Places To Fly: Rideau Valley (Kars, Ont.)

Saturday, March 2 sees the 17th Annual Ski Fly-In happening at the Kars/Rideau Valley Air Park (CPL3). Organized by the RAA Chapter 4928, attendees will enjoy home-cooked food which will be served between 11 am and 2 pm.

Aerodrome coordinates are 45° 06’ N; 075° 38’ W. Fly-in traffic to the 1800’ x 100’ airstrip are to use the Aerodrome Traffic Frequency of 123.4 MHz. Those driving can access the venue by taking the Dilworth exit from Highway 416. The field is located south of Dilworth Road at the Rideau River.

For more information, or to check on field conditions, call Chris Williams at 613-296-3391.

All are welcome.

COPA Snowbirds Meet Up In Florida

COPA Flight 23 – North Bay member Carol Cooke and her husband Ron organized a fly-in at Arcadia airport (X06) in Florida on February 14 and invited their American and Canadian pilot friends who were wintering in the area.

Having spent several winters in nearby Punta Gorda, the Cookes observed a series of improvements to the camping area at Arcadia airport, remarking that it would be an ideal place for a fly-in. It boasts a covered picnic area, a gas grill and smaller charcoal barbecues, running water, a firepit and places to pitch a tent. The area is located behind an FBO, where tie-downs, washrooms and showers are available.

The FBO had a van available for those who preferred to drive into town for dinner.

Not all their flying friends had their planes with them and in the end only eight aircraft showed up, but many others drove in. COPA members from Alliston, Kincardine, Lindsay, Muskoka, North Bay, Picton, Parry Sound, Smith Falls and Waterloo, all in Ontario, were among the 40 people who showed up.

According to Carol Cooke, it might become an annual event.

COPA Board Elects New Chairman

At a regular board meeting held last weekend in Vancouver, Saskatchewan director and Western vice-chairman Shane Armstrong was elected to the Chair position, replacing Dave McElroy, who stepped down last month.

Armstrong (on the left in the photo above) is a school teacher and has been teaching Aviation Studies to grade 11 and 12 students at Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon for the past 13 years. As he developed this program, he fostered relationships with students who have gone on to become private and commercial pilots, introduced them to local flight schools and institutes and visited aviation points of interest everywhere from Cold Lake, Alta. to Winnipeg, Man.

As captain of COPA Flight 10 for seven years up to the end of 2016, Armstrong has been part of the innovative ways that COPA Flight 10 brings aviators together, promoting personal aviation, organizing recertification Rust Removers, COPA for Kids events and Fly-a-Friend events, all the time introducing and educating the public about aviation. He has also been active with the Saskatchewan Aviation Council, the Saskatchewan Aviation Museum and Learning Centre and has recently been teaching ground school classes at Saskatoon’s Mitchinson Flight Centre.

Armstrong sees COPA as the natural element to preserving and really promoting General Aviation in Canada.

“COPA has begun on this path of change; we’ve moved forward. We’re a leader in GA advocacy, and members have liked what we have been doing. But we have to take more forward steps,” Armstrong told eFlight.

“We have talked about it, consulted for it, planned for it. Moving forward means considering a new governance model,” Armstrong added. “Moving forward means growing our membership and offering even greater value to members. Moving forward means inviting more aviation groups to participate. That’s going to be very important. What I am looking forward to is helping make a COPA that is stronger, younger, bigger and FUN!”

Replacing Armstrong as Western Vice-Chair is Bram Tilroe of Alberta, who previously served in that position. An avid pilot who was instrumental in saving the Jasper and Banff airstrips a few years ago, Tilroe is heavily involved with the Alberta Aviation Council and the Nav Canada Advisory Committee.

Aero Club of B.C. president Tom Heise presents COPA CEO Bernard Gervais with a cheque for $5000 to be put towards the Freedom To Fly Fund.

On the same weekend the board co-hosted, together with COPA Flight 16 – Aero Club of B.C. (ACBC), a dinner and reception for area COPA members that was held at the Club’s Pitt Meadows airport facility (CYPK) in Metro Vancouver. During the event, ACBC president Tom Heise presented COPA with a cheque for a generous $5,000 to be applied to COPA’s Freedom To Fly Fund. It is the second year in a row that ACBC presented a donation for that amount.


TSB Cites ELT Issues in 2017 Mooney Crash

The Transportation Safety Board released an investigation report this week that looked into the November 25, 2017 crash of a Mooney 20D in British Columbia’s Glacier National Park that claimed the lives of the pilot and his passenger.

The VFR flight, which originated at Penticton airport (CYYF) in B.C. and was destined for Edmonton/Villeneuve airport (CZVL) in Alberta, crashed at around 15:27 hrs after the non-instrument-rated pilot encountered deteriorating weather conditions near Revelstoke. No ELT signal was detected.

No flight plan was filed with Nav Canada, nor was a weather briefing requested from them. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria was notified at 22:40 hrs that the aircraft was overdue. Weather hampered an immediate search but, when the weather improved, the search turned up nothing and was called off on December 5, 2017.

It was almost a year later, on September 10, 2018, that a passing helicopter noticed the wreckage approximately 26 nm northeast of Revelstoke airport (CYRV), and about 150 metres north of the Trans-Canada Highway in a heavily-forested hillside with a 25° slope.

The TSB investigators found the antenna for the 121.5 MHz ELT had detached and the ELT’s battery had been ejected, both due to crash impact forces. Investigators found that when the battery was reinserted, the ELT began to emit a signal, indicating that it was in the activated mode. However, it would not have been detected by the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite system , which only monitors newer, 406 MHz ELT signals.

The TSB report cited an earlier recommendation, issued in 2016, regarding ELT survivability:

“[That] the Department of Transport establish rigorous emergency locator transmitter (ELT) system crash survivability requirements that reduce the likelihood that an ELT system will be rendered inoperative as a result of impact forces sustained during an aviation occurrence.”

TSB Recommendation A16-05

In September, 2016, Transport Canada (TC) responded to this recommendation by stating that ELTs follow international standards, but that it is involved in an international committee tasked with updating the standards. The TSB assessed this response as ‘Satisfactory Intent’.

The report also addressed the issue of mandatory use of 406 MHz ELTs by citing a recommendation issued in 2016:

“[That] the Department of Transport require all Canadian-registered aircraft and foreign aircraft operating in Canada that require installation of an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) to be equipped with a 406 MHz ELT in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization standards.”

TSB Recommendation A16-01

TC responded to this recommendation by stating it had begun the regulatory process to mandate the carriage of 406 MHz ELTs. The TSB also assessed this response as ‘Satisfactory Intent’.

The full TSB report can be found here.

COPA continues to advocate for the use of satellite-based ADS-B OUT technology to replace ELTs in aircraft. Further details on COPA’s position can be found here.

Quebec Judge Sides With Float Planes at Lac-à-la-Tortue

A Quebec Superior Court judge has this week dismissed a class action lawsuit against float plane operators brought on by the Coalition Against Noise, a group of citizens who wanted an end to float plane noise on lac-à-la-Tortue in Mauricie, about 10 kilometres northeast of Shawinigan, Quebec.

The Coalition was asking for compensation for the noise emanating from commercial float plane flights on lac-à-la-Tortue, which affected residents in the municipalities of Shawinigan, Hérouxville and Saint-Georges-de-Champlain.

Citing the absence of misconduct, abusive behaviour and abnormal inconvenience, Justice Suzanne Ouellet concluded in her 84-page decision that there were no grounds for the lawsuit against Bel-Air Laurentian Aviation Inc. Additionally, Justice Ouellet ruled that the Coalition had not met its ‘burden of proof’ concerning their allegations against Aviation Mauricie, which ceased operations in 2012.

Justice Ouellet also cited the division among the residents as another factor in her decision to dismiss the lawsuit. Among the 1,747 people involved in the class action, 898 opted out of the process, leading the judge to conclude that the noise generated by the float planes was not an ‘abnormal disadvantage’ for more than 50 percent of the coalition members, and therefore “…do not constitute a neighbourhood disorder.”

The Coalition Against Noise was formed in 2007 with a mandate to fight against noise pollution at the lake. In 2009, Transport Canada introduced measures to mitigate the noise by reducing the times that commercial flights could take place, banning commercial flights during summer statutory holidays, on weekends, before 8 am, during lunch hour (12 pm to 2 pm) and after 5 pm at other times.

Places to Fly – East: Mo’s 30th Fly-In

Maurice Prud’homme is again hosting his annual fly-in on the foreshore of the Ottawa River this coming Saturday, February 23. It is located one mile west from the Ottawa VOR; the exact coordinates are 42° 26’ 57” N and 75° 55’ 48” W. Co-hosting the event is COPA Flight 169 Ottawa-Gatineau.

The same weather conditions that prevented wheeled planes from landing at Montebello and the Sainte-Anne-du-Lac fly-ins have led the organizers to cancel plans to prepare the runway surface at Mo’s as well, so it’s ski-equipped planes only (and helicopters).

Air frequency to use is 123.3 and ground is 122.75. More information is available by calling 819-682-5273.

RCMP Receives New State-of-the-Art Helicopter

The first Airbus H145 helicopter to be delivered in Canada has arrived at the RCMP’s base at Langley airport (CYNJ) in Metro Vancouver. Dubbed Air 5, the helicopter’s design allows it to support day and night operations over land and water, and conduct fast roping and hoisting, medical evacuations and search and rescue operations.

“With its enhanced safety features and reputation for reduced maintenance and excellent availability, the multi-role H145 is an ideal aircraft for multi-faceted law enforcement missions,” said Airbus Helicopters Canada president Romain Trapp.

Some of the tactical equipment that the H145 is equipped with include a Trakka A800 searchlight, an Enhanced Reality System, a Health Monitoring System (HMS), a forward-looking infrared system (FLIR), night vision goggles, a four-axis autopilot and a tactical officer workstation. The H145’s internal long-range tanks will allow the RCMP to deploy its Emergency Response Team province-wide.

“A reliable and effective police force improves the quality of life in any province. New resources, like the Air 5, will help keep our citizens and communities safe by providing the ability for quick response and sharing intelligence from the air to officers on the ground,” said British Columbia’s minister of public safety and solicitor general Mike Farnworth.

Air 5’s registration, C-FDJB, was chosen to pay tribute to civilian pilot David John Brolin, who died during a training exercise on a previous version of Air-5.

“It’s a great honour to be able to include Dave’s call sign on the side of the helicopter as he loved his work, was dedicated to Air Services and to ensuring public safety; a part of him will always be with us,” said B.C. RCMP’s Commanding Officer, Deputy Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr.

The Airbus H145 is officially handed over at a ceremony held at the RCMP base in Langley, B.C.

The next few months will see RCMP crews undergo training on Air 5. Its first public viewing is planned for later this year at the Abbotsford International Airshow in B.C.

TCCA Loosens Rules For Type 1 Diabetics

An Edmonton man with pre-existing Type 1 insulin-dependent diabetes has been awarded a Category 1 medical certificate by a Civil Aviation Medical Examiner, becoming the first such recipient in Canada.

Austen McDonald, together with his father Captain Ed McDonald, had been pressuring Transport Canada – Civil Aviation for years to make the change.

“Up until now, pilots who already had their commercial license when they became insulin-dependent could apply for a medical certificate to keep flying,” said the senior McDonald. “But no one who already was on insulin could do the same. It really made no sense to us.”

According to Dr. Peter Senior, endocrinologist at the University of Alberta and Chair of Diabetes Canada’s professional section, “There was no medical justification for preventing people with diabetes from applying for the certificate needed to get their commercial pilot license when hundreds of people who were already pilots when they developed diabetes continue to fly safely.”

“Diabetes Canada is pleased to see that this last barrier to Canadians with diabetes applying to become commercial pilots has been removed,” says Dr. Jan Hux, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada.

This change will allow the younger McDonald to pursue a career in aviation. “All I’ve ever wanted to be was a pilot. Now nothing is standing in my way.”

Pictured above are Austen McDonald and his father Ed.

Sainte-Anne-du-Lac Fly-in: Taildraggers Ruled

By Jean-Pierre Bonin and Hélène Lavigne

Taildraggers won by a landslide (31 out of 35 aircraft) as the 9th Sainte-Anne-du-Lac Fly-in was held on Sunday February 17th 2019. Postponing the Fly-in to Sunday instead of Saturday was a winning decision. Sunny but quite cold early in the morning (-26º C) but no wind and warming up to -2 º C by mid-afternoon made for perfect flying and landing conditions.

A groomed runway and parking zone allowed for safe landing and circulation as the surface elsewhere was slushy under the snow. Aircraft on wheels weren’t allowed as no runway could be plowed clean but at least three wannabes flew over to say hello.

What started out as a slow cold day turned out to be a real heart-warmer in every way you could want. Many thanks to organizers and volunteers who made this a perfect day!

Enjoy the photos taken by Jean-Pierre Bonin and by Hélène Lavigne.

Photo above courtesy of Hélène Lavigne.