Tickets now on sale for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022

(Photo: Rogers Holmes)

Weekly and daily admission tickets for the 69th edition of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual fly-in convention, are now available online for the event at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 25-31, 2022.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the world’s largest fly-in event, welcoming more than 10,000 aircraft each year, along with an attendance of more than 600,000. The seven-day gathering features the latest innovations and aircraft from around the world, as well as a full spectrum of airplanes from more than a century of aviation history that is on display in the air and on the ground.

Canadians attend EAA AirVenture 2021

“While we are still creating the schedule of programs, features, and attractions that will be at Oshkosh in 2022, aviation enthusiasts are already setting their plans to join us on the flightline,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice president of communities and member programming, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions. “We hear from numerous families who make AirVenture tickets part of their holiday gift planning.”

Again in 2022, all attendees ages 18 and under are admitted free, supported in part by The Boeing Company. In addition, EAA members who purchase admissions prior to June 15, 2022, are eligible to receive their admission wristbands in advance via the Express Arrival program. Early purchase discounts are also available on both daily and weekly admissions.

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh annually features nine air shows over seven days, as well as 1,500 forums, workshops, and seminars plus in excess of 800 aviation exhibitors. Pre-purchase options also include camping credentials and early-bird merchandise, with additional special offers available as they are finalized.

Saugeen Municipal Airport to fly the flags of Brockton, Hanover and West Grey

Municipal representatives from Brockton, Hanover and West Grey presented the three flags that will be flown at the airport. From the left are Hanover Coun. Dave Hocking, Hanover Mayor Sue Paterson, SMA member and pilot Dave Schmidt, Brockton Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak, West Grey Mayor Christine Robinson and West Grey Deputy Mayor Tom Hutchinson. (Photo: Pauline Kerr)

— By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Saugeen Municipal Airport

Representatives of the three municipalities that operate Saugeen Municipal Airport gathered at the airport’s office and restaurant on Saturday, Oct. 16 to present the flags of Brockton, Hanover and West Grey.

The Saugeen Municipal Airport had asked the three municipalities to each contribute $1,000 to cover the cost of flag poles and landscaping; an anonymous donor offered to cover the cost for Brockton.

The three councils heard a presentation by airport manager Filomena McDonald earlier in the year on the plan to fly the flags and all voted in favour of the plan.

Domestic, international travel restrictions update

— Information provided by COPA

With many countries reducing or removing travel restrictions, it’s important to be up-to-date on the changes and the current guidance. On September 7, 2021, new measures for fully vaccinated international travellers coming to Canada came into effect. Canada Border Services Agency has updated its travel tool kit to ensure travellers have the information they need to enter Canada efficiently. You can also find a number of helpful, travel-related resources on the Canadian Border Services Agency website

According to the regulations, the Government of Canada will allow fully vaccinated international travellers meeting the conditions to enter Canada for discretionary (non-essential) purposes. These individuals must:

  • Be fully vaccinated: a traveller must have received, and show proof of, the full series of a vaccine—or combination of vaccines—accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada.
  • Have a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or their arrival at the land border crossing, or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada.
  • Submit their mandatory information via ArriveCAN (app or website), including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan.
  • Take a test on arrival, if selected.

Additionally, unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by travellers who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption are exempt from quarantine but must follow enhanced public health measures. On the other hand, unvaccinated youth aged 12 through 17 are subject to the 14-day quarantine, and all testing requirements for pre-entry, arrival and Day 8 tests, whether or not they are accompanied by travellers who qualify for the fully vaccinated traveller exemption.

More details can be found on

As more borders open and more travel is allowed, these guidelines may change. Make sure you check the to ensure you are complying with the current advice.

Tucker’s GB1 GameBird field approved for Talon Prop

Well-known aviator Sean Tucker, working closely with Hartzell Propeller, has received FAA Field Approval for the Hartzell composite three-blade Talon performance prop on one of his certified aerobatic GB1 GameBird airplanes. The GB1 GameBirds are powered by 303 horsepower Lycoming AEIO-580 engines and are manufactured in the U.S. by Game Composites.

This aircraft is the first of four tandem-seat GB1 GameBirds that Tucker’s new formation aerobatic team will be flying on aerial demonstrations, all featuring Hartzell Talon propellers in place of factory standard equipped propellers. The all composite GB1 GameBird is an unlimited aerobatic competitor, and with a 1,200-mile range it is also capable for weekend trips.

“The Talon’s aerodynamic design utilizes Hartzell’s ASC-II resin transfer carbon fibre process manufacturing process,” said Hartzell Propeller President JJ Frigge. “The Field Approval for Hartzell’s composite 78-inch diameter Talon on the GB1 could pave the way for a future GB1 Talon STC when there’s enough interest in the marketplace.”

Tucker has flown his GameBird equipped with Hartzell’s three-blade Talon performance prop in direct competition with a GB1 factory standard four-blade wood-core prop. The two aircraft had the same engine configuration, same weight, same fuel load. The aircraft with the standard prop had a pilot that was 16 pounds lighter.

“I did a head-to-head race with the Talon prop on my GameBird against the standard four-bladed prop. We went full RPM and full throttle, and I just ran away, at least 12-15 miles an hour faster,” Tucker said.

“I mean, ran away. It was stunning. It was like I had another 30 horsepower on the engine compared to the other one, and both engines were the same and everything else was equal,” Tucker added. “In my business, quality is everything. Safety is everything. The Hartzell propeller is much more robust in terms of performance and reliability.”

Tucker continued to explain the propeller gives an incredible amount more thrust, which is what a pilot needs to get over the top when you’re flying in formation with another airplane. “I can’t believe a propeller could make that much difference when they’re basically the same diameter,” he said. “The three-bladed prop is only a little bit bigger. The other good news is that during the testing, we stayed within the noise decibel limits. So, the Talon is not louder. There’s nothing but good that’s coming out of this field approval,”

The factory standard GB1 Gamebird is powered by Lycoming AEIO-580 B1A (303 horsepower), and unimproved by the Hartzell Talon Prop has an empty weight of 1,080 lb and a useful load of 900 lb fuel capacity is 83 gallons. Takeoff distance ground roll is 981 feet, with a max level speed of 205 kts, rate of climb 2,600 fpm, and a landing distance of 981 feet. Its service ceiling is 15,500 feet, with a landing distance ground roll of 1,486 feet.

(Photo: Hartzell Propeller)

Environmentally progressive fuels approved for Cessna piston aircraft

Textron Aviation on October 25 announced that many Cessna piston-powered aircraft are now approved to utilize a more environmentally friendly aviation gasoline (AvGas). Owners and operators of Cessna 172 Skyhawk, 182 Skylane can utilize 91-octane unleaded (91UL), 94UL or 100VLL (very low lead) fuel in their aircraft wherever it is available. The 206 Turbo Stationair HD aircraft is approved for 100VLL. Unleaded and lower-leaded fuels burn cleaner than higher-leaded fuels currently used on most piston aircraft.

“Textron Aviation is committed to sustainability, and this announcement is an excellent opportunity for aviation enthusiasts to minimize their carbon footprint while continuing to enjoy the journey of flight,” said Chris Crow, vice president, Piston & Utility Sales, Textron. “We have produced more than 75,000 of these three piston aircraft models, and this gives owners and operators around the world a chance to take action in reducing emissions.”

All three Cessna models utilize engines manufactured by Lycoming Engines, a Textron Inc. business. Lycoming recently approved the use of unleaded and lower-leaded fuels after completion of a series of tests. The fuel is compatible for both new production and legacy Cessna piston aircraft.

Operators may begin use of the alternative fuels once they are compliant with Service Bulletin SEB-28-04 or MEB-28-01.

(Photo: Textron Aviation)

Film about pilot Wilfrid ‘Wop’ May receives jury award at Edmonton International Film Festival

Jesse Gervais portrays pilot Wilfrid ‘Wop’ May in Blind Ambition: The Story of Wop May. (Photo supplied by Tom Robinson)

— By Scott McLean, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today

A new film about the legacy of pilot Wilfrid ‘Wop’ May has received the jury award for best documentary short film (Alberta) at the Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF).

Blind Ambition: The Story of Wop May chronicles the life of one of Canada’s most celebrated pilots. May survived a dog fight with the notorious Red Baron during World War I and flew medicine to communities in northern Canada. May spent 1929 to 1935 running Commercial Airways out of Fort McMurray.

Originally the plan was to make a stop-motion animation short but based on conversations between co-director Frederick Kroetsch and the Alberta Aviation Museum the idea for the film was born.

Kroetsch’s co-director Tom Robinson said that the fact that May did a significant amount of flying after being blinded in one eye was one of the key elements to his story. May had been hit in the eye by a shard of steel while working on a lathe in Dayton, Ohio following WWI.

“He was a guy who was fading into history and we wanted to bring his memory back,” said Robinson.

“Not only was he a hero, but he was a hero who had to sacrifice things. He didn’t get to spend as much time at home as he would have liked. Part of our message is that this is an amazing fellow who did amazing things for Canada and the world but it did come at a cost.”

May also flew the first airmail to the Arctic, formed the first Canadian flying club and the Royal Canadian Air Force’s para-rescue group. In 1932, May made international news by being involved in the manhunt of the “Mad Trapper.”

The search for Albert Johnson, a trapper who shot one police officer and killed another, marked the first police manhunt by air. Fort McMurray Heritage Village has a cabin dedicated to May and archivist Kailey Gordon said he was instrumental to the early days of aviation in the region.

“He was an amazing guy,” said Gordon. “He lived in a cabin on Franklin Avenue. We have a picture of one of his airplanes, a seven-minute video about him and the propellor from one of his planes.”

May’s son Denny was instrumental to the project but passed away just before the premiere at the EIFF this past weekend. Robinson said Denny was an incredible storyteller and that the project wouldn’t exist without his contributions.

“Denny was so generous with his time,” said Robinson. “He was such a nice, kind man. It was great listening to him because he was such a practiced storyteller. That comes across in the film. It was so heartbreaking; I had spoken to him the night before the premiere.”

The film was shot on location in the Edmonton area and includes recreations shot on 35mm film and an original score from a 50-piece orchestra.

Blind Ambition can be viewed online until the end of its run later this month through the EIFF’s website. The plan is for the film to be part of the Wop May exhibit at the Alberta Aviation Museum.

“He really brought the thought of aviation as a commercial enterprise to the world,” said Robinson. “He was a guy who basically always said yes. If people needed help he was there to help.”

Garmin receives additional GFC 500 autopilot certifications

Garmin International received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for the GFC 500 autopilot in additional aircraft to include select Beechcraft 19/23/24. The GFC 500 autopilot is intended for light piston aircraft, explains Garmin, to provide in-flight characteristics, self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance requirements when compared to older generation autopilot systems.

New aircraft models now approved for the GFC 500 autopilot include: Beechcraft 19 Sport, Beechcraft 23 Musketeer/Sundowner, and Beechcraft 24 Musketeer/Sierra (certain serial numbers excluded).

The GFC 500 autopilot integrates with Garmin’s GI 275 or G5 electronic flight instruments; a combination of either a standby GI 275 or G5 electronic flight instrument interfaced to a G500 TXi flight display; or a G3X Touch flight display.

Garmin explains the autopilot mode controller contains large dedicated keys and knobs, a control wheel that allows for easy adjustment to aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed, and a Level Mode (LVL) that returns the aircraft to straight-and-level flight with the push of a dedicated button. In addition, with the GFC 500, appropriately equipped aircraft can also take advantage of Smart Glide, a safety tool that helps pilots in an engine power loss emergency by automating tasks and helping to reduce pilot workload.

As a standard feature of the GFC 500, pilots receive Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP), which works to assist the pilot in maintaining the aircraft in a stable flight condition. Garmin explains ESP functions independently of the autopilot and works in the background while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft to help avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles by nudging the pilot to return the aircraft back to a safe flight attitude.

(Image: Garmin)

Drone Delivery Canada project with UBC commercially operational

Drone Delivery Canada Corp. on October 18, 2021, began commercial operations under its agreement, first announced in July of this year, with the University of British Columbia to provide a drone delivery solution at the Stellat’en First Nation. The UBC-led project, called the Communities Drone Transportation Initiative’ (“DTI”) program, is scheduled to last for 12 months.

The project, explains Drone Delivery Canada (DDC), enables defined-route deliveries utilizing DDC’s Sparrow drone, DroneSpot takeoff and landing zones, and FLYTE software. The solution will be used to transport a variety of cargo for the benefit of the Stellat’en First Nation and the Village of Fraser Lake, located in Central Northern British Columbia.

UBC pays DDC an upfront fee and a monthly fee for the drone route deployed. In addition to projects with commercial customers, this project is DDC’s fourth First Nations drone solution and its first in British Columbia. Flights will be remotely monitored by DDC from its Operations Control Centre located in Vaughan, Ontario.

“We are pleased to move to commercial operations at this project. We look forward to working with all parties to bring meaningful value to the communities using our patented solution,” said Michael Zahra, President and CEO of DDC. “We are entering a unique time in transportation history as we move towards a future that suggests an entirely new landscape of opportunities for the global supply chain. As an award-winning global leader, DDC is pleased with our continued technology and commercial successes in the drone delivery industry.”

(Photo: Drone Delivery Canada)

Search and Rescue Exercise at Lumsden Airfield

— By Jennifer Argue, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Mountain Times

The previously wrecked plane is tucked against the tree line to simulate a crash site for the training exercise for the Canadian Armed Forces elite Search and Rescue crew.

Frank Schuurmans is the Provincial President of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA). He is also a search and rescue pilot and drone operator for the organization. Al Bateman is a CASARA navigator and ground homing specialist.

CASARA is a volunteer organization that helps the Canadian Armed Forces respond to air search and rescue incidents. It offers private aircraft and volunteer crews trained to provide supplemental support for search and rescue missions.

It comprises over 2000 members across Canada, with a presence in all ten provinces and three territories. In Saskatchewan, there are 250 members comprised of pilots, spotters, navigators, drone operators, and ground support. In Saskatchewan, CASARA also aids the RCMP in searches for missing persons.

For today’s training exercise, a personal locator beacon is placed near the aircraft. A C-130 Hercules is conducting training for its crew across the country has left Winnipeg and will be homing in on the beacon. And once located, they will drop streamers to determine wind indicators that will assist the Search and Rescue Technicians (SAR Techs) in their jump to the simulated crash site. Once they are on the ground, their equipment is dropped.

The crew in the Hercules consists of the pilot, spotter, navigator, and SAR Techs. Capt. Darryl Dubuc is the Training Officer on the C-130 running the training exercise and evaluations of the crew. SAR Techs are highly trained search and rescue specialists who help people in distress in remote or hard-to-reach areas. In addition, they provide advanced pre-hospital medical care and are trained to a primary care paramedic national standard.

SAR Techs have an advanced skill set and are land and sea survival experts. Their specialized rescue techniques include Arctic rescue, parachuting, diving, mountain-climbing, and helicopter rescue.

The beacon sends the signal to a satellite which is then relayed to a rescue coordination centre at one of several locations across the country that will dispatch the crew. Schuurmans said once they are close, they will usually hear the aircraft before they see it. It will take an hour to get to our location from CFB Winnipeg.

We hear the craft approach well before we can see it, and it flies over at 12,000 feet. Schuurmans says the information the crew has is there has been an overdue aircraft with an approximate location of the Lumsden Airport. The Hercules takes several passes over us as it circles, attempting to narrow down the signal.
Downed crop duster practice unit

Once the location is determined, the hatch drops down, and the wind indicators are released—colourful streamers in red, blue and yellow float to the ground. Then a radio pack is dropped before the SAR Techs jump from the craft, diving through the air, chutes expanded, landing in the wheat field that flanks the airstrip.

Landing within proximity of each other, the SAR Techs gather up their chutes and heavy packs as they trudge through the waist-high wheat and over the barbed wire fence that separates them from the beacon and the downed crop-duster.

Vincent Benoit and Trevor Pilgrim are the SAR Techs on this training exercise. Benoit has been doing this work for five years and is new to the Squadron. He came from CFB Trenton, and Pilgrim is newer with two years under his belt in search and rescue. To become a SAR Tech, you need to spend at least four years in the military before making the jump.

Apologizing, they feel bad that they’ve landed in the farmer’s crop. From the air, it’s hard to tell the depth of a crop until you are in it.

Next comes their gear. There are two drops down to the site. The first lands near its intended target, but the wind dies, and because there is no wind when its chute opens, it falls straight down without the drift it should have taken. It misses its mark and gets caught up in a tree on the side of the hill. But this is precisely why there is training. Benoit retrieves a knife from his pack and treks down the hill to free the pack. It’s hard work as it down a steep hill and caught well into a tree, and the drop is heavy, but they are in peak physical condition.

Overall, they say that while it’s the first time for a few of the crew for a training exercise, it went very well. With this training exercise complete, the Hercules is heading to Alberta for another exercise, and if the smoke isn’t too heavy in BC, they will be off for an exercise in mountain searches.

CASARA’s public profile flies under the radar, so to speak. “It’s just people doing their job volunteering their time to save lives,” says Schuurmans.