Living in Florida, we have a difficult time visualizing how cold it gets in the northern latitudes. Flying between Augusta and Goose Bay made it very easy to remember.
The Augusta weather had cleared considerably around the time for takeoff and the sky to the south was quite blue. Unfortunately, we were flying northeast.
Shortly after becoming airborne, we entered the cloud layers. At the lower altitudes, it was a few degrees above freezing. However, at our cruising altitude of 7,000', the temperature was about 30 degrees, just cold enough to put ice on our windshield, wings and everything else. The Baron has an excellent deicing system so there was never a safety problem. However, prolonged flying in icing conditions is not exactly prudent.
We were able to descend at times to 5,000' where the ice would melt. However, the minimum altitude for communication purposes was 7,000' so much of the time we labored on with fingers crossed and the deicing equipment doing its thing. About 100 miles from Goose Bay, we were cleared to descend below the clouds so that situation was finally resolved. The landscape below was quite desolate and covered with snow. There were many lakes, similar to Florida, but they were totally frozen. The scenery was beautiful but in an eerie sort of way. It was nice when the airport came into sight.
Goose Bay is a training area for various air force units from Europe. There were British fighters and the German Luftwaffe also was there at the time. When the tower stated there were two Tornados approaching the airport ahead, he was speaking of fighter jets, not weather phenomenon--much to Sherry's relief. Then our remaining task was to land on a 13,000' runway--not much of a challenge and a perfect end to another flight.
The taxi driver who drove us to dinner that evening spoke of the history of the area, the accomplishments of some of his ancestors and all of the local attractions. The driver on the way back told us there was not much to do in the area and that there are a great number of bars. We are glad we experienced the first driver or we would have had an entirely different picture of life in Goose Bay. It would be nice to return some day.