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 have already received voting instructions via an email blast from COPA’s national office. The voting process began on August 19 and will 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 Space Pioneer Passes Away

Bruce Aikenhead, a man whose name may not be entirely familiar to Canadians these days, passed away earlier this month in the town of Salmon Arm, British Columbia.

Aikenhead, an Officer of the Order of Canada, worked on the Avro Arrow, NASA’s Mercury and Gemini space programs, the Canadarm, NASA’s space shuttle and was the first director-general of the Canadian astronaut program, hiring Chris Hadfield, among others.

During his retirement years he volunteered with local schools and community centres, educating young people about both aeronautics and astronautics. One of the organizations Aikenhead collaborated with was the Okanagan Science Centre in Vernon, B.C., where he served as curator of the space and astronomy section. One of its projects was the transcribing of his recollections of his youth and career:

“One of my earliest memories, the view, looking straight up, of the enormous [Graf] Zeppelin as it flew overhead at quite a low altitude and it seemed to be very close. Because I was not quite six years old, it made a very lasting impression. I could see its gondola with many windows and there were faces in most of them, looking down at us. I could see and hear the engines and propellers suspended from the underside and also saw some coloured lights.”

Bruce Alexander Aikenhead, O.C., B.Sc., P.Eng., FBIS, was born on September  22, 1923 and died at the age of 95 on August 5, 2019. A celebration of his life will be held on September 22 at the Salmon Arm Gallery of Art.

Photo credit: Okanagan Science Centre

TSB Repeats Recommendation to Change Night Visual Flight Rules

In an investigation report into a helicopter crash in rural Ontario last March that was released today, the Transportation Safety Board again recommends that Transport Canada – Civil Aviation (TCCA) amend the CARs to better define visual references when conduction flights under night VFR.

The recommendation (A18-08) was initially made after an investigation into the May, 2013 crash of a Sikorsky S-76A helicopter on a night VFR flight from Moosonee airport (CYMO), near the southwestern shore of James Bay in Ontario.

In response to the TSB’s recommendation for the rule amendment, the TSB reports that TCCA is taking action to address the safety identified deficiencies and that regulatory development is currently underway, with proposed amendments to the CARs released for public consultation sometime before the end of this year.

Recommendation A18-08 was repeated in the investigation report released today of the Robinson R66 helicopter nighttime crash 18 nm northwest of Timmins airport (CYTS) in central-eastern Ontario last March, which led to two fatalities.

The R66 investigation report quotes from the turbine-powered R66’s Pilot’s Operating Handbook on the matter of losing outside visual reference while night flying:

“[the pilot] loses […] his ability to control the attitude of the helicopter. As helicopters are not inherently stable and have very high roll rates, the aircraft will quickly go out of control, resulting in a high velocity crash which is usually fatal.

Be sure you NEVER fly at night unless you have clear weather with unlimited or very high ceilings and plenty of celestial or ground lights for reference.”

The TSB report also mentions the following situations of non-compliance that were revealed during the investigation:

  • The pilot had not performed five night takeoffs and landings in the preceding six months, meaning he was not lawfully carrying his passenger;
  • The ELT, recently serviced, was installed in the ‘OFF’ position and therefore did not activate;
  • No flight plan or flight itinerary was filed, leading to a 36-hour delay in initiating a search (although the TSB report states that the crash was not survivable).

Both the full TSB report on the R66 crash and the recommendation to amend the CARs are appended below.


Voting Open in BC & YT By-Election

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Voting is now open in the COPA Board of Directors by-election in British Columbia and Yukon. Members can vote online through COPA’s website. Please take a moment to read the bios of the two COPA members running for this position, and cast your vote by clicking the button below.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”2019 By-Election Candidates”][/td_block_text_with_title][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][td_block_big_grid_4 category_id=”325″ sort=”oldest_posts”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_btn title=”Vote Now” color=”blue” align=”center” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-check-square-o” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fcopanational.org%2Fen%2Fcivicrm%2F%3Fpage%3DCiviCRM%26q%3Dcivicrm%2Fvote%26vote%3D1||target:%20_blank|”][td_block_text_with_title custom_title=”Voting by Paper Ballot”]Paper ballots are available on request for members who prefer to vote in this manner. Requests must be made to:

Angela Storing, Membership Coordinator
By email: membership@copanational.org
By fax: 613-236-8646
By Mail: 75 Albert St. Suite 903, Ottawa ON K1P 5E7

Completed ballots must be received at COPA’s office no later than 5:00pm EDT, Friday September 13th, 2019. Ballots received after this date will not be counted.[/td_block_text_with_title][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Places To Fly – West: Maple Creek

Street dancing is just one of the activities being organized by the folks at COPA Flight 206 – Maple Creek Flying Club, located at Maple Creek airport (CJQ4) in southwestern Saskatchewan.

Their Fly-In Breakfast Day on Saturday, August 17 starts off with breakfast (of course) before everyone moves downtown for a car show and other live events. Local merchants and restaurants are all on board to help everyone enjoy the day.

The Club points out that they have only recently become a COPA Flight and want to use the fly-in to celebrate the occasion.

A 3,078-foot asphalted runway (06-24) and a 1,936-foot turf/clay runway (17-35), as well as 100LL, are available.

Further information is available by email.

Places to Fly – East: St. Stephen

Seafood chowder and blueberry pie await those who attend the event goes by the name of, well, the Annual Seafood Chowder and Blueberry Pie Fly-in.

Hosted by the St. Croix Valley Flying Club at the St. Stephen airport (CCS3) in southern New Brunswick, the event runs from 10:00 to 14:00 on Saturday, August 17.

The airport’s runway (14-32) is asphalted and runs for 3,000 feet. 100LL, and plenty of space for parking, are available.

Further information is available by email.

Drug-Dropping Drones Target of BC’s Jailers

B.C. Corrections, the government agency that runs British Columbia’s provincial jails, has identified the illicit delivery of contraband by drones to their 10 prison compounds as a potential security threat.

In addition to illegal drugs, cellphones and other miscellaneous contraband items are finding their way into prisons using this novel means of transport. The agency says it is not yet “a significant concern”, but is monitoring the situation. In an email to the Victoria Times-Colonist, an agency spokesperson wrote, “To this end, B.C. Corrections is currently consulting with security advisers on drone detection options.”

The agency cited security concerns when asked for specific instances of drone-delivered contraband. It admitted, however, that it is interested in technology that can detect drones operating in close proximity to their facilities.

At the federal level, the Correction Service of Canada has budgeted $6 million for a three-year pilot program dedicated to the detection of drones. Forty-three prisons and jails make up the number of federal facilities.

Transport Canada is Reaching Out

Whether you fly balloons, gliders, rotary wing, ultralights or fixed wing aircraft, if you are a general aviation pilot, we want to hear from you.

Transport Canada is gathering information to better understand the general aviation community – its strengths, as well as challenges. We are looking for your feedback through the General Aviation Safety Survey.

Let’s work together! It only takes 10 minutes. Please fill out the anonymous survey, and help us work towards improving general aviation safety.

Piper Cub Wing Strut Fails –TSB Issues Safety Advisory

The Transportation Safety Board has issued an air transportation safety advisory ahead of the release of its investigation report into the crash of a ski-equipped Piper J3C-65 Cub on Snowshoe Lake on March 30 of this year.

The accident, which resulted in two fatalities, was caused by the separation of the left main spar wing lift strut assembly near the lower fork end attachment due to excessive corrosion.

In 2015 the U.S. FAA had released an airworthiness directive, AD 2015-08-04, requiring the inspection or replacement of potentially corroded strut assemblies on a number of different Piper models. However, the TSB did not find any evidence that the AD was complied with on the accident aircraft.

During the investigation, the TSB determined that one of the two methods that can be employed to test the wing spar for corrosion, the punch test method, did not return conclusive results when compared with results from an inspection using an electron microscope. This, says the TSB, could lead to an unsafe condition.

In a letter to the director-general of Transport Canada – Civil Aviation (TCCA), contained in the safety advisory, the TSB outlines the results of their tests and recommends that TCCA review the AD with a view to determining effective inspection methods.

The safety advisory can be viewed here.

Photos credit: TSB

Ground Icing, W & B Cited In King Air Crash Report

In a report released this week by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB), investigators cited a number of factors that led to the crash post-takeoff of a Beechcraft King Air B-100 from Abbotsford airport (CYXX) in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland on February 23, 2018.

The non-revenue charter flight, carrying family members bound for a vacation in California, took off in falling snow and stalled once leaving ground effect, crashing on airport grounds and resulting in serious injuries to the ATPL-rated pilot (also the charter company owner) and five passengers. The remaining four passengers received minor injuries.

The TSB makes note of a number of factors, including the rapid formation of airframe ice once the aircraft was rolled out of its heated hangar (ground icing). Also cited was poor flight planning that led to the aircraft being over gross weight when the operational flight plan indicated it was under.

Head injuries to the front seat occupants were exasperated by the occupants not using the available shoulder restraints. Both occupants received facial fractures and lacerations as well as spinal fractures.

The TSB also mentions that two weeks prior to the accident, the operator received a letter from Transport Canada – Civil Aviation (TCCA) citing a number of concerns about the company’s operations, including unairworthy aircraft, aircraft defects not being recorded properly, issues with its quality assurance program and numerous findings of alleged non-compliance related to technical dispatch and flight crew member qualifications. Two days before the crash, the operator received a Notice of Suspension with an effective date of March 28, 2018.

Ownership of the charter company has since changed hands.

The full TSB report is appended below.

Photos credit: TSB