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KerrSpectives - CNC3 Brampton-Caledon Airport Pro For MSFS 2020

KerrSpective 4

Rolling Back The Years With CNC3 Brampton-Caledon Airport Pro For MSFS 2020

By Kenneth James Kerr


When I was a teenager, my dad once told me, “The older you get the faster time goes.†I clearly remember thinking it was one of the daftest things I’d ever heard my dad say, but nearly fifty years later it is amazing how wise and true it has turned out to be.

With the passage of time, and the increasing years, I have discovered not only how time does indeed fly, but also how luxurious it can be to bathe in nostalgia when considering the years that have slipped into history. I talked about this recently when recording my new video course on journaling (HERE), and I also found nostalgia flooding over me like a tidal wave when trying out a new airport in MSFS2020.

Today, I want to roll back the years, and offer the KerrSpective that MSFS2020 is an amazing way to re-live your personal history!

I go back to the year 1988. I was a mere 30 years of age and a very enthusiastic church minister. I’d been trying to set up a congregation of our fellowship in Inverness, Scotland for a number of years, and was ready for a change. That change came when a church near Toronto hired me as their preacher, and my wife and I emigrated to Canada on July 1st of that year.

Our new home was the city of Brampton, sitting just to the west of Toronto. Even in 1988, you could drive from the main mall in Brampton to the very heart of Toronto, and never leave the urban sprawl for a moment. It was a harsh change from the serenity of the Scottish highlands, but I fell in love with it almost instantly.

Within a few weeks we were settling into our new life. I’d bought a car, set up my office at the church building, and we were looking for a house to rent. Of course, I’d spent tons of time already beside the fence at CYYZ (Pearson International) which was only a few miles away, but I’d also discovered the local hub of general aviation. This was the pretty little airfield of Brampton-Caledon (CNC3), and best of all it was five minutes from where we were living.

About two months later, we were moved into our rented place near Heart Lake, I’d got a computer, and had purchased Microsoft Flight Simulator for the first time. It was version four, and it seemed amazing to me as I flew circuits from Meigs Field in those jerky, primitive graphics. And this brought back my appetite for real flying, so I popped over to CNC3, and signed up for lessons. As it turned out, I hated the instructor’s approach, and only did three flights from Brampton, but the memory of flying from that field is still as clear as a bell.

Well, that is 32 years ago now. Yes, my late dad was right. Where have those years gone? So many changes. I have not been a minister since 1989, have changed my whole philosophy of life since then (more than once), and sometimes feel strange when I see “my dad†looking back at me from the mirror as I shave. Sometimes I think the only external thing that’s not changed is that I am still using Microsoft Flight Simulator! So today I’m going to give you an example of using it to “re-visit†the past.

How many of you have already flown over places you lived at years ago? How many of you have found yourself re-living a time that is gone? And how many have shaken their heads when looking at the MSFS2020 scenery, and said “It looks familiar, but man has that place grown!†Heck, this is not a simulator (or game – depending on your bent), it is a memory-machine! A nostalgia-engendering, memory-producing, time-traveling device that defies age, location, and even circumstances. And so I have rolled back the years to CNC3 Brampton-Caledon Airport.

Now available on the FlightSim.Com store, “CNC3 Brampton-Caledon Airport Pro for MSFS†has just been released as the first-ever commercial design by a new name to our industry, Roman Design. Why Roman? That’s the fellow’s first name, and he indeed lives and works (graphic and website design) in the Greater Toronto Area. He started out creating freeware to enhance the GTA a few months ago, and has already put out an improved photogrammetry of Toronto, an enhanced Niagara Falls, and a couple of airports. One of those airports is the “Light†freeware version of Brampton, and it is available to whet your appetite for his commercial version.

I’m not going to go into every detail of the product, that’s not my intention here. Rather, I want to get across to you just how easily the years fell away when exploring both the airport and the area in MSFS2020. It was literally like being there again. Roman has done such an impressive job with CNC3 that he makes that very easy to experience.

My nostalgia started right at the main access road into the airport. I have parked my car here and watched Cessnas taking off many times in the past. I know this place, and it feels like I am there again. Looking down the road, seeing the museum building to the right, noticing the angle of the runway in relation to the road, and then seeing the characteristic red-roofed hangars to the left, this is uncanny. I wonder how it will be when VR comes along?


1. Access road

Talking about The Great War Flying Museum, yes, the building is custom-made, even down to an RAF flag fluttering in the breeze, signage, and the picnic table out front. And on the “active†side of the building you’ll find three WW1-era biplanes for your inspection. Talk about adding detail and increasing immersion. For more info on the museum, click HERE.


2. The Great War Flying Museum


3. Biplanes

Further down the road, the parking lot is pretty full (as it often is), and the club building is also custom-modeled. Again, the sense of deja-vu is staggering for me. I have parked there, walked into that building, and feel as if I almost could again. However, the building interior is not represented, and actually I am fine with that. To the back of the building, you enter an area that feels like a park. There are rocks, trees, and even a wooden bridge that leads you to the ramp. I could almost see myself relaxing here during a multiplayer fly-in, sipping on a cool drink while taking it all in “virtually†from the ground!


4. Parking lot


5. Club building


6. Entrance to club


7. Like a park


8. Out to the ramp

Out on the ramp, it’s as busy as I remember it. Aircraft all over the place. And those iconic hangars are easily visible too. This really is a sterling job replete with detail, quality, and character. As I “walk†towards my parked Cessna 152, again the years fall away in a terribly uncanny way.


9. Busy ramp

Sadly, I did not record the dates of my three flights at Brampton-Caledon in 1988. I also do not have the registrations of the specific Cessnas I flew. But it was fall, so I have added a freeware mod to turn the trees a suitable shade, and I have also added a free repaint of the c152, customizing it to represent C-GBCQ, which I would later fly (both dual and solo) out of nearby CZBA, Burlington Airpark. I run my checks, fire her up, and decide to use the runway I first flew from in real life, the 2,500ft runway 08.


10. C-GBCQ - our Cessna for the day

As I taxi out, I keep on hitting the “active pause†key. This is such a photogenic airport that I’m taking tons of screenshots. Only later do I notice that they were taken with the 3d grass and bushes set to off. I re-do them before writing this article! I line up on the runway, and within moments I’m airborne. Gazing down at the countryside, I am easily identifying the roads, the tree lines, and the placement of buildings from so long ago. There’s a grin on my face that would make a Cheshire cat jealous.


11. Taxiing out


12. Slowing down to look at the biplanes


13. Take off

I decide to head Northwest along Highway 10. In real life the road rises up towards the Caledon hills, and I find myself remembering the first time I drove on it. It had been a gloriously-clear day, and I could see Lake Ontario and Toronto on the horizon. How the heck is that 32 years ago? Within minutes I am over the gravel pit at Caledon Village. First time I saw it from the air I could see why it was such an awesome landmark for local pilots. It’s the same in the sim.


14. Turning to follow Hwy 10


15. Gravel pit

Continuing to climb, I look out the left wing to the Caledon Hills and the Forks of the Credit River. Names, places, and faces from the past come to my mind. I Look for the red-rocked hill, but do not see it. I do recall thinking it was like something from Mars. I also remember friends taking us to see a local folly, a massive half-built mansion abandoned during a recession. It would be down under that wing somewhere too.


16. Caledon Hills

Further out, I orbit my Cessna around the town of Orangeville. This is where I took my Canadian driving test. I remember the examiner would not shut up about how my British license was valid until I would be 80 or so. I also remember him telling me to ignore the traffic and turn at the lights. Then, when the sequence changed and we were stuck in the middle of the intersection, he was a white as a ghost and just as silent. “I should have failed you†he later said. “And I would have had your examiner’s ticket withdrawn mate!†I replied. Needless to say, I passed!


17. Orangeville

All these memories came flooding back. I was not flying a simulated Cessna over a simulated countryside. This was real. The mind was filling in any blanks, brain cells were vibrating, neurons were firing, and suddenly an emotion was dawning on me, a sense of sadness that I shall not walk that path again, nor again be that spry 30-year old. Never has flight simulator been so encouraging of such thoughts and emotions.

I head back towards Brampton-Caledon. It’s a bit misty, so I can barely make out Lake Ontario, but I get a hint of it. Coming closer, and getting ready to join the downwind, I see Heart Lake off to my left. Our house was about one kilometer from it. Back then, there were only a few blocks of houses further out, but in the sim (and now in reality) the city has expanded very close to the airport. Once again my dad’s words come to me. “The older you get, the faster time goes.â€


18. Heart Lake off the nose

I enter the downwind leg at 1700ft ASL. I look over at the airport, those red-roofed hangars really stand out in Roman’s work, just as they do in real life. And another memory fires, this time of seeing the hangars from an airliner still more than 15,000ft up. But I must land, so I focus on that.


19. On the downwind


20. Turning base

Base leg goes quickly, and now I am on final… Yes, there’s the road, and the railway at the end of the runway. And… “How the heck am I supposed to land on that 40ft wide strip?†My Goodness, the same thought I had in real life 32 years ago. I flare, land, struggle with the MSFS2020 physics to stay straight, and then pull off and park. Engine off, I sit there and think.


21. Turning final


22. Over the fence


23. Into the flare

What just happened? It’s like going though old photos, or old videos. The body may be older, but the person viewing these things is still the same, just as ageless, just as ethereal. You and I are not the body, we are not even the mind. We are the consciousness that looks out from those two eyes, and that is as young and fresh as it was 32 years ago. While the body feels older and stiffer as I get up from my chair, while the mind had to be prodded into remembering some details, the observer was the same… And so the experience was evergreen, vibrant, alive, and as real as it gets.

With photo-scenery, brilliant lighting, high-fidelity graphics, and now more and more detailed third-party airports, this nostalgic KerrSpective can be your experience too. Go and fly those places from your past, re-live some memories. Be young again, if only for a short time.

Roman Design’s CNC3 Brampton-Caledon Airport Pro for MSFS is a great product, well worth buying as a base for Ontario exploration, a trip to Niagara, or a sightseeing jaunt over Toronto. I highly recommend it. (Buy it HERE)


24. A closing look at CNC3 Brampton-Caledon Pro

Next time, I’m taking you on a flight in Manitoba!


Kenneth Kerr


Purchase Roman Design – CNC3 Brampton – Caledon Airport Pro for MSFS

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