Ottawa Mandates 10% Aircraft Tax

On December 13 the prime minister presented his ministers with their mandate letters. With little more information than what we have seen in their respective letters, we unfortunately see that the finance minister has a mandate to introduce a 10 percent tax on ‘Luxury Items’ including personal aircraft of over $100,000. The letters can be found at the following links for Transport and Finance.

Right now, COPA doesn’t have any more details than what we published in our November 7 eFlight. Rest assured that we will be working against this in coordination with the other aviation associations.

In the meantime, you can start by writing to the Minister of Finance and copy us and your MP. We have provided a form letter; you only have to fill in your and your MP’s name.

Contact details for MPs can be found on the Parliament of Canada website. Email addresses for MPs are generally formatted as

If you are unsure about which riding you live in, you can search by postal code on Elections Canada’s website.

Letter against 10% tax aircraft

Carbon Monoxide in Aircraft

Transport Canada-Civil Aviation (TCCA) has recently issued a Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) to remind pilots of the hazards of carbon monoxide (CO) in the cockpit of their aircraft. This is a timely reminder given the season.

CO is an odourless gas that reduces blood’s ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. There are no tell-tale signs that CO is present in the air unless dedicated and effective detection devises are used. Given that most single-engine airplanes have their engine in front of the cockpit, and that twin-engine aircraft often have a combustion-type heater in the nose of a twin (e.g. Janitrol), it is essential that careful inspection of the aircraft systems be regularly conducted, with repairs carried out as need.

The Safety Alert reminds pilots of Airworthiness Directive (AD) CF-90-03R2, issued almost three decades ago, which requires repetitive inspections of exhaust-type heat exchangers. TCCA also mentions that the detailed visual inspections (DVIs) that the AD calls for is not capable of detecting small leaks. TCCA suggests that a pressure/leak test also be conducted when carrying out the inspection required by the AD.

Much has been written about the best way to detect the presence of CO in the cockpit of an aircraft. The card-type detectors sold for a few dollars that one can stick onto the instrument panel or other easily visible place in the cockpit are considered by many experts to be inadequate. In addition, some are advertised as being effective for only 90 days after the package it comes in is opened. How often do they actually get replaced?

The full CASA can be seen below.


Flight-testing uAvionix tailBeacon X

COPA recently sought the interest of aircraft owners to participate in an ADS-B test program where uAvionix plans on testing their tailBeacon X (1090ES ADS-B OUT) in Canada on non-certificated aircraft. We quickly garnered in excess of 200 expressions of interest in this regard. Some of the interested owners have justifiably inquired about the status of this planned testing.

When we shared these numbers with uAvionix, they were overwhelmed with the level of interest. uAvionix is currently in the process of finalizing the details of their planned testing and have informed COPA that they will themselves carry out the selection of those who will be invited to participate in their tailBeacon X testing in Canada. To this effect, COPA has shared all such expressions of interest with uAvionix. We understand that uAvionix will contact the selected candidates directly to finalize some agreement with these selected owners.

At this point, COPA does not have any further information on the progress of this project. We thank all who expressed interest in the program and anticipate that uAvionix will inform us of their status in the near future.

Image above is of uAvionix’s tailBeacon, the American 978 UAT device. tailBeacon X will have both upward- and downward-facing antennae. Image credit: uAvionix

U.S. ADS-B Mandate

As we approach the January 1, 2020 implementation of the U.S.’s ADS-B mandate, we have been receiving questions from our members asking for clarification. Following is some useful information for you to be aware of, and a few links to the appropriate FAA website to answer any further questions.

COPA has confirmed that U.S. sovereign airspace delegated to Nav Canada will NOT require ADS-B.

For COPA members who have not installed an ADS-B transceiver and wish to fly into U.S. airspace following the January 1, 2020 ADS-B mandate implementation:

  • The same transponder and customs procedures to cross the border are in effect.
  • You must remain clear of U.S. ADS-B airspace; see Google Earth link below, or
  • Contact the FAA to request an exemption:
    • The FAA have created a website to apply for an exemption. They are working to have it active prior to January 1, 2020.
    • You must receive approval from all ATC facilities at least one (1) hour in advance of the flight.

Note: Be aware that a flight plan does not constitute approval from the ATC facility.

91.225   Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) OUT equipment and use.

(g) Requests for ATC authorized deviations from the requirements of this section must be made to the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the concerned airspace within the time periods specified as follows:

(1) For operation of an aircraft with an inoperative ADS-B Out, to the airport of ultimate destination, including any intermediate stops, or to proceed to a place where suitable repairs can be made or both, the request may be made at any time.

(2) For operation of an aircraft that is not equipped with ADS-B Out, the request must be made at least 1 hour before the proposed operation.

The FAA have provided a map that is accessed using Google Earth. Clicking here will download the map to your Google Earth application for you to see the U.S. ADS-B airspace.

For COPA members who have installed an ADS-B transceiver:

  • The same customs procedures to cross the border are in effect.
  • You do not need to prove certification of your ADS-B OUT transceiver to the FAA.
    • All certification and paperwork for your aircraft remain applicable to Transport Canada requirements.
  • If you live in an area of Canada that has U.S. ADS-B coverage, prior to entering U.S. airspace, click here to request an ADS-B Public Performance Report (PAPR):
    • The PAPR can only be obtained after flying in U.S. ADS-B airspace.
    • The FAA have indicated that there is no problem for a Canadian aircraft to fly into U.S. ADS-B airspace with a new ADS-B system without obtaining their first Performance Report beforehand.
    • The FAA recommend that after Jan 1, 2020, everyone testing their ADS-B system for the first time do so quickly.
    • That is, obtain the PAPR as soon as possible after the first flight, make any necessary corrections to the ADS-B system in a timely manner, and retest.

Additional ADS-B information can be found here.

If you have a specific question for the FAA, email them to receive a response.

Image credit: FAA

Respect Aircraft Limitations: TSB

The Transportation Safety Board investigation into the crash in Whitehorse (CYXY) of a Cessna 170B on May 27 of this year has ended and the report was issued earlier this week. In it, the TSB highlights the use of flaps contrary to the manufacturer’s recommendation as outlined in the pilots operating handbook (POH) as a factor that may have led to the crash of the U.S.-registered Cessna, which killed the two pilots on board.

A post-crash fire consumed the aircraft, but the TSB was able to retrieve a video camera that had recorded the takeoff and the short flight. After examining it at the TSB’s laboratory in Ottawa, investigators were able to reconstruct the flight.

The aircraft had taken off from Runway 14R with the wind coming from 210° at 15 knots, gusting to 20. A windsock at the other end of the runway indicated calm winds.

Once airborne the aircraft entered the area of calm air. The pilot, who was a certified flight instructor and had accumulated over 9500 hours, deployed 40° flaps before later reducing them to 20° or 30°. This all took place with runway remaining. The aircraft never rose more than 50 feet above ground level. It then stalled, bounced and crashed outside the perimeter fence.

The density altitude at the time of the flight was 4069 feet. According to the Cessna’s POH, the use of flaps at higher density altitudes is not recommended; they would be producing significant drag while providing minimal lift.

Although TSB investigators were unable to determine the 170’s takeoff weight, they were able to determine it was at least at the gross takeoff weight of 2200 pounds.

Given the long operational days of 12 to 14 hours preceding the day of the flight, and the 11-hour-long operational day preceding the flight itself, fatigue may also have played a role in pilot decision-making.

The full report is appended below.

Photo credit: Henry Richard


Avro Arrow Replica Project Draws Criticism

As reported in eFlight last November, the City of Mississauga (Ontario) announced plans to commission a replica of the famed Avro CF-105 Arrow for mounting as a sculpture in Malton’s Paul Coffey Park alongside the existing static display of an Avro CF-100 Canuck. The idea of the city’s leaders was to pay tribute to the Arrow and draw more tourists and school visits to the city.

The announcement provoked much feedback, most of it negative, on social media. Hugo Reinoso, a Green Party candidate in the last federal election and previous city council candidate, tweeted that the city’s $2.2 million pledge “is as much a waste as the $1.1 billion wasted on the [original Arrow] project and an insult to the workers that lost their jobs.”

Another critic, Navarre Bailey, set up an online petition asking the city to instead spend the funds on Mississauga not-for-profits. He tweeted, “what will the replica do for society?”

In defense of the project, another city councillor, Carolyn Parrish, responded to those who suggested the funds could be better spent by saying that they don’t grasp the importance of the Arrow to Malton and the economic benefits such a monument could bring. “The Arrow will attract tourists, school trips and folks looking for a break from conferences taking place on the airport strip or the International Centre,” Parrish said.

Photo of the Avro CF-100 Canuck courtesy the of City of Mississauga

Watson Lake Terminal a Historic Site

The old terminal building at Watson Lake airport (CYQH) in the Yukon has been declared a historical site by the territorial government. Built in 1941-2 to serve traffic generated by transient aircraft along the Northwest Staging Route, it continues to serve as a terminal for local and transiting aircrew and passengers today.

Partially constructed with logs, the building has withstood the test of time. In its heyday, the terminal building saw many pilots and other aircrew on their way from the contiguous United States to Fairbanks, Alaska flying aircraft destined for the Soviet Union, then allies in the Second World War.

The terminal later served workers transported to and from the area during the construction of the Alaska Highway. In later years, the mining industry used the airport to ferry in and out workers attending mines in the area. Canadian Pacific Airlines/CP Air serviced the community with scheduled passenger service using Boeing 737s in the 1970s, with routes to Whitehorse, Edmonton, Vancouver and other points.

Since deregulation of the commercial aviation industry in the 1980s, various small regional airlines have served the airport, but none has been able to continue. Today only charter operators serve the community.

Photo by Susan Drury

New Red Deer Control Zone Restrictions

On December 9, 2019, COPA and members of the Alberta Aviation Community were informed by Nav Canada that a NOTAM would be issued indicating a procedure change will be added to the CFS for CYQF. The NOTAM was effective December 10, 2019. COPA was not given much notice of the change and we will coordinate with Transport Canada and Nav Canada to voice our concerns with this approach and improve the communication process to avoid this issue in the future.

In an attempt to rectify safety concerns at CYQF, with approval from Transport Canada under CAR 602.96 (3)(D), the Flight Service Specialists providing service at CYQF will be authorized to restrict VFR aircraft from entering the Control Zone or from departing CYQF when necessary due to traffic volume or complexity. The overflight / itinerant traffic is not expected to be affected by this procedure change. The intent is to regulate the circuit traffic or traffic intending to enter the circuit at CYQF.

The phraseology that pilots should expect to hear from the Flight Service Specialists is contained in the table below for the different situations:





This is a major change to the operations at the CYQF Flight Service Station and COPA members operating in the vicinity of CYQF are reminded to be diligent as this new procedure is implemented. Following discussions with Transport Canada, COPA has confirmed that should a pilot not adhere to the issued restriction they could receive a regulatory infraction due to a violation of the CARs.

Photo copyright Nav Canada

Drones As Cowboys

In yet another innovative use for drones (Remote Pilot-Operated System, or RPAS, in Transport Canada terminology), they are now being promoted as surrogate cowboys in the management of cattle in Alberta.

Earlier this year a two-day course was held in Lacombe, Alberta attended by a group of livestock producers. The class was taught by LandView Drones of Edmonton. Certification as a drone operator was available for those who passed the appropriate Transport Canada exam after completing the course.

Of note was the inclusion of a guest speaker and advocate for drone usage in livestock operations. Associate Professor Dr. John Church is the Cattle Research Chair in the Faculty of Science at Thompson River University in Kamloops, British Columbia. Dr. Church told the class of the many ways that drones can be used in the management of cattle.

Examples of the many tasks that can be easily accomplished with drones include finding where cattle are, herding cattle, identifying specific cattle by zooming in with the drone’s camera to check ear tag numbers, check cattle health by using thermal imaging cameras to check the cattle’s body temperature, check on remote watering systems. The list goes on.

According to LandView, the price range for drones that are equipped to do such a job range from $3,000 to $5,000. This is well below the seasonal cost of employing a cowboy or cowhand to accomplish just one or two of the tasks mentioned above.

Photo by Filip Bunkens of unsplash