Author Archives: Jon Robinson

Category 4 medicals

— Cynthia Murphy, Director, Aviation Operations, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association 

Many pilots are experiencing delays in the processing of either new or renewal medical certificates. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process as smooth as possible. For a Category 4 renewal, apply early, at least 60 days prior to the expiry date of the medical certificate. Be sure to submit your application electronically, either via email or epost. As medicals are processed by region, so make sure to send the form to your TCCA Regional Service Centre, not to Civil Aviation Medicine. AIM 1/2022 will be updated to contain the website with contact information for the regional offices, which can be found here.

A Category 4 medical is an acceptable means, but not the only means, to validate a: Student Pilot Permit (all aircraft categories, see NCR-117-2020), a Glider Pilot Licence, a Recreational Pilot Permit (Aeroplane) and an Ultralight Aeroplane Pilot Permit.

A number of exemptions have been put in place with respect to Category 4 Medical since the start of the pandemic, with the intent of minimizing delays.

Exemption NCR-014-2021 – This exemption allows applicants attempting the Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot or ATPL exams to write the required exam(s) with a Category 4 medical certificate. This exemption is valid to January 31, 2022.

Exemption NCR-037-2021 – This exemption allows applicants attempting the Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, or ATPL skill requirement to hold at least a Category 4 medical certificate. This exemption is valid to February 28, 2022.

Exemption NCR-117-2020 – This exemption allows for a physician signed Category 4 Medical for a SPP Helicopter, Gyroplane and Balloon. This exemption is valid until November 30, 2025.

You can find these exemptions listed here.

It is important to note that CAR 401.03 (1) states “…no person shall act as a flight crew member or exercise the privileges of a flight crew permit, licence or rating unless:
(c) the person holds the appropriate medical certificate; and
(d) the person can produce the permit, licence or rating, and the certificate, when exercising those privileges.”

This means that you must have received your Category 4 medical certificate from Transport Canada, prior to exercising the privileges it affords. A Category 4 medical can be used by student pilots, who are awaiting a higher level medical, to continue training by writing exams or attempt a skill requirement with the Category 4 medical.

(Photo: Adobestock)

Englishman gets not-so-warm welcome at Saugeen Municipal Airport

Shortly after pilot Phil Englishman flew his plane back to his hangar at Saugeen Municipal Airport, he was given a ticket for trespassing. (Photo: Pauline Kerr)

— By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

When Phil Englishman got the word that he could pay his access fees for the Saugeen Municipal Airport (SMA), he was pleased he’d be able to get his plane into his hangar before the snow flew.

That was Friday, Nov. 19. Two days later, Englishman’s plane was back in its hangar, but the dispute between him and the airport commission is clearly far from over. He’s once again preparing to fight a trespassing ticket and has launched a petition he plans to present to Brockton council.

Englishman, a longtime pilot, has been involved in an ongoing dispute with the airport commission that has involved an accusation of flying in an unsafe manner (not even investigated), a trespassing charge and subsequent court case (he was completely exonerated) and having his hangar blocked with up to four large pieces of concrete. Englishman’s cheques went uncashed. He was forced to fly out of other airports, most recently Kincardine, which meant an added expense.

He’s been spending an increasing amount of time dealing with lawyers when he’d prefer to be flying. In addition to his work with Royal Canadian Legion Br. 102 Walkerton where he’s Sergeant-at-Arms, he’s been an active member of the Saugeen Municipal Airport community for many years. He’s been instrumental in arranging many special events there, including air shows and appearances by the Snowbirds Canadian Air Demonstration Squadron. His work with the Young Eagles program has earned him international recognition.

He and others had an expectation that the findings in the court case would end the dispute, but since last summer, matters escalated. A West Grey member of council and previous member of the Saugeen Municipal Airport Commission (SMAC) was censured by the integrity commissioner for her testimony on behalf of Englishman – that was deemed to be a violation of the code of conduct.

The issue of the concrete blocks has been raised at Brockton council numerous times and has proven quite divisive (Dan Gieruszak, chair of SMAC, is the municipality’s deputy mayor and representative on the commission).

Englishman decided to pay his access fees at the Hanover municipal office, which handles the airport’s books, to ensure everything was in order. He presented a certified cheque, which this time was accepted, and made plans to move his plane from Kincardine.

The agreement included the provision the concrete blocks would be removed within 24 hours, and they were – but contrary to the agreement, not far. They were placed mere feet from the hangar, where they could be easily moved back. Englishman had stipulated they’d be removed from the site. Englishman and his wife, Martha, stated the blocks in their present location continue to “pose a threat.”

Englishman flew out of Kincardine Sunday morning and offers the highest praise to the people there, saying he was treated with respect and consideration. But SMA is “home.” It’s where he’s invested a lot of effort and time, owns a hangar and has friends.

The wind was picking up and the sky was becoming overcast when he made a perfect landing at the airport and cruised down the taxiway to put the plane in his hangar.

He went to the airport’s restaurant for a cup of coffee with Martha and a couple of friends and was asked to leave. Shortly after that, an OPP cruiser showed up and Englishman was given… a ticket for trespassing.

As for announced plans to celebrate the airport’s 70th anniversary in 2022, Martha Englishman offers a carefully worded caution.

“Predictions for 2022 sound promising, but it will be a huge undertaking and will involve extensive co-operation and camaraderie to guarantee a success.”

Changes on the landscape at the Whitecourt Airport

The area within the fence and outside of the fence around Whitecourt Airport is getting a remodel. Tree cover within the fenced zone was removed due to a court order, and just recently, Woodlands County Council voted to allow logging adjacent to the runaway. (Photo: Serena Lapointe)

— By Serena Lapointe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press

Due to a court order, Woodlands County must remove all the tree cover on the fenced-in airport lands. Passersby can visibly see large mounds of debris from the removal of those trees. To keep the tree cover from growing back, Administration proposed breaking the land down and seeding it to forage crop. Doing so has a cost, and Administration proposed an idea to help pay for it. During a recent Woodlands County Council meeting, Director of Infrastructure Andre Bachand explained that they wanted to log an area of Woodlands County forest outside the lands of the airport.

“The conservative estimate revenue is $100,000. To break the land, we are estimating $650/acre totalling roughly $85,000. To burn the existing piles, the stumps and slash piles, is in the area of $40,000. We are working on obtaining pricing on chipping and disposing of material so that it’s usable, but we won’t have those numbers until later. ”

Councillor Alan Deane asked why it would cost $40,000 to burn the piles. “I believe you, but what’s captured in those costs?” Bachand explained that there needs to be equipment on-site during the burning process. “We need excavators to be able to move the material and keep re-piling it, and there are roughly 120 piles out there, so that’s a lot of piles to burn.” He then added that if they fail to break the land, the tree cover will regrow, and the cycle will continue of removing it. With a court order in place, they need to keep it from growing back.

Councillor Jeremy Wilhelm asked how they came up with the estimate of $100,000 for revenue from logging the land. “We just mean that if we log it, those lands will get roughly $100,000 revenue given the price of lumber. It’s probably more than that, but we are trying to be conservative with that number. When we tender it out, we ask for pricing per tonne for the different types of trees. The highest number gets the job,” answered Bachand.

Mayor John Burrows asked if any conversations had been had with the Whitecourt Trailblazers about their trail system being impacted by the clearing taking place outside the airport fence area. Bachand said they had not spoken with them and said he wasn’t sure if there were trails within the area being cleared. Mayor Burrows said there were.

Councillor Deane agreed. “Yes, they do, as the Mayor pointed out. For the most part, the existing trail is right adjacent to, I would call it, the North Boundary fence and then wraps around and goes by that lease. I don’t think there would be any concerns, but it would be good corporate citizenship to contact them.”

He then asked why the sections selected for logging were chosen. “When I look at the map, I see that there are other forested areas. Why this jagged map? I’m sure there’s a good reason, but I’m just curious,” said Councillor Deane. Bachand explained that much of it followed the property line but that some areas follow the crest of the ridge. “Although we are allowed to log the whole thing, we thought environmentally it would be best to stay away from that ridge a little bit.”

Councillor Wilhelm asked if the logging adjacent to the airport would impact wind protection for the airport area. “Will that have any negative impact?” Bachand said they had discussions with Nav Canada. “They’ve requested that we do some of that logging for the past number of years for sightlines. There may be additional wind or blowing snow hitting the runway, but we are able to deal with that.” Bachand said that within about five years, the regrowth from the logged area outside of the fence, near the runway, would grow back and give some relief from the wind.

“But they don’t think it will have a negative effect on the landing or taking off in the area,” queried Wilhelm. Bachand said they hadn’t discussed the impact on aircraft. Mayor Burrows, as a pilot, wasn’t too sure about not having done a consult on whether aircraft would be affected. “I would recommend that we have that conversation. We can either postpone this until we have that conversation, or we can vote it down. The amount of wind changes that have gone on there, if anyone drives on Highway 32, that is a polished piece of glass in the winter because of the deforestation along there. I don’t want to make our airport useless because we cut some trees down.”

Councillor Bruce Prestidge didn’t feel it would cause that much issue. “I don’t believe that cutting the trees will do much. The City of Edmonton has an airport, and there are no trees within miles of it. So, if we cut all the trees on one side, I don’t see cutting the trees down on the other side changing much.” Councillor Deane agreed. “If you go to Regina or Medicine Hat, those are very windy places, but that being said, I’ve never flown a plane, and I’ve never landed a plane, so I’m not coming from a position of experience.” Council voted to direct the Administration to tender the logging of the airport lands and budget for the revenue and expenditure in the 2022 operational budget.

Airport Development: Over $140,000 of Investments

The Alma City Council held its second meeting on Monday evening, November 29. (Photo: Julien B. Gauthier)

― By Julien B. Gauthier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Le Lac-Saint-Jean

On November 29, the Alma City Council adopted resolutions to approve several subsidies (totalling $143,748.08) for the municipality’s airport sector, including the Qualia drone test site construction project.

A total amount of $106,855.05 was granted to Alma’s UAS Centre of Excellence (CED) to develop its future drone system prequalification centre (Qualia). This sum, part of an $800,000 investment previously announced by the City of Alma, was taken from the municipality’s own surplus.

According to city councillor and CED president Alain Fortin, construction of the Alma Airport-based Qualia site – which started in November 2020 – is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2022. The project is valued at $2.4 million, including $1.6 million in provincial and federal funds.

Other sums were allocated to the renovation and acquisition of airport infrastructure. $9,815.71 was allotted to the Corporation d’innovation et développement Alma – Lac-Saint-Jean-Est (CIDAL) for the acquisition of a rotating beacon.

A sum of $8,461.25$ was also approved to fund work on the airport’s Miskam hangar door.

The CIDAL will also receive $12,000 to cover the cost of the electrical work required to supply a windsock.

Finally, $6616.07 was attributed to pay for an external accounting audit of the Alma Airport, which was carried out over 3 years.

All of these sums were taken from the municipality’s accumulated surplus and the 2021 budget provided under its three-year capital expenditure program.

Tecnam earns P2010 TDI diesel certification

Tecnam on November 24 announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded full Type Certificate to the P2010 TDI with the number A00066CE for Part 23 of the FAA Regulations.

The company describes its P2010 airframe, with its wide, composite, fuselage design and the all-metal wing and stabilator, as a “perfect platform” to match the diesel engine performance and capabilities. The consolidated comfort, 3rd door back seat accessibility, safety and reliability of the “P Twenty-Ten” are now accompanied by the added efficiency granted by the use of Diesel/JetA1 fuel.

The Continental Diesel 170 hp Turbocharged Engine joins the P2010 power plant options of the 180 hp Avgas/Mogas and 215 hp Avgas engine. Techam explains this latest engine pairing provides strong fuel efficiency and performance: The Turbo Diesel/JetA1 power plant offers a cruise-fuel burn that ranges from 4.5 USG/hr (17 litres/hr) at 55% power, to 7 USG/hr (27 litres/hr) at 75 per cent power. This provides consistent performance up to 8,000 feet, according to the company, and allows operations up to 18,000 feet.

Techam explains the standard P2010 fuel tanks provide a range in excess of 1,000 NM and endurance of up to 12 hours, all monitored through the Garmin G1000Nxi avionics package. TECNAM and Continental are also working on the latest improvement of Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

“The addition of the Continental Diesel Engine is more proof that Tecnam is dedicated to the General Aviation Marketplace by providing safe, efficient, innovative aircraft for today’s pilots.” said David Copeland, Director of Sales, Tecnam.

(Photo: Tecnam)

Mitchell to become CEO of Helicopter Association of Canada

Trevor Mitchell was introduced as the incoming President and CEO of the Helicopter Association of Canada during the organization’s annual conference, which ran virtually from November 22 to 24. Mitchell will succeed Fred Jones, who has served as the leader of Helicopter Association of Canada (HAC) since the Fall of 2008.

“Trevor brings with him a broad range of experience in the Canadian Helicopter industry, including time as a line pilot, heliports consultant, ops manager, and aviation consultant,” wrote Jacob Foreman, HAC Chair of the Board, in a message to members.

Jones and Mitchell during the association’s 2021 virtual conference spent an hour discussing priorities with members, including plans for HAC’s important sector committees, which stood at eight prior to the pandemic.

Mitchell most recently served as a Heliport Planner with WSP based in Regina, Saskatchewan, while also leading his consultancy specializing in rotary-wing operations and infrastructure. He also served as Operations Manager, YQR, with Strategic Aviation and as a Base Director with STARS in Regina.

In 2013, Mitchell flew as a line pilot for the Winnipeg Police Service, after he spent more than seven years with Arrow Helicopters, including time as its Operations Manager. He also served as a base pilot with Kokanee Helicopters from late 2004 to 2005.

Rolls-Royce stakes claim to world’s fastest all-electric vehicle

Electroflight Test Pilot Steve Jones flying the Rolls-Royce’s ACCEL project, Spirit of Innovation plane, at Boscombe Down testing site during world record runs in November 2021. (Photo: Rolls-Royce, John Dibbs)

Rolls-Royce on Nov. 19 claimed its all-electric Spirit of Innovation aircraft to be the world’s fastest all-electric aircraft, after setting three new world records, which have been submitted to Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) – the World Air Sports Federation, which controls and certifies world aeronautical and astronautical records.

Rolls-Royce explains on November 16, 2021, at 15:45 (GMT) the Spirit of Innovation aircraft reached a top speed of 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) over three kilometres, surpassing the existing record by 213.04 km/h (132mph).

In further runs at the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down experimental aircraft testing site, the aircraft achieved 532.1km/h (330 mph) over 15 kilometres – 292.8km/h (182mph) faster than the previous record – and broke the fastest time to climb to 3,000 metres by 60 seconds with a time of 202 seconds, according to Rolls-Royce data.

During its record-breaking runs, Rolls-Royce states the aircraft clocked up a maximum speed of 623 km/h (387.4 mph), which the company believe to make the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ the world’s fastest all-electric vehicle.

“Staking the claim for the all-electric world-speed record is a fantastic achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce,” said Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce. “I would like to thank our partners and especially Electroflight for their collaboration in achieving this pioneering breakthrough.

“The advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this program has exciting applications for the Advanced Air Mobility market,” East continued. “Following the world’s focus on the need for action at COP26, this is another milestone that will help make jet-zero a reality and supports our ambitions to deliver the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea.”

The Spirit of Innovation is part of the ACCEL or Accelerating the Electrification of Flight project. Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK.

The aircraft was propelled on its record breaking runs by a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain and what Rolls-Royce describe as the most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace. To achieve this technical breakthrough, the company worked in partnership with aviation energy storage specialist Electroflight and automotive powertrain supplier YASA.

Rolls-Royce explains the Spirit of Innovation project, working through ACCEL, provides important data for its future electric power and propulsion systems for all-electric urban air mobility and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft. The characteristics that air-taxis require from batteries, explains the company, are very similar to what was developed for the Spirit of Innovation.

“Developing the propulsion and battery system, in collaboration with experienced program partners, has resulted in a world class engineering capability that will lead the way towards the decarbonisation of air travel,” said Stjohn Youngman, Managing Director, Electroflight. “Our next step is to adapt this pioneering technology so it can be applied across the wider aerospace industry to deliver a more sustainable way to fly.”

August Lehmann left lasting impression on Dawson Creek aviation community

Rod Folster, Bonnie Lehmann, and Mark Sutton at the Mile Zero Flying Club’s Hangar 66. (Photo: Tom Summer)

By Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News

The Mile Zero Flying Club and the community at large are feeling the loss of local aviation fixture in August Lehmann. Teacher, pilot, air maintenance engineer, aircraft builder, and owner of the Flying ‘L’ Ranch airport.

Known to wear many hats and was always happy to share his knowledge with others, his wife Bonnie notes he was always a teacher at heart.

“He was a teacher, bottom line. He loved to teach and that tied in nicely with anyone innocent enough to ask.”

While he taught at the school district for many years, he always came back to the skies.

Lehmann enjoyed a varied aviation career over the years, flying for fire patrol the forestry sector, Search and Rescue, and more.

“He really didn’t wish to travel with commercial airlines, he much preferred to do his own thing. It’s a nice climate, the pilot world.”

Lehmann also flew planes in the Muskwa Kechika range and by Williston Lake. His interest in flying started as a teenager, working for the airport in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. He earned his licence by 18, but took a break for many years due to the prohibitive cost of additional flight lessons.

The pair moved to Dawson Creek in 1976 where Bonnie gained her licence, becoming a pilot alongside her husband, with Lehmann taking a refresher and reviving his interest in aviation.

“This the ideal place to learn. It’s a small airport, not that busy. I took some of my training outside of Calgary, and there would be five in the circuit. You’ve got lots of practice looking out for other planes, whereas here, it’s more quiet.”

Soon the pair were establishing their own private air strip, more famously known as the Flying ‘L’ Ranch.

Mile Zero Flying Club members Mark Sutton and Rod Folster came to know Lehmann as their flight instructor when he taught lessons in the early 1990s. The three became very close, says Bonnie, with Folster and Sutton considered Lehmann’s adopted sons, all sharing a passion for flying.

Folster says Lehmann is greatly missed, with dedicated aviation experts tough to find. Their ranch was purchased by Folster, who says the name will never change.

“We really need another retired school teacher to take on the flight instructing, then they’re willing to stick around and see it through. It can’t really be a business thing.”

Wingham airport sale made official by council

— By Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times (Photo: Steve Bond)

Council approved the agreement between the Township of North Huron and Papple Aviation in a third and final reading of the purchase and sale agreement bylaw at the Nov. 15 council meeting.

One minor change was made to the official document.

On page seven, in Schedule A, the document read that the purchaser agrees to purchase or lease hangars to current lessors. This wording needed to be changed since the hangars are privately owned and not part of the purchase.

The agreed-upon purchase price for the airport is $200,000. The fuel tanks located on the property, the terminal building, and all contents are included in the purchase.

Not included are the hangars and the RC Jets building.

Reeve Bernie Bailey told the Wingham Advance Times that running the airport costs approximately $100,000 a year. Within two years, the township will see the benefits. The sale of the remaining land surrounding the airport will see more funds in the township coffers.

The agreement must be completed by Dec. 21, 2021. The final agreement said, “upon completion, vacant possession of the property shall be given to the purchaser unless otherwise provided in this agreement.”

First flight for Beechcraft Denali

Textron Aviation on Nov. 23 announced its new single-engine turboprop, the Beechcraft Denali took to the skies for the first time, with the milestone flight for the clean-sheet design aircraft noting that start of its flight test program.

“With its more environmentally friendly engine and largest cabin in its class, this is an aircraft that will change the landscape for high-performance single-engine turboprop aircraft,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “Today’s flight is just the beginning for what we anticipate will be a long list of important accomplishments as we prepare the aircraft for certification and customer deliveries.”

The Beechcraft Denali prototype aircraft, under the control of senior test pilot Peter Gracey and chief test pilot Dustin Smisor, took off from Textron’s west campus at Eisenhower International Airport for what amounted to a two hour and 50 minute flight. Powered by GE Aviation’s new Catalyst engine, the Textron team tested the aircraft’s performance, stability and control, as well as its propulsion, environmental, flight controls and avionics systems. The aircraft reached an altitude of 15,600 feet and attained speeds of 180 knots.

“From the beginning of the flight to the end, the Denali was simply flawless,” Gracey said. “It’s just a great aircraft to fly. The Catalyst engine was outstanding, and the aircraft performed to the levels we were anticipating. First flights really can’t go more smoothly than this.”

Textron explains the Denali prototype aircraft, along with two additional flight test articles and three full airframe ground test articles, will continue to expand on operational goals, focusing on testing aircraft systems, engine, avionics and overall performance. The company is targeting certification for the Denali in 2023.

The Denali is engineered to achieve cruise speeds of 285 knots and full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds, targeting a range of 1,600 nautical miles at high-speed cruise with one pilot and four passengers. This would allow the airplane to fly non-stop from Los Angeles to Chicago, New York to Miami or London to Moscow.

The Denali is the first aircraft powered with GE’s Catalyst engine, described by GE as a more sustainable engine that burns up to 20 per cent less fuel than older turboprop technologies. The FADEC-equipped, 1,300 shaft horsepower (SHP)-rated turboprop engine eases pilot workload with its single-lever power and propeller control.

The airplane is also equipped with McCauley’s new 105-inch diameter composite, 5-blade, constant speed propeller, which is full feathering with reversible pitch and ice protection.

The cockpit will feature the Garmin G3000 avionics suite with integrated autothrottle as a standard feature, which interfaces with the Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) and Flight Management System (FMS) for speed control throughout all flight regimes.

The Beechcraft Denali also features a flat-floor cabin, helping operators to convert between passenger and cargo configurations. The cabin features a standard seating configuration of six individual reclining seats and offers a nine-place high density seating option.

(Photo: Textron Aviation)