November 03, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Circumnavigating Canada in a Power Flow Equipped Skyhawk
Chilliwack, BC – Jack Dekens got his VFR Private Pilot’s License at age 58 for one major purpose: he wanted to circumnavigate Canada. For Jack, it was the ultimate cross country flight and an adventure he had dreamed about for many years.
He made up for his limited flight hours with thorough planning. Since avgas is hard to find up north, he called every airport he planned to visit to make sure he would be able to refuel. Though he was heading north as a tourist, he did not fill his suitcase with colorful shirts, but selected survival gear and provisions.
He purchased a 1975 172M Skyhawk, removed all but one seat, replaced the engine with a factory-new installation and bought a new prop. Knowing he could use some extra horsepower in the mountains and that he needed to make his fuel burn as efficient as possible, he also installed a Power Flow Tuned Exhaust System. There were long legs on the flight, especially above the Arctic Circle, where he was really happy to have the benefits of a Tuned Exhaust. He practiced a lot of landings on grass and gravel strips, did a lot flying over the clouds, got his night flying endorsement and purchased a satellite phone so he could file flight plans up north (a requirement since the arctic is a military zone). He carried five Jerry cans of fuel and used a special funnel to filter out impurities. Since he knew that magnetic compasses can swing wildly up north, he also relied on GPS and it served him well.
Departing from Vancouver, B.C., Jack flew clockwise around the country. The trip took 30 days, covered nearly 10,000 miles and consumed $6,000 worth of fuel. This included the quantities of avgas he had made special arrangements to have pre-positioned at northern strips that normally offer only Jet A. Along the way he visited Frobisher Bay, Resolute Bay, Iqaluit, and Pond Inlet on Baffin Island. It was the west coast and the northern islands that most intrigued him on the trip. He made the journey in July though he now believes it might have been a little easier in August when there was less snow up north. His hope on returning was that he be able to take his five girls flying and maybe instill in them some of his own sense of adventure.
Jack’s daughter, Louise Chapman, interviewed her father after his adventure and wrote up a description of his preparations and
experiences during the flight, which can be accessed through this link: