Author Archives: Jon Robinson

Careers in Aviation Expo returns May 7

The Careers in Aviation Expo, presented by Wings and Helicopters, returns to its in-person event format on May 7, 2022, with more than 25 exhibitors (listed below) already committed. The Careers in Aviation Expo program traditionally features two events held in different regions of Canada with the goal of connecting aspiring aviators, graduating students and young professionals with leading companies, training organizations and schools.

Early bird pricing of just $20 for full access to the May 7 Career Expo in London, including breakfast and lunch, is available until April 30.

The first May 7 event is set to take place at the 220,000-square-foot production and research facility of Diamond Aircraft Industries, North America, in London, Ontario, one of the world’s leading composite aircraft manufacturers. This host location will provide attendees with a unique setting to learn about the direction of Canadian aviation, in addition to some firsthand insight into the development of Diamond’s training and GA aircraft, including its all-electric eDA40 training aircraft – with first flights scheduled for later this year.

The second leg of the Careers in Aviation Expo is set to take place on October 15, 2022, at the Southport Aerospace Centre, just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba, which is one of the primary regions for the Canadian aviation industry. Both events include five Main Stage Presentations from industry leaders, as well as a series of smaller Breakout Sessions with mentors organized for fixed-wing and rotary-wing pilots, AMEs (all licences), aerospace engineers, flight and airport operators, among others.

Sponsors of the May 7 event in London currently include: Levaero Aviation (Platinum Sponsor); Diamond Aircraft and Southport Aerospace Centre (Premier Sponsors); Algoma University and WestJet (Silver Sponsors); and Centennial College and Fanshawe College (Bronze Sponsors).

These seven sponsors will be exhibiting to speak with attendees about career development, in addition to: ACT – Advanced Composites Training, Airbus, AME Association of Ontario, Brampton Flight Centre, Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, Canadore College, Confederation College, Fast Air / Vanguard, Georgian College, International Test Pilots School (ITPS), MFC Training, Northern Lights Aero Foundation, Ornge, Perimeter Aviation LP, SkyCare Air Ambulance and Charter Services, Southern Interior Flight Centre, Sunwest Aviation, Threshold Aviation, Voyageur Aviation and Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre.

Register today to receive early bird pricing for this event.

(Photo: Diamond Aircraft)

uAvionix receives STC for tailBeaconX

uAvionix on April 4 announced it received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and initial Approved Model List (AML) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the tailBeaconX 1090 MHz ADS-B transponder. The company is also beginning to ship the product to U.S. and international markets, including Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand – soon to be followed by STC validation for European, UK markets and Brazil.

tailBeaconX is a highly integrated 1090 MHz ADS-B transponder, explains uAvionix, that replaces a rear navigation light by combining it with ADS-B OUT / Mode S transponder, SBAS GPS, antennas, and rear LED position light. The initial STC-AML utilizes the uAvionix AV-30-C multi-function display to be installed as the control head. In this configuration, the AV-30-C is able to leverage the tailBeaconX SBAS GPS for its GPS track display. In the future, uAvionix anticipates adding additional means of control through uAvionix and third-party devices.

uAvionix explains tailBeaconX is uniquely designed to meet the challenge of worldwide adoption of both ground- and space-based ADS-B for Air Traffic Surveillance, including NAV CANADA’s recently announced mandate. NAV CANADA’s performance requirements “can be met either through antenna diversity (the use of a top and bottom antenna) or with a single antenna that is capable of transmitting both towards the ground and up towards satellites.”

The Approved Model List (AML) for tailBeaconX contains over 550 aircraft make and models for which this STC is valid, including most major models from Cessna, Piper, Mooney, Beechcraft, and others. Additional models, including light twins, are expected to be approved in the next months.

For the Canadian market, tailBeaconX will initially be available for 336 models on the FAA AML, whose type certificates were accepted in Canada without the issuance of an equivalent TCCA type certificate (See the TCCA U.S. Eligible Aircraft List). STC validation for an additional 56 models has been filed with Transport Canada and is expected to be approved shortly.

(Image: uAvionix)

Kneehill County council revise drone, filming policies

— By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail

Kneehill County council approved revisions to its Drone and Location Filming policies during the regular Tuesday, February 8 council meeting, along with revisions to its Special Events policy during the regular Tuesday, March 8 council meeting.

There has been increased interest in filming, drone use, and hosting special events such as weddings on public Kneehill County lands, and these revisions have been made to better align with other, adjacent municipalities.

“In recent years we have seen an increase in unauthorized drone use at Kneehill County park sites and, as well, increase in requests for permission to fly drones over Kneehill County lands for filming and photography,” manager of Ag Services and Parks Shelby Sherwick shared during the January 18 Committee of the Whole meeting.

Drone use requires registration and licensing through Transport Canada, insurance confirmation, and flight plan approvals, along with permitting through Kneehill County.

Amending the policy allows Kneehill County to install signage at various county-owned sites, such as Horseshoe Canyon, informing visitors of the permitting requirements and appropriate contact information.

Revisions to the Location Filming policy will reduce the amount of notice required for filming in the area and would also implement a damage deposit for filming on public sites, including Horseshoe Canyon. This change also “piggybacks” onto the proposed changes on the Special Events policy, which were brought forward for consideration at the February 15 Committee of the Whole meeting.

For productions and events with between 51 and 150 people it was recommended to council a $2,500 damage deposit be required, and for productions and events over 150 require a $5,000 deposit.

“We wanted to make it significant enough it’s not convenient for them to say `Oh, the county will clean it up,”’ said Planning and Development manager Barb Hazelton.

Although productions and events are usually “very good” about cleaning up, Ms. Hazelton noted the county has seen some issues in the past.

Council approved the revisions to the three policies and noted amendments to include the damage deposit fees to the Master Rates bylaw will be brought before council at a later date.

(Photo: Adobe Stock)

Daher exhibits first production TBM 960

Daher on April 5 at the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida, unveiled the newest version of its TBM pressurized single turboprop aircraft family, the TBM 960, which incorporates Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6E-66XT engine and a fully digital e-throttle. The aircraft also includes what Daher describes as a digitally controlled cabin that incorporates an all-new environmental control system, LED ambience lighting and electrically dimmable windows.

“The TBM 960 is the quintessential TBM, representing the fifth evolution of our very fast turboprop aircraft family since the TBM 900-series’ introduction in 2014,” said Nicolas Chabbert, the Senior Vice President of Daher’s Aircraft Division. “It takes the maximum advantage of today’s turboprop technology to provide digital control of the engine and the propeller.”

The TBM 960 has been certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the certification process with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is currently underway. Deliveries of the TBM 960, which joins the existing TBM 910 model, are set to begin in the first half of 2022.

The TBM 960 retains the high speed of Daher’s TBM family, explains the company, while enabling lower fuel consumption. At Daher’s recommended cruise setting of 308 kts, the fuel consumption is only 57 U.S. gallons per hour, which is a 10 per cent fuel economy compared to the maximum cruise setting, for more sustainability.

Daher explains the heart of this latest TBM version is the intelligent PT6E-66XT powerplant and Hartzell Propeller’s five-blade Raptor composite propeller, both of which are linked to the dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS).

With its G3000 integrated flight deck, the TBM 960 retains Daher’s e-copilot and safety systems found in other TBM models. This includes an icing protection system, flight envelope monitoring through the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) and the Under-speed Protection (USP) systems, the Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) function, as well as the HomeSafe emergency autoland system.

(Photo: Daher)

Mars Helicopter wins Collier Trophy

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Team, primarily based at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Robert J. Collier Trophy for the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet – “Thereby opening the skies of Mars and other worlds for future scientific discovery and exploration.”

Since 1911, the Collier Trophy has been awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to recognize what it sees as the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America. Last year, Garmin Autoland was awarded the prize for what the company describes as the world’s first certified autonomous system designed to activate during an emergency to safely fly and land an aircraft without human intervention.

“While NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter team expanded the flight envelope by 100-million miles, we know we didn’t do it alone,” said Larry James, Interim-Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “For it was the efforts and ingenuity of those women and men who developed and tested cutting-edge vehicles before us that helped make powered-controlled flight on another planet possible.”

NAA notes 117 years after the Wright brothers succeeded in making the first powered flight on Earth, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter performed this amazing feat on another world. On April 19, 2021, Ingenuity lifted off from the surface of Mars, climbed to the prescribed altitude of 10 feet, and maintained a stable hover for 30 seconds. It then descended, touching back down on the surface of Mars after logging a total of 39.1 seconds of flight, thereby becoming the first aircraft in history to make a powered-controlled flight on another planet.

(Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Sport Aircraft Canada agreement to distribute Shark 600

Sport Aircraft Canada, which has been providing Canadian pilots with aircraft, avionics and accessories for more than 20 years, reached a new agreement to serve as the Canadian distributor of the Shark 600 aircraft.

Sport Aircraft Canada, which is one of the founding members of the Canadian Light Sport Aircraft Association (CLSAA), also currently represents the SkyReach BushCat and the Aerolite 103. It is also the North American distributor for Kanardia Avionics, a popular line of EFIS and EMS systems for the Light Sport category.

The Shark 600 recently received a lot of attention as the aircraft flown by Zara Rutherford on her quest to become the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. Rutherford reached this goal in January 2022 when she touched down her Shark 600 in western Belgium after 155 days.

Sport Aircraft Canada describes the Shark 600 as the fastest aircraft in the world using the Rotax 912 ULS engine. It’s a tandem two-seater with dual controls, including a full Garmin G3X avionics suite with autopilot, ADSB in/out with diversity antennae, a constant speed prop, and retractable gear.

The Shark 600’s rated cruise at maximum continuous power is over 150 kts. Sport Aircraft Canada, as supported by Rutherford achievements, describes the airplane as “a great cross-country machine”. The company notes it will be registered in the Special C of A – Limited category as it exceeds the performance limitations of the AULA category.

Sport Aircraft Canada currently has a demonstration Shark 600 in production, which is due to arrive in Canada this fall. Sport Aircraft Canada’s head office is in Orangeville, Ontario, and keeps its airplanes at the Brampton Airport. Shark Aero is based at Senica Airport in the Slovak Republic.

(Photo: Shark Aero)

Garmin introduces D2 Mach 1 aviator smartwatch

Garmin International in March 28 introduced the D2 Mach 1 GPS aviator smartwatch, describing it as holding classic pilot watch styling and a bright AMOLED touchscreen display that offers advanced tools for flying, as well as plus health and fitness features.

With a battery life of up to 11 days, the D2 Mach 1 provides weather data, automatic alerts for changing conditions, and helps navigate with the moving map and horizontal situation indicator (HSI), among other features.

“Whether you’re climbing into the cockpit for a fun weekend flight, practicing or shooting instrument approaches to minimums or flying professionally, the new D2 Mach 1 delivers the latest and most advanced aviation functionality and smartwatch capabilities right to your fingertips,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing, Garmin.

Garmin explains the D2 Mach 1 combines a durable design and premium materials like sapphire and titanium with a vibrant, sunlight-readable 1.3-inch AMOLED display. Button controls are matched with a new touchscreen interface for dual utility, improving daily smartwatch interaction and access to selections and map features.

The watch face includes a UTC pointer, which can also display and help pilots manage multiple time zones, including Zulu time, and a 24-hour clock around the bezel, along with seven customizable data fields. The D2 Mach 1 watch straps – available with oxford leather or vented titanium options – can be switched out with an included QuickFit black silicone band.

The D2 Mach 1 includes preflight, in-flight and postflight features and tools to assist pilots in navigation and enhance situational awareness, along with multi-band frequency and multi-GNSS support for better and more accurate GPS positioning. Direct-to navigation lets pilots navigate straight to an airport or waypoint in the preloaded worldwide aeronautical database directly from the watch, or choose the Nearest function to activate a direct course to a nearby airport. Pan across the moving map with a touch, and tap on waypoints for more information. Plus, see NEXRAD radar1 overlaid on the route.

Garmin explains the instrument-like horizontal situation indicator (HSI) course needle makes it easy for pilots to see if the aircraft is left or right of the desired flight path, and the barometric altimeter can alert when a desired altitude is reached. Aviation alerts like time, distance, altitude and a fuel timer are also available on the D2 Mach 1 during flight.

Information like runway orientation and wind components, runway lengths and airport frequencies are all preloaded and easily accessible from the watch. The D2 Mach 1 offers aviation weather reports, including METARs and TAFs that allow pilots to see winds, visibility and barometric pressure and more before takeoff. New graphical indications of MOS forecasts for specific airports, including projections for temperature trends, wind, dewpoint, sky cover, precipitation probability and more, are also available. Customizable notifications can be set for new METAR and TAF reports, so pilots will stay in-the-know when things like destination airport conditions change or when crosswind components exceed a threshold. And in case of emergency, the D2 Mach 1 can show the best glide speed, estimated glide distance and glide time during an engine-related issue, along with a bearing pointer to the nearest airport and a list of alternate airports.

The D2 Mach 1 automatically starts tracking flights on takeoff, then automatically transfers the date, duration, total flight time and route to the user’s logbook1. Pilots can also seamlessly transfer flight plans from the Garmin Pilot app to the D2 Mach 1 and view the list of waypoints included in their route.

The D2 Mach1 offers wrist-based heart rate (with user-configurable alerts for high or low readings3), advanced sleep monitoring with sleep score, breathwork activities, fitness age, respiration, Pulse Ox4, all-day stress tracking, hydration, and women’s health tracking. Body Battery energy monitoring shows users how “charged” their body is as well as the draining effects of stress and exercise. During a flying activity, pilots can quickly access the health stats menu to track their heart rate, Pulse Ox, respiration, Body Battery and more. A new Health Snapshot feature logs a two-minute window of key health stats and generates a report that users can share with a health care provider – a great tool for capturing physiological data anytime you’re feeling off your baseline.

The D2 Mach 1 features 30+ built-in indoor and GPS sports apps with favorites that include walking, running, cycling, pool swimming, hiking, advanced strength training and more. It’s preloaded with SkiView maps and more than 42,000 golf courses from around the world.

(Photo: Garmin)

Waterloo Warbirds markings changeover

Text and photos by Gustavo Corujo

In an effort to recognize the current turmoil enveloping Ukraine, Waterloo Warbirds changed the Soviet-era Russian markings on its classic Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin and MiG-15 UTI to Ukrainian Air Force (L-29) and Polish Air Force (MiG-15 UTI).

“I feel this is the right thing to do at this critical moment in time,” said Richard Cooper, the owner of both aircraft.

More photos of the markings changeover process can be view here.

uAvionix announces Trade-up to Certified avionics program for drones

uAvionix on March 23 introduced its “Trade-up to Certified” avionics upgrade program enabling users of uncertified Mode A/C/S and ADS-B transponders models to trade up to the uAvionix ping200X, which the company describes as the only TSO certified transponder for drones on the market today.

uAvionix explains the “Trade-up to Certified” program helps operators and manufacturers upgrade their operational capabilities and accelerate approvals by providing a credit of $800 towards uncertified Mode A/C/S and ADS-B transponders from Sagetech or older uAvionix ping200Si and ping200SR transponders when returned to uAvionix in working condition after purchasing a ping200X certified transponder. The program includes an option for higher rebates when combined with other TSO products such as the certified truFYX WAAS GPS or a pingRX-pro ADS-B receiver.

“We are excited to offer UAS operators and manufacturers the ability to up their game by helping them replace their obsolete transponders,” said Christian Ramsey, President, uAvionix. “It is our mission to connect everything that flies.”

uAvionix explains that with regulators increasingly focusing on transponder requirements when operating a UAS in transponder mandatory airspace, many older model transponders are being considered as non-compliant, putting operational approvals at risk. Higher complexity flights, including BVLOS operations, IFR operations, and flights operating in controlled airspace, continues uAvionix, require aviation-grade ADS-B transponders that are DO-260B compliant and meet TSO requirements that are applicable to traditional aircraft as well.

Operating a certified transponder, uAvionix explains, will simplify any type certification process that an operator or OEM might be pursuing, and it will significantly simplify obtaining regulatory approvals to operate in transponder airspace or beyond visual line of sight.

At a weight of 50-grams and a power draw of 1.5W Continuous On/Alt. 4W Peak (8ms maximum), uAvionix explains ping200X will integrate and operate with any unmanned airframe, regardless of its size and mission.

(Image: uAvionix)

DJI unveils Matrice 30 enterprise drone system with docking platform

DJI on March 21 introduced what it describes as an all-in-one solution for professional drone operators that “for the first time” puts a flying platform in the service of a fully remote fleet management system and an autonomous docking and recharging station.

This integrated solution, grouped under the Matrice 30 brand, provides new functionality for enterprise drone users such as public safety agencies, infrastructure inspectors and energy operators. The DJI Dock system is currently being tested and is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“With the outstanding performance, transportability and ease of use of the DJI Matrice 30 drone and its perfect integration with the DJI FlightHub 2 Fleet Management Cloud Software and DJI Dock, DJI is stepping into the future for our Enterprise customers who will be able to enter the autonomous solutions space, creating possibilities to fly beyond visual line of sight with the appropriate regulatory permissions in place,” said Christina Zhang, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy at DJI.

The new DJI Matrice 30 is DJI Enterprise’s flagship drone that fits in a backpack. It integrates multiple high-performance sensors into one single camera payload, is controlled with an ingenious redesigned remote control and runs on upgraded Pilot 2 software to improve flight experience. The M30 model, explains DJI, is designed to offer power, endurance and capability for rugged professional uses, while its size makes it ideal for easy transportation and fast setup.

The DJI integrates with the new DJI FlightHub 2 fleet management cloud-based software and the DJI Dock for collaboration with remote and unattended operations.

The M30 series comes in two versions, the M30 and the M30T. The M30 model integrates a 48 megapixel 1/2” CMOS sensor zoom camera with 5×~16× optical and 200× digital zoom, a 12 megapixel wide-angle camera, 8k photo 4K/30 fps video resolution, and a laser rangefinder which can give the precise coordinates of objects up to 1,200 meters away. The M30T features an additional 640×512 px radiometric thermal camera.

(Image: DJI)