Ottawa Local Knowledge

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Colin
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Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Colin »

Our son is going to spend the next five years studying for his PhD at the University of Ottawa, so I will spend the next five years dropping our plane into that town to visit him, to shuttle him back and forth to his partner in Boston (and vice versa).

Where do local pilots land? What FBOs do you like up there? Any local knowledge and advice at all is welcome.

I've landed every summer, since we've had a plane, at CNK4 and I have CANPASS. I am familiar with the slight differences in airspace and radio work (although I am rarely smooth for that first flight up), and I can do the customs dance (which is much, much worse on my return to the country that I am a citizen of).

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Lou »

Hi Colin,

When we went cross-country two years ago we skirted Ottawa entirely so I don’t have direct knowledge, but I would look at Rockcliffe, CYRO, which is also the home of the Air and Space Museum. It’s tucked in right beside the Ottawa River too. They have Jet A. It is an AOE too. The ForeFlight reviews look good.

CYOW, the main airport, may also be an option. I see there’s a flight club and VFR routes in the CFS so they still handle small aircraft. Ottawa is not a busy hub and the airport is actually quite small.

Generally speaking, the Canadian FBO scene is not up to US standards, with a few notable exceptions. The further north you go the more utilitarian and expensive they get, like a truck stop for airplanes. Perhaps someone else has direct knowledge of Ottawa, but the ForeFlight reviews for CYOW sound about right. I avoid all major Canadian airports for that reason.

There’s beautiful sight seeing in the Ottawa valley, especially in the fall, and to the Laurentian Mountains to the East. Consider a side trip to Quebec or even Halifax. We loved our flight out there and the Halifax FBO is top notch.

Louis
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by CFIDave »

About 5 years ago the 99s organization of women pilots held their annual conference in downtown Ottawa, so my pilot wife and I flew our DA42 to Ottawa and landed across the river on the Quebec side at Gatineau CYND.

CYND a great airport for GA aircraft with a nice 6000 foot runway, a Canadian port of entry (POE), and isn't that far from downtown Ottawa.

But I'll be surprised if you'll be able to fly to Canada anytime soon due to the pandemic and closed US border. With special permission I just went to the Diamond factory this week to pick up a new DA40NG to fly to its new owner back in the US. I got to fill out extra paperwork, and this time got met by Canadian police after landing CYXU (rather than being cleared over the phone just by calling the CANPASS phone number after landing).
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by danno2000 »

Flew into Rockcliffe CYRO back in 2019 and it was lovely. Folks couldn't have been nicer, I was there for a couple days and don't remember even having to pay a parking fee to tie down outside - just bought some gas. From there it would've been a 10 minute car ride in - I took a public bus instead (about 30 minutes) and then actually walked back from downtown on the way out on a lovely summer day.

It doesn't have a port of entry so I landed briefly at Cornwall CYCC to clear customs. All that involved was a quick phone call - they didn't even send anybody out.

One thing I definitely noticed there: Canadians seem to love midfield pattern entries. It's kind of necessary there with a somewhat complicated airspace, but I'm used to doing 45-entries so it was a departure for me.

best,
dan
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by danno2000 »

Lou wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 1:24 pm

When we went cross-country two years ago we skirted Ottawa entirely so I don’t have direct knowledge, but I would look at Rockcliffe, CYRO, which is also the home of the Air and Space Museum. It’s tucked in right beside the Ottawa River too. They have Jet A. It is an AOE too. The ForeFlight reviews look good.
I should clarify - CYRO's not listed as an AOE on the U.S. sectional, but it's an AOE per CBSA with the following caveat:

"An airport of entry designated for CANPASS private and corporate permit holders only. CANPASS members can land at an AOE any time the airport is open for landing, regardless of the hours of business of the local CBSA office."

Here's the application info: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/prog/canpas ... r-eng.html

I was only going once so it didn't seem worth it, and I didn't mind the extra landing. But it might be an option.

best,
dan
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Colin »

Thanks for all the help. I am a CANPASS member, so I can land at CYRO.

By June 15 our son will have his visa. As direct family members that allows us entry, although we need to carry proof of both his visa and our connection. We're also all vaccinated (well, he will be by then, he's halfway), and I expect that soon we'll see that making a difference for getting across.
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Lou »

danno2000 wrote:
Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:44 pm
One thing I definitely noticed there: Canadians seem to love midfield pattern entries. It's kind of necessary there with a somewhat complicated airspace, but I'm used to doing 45-entries so it was a departure for me.
This is one of the differences you should know when you cross the border. In Canada the pattern is called the “circuit” and in uncontrolled airports the rule is:

“ Unless otherwise specified or required by the
applicable distance-from-cloud criteria, aircraft
should approach the traffic circuit from the upwind
side. Alternatively, once the pilot has ascertained
without any doubt that there will be no conflict with
other traffic entering the circuit or established within
it, the pilot may also join the circuit on the downwind
leg (Figure 4.6). When joining from the upwind side,
the pilot should plan the descent to cross the runway
in level flight at 1 000 ft AAE or at the published
circuit altitude and maintain that altitude until further
descent is required for landing. ”

From TC AIM 4.5.2(I)

The downwind entry described is a straight in downwind. We don’t do the 45 into the downwind.

Lou
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Lou »

Hi Colin,

Be sure you brief the VFR procedures in the CFS (Canadian for AF/D, but more info). ForeFlight includes the VFR procedures under Procedures - Other, but you need to read the CFS too. This is generally the case around our major airports and TML airspace.

Lou
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Colin »

Lou,

I try to study it every summer. I have rarely made it through a summer visit without doing something bone-headed and I know that at least around the parts of Ontario I fly into we're known as "the November birds," and the locals expect us to screw it up. I talked to a local pilot at CNK4 for a bit and to a glider and small aircraft pilot out of the London airport. They said they know the accent and get a little more aware when one is on frequency.
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Re: Ottawa Local Knowledge

Post by Lou »

I thought you’d be on top of it but sometimes even Canadian pilots miss those pages. They disappeared on earlier versions of FF.

I am pretty sure that there are US controllers who talk over beers about “that idiot in the Charlie Golf ... Diamond”. Even when I go to Vancouver now I just say “unfamiliar” and they’re great.

L
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