Hope gives wings

— By Phil Lightstone

A high-pressure system dominated southern Ontario on Saturday, May 13, 2023, just in time for the Hope Gives Wings charity fly-in at the Brantford Municipal Airport (CYFD). The event was organized and sponsored by the Brantford Flying Club (BFC) and Hope Air.

Hope Air is a non-profit organization organizing volunteers to deliver flights for medical patients living in remote areas of Canada, who are required to travel great distances for medical appointments. Their motto “Bridging the distance between home and hospital” succinctly describes their mission statement.

Hope Air supports healthcare patients throughout every stage of their journey to wellness with the generous help of their donors, partners and volunteers. To alleviate the stress of traveling long distances by car or train, Hope Air provide free flights through the generous donations of their airline partners and volunteer pilots.

Supporting Hope Air, the Brantford fly-in had 60 aircraft, 200 attendees and 18 volunteers attend the event. While the event officially kicked off at 11:00 am, aircraft began arriving to this non-control-towered airport as early at 10:00 am. The BFC began serving a BBQ lunch at 11:30 featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, sausages, a variety of salads and cold refreshing drinks.

Two round-trip WestJet tickets and four aviation rides were raffled off. The $10 BBQ lunch and $5 raffle tickets (six tickets for $20) totaling $5,400 were donated to Hope Air. With severe clear VFR weather and a slight crosswind favoring runway 05, the flights into Brantford were uneventful. A variety of aircraft attended the event, including Cessnas, Pipers, Commanders, Columbia, VANs RVs, a stunning Waco bi-plane and a variety of other homebuilt aircraft.

In attendance were a number of Brantford city elected officials, including: City of Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis; Brian Hutchins CAO City of Brantford; Brantford City Councillor Greg Martin (who is a licensed pilot); and Brantford Airport Board Chair, Mark Littell (a 50 year member of the BFC). The speakers praised the efforts of the volunteers and the pilots attending the event.

During 2023, Hope Air has launched a program called Give Hope Wings with three unique expeditions focused on Western Canada, the Prairies and Eastern Canada. Give Hope Wings’ goal is to raise funds and awareness for Hope Air. The expeditions stop in large urban airports, Hope Air patient communities and hallmark aviation communities. Highlights will include aerial views of some of Canada’s most unique aviation sights, connections to Hope Air patients along the way and community events in both urban and rural settings.

Participating Hope Air pilots are setting up personal fundraising pages which allows each Hope Air pilot to track donations from family, friends and corporate sponsor supporters. All donations over $20 receive a charitable donation receipt. More information can be found at Hope Air’s events page.

Fly-in events like this one held by the BFC are not only a great way to knock the rust off of your pilot’s license, meet new friends, but also enjoy the comradery associated with an aviation environment. Supporting not for profit organizations like Hope Air is the cherry on top of the Sunday. Social media platforms like COPA’s Facebook page and COPA’s Event website page are great ways to see upcoming events in your area.

Quebec to spend $66M on Nunavik airport projects over 2 years

The Quebec government plans to spend nearly $66 million on 18 airport projects, including at the Aupaluk airport. (Photo courtesy of Russ Johnson, Nunatsiaq News)

— By Cedric Gallant, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News

The government of Quebec will spend close to $66 million over the next two years on 18 airport-related projects across Nunavik, it announced Thursday.

According to a government news release, some of the work includes: Replacement of the fencing at the Akulivik airport; replacement of visual aid tools for navigation in both Aupaluk and Kangirsuk; and replenishment of the movement area and replacement of navigation visual aids at the Kangiqsujuaq airport.

In the release, Ungava MLA Denis Lamothe said the $65.9 million that will be spent “greatly improves the security and facilitates mobility in the region.

“The project permits the maintenance and the development of regional businesses as well.”

As well, provincial Labour Minister Jean Boulet said, “completion of these projects will contribute to the economic vitality of several communities by stimulating local entrepreneurship and the creation of quality jobs.”

Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association Fly Day

— By Gus and Clara Corujo

On May 27, the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association based at Tillsonburg Regional Airport hosted its first fly day of the season. The all-volunteer organization offered introductory Harvard flight experiences for $225, which includes a Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association (CHAA) membership. Eleven rides were sold to aviation enthusiasts to go up in the second world war trainer.

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association today is part museum, part fan club, and part historical society rolled into one dynamic, with one full-time mechanic. They share a common goal: to celebrate an aircraft that played an important role in the Second World War.

View a photo gallery of the event.

Tiger Boys Thursday night BBQ

— Text and photo by Gus and Clara Corujo

Hosted at the Tiger Boys, the Thursday evening BBQs at the Guelph Airpark have become very popular with enthusiasts and aircraft owners. The friendly family-oriented fun evening where people can get up close and personal with vintage and classic aircraft, talk to the pilots and even go for a flight. The event is free to attend but donations are appreciated.

View photo gallery of the event.

Oshawa, Waterloo events promote women in aviation

— By Gus and Clara Corujo

The Durham Flight Training Centre and The Ninety-Nines hosted the ninth annual Girls Take Flight event at Oshawa Municipal Airport on Saturday, April 29. Two weeks later, on May 13, Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre hosted an event called Girls Can Fly, a celebration of women in aviation.

Despite the weather, it was a good turnout in Oshawa for the April 29 Girls Take Flight event, with hangar exhibits and activities available from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Exhibitors included the Durham Flight Centre, The Ninety-Nines, Enterprise Aviation Group, Air Canada, Jazz, Porter Airlines, WestJet, Oshawa Executive Airport and COPA. The outdoor aircraft displays included a De Havilland DHC-8 Q400 from Porter Airlines, Air Canada Express Bombardier CRJ200, the Durham Regional Police JetRanger helicopter, vintage and classic aircraft, military vehicles, fire trucks and more.

Participants also had an opportunity to try out some state-of-the-art virtual reality with an F-18 cockpit simulator. The First Canadian Chapter of the Ninety-Nines and the Durham Flight Training Centre offered the chance to win a free first flight lesson for women and girls who want to learn to fly.

Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre held the annual Girls Can Fly event on May 13 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at its facility located at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. Girls Can Fly was established to promote the aviation industry to girls and young women. The event also features exhibitors from the industry who provided an interactive and engaging experience for attendees of all ages.

New this year, Sunwing Airlines brought a Boeing 737 aircraft to the event along with a team of pilots and crew. Porter Airlines Q400 plane was open for public tours and Jazz displayed a CRJ900 aircraft along with its team. And for animal lovers, Pilots4Paws was on site with some furry friends to promote their work for dogs needing rehoming and medical attention. Special thanks was given to all of the volunteers, Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, COPA Breslau Flyers Flight 26, Great Lakes Helicopter and to the exhibitors.

View the photo gallery from Girls Take Flight Oshawa.

View the photo gallery from Girls Can Fly Waterloo.


Sold out Careers in Aviation Expo inspires next generation

More than 550 people attended the annual Careers in Aviation Expo, held on May 6 in WestJet’s South Bay Hangar at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The sold-out expo provided attendees with access to four main-stage presentations from industry leaders, 30 Breakout Sessions with mentors covering a range of aviation sectors, 42 industry-leading exhibitors, and four aircraft on static display – all within WestJet’s massive maintenance hangar used primarily for 787s, 737s and its smaller Q400 aircraft.

Gandeephan Ganeshalingam, Vice President of Technical Operations with WestJet, kicked the day off with a keynote presentation providing attendees with a bird’s eye view of aviation, before discussing the growth and direction of WestJet, as well as career opportunities in the industry. The day featured main-stage presentations from two other airlines to illustrate the diverse operating models active in Canada. This included a presentation from Lawrence Hughes, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Porter Airlines, who discussed the growth of the boutique airline and its unique economy class approach to the jetliner market.

Grey Cooper, Manager, Pilot Training with Flair Airlines then rounded out the airline model discuss with a presentation called ULCC Concepts, Innovation, Advancements & Opportunities. Michael Nault, Director of Commercial Programs with Bell Textron Canada also provided a main-stage presentation focusing on trends in the helicopter and vertical lift sector, the breadth of Bell’s operations and innovations, and the range of opportunities in aerospace engineering.

In between these four main-stage presentations, attendees in small groups participated in a range of Breakout Sessions they had preregistered for, discussing career opportunities with experienced fixed wing pilots and AMEs, Air Traffic Controllers, FBO and military leaders, airline operations leaders and helicopter pilots, among others.

A highlight of the one-day event was its static display with one of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, which was joined by a WestJet Q400, Ornge PC-12 and Select Aviation Robinson R44.

WestJet served as the Premier Sponsor for the first leg of the 2023 Careers in Aviation Expo, with Porter Airlines as Platinum Sponsor, CAE and Diamond Aircraft as Silver Sponsors, and Centennial College as Bronze Sponsor.

This was the first leg of the Careers in Aviation Expo for 2023, with Wings and Helicopters on October 24 in Calgary set to take part in a wider Careers Expo West with Police, Firefighting and Security media brands also controlled by parent company Annex Business Media.

TSB reports on fatal floatplane accident near Rivière Bonnard Aerodrome

The Wag-Aero Sportsman 2+2 occurrence aircraft with TSB annotations. (Photo: TSB, aircraft owner)

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada on May 4 released its investigation report (A22Q0116) into a September 2022 fatal collision with terrain following the in-flight separation of the left wing of a Wag-Aero Sportsman 2+2 (amateur-built floatplane), near the Rivière Bonnard Aerodrome in Quebec. The TSB conducted a limited-scope class 4 investigation into this occurrence.

At approximately 8:30 am on September 23,2022, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) explains the Wag‑Aero Sportsman floatplane (registration C‑FFDA, serial number 792) took off from Lake Mylène, 12 nautical miles west of the Rivière Bonnard Aerodrome (CRB4), Quebec, to conduct a local visual flight rules flight. The flight included one pilot and one passenger.

Example of corrosion seen on the occurrence aircraft’s tail. (Photo: TSB)

TSB explains that, at approximately 4 nautical miles south of Lake Mylène, the floatplane’s left wing separated completely, resulting in an uncontrolled descent of the floatplane, which then struck the terrain. Both occupants of the aircraft were fatally injured and the floatplane was destroyed by the force of the impact. There was no post-impact fire. The 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter activated, and the Cospas-Sarsat search and rescue satellite system detected the signal at 0846.

The pilot held the appropriate licence and ratings to conduct the occurrence flight; and had accumulated more than 4,400 flight hours, almost all of them on the occurrence aircraft. The aircraft had been built by the occurrence pilot in 1989. According to the aircraft’s journey log, on September 4, 2022, the aircraft had accumulated 4422 flight hours since it was built. The floatplane was equipped with a 200 hp Avco Lycoming IO-360-A1B6 engine (serial number L-59367A), explains TSB, and each wing was supported by two main wing struts and two secondary wing struts.

The floatplane’s left wing was found approximately 300 feet away from the wreckage. It was heavily damaged. The aft main wing strut, explains TSB, was practically intact and was still attached, but the clevis that attached the strut to the fuselage was corroded and had a clean break. TSB continues to explain the other main strut (the forward main strut) normally found on the same wing was missing and was not found at the site. Nearly all of the attachment points, hinges and flight control linkages on the left wing showed significant signs of corrosion, according to TSB’s report.

For the purposes of its investigation, TSB sent the two main struts for the right wing (forward and aft), the aft main strut for the left wing, and all clevises attaching the struts to the fuselage to its Engineering Laboratory in Ottawa, Ontario, for examination. The examination revealed that the right strut clevises and aft left strut clevis had failed in overload, explains TSB, and the forward left strut clevis showed signs of fatigue cracking.

Read the full TSB report.

Levaero Aviation releases Canadian market report

Levaero Aviation released its inaugural State of the Canadian Market Report, which summarizes aircraft transactions in its sector of the industry that took place into, out of, and within Canada during the year 2022. The report is available via download.

In producing the report, Levaero leveraged its 26 years of experience in assisting customers to acquire and sell aircraft, as well as providing customers with Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services.

Levaero explains its new Canadian Market Report is the first-ever market analysis report of its kind, focusing solely on the Canadian aviation market. The report includes a range of insights and data, including trends in aircraft ownership, fleet size and aircraft types in demand. It also provides an analysis of market activity, highlighting key factors driving growth and investment.

“We are proud to be the first to provide a detailed analysis of the Canadian aviation market,” said Stan Kuliavas, Vice President, Sales and Business Development, at Levaero Aviation. “Our team has worked tirelessly to compile and analyze the data to provide valuable insights to our customers and industry partners.”

(Photo: Pilatus Aircraft)

COPA Welcomes Mark van Berkel as New President and CEO

Announcement from the COPA Board of Directors, text provided by Doug Ronan, COPA Chair and Southern Ontario Director :

The members of the Board of Directors of COPA are thrilled to announce that Mark van Berkel has agreed to join COPA as our new President and CEO.

Mark brings with him a wealth of aviation, business and management experience that will be instrumental as he leads COPA in our mission “To promote, advance and inspire general aviation, and to preserve the Canadian freedom to fly.”

Originally from Calgary, Mark is now a resident of Ottawa. An active COPA member for 20 years, Mark earned his PPL shortly after college and he remains an active pilot with a current IFR rating and has owned and operated five aircraft in those 20 years of COPA membership. Mark started his life-long aviation career as an avionics AME in Vancouver, moved to Ottawa where he worked for Transport Canada Aircraft Services and became the Chief Avionics Specialist. Thereafter, he transitioned into the private sector, ultimately founding and building a highly successful avionics manufacturing business, TrueNorth Avionics, which specialized in designing and manufacturing communications and data connectivity for business jets. After growing the business to more than 50 employees in just ten years, Mark sold TrueNorth to Satcom Direct where they have continued to build on the success that TrueNorth had established.

During his professional career, Mark has had significant experience advocating before, and positively interfacing with, government stakeholders including Transport Canada and Nav Canada. Mark is an incisive and thoughtful person with a proven track record of capably leading a team and an organization to success. He is passionate about general aviation and is enthusiastic about applying his experience and skills to advancing COPA’s Mission and Vision.

The Board recently concluded an extensive and successful strategic planning process. Equipped with clear Strategic Priorities and Objectives, Mark is strongly positioned to flesh out the Strategic Plan with defined tactics and deliverables, and to lead his team and our members as we all, together, advance COPA’s Mission and Vision.

The Board once again wishes to express its gratitude to Jim Ferrier who graciously and capably assumed responsibility for leading COPA on a temporary basis, thereby affording us the benefit of time to recruit a stellar candidate for the position on a permanent basis. Jim will return to his former role in Aviation Operations.

Mark will officially start in his new role on May 15, 2023, and plans to attend COPA’s Annual General Meeting at Rockcliffe Airport in Ottawa on June 11 where he looks forward to starting to get to know our members. We encourage you to warmly welcome Mark onboard as, together, we inspire passion for flying and preserve our freedom to take to the skies.

Doug Ronan
COPA Chair and Southern Ontario Director
Président du conseil et directeur sud de l’Ontario
Tel: (705) 3274730