Ineffective ELTs Draw Parliament’s Attention

Update – 2018/09/28 – the article previously misidentified the aircraft accident that brought MP Harder’s attention to this issue. The article has been amended below. Furthermore, the information supplied by the TSB contained an error and the article has been updated accordingly.

The debate around the effectiveness of currently-required ELT technology in our GA aircraft took a new form this week as a motion was introduced in the House of Commons. M-200, titled “An Instruction to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) was brought forward by MP Rachael Harder (Lethbridge, Alta.). If adopted, M-200 would direct the Standing Committee to conduct a study on the benefits and capabilities of new technologies, such as ADS-B, to meet the performance requirements for aircraft locating and Search and Rescue (SAR) alerting equipment and the resulting benefits to both pilot and passenger safety.

“COPA worked closely with MP Harder in the development of this motion, which is why we are pleased to lend our support and we call on the members of the House of Commons to adopt this motion, so the Standing Committee can begin examining this important issue,” said President and CEO Bernard Gervais. “At a time when the world is looking to new technology to help solve major issues in aviation, Canada cannot afford to be the outlier by continuing to rely on ineffective and antiquated ELT technology to locate missing aircraft. This motion follows similar requests our organization has made both to the regulator and to Nav Canada to find new, cost-effective ways of locating downed aircraft.”

COPA has long maintained that ELTs do not provide acceptable reliability in GA aircraft accidents. Data taken from a Department of National Defense study indicates that in almost 40 percent of crashes where the aircraft was equipped with an ELT, it did not activate, often requiring time-consuming and resource-intensive physical searches by SAR personnel, delaying closure for friends and family, and potentially reducing chances of post-crash survival.

MP Harder’s interest in the file was brought about at the urging of several constituents – parents of the pilot of a Piper PA-28 that departed Cranbrook, B.C. for Kamloops, B.C. in 2017. In addition to the PA-28, two GA aircraft remain missing in Canada: a Cessna 172 that departed Revelstoke, B.C. for Qualicum, B.C. in 2007 and a Vans RV-6 that departed Edmonton, Alta. for Chilliwack, B.C. earlier this month. A Mooney that went missing between Penticton, B.C. and Edmonton, Alta. in November 2017 was located earlier this month, coincidentally, within metres of the Trans-Canada Highway in Glacier National Park.

See the actual text of Notice of Motion (M-200) on the House of Common’s website.

Jazz Reports Close Encounter With Drone

An Air Canada Jazz crew reported a close encounter with a drone while descending through 7,000 feet inbound to Vancouver’s airport (YVR) from Saskatoon last Tuesday. Although no evasive action was needed to avoid the drone, it was still much too close for comfort. At 7,000 feet, the drone would have been well above its 300-foot height restriction. The RCMP, notified of the close call, is appealing for information from the public.

This incident follows on another close call reported by Westjet two months ago. The aircraft’s pilots reported seeing a drone below and off to the left of the Boeing 737 while it was flying near Edmonton’s airport (YEG) at an altitude of 4,000 feet.

For more information on operating a drone in Canada, click here.

Back-to-Basics Flying Seminar

COPA Flight 184-West Peace Aviation Association is hosting a day with two ‘old, bold’ pilots at the Grande Prairie airport (YQU) on October 6, 2018, from 09:00 to 17:00. Held in the Adventure Aviation Hangar, participants will learn from two experts about low-level manoeuvring.

The theme of Butch Washtock’s and Jim Dulin’s presentations will be ‘How to fly your aircraft low and slow in the mountains’. Dulin is the author of ‘Contact Flying – The Art of Ground Reference Flying’. Copies of his book will be on sale at the venue.

Tickets are $60 per person and include lunch. To obtain further details and to purchase tickets, click here.

TCCA and FAA Sign Agreement

In a press release issued earlier this week, the FAA says they have signed a Shared Surveillance Management Plan with TCCA. This cooperative agreement is designed to ensure manufacturers, certificate holders, production approval holders and suppliers are in compliance with each respective country’s regulatory requirements.

Manufacturers will be required to comply with a quality system that has been previously approved, while also ensuring that their suppliers and sub-contractors also meet the same standards and applicable requirements.

This agreement will result in less need for TCCA and FAA inspectors to cross the border to inspect each other’s facilities.

The complete FAA press release can be found here.

COPA CEO Chases Legendary $100 (Beefalo) Burger

On Sunday, September 9, George Weller hosted his largest fly-in ever. Sixty airplanes of various types flew into the southern Quebec airstrip, with many COPA members attending, including COPA President and CEO Bernard Gervais. The weather was ideal, and everyone enjoyed George Weller’s Beefalo burgers (hybrid beef and bison). The aerodrome, Stanstead/Weller (TQ2), has a beautiful grass strip and sits just a few kilometres from the Vermont, U.S. border.

During the fly-in, COPA had some very interesting discussions about easing access to fly-ins with people from both sides of the international border. For the last few years, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices in Vermont have given our American friends a hard time, when their neighbouring states of Maine and New York are still very much GA friendly. Shortly after this fly-in, we reached out to our friends at AOPA to offer our collaboration in maintaining our aerial borders open and easy to cross for GA.

During the winter months, Weller also holds a fly-in where, once again, pilots from Canada and the U.S. meet to shake hands. However, it takes place across an imaginary border on iced-up Lake Memphremagog, much like the Del Bonita Hands Across the Border Fly-in in Alberta.

Click here to see a video taken from Bernard Gervais’ Maule, and to see how he fits these events into his busy schedule.

Manitoulin East Airport To Get New Runway

Construction should start soon on a new east/west runway at Manitoulin East airport (YEM). The airport, run jointly by the municipalities of Northeast Town and Assiginack, is located 16 km southeast of Little Current, Ontario on Manitoulin Island.

The airport presently has a 3,500-foot asphalt runway running north/south, but is not always usable for ultralight and small, light aircraft. Says airport manager George Dobbs, “It’s a safety factor. We have a history of very strong crosswinds here.”

The new runway will initially be prepared with gravel and turf and is expected to be ready by 2019 or 2020. Dobbs is optimistic it will eventually be paved.

Where To Fly: Carp

Fly or drive to EAA Chapter 245’s annual fly-in breakfast at Carp airport (YRP). Enjoy their traditional yummy breakfast of eggs, sausage, ham, Judy’s home-made beans, rolls, tea, coffee or juice. Adults $8, children under ten $5. There will be lots of amateur-built and certified airplanes to see and building demonstrations to watch (including the Chapter’s Zenith 750 project).

Some Young Eagle flights may be available. Additionally, the Carp Fair, just down the road, will be in full swing.

For more information, contact Ken Potter by email or phone: 613-791-6267.

Members Choice Awards Deadline Approaching

The Members Choice Awards nomination deadline is nearly upon us. If you would like to recognize exceptional service from an individual or business in the field of aviation, nominate them for an award before October 1, 2018. Nominations can be sent to Lauren Nagel, or fill out the form by clicking here.

Awards are presented for the following categories:

  • Best Airport Management
  • Best Pilot Supply Store
  • Best Aircraft Maintenance
  • Best Aviation Event
  • Best FBO or Fuel Retailer
  • Best Flight Training Unit
  • Best Medical Examiner

Gardens, Fields and Airplanes

By Lauren Nagel

A unique mixture of college students, factory workers and aviation hobbyists populates the dining room at Peterborough’s Gardens & Fields restaurant, a hidden gem. Located mere steps from the airport’s ramp (YPQ), this special spot has become less and less hidden in recent years. The reason is quite simple and related to the various demographics they serve; they need quality menu items that will please pilots that come from miles away, but they also need to be affordable for the local students on a budget. The result is a wonderful set of delectable but budget-friendly meals that anyone accustomed to the $100 hamburger will appreciate.

Alex Chilton, a chef at the restaurant for over a year, describes their cuisine as “diner food done well”, food that tastes great and fills you up, but is still of the highest quality. An example of this is their in-house cooked beef and turkey for their sandwiches that they prepare every day, as well as fresh soups made in the morning. Each day brings something new to try with daily specials that change based on the season and tastes of the chefs – an excellent way to try new foods.

Gardens & Fields’ owner Nicole Tome does not shy away from innovation. She knew that changes needed to be made to accommodate the growing student population at the airport and so adapted the menu to meet some of their cravings. Additionally, as the restaurant has gotten busier, she has introduced new features like a summer drink menu and ‘Paint and Cocktails’ nights for those of legal drinking age. This is in addition to the catering and events the restaurant already prepares for the airport businesses and the Peterborough community.

Many aviators will be pleased to know that the restaurant serves dinner, something of a rarity in the industry and a welcome surprise as the breakfast line is known to go out the door. A favourite dish of many patrons is the Cranberry Focaccia Clubhouse sandwich, made with roasted turkey and cranberry mayo, all homemade.

Tome and Chilton would like to thank their loyal customers who come from far and wide to visit them every year. Their cozy staff of seven is pleased to greet guests so they know exactly who is going to be cooking for them. Future customers are assured that everything they do, they do properly so they can count on a quality meal whether they fly in or drive in. Make sure to plan a visit to this wonderful spot before the end of the season.

Chilliwack Airport Business Owner Running For Council

Upper Valley Aviation (UVA) founder Ken Smith has officially entered the contest for a position on council in Chilliwack’s October civic election. UVA is a long-time tenant at Chilliwack airport (YCW), located 80 kms east of Vancouver in B.C.’s Fraser Valley. The airport has been in the news in recent years as the scene of difficulties between tenants and the private management company, Magnum Management, who holds the head lease. The then owners of the Chilliwack Airport Coffee Shop, originators of the iconic ‘I Fly For Pie’ logo due to their wildly popular fruit pies, reopened in nearby Langley airport (YLY) after being unable to come to terms with Magnum. That alienated much of the local and regional GA community.

After recently announcing his candidature, Smith says he’s always been “a passionate person with strong opinions.” Quoted in local media, Smith goes on to say that he’s concerned about Public Private Partnerships (PPP) that have been a “detriment of the city.” He goes on to say that Chilliwack’s municipal leadership has become “stagnant and resistant to change.”

A Chilliwack native and pilot, Smith founded his company in 1982, specializing in parts sales, aircraft sales, salvage and storage. The early 1990s saw his company expand into aircraft maintenance and painting service and, in 2002, avionics, interior and structural services were added.