President’s Corner – November 2017

What the Freedom to Fly Fund does
Come in For a Safe Landing
When a member from Stayner aerodrome (ON) asked for some help with the Freedom to Fly Fund (FFF), we looked at the potential impact on our mission of advancing, promoting and preserving the Canadian freedom to fly. It was of national importance. In a recent e-Flight (our weekly newsletter) and in the media, you may have seen that the that the company proposing to put up eight wind turbines in the flight paths for Collingwood and Stayner Airports in southern Ontario has abandoned the project. It is now confirmed by the company itself, WPD, that they will not pursue with the controversial development. This comes after the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal revoked the approval to proceed, saying WPD Canada’s plans for these 150-metre towers turbines on the immediate outskirts of the aerodromes and in close proximity to the runways would pose serious harm to human health.

The fund was used in a way to make sure we were going to present the best case. After much research and preparation, COPA Counsel Glenn Grenier and Southern Ontario Director Conrad Hatcher directed a vigorous legal opposition to a plan and their intervention appears to have been a significant factor, instrumental in the tribunal’s decision to pull the approval as their submissions were extensively referenced. And so was Transport Canada’s TP1247 document, “Land Use in the Vicinity of Aerodromes” which spells out best practices that proponents should follow. COPA is entirely for green energies and is even looking to work hand in hand with developers, but not when towers are right next to the runway.

The fund is always used for matters of national importance across the country and will serve everyone in the short, medium and long term. Please be generous and help us help you in supporting our mission and replenishing the fund. And for every 100$ you get a chance to win a beautiful Breitling Colt watch.

Recreational drones here and there are what we, as aviators mostly get to hear about, but they are just a fraction of what’s out there and being done. A few weeks ago, I was at an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) industry symposium about Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) called “Drone Enable”. Industries, universities and think tanks are developing UAS Traffic Management (UTM) systems where all that flies will cohabitate. At least in theory… The technology is advancing at a pace most regulators have trouble keeping up with, which is a major challenge. This is why ICAO has setup what it calls the ICAO-UAS Advisory group, as a facilitator to help its member states in harmonizing definitions, human procedures, spectrum and training. Presentations by Thales, Amazon and others were really on the verge of science fiction. Have a look at or just Google UTM. An article about the symposium will follow soon. As always, comments to





Northern Lights Awards Presented

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation presented awards to eight female aviation leaders and up and coming recipients at its annual Gala Sept. 30 in Vaughan, ON. Each year the group recognizes industry veterans for their contributions but also keeps an eye on the future with young women honoured in the Rising Star, and for the first time this year, Aboriginal categories.

Recipients this year were:

Pioneer Award – Major (retired) Dee Brasseur, One of the first 2 female fighter pilots in Canada, flying the F18 Hornet, with 21 years of distinguished service and 2500 hours of flying jets.

Flight Operations Award: Heather McGonigal, Transwest Air’s Director of Flight Operations, a Training Captain and a Saab 340 line pilot. A Director for four years at the Air Transportation Association of Canada, she became Chair last year.

Government Award: Colonel (WSE) Helen Wright CD. MD. A Bioscience Officer with the Forces she is one the preeminent aircraft accident investigators with specialized knowledge in Human Factors analysis. She also led a team of aerospace medicine specialists, responsible for the oversight of the aircrew medical fitness of the RCAF. Helen is currently deployed on a one year mission to Bagdad.

Business Award: Heather Bell recently retired as the General Manager of the Vancouver FIR, Flight Information Region (Nav Canada). She has had a 33 year career in Navigation Services. During that time she received both the Chairman’s and the President’s Award.

Education Award: Joan Williams has more than 30 years in commercial aviation and flight training. She was the Flight Training Manager for Toronto Airways Ltd. for 10 years and then became the Director of Business Development. She is a long time member and Director of the Air Transportation Association of Canada and recently received their Lifetime Achievement Award. Joan has been a mentor and role model for many career pilots flying today.

Engineering Award: Catherine Tsouvaltsidis graduated from space engineering. Currently working Infrastructure Technology Solutions (ITS) for TD Bank, Catherine spent 6 years working in the Canadian Space Sector. There she worked on a variety of different projects including the refurbishment and upgrading of a 46m radio-astronomy dish; design, development and integration of a satellite tracking and monitoring platform; design, development and calibration of a micro-spectrometer aimed to measure soil moisture content from space to be used in large scale soil analysis and farming applications; and the design and development of a UV gas camera used to monitor SO2 volcanic emissions.

Rising Star: Jessalyn Teed is a student at the University of Waterloo (UW) enrolled in the Environmental Studies and Aviation program. In partnership with the UW program, she does her flight training at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC). At UW and WWFC, Jessalyn has taken on a Human Factors Thesis in Aviation studying the Best Practice for Millennials in the Classroom, which targets the aviation industry as the demand for pilots increases and the practices evolve.

Rising Star: Candace McKibbon is a Terminal Duty Officer with the Vancouver Airport Authority and an Operations Agent for Marquis Customer Service at YVR. In addition she is the Executive Director of the BC Aviation Council where she is active promoting aviation throughout the province.

Scholarships for Indigenous Women: Zoey Petit and Kandace Sittchinli were each awarded $5,000 scholarships sponsored by Jazz and the Northern Lights Aero Foundation to pursue aviation-related studies at accredited post secondary or flight training schools.

Jazz Expands Instructor Recruitment

Jazz Aviation has announced it’s expanding its agreement with Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology to provide a streamlined route for top flight instructors to land jobs with the regional airline contractor.

The company’s Aviation Pathway Program provides an incentive for graduates of post-secondary flight training programs to pass along their knowledge to students who follow them by becoming instructors. As they build time and experience, they become qualified to be recommended for flying jobs with Jazz.

“To support quality flight training in Canada, airlines need to continue to develop pathways that encourage new pilots to become instructors, without affecting their opportunity to become an airline pilot if they wish. Through this new agreement, the Jazz APP will provide an opportunity for top instructors at Sault College to further their professional pilot careers,” said Steve Linthwaite, vice president, Flight Operations, Jazz. “We are proud to be fully engaged with Sault College’s program as we continue to cultivate strong futures for pilots in the Canadian aviation industry.”

Sault College Aviation Technology Chair Greg Mapp said the APP affiliation gives “tremendous incentive” to graduates to become instructors and keep the training pipeline full.

Dash-8 Hits Two Deer

A Sunwest Dash 8 carrying 43 passengers and crew hit two deer as it was landing at an aerodrome near Conklin, AB, 155 km. south of Fort McMurray Tuesday.

No one was hurt when the deer reportedly jumped into one of the props on the aircraft.

The mishap closed the airport for at least 24 hours while authorities and the aircraft owner investigate.’

Sunwest said it would assess the damage and repair it before flying the aircraft out.

Sunwest uses Dash-8s to ferry oil patch workers to and from work. There is no scheduled airline service in Conklin.

The Transportation Safety Board has been notified but doesn’t typically investigate incidents like this.

Noise Spotlights Call For New Airport

The increased volume of noise complaints by neighbours of Pearson International Airport is increasing pressure to implement plans for a second airport for the Toronto metropolitan area.

Speaking in response to plans by Pearson to implement noise mitigating measures at the airport, vocal Pearson noise critic Peter Bayrachny said the measures don’t address the core issue for the GTA. “Every major metropolis such as Toronto has more than one airport. You cannot fit all of that traffic into Pearson,” he told the CBC. He said either Hamilton Airport should be expanded or a new airport in Pickering should become a reality.

Last week a consulting company came up with 26 ways Pearson could be a quieter neighbour, all of which have already been implemented at major airports around the world.

Chief among them was charging extra fees for especially noisy aircraft, notably the A320, which makes up 20 percent of the daily movements at Pearson. From the ground, the Airbus announces itself with a “very high-pitched, very loud whistling sound” according to Bayrachny. There are noise reducing modifications available for A320s.

The other effective but expensive recommendation is to retrofit homes in the flightpaths with sound insulation. “We’re talking about thousands of homes potentially,” said Pearson spokeswoman Hillary Marshall.

Changes Made After Crash

Wasaya Airlines says it has implemented new procedures and training to help prevent a repeat of an accident that killed one of its Cessna Caravan pilots in 2015.

The Caravan took off from Pickle Lake Dec. 15 with only Capt. Nick Little and a load of cargo. The aircraft ran into icing but apparently elected to carry on with the flight.

“As the aircraft continued its flight in icing conditions, rather than returning to base, it experienced substantially degraded aircraft performance as a result of ice accumulation, which led to an aerodynamic stall, loss of control, and collision with terrain,” the Transportation Safety Board reported.

The TSB said that while Wasaya was working on an assessment of flying in known icing in the Caravans but hadn’t implemented the findings so “pilots lacked important information and tools for sound decision-making and for safe, efficient operations.”

Wasaya CEO Michael Royniuk told the CBC the airline has since increased training, reduced minimums and made changes to aircraft loading and maintenance procedures.

“The steps we are, and have taken will enhance the safety of our operation and throughout our region,” said Rodyniuk. “We thank the TSB for their diligent work.”