Aircraft Operations


Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) and Electronic Publications

  • Is it legal for pilots conducting non-commercial flights to carry required publications only in electronic format? Is it wise to do so even if it is legal? We have some tips and quotes from Transport Canada to answer both of these questions.

Filing and Activating flight plans

  • A few COPA members have recently sent SAR forces searching for them – when they didn’t even go flying!

Aerobatic manoeuvres with passengers

  • In the old days of aviation, before the CARS came into effect in 1996, performing aerobatics with passengers on board was not permitted in Canada.

Aircraft Checklists

  • On the COPA do it yourself Ramp Check Form for aircraft other than ultralights there is one little item that says “Checklist (N&E) CAR 602.60.” What does that mean and what are you supposed to have on board?

Aircraft crosswind limitations

  • We have had several members recently ask about “Crosswind Landing Limitations” for their aircraft.

Aviation sunglasses

  • A pilot who can’t see is an accident waiting to happen.

Buzzing at a Fly-in is Illegal

  • So you are coming into a fly-in and you decide to do a low approach and then make a high-speed pass down the runway and pull up before joining the circuit.

Cell phones

  • A pilot-in-command may attempt to contact the appropriate NAV CANADA ATS unit by means of a conventional cell or satellite phone. Before placing the call...

COPA wins on Ontario autofuel refund procedures

  • The most recent election in Ontario was triggered by a budget, which included a 4 cent per litre increase in the tax on aviation gasoline, making Ontario the highest taxing province for this fuel.
  • COPA member Leo Charlebois called COPA to say that while the province of Ontario will give a tax refund on the aircraft use of autofuel, the procedures were cumbersome and difficult to comply with.

Digital radio - Is it coming to aviation?

  • The VHF-AM radios that we all use in our aircraft have remained pretty much unchanged since the late 1940s, but it looks like change is coming, mandated by the FAA south of the border.

External Loads

  • Privately registered aircraft are permitted to carry external loads as long as owners follow the provisions of Transport Canada Advisory Circular 500-004. Unfortunatly Transport Canada is re-assessing the Advisory Circular and currently requiring a Supplemental Type Certificate for carriage of external loads until further notice.

First Aid Kits

  • Here at COPA we get questions about first aid kits. Most people know that they need one in their plane – but what is supposed to go in it?

Flare guns

  • Recently a COPA member wrote in asking about flare guns. He wanted to have one in his aircraft survival kit but had been told that it might be a prohibited weapon under Canada’s new Firearms Act.

GA Advisory Circulars

  • Transport Canada puts out General Aviation Advisory Circulars to let pilots and aircraft owners know more about changes and upcoming programs.

General information on aviation products and aircraft types

Interpreting TAF Probability Groups

  • With the implementation of the aerodrome forecast in TAF code in June 1996, some questions have been asked on how to decode or interpret the Probability (PROB) group.


  • Recently I have had a few questions from COPA members about NOTAMs.

NOTAMS and rockets

  • The recent change of an alert area in Southwestern Ontario temporarily into a restricted area for rocket firing caused some confusion amongst local pilots.

Pilot supplies

  • COPA stopped marketing pilot supplies in the early 1980s as other businesses were able to do it more efficiently and offer better prices to COPA Members.


  • COPA Members often ask about publications, particularly whether you can be violated for carrying out-of-date publications. As always, the answer is “that depends”. In this case it depends on what type of flying you are doing.

Remember: Turbine + Pressurized = CAR 604 Operating Certificate!

  • So you have your heart set on a really hot airplane – something turbine powered and pressurized?

Renting Out Your Aircraft

  • We have had several questions recently about renting out your aircraft as a way to allow other pilots to fly your plane.  

Reporting Accidents or Incidents to the Transportation Safety Board

Requirement to carry the aircraft flight manual

  • I really enjoy the series of articles, "Did you know about...". Here is one that might be of interest to explore.

Rules at airports

  • Recently a number of COPA members have called in with questions about the rules that airport owners impose on aircraft owners leasing hangars or land at their airports.

Some enlightenment on all those flashing lights

  • Did you know that a strobe light is permitted as an aerodrome beacon?

Survival Kits

  • We often get questions at COPA about what is required for survival equipment.

Uncontrolled aerodromes

  • Late on the morning of May 16, 1999, two C-172’s approaching to land on runway 32 at the 108 Mile Airport (CZML) found themselves in the same piece of air at the same moment.

Whatever happened to sparsely settled areas

  • A COPA member recently asked what happened to the famous Canadian “Sparsely Settled Areas”.

When you need a Flight Plan

  • A COPA member and private pilot recently called and said that he had been violated because he had flown from the USA to Canada without filing a flight plan.

Where to Sit In an Aircraft?

  • Over the years I have had to tackle this one a couple of times.

Airport Diagrams on the Web

  • 03/21/2005: Through the lobbying efforts of COPA to help prevent runway incursions, we are pleased to announce that Canadian airport diagrams (referred to as the Canada Airport Manoeuvring Surfaces (CAMS) by NAV CANADA) are now available on the web for free.

Floatplanes Landing and Taking-off in Ontario Parks

  • Each Park has different rules and you must contact the Park Superintendant to find out if any restrictions are in place.

Highway Emergency Landing and Taking Off from Highways in Ontario

  • After doing a precautionary landing on a highway, neither OPP nor Transport Canada people contacted knew the precise regulation covering this situation. In the aftermath, Will Boles of system safety in Toronto Transport Canada office provided the definitive reference from Ontario Highway Traffic Act:

Fly by night

  • Have you ever wanted to use night vision goggles (NVGs) to do some night flying?

Vol de nuit

  • Avez-vous déjà voulu utiliser des lunettes de vision nocturne (en anglais: Night Vision Goggles ou NVGs) dans le but de faire du vol de nuit?