Jim Cole (one of our Senior Partners) and his wife Gloria  are taking a trip to Alaska in their airplane.

Jim is traveling with Tom Inglis and his wife Ann from Wingham ON, heading for the COPA convention in Dawson Creek and joining host Bram Tilhoe on an Alaska Highway flight to Fairbanks. According to Bram there are 40 aircraft and 78 people registered to make the trip sponsored by COPA.

Throughout the trip Jim will be communicating to us all through this blog.

It should be a great adventure.

Good Luck and have a safe trip!!

Touch the Title of each entry to see the associated Photo.

Press Here to see the trip Photo Gallery.



01 – we left Sault Ste Marie on Sunday afternoon to head along the south shore of Lake Superior

CYAM airport. Nice facilities but not much support for the small plane pilot and a $40 cab ride from downtown. Cheaper to rent a car.
But a short hop to Sanderson field to clear US customs.


01a – we crossed the border back into Canada 70 NM south of Winnipeg at Piney, a unique airport with one half in Canada and the other in the US.

Customs Sign at Piney


02 – South of Lake Superior en route to Ashland WI.

It looks like we are going to be in for some weather.
Flight monitoring in Minni was very helpful with updates.


03 – We put down in Garaga MI, to wait for weather

Small grass strip 40NM south of the shore of Superior. There was no services or support so we moved on.


04 – Moved on to Houghton MI, great place, friendly staff, hotel picked us up.

Houghton MI, great town and we think worth visiting again. You can see the weather in the distance.
Big copper mining area as early as 1750’s


05 – a very quiet downtown Houghton MI

Rained after we landed.


06 – Heading west from Houghton with McGregor

South shore of Lake Superior Tom looks good!


07 – Iron Mountain showing it’s colors through the fog

Just east of Ashland WI.


08 – McGregor MN – 24hour Mogas, access to the lounge, crew car, and great lunch downtown.

Crew car with Tom adding some Mogas in the BG
You know it’s an amazing community when you can phone ahead and get this type of ground support and access without ever seeing anyone.


09 – Flying northwest from McGregor to Piney MN

An almost perfectly round lake, you can only think that it might have been a meteorite.


10 still had to fly around some isolated showers on the way to Piney

Isolated thunderstorm in northern Minnesota, it was a little rough but still beautiful.


11 – what a great contrast

Still northern Minnesota, straight road, railroad, with another shower in the distance


12 – It’s getting better the closer we get to Canada

I was flying along with the window open and as Tom said on the radio “Have I told you how happy I am to be here today!” Just great!


13 Piney is very unique. You land and go to the Customs office depending on which direction your’e flying..

The runway is half in Canada and half in the US.


14 – The two Rebels resting at Piney

The weather is gradually getting better as we go. Still a little bumpy but no more showers.
Next stop Brandon.


14a – Another Great View of the Prairies

I just love the lines and shapes


15 – Flying south of Winnipeg on the way to Brandon

Some people think the prairies are boring…but as you can see some of the shapes are great!


16 – We landed in Brandon at 17:05.

It was great that the guys from the Brandon Flying Club stayed to give us fuel and open their facilities to us.
Very friendly and helpful! They had a crew car that we could use but we still wanted to get to Yorkton for the night.


16a – So inspiring!

Another shot between Brandon and Yorkton.


17 – Interesting landscape between Brandon and Yorkton SK.

I really don’t know what all the shapes are? Does anyone?


18 – More great landscape

I was flying low and it reminded me of an IMAX movie, as the landscape rolled under our wings.
The only thing missing was the music!


19 – Yorkton SK. We had wheels up at 5:50 am so we could beat the weather to Edmonton

Leading Edge Aviation in Yorkton were again very helpful.
A couple of phone calls and there was a crew car available to us so we stayed the night. You have to love the aviation community!


20 – Had to share this early morning picture of the Yorkton airport facilities.

Yorkton SK. Lounge and washrooms.


21 – Flying around another shower, just outside North Battleford SK

You can see Tom in the upper right. North Battleford is just behind the showers.


22 – We picked North Battleford because it was about 1/2 way to Edmonton and had 24 hour fuel

On final for 06 at North Battleford SK. Lots of aerial spraying and 24 hour fuel.


Landed at Edmonton International

We circled for about 15 minutes north of the airport while we waited for a landing spot, without being too close, to the 737 and Dash 8 traffic.



Controller Says Descend-Now!

On the instructions of the controller we dove for the button so we could give space to the larger traffic at Edmonton International. 02/200 was closed so there was only 12/22 available for all traffic, small and large.


Executive Flight Centre Welcome

They made us feel like some of the “Big Boys!  We had many helping hands to help us put the Rebels away for a couple of days in one of their hangars.
It’s a very busy place for private operators servicing the north with 30 to 40 scheduled flights per day. Very impressive.


In Good Company

The Rebel was welcome inside Executive Flight Centre’s hangar in Edmonton. We’re getting ready to fly to Dawson Creek.