Jul 3, 2007

Canada Day Fireworks

On a July 1st evening a few years ago climbing out of Montreal we saw fireworks bursting up from the Old Port area of the city. It was a clear night so just ten minutes later we had an excellent view of more fireworks as we passed Ottawa, the nation's capital. Lesser displays kept popping up from smaller communities across western Quebec and northeast Ontario as we progressed down the airway towards Toronto. The darkened countryside far from big-city lights continually erupted with wiggly blue-white sparks and rainbow trails of silent fiery tribute.

We weren't the only ones to notice. A U.S. flight crew departing Toronto called down on the frequency, asking what the fireworks were for.

"It's our fourth of July," the controller quipped. "We like to get a head start." After a short pause, someone else chimed in to clarify; "It's Canada Day."

"Ah yes. Nice view from here tonight," The American pilot returned. "Happy Canada Day," he added before flipping over to Buffalo center.

It was a unique flight where chance timing coincided with excellent weather to give us a special show. But it was the most fireworks I ever hope to see from the flight deck - if you get my drift.


Aviatrix said...

I remember being on final for a runway at night and despite our contact with an on-site flight service specialists who reported nothing out of the ordinary, red fireworks were clearly visible from the immediate area of the airport.

If it had been sparklers or multicoloured fireworks, we probably would have said "eh, it's November, they're left over from Hallowe'en." But they were red. The two of us kind of alternated words as we recalled from early early flight training that "red ... pyrotechnics ... means ... do not ... land." We overshot, and reported the observation to the specialist, who assured us it was unconnected to the airport, and that it would be investigated. We came back around and this time there were no red pyrotechnics, but there were red and blue flashing lights in the area we had reported them. People: if you live next to an airport you are not allowed to set of fireworks.

Aluwings said...

Yes, that and flying kites. I've seen kites near an airport that were high enough and close enough to the flight path to be a concern.