to visit.

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Crosswind runway and misc updates

A crosswind runway was recently completed, making Burlington really comfortable and easy to operate from. Maneuvering surfaces are in a very good shape, overall airport infrastructure looks better and better with every visit.

FBO status remains the same - sort of struggling through and not quite organized, missing a leading hand. Seen a King Air blasting the parked Cessnas (yes, he was doing a run-up next to the pumps, pointing its tail to the ramp within 60 ft). Advised the FBO folks, they refused to comment or take any action to prevent the damage of their own airplanes.

For the renters - add $10 to the prices from the Spectrum Airways website, this is called a "temporary fuel surcharge" or something like that, but looks like its a permanent thing in disguise.

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re: Lovely Airstrip

Coordinates are 43.735 -80.447 (you can set them in google maps or your GPS). Flying, it is just NW from the town of Fergus, following Beatty Line across the river. Note that there is another, unrelated airstrip NE from Fergus - closer to the Belwood lake - and a couple of others, also unrelated fields just SE of the lake!

The only other information I have is that CPG7 "Fergus - Juergensen Field" (the airstrip we are talking about) is a home of the Chinook ultralights community (liftoffaviation.com) Hope that helps...

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Great Place to Visit

Runway is really "perched on the top of a hill", as mentioned by one of the commenter - and there are other hills, antennas and trees around, but the whole location is so very scenic, absolutely adorable. Runway and taxiways are in the perfect conditions, the airport is definitely maintained well, and there was a stash of wonderful flying machines in the hangar! Absolutely worth visiting.

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Rough Surface

I was always interested in visiting Bradford because of the L'il Buzzard fame (www.ultralightnews.ca) - I think it is a great website and the whole approach of the owner is right on.

Unfortunately, the landing surface was really bad. One of the hangar folks described it to me in advance as horrible, and that turned to be true - pretty much like landing on the unprepared field with a hump in the middle. Fortunately frozen today, so bumps were stiff - and approaching through the cut in the tree line on short final was fun. Managed to almost get stuck a couple of times while taxiing, though - and overall perception of the airport was like it used to be very much alive, but went down lately.

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Excellent destination

Huge runway, easy to find, useful unicom and friendly folks in the FBO - great place to go, a useful alternative to Muskoka. Unfortunately, uncontrolled - but otherwise absolutely recommended to visit. Watch out for the floatplanes approaching - they actually complete a normal circuit for the runway 17, only to skim the concrete surface and land in a pond at the end of it! Looks unusual...

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Upslope Flyers' Paradise!

You know those MS Flight Simulator airports which, due to a program error, are sitting in the bottom of a pit with vertical walls around - so you need to fly in circles to climb out or land? Volk airport looks exactly like that in reality, especially when you stand at the bottom of the pit, where both runways are crossing each other. More, the longest runway is not only upsloped both ways - it is also curved, framed with tall trees, and has a rather uneven surface!

Well the hills and slopes surrounding Volk airport are not vertical, but they still look impressive. If you are flying a Super Cub or CH 701 - visiting Volk airport will be pure fun. But if you are plowing the sky in something like a 65 hp J-3, with its engine a bit too beaten to give you the full power, and the air is hot... Uhm... I would say be very, very careful - you may not make it out.

I think that Volk airport is one of the most exciting and challenging grass strips around Toronto, and Lisa from Golden Eagle flight school (goldeneagleflightschool.com) is a very friendly and welcoming person, nice to chat with. Just get a right plane to go there, and enjoy the adventure.

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Find me if you can

Reasonably well maintained airstrip, nicely blended with the environment. A real challenge to find, unless you are good at pilotage or have a GPS. If you wish to give it a try with just compass and a clock - be careful not to wander into the Hamilton airspace, immediately on the NW from York strip. Quite deteriorated scenery below - rusty hangar roofs, some semi-disassembled aircraft inside - but friendly people and positive atmosphere around. Definitely worth challenging your navigation skills.

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Museum and skydivers

Long runways in good condition, extremely easy to find, well positioned airport. Do not overfly the field - skydivers will drop on your head! Circuits are outwards, check the CFS. Do not miss the aviation history museum in a hangar right next to the main ramp. Friendly folks around and overall positive atmosphere - I enjoyed Dunnville, and would love to be back.

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That Brampton feeling

Huge runways in good condition, lots of GA planes, some impressive vintage aircraft (I've seen a T-28 and Cornell), completely messed up circuit with planes cutting on the final, joining it from any altitude and direction, doing steep turns on the downwind... reminds anything? I felt like it was another Brampton. Decent airport, but not so fun to fly around. If needed to land somewhere around Niagara, I'd think St. Catharines, not Welland.

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Nice airport

Quiet small airport. Well maintained runway, good approaches, nice folks at the FBO. Finding it is a tiny bit of a challenge, though following the railroad while checking a Pearson VOR radial helps. Loved the autumn scenery around Grimsby - so quiet, so sweet.

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Lovely Airstrip

Nice grass airstrip West of Toronto - relatively easy to find, clean approaches, well maintained. Look out for the unmarked power line parallel to the road when approaching from the East. A bunch of ultralights and homebuilts hidden in the hangars, and walls of soft, high corn surrounding the landing strip - in case you'd feel like rolling out. ;-)

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Business Port

Top-notch business airport. Terminal is much bigger inside than it looks from the outside. There is some GA life in and around, but it is obviously built for the big bucks and biz jets. Unicom is helpful and all the services are in place, just don't expect that cozy feeling of the local aviation community, etc. Lake Simcoe is a totally different category - and aparently a good one in what it is.

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Busy GA Airport

Lots of GA activity, scenic location, big runway, well-maintained taxiways. A number of interesting machines parked around - from ultralights to PC-12. Helpful unicom and cozy terminal. Easy to find and nice place to visit, just keep an eye on the traffic!

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Good place to visit

Google image is quite dated - currently the airport looks way better! Another runway added and the grass one is in a very decent condition. Ramp and the whole maneuvering area are well maintained and clean. This airport is home for a vintage aircraft restoration group, there are Tiger Moth, Canuck, Baby Ace and other fancy birds flying around. Overall - nice place to visit and check out those magic old planes, and chat with enthusiasts working on them.

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Vintage Flying Home

Guelph is lovely, quiet and nostalgic. If you walk around the hangars, there will be Tiger Moths and Cornells, Finches and first-generation Cubs. This place is like a museum, with a difference that all those rare and vintage aeroplanes actually fly like they were doing 70 years ago... Say hi to the Tigerboys (http://www.tigerboys.com/), they restore those machines and make the magic happen! Stay for some time and learn to fly a J-3 Cub with Glen (http://www.3pointaviator.com/)! I never notice the time passing while at Guelph, this place is immune to it...

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Good alternative to Brampton

Burlington is a bit tough to find - especially at night, but they have a large, well maintained runway and decent on-site services. FBO looks bigger inside than it is outside. For the renters and students, practice area is 0.5 from the place - add that to the budget for training and checkrides. Airport is fairly busy, and rental prices are ok. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of Burlington, but choosing between it and Brampton, I'll go Burlington anytime.

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Floatplanes!

This airport is a busy floatplane hub with specialized hydroplane flying school on site. Lots of them are flying in the vicinity, and landplanes are a secondary activity at Orilla. Runway is ok, though quite beaten and with a pronounced slope westwards. Taxiways are all gravel - careful with your prop! FBO is very well maintained, there is a little snack house with cute patio, and overall Orilla looks like a busy and interesting place to visit - apart from the beautiful water scenery.

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No go place

This airport looks like it was closed but the crosses were not painted on the runway ends. Asphalt is all cracked with grass growing through, there are pits and humps all around, and only central part of the airport maneuvering surfaces is more or less usable.

Funny approach to 25 - on short final you almost clip the houses, overflying their backyards quite tightly. There is a pronounced upslope on the first quarter of 25, and overall 07 looks like a safer choice, wind permitting.

There is a bunch of little airstrips and a decent corporate airport close to Barrie, so unless you wish to seriously punish your landing gear - no need to go Springwater.

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Beautiful GA airport!

Collingwood is a beautiful, totally GA-friendly airport. Everything about it speaks "perfect maintenance". Clean, huge runway and taxiways, ample aprons, excellent facilities. Unicom is helpful and responds immediately, local pilots are polite and disciplined - hence, though the place is relatively busy, flying around or into the airport has nothing to do with brampton-style uncontrolled air bazaar. Overall atmosphere at Collingwood is organized, safe, friendly and welcoming. Enjoyed my stay and will be happy to be there again, anytime.

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Nice place!

Cute little airport, very well maintained and easy to find. Rather busy local traffic - lots of planes in the nearby Claremont training area and next to the lake Scugog - so keep listening (and advising) on the 122.9 before getting close to Lindsay. It is also a popular destination for the local "100$ hamburger" cross-countries, check out their restaurant next to the FBO! :-)

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Lovely Aerodrome

Very well maintained airstrip, with good approaches and easy to find, just north-east of Alliston. Northbound short final you literally fly between the hangars - though they are wide apart enough, no risk at all. Lots of nice private aircrafts in a good shape parked around - Luscombe, RV, square-tail Cessna, Cub, Kitfox... Tried to find the owner to say hi, but everything was closed and quiet.

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GA Friendly Airport

A very nice place to land while visiting the Niagara Falls (don't forget to check out the CYR 518 rules before attempting to fly over the waterfall!) Huge pawed runways, lots of parking space, absolutely friendly and helpful people at the FBO and on St. Catharines radio. Pleasure to visit or fly by, easy to find.

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Private Airstrip

This is a private airstrip which belongs to an ex- Air Canada captain, as I was told. Runway about 2000 ft long was in a good shape in October 2010, there were glider trailers and a tug parked on the adjacent taxiway. Approach from the East is "hooked" as the neighbour does not permit to fly over his barn (seen about two thousand feet following the runway heading eastwards). Procedure known to me was to fly a curved final around the barn before aligning with the runway. Electric line at the Western threshold was buried, as far as I can remember. Also, airport call on the radio is "Great Lakes", not "Colgan".

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Abandoned Airport

This is a typical WWII aeroport with its delta-shaped runways, of which only one was used more or less continuously after the war. As per my low and over in June 2010, the 10/28 and 16/34 are not landable, unless you have Tundra tires! "Unregistered" runway (the only one with something that looks like a surface) is used for drag-racing, there are cars and trailers parked near it. Overall the airport does not look as active. I have asked locals, no one even considered it as a usable airport.

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Closed Airport?

This airstrip looked as dead as possible when I've passed low and over it somewhere at June 2010. The runway was only distinguishable for the surroundings by a bit different color of the grass, and buildings next to it looked abandoned.

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Private Airstrip

This is a private airstrip, owner has a hangar stuck to a barn - that's about as much I was able to see when overflying the field. It is a PNR, but the surface looked too bad to land - though approaches are clear. Might be a bit tricky to find - use the square ponds on the lakeshore as a prominent ground feature, then follow the road from the Beaverton to the West.

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PPR Airstrip

I have not landed there - this airstrip is PPR and when I was circling over it end of November '10, a black SUV pulled into the middle of the runway and just stood there. There were no aircrafts next to the hangar, as opposed to shown on the Google Maps. Approach from the East looks intriguing - it is a tunnel cut through the trees!

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The Biggest Runway Ever! :-)

Muskoka is another popular destination for the Toronto student pilots' cross-countries. This airport sports a huge runway, good for big jets and air force machinery. You need to talk to Timmins RCO (was London, but now they only provide FISE there) to operate in their control zone. RCO guys are positive and helpful, working with lots of student pilots.

You can frequently meet some expensive and cool aircraft at Muskoka - Corvalis, Cirrus, corporate jets and so on. Terminal building is very nice, facilities comfortable. I think it's a good place to visit now and then. Check out the airport website for more details: http://www.muskokaairport.com/

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Interesting Airport

Peterborough is used as one of the default cross-country destinations by Island Air flight school (and a bunch of others, I believe), so I've been there three times while working on my license. Overall perception - long, rather narrowish (for the length) runway, very friendly and useful unicom operator, cute little FBO hut and always something interesting flying around. A twin working on IFR training mission around the Peterborough NDB, Moonies, Bonanzas, Cubs, Robinsons, everything else GA landing and taking off - and ultimately a bunch of jets sitting at the airport where they get painted, refurbished! I like this airport, it has this comfortable feeling that everything is ok around it.

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Blue Younder Aviation

Wayne Winters of Blue Younder Aviation owns this airport. For those unfamiliar with Canadian ultralight aviation history, Wayne is a "daddy" of the Merlin EZ and EZ Flyer aircraft (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Yonder_Aviation) He's a great person and one of the pilots you learn a lot from just chatting next to the hangar door.

Runways are uneven, and you can see a gopher sitting right in the middle of them when you are taking off, but that's all right. For me, flying at Indus was a great experience and a discovery of the whole experimental/homebuilt aviation in Canada. Just stay there at Indus for a couple of hours, and you'll be surprised with a number of great people and interesting aircrafts around!

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Gliders

Cu Nim is a base for the local gliders community. Those guys are serious and proficient, it's a pity that their prices are way too high for the engineless flight. I've made a simple calculation and realized that it will cost me more to fly the gliders there than airplanes out of Springbank. Sorry guys, you are nice, but business is business - even if you hold a monopoly...

Great place to fly, nevertheless, and the whole process of flying is nicely organized there. They also communicate properly, so if you are just flying by - turn on your radio and keep an ear on the frequency.

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Grass Roots of Aviation

Bob Kirkby owns this nice little private field, kept in a very decent shape. Approach over the highway feels a bit hairy as you pass just over the moving cars - and you have to be low or on flaps, as the runway is really short for the elevation.

Bob is a really nice guy, do not hesitate to call him and meet in person! Maybe he'll show you some of his flying treasures. ;-)

Look out for antennas when going aroind in circuit, and keep the downwind over the field, not over the Bob's house. The airport looks easier to find on Google Maps than it is in the real life, so keep an eye on the Chestermere lake and your position related to it and the Trans-Canadian highway.

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Nasty Control Zone

Strategically Springbank is placed in an excellent place - right next to the "entrance" between the mountains which leads directly to Banff, Lake Louise and other natural marvels of the Canadian Rockies.

Unfortunately, control zone for this airport is just messed up. You are getting handed from inner tower to the outer tower to terminal to whatever... all that to just get out of the airport! Not very friendly for non-locals, too. I've got a nasty commentary: "Get a VTA" when asked the tower for a local reporting point, stating that I'm unfamiliar with the area. Best advice - study the freaking place in advance and specifically compare what you see on the map with what you see on the Google Maps! You'll be surprised how different those look.

Calgary Flying Club, a major flight school at Springbank, is one of those indifferent money-drainers which sell you the crappiest planes for the highest price, and never forget to apply funny additional fees. Their instructor didn't even say "hi" to me when he first saw me to go for a checkout! Was like: "That's you? Ok, let's go". Two people at the counter, yet you have to fill a bunch of forms yourself.

Luckily they have a SATC (Springbank Air Training College) there, where people are genuinely friendly and useful, and making you wish to stay. Also much cheaper prices and no membership fee comparing to CFC - at the same airport! How's that? They didn't hesitate a second to show me their planes (CFC guys did not permit me to even touch a plane I'm going to fly without an instructor "supervising" the process). SATC planes were in much better shape than those of CFC and their instructors were positive, fun and knowledgeable. Can only recommend them for both renters and students.

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Crazy Runway

Okotoks has a challenging runway - narrow and sloped. When you arrive from the "higher" end of it (16), you will feel like dragging the plane so low you'll scratch the roofs of the cars dodging you on the road right next to the threshold! Intense.

There is also a pilots' community around the airport - they have their planes parked on one side of the house, and their cars on the other! Like a pilots' village, very cool...

Sky Wings Okotoks provides a flight training, and the guys here were nice - but renting anything in summer was next to impossible. Man, they had every weekend booked all the months to come!

Nevertheless, if you'll ever make it to Okotoks, you'll love that crazy little runway.

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Best Grass Roots Airport in GTA

I hereby award Greenbank a Best Grass Roots Airport in GTA diploma. :-)

Seriously, this is a great little airport. Two grass runways, both sloped, marked with flags and very well cared of. There is a "secret" flying school there, using a 172, and a 24/7 gas pumps for the local grasshoppers community. No worries if you'll see the birds on the runway - they know this whole GA thing and will let you land or take off without any problems.

Nice and clean FBO, very scenic surroundings (especially in the Autumn), great place to fly in with friends. Such a pity that accident happened to the original airport owner, but an excellent conditions of the airport afterwards are a testament to the great job done.

If ever in doubt which grass strip to fly to East of Toronto, go Greenbank!

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Good Airport

Oshawa is a Good Airport. Free from that Pearson control cloak covering almost everything around Toronto, you can take off from Oshawa and get a training area right in front of you. Fast and convenient. Rental prices are the lowest in the whole GTA, though condition of the planes is... let's say, they are very well used.

Oshawa has a useful NDB and a friendly tower, which won't punish you for inadvertently intruding their airspace (from the said training area) right away, and will be helpful and cooperating providing a flight following within their control zone when you go cross-country following the shoreline to Kingston or back.

I would suggest this airport (or actually a Durham Flight Centre) as a choice for those who want to practice the instruments flying in GTA without bogging into the airliners dodging and violent radio chat almost inevitable East of Toronto.