A couple weeks ago my longtime friend Jeff “no relation” Robichaud took me up in a Cessna west of Calgary. Jeff and I have known each other since 1983. All those years, he’s demonstrated that he likes to master things. I think getting his pilot’s license a few years back is a vestige of having been infatuated with Top Gun.
The only time I’ve been up in a tiny plane was when I went skydiving in 1998. I didn’t realize all the paperwork and prep time that went into taking a plane up. Weather, fuel, weather, weather, log books, waivers and weather checks.
He takes me over Ghost Lake, up the valley, down towards Morley. We face the low sun gleaming just above the Rockies at 7000 ft (or 4000 ft above the ground).
The most intimidating part about flying seems to be the radio contact with the air traffic controllers at YBW and YYC. Jeff’s voice changes to a lower register when he talks to them. I can’t understand a word. Terrifying.
Jeff gives me the controls for a couple minutes. Pretty responsive machine. Happy to pass the controls back to Jeff.
It is beautiful country from the ground. The dramatic relief of the rivers carving through the foothills from the air is spectacular.
Facing east we follow the Bow River towards Calgary and land at Springbank.
Jeff, thanks for the flight and for landing the plane so well.