Places to Fly: Bancroft, Ontario

COPA Flight 119 is holding their 2nd Annual Fly-In Golf Tournament at the Bancroft Ridge Golf Course, conveniently located next door to the Bancroft airport (CNW3).

“We will transport you from tie-down to tee-off,” say the organizers.

Fly-in participants for the Saturday, July 27 event will find a 2,400-foot x 40-foot sand and gravel runway upon arrival at the flying club-operated airfield, located about mid-way between Toronto and Ottawa.

Rare Bellanca Finds New Home Up North

Warren Wright had long wanted to acquire a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker. As the founder of North-Wright Air, the Norman Wells, N.W.T. resident was well aware of the Pacemaker’s storied history as an Arctic and sub-Arctic workhorse that went back to the late 1920s and into the 1930s and beyond.

Known for their long range, good load-carrying capacity and flying struts, the Italian-designed, mostly American-built* Bellanca Pacemaker started out with the CH-200 model, powered by a 200-hp Wright J-5 engine. The CH-300 model was powered by the 300-hp J-6. Some later CH-300s were powered by 420-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasps, which led to a new model called the CH-400 Skyrocket.

The first opportunity Wright had to acquire a Pacemaker arose a few years ago, but Wright’s wife Carolyn suggested the time wasn’t right. Wright later found another one, a 1929 CH-300 Pacemaker through an Internet search and jumped at the opportunity this time.

“It was basically just an airframe, and the engine was all taken apart and a little bit corroded up here, and there was pieces missing,” Wright told the CBC during a recent interview.

The now restored aircraft, one of only two flying in the world, participated in this year’s Midnight Sun Fly-In held in Yellowknife from July 12 to 14. Prior to its departure for the fly-in from Norman Wells, COPA CEO Bernard Gervais met Wright and snapped a few photos of his Pacemaker.

Warren Wright at the controls of his newly-restored Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker.

Look for Bernard Gervais’ story of his northern adventure in an upcoming issue of COPA Flight.

* Six Bellanca Pacemakers were built in Montreal by Canadian Vickers. They were added to an initial order of 29 that were delivered to the RCAF, who used them for aerial photography.

Photos by B. Gervais

BC & Yukon Director Election Update

Nominations closed on July 19 for candidates to fill the vacancy created on COPA’s Board of Directors when previous director Dave McElroy resigned from the COPA Board earlier this year. Two candidates have put their names forward.

All members in British Columbia and the Yukon will soon receive voting instructions via an email blast from COPA’s national office. The voting process will begin on August 19 and end on September 13, with the newly-elected director taking her or his place at the board meeting that will be held in Calgary after the COPA Lift gala on October 3, 2019.

A photo and bio of each of the two candidates can be viewed in the PDF documents embedded below:

Kate Lassen bio
Peter Lythall bio

Canadian ELT Goes Off In Oregon Brew Pub

When the owners of a brew pub in a Portland, Oregon obtained an abandoned twin-engine Cessna 310 from an airport in Vanderhoof, B.C. last year and set it up in the rafters of their establishment, little did they expect a visit from Search and Rescue authorities a few weeks later.

But that’s what happened at the Vagabond Brewery, when members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) rushed in looking for a crashed aircraft. It didn’t take the CAP team long to figure out that the distress signal was emanating from the oversized objet d’art hanging from the ceiling. Somehow, weeks after all the jostling to get the 310 lifted into place, the ELT finally decided to activate.

The Cessna had reportedly been sitting unattended at Vanderhoof airport (CAU4) for at least 10 years, when it purportedly was abandoned after “…a guy with no Canadian pilot’s license or insurance made a very hard landing and fled the scene,” according to local media reports.

The ELT story is now one other chapter to add to the already intriguing story of the Canadian Cessna 310 hanging from a brew-pub’s rafters in Oregon.

COPA at AirVenture

It is turning into another banner year for the EAA’s annual AirVenture aviation extravaganza in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this week. Although off to a very wet start when a storm passed over KOSH and dumped copious amounts of rain, it didn’t seem to dampen anybody’s spirits despite the virtual chaos Sunday evening when the RV parks and campsites turned into mudholes.

Organizers quickly adapted to the situation by reassigning car parking areas to RV parks so that the backlog of RVs could get off the access roads they were blocking and onto some sort of terra firma.

Once more the annual COPA Oshkosh party was a hit with members as around 500 showed up for sausages on buns with drinks. The next morning saw a couple hundred Canadians turn up at EAA Canada’s breakfast, which featured Mikey McBryan of Buffalo Airways as a guest speaker.

One of the highlights for COPA at AirVenture this year was a meeting between COPA’s president and CEO Bernard Gervais and Jeff Seaborn, chairman of EAA’s Canadian Council, where both organizations pledged to work closer together.

Bernard Gervais and RAA Canada’s Jeff Seaborn outside the EAA Canada tent in Oshkosh.

“We recognize that all associations have their strengths, and we plan to work a lot closer together for the benefit of all aviators across the country,” said Gervais. “Our associations are all for flight…” he added.

Places to Fly – West: Nelson

The folks at COPA Flight 87 – Nelson Pilots Association invite all wheeled and float plane pilots to their annual fly-in in Nelson, located in the Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia.

With the airport and water aerodrome located right on the riverfront of downtown Nelson, accommodations and restaurants are very convenient. 100LL is available.

A special invitation goes out to those on their way to Oshkosh.

Nelson’s airport (CZNL), with an elevation of 1,755 feet, sports a 3,100-foot runway. See you this Saturday, July 20!

Places to Fly – East: Iroquois

This year marks the 53rd Annual Fly-In Breakfast at this riverside airport (CNP7) located in Ontario just over 30 nm south of Ottawa.

Enjoy views of the St. Lawrence River on your way to or from the event. Floatplanes can dock nearby.

Breakfast is served from 08:30 to 11:30.

Iroquois’ airport, with an elevation of 246 feet, sports a 2,000-foot turf/asphalt runway.

For more information, dial 613-657-1646. See you on Sunday, July 21!

Photo credit: facebook

New Drone Centre of Excellence for Quebec

The governments of both Canada and Quebec have each pledged $800,000 toward the construction of a new Qualia Unmanned Aerial System Centre of Excellence (UAS-CE), where both commercial and civilian operators of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) can validate their products and services in ‘real world’ conditions.

The project, valued at $2.4 million, is in line with Quebec’s Aerospace Strategy 2016-2026 that aims to develop the RPAS sector and its civilian applications.

The announcement earlier this week was made in Alma, located in the Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec, the site of the new centre.

“The RPAS sector is expanding rapidly in Quebec,” said Suzanne Benoit, president of Aéro Montréal. “By establishing a site where companies from the RPAS sector will be able to test their new products in an optimal way, the [Centre of Excellence] is supporting their growth ambitions. It responds directly to the need to create synergies among aerospace companies with a view to implementing operational demonstrators and commercializing new products. The StartAéro 360° initiative, which we launched in 2018, is designed specifically to encourage these synergies.”

Added federal minister for economic development Navdeep Baines, “The Qualia project is in alignment with the Government of Canada’s priorities by fostering the growth and evolution of inclusive regional innovation ecosystems. It will also support the development  of a strong  industry by promoting the mobilization, growth and competitiveness of companies in the drone industry. We promote long-term economic development, and that benefits organizations, businesses and communities.”

Photo above

From left to right: Marc Moffatt, Director General, Drone Centre of Excellence, Éric Girard, Lac-Saint-Jean MLA, Member of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Richard Hébert, Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, Marc Asselin, Mayor of the City of Alma and Alain Fortin, President, Drone Centre of Excellence.

TCCA Clarifies Helicopter ‘Flight’ vs ‘Air’ Time

Transport Canada – Civil Aviation recently released an Advisory Circular (AC 700-052) that seeks to clarify the definitions of ‘Air ’and ‘Flight’ times as they relate to helicopters.

In the document (appended below), TCCA identifies the current definition of Flight Time, as per the CARs, as “…the time from the moment an aircraft first moves under its own power for the purpose of taking off until the moment it comes to rest at the end of the flight”, a definition consistent with that for aeroplanes.

TCCA then contrasts that definition with the one set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which defines Flight Time as “The total time from the moment a helicopter’s rotor blades start turning until the moment the helicopter finally comes to rest at the end of a flight and the rotor blades are stopped.”

The circular points out that the American definition of Flight Time, according to their regulations, is consistent with TCCA’s.

TCCA adds the definition for Air Time: “…with respect to keeping technical records, the time from the moment an aircraft leaves the surface until it comes into contact with the surface at the next point of landing.”

Later in the circular is a description of various helicopter flight scenarios together with guidance on how the resulting Air and Flight Times should be logged.


uAvionix Developing skyBeacon X for Canadian Market

The U.S.-based company uAvionix announced this week that they are developing a variant of their 978 MHz skyBeacon wingtip-mounted ADS-B OUT for the Canadian market, using the 1090ES technology and antenna diversity that Nav Canada will require.

The skyBeacon X, as the product is being called, will essentially be a 1090 MHz ADS-B OUT transponder also equipped with LED position and anti-collision lights, a GPS source and a barometric altimeter.

“Clearly there is a technical challenge here that uAvionix is well equipped to solve,” said  uAvionix president Christian Ramsey. “We specifically designed skyBeacon and tailBeacon to target a low cost of installation, and we are doing it again with skyBeacon X. We’ve been approached by Canadian pilots asking if we can help address their needs. uAvionix has all of the right tools and products in our portfolio to give them what they need.”

The skyBeacon replaces a wingtip position light. Certification and product availability is expected to be some time in 2021.

Nav Canada’s timeline for ADS-B performance requirements stipulate January 1, 2021 for Class A airspace, and Class E airspace above FL600. January 1, 2022 adds Class B airspace (FL125 to FL180). The implementation date for airspace below 12,500 feet is not yet set, but Nav Canada says it will not be before 2023. Precise details of the airspace below 12,500 feet where 1090ES ADS-B OUT equipage will be required has yet to be identified but Nav Canada has stated that it will do so after consulting with stakeholders.

“We certainly see the future of ADS-B devices for GA as being easy to install and conforming to all international specs at a decent price, said COPA’s CEO Bernard Gervais. “skyBeacon X aims to check all those boxes, so this is certainly a step in the right direction.”