Category Archives: Featured

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.

Percepto launches new drones, analytics for inspection platform

Percepto of Israel, which focuses on autonomous inspection with industrial robotics, on November 17 launched its upgraded 2022 Autonomous Inspection & Monitoring (AIM) platform and its new Air Mobile drone.

Percepto explains the AIM 2022’s newly launched Insight Manager delivers AI-powered packaged solutions for sector-specific use cases, such as solar, mining, energy, oil & gas and other industries. Percepto states its AI change detection framework, developed from tens of thousands of hours of autonomous robot missions at industrial facilities, offers unified visual data and critical business insights for each of the sector-specific solutions.

AIM 2022 can be integrated with autonomous drones and robots as well as other visual data collectors, now including DJI drones, and fixed cameras. Reports and insights are automatically generated based on the combined visual data. Disseminated to relevant stakeholders on any mobile device, Percepto explains issues and faults are geotagged and displayed on a map, enabling action before escalating into more serious problems.

Percepto on Nov. 17 also introduced its new Percepto Air portfolio to support the enhanced platform. The next generation of Percepto Sparrow, the Percepto Air Max is designed for large mining, oil & gas, and energy companies. It has a top-grade, versatile payload for specific use-cases. Designed to inspect and map complex industrial environments where the highest accuracy and durability are critical, Air Max is described by the company as the only DIB Drone-in-a-Box solution with an Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) camera.

Percepto describes its new Air Mobile as a more compact and lighter-weight drone for smaller sites or organizations taking first steps with a drone-in-box program, or larger sites that need greater deployment flexibility. The company explains Air Mobile is ideal for linear inspections, such as pipelines and power lines, and can monitor short-term projects across multiple sites.

Percepto Air Max and Air Mobile drones are stored permanently onsite within their respective Percepto Bases. “Percepto AIM 2022 and the new Percepto Air line of drones, together with the most advanced change detection solution, alert and prevent failures and downtime within diverse use cases across many industries,” said Percepto CEO Dor Abuhasira. “Percepto AIM provides the most advanced and comprehensive enterprise inspection software that offers a complete data workflow – from capture to insight.”

(Image: Percepto)

GAMA Q3 aircraft shipments and billings report

General Aviation Manufacturers Association on November 18 released its report of general aviation aircraft shipments and billings through the third quarter of 2021. Turboprop, business jet and helicopter deliveries increased during the first nine months of 2021 as compared to the same period of 2020, according to the report, while piston airplane unit shipments were down slightly.

“The general aviation manufacturing industry has shown perseverance with continued growth, all while still navigating pandemic-related setbacks, including ongoing supply chain and workforce challenges,” said Pete Bunce, President and CEO, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). “Despite the constraints imposed by shortages of parts and people, our manufacturers and maintenance providers are working hard to meet the growing demand for both new and used aircraft, which we obviously welcome and embrace. Our members are also leading the way in new innovations and technologies, which will shape the future of aviation. The first nine months of 2021 have shown great progress and we look forward to seeing how the year closes out.”

Aircraft shipments through the third quarter of 2021, when compared to the same period in 2020, saw piston airplane deliveries decrease by six units, with 895 airplanes; turboprop airplane deliveries increased 40.6 per cent, with 357 units; and business jet deliveries increased 15.9 per cent, with 438 units. The value of airplane deliveries through the third quarter of 2021 was $13.4 billion, an increase of approximately 13.0 per cent.

Turbine helicopter deliveries through the third quarter of 2021, when compared to the same period in 2020, saw an increase of 23.5 per cent, with 410 units; and piston helicopter deliveries saw an increase of 24.8 per cent, with 131 units.

(Image: General Aviation Manufacturers Association)

Floatplane collisions in Tofino harbour ignite safety concerns

Traffic from boats and aircraft in the Tofino harbour has become a heightened concern after two float plane crashes occurred in three months this year. (Photo: Melissa Renwick)

— By Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa

When a Tofino Air floatplane struck an Ahousaht First Nation water taxi in the Tofino Harbour on Oct. 18, vessel operators started raising questions over the lack of regulation in the open water.

The incident triggered Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) President Judith Sayers, who was inside an Atleo Air floatplane that flipped after hitting a sandbar upon takeoff in the harbour less than three months prior.

“I still have a couple of physical injuries that I’m working through,” she said. “It was a very traumatic experience to have to go through.”

Sayers has since committed herself to advocating for changes in regulation and safety standards in the harbour.

“I don’t want anybody else having to go through something like this because of inefficient laws,” she said.

Ken Brown witnessed the October collision near the First Street Dock. He’s now “nervous” to operate his own Ahousaht water taxi business, which transports Ahousaht members between their home on Flores Island and Tofino.

“I would like to see something put in place for safety,” he said. “Floatplanes land right in the traffic that’s coming in and out of Ahousaht and Opitsaht.”

One solution, he said, would be to have a designated landing strip for planes so “they’re not in the line of fire with boats.”

“We have to meet halfway,” he said.

Josh Ramsay, Tofino Air owner and operator, said the airline has been “analyzing the traffic congestion” and boat speeds in the harbour to ensure they’re safely operating alongside the other operators using the harbour.

Since the incident, Ramsay said the company’s flight crew, office staff, as well as maintenance and management employees received emergency training that goes beyond the company’s annual Transport Canada approved training program.

“Tofino Air has been operating in this harbour for over 40 years with this being our first incident,” said Ramsay. “We are working in conjunction with harbour users and the appropriate regulatory authorities to create a safer harbour.”

A local committee of pilots, commercial fishermen, charter operators and harbour users was formed after the incident, according to the Tofino Harbour Authority (THA). Meeting over Zoom, stakeholders are invited to discuss safety concerns.

“Tofino Air is advocating for the installation of an aircraft activated strobe light in the harbour to indicate pending aircraft movement, and a speed limit for when aircraft 1/8s 3/8 are taking-off and landing,” said Ramsay.

THA has jurisdiction over the federal facility at the Fourth Street Dock, but doesn’t have jurisdiction over the marine traffic traveling through the Tofino Harbour or Clayoquot Sound, said THA Manager Kevin Eckert.

“All we can really do here is educate people that use the facility,” he said. “But once they’re off the dock, we have no right to tell them how to operate their vessel.”

Eckert said the RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard do not regularly monitor the harbour for safety.

“It’s a very busy part of the coast,” he said. “We would be better off with someone, at least one person, who has the authority to do something — either hand out fines, or stop people on the water who are operating their vessels unsafely.”

The Canadian Coast Guard station in Tofino is a search and rescue station and does not regulate traffic within the Tofino area, according to a spokesperson for the federal agency.

“Similar to most harbours on the Pacific Coast, Tofino does not have a regime in place to actively manage vessel or aircraft movements,” said Transport Canada. “Vessel operators or aircraft pilots are required to follow safety regulations made under the Canada Shipping Act or Aeronautics Act.”

Because the harbour is considered “open water,” Tofino RCMP Const. Daniel Mcintosh said “there’s no actual monitoring of what’s going on out there.”

While he said it would be “nice to be able to get out more often,” he doesn’t think it’s needed.

“It’s like the highways,” Mcintosh said. “There’s not always somebody out there 24 hours a day. We do what we can when we can and respond to complaints and concerns whenever they come in.”

Floatplane operators and Transport Canada don’t take accidents lightly, said Eckert.

“For there to be two accidents in the last three months is pretty much unheard of,” he said. “There are actions taking place. There’s momentum.”

Transport Canada said their efforts to “improve transportation safety are ongoing.”

These include amendments to the Canadian Aviation Regulations in 2019 that “strengthen the safety of seaplane passengers and crew.”

“As safety is a shared responsibility, Transport Canada encourages seaplane pilots to consider the limitations of other craft on water before they take off, land or taxi,” Transport Canada said. “It is the pilot’s responsibility to fly safely in any weather condition.”

After the October collision, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) deployed a team of investigators to Tofino.

TSB spokesperson Chris Krepeski said the investigation is still in the early stages and could take around 450 days to complete.

“If there’s a significant systemic safety deficiency that requires attention, we don’t hesitate to communicate those before the investigation is completed,” said Krepeski.

Similar to Victoria, Sayers said she would like to see Tofino’s harbour be re-designated to an airport.

“Victoria has been a destination for commercial seaplane traffic since 1920, when the first mail flight arrived from Seattle,” said Transport Canada.

As the harbour became increasingly busy over the following decades, Transport Canada said they conducted several risk assessments that determined the need to “more closely regulate seaplane traffic in the Victoria Harbour.”

“This led to the certification of the Victoria Harbour Airport under the Civil Aviation Regulations in 2000,” said Transport Canada. “Victoria Harbour is the first certified water aerodrome in Canada and is the only water airport in the country that is certified in this manner.”

Tofino is currently designated as a water aerodrome.

In 2019, Transport Canada developed a Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) to address water airports. They are now in the “advanced stages of finalizing water airport regulations.”

According to the NPA, one option would be to require that all water aerodromes become certified as a water airports if they are located in “the built-up area of a city or town, or have a scheduled passenger service.”

Both plane collisions in the Tofino Harbour involved Nuu-chah-nulth members. Sayers said she wants to ensure plane safety “is at its highest” and needs to see more than a list of recommendations from the TSB.

“There has been a lack of follow through by Transport Canada,” said Sayers. “It’s very concerning… the safety of our people is the most important thing. We use water taxis and floatplanes to travel to get to our communities. They’re just necessary.”

DJI introduces Mavic 3

DJI on November 5 introduced its new Mavic 3 folding drone, described as the most comprehensive improvement to the drone series in three years. Redesigned from tip to tail, Mavic 3 includes a 4/3 CMOS Hasselblad camera and 28x hybrid zoom camera, as well as omnidirectional obstacle sensors with a maximum 200-metre range and redesigned batteries that provide up to 46 minutes of flight time.

Mavic 3’s upgraded hardware and software can process 5.1K video at 50 frames per second with heightened low-light sensitivity, and support 4K/120fps for higher-quality results for slow-motion footage. An enhanced Mavic 3 Cine edition offers Apple ProRes 422 HQ encoding for video processing, with an internal 1TB SSD onboard for high-speed data storage.

“Creating the Mavic 3 was an arduous journey for our engineers who tackled complex technical problems to serve the goal that the Mavic series has always met – build professional-quality imaging and flight technology into a compact consumer drone,” said Ferdinand Wolf, Creative Director, DJI Europe. “The result is incredible. Mavic 3 enables users to effortlessly make epic shots without compromising on small size, stunning performance, pervasive flight safety, and dazzling image quality.”

DJI explains it pioneered the folding drone category in 2016 with the launch of the original Mavic Pro, which for the first time put professional-quality imaging in a body that could fit in a backpack. Two years later, Mavic 2 Pro launched DJI’s collaboration with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad, integrating a one-inch sensor.

DJI Mavic 3’s customized L2D-20c aerial camera embeds a professional-grade 4/3 CMOS sensor with a 24mm prime lens in a sleek and compact form. Hasselblad standards for hardware performance and software algorithms allow it to shoot 20MP still images in 12-bit RAW format and videos in 5.1K at 50fps, 4K at 120fps.The higher video definition creates smoother footage and more generous cropping possibilities and allows for slow-motion video at 120fps.

Weighing just 12.5 grams, the 24mm equivalent autofocus prime lens has an 84° FOV to capture more details with sharp clarity. Mavic 3’s second camera features a 162mm tele lens with 28x Hybrid Zoom (digital + optical) and aperture of f/4.4 that can freely bring distant objects visually closer, offering the user more dynamic perspectives and creative possibilities at a distance. The new Vision Detection Auto Focus technology for quick focusing allows the Hasselblad camera to work with multiple vision sensors on board to capture distance data to optimize focusing speed.

The Mavic 3 Standard version retails for US$2,199 and includes Mavic 3 drone × 1, Intelligent Flight Battery × 1, RC-N1 Remote Controller × 1, RC-N1 Cable × 3, Battery Charger × 1, Storage Cover × 1, Propellers (pair) × 3, and other essential items. The DJI Mavic 3 Fly More Combo retails for US$2,999 and includes Mavic 3 drone × 1, Intelligent Flight Battery × 3, RC-N1 Remote Controller × 1, RC -N1 Cable × 3, Battery Charger × 1, Battery Charging Hub × 1, Storage Cover × 1, Propellers (pair) × 6, ND Filters Set (ND4\8\16\32), Convertible Carrying Bag × 1, and other essential items. The DJI Mavic 3 Cine Premium Combo retails for US$4,999.

(Photo: DJI)

AOPA survey finds older pilots experience negative treatment from insurance companies

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association recently conducted a survey of pilots and aircraft owners across the United States, confirming what the association has been hearing from many members for several years: Pilots above 70 years of age, who are just as safe, current, and proficient as any others, continue to find their insurance policies unceremoniously dropped or canceled, or much more expensive.

COPA Members can view COPA Flight’s August 2021 issue for an article by Steve Godfrey, who outlines this issue in Canada with solutions for those over 70 years of age.

The AOPA survey was sent to more than 30,000 pilots and aircraft owners. Findings from the survey include:

• Pilots older than 70 have flown an average of nearly 70 hours in the past year (compared to a recent survey of AOPA members that found more than half of pilots were flying less than 50 hours);
• Respondents who are 70 or older were no more likely to have been involved in an accident in the past five years than younger pilots;
• More than 75 per cent of the surveyed pilots over 70 have an instrument rating, compared to 66 per cent under 70; and
• More than 50 per cent of the surveyed pilots over 70 have an airline transport pilot or commercial certificate, compared to 40 percent under 70.

AOPA notes, that while insurance premiums have continued to rise and older pilots are finding it more challenging to stay covered or get a policy, the general aviation industry in the United States just experienced its safest year ever, marking a 29-per cent year-over-year improvement in the accident rate.

Medical incapacitation continues to be among the rarest of accident causes, explains AOPA, with older pilots being engaged and actively working to stay proficient – those age 55 and older comprise more than 40 per cent of the total viewership of AOPA Air Safety Institute YouTube safety videos.

“We have looked at this issue from many sides, including a review of accident and incident data, and for some reason, carriers are not renewing policies or are quoting exorbitant premiums, even for pilots with impeccable safety and health records,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “These decisions are being made solely based on some arbitrary age, which doesn’t make sense.”

(Photo: Adobestock)

Skyservice expands to the United States

Skyservice Business Aviation on November 9 announced its expansion to four new locations in the Pacific Northwest on the United States. The company explains this will allow it to establish a significant physical presence in the United States to focus on fixed base operations, aircraft maintenance, charter flights, aircraft management, and aircraft on ground support services, among other offerings.

Leading Edge Jet Center (LEJC) will rebrand its facilities, services and teams at King County International Airport-Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, Redmond Municipal Airport and Bend Municipal Airport in Central Oregon, and Helena Regional airport in Helena, Montana under the Skyservice banner.

“We are delighted to bring Skyservice’s award-winning safety and service to customers in the Pacific Northwest as LEJC starts the development of a new 70,000-square-foot low carbon hangar and executive terminal space at King County International Airport-Boeing Field,” said Benjamin Murray, President and CEO, Skyservice. “We strive to deliver an exceptional, bespoke customer experience across our platform and are committed to excellence and sustainability in all we do. We look forward to reaching even more customers, partners and communities with our distinctive value proposition as we accelerate the growth of our company.”

Earlier this year, Skyservice marked its 35-year anniversary after launching in 1986 in Montreal to provide regional fixed base operations. To celebrate this milestone, and in support of the regions impacted by wildfires in Canada, Skyservice donated to One Tree Planted to help reforest lost habitat in British Columbia. The company invited 35 of its employees from across the organization to plant trees in the community on October 6.

On the same day, October 6, Skyservice reinforced its commitment to environmentally progressive operations by becoming the first private aviation company in Canada to offer sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for its customers. AirSprint was set to become the first Skyservice customer to operate with SAF. Skyservice announced a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

(Photo: Skyservice now provides Sustainable Aviation Fuel)

Issue between Saugeen Municipal Airport Commission, local pilot continues

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

The ongoing dispute between Saugeen Municipal Airport Commission (SMAC) and pilot Phil Englishman has taken several twists and turns in recent weeks.

Englishman wrote a letter to the mayor and council of Brockton, noting examination of court documents indicated the Municipality of Brockton was the plaintiff in the court trespassing case. Englishman noted this clearly has legal implications for the municipality.

It should be noted the court decision completely exonerated Englishman.

Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody stated Tuesday, Nov. 9 that he’s contacted the courts and has been told by them the document to which Englishman referred contains a clerical error — it should have been the Crown vs. Englishman, not Brockton vs. Englishman.

The airport issue has been raised numerous times at meetings of Brockton council. Most recently, one council member asked for a list of how much SMAC has spent in the past year on legal expenses.

The issue has also involved another municipality. On July 9, a complaint was made by the chair of SMAC — Dan Gieruszak, who is deputy mayor of Brockton — to the integrity commissioner, against West Grey Coun. Rebecca Hergert.

The complaint alleged that “the respondent (Hergert) has continued to communicate with an individual or his lawyer, who is in a dispute which may result in litigation with the SMA, despite the decision and explicit direction by the SMA commission that all communication with that party should be directed through the chair to the SMA’s lawyer.”

Hergert was, at that point, the West Grey council appointee to SMAC.

A letter was sent Sept. 4 directing all members of SMAC to cease communicating directly with Englishman and/or his lawyer. The integrity commissioner found that Hergert nevertheless continued communication with the pilot and/or his lawyer.

The integrity commissioner determined there was a code of conduct violation and recommended that Hergert be reprimanded and should cease to represent West Grey on the SMAC.

In the meantime, Peabody has been examining the bylaw that governs the Saugeen Municipal Airport. He describes the bylaw as “a complete mess… the bylaw has to be fixed.”

The situation has been exacerbated by the fact an offer to purchase the airport was made to Hanover.

While the offer was turned down, it did raise the issue of the bylaw.

“We have to get this bylaw cleaned up (regarding) who has control over these assets,” said Peabody.

He noted that the airport is a valuable piece of property, and should a valid offer be made, “we need to get to the bottom of this. We need a bylaw that’s clear.”

In the meantime, Englishman has been blocked from accessing his hangar at the airport by large chunks of concrete. He’s becoming frustrated and would like the matter resolved before winter weather sets in.

He said in his letter to Brockton, “You have stated the SMAC is a completely separate body from the municipality and is not under your control. May I suggest that you gain some sort of control over this body/commission by ordering your road crew to proceed to the airport and remove the four concrete blocks in front of my hangar which are impeding my aircraft access and egress.”

Inside the Luxury Tax webinar

The Canadian federal government proposed a Luxury Tax on aircraft, automobiles and boats in its April 2021 budget, to be effective as of January 1, 2022. Ottawa plans to charge its Luxury Tax on new cars and personal aircraft priced over $100,000, and boats, for personal use, priced over $250,000.

After the successful snap Liberal election in September 2021, the proposed tax continues to be on the federal government’s slate. In fact, the election created more confusion around the Luxury Tax as it was held just days before a September 30, 2021, deadline for people and companies to provide comment.

The proposed tax has been under the radar for many. If enacted, however, it will have a far-reaching impact on the Canadian aviation industry.

On November 30, Wings magazine, the publishing partner of COPA, is hosting a free one hour webinar with tax and aviation lawyer Steven Sitcoff, who is a partner with national law firm McMillan LLP. He provide insight into the proposed Luxury Tax and the potential implications for your business or planned aircraft investment.

Sitcoff is a highly experienced lawyer with a practice primarily focused on providing domestic and international corporations with proactive and practical tax planning solutions to assist them to further their business objectives. He has unique combined expertise in taxation and private aviation matters, and is frequently consulted by clients and aviation services firms across Canada to advise on tax-efficient acquisition and ownership structures for aircraft, to review aircraft ownership structures and usage policies for tax risk, and for representation in aircraft-related audits.

Stan Kuliavas, Vice President of Sales & Business Development with Levaero Aviation, will begin the webinar with a description of the current market reaction from the business aviation sector to the proposed Luxury Tax.

Visit the webinar site.

(Photo: Adobestock)