Flying in Canada is something I don’t do that often. Most of my flying is in the southern Unites States, but when I saw Gregory Putz’s new fs2004 scenery for La Ronge, Saskatchewan, Canada, I decided to give flying north of the US border a shot!
What better aircraft to fly than the Beechcraft Bonanza F33A. One of the earliest members of the Bonanza family, the F33A is a great cruiser thanks to its economical performance and comfortable cabin. Her curvy lines are not only classic, but quite sexy as well.
Leaving Minot International Airport (KMOT) in North Dakota, we fly approximately 450 nm north to La Ronge. While weather was quite good in North Dakota and in La Ronge, he weather in between was a little dicey, with clouds, gusty winds and low visibility. Well, an adventure I wanted and an adventure I got!
With low visibility, I discovered that tracking progress from landmarks (VFR) was not working too well. I had already setup a direct GPS route, so there was no question about where I was or where I was going. However, some of like to watch the scenery go by, but not so today.
The gusty winds also made me keep a close eye on the controls and gauges. With winds gusting up to 20 mph and the autopilot auto-correcting to course, this was quite a bumpy ride. Sitting in the pilot seat feeling the plane react to the environment around it was really cool, if not nauseating.
Approaching La Ronge (CYVC), I started my descent from 10,500 feet and quickly noticed how much the landscape had changed since leaving North Dakota. Gone were the prairies, replaced with forest and lakes. With the late evening sun low in the sky, our flight took on a romantic mysterious feeling. Flying a low circle of La Ronge before landing was awesome!
One thing that didn’t change upon arriving at La Ronge were the winds. Landing at runway 36 with a stiff crosswind was going to test my skills. I was already low from my circle, just under 2,000 feet so the runway approach was going to be interesting. I removed the autopilot as I turned to base and started crabbing. Unfortunately, I almost stalled as I didn’t apply power turning from the tailwind. Already slow forward speed gave me time to align with the runway center-line, but the crosswind did its best to throw me off.
Once on the ground, I appreciated being on terra firma again. Taxiing to parking let me see Gregory’s new scenery up close. From the water bomber ramp, to the small terminal building, to the airport’s hangar line, it really felt as though I was at La Ronge and not in a simulator. Thank you Gregory!
La Ronge, Saskatchewan Scenery:
Beechcraft F33A Bonanza for FS2004:
Cost: $29.95 (USD) for FSX version