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Mike's Pilot Log: South to South Adventure

Before flying into Canada, you have to call a toll free number...

The weather had improved a whole lot…. We said our goodbyes and were on our way by 9am. A slight headwind didn't concern us as the flight to Bangor was only 50 minutes. Bangor is quite a large international airport – it is great to be so well received by the air traffic controllers – on the approach we were placed number two behind the huge military transport jet and before the Cessna 182 doing circuits.

While Olivier talked to some pilots, I bought us two IPERB's (emergency location beacons) and a map. Later I checked the weather and then tried to file a flight plan for Canada. Before flying into Canada, you have to call a toll free number and give the Canadians all of your, your aircraft's and your passenger's details. It was during this particular call that I was told in no uncertain manner that I had to get a Canadian visa before entering Canada and if I didn't have one they would just send me back….. I was sure that I could get around this by purchasing a visa waiver or similar. I spent the next few hours phoning consulates, border posts and friends trying to make some arrangement or other for a visa. By 5 pm I realised that I would have to get a visa and the easiest consulate to deal with was in Buffalo, New York State. I phoned around for a flight and the best price was $600. Ouch!

By this time the weather was not looking that good to the north, so after checking with Lisa at the Boys Club that we could have our sleeping spots back for the next few nights, we jumped into our planes and headed south… We have been trying not to head south quite yet.

Lisa manages Enterprise Car Rental and she very quickly arranged a car for me so I was in for a long drive.


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