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A GREAT TRIP IN CESSNA L-182D 16728




After a rewarding month of flying helicopter with C Sqn 8CH at Petawawa, I flew ARMY 272 (a Hiller 12E) back to Uplands 29 Jul 65 and was about to head-off on a couple weeks leave when I bumped into an old acquaintance, Capt Hal Cockerill, in the Hangar. Hal (an ex-RCAF and now RCASC Pilot) was a Line Pilot with the Ottawa-based Training and Liaison (T&L) Flight at Uplands, flying Cessna L-182 aircraft. He had been tasked to fly to Patrick Henry VA the next day, remain overnight, pick-up a passenger the next day, deliver him to Fredericton NB, remain overnight in Gagetown and fly back to Ottawa the following day. The return trip to Ottawa would be solo. He asked me to join him for the trip. I was already 182 qualified and gladly took him up on his offer, to gain experience and to unwind from a month of tactical rotary wing flying..

We departed Ottawa Fri 30 Jul 65 in 728, bound for Patrick Henry. Weather was hot, humid and hazy. Two enroute stops (ART and HAR) were made during the 4 hour and 20 minute trip. Most memorable was transiting the Washington DC Control Zone and being a part of the huge amount of air traffic and activity in that area. After a relaxing evening and good night sleep in a local motel we headed back to the Airport next morning to meet our passenger, Brig WA Milroy, Director of Armour for the Canadian Army. He had been visiting his wife's parents who lived in Patrick Henry and was on his way to Camp Gagetown NB to be Reviewing Officer for an RCD Change of Command (Finan/Greave). He insisted on riding in the back all the way, content to read and sight-see.

Off we went, flying along the eastern seaboard, making one refueling/lunch stop (POU) on the way. It was a long flight: 6 hours. Arriving at the Fredericton Airport, we (or rather the General!) were met on the tarmac by an RCD Guard of Honour as the aircraft came to a full stop. After "putting 728 to bed for the night", Hal and I were driven to Camp Gagetown where we were quartered in the RCD lines and looked after royally. I was introduced for the first time to Moosehead draft (a mere shadow of its present quality successor) that evening at the RCD Officers' Mess. Departure back to Ottawa was set for early next morning; however, I foolishly still consumed far too much spiritus fermentum.

Sun 1 Aug saw us on our way back to Ottawa, non-stop this time, a flight of 3 hours and 40 minutes. As we approached Ottawa, the weather closed-in to almost IFR conditions. Hal, a very experienced Pilot indeed, opted for Special VFR, headed for the Metcalfe Beacon and slipped back into Uplands without a concern. I was most impressed with his flying skill and, generally, with his handling of the entire task. It went perfectly from start to finish.

It was a great experience for me and one that I was lucky to have been part of. Many years later I met now LGen Milroy in the Army Ottawa Officers' Mess and he did indeed remember the trip as a most enjoyable one.





Author’s Note:

Airport Codes listed in logbook entries above: ART-Watertown NY; HAR-Harrisburg PA; POU-Poukeepsie NY; FC- Fredericton NB.