MAAC Director Resigns

– By: Phil Lightstone

Change is underway at the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada

On March 7, 2023, Mr. Fabien Gagné, Director of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada, tendered his resignation after his election in October 2021. The letter of resignation was posted on ( on March 9, 2023 and on In December, members of MAAC received an email from MAAC’s President Mike Anderson advising them to cease and desist any outdoor flying of their radio controlled (R/C) models until further notice due to non-compliance with a number of the conditions of Transport Canada’s (TC) Exemption to CARs Section IX, requiring R/C model aircraft to become in scope to TC’s RPAS rules.

From his letter of resignation: “I find myself in a position where I cannot support a decision of the board. I will not associate myself with it. The pursuit of vengeful disciplinary measures is not only useless but extremely harmful to the organization and the board. In my opinion, not only should this be abandoned, but the people behind this initiative should leave. The board should never undertake an extreme measure, such as excluding a member, as a first resort. This is not in line with Canadian values, not with mine.” Fabian concludes his letter of resignation with: “I have failed to fully restore democracy in time to avoid this radical action. Here, history repeats itself. In my opinion, these struggles within the board of directors are the root cause of its apparent failure. I am in a situation where I cannot support a board decision, and unable to act on the replacement of advisory board members, I am therefore resigning today from my position as director of MAAC. I want to thank the organization and members for the opportunities and experiences I gained during my time as a director at MAAC, and I wish everyone all the best for the future.” Interestingly Fabien serves on the MAAC Sailplane Committee.

Effective immediately, Alain Carpentier will replace Fabien as zone director Zone J – St. Lawrence. Alain has been flying R/C pattern model aircraft for roughly two decades, flying in Montreal’s South Shore area. Alain was able to fill Fabien’s role based upon the succession planning which MAAC’s board of directors have strategically initiated.

Mike Anderson, President of MAAC reports: “the loss of MAAC’s exemption to CARs Section IX creates a new paradigm everyone needs to adapt to in their own way”. Recently, Mike passed the RPAS Basic Exam scoring approximately 85 percent and taking 30 minutes to complete the on-line exam. Further Mike confirms that MAAC has received a formal letter from TC advising them of the loss of MAAC’s waiver. Mike is hopeful that with the on-going collaboration between MAAC and TC that a new exemption waiver may be received sometime in the future. .

(Photo: Phil Lightstone)

ZOLEO Successfully Migrates to Global Rescue

– By: Phil Lightstone 

On March 7th, 2023, ZOLEO announced the migration of their Emergency Response Coordination service to Global Rescue ( SOS alerting will function as usual and will not be disrupted or impacted in any way.  Zoleo is a joint venture between Beam Communications (founded 200) and Roadpost Inc (founded 1991).    Beam manufacturers the Zoleo hardware, while Roadpost looks after sales, marketing, billing, Iridium wholesale activities and technical support.

Delivering on its mission to be there when it matters most, Global Rescue has provided global safety, security and risk mitigation solutions since 2004. Their track record and team of medical professionals and military special operations veterans has made them the provider of choice for some of the world’s largest organizations. As far as ZOLEO is concerned, when it comes to emergency response coordination services, these are the folks you want in your corner. Every active ZOLEO subscription plan includes Global Rescue’s expert 24/7 SOS monitoring and emergency response coordination services 365 days a year.  Global Rescue has one million members, conducted 20,000 rescue operations and has worked in over 200 countries.

SOS Monitoring Services are available in all countries and territories of the world covered by the Iridium satellite network and all international areas including international waters and oceans excluding those countries which are subject to Global Rescue underwriting restrictions i.e. Afghanistan, Chechnya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Israel (West Bank, Gaza and Occupied Territories only), Somalia, Syria, and Libya.

Zoleo’s key features include: IP68 dust and water resistant to 4.9 feet for 30 minutes; weights 5.3 oz (150 g); Micro USB Type B connector to recharge the Lithium-Ion battery; 200 hours battery life, based upon checking messages every 12 minutes; GPS and GLONAS navigation; and Bluetooth LE, supporting one connected user at a time with a range up to 164 feet.    Optional accessories include: Cradle Kit allowing Zoleo to be attached to a GoPro style mount, and includes the cradle, belt clip insert and camera mount insert; Universal Mount Kit which includes the Cradle Kit, a USB car charger, RAM suction cup; and float designed specifically to keep the Zoleo device afloat when placed in water. 

To economize satellite communications costs, the Zoleo App can send and receive messages in three ways: natively over the Iridium satellite network; using your smartphone’s Wi-Fi connection; or using your smartphone’s cellular connection.  Technically this is called least cost routing.  Sending a message over the app will use the satellite network if it cannot send a message over cellular or Wi-Fi.  A definite billing advantage.

(Image from ZOLEO)

Mark your Calendars for SUN ‘n FUN 2023

– By: Phil Lightstone 

SUN ‘n FUN, in less than three weeks will take place in Lakeland FLD March 28 to April 2, 2023.  Started in 1974, the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo has grown into one of the largest and most successful aviation events.  Each year over 200,000 visitors flock to what has become known as “Aviation’s Season Opener” or “Spring Break for Pilots.”

Aircraft areas include Vintage, Homebuilt, Aerobatic, Warbird, Jet, and Light Sport. A major trade show is part of SUN ‘n FUN. Over 500 exhibitors have a lineup of products and services, hands-on workshops teach hundreds of building and maintenance skills and dozens of forums educate pilots and maintainers about safety, new products and other timely topics. Not just for pilots, SUN ‘n FUN has STEM and Career Fair activities, plus a Family Fun Zone and a world famous daily and night airshows that feature breathtaking displays from dozens of military and civilian performers.

The 2023 “SUN ‘n FUN Digital Daily” (SNFDD) takes on the speedy and mobile capabilities of the best in online media, offering exciting DAILY, REAL-TIME news programming, via rich media, throughout each day of the Expo.  Designed to be the most accessible aviation news special-event program, the SUN ‘n FUN Digital Daily is easily accessed by cellphone, tablet, or any other connected device. Hundreds of stories, features, videos, and social media posts are on this year’s schedule.

In addition, the SNFDD crew will continue the very popular LIVE MORNING BRIEF series with a live webcast, early each morning of the Expo, featuring news, weather, special attractions and interviews specific to that day’s festivities. This program sets the day’s agenda, webcast LIVE from the Compass Rose in the centre of the Expo and remains the best way to get a start on each day’s activities.

Some improvements to SUN ‘n FUN to help ensure that your experience is memorable include: auto parking improvements with parking attendants to greet you, scan your parking ticket so that you can park quickly, with a new parking lot at the East Side Auto Parking Lot; a new Tram Route has been added from the new East Auto Parking Lot delivers guests to the Island and GA Parking on taxiway Echo; a pick/up/drop location at The Island has been added in addition to the Rideshare pick up/drop off location on Medulla Rd west of the Main Parking lot, making accessing Uber and Lift services easier; and the Sunset Aerial Circus will be flying Tuesday, Thursday and Friday nights from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

If you’re still looking for a place to stay, check out the SUN ‘n FUN Private Housing page on Facebook.  Visit the Accommodations page to get started. Once you filled out the short Private Housing form and click submit, request to become a member of the Private Housing on the next page.  You must complete the form first.

For pilots flying into the expo, a NOTAM and can be found at  Lakeland Airport will be closed during the airshows, between the hours of 19:30 and 06:00 local time on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  Wednesday and Saturday, the airport closure will be between 19:00 and 06:00 local time.  So, plan accordingly.  Temporary flight restrictions (TFR) will be in effect during airshow aerobatic demonstrations. TFR information is disseminated via FDC NOTAM prior to the event. Once published, text and graphic depictions of restrictions may be found at:

(Image: Phil Lightstone)


Employers Shopping for Aviation Graduates

Employers Shopping for Aviation Graduates

– By: Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter 

Thunder Bay, Ont. — Students in the Confederation College School of Aviation welcomed 14 aviation employers to their school hangar on Monday evening to learn about the job opportunities available to them.  Like many industries, the aviation sector is faced with staffing shortages.

According to a report by the Canadian Council for Aviation and Aerospace, by 2025 the industry will require 7,300 new pilots, 5,300 aircraft maintenance engineers and thousands of aviation technicians. Matt Bunn, associate dean for the Confederation College School of Aviation, called the trade fair “definitely new.”

“The industry is changing,” Bunn said. “The employers are having a hard time filling the job needs. Typically in the past, students would graduate here and deliver their resumes everywhere and try and get a job. Now employers are coming to the school to try and convince students to come work for them. Isn’t that something?”

Bunn explained there are two programs within the aviation school. The two-year aviation technician – aircraft maintenance co-op diploma program trains students for the Transport Canada Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) licence. Successful graduates receive up to 21 months credit (almost half) of their apprenticeship time toward their aircraft maintenance engineer’s category M licence requirements. The program accommodates 54 students but is struggling to fill it to capacity.

Visarg Solanki, an international student from India, is about to graduate from the aviation technician/maintenance program and as of Monday’s career fair, he has two solid job offers in his pocket.

“The program is fantastic,” Solanki said. “You get hands-on experience for what you will do after graduation. You learn through a co-op program between first and second year so you can go into the actual industry and work on the aircraft and see how it’s done.”

In the two-year aviation-flight management program, students are already in the air during their first semester of school. Successful graduates receive preparation for both a private and commercial pilot licence, including training with the school’s fleet of 13 aircraft, advanced simulators, and ground school. This program accommodates 65 students and is always filled, Bunn said. “Once they get their commercial pilot’s licence, they’re legally allowed to work as a pilot in Canada,” he said.

George Diwan is finishing his fifth semester in the aviation flight management program and is also about to graduate. “I spoke to the different companies, took their cards and looked at different routes to take in order to achieve my goals of flying, whether it’s a float (plane) up north or maybe a pathway to Air Canada,” he said.  “They did take some of our resumes and they do require about 250 hours (of flying) with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), of which we will have around 200 hours when graduating from here. So there will be a bridge to cross whether I will be instructing or maybe possibly working for another company until we achieve those numbers that are required.” Diwan described the course as “phenomenal and very challenging at some points.”

Employers attending the job fair included Westjet, Jazz Aviation LP, Wasaya Airways, Thunder Bay Aviation Ltd, Superior Airways Ltd, Royal Canadian Air Force, Flying Colours Corp, North Star Air, IMP Group Ltd., Perimeter Aviation, Air Tindi, Air Bravo Corp, Northwestern Ontario Aviation Heritage Centre, and Snap On Industrial. Employers are looking to fill dock hand, ramp staff, flight attendant, and customer service agent positions.

(Image: Scott Hobbs)

Town of Stettler council hear things are looking up at regional airport

— By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review

Town of Stettler council approved a flight plan into the future for the regional airport. The decision was made at the Feb. 21 regular meeting of council.

The 2022 to 2042 Stettler Airport Master Plan was presented by Director of Operations Melissa Robbins with comments from Coun. Wayne Smith, who was on the steering committee.

The introduction to the document spelled out how important the master plan was, as a clear flight plan is needed for the facility or its future plans may never get off the ground. “Building a master plan for the airport allows us to ensure we have a viable airport for emergency services, supporting aerodrome operations, and ensuring the economic viability of our community by identifying priorities and setting outcomes for the airport,” stated the master plan.

“Creating a master plan allows us opportunity to apply for provincial and federal funding for improvements and helps support decision making for the long term.”

The plan identified several important capital projects to keep the airport modern, safe and effective, including the primary project of a runway rehabilitation project priced at $1.6 million. The master plan noted the airport partners including the Town of Stettler and County of Stettler will apply every Nov. until successful at obtaining provincial funding of 75 per cent.

Also on the priority list is the establishment of a secondary safe landing area by re-establishing the north-south grass strip. Robbins stated during discussion that Stettler’s airport is orientated east to west which is not always ideal for certain winds and a secondary landing area would be a wise thing to have.

Robbins noted the master plan also includes several operational priorities, including terminal building repairs and renovations, security upgrades at the airport including a locking main gate and wifi availability for anyone visiting the airport. Robbins reported a new gate as already been installed and a locking pinpad system has been mentioned.

Robbins pointed out the airport is very well cared for by the Stettler Flying Club, which also did a lot of work on the master plan. The plan took several years to complete as the committee only met a few times a year.

Robbins reported an open house was recently held which attracted 25 participants who also contributed input into the master plan.

As well, the committee developing the master plan examined 25 other airports of similar size to Stettler’s and compared features and amenities.

Robbins noted the master plan’s focus was to have all stakeholders looking forward to common priorities instead of conflicting visions.

The master plan also included a detailed timeline of improvements and activities at the airport dating back to the 1950’s, adding that the Stettler Flying Club was instrumental in many of these improvements.

Coun. Smith noted the master plan was a three year project and he was happy to see it reach fruition.

Coun. Scott Pfeiffer asked how the fuel system at the airport is handled. Robbins responded that the Stettler Flying Club owns the fuel tank, that only aviation fuel is available and that she believed it was a self-pay system operated by credit card that’s been there for two years. She also added that there is a security camera at the airport but that more security features were being considered.

Councillors unanimously approved the Stettler Airport master plan as it was presented.

(Photo: Town of Stettler)

Air Canada, CAE name eight recipients of 2023 Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship

Air Canada and CAE joined forces to double the number of scholarship recipients to eight women from across Canada. (Image: CNW Group/Air Canada)

On International Women’s Day, March 8, Air Canada and CAE announced the recipients of the 2023 Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to Canadian women studying to become commercial pilots or aircraft maintenance engineers. Judy Cameron became the first female pilot hired by Air Canada, Canada’s largest airline, in April 1978 at the age of 23. She was the first woman to graduate from Selkirk College’s Aviation Technology Program in 1975. Throughout her flying career of 40 years and over 23,000 hours, she has flown the DC-3, Twin Otter, Hawker Siddeley 748, DC-9, Lockheed 1011, Airbus 320, Boeing 767, and Boeing 777.

This year, the two Montreal-based global aviation companies doubled the number of recipients, awarding scholarships to eight young women from across Canada. In addition to the $5,000 scholarship, CAE’s four recipients will become CAE Women in Flight – Air Canada Ambassadors and help inspire more women to become commercial pilots. The Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship was established in honour of Air Canada’s first female pilot to help foster the next generation of women following in her trailblazing footsteps and is awarded annually in conjunction with the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.

“On International Women’s Day, being able to provide support to these incredibly talented and driven young women through the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship firmly demonstrates Air Canada and CAE’s work fostering the next generation of women in their pursuit of careers in this exciting industry,” said Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Executive VP, Chief Human Resources Officer and Public Affairs at Air Canada. “We know how crucial this support is to young women seeking non-traditional aviation careers, and we have seen results first-hand from the success of past winners.”

Air Canada winners of the Captain Judy Cameron Scholarship include:

Amanda Tosto, Surrey, British Columbia
Hélène Trudeau, Beausejour, Manitoba
Charlotte Thorley, Grimsby, Ontario
Chanelle Wilson, Coldstream, British Columbia

CAE Women in Flight ambassadors include:

Meera Bissonauth, Mississauga, Ontario
Mia Cochran, North Bay, Ontario
Jaime Hanson, Rocky Mountain House, Alberta
Kyra Jarvis, Kingston, Nova Scotia


Flight Academy students fundraising hard for Washington trip

Grade 10 students Malakai Kurpjuweit and Lelin Anderson, co-lead of the Flight Academy Katelyn Rozdeba, Grade 12 students Trigger Ellis and Nicholas LeFebvre, and co-lead Dana Marshall standing in front of the Eagle Butte Talons mascot at the school. (Photo: Samantha Johnson)

— By Samantha Johnson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

Students in the South Alberta Flight Academy at Eagle Butte High School have been busy fundraising for their trip to Washington, D.C. in late June. They’ve had a few bottle drives and are currently selling Epicure door to door. Next month they will be selling Co-op gift cards to try to raise more funds.

Their big fundraising event is coming up March 25 where they will host an evening at Super T Aviation called Wings Over Southern Alberta Benefit Gala.

There will be a silent auction with lots of donated items, included a Tigers jersey signed by the entire team, MacKenzie Porter tickets for her upcoming show this summer, a private catered dinner for four and three aerobatic flights with the Northern Stars Aerobatic Team.

Trevor Moore will be the MC and provide entertainment with his comedy and magic routines. Christie Kurpjuweit will also be performing during the evening. A prime rib dinner by JF Catering will be served to all attendees.

Students in the Flight Academy are gearing up to sell tickets for the gala.

“As many as possible,” said Grade 12 student Trigger Ellis. “That’s about as good a goal as we have.”

Ellis has been in the academy for three years and will obtain his private pilot’s licence in the next few months.

“I haven’t sold any tickets yet but I’ve sold lots of Epicure things,” said Grade 10 student Lelin Anderson.

Grade 10 student Malakai Kurpjuweit hasn’t done much fundraising yet for the upcoming trip but is hoping to sell lots of tickets for the gala in the next few weeks.

Wings Over Southern Alberta Benefit Gala is March 25 from 5-11 p.m. There is seating for 200 guests, and tickets are still available. Tickets cost $129.13 each and are available on Eventbrite.

Skyservice Breaks Ground in Seattle

Skyservice Business Aviation on March 2 broke ground on a 71,000-square-foot Fixed Base Operation at King County International Airport, Boeing Field (BFI), near Seattle.

Skyservice explains the new FBO will include a generously sized lounge and relaxation areas, a two-story open reception area, and a 1,600-square-foot second-floor terrace overlooking Mount Rainier. The FBO will offer guests complimentary access to executive conference rooms and break-out areas.

“Seattle is a very important location for Skyservice as we expand our FBO, MRO, and industry-leading Aircraft Management company in the Pacific Northwest,” said Benjamin Murray, President and CEO, Skyservice. “We are committed to working with the airport to upgrade and expand its infrastructure, focus on sustainable operations, and provide greater choice in the marketplace.”

Part of the construction development also includes plans to increase the ramp footprint. Skyservice Seattle will operate from a temporary facility while the new FBO is being built. On its same leasehold, the company will continue to provide comprehensive FBO services, including ground handling, aircraft refueling, lounge amenities, flight crew lounges and sleep rooms, and ground transportation.

(Image: Skyservice)

GAMA releases 2022 aircraft shipment and billing report

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association on February 22 released its 2022 General Aviation Aircraft Shipment and Billing Report, which shows that, when compared to 2021 numbers, all aircraft segments saw increases in shipments. Preliminary aircraft deliveries in 2022 were valued at US$26.8 billion, an increase of 6.0 per cent.

“The general aviation manufacturing industry continues to show increasing strength despite workforce and supply chain challenges across our industry,” said Pete Bunce, President and CEO, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). “Our product development across the spectrum of fixed wing, rotorcraft and Advanced Air Mobility vehicles is spurred by the recognition that our industry is the safety and sustainability technology incubator for global civil aviation.”

Airplane shipments in 2022, when compared to 2021, saw piston airplane deliveries increase 8.2 per cent, with 1,524 units; turboprop airplane deliveries increase 10.4 per cent, with 582 units; and business jet deliveries increase to 712 units from 710. The value of airplane deliveries for 2022 was US$22.9 billion, an increase of approximately 5.8 per cent.

Piston helicopter deliveries for 2022, when compared to 2021, saw an increase of 7.2 per cent, with 194 units; and preliminary civil-commercial turbine helicopter increase 7.6 per cent, with 682 units. The preliminary value of helicopter deliveries for 2022 was US$4 billion, an increase of approximately 6.8 per cent.

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Skyservice expands to Vancouver

Benjamin Murray, President and CEO, Skyservice. (Photo: Skyservice Business Aviation)

Skyservice Business Aviation is expanding its operations to Vancouver International Airport with Fixed Base Operations (FBO), maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), charter, aircraft management, and aircraft sales and acquisition services.

This property is the eleventh full-service private jet centre for Skyservice, in addition to two locations specifically designated for avionics, aircraft upgrades and heavy maintenance in Muskoka, Ontario, and a recently acquired 80,000 square-foot hangar at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport.

“We are thrilled to add Vancouver to our growing network of award-winning business aviation jet centres in Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest,” said Benjamin Murray, President and CEO, Skyservice. “Increasingly, business aviation clients are looking for providers who deliver full aircraft support, from aircraft consultation and management to maintenance and full ground and fuel support with impeccable fixed-base operation facilities. We are proud to now offer this level of service in Vancouver.”

Skyservice has agreed to a long-term lease with World Fuel Services at Canada’s second-busiest airport with plans to modernize the existing property and invest in the buildout of the location’s business aviation service capacity.

In February 2023, Skyservice will also open a new, previously announced facility in Napa, California, and begin work on a new private jet hangar in Seattle to replace its Boeing Field site. This past year, Skyservice also finished construction of a new FBO facility in Redmond, Oregon, and added hangar capacity in Bend, Oregon, to accommodate the region’s expanding business aviation traffic.