Sky’s the limit for glider pilot

Alan Daniel in his ASH glider with its motorized propeller preparing for take off. (Photo: Mark Brett, Penticton Herald)

— By Mark Brett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Penticton Herald

It’s a warm August morning and Alan Daniel is high above the valley in his glider with only the sound of the wind and his thoughts for company. However, this particular aircraft, an ASH 31 Mi is just a little different than the traditional glider — it’s self launching. With a propeller attached to a 60-horse-power, rotary engine just behind the sloped canopy, the bright white plane can take off without the aid of a tow plane.

“Usually you fly out of a club and if you’re not flying a self launcher like this you need a tow pilot and a wing runner, you need a team to launch a glider and I couldn’t fly here otherwise,” said Daniel, a member of the Penticton Flying Club who works as a physician when he’s not in the air. “I’m not a lot different from the power pilots in that I can taxi, I can clear the runway… it’s just when I’m coming in to land I prefer to do it as a glider, it’s just safer for me without the engine.”

To his knowledge there are no tow planes available in the Okanagan and the closest one for public use is at Hope, although the Royal Canadian Air Cadets do have one for their use in Oliver. Daniel purchased the ASH in California four years ago and it’s thought to be only one of two or, perhaps even the only one in Canada. After taking off with the engine and reaching the desired altitude with a flick of the switch the engine and prop begin to fold neatly back into the fuselage and the aircraft’s true potential as a glider is unleashed. It was back in his South African homeland at the age of 16 when Daniel first had a ride in a glider.

The exposed propeller of the ASH glider flown by Penticton’s Alan Daniel is visible behind the canopy just after take off. (Photo: Mark Brett, Penticton Herald)

“A friend of my father’s took me on a flight and I was hooked right away and it’s become an all-encompassing passion,” he said with a laugh. “I did a lot of windsurfing when I was younger and I was crazy about that. Then I switched to kiteboarding and was just as crazy about it and then this (pointing to the glider) took over and I don’t do anything else. “It’s something you can do until you’re pretty old, you just need a good brain.”

The flights, which only use single-digit litres of fuel generally last several hours, with some exceptions. “I did one flight this year that was about six hours in the Meadow Valley in the Cascades where I got into a mountain wave (of thermals) and spent about four hours between 15,000 and 18,000 feet. He also joked about the joy of finding some uplifting air when getting a little too close to the ground. “Oh yes, finding thermals can be very exciting because sometimes you’re low and when you’re low there’s a little bit of a pucker factor,” said Daniel.

When not in use the glider simply folds up and fits inside a long trailer to be towed wherever he would like to fly next which has included trips to Florida and California. He admits there are purists out there who don’t believe an aircraft with an engine is a glider in any way, shape or form. “And what I say is they’re entitled to their opinion, but they wouldn’t be flying out of Penticton.”

CubCrafters debuts new engine for experimental Carbon Cub aircraft

CubCrafters is introducing a new lightweight engine, CC363i F/P, for the Carbon Cub. The new engine is a fixed pitch version of the larger displacement 186 HP fuel injected constant speed prop engine first introduced by CubCrafters in 2017.

Back in 2009, the original Carbon Cub debuted with what the company describes as a power to weight ratio that was superior to any previous backcountry airplane in its class. CubCrafters continues to explain this was in large part due to a new light weight 180 HP engine, the CC340, that was developed at CubCrafters. The company explains that the power of that engine, in a sub-1000 lb backcountry airplane, gave pilots new short takeoff and landing (STOL) performance.

For the CC340, CubCrafters started with a standard Lycoming 0-320 engine chassis, but reduced the weight of the engine by more than 50 lbs, while also increasing its output from 150 to 180 horsepower. The original CC340 features a fixed pitch propeller, is carbureted, and has a high compression ratio to boost its horsepower. While innovative for its time,

The new CC363i F/P engine offers several advantages over the CC340, including the fact that it is fuel injected instead of carbureted, which allows for simpler operation overall and eliminates the safety concern of carburetor ice during low power operations.

Another advantage of the new engine, explains CubCrafters, is that the new higher displacement lower compression ratio engine develops almost five per cent more horsepower than the CC340, while also being able to use a wider range of fuels. The company expects that the new engine will be better able to tolerate Autogas and the next generation of aviation fuels than similar higher compression ratio engines.

In addition to the typical fixed pitch wood/composite propellers previously offered with the CC340, the new engine can optionally be fitted with newer ground adjustable propellers, such that pilots can quickly optimize the aircraft for climb or cruise missions without having to change to a completely different propeller. When equipped with the same propeller, the installed weight of the new CC363i F/P engine is only 7 lbs heavier then the CC340.

(Photo: CubCrafters)

More funding for Diefenbaker Airport

The Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport will receive more than $1.7 million from the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program to expand one of the airport’s aprons, where aircraft park, to create additional space for the movement of larger aircraft.

The funding will also be used to improve flight scheduling and connection times between flights for passengers, as well as establishing dedicated corridors to enable physical distancing at the airport.

“These funds will help ensure that we continue to support our community in providing safe and efficient long-term infrastructure for future growth and development,” said Stephen Maybury, CEO, Diefenbaker International Airport.

This funding is in addition to the $10.9 million provided under the program in August 2021, for the rehabilitation of the primary runway and apron pavement surfaces, the installation of new LED runway edge lights, and the replacement of select storm drains.

The Government of Canada also provided the airport with $2.8 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help it maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in Saskatoon and surrounding communities.

“The Saskatoon John G. Diefenbaker International Airport is a key transportation hub for much of central and northern Saskatchewan,” said Annie Koutrakis, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport. “It connects family and friends, helps travellers discover new destinations, and is a pivotal trade corridor for many Saskatchewan businesses.”

(Photo: SriMesh)

Thunder Bay Airport to raise awareness about human trafficking in aviation

The Thunder Bay International Airport is pleased to share that it has partnered with #NotInMyCity to educate and raise stakeholder and community awareness regarding human trafficking in aviation within Canada.

#NotInMyCity is described as a facilitative organization that is raising awareness and taking collective action to prevent, disrupt and end sexual exploitation and trafficking, focusing on children and youth. In the transport sector, #NotInMyCity is a leading partner helping address human trafficking across sectors and geographic areas.

The Thunder Bay Airport will implement an e-learning and awareness program. The purpose of the program is to:

• Provide all airport employees and stakeholders with knowledge and awareness about sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Canada with #NotInMyCity’s aviation focused e-learning platform. Members of the public are invited to learn more about the issue by taking a free e-learning course found at;
• Allow airport employees to understand the signs of human trafficking, and knowing what to do if they suspect trafficking;
• Implement informational signage and materials throughout the airport for all stakeholders and travelling public; and
• Report any and all signs of human trafficking, without causing harm.

“We are thrilled that the Thunder Bay Airport reached out to us for our support,” says Kris Carlson, Thunder Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. The Coalition started in 2018 and is a cross-sectoral partnership that works collaboratively to address the issue of human trafficking, specifically in the Thunder Bay area. “We are happy to support and offer local resources to the Thunder Bay Airport alongside #NotInMyCity.”

Human trafficking and sexual exploitation are the fastest growing crimes in Canada and are the second largest source of illegal income worldwide. In Canada, 21 per cent of trafficking victims are under the age of 18. While making up only four per cent of the country’s population, 50 per cent of Canada’s trafficking victims are Indigenous people.

“Supporting the victims of human trafficking should be our collective focus,” says Detective Inspector Jeremy Pearson. “The ability to identify potential human trafficking victims and then share this information is a critical step to protect vulnerable persons. The Thunder Bay Police Service supports this public safety initiative.”

Canadian award winners from 2022 AirVenture

Amid a record-breaking year for attendees at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, held from July 25 to 31, Canadians once again had a strong showing in the world’s most prestigious awards program dedicated to General Aviation. This includes the unique 1942 Canadian-built Westland Lysander, represented at Oshkosh by pilot Dave Hadfield, powered by the only Bristol Mercury XX engine operating in Canada, that earned five awards.

The EAA AirVenture Lindy Awards program focuses on six categories: Homebuilts, Warbirds, Vintage, Rotorcraft, Ultralights, and Seaplanes. Entrants can be considered for only one category in a given year, and are not eligible for the same or any lower-tier awards if they have won in the past.

Looks are considered in award judging, explains EAA, but the quality of craftsmanship, maintenance, construction or restoration of the aircraft are crucial factors. Below are the 2022 Canadian award winners. More details of their achievements can be seen in the September issue of COPA Flight.


Best Liaison Aircraft (plus Silver Wrench), Phoenix Award (plus Silver Wrench), Judge’s Appreciation
David Hadfield, Utopia, Ontario, and Vintage Wings of Canada, Gatineau, Quebec
Westland Lysander, CF-VZZ


Reserve Grand Champion Light Sport, Silver Lindy
Ryan Neufeld, Morden, Manitoba
Murphy Renegade, CF-VRI


Stan Dzik Memorial Award for Outstanding Design Contribution
Erick O’Connor, Cold Lake, Alberta
F1 Rocket, C-FGXB

Kit Outstanding Workmanship, Plaques
Stephen Thorne, Toronto, Ontario
Van’s RV-14, C-FCGA

Plans Outstanding Workmanship, Plaques
Scott Knolton, Burlington, Ontario
Pietenpol Air Camper C-FPET

Vinatge, Contemporary (1956-1970)

Outstanding Maule
Warwick Patterson, Squamish, British Columbia
1965 Maule M-4, CF-AAI

Outstanding Multi Engine, Bronze Lindy
Francois Marquis, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec
1968 Piper PA-30, CF-TWK

Vinatge, Classic (September 1945-1955)

Custom Class C (151-235 hp), Small Plaque
Victor Danielli Chesley, Ontario
1947 Navion, C-GDVA

Strong turnout for second North Port Fly-in

— By Gustavo and Clara Corujo

COPA Flight 70 Durham Region hosted its second annual North Port Fly-In on Saturday August 13. With a beautiful 2,200-foot grass strip situated by the shores of Lake Scugog in Ontario, North Port, CNP4, is owned and operated by Manny and Connie Rosario.

Fly-in visitors were asked to RSVP for the event since the airport only has a 40 parking spaces for aircraft. It was a beautiful day with a great turnout. Visitors enjoyed a delicious BBQ, varieties of homemade desserts to die for and refreshments. There was a camping area, children’s bouncy castle and lots of picnic tables set up.

Best of all, visitors were able to see some unique aircraft. The day was highlighted by the presence of Lee Barker’s Antonov An-2, COPA Director for Southern Ontario and Eastern Vice-Chair Ashlynne Dale’s Airbus Helicopters H125, and Manfred Harder’s beautifully restored Bell OH-58A. In addition, Hannu Halminen treated everyone with three passes over the airfield with his gorgeous P-51 Mustang.

COPA’s Director Ashlynne Dale presented Gus Corujo with the COPA Editor’s Award of the year. The presentation was coordinated by the President of COPA Flight 70, Durham Region (Oshawa), Rick Nihda.

A special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rosario, organizers, volunteers, the 2nd VandenBos Whitby Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron, and all parties involved for making the North Port Fly-in a success.

View more photos of the event.

Province awards Drumheller with additional funding for airport lighting

— By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail (Photo: Lacie Nairn)

The Town of Drumheller has been granted additional funding by the Alberta government to support the installation of runway lights at the Drumheller Municipal Airport.

Mayor Heather Colberg announced during the regular Tuesday, August 2 council meeting the Town had received a letter from Minister of Transportation Prasad Panda informing them of the additional funding.

“The Town received an additional $152,051 that will go towards completion of the airport rehabilitation project,” Mayor Colberg shared during the meeting.

In April, council awarded only the paving portion of the project as the bid for lighting came in over $200,000 higher than the approved $144,000 budget.

Both the paving and lighting projects are supported through the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program – Community Airport Program (STIP – CAP) with the province supporting 75 per cent of the cost, and the municipality responsible for the remaining 25 per cent.

Paving was completed between June 1 and July 15, and included installation of a new drainage system, removal of unstable base material, and repainting of runway, apron, and taxiway markings.

“Since the lighting equipment became unrepairable in 2019, no night operations have been allowed,” shared airport manager Pat Bonneville.

He noted this has also impacted operations during poor visibility conditions, such as rain, snow, fog and dust, which can also occur during the day.

Lighting has also impacted Alberta Health Services (AHS) ability to perform patient transfers from the Drumheller Health Centre, and fuel sales have also been impacted as pilots opt to bypass the Drumheller airport at night for refuelling, and families who may otherwise fly in to watch a Drumheller Dragons game have to decide whether to miss a game or prepare for an overnight stay.

Manitoba provides $4.8M to Winnipeg Airports Authority to spur growth

The Manitoba government is providing $4.8 million to Winnipeg Airports Authority (WAA) to improve direct flight connectivity from Winnipeg to major international markets, which will help businesses retain and attract investment and skilled workers.

“WAA is a crucial partner to Manitoba’s economy, connecting Manitobans to the world,” said Cliff Cullen, Economic Development, Investment and Trade Minister for Manitoba. “More convenient and direct flight options will benefit Manitoba businesses’ ability to attract talent and investment and contribute to our economy.”

The province’s $4.8 million investment will support WAA’s efforts to secure direct flight service to strategic business and popular leisure destinations. WAA is working with airlines to establish and re-establish direct, multiple-weekly frequency flights between the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and other major cities, the minister noted.

“WAA exists to serve our community and central to that is growing our province’s connectivity to meet the needs of everyone who lives and works here… Manitobans will benefit from better access while our province’s economy will benefit from more trade, tourism and business,” said Nick Hays, president and CEO, WAA.

The $4.8 million investment is part of the province’s $50 million Pandemic Long-Term Recovery Fund, administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, to provide businesses and industries with the support.

(Image: Winnipeg Airports Authority, YouTube)

First ACH125 Line helicopter delivered in North America

Following the order announcement earlier this year at the Heli-Expo trade show in Dallas, Texas, Ashlynne Dale, a private pilot and entrepreneur, has taken delivery of an Airbus Corporate Helicopters ACH125 Line aircraft that she will fly for personal use.

Dale was involved in every step of the aircraft customization process and says it’s the lawyer in her that drove her ambition to ensure every last detail of the rotorcraft was researched and fulfilled. She was a litigation attorney for a number of years before leading Norwood Sawmills, a globally recognized outdoor equipment and lifestyle brand and the global leader in portable sawmilling technology, as co-founder and CEO.

Although Dale plans to use the aircraft primarily close to home in the Oro-Medonte and Muskoka areas of Ontario with her family and the VIP on the flight, her dog, flying a powerful aircraft like the ACH125 is not something she takes lightly and being prepared for any situation is the only way she operates.

Prior to receiving her aircraft, Dale underwent several supplemental pilot training courses in addition to the standard training provided with acquisition. This included several additional hours of flight training as well as the Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IIMC) and Unusual Attitude Recovery Training courses which are designed to prepare pilots with effective avoidance and recovery techniques in case of emergency in poor weather conditions.

“For a self-professed helicopter fanatic, it’s very exciting to be taking my new aircraft home” says Dale. “After having flown the aircraft, it’s exactly what I was looking for and I’m confident it will suit my needs.”

Additional options designed and manufactured in Canada that have been added to this aircraft include the cargo mirror, the floor window and the cable cutter. The cargo mirror enables pilot visibility to the area surrounding the aircraft. The enlarged floor window allows the pilot to see their area of work whether on the ground or being carried by the aircraft. The cable cutter is a great safety feature when flying the aircraft at a lower altitude.

“We’re very pleased to deliver this aircraft to Ms. Dale. The meticulous attention to detail from the teams in France and here in Canada on this ACH125 Line aircraft are top notch,” said Dwayne Charette, President of Airbus Helicopters Canada. “The combination of power and elegance sets this aircraft apart and I’m sure Ms. Dale will proudly fly this aircraft for many years to come.”

(Photos: Airbus)