One of the things that I try and do with the Flight Journal series is to offer interesting places to fly and this is definitely one. Flying from Comox to Tofino with the MSFS default Cessna 208 Caravan I found some incredible scenery to watch out the window while flying what felt like just the right aircraft for the job. So let’s go!
Heading to Tofino
Technically, Comox CYQQ is a military base (and is not normally used for GA) but for this flight I wanted to start from the training base of the Snowbirds. The Snowbirds are Canada’s aerobatic team and a group that I’ve head the immense pleasure of seeing perform many times.
Vancouver Island has recently seen an unusual amount of snow, unusual because the local climate is highly localized with higher elevations typically seeing big snowfalls while the most populated regions near the coasts are typically warmer than most of Canada and usually get only a couple of snowfalls a year. This year they are already ahead of schedule according to a friend who lives in the area.
Setting out from a snowy CFB Comox in the 208, I set course for Tofino airport at CYAZ. Tofino is located on the western side of the Island and is well known as a surfing destination – year round.
The purpose of the flight was to find a fun, mountainous, and highly scenic route and I can report that this is definitely one of those. The flight was short, taking less than half an hour, but you get to see a lot during that half hour. You can see lakes, mountains, river valleys, and more all dominating the landscape of Vancouver Island.
Landing into the setting sun
I flew it with a low sun angle and some stunning clouds courtesy of the built in real time weather. The visuals were superb.
Landing was interesting requiring an approach with no visibility until about 2-3km out. Also dramatically noticeable was the shift from snow to grass as Tofino tends to be mild most of the winter though with highly changeable conditions. I’ll let the screenshots say the rest. If you need a quick hop, try it in a turbo prop aircraft and enjoy the short hop with stunningly beautiful scenery.