190525 DOT19 Dash-8's - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

A few photos from today's "Door's Open" visit to the Toronto island airport, where I was able to set a personal best for how close to the airfield I could reach. All photos, except the first, were taken with the XF80mm lens.

People who aren't fans of airplane photos can safely skip this one. (Everyone else probably can, too.)

One of the puzzles about the island airport is that it has a collection of "Trans Capital Air" Dash-7's parked in the outfield. I've never counted them, but there's at least four or five. Until today I had no idea they ever moved; I've never seen evidence that they still fly. Which is too bad – they're an important and increasingly scarce aircraft. Designed for really stunning short take off and landing performance, fitting the de Havilland Canada experience with bush planes, they were supposed to change the face of aviation. Something like the Segway of its day. This one flew in Africa to support the United Nations, and now it's parked in Toronto.

The DHC-7 was replaced by the twin-engine Dash-8, which can't jump into the air as quickly, but is cheaper to operate. The second photo includes the modern Q400 version, C-GLQO, on its way to Washington.

Two Porter Q400's trading places. 

The island airport is functionally a single-runway operation, so here an outbound plane waits on the taxiway while its fleetmate lands. The inbound plane is C-GLQX, completing its trip from Thunder Bay, then C-GKQI took off, bound for Thunder Bay.

Coincidentally, Thunder Bay is one of the three places where I've flown with Porter Airlines.

One final set from the last landing I stayed out for. The rain was intermittent; mostly light, but at this moment very heavy. Of course the planes and pilots handled it perfectly, but I was starting to get soaked through.

This is C-GLQV. It started its day in Halifax and stopped in Montreal before I saw it land. It spent 109 minutes in Toronto before going to Ottawa, and ends its day in Moncton.

Its to-do list for tomorrow, Sunday May 26, is Moncton - Ottawa - Toronto - Thunder Bay - Toronto - Ottawa - Toronto - Thunder Bay. While it's doing that all I'll be accomplishing is grocery shopping – though that's not guaranteed – and spending some time at Spadina House for the concluding day of the Doors Open Toronto weekend. 


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