Volatus acquires Canadian Air National

Volatus Aerospace has announced the acquisition of Canadian Air National, a commercial aircraft operator specializing in contracted pipeline inspections for the oil and gas industry. Seth Moffat, president and CEO of Canadian Air National, will continue to lead the company.

“The oil and gas sector has enormous growth potential as drone and AI-enhanced solutions are added to the mix of traditional crewed aircraft providing aerial patrol and inspections,” says Luc Masse, Volatus executive vice-president. “We are looking forward to supporting Seth and his team. They are a welcome addition to Volatus. Seth is a well-respected aviation professional who pilots for a major national airline in addition to being vice-chair of the flight operations specialist group with the Royal Aeronautical Society.”

Moffat stated: “I am exceptionally proud of the quality air operator that Canadian Air National has become, and recognize Volatus Aerospace as the right opportunity for future growth, development and technological advancement. The strength that Volatus brings to the company will significantly benefit our clients moving forward and ensure Canadian Air National remains part of the Canadian aviation landscape for years to come. Canadian Air National is organized to conduct airborne inspections and patrols in Canada and the USA. Volatus intends to use this new capability to supplement and expand larger drone project opportunities. Wherever possible, Volatus will dronify operations to improve efficiencies.”

Unions demand return of detained flight crew

By Christopher Reynolds

CP – Unions are calling on the federal government to secure the return of five Canadian airline employees detained in the Dominican Republic. The flight crew has been held for more than 40 days after it discovered 200 kilograms of cocaine in the plane’s avionics bay and reported it to police in Punta Cana on April 5, say three labour organizations representing 93,000 aviation workers.

The Air Line Pilots Association, the Canadian Union for Public Employees and Unifor say their members were arbitrarily detained, threatened and prosecuted despite following Transport Canada protocols and international laws. The crew members – two pilots, two flight attendants and one part-time maintenance engineer on a Pivot Airlines charter flight – were jailed then later released on bail after surrendering their passports pending further investigation.

“They’re being essentially held in a foreign country without proper evidence being presented. We’ve asked the government to intervene and return them home,” pilots association president, Tim Perry, said in a phone interview from the Montreal airport. “We’ve heard credible threats against their safety.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and the Prime Minister’s Office have both acknowledged the situation to unions and airline, he added.

Global Affairs Canada spokesman, Jason Kung, said in an email last month the department is aware of the detention and that consular officials are providing assistance, but privacy considerations prevent disclosing more information. “It’s obviously a tense situation. Our member is certainly worried. He’s got a young family living at home,” said Unifor spokesman, Scott Doherty. “The indications are that this is cartel-related.”

The Dominican Republic prosecutor, which is appealing the five crew members’ bail, aims to hold the crew members in jail for more than 12 months, the unions said. “We are gravely concerned about our members and the entire crew, who have been held captive under tremendously challenging conditions,” Wesley Lesosky, who heads CUPE’s airline division, said in a joint release. “The fact is Canadian lives are at risk in the Dominican Republic. We need our government to act.”

That country’s National Directorate for Drug Control said in an April 6 release it found “eight black packages” in the avionics bay of a private plane bound for Toronto from Punta Cana International Airport. Each package contained 25 smaller packets, the agency said, amounting to more than 440 pounds of cocaine. The directorate said nine Canadians, one Dominican and one person from India were under investigation.

Girls Can Fly celebrates women in aviation

Photos and story by Gustavo Corujo

The Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre celebrated women in aviation May 14th.

The annual educational event is for girls and young women to meet female pilots and learn more about the aviation industry.

It also offers young women the opportunity to fly and experience flight simulators, commercial plane tours and information booths, which allow them to see if this is the right career for them.

In addition, girls and their families got to spend a day of fun activities including tour a Jazz CRJ 900, a Porter Q400, a Bearskin Airline and saw the T-33 Silver Star from Waterloo Warbirds up close. It was a free event and everyone was welcomed.

A special thank you to all the sponsors: WWFC, COPA Breslau Flyers Flight 26, Great Lakes Helicopter and all the staff and volunteers.

C-K airport expanding

— By Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice

After a two-year pandemic slowdown, the Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport is poised for growth this season.

The construction of two new private corporate hangars, the addition of a café in June, and the extension of the runway are among the new projects in the works.

An information report to council Monday night by airport manager Marion Smith outlined the proposed changes, giving councillors an inside look at what goes on at the airport on a daily basis.

According to Smith, the municipality’s airport is coming up on an exciting year.

“We are growing,” said Smith, noting other special events are percolating. “We’re looking forward to this year very much.”

The report to council indicated that flights to Toronto were to be added in 2022, but Smith said the item has been pulled from the budget.

Billed as the most southern certified airport in Canada, Chatham-Kent’s airport facilitates flights associated with emergencies, in addition to private and corporate flights.

Smith said the airport provides residents with access to medical airlifts through companies such as ORNGE, as well as charity organization such as Hope Air.

Search and Rescue teams, including the Canadian Coast Guard, also use the airport on a regular basis, she added.

Other ongoing events include the Air Cadet Gliding program, which draws in around 500 participating youth. Another initiative sees the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) give rides to about 200 youngsters annually.

Other groups such as Girl Guides are also hosted at the airport.

Prior to the pandemic, numbers were steady with more than 6,000 aircraft movements annually for the three years leading up to 2020, peaking in 2018 with 6,727.

That dropped to 4,001 in 2020, but rebounded to 5,536 in 2021.

In 2021, Chatham-Kent council inked a $1,336,421, five-year deal with Z3 Aviation, the contractor that operates the airport.

The 2021 expenditure called for a spending increase of $78,758 as part of the base budget.

The average annual subsidy to the airport from the municipality has been estimated at $219,000, but was expected to rise to about $300,000 in 2021.

Smith said organizers are also hoping to get a new flight school off the ground this year and are presently looking for an aircraft to use in the program.

(Photo: Chatham-Kent Municipal Airport)

Sculpture added to shoreline of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Artist David M. General with his sculpture, Maanjidowin: The Gathering. (Photo: PortsToronto)

— By Adam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com

Titled Maanjidowin: The Gathering, the granite and bronze sculpture features three female fishers—Makwa-Kwe (Bear), Nigig-Kwe (Otter) and Migizi-Kwe (Eagle)—all paddling together in a canoe.

The work is created by artist David M. General. It stands about 16 feet long. It highlights the history of the relationship of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation with the shoreline, and features references to the Medicine Wheel; the Seven Grandfather Teachings, as well as poetry from current Gimaa (Chief) R. Stacey Laforme.

“This is such an important step as we come to understand the deep connection that all people have to our Mother, the Earth,” Laforme said. ”It will be a learning experience for visitors to the City of Toronto, and a moment where returning residents can reflect on the history of the land they call home.”

General has been working as an artist since 1975. He’s had exhibitions around the globe. He serves as a trustee of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection Board of Governors, a member of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee of the Canada Council for the Arts, is a director on the Board of the Ontario Arts Council and an Indigenous mentor/advisor at OCAD University.

General is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Wolf Clan of the Six Nations. He said Maanjidowin: The Gathering represents “relationships Indigenous communities and nations have with land, water and sky.”

While the sculpture began as a concept nearly a half-decade ago, the initial plans for it were laid out in 2017. The unveiling occurred on May 4.

“It took a little longer than we had thought. Like so many things in life and with COVID, it had gotten away a little bit,” said Deborah Wilson, VP of communications and public affairs of PortsToronto, in an interview with Windspeaker.com.

But back in 2017, she said they had a “great meeting” with Chief Laforme, “and one of the things he articulated so passionately was how much he would like to have some sort of recognition along the shores of Lake Ontario.”

In a follow-up meeting, the plans for Maanjidowin were presented by General.

“Within minutes, unanimously, everyone in the room said back to us, that’s what we want,” Wilson said.

The sculpture is on the Toronto Island side of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the south dock wall of the west gap, which was a carefully calculated choice.

“It overlooks the water and that was very intentional,” Wilson said. “If you’re just there for a nice walk on a sunny day, you can take the ferry across and be right there.

General echoed these statements, while adding in a bit of history.

“Wherever we fish, hunt, trap, gather, camp, celebrated, honoured and remembered – Maanjidowin exists,” General said.

“Mississaugas of the Credit have long shared resource rich shorelines, including an archipelago situated within Toronto harbour. The artwork presents three spirit beings fishing bountiful waters in a canoe bearing teachings, direction and symbolism that guide fulfillment of inherent rights and responsibilities.”

Wilson also said the organizing group mostly left General’s creative vision up to himself.

“We worked very closely with him but he had complete autonomy to do what he wanted to do,” Wilson said. “This is supposed to be a sculpture that represents the First Nations communities so we very much gave him the right and the ability to do what he wanted to do.”

Around the sculpture, there’s signage and QR codes to scan, which helps explain the history and significance of the artwork.

“We’ve tried to do our best to give access to that kind of information so that it’s a teaching tool as well,” Wilson said. “You can learn a little bit more about the Mississaugas of the Credit, which was ultimately the purpose of the sculpture.”

Toronto Mayor John Tory offered his praise for the sculpture.

“Maanjidowin: The Gathering is a sculpture that perfectly exemplifies this program and demonstrates the ongoing commitment needed to ensure diversity and community is represented through public art,” Tory said.




Scenes from Careers in Aviation Expo at Diamond Aircraft

More than 280 people attended the return of in-person Careers in Aviation Expo, which took place at Diamond Aircraft Industries in London, Ont.

In addition to Diamond serving as Premier sponsor of the 1-day conference, designed to inspire young professionals, post secondary and high school students, other event sponsors included: Levaero Aviation, Algoma University, WestJet, Centennial College and Fanshawe College.

COPA participated in the Careers in Aviation Expo as an exhibitor, with the association’s Director, of Programs and Regional Activities, Sharon Cheung on hand. She also spent some time to lead a Breakout Session with a group aspiring aviators, discussing COPA and answering questions about the Freedom to Fly.

Below are some of the scenes from the 2022 Careers in Aviation Expo, with the second leg of the program set for October 15, 2022, at Southport Aerospace Centre, just outside of Winnipeg.

Airbus forms Air Mobility Initiative

Airbus has partnered with German companies, universities, research institutions and municipalities to form the Air Mobility Initiative to advance the urban air mobility sector in the country and around the world. Some of the members of the Air Mobility Initiative (AMI) currently include the City of Ingolstadt, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Flugsicherung, Diehl Aerospace, Droniq, Munich Airport, Red Cross and Telekom (full list below).

Airbus explains this initiative, which is supported by the Free State of Bavaria and the Federal Republic of Germany, will set up a series of research projects aimed at making urban ai

r mobility within and between cities a reality. The joint projects are centered around three main areas: electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, unmanned traffic management (UTM) services, and airport and city integration including vertiports.

“In many parts of the world, eVTOLs will offer a whole new mobility service in the near future,” said Markus May, Head of Operations for urban air mobility at Airbus. “Airbus and the AMI partners are aware that the introduction of such a system requires the cooperation of many players with different competences. Our goal is to build a transport service that benefits society and this is what we are setting up here in Bavaria.”

In a first step, Airbus explains the AMI partners will address the technological, infrastructural, legal and social prerequisites for the future implementation of advanced air transport. Subsequently, the knowledge gained will be carried through a demonstration project under real conditions with eVTOLs.

Airbus explains it is leading the vehicle stream of AMI together with Diehl Aerospace, University of Stuttgart and other partners. The UTM activities of the initiative will deal with the safe and efficient flight of vehicles on their routes in and outside cities. This area is being advanced by Droniq, Airbus, f.u.n.k.e. Avionics, SkyFive, BrigkAir, DFS, Telekom, Universities from Munich and Hamburg and other partners.

Through the vertiport activities, AMI will work on take-off and landing sites for the aircraft as well as their integration into airports and cities. Munich Airport, Deutsche Bahn, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, Airport Nürnberg, Universities of Ingolstadt and Munich are responsible for this topic.

Work on the individual AMI projects began in January 2022. The test flights of the demonstration project will be carried out in the region around Ingolstadt. The initiative is funded with a total of €17 million from the Free State of Bavaria and €24 million from the German Government. Together with the industry’s own funds, this results in a total activity of € 86 million over a period of three years.

(Image: Airbus Helicopters)

Garmin Pilot update

Garmin introduced an update, version 10.7, for Garmin Pilot, includes now graphically displays taxiway and apron closures on the dynamic map, as well as SafeTaxi diagrams.

The dynamic map, explains Garmin, has been optimized to change the visibility and size of navigation data, airspace boundary depictions and airport icons as the user zooms and pans around the map.

Graphical taxiway NOTAMs: For airports in the U.S., Garmin Pilot graphically displays taxiway and apron closures. When the NOTAM overlay is enabled, the taxiway or apron closed by the NOTAM is depicted with hashed lines and is colour-coded — with alerts for taxiway and apron NOTAMs available throughout the application.

Annotate on screen: Take notes, draw taxiway routings, or highlight weather with the new, on-screen map annotation feature, which allows up to three pages of saved annotations at once.

Decoded NOTAM text: NOTAMs are now decoded into plain English whenever available, including on the airport page, radial menu NOTAM options and NOTAMs widget.

Expanded third-party support: Garmin Pilot now supports select Bad Elf GPS models and — when connected to Stratux — can also display ADS-B weather and traffic information as well as backup attitude and GPS position.

New users can download a free 30-day trial, with subscriptions beginning at US$99.99 per year.

(Photo: Garmin)

TSB reports on 2021 fatal collision with terrain in La Tuque

Aerial photos illustrating the occurrence aircraft’s estimated flight path (Source of main image and inset image: TSB)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada on April 26 released its investigation report (A21Q0083) into the fatal loss of control and collision with terrain of a Piper J3C-65 floatplane that occurred on September 12, 2021 in La Tuque, Quebec.

At approximately 9:45 am on the morning of September 12, Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) explains a Piper J3C-65 floatplane (registration CF-SVT, serial number 14676) took off from the Batiscan River near La Seigneurie du Triton outfitter, 25 nautical miles (NM) east-northeast of La Tuque Aerodrome (CYLQ), Quebec, for a visual flight rules (VFR) flight to Saint-Étienne-des-Grès/Hydravion Adventure Water Aerodrome (CHA2), Quebec.

On board were the pilot, who was sitting in the rear seat, and a passenger, who was sitting in the front seat. The pilot received serious injuries, and the passenger received fatal injuries.

TSB explains the plan was for the pilot to fly over the outfitter’s cottages after takeoff so that the passenger could take photos.

Shortly after takeoff, in ground effect near water, TSB explains the pilot lost control of the floatplane during a left turn at a 45 degree angle. The floatplane entered an aerodynamic stall, leading to an incipient spin. The floatplane struck trees, explains TSB, then terrain in a vertical attitude.

See the investigation page for more information.

T-7A Red Hawk jet makes production debut

The first engineering and manufacturing development T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer group made its debut in Saint Louis. The new U.S. Air Force trainer carries twin red tails in homage of the airmen who flew red tailed P-51 Mustangs into combat and into history as the first African American aviation unit in the U.S. military.

“We’re honored to build and fly this digitally designed, advanced trainer,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “The T-7A Red Hawk proudly carries on the heritage of the Red Tails – reminding us of the Tuskegee Airmen’s dedicated service to this nation. We look forward to providing the Air Force with a training system that will train and develop new generations of heroes for decades to come.”

Special guest for the roll out ceremony was Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force, (ret.) George Hardy, who said his friend and fellow Tuskegee Airman, the late Brig. Gen. Charles McGee was represented in spirit by his two children at the event.

“All of my fellow Tuskegee flyers would be very proud to see these red tails on this beautiful jet,” said Hardy as he motioned to the T-7A Red Hawk. “It’s wonderful that we are being honored in this way.”

The retired Lt. Colonel’s military service spanned almost three decades from World War II where he flew twenty-one combat missions in a P-51 Mustang over Europe, forty-five combat missions over Korea in the Korean conflict and seventy combat missions in AC -119K Gunship aircraft over Vietnam.

“With the rollout of the T-7A Red Hawk we are honoring our heritage as we usher in a new and exciting era of pilot training,” said Lt. General Richard M. Clark, Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy, and keynote speaker at the rollout ceremony. “This aircraft links our storied past to the possibilities of our future, and will enable the next generation of Air Force leaders to fulfill their unlimited potential.”

In 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract for 351 advanced trainers later named the T-7A Red Hawk and 46 simulators and support. The jet was digitally designed using digital modeling and manufacturing techniques. The jet was developed from concept to first flight in 36-months. The new advanced trainer incorporates open architecture software, digital fly-by-wire controls and advanced cockpit technology that provides a new level of safety and training for future fighter pilots.

The advanced trainer is assembled at Boeing’s St. Louis, Missouri site. The aft section is produced by Saab and digitally joined along the production line.

(Photo: Boeing)