Maurer Retires At Diamond

Peter Maurer is retiring as CEO of Diamond Canada and taking on an advisory role in “senior global strategy and business development” according to a news release from the newly reunited  Diamond Aircraft Industries.

In January, Wanfeng Corporation took over control of Diamond’s European operations, a year after acquiring the Canadian assets in London, Ontario. The move resulted in the shuffle and now Scott McFadzean, the previous chief operations officer, has moved into Maurer’s role. Kevin Sheng is the new COO.

The London operations employee almost 200 people and build DA40s and DA62 aircraft. The facilities could see expanded use under the newly unified company.

Bin Chen, Chairman of Diamond Aircraft, said the goal of the company is to “grow Diamond’s global business” and the new appointments are part of that strategy. “The announced personnel changes will support these effots, especially with regard to making best combined use of all our global resources,” said Bin. Maurer said Diamond Canada is “in most capable hands” with McFadzean’s promotion and the recent moves assure “the long term success of our company.


Girls Invited To Nav Canada Summer Camp

Nav Canada is inviting girls going into Grade 10 in 2018 to apply to attend an expenses-paid summer camp at the company’s Cornwall, Ontario campus to discover opportunities in aviation.

The Explore Aviation Summer Camp will invite 20 successful applicants for a week-long immersion in how Canada’s aviation system works and how they might fit into the various careers available to them.

Those attending will learn about the air traffic management system and control aircraft on simulators, tour Nav Canada aircraft and hear from industry professionals on how to pursue these types of careers.

Explore Aviation Summer Camp points the spotlight on careers in aviation where STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education is the key to success for the next generation of tomorrow’s workforce,” the company said in a news release.

Applications must be in by March 9, 2018 and information on how to apply is here.

Brampton Circuit Height Changes

The circuit altitude at Brampton Airport is going to 1900 feet from the current 1700 feet on Feb. 1 and Brampton Flight Centre is urging everyone who might fly there to spread the word and politely adjust to the new procedures.

The non-conforming (800-foot) circuit was established in the 1970s to conform to Pearson airspace requirements but the airspace has changed and the circuit height can go to the normal 1,000 feet. The change is going into the Canadian Flight Supplement but Nav Canada won’t be issuing a NOTAM. Brampton Flight Centre issued an alert, copied in its entirety below.

We are anticipating there will be a few issues in adapting to the new altitude, so please be patient with your fellow pilots as they deal with the transition and keep a close eye out for traffic still using the old circuit procedure.

We have made every effort to communicate the change to the general flying public.  Notices such as this one have been sent to the membership.  Signage will be erected around the airport, on the taxiways and roadways leading into the club, announcing the new altitude.  Notices have been sent out to the Community Airports Group Ontario to be posted on their airport bulletin boards. The next addition of the Canada Flight Supplement on Feb 1st. will have the 1700′ procedure deleted.  Unfortunately Nav Canada will not issue a NOTAM due to the change appearing in the CFS.  UNICOM will be responding to advisories with “Circuit height is now 1900′” after Feb 1st. for the many pilots who won’t be reviewing their new CFS prior to arrival


A few safety notes to pass along:


Keep a good look out and listening watch when flying in the circuit. Aircraft flying the old altitude will be masked in the ground clutter.  Try not to overtake any low flying aircraft from directly above as they may suddenly adjust their altitude to 1900.

Please refrain from lecturing errant pilots over the radio.  Work out conflicts politely. Offer friendly advice in person and after everyone is on the ground.  

Aircraft overflying the airport for the turnaround at the old altitude might end up being only 300′ above the new pattern height.  Be watchful for the next while until everyone gets the word.

All aircraft transiting over the airport zone should now be well within Class C airspace.  Report any transient aircraft you deem is below 2900′ via the SMS reporting system.  (CARs 602.96 (5))

Expect that the circuit pattern will be wider.  Crosswind lengths will increase plus the normal guide posts for circuit spacing using struts or wingtips will put aircraft further out from the runway.

The surrounding Class C airspace floor is still the same altitude of 1700′ towards the south and east. Staying within the 2500′ ASL cutout will be mandatory. So manage your pattern shape accordingly. 

Questions you asked…

Why change the circuit height?

Having a non-conforming pattern altitude has always been a challenge.  

Originally the 1700′ was necessary when the Terminal Radar Service Area was first established back in the 70’s.  The airspace since then has changed a number of times allowing us to revert back to a 1000′ AAE circuit.

New neighbouring communities have grown and have expressed concerns over noise.  The additional height, in the effort to reduce noise, is a way to demonstrate that we are trying to be a good neighbour.  

Students undergoing ab initio training at Brampton will now be accustomed to judging circuit work from the normal height of 1000′ AAE.  

The additional height will also aid in the event of an engine failure allowing a greater number of options. 


Are the Class C airspace floor altitudes changing?

No, there are no changes to the height or dimensions of the surrounding Class C airspace.  Overflying the airport for the turnaround at 2400′  will put you close to the existing floor that has been above us for sometime.  Maintaining your altitude accurately will be more important as ever when you perform this manoeuvre.

President’s Corner – February 2018

Pilot shortage
The second week of January saw another story come out about the shortage of pilots (January 8 CBC news: “Who’s going to fly the plane? Pilot shortage could get worse for regional carriers”). As air traffic grows somewhere around 5% to 7 % worldwide year after year, we just can’t fill the seats in the flight decks around the globe fast enough. The biggest increases occur in the Orient and South-East Asia, where year-on-year growth rates can reach over 30% (IATA Annual review, 2017). So it’s a domino effect taking place all over the world. The big airlines can’t easily fill the void, they pick on the regionals that get their pilots taken and in return the regionals recruit the instructors in flight schools. I was recently interviewed by the CBC and the message I conveyed is that GA is the feeder system to all of this, where it all starts. The individual of any age that looks up to the sky and decides to give flying a try, whether soaring, paragliding, motorized fixed or rotary wings, starts with a dream realized at the local flight school or flying club. A local FTU needs a local aerodrome and a local aerodrome needs understanding and appreciation from its operator and neighbours. As our Economic Impact Study (available on our website) explains, GA is the core of aviation and has a $9.3 billion dollar impact on the Canadian economy. Future flight instructors, corporate, regional, and airline pilots come from the same communities as any of us, but only if they have a desire to fly and an airport to go to.

To showcase our aerodromes and give a serious and well-needed taste for flying, there are plenty of opportunities we should never pass up such as our COPA for Kids events, Women of Aviation Worldwide Week coming up March 7 to 11 or what the Canadian Council for Aviation & Aerospace has done in partnering with groups and organizations like COPA to get something called the National Outreach Event going this summer, across the country.

We’ve got to keep that stream flowing before it’s too late. It’s our responsibility.

COPA at work

Propellers: A few months ago I mentioned we were asking the regulator, Transport Canada, for an exemption to the mandatory ten year propeller overhaul on non-commercial light piston operations. The paperwork  was submitted in mid-November and we expect to have an update within the next few weeks.

British Columbia hangar assessments:  Many BC members have seen their hangars reclassified as “Industrial Warehouses”, a decision that puts the buildings in the same classification as commercial storage facilities in areas such as downtown cores. There may or may not be an impact on the taxes paid in the end, but COPA is looking at the bigger picture and working on a plan to have hangar owners treated fairly by the assessment agency. More details in our E-Flight and website.


President’s Corner – January 2018

Space-based ADS-B… Take 2

Over two years after my first comments about the Aireon tracking system presentation given by Nav Canada (see President’s Corner, January 2016), the project is taking shape with more satellites going up, wonderful technology taking us out of the stone age where aircraft will be able to be seen all over the world. And even though there is still no official mandate for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out in Canada as spelled out by Transport Canada (TC), Nav Canada says there will clearly be a mandate. In fact, they are asking for feedback on their “Terms of Reference – Canadian ADS-B Out Mandate” as you read this. Pressed for an answer, TC officially says “nope”, while NC says “of course we will have ADS-B Out.” I have yet to figure this one out. Regardless, we’re in the process of looking at what’s best for us, for our members and for general aviation in the country, trying to leverage this technology above our heads as we fly across the country. I will refrain from comments or an opinion at this point.

One thing I am absolutely certain of is that this system could replace any form of Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) such as the 406MHz which TC should make mandatory for us in the near future. Several recent incidents in the past months (June 2017 in Cranbrook and this past November around Revelstoke, both in BC) have shown once again that when ELTs don’t go off, they’re just a few useless pounds in the aircraft. Our ELTs rely on an old mechanical g-switch technology, a fragile whip antenna and a wide variety of installation quality. All can be greatly surpassed by stronger sold-state devices and the antenna we already use for our transponder. Even the simple accelerometers we have in our phones can probably do a better job than the ELTs.

So as we look at a possible mandate for ADS-B out, one of our requirements is for the development of a safety feature that would replace the 406MHz ELT with as good a track record as space-based ADS-B is purported to have. Back in January 2016, I said: “What’s preventing it from being applied to private or general aviation? Right now, it’s a technical race between something that arbitrarily works (ELTs) and something that will most always work as long as your ADS-B transponder transmits, and give you a much better chance of being found should something happen.”

General aviation is entitled to the same level of safety as the airlines and the big commercial operators. In the meantime, we still encourage everyone to use an ELT, personal locator beacons or any other means such as portable devices for alerting search and rescue. And don’t forget to listen to 121.5 MHz on another radio if you have one.

COPA Flights will be consulted in the next few weeks on the ADS-B subject, as well as several others. Stay tuned for the invitation and have a safe and happy new year.

Sondage Nav Canada sur les caméras météo aux aéroports

Nav Canada recueille les commentaires de pilotes concernant les caméras météo installées à divers aéroports canadiens. La demande suivante a été envoyée:

Les caméras météo à l’aviation de NAV CANADA sont une ressource importante pour les pilotes partout au pays. Comme nous planifions de futurs déploiements et mises à niveau, nous voudrions obtenir votre rétroaction afin de nous assurer que les caméras météo continuent d’appuyer efficacement les prises de décisions des pilotes et qu’elles rehaussent la sécurité des opérations aériennes.

Nous menons un sondage que nous vous demandons de remplir d’ici au 25 janvier 2018 afin de mieux comprendre les besoins relatifs aux caméras météo et d’améliorer notre politique de déploiement.

Votre rétroaction appuiera les futures mises à niveau ainsi que l’intégration des conditions météorologiques, des NOTAM, de la planification de vol électronique pour les vols intérieurs et de l’information aéronautique du site Web de la météorologie à l’aviation (AWWS) dans notre réseau de centres d’information de vol.

Pour accéder au sondage, veuillez cliquer sur le lien suivant :

En investissant de façon continue dans la technologie et les services, nous pouvons améliorer la sécurité et l’efficacité des vols.

Si vous avez des questions au sujet du sondage, veuillez vous adresser à :


Centre de service à la clientèle de NAV CANADA

77, rue Metcalfe

Ottawa (Ontario) K1P 5L6

Téléphone : 1‑800‑876‑4693

Télécopieur : 1‑877‑663‑6656

Courriel :