Flying Over Downtown Toronto

First Flying Lesson

Time to fly! It is that time in life when you want to do something exciting, something dangerous.

“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

Skydiving

If it can’t kill you, it ain’t a sport! – Skydive

Ten years ago was skydiving.

Skydiving

Skydiving, 2007

Now is flying an airplane. A very small one, from Toronto City Airport.

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Located on Toronto Island, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is Canada’s sixth-busiest airport

The airport’s name honours Billy Bishop, the Canadian World War I flying ace and Victoria Cross recipient and World War II Air Marshal (Wikipedia).

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

To get to the airport, you can walk through the pedestrian tunnel under Lake Ontario (100 feet deep, 853 feet long). It has one one of the longest escalator systems in Canada.

Pedestrian tunnel - Toronto Island Airport

Pedestrian tunnel – Toronto Island Airport

Island Air Flight School

Airplane inside hangar

Island Air Flight School hangar

Before booking my flight with the Island Air Flight School the instructor asked me about my height (174 cm) and weight (85 kg). I was surprised when he answered: “you may not fit in the plane”!

My first choice of airplane (and the cheapest one) was the two-seaters Cessna C150M. I didn’t realize how small this airplane is, until I saw it. The plane’s door is square and tiny. The cabin width is only 38 inches/96 cm. For two people! I managed to get inside. It is more like a toy for children. Too tight, indeed.

Cessna C150M

Cessna C150M

The next choice was the four-seater Cessna C172M – bigger and more comfortable. Plus I got the option to take a special passenger with me!

Cessna C172M

Cessna C172M

Cessna C712M

Cessna C712M front view

Skyhawk

The name of the plane: “Skyhawk”

The Flight

The flying lesson starts with a pre-flight briefing covering safety and an introduction to some of the controls. We were given headphones so we can listen to the conversations between the instructor and air traffic control.

Cessna C172M controls

Cessna C172M controls

With the instructor besides, flying seems easy. No problems at takeoff, but maximum concentration at landing. Once in the air, I took control of the plane with intermittent breaks to take photos of the scenery. Amazing views of Downtown Toronto in a beautiful sunny morning: the financial district skyscrapers,  the CN Tower, Rogers Centre and Toronto Islands.

“Flying a good airplane doesn’t require near as much attention as a motor car.” – Charles Lindbergh

Happy passenger

Happy passenger

Up in the air!

Up in the air!

Toronto From Above

Toronto Downtown - aerial view

Toronto Downtown - aerial view

Toronto Downtown - aerial view

Toronto Downtown - aerial view

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

“Whenever I dream about flying, it’s the best feeling in the world.” – Kate Mara

Map

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