Merritt Reviewing Airport Strategy

The mayor of Merritt, a city in the south-central Thompson region of British Columbia with a population of over 7,000, wants the city’s airport to grow into something bigger, perhaps even attracting commercial air service.

“It would be a dream to have an airport compete with the Coquihalla [highway],” Mayor Linda Brown told local radio station Radio NL.

“I’m not sure that we jump on the manager [idea] right away,” said Brown in response to a proposal to city council by a local pilot who urged the city to hire an airport manager. “We need to do an awful lot of work before that. Clean up the runway, get a taxi run in there which means a change to the Official Community Plan. There’s a lot of background work that we need to do, so the manager is not the top priority, that’s for sure,” she added.

The city has made efforts over the last few years to have their airport certified, and has earmarked $25,000 to create an airport master plan.

The Merritt airport (CAD5), at an elevation of 2,085 feet, has a 4,003-foot long by 73-foot wide asphalt runway, with a gravel taxiway running parallel for some of its length. Both 100LL and Jet-A fuel is available.

Cessna 177s and Some 210s Subject of Airworthiness Alert

In response to an accident in Australia where a Cessna T210M experienced an in-flight wing separation, manufacturer Textron Aviation last week published Mandatory Service Letters that provided instructions for detailed visual and eddy current inspections on the carry-through spar of Cessna’s 177 and 210 cantilever wings, the two Cessna models that share this wing design.

The U.S. regulator FAA stresses that this is a separate and distinct issue from Airworthiness Directive AD 2012-10-04, mentioning that the potential for failure is not in the same location that is specified in the AD.

The FAA states that this is a potentially serious issue and that any corrosion should be addressed. In the meantime, they are assessing available information to determine the extent of the problem, citing the Australian accident as the only incident they’re currently aware of.

On that point, the FAA is inviting feedback from owners of Cessna 177s and those Cessna 210 models that have cantilevered wings.

See the PDF document below for further information from the FAA and Cessna.

photo credit: Cessna Flyer Association

Alert, Cessna 177 and 210 Airplanes(2)

COPA Objects to TCCA’s New ELT Mandate Proposal

In a three-page letter addressed to Transport Canada – Civil Aviation, COPA has registered its objection to TCCA’s proposal to require all aircraft in Canada to be equipped with 406 MHz ELTs in five years’ time.

Calling the proposed new regulations “nonsensical”, COPA’s president and CEO Bernard Gervais wrote, “Why is the government proposing a double standard that unfairly forces Canadian pilots to equip with something that often does not work (38 percent of crashes) as intended, while allowing foreign-registered aircraft to conduct the same flights from the same airports with different, lesser equipment?

Gervais goes on to recommend satellite-based ADS-B as the better solution for search-and-rescue purposes. “Technologies such as ADS-B offer infinitely more improved tracking capability than outdated and ineffective ELTs ever can.”

Among the five recommendations Gervais puts forth is this one:

[That] the Government of Canada improve aircraft safety for passenger, commercial and general aviation through the installation of a performance-based technology that is not relying on outdated mechanical technology, the orientation of the distressed aircraft once it comes to rest, or the ability of the ELT system as a whole to survive the crash.

The entire letter from COPA to TCCA can be viewed below.

COPA comments to Gazette1 406 ELT