The best laid plans of mice and men…

As mentioned in an earlier post, this weekend Vicki and I were flying over to Oshawa.

However, it turns out that Oshawa doesn’t have customs service after 4:30 or something on Fridays, and none on the weekends. And while I’ve registered with Canpass, Vicki and Laura aren’t. So that means that we had to fly into Buttonville instead of Oshawa.

This was my first flight in the Dakota since we installed the GPS in it. That was cool. I tried filing direct, but they gave me V31 LINNG then direct. Ok, only one intermediate waypoint. And about 3/4 of the way to LINNG they told me to go direct. I guess they wanted us to clear one of the MOAs or the CYA on the direct route.

Man, what a difference in activity level at Buttonville as compared to Oshawa. When we were turned over to the tower, we were number 3 for landing. There was a Bonanza in front of us, and I never thought I’d have trouble slowing down to the speed of a Bonanza but this guy was in no hurry. We ended up crossing the threshold while he was still on the runway so I had to do a go-around. Next time around, and I was still #3, this time behind a Cessna. But I slowed the plane down slower than I normally go and hung out all the flaps, and he got off the runway nice and quickly, so this time we landed.

Customs cleared us over the phone (and why couldn’t they do that at Oshawa, I ask?) and away we went. The car rental place had big signs up warning of dire charges if we went on 407, so we struck off down to the 401 and got stuck in the Friday evening “rush”. It only took 50 minutes to fly to Buttonville, and 1:15 to drive from Buttonville to Oshawa. We probably should have just cleared customs at Buttonville and then flown on to Oshawa.

Tomorrow there is some big street festival in the middle of downtown, and also the Molson Grand Prix at the Exhibition. That’s going to make driving to Ontario Place utterly impossible, so I’ve had to move up all the schedules for flying back and picking up Laura. Vicki and everybody here are going to take the GO train from Pickering, and Laura and I will go from Buttonville to the nearest TTC subway stop and take the train in. According to the GO transit web site, there is going to be a special route they have to follow from the GO Exhibition stop to Ontario Place. Hopefully it won’t be too confusing.

One thought on “The best laid plans of mice and men…”

  1. > We probably should have just cleared customs at Buttonville and then
    > flown on to Oshawa.

    Indeed! One little trick that may help next time is to pull up to the
    customs airport’s terminal, keep the engine running at minimum RPM, and
    call customs via the cell phone. If they clear you there, as is the
    usual routine, you can taxi back to the runway and be on your way in
    just a few minutes.

    Since you are such a frequent visitor, you should consider getting a
    CANPASS permit for yourselves. It would let you land pretty much

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