Logbook Stories

from my "Standard Pilot Master Log"


Bringing Home the Beer

October 12, 1979

My company flew a lot of trips to Canada. When we were still operating the King Air and the Citations our airport of choice for a Toronto destination was Toronto Island Airport (aerial photo below). This is one cool airport on an island immediately adjacent to downtown Toronto. Kind of like Chicago Meigs was, except the Toronto city fathers are smart enough to keep the airport open instead of bulldozing it into a park like the idiot Chicago mayor Daley did to Meigs. Toronto Island's main disadvantage is relatively short runways, so when we began operating the larger corporate jets we had to stop using it. Access to downtown Toronto is via a ferry that runs across the narrow channel between the island and the mainland.

On the day of the flight logged above the weather was nice, perfect for sightseeing in downtown Toronto. I note here having visited the CN tower, where I took the elevator to the observation deck for a grand view of Toronto. Molson's brewery is within easy walking distance, so I also went there to take the brewery tour, and while there picked up a couple six-packs of fresh Molson beer to take home with me.

Because of our frequent trips back and forth to Canada, we had a good working relationship with Customs on both ends. US Customs would usually drive down to our home base airport so we didn't have to make an extra stop to clear Customs back into the country . (At that time, the home base had no local customs office). So after we taxiied in, parked and shut down, Customs officer "Mike" took our prepared paperwork, and asked the usual questions of all persons on board (this means passengers and crew), one of which is whether we had anything purchased in Canada we needed to declare. The company's executive-type passengers (of course) had nothing. I mentioned the beer. At which point the passengers were excused to deplane and go on their ways, but Mike wanted to know how much beer. Oops. Newbie international copilot doesn't know there's a limit to how much you can bring in. Consequences could have followed. Thank goodness for our good relationship, as I only got enlightened about the rules, along with a mild scolding and an admonition to not do it ever again. And then allowed to take my beer home. Where it came in handy for winding down from that flight.



References for Non-Pilots: