So today is the day. The grand opening of Mudspike Logistics. At the moment - one pilot, one aircraft. I might get a dog too, but for now, we are a one man show. With a Cessna 172 and $100,000 in startup capital, I’m going to try to build an air freight empire.
My base of operations is the small airport at Vernon, British Columbia (CYVK). It has asphalt, lights, and an NDB approach - what else could you possibly need?
I found a good deal at a nearby airport, so my first business transaction was to sell my Cessna 172 for around $92K and pick up a Cessna 172RG for $186K. Yeah - not cheap, but the 172RG takes me back to when I was first hauling freight in Myrtle Beach.
I only had to spend $10,000 of my startup capital to open my base at Vernon, so coupled with the purchase of the RG, I’m now a bit in the hole with a cash balance of ($4,058) - so I’d better get to work.
I tapped into the local freight market job listings and picked up my first flight - a nice easy run hauling 596 lbs. of shrimp on a short flight over to Kamloops (CYKA).
My RG is fairly lightly equipped with dual NAV/COMS and an ADF receiver. No GPS in the budget, so I’ll be mostly flying VFR when I can, and some IFR using VORs and NDBs. Three decades ago, the RG I flew contained the newest cutting edge technology - a LORAN-C! Given the rugged terrain, I’ve made sure to check out the weather reports for the departure and destination prior to accepting the job. All looks good.
I check my manifest, load up the RG, ensure I have enough fuel for the short leg, and fire up the engine.
My newly purchased RG has a zero time engine on it…sweet…!
A little bit of light haze…but for the Pacific Northwest - I think this is superb weather. I’m guessing it won’t be that way always…
Dialing in one of the Kamloops NDB frequencies and watching the needle swing to the bearing…
It’s been awhile since I’ve flown a piston single, so I consult the POH and set the manifold pressure, RPM, and lean it out to 50 degrees peak of lean…closing the cowl flaps on reaching cruise altitude of 6,000’…
The terrain is stunning with heavily forested slopes and beautiful rivers and lakes. It will be interesting to see how the landscape transforms in winter. As I fly northwest, I pick up the South Thompson River which will lead me directly the Kamloops airport. Visibility has improved and just a few clouds dot the sky…
Soon enough, the airport comes into view…
Gear down - three green, prop forward, mixture back towards rich.
Here we are!
What a nice airport - one of the vast area that I’ll be flying in that is covered by Tom Curtis’ Canadian Rockies, Inside Passage, and Final Frontier package. Eventually, I hope to make my way west into EPOCH Passage Aviation territory to start flying into some of those unique airfields frequented by my EPOCH Alaska Air friends.
I park on the ramp, set the brake, and shut off the engine. My first cargo haul is in the books!
I haven’t damaged anything, won’t need to pay for repairs, and the cargo arrived safely. With the money earned, I’m back in the black with $1,480 in my account. Time to start building this company!
I want a boat that drinks six, eats four, and sleeps two. - Ernest K. Gann