COPA’S Gervais Leaving Post this Summer

The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) announced through its interim chairman of the board, Bill Mahoney, that the organization’s president and CEO Bernard Gervais will be leaving the organization in the summer.

Gervais recently informed the COPA Board of his desire to leave his leadership position after serving as its head for five years.

With two key events just months away, COPA’s Annual General Meeting and Convention planned for Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu from June 25 to 27, and the biennial International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) World Assembly in Montreal from June 29 to July 3, both the Board and Gervais mutually agreed that he would serve until after those two events in order to ensure their successful planning and execution.

“Over the last five years, Bernard has worked relentlessly to help General Aviation across Canada and, under his leadership, COPA developed and strengthened the necessary relationships with organizations all across the country and with our major stakeholders including Transport Canada, Nav Canada, AOPA and IAOPA, always in line with our mission of advancing, promoting and preserving our freedom to fly,” said Mahoney in a statement. “We are proud of our accomplishments over those five years and we wish Bernard all the best in his future endeavors.”

COPA is currently seeking a replacement in order to provide for an overlap and ensure a smooth transition for his replacement. Please see the job description here.

Raise the Arrow

The hunt for free-flight models of the legendary AVRO Arrow by the OEX Recovery Group is on again, with an underwater search planned for late spring. The search area will be the bottom of Lake Ontario, in the waters off Prince Edward County’s Point Petre, where flight-testing of scale models of the Arrow took place in the mid-1950s.

Wired to send to ground stations via telemetry valuable data about their aerodynamic stability at supersonic speeds, nine Arrow test models were launch by rocket-propelled Nike missiles and later landed in the water. Recovery of the models was not foreseen at the time; their on-board instruments having sent data about the flight to the ground stations. The idea was that this sort of flight testing would render redundant the need to construct full-scale prototypes.

The OEX Recovery Group is headed up by John Burzynski, president and CEO of publicly traded mining company Osisko Mining Inc. Partners in the group, some of whom provide financial assistance, include other mining companies, major Canadian financial institutions and legal firms, as well as both the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, the RCAF and the Canada Aviation and Space Museum (CASM) in Ottawa.

The same group recovered a Delta test model in 2018, which after restoration is now on display at the CASM. That version, however, was a less sophisticated version and the group is still intent on recovering one of the more elaborate, exact 1/8 scale replicas, if not all of the remaining models.

Below is a photo of the Delta model recovered in 2018.

Photo credit: OEX Recovery Group

Nominations Open for the Elsie MacGill Awards

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation is now accepting nominations for its 12th annual awards program. Each year the national not-for-profit foundation honours outstanding Canadian women who have made a significant contribution to aviation or aerospace, and who continue to lay the groundwork for other women to enter or excel in these industries.

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation’s Elsie MacGill Awards, or ‘The Elsie’, is named after aviation pioneer and human rights advocate Elsie Gregory MacGill, the world’s first female aircraft designer. MacGill graduated from the University of Toronto’s electrical engineering program in 1927 and later became pivotal in the design and production of the Hawker Hurricane in Canada during the Second World War. During her career, MacGill was appointed to the Canadian Royal Commission on the Status of Women and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

The Foundation is always working on new initiatives. 2018 brought the introduction of our Northern Lights Aero Foundation Mentorship Program, sponsored by Porter Airlines, while 2019 brought the introduction of The Captain Judy Cameron Air Canada Scholarship.

The 2020 recipients will be selected by a judging panel comprised of industry experts and veterans, and will be honoured at the Elsie MacGill Awards Gala at the Sheraton Parkway Hotel and Conference Centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario on Saturday, September 26, 2020.

To nominate an outstanding woman, or for more information about the Northern Lights Aero Foundation and sponsorship opportunities, visit their website.

Nominations submission deadline is March 31, 2020.

Low-Carbon Airport Infrastructure

How can the construction of airport infrastructure help reduce our enviro mental footprint? The Calgary Airport Authority, operator of Calgary’s main airport (CYYC), worked with a company called CarbonCure Concrete to construct an aircraft de-icing pad that uses a mixture of concrete that reduces its carbon content by 16 kilograms per cubic metre. They do this by injecting waste carbon dioxide recovered from elsewhere into the concrete during mixing.

“This is yet another instance of CarbonCure concrete easily meeting rigorous performance standards, including the top-tier design and engineering standards required for airport paving,” said company founder and CEO Robert Niven, a McGill University engineering graduate. It was during his final year at McGill that he attended the 2007 United Nations Summit on Climate Change, which gave him the inspiration to establish his company.

Now a world leader, the CarbonCure Technology is being used by concrete producers across North America and Southeast Asia to reduce concrete’s carbon footprint, create new production cost savings and gain a competitive sales advantage.

“YYC Calgary International Airport is pleased to be a leader as the largest airport user to-date of CarbonCure in Canada,” said Carmelle Hunka, vice-president of risk and compliance at the airport. “As YYC strives to be a leader in airport sustainability, we fully supported our airline partners in the decision to inject captured carbon into the new East De-icing Apron’s concrete pavement.”

Photo courtesy of YYC

Bombardier Donation Provokes Name Change

With the donation of a Bombardier Global 7500 flight test aircraft to Ontario’s Centennial College for training purposes, what was Centennial’s Centre for Aerospace and Aviation will now be renamed “The Bombardier Centre for Aerospace and Aviation”.

The aircraft, serial number 70004, was used by Bombardier as a test vehicle for the evaluation and validation of the aircraft’s interior. It carried the name “The Architect”.

“As the global demand for aerospace technicians and technologists continues to grow, the strategic advantage of Bombardier and Centennial’s relationship is only amplified,” said Dr. Craig Stephenson, Centennial College’s president and CEO. “The commitment of both partners not only aims to support the increasing labour demands of the sector, but also bolsters Ontario’s and Canada’s leadership position in a competitive global sector.”

This isn’t Bombardier’s first donation to the college. A year ago, the Montreal-based aircraft manufacturer donated a CRJ200, again for training purposes, and provided the college with $150,000 for the completion of its Landing Gear Research project.

“Bombardier is proud to continue supporting Centennial College in their mission to prepare the next generation of aerospace professionals”, said Bombardier’s president and CEO Alain Bellemare. “With this Global 7500 aircraft donation, students will receive incomparable hands-on training using the industry’s latest advanced technology.”

Photo courtesy Bombardier

22 Planes Fly In To Montebello 2020

COPA’s annual fly-in at Montebello, Quebec saw 22 aircraft making the journey. With a landing strip designated in the snow on the frozen Ottawa River, those travelling by plane were able to land right in front of the Chateau Montebello, the event venue.

The ice was sufficiently thick to support the aircraft, but rain earlier in the day meant that only ski-equipped aircraft were able to land.

Many others travelled by more conventional means, with a total attendance estimated at between 60 and 70 people.

Among the booths set up were those of COPA, the Ultralight Pilots Association of Canada (UPAC), Aviateurs Québec and Smart Pilot. Representatives of Transport Canada made a presentation on transitioning between aircraft types. Samantha Wilson-Clark, Director of Civil Aviation Medicine at Transport Canada, discussed various medical themes, especially the use of cannabis.

“We were pleased to be joined by many new, younger members on the weekend and at the banquet, including Cameron Boekhoff, Captain of the rejuvenated COPA Flight 8 in Ottawa,” said COPA president and CEO Bernard Gervais.

Thirty-five people attended the banquet where the guest speaker was Steve Thorne of Flight Chops, a website featuring tips and videos aimed at increasing pilot skills.

Photo by Jean-Pierre Bonin

Places to Fly: Montebello 2020 Winter Fly-In

“Canada’s Best Winter Fly-In”, organized by COPA and held annually for Challenger ultralights (with other aircraft welcome) on the ice and shores of the Ottawa River in Quebec, is on again this year. We have received the following ice and snow condition report from the local volunteers:

Ice Thickness

Four measurements were taken in the marina, two near the docks, which came in at 40.5 centimetres (16 inches), and the other two at the exit to the river which, where the ice thickness was measured at 35.5 cm (14 in). Five measurements were taken on the river about 45 metres apart (150 feet) and 30.5 m (100 ft) from the edge. These came in at between 28 and 33 cm (11 to 13 in). Two other measurements were taken 45 m from the edge and show the thickness to be 30.5 cm.

Snow conditions in general

The snow on the surface of the river is powdery, 7.5 cm to 20 cm thick (3 to 8 in). Only five cm (two in) of snow are under the tracks of the snowmobile. No presence of water or slush on the frozen river or at the marina were observed.

If the conditions do not deteriorate much by the weekend, pilots can expect perfect snow conditions for soft landings and takeoffs for ski-equipped planes and maybe even for those with Tundra tires.

Stay tuned to eFlight next week for a report on how the event played out.

Jazz Aviation Named Top Employer for Youths

Nova Scotia-based Jazz Aviation LP (owned by Chorus Aviation) has been named by the Globe and Mail newspaper as one of Canada’s 100 top employers of young people in 2020. With over 4600 employees, Jazz was recognized for, among other things, its program of mentoring young people with established employees who are leaders in their own right. The company was also recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers (2020) and Nova Scotia’s Top Employers (2020). It was also Recognized as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers in 2019.

Some of the justifications cited for the naming of Jazz to these lists include the Jazz After Hours Club, a social committee that organizes many recreational activities outside of working hours. Jazz also offers numerous training activities, including tuition subsidies up to $3,000, to encourage continual learning. Jazz employees are also allowed to apply for a paid day off to volunteer at an organization of their choosing.

On the subject of diversity, Jazz dedicates a webpage to the recruitment of Indigenous Canadians in addition to a program that reaches into Indigenous communities. Jazz also offers a scholarship targeting Indigenous female pilots. Jazz also organized, in 2019, a diversity conference entitled Creating Inclusive Skies that brought together numerous industry players, including competitors, to discuss enhancing opportunities for not only indigenous Canadians, but women, persons with disabilities and members of the LGBT community.

COPA Members Support Hope Air

Lee Arsenault, a COPA member, has been recognized by the national charity Hope Air with their Distinguished Volunteer Pilot of the Year Award for 2019. Based in Pickering, Ontario and a Hope Air volunteer pilot since 2016, M. Arsenault, along with his wife Marilyn, has flown 20 flights in his Diamond DA-40, bringing rural residents to the care they need in only available in bigger metropolitan centres.

“Lee and his wife Marilyn go above and beyond to ensure patients are comfortable,” said a statement released by Hope Air.

In the same statement, Hope Air announced that COPA member and Hope Air board member Anna Pangrazzi is retiring after serving as a director since being elected in 2015.

Hope Air raises funds that are used to help defray some of the direct costs of volunteer pilots as well as to purchase seats on commercial air carriers so that financially challenged patients and their escort can get to needed medical appointments far away.

One of Hope Air’s major fundraising events in recent years has also seen COPA members as active participants. The Give Hope Wings (GHW) initiative, begun by COPA members Dave McElroy, Russ Airey and Harold Fast with a flight circumnavigating South America in 2018, raised over $520,000 for Hope Air. Last year saw McElroy, Ian Porter and Steve Drinkwater, together with major sponsor Lise Ash, all COPA members, leading the GHW Northern Expedition from Metro Vancouver north to the Arctic Ocean and then west to points in Alaska, raising over $250,000 in the process.

Top photo: From left, Lee Arsenault, his wife Marilyn and Hope Air CEO Doug Keller-Hobson. Photo source: Facebook