Category Archives: Important notice

Gliding Season Prompts Warning

Cadet gliding season is back and the Air Cadet League is reminding pilots to familiarize themselves with the procedures at the dozens of airports across the country that the training and demo flights are going on most weekends. Although many airports are in areas without much transient air traffic, a few in Ontario especially are in busy and complicated airspace and there have been some close calls with aircraft at the Markham training centre with “aircraft that blundered through the ATF area and through the circuit at circuit altitude, unannounced, operating to or from Buttonville and the Claremont Training Area or following Highway 48,” according to Capt. Craig McNeill, commanding officer of the Markham base.

McNeill has offered some tips for GTA pilots who might be flying through the area during the gliding season from April 14 to mid-June and from late August through mid-November

Markham CFS operates from April through mid-June and late August through mid-November
Operations occur only on: Weekends and holidays during Day VFR between 0800 and sunset, and occasional Friday afternoons during Day VFR until sunset.

All active operations are advertised by NOTAM and are included in the Buttonville ATIS.

The tow aircraft and up to two gliders will only be found in the red box bounded by Markham airport runway 09 / 27 centreline and the town of Stouffville McCowan Road and 10th Line. All operations are conducted from the surface to 3,500’ ASL

Glider and tow aircraft continuously monitor and transmit on VHF 122.8

The tow aircraft uses TCAS technology and will detect aircraft operating a transponder.

Markham Unicom or “Glider Ground” will provide GTGC operational status on VHF 122.8

During active operations, the tow aircraft and gliders remain in the north circuit – all other powered traffic remains in the southern circuit. Circuit joining via overhead is not authorized.

Markham is a PPR (Prior Permission Required) airport. Permission must be obtained from the airport operator by phone as per the CFS.

G7 Airspace Restrictions Set

A large swath of airspace in eastern Quebec will be affected by flight restrictions to accommodate the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec in early June. The Summit goes June 8-9 at Manor Richelieu, on the St. Lawrence River, but some restrictions will be in place as early as June 1 and as late as June 10. The restrictions will affect at least a dozen airports, seaplane bases and heliports and are complex and overlapping in nature. Some will also be designed to accommodate the comings and goings of heads of state and their entourages. Anyone who plans to fly anywhere near that area at that time should be thoroughly familiar with the areas under restriction and should check NOTAMs carefully at the time to make sure they haven’t changed.

As always, errant aircraft will be intercepted and if they don’t comply with the directions from military aircraft they can be shot down. “G7 Summit restricted airspace has been designed to allow the Department of National Defence (DND) to safely manage participating air traffic and to help ensure that non-authorized, non-participating air traffic will remain clear of the airspace surrounding sensitive G7 activities,” the AIP supplement detailing the restrictions says. “Restricted airspace activation will coincide with the arrival and departure dates of the visiting heads of state at Bagotville and Charlevoix and will also support increased air traffic in and out of Charlevoix in the week leading up to the event.” The supplement will be released March 29. It appears in English and French below.


COPA Wants Navaids Consultation

COPA is calling on Nav Canada to conduct “meaningful consultations with the GA community” over its navaid modernization program. In a letter to the corporation, COPA CEO Bernard Gervais called on Nav Canada to provide details of the program so stakeholders can determine how it will affect, particularly on matters of safety. “We see the timeline for a project of this magnitude is especially rushed and we are concerned that full consideration is not being given to the project’s overall impact on safety for all users of Canada’s airspace,” Gervais said.

COPA met with senior Nav Canada staff in October of 2017 to express concerns about the program, which will involve major changes to air navigation in Canada. In our view, for a legacy project of this magnitude, NavCanada should be directly consulting in an open and transparent manner with the user community across Canada and taking a proactive role to mitigate the obvious safety risks in all sectors.

The full text of Gervais’s letter is below.

I am writing on behalf of Canada’s General Aviation community to express our concerns about the proposed NAVAID Modernization Plan and the effect it will have on operations and the safety of flight for GA aircraft. While COPA does recognize the validity of a modernization program for our aging NAVAID network, we have yet to be presented with a full, comprehensive detailed project scope of what will be accomplished.

As we highlighted for you in our meeting of October, 2017, we see the timeline for a project of this magnitude is especially rushed and we are concerned that full consideration is not being given to the project’s overall impact on safety for all users of Canada’s airspace. In our view, for a legacy project of this magnitude, NavCanada should be directly consulting in an open and transparent manner with the user community across Canada and taking a proactive role to mitigate the obvious safety risks in all sectors.

We have not had any further follow-up from NavCanada on this proposal since our meeting in October and we feel the proposal has not been adequately presented to users for consideration. We expect NavCanada to fully engage with the user community and propose a plan that prioritizes the safety of all pilots in Canadian airspace as well as their passengers. 

We remain willing to assist you in conducting more than just information sessions, but meaningful consultations with the GA community. 

COPA Board Elections: Voting Ends April 2

The nomination period for COPA’s 2018 Board of Directors elections in BC, Ontario, and Quebec closed on February 8. We are pleased to announce the list of nominees in each region. Complete biographies were published in the March and April editions of COPA Flight, and are on our COPA Web site.

Voting commenced Wednesday, February 14th, at 12:00pm EST/09:00am PST and will end on Monday, April 2, at 12:00pm EDT/09:00am PDT. At that time, you can cast your vote using your membership number and password. Those wishing to vote by paper ballot can request one by contacting COPA: 613-236-4901 x107.

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  •  Joe Hessberger, Langley, B.C. (not seeking re-election)
  • Vacant

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  • Phil Englishman, Walkerton, ON (not seeking re-election)
  • Conrad Hatcher, Saint Catharines, ON (seeking re-election)
  • Cheryl Marek, Oshawa, ON (not seeking re-election)

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  • Jean Messier, Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC (not seeking re-election)
  • Jonathan Beauchesne, Montreal, QC (seeking re-election)

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Fuel to Flow: Imperial Resolves Avgas Issues

Imperial Oil said in early March that it intended to resume making 100 LL avgas after it resolved quality control issues that resulted in an interrupted supply to Canadian customers for much of February and March.

The company ordered a quarantine on all fuel shipped between Dec. 28 and Feb. 13 after tests revealed it might not meet conductivity standards which could lead to issues with capacitance-type fuel gauge sensors on aircraft and ground storage fuel tanks.

Imperial Oil said it had identified and tested all fuel in the field by March 8 and that 70 percent was fit for use. It had earlier said that the deficient fuel was unlikely to damage any aircraft or fuel dispensing equipment.

As those tests proceeded, the company was arranging for alternative sources until it could resume manufacturing and predicted that fuel supplies would return to normal by the end of March.

“This has been a challenging situation and we appreciate all of the patience, understanding and cooperation we have received from our customers, their resellers and from end users, said Imperial Vice President Jon Wetmore. “We recognize this situation has significantly disrupted the avgas flying community and we apologize for this.”

The affected fuel was shipped from the company’s Strathcona refinery in Edmonton to wholesalers supplying customers throughout Western Canada and in Eastern Ontario.

Many of the affected areas were in the grip of severe winter weather that minimized the impact on piston-engine customers but B.C.’s coastal areas were significantly affected. Several airports around Vancouver ran out of fuel and that grounded flight schools and other GA businesses. Some businesses arranged for fuel to be shipped from the U.S. but it was priced about 25 percent higher than the Esso product.

IFR – GNSS Equipment

By JC Audet

Last fall, we initiated a discussion on IFR topics, beginning with clarifying the IFR Flight Test Guide (Feb 2017) requirement (Aeroplane (b) on page 2) for an aircraft used for an IFR Flight Test to ‘’be equipped with GNSS receiving equipment … ‘’. COPA met with TCCA Commercial Flight Standards Branch and obtained an exemption to this rule in the case of private pilots doing an IPC on their personal aircraft when that aircraft is not equipped with GNSS. TCCA distributed the information to all the TCCA Regional Offices across the country, via an email dated 14 Nov 2017, for dissemination to all Pilot Examiners. As agreed with TCCA, after a suitable delay to ensure the information had reached all concerned personnel across the country, we distributed this information through our weekly eFlight as well as our COPA Flight magazine. As it sometimes happens, important information, and this particular exemption is important, does not always reach all intended persons in a timely fashion. Consequently, as pilots are trying to do their IPC, some encounter objections from their Pilot Examiner and inquire with us about this issue.

We have again confirmed with TCCA Commercial Flight Standards Branch and obtained a copy of the text of their 14 Nov 2017 email. The salient points of this email are reproduced here.

’Following discussion with COPA, we have agreed that holders of private pilot licenses completing an IPC on their own aircraft are not required to demonstrate a GNSS approach if the aircraft is not equipped to do so. If, on the other hand, these pilots rent an aircraft equipped with a GPS or pass the IPC in an FTD, they will have to demonstrate their ability to conduct a GNSS approach. This applies to private pilots passing the IPC on their own aircraft, not to private operators who still have to comply with the requirements of CAR 604.’’

COPA and TCCA understand that this information might not have reached all concerned and we will cooperate in facilitating this communication. Should you encounter any problem with your IPC relating to this exemption, we suggest that you first show this text to your Pilot Examiner. If this does not work, contact this COPA office, by email jcaudet@copanational.org or phone 613-236-4901 x 111. All you need to do is to provide us the name of the Pilot Examiner; we will relay the information to TCCA Commercial Flight Standards who will rapidly address the issue.

Bringing New Technology in our Cockpit: Understanding Minor Mods

The findings of the US General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) has identified that the Angle-Of-Attack (AOA) indicator is a key safety enhancement to reduce fatal Loss-Of-Control – In flight (LOC-I) accidents in general aviation (GA).  The joint Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) and COPA General Aviation Safety Campaign (GASC) launched in June 2017 has reached the same conclusion with its review of recent Canadian statistics. In fact, the GASC strongly believes that the installation of an AOA indicator system is one of the best investments one could perform to enhance the safety of his or her GA airplane.  As a responsible and safety conscious pilot, you are might be considering the installation of an AOA indicator system in your type certified airplane, but are probably thinking that the cost and complexity of installing such a system is daunting.  In this case, please keep on reading…

The aviation industry, particularly with electronics, offers us an extensive selection of aviation products using modern technology. The current Canadian Aviation Regulations (CAR) appeared before this new technology arrived. These regulations, in many cases, have made it more time consuming and expensive to incorporate this new technology in the cockpit than may be desirable, even when the safety benefits that this new technology can offer would seem to be obvious. The COPA staff reviewed this situation with TCCA staff to determine possible ways forward. TCCA staff have advised that, for several of the latest “lifesaving technologies” that have been identified for GA, including AOA indicators, that the number of regulatory approvals required, with their associated time and cost, may be less than we expected. The appropriate TCCA staff has reviewed and accepted this article. We publish it for your information as well as to support you when discussing a potential new installation with your AME.

CAR 571 – Aircraft Maintenance Requirements provides regulations in respect of maintenance and elementary work performed on aircraft.  CAR 571.06 provides that each modification on an aeronautical product shall conform to the requirements of the relevant technical data. Aircraft modifications are classified as: either “major” modifications, which must be done in accordance with “approved data” or “specified data” as defined in CAR Standard 571.06; or “minor” modifications, which may be done in accordance with “acceptable data” as also defined in CAR Standard 571.06.  The definition of “major modification” is provided under CAR 101.01 as an alteration that has other than a “negligible effect on the weight and center-of-gravity limits, structural strength, performance, power plant operation, flight characteristics or other qualities affecting its airworthiness or environmental characteristics.”  The decision as to whether any particular modification proposed for a particular aircraft is classified as “major” or “minor” is up to the aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) that will need to sign the maintenance release, pursuant to CAR 571, following incorporation of the modification. The AME should refer to CAR 571 Appendix A for clear and easy guidance with respect to determining if the modification is major or minor.

The installation of some models of AOA indicator onto some general aviation airplanes may be found by an AME to be no more than a minor modification.  In these cases, the AME may accomplish the minor modification using an appropriate set of “acceptable data”, such as the AOA indicator manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular (AC) 43.13-2B Acceptable Techniques and Practices or as otherwise specified in CAR Standard 571.06(1).

Where a particular modification is deemed to be a major modification, the AME requires “approved data” as defined in CAR Standard 571.06(1).  Typically, approved data takes the form of a service bulletin from the aircraft manufacturer or a third party Supplemental Type Certificate (STC).  Where approved data does not exist for your particular airplane model and proposed AOA indicator combination, it may be time consuming and more expensive to have this data developed (by the aircraft manufacturer or a third party aircraft design engineering service) and approved by Transport Canada or its appropriately authorized aircraft certification delegate (e.g. Design Approval Representative (DAR)).

On March 31, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Policy Statement PS-AIR-21.8-1602 – Approval of Non-Required Safety Enhancing Equipment (NORSEE). This policy was intended to support the FAA’s objective “to encourage and enable voluntary safety enhancements” of the GA and rotorcraft fleets.  The policy provided criteria under which NORSEE could obtain a production approval under Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR), para. 21.8(d), without a corresponding specific installation approval (e.g. under an STC). Equipment approved as NORSEE may have a variety of uses including—

1. Increasing overall situation awareness;
2. Providing additional information other than the aircraft primary system;
3. Providing independent warning, cautionary, or advisory indications; and/or
4. Providing additional occupant safety protection.

Most NORSEE categories fall under the avionics, electronic instrument, and display categories.  AOA indicators may be manufactured further to the NORSEE policy so long as they are determined to be a minor change to a type design and whose failure condition is minor. It is further to this policy that many AOA indicator system kits are in production and are currently available for sale to owners and operators of GA airplanes.

In the absence of the FAA policy, manufacture of articles under 14 CFR part 21 is only permitted where a design approval has already been obtained, whether together with a Technical Standard Order Authorization (TSOA) or Parts Manufacture Approval (PMA), or through a type certification process. The policy alleviates both real and perceived challenges to incorporating safety advancements in the general aviation (GA) and rotorcraft fleets. The NORSEE policy was intended to reduce equipment costs by allowing applicants the flexibility to select various industry standards that suit their product, as long as it meets the minimum design requirements established by the FAA.  TCCA staff confirm that the installation of some of these products into a type certified GA aircraft in Canada can be done as a minor modification under existing regulations, and therefore may not require an STC or manufacturer’s service bulletin.

The FAA policy was aimed at supporting the objectives of the FAA-led international efforts to overhaul the airworthiness standards for GA airplanes through reorganizing 14 CFR part 23, EASA’s Certification Specifications CS-23, Transport Canada’s Airworthiness Manual (AWM) Chapter 523, and equivalent other foreign airworthiness authority standards. By restructuring 14 CFR part 23 and replacing the prescriptive design requirements with performance-based standards, these design standard amendments are intended to help get safety enhancing technologies into the marketplace quickly while reducing costs.  TCCA participated actively in the FAA Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) that lead to the amendments and is in the process of amending the AWM to align with the FAA’s amendment 23-64 to 14 CFR part 23. To view a short video on these internationally supported efforts to revitalize GA, please visit https://www.faa.gov/tv/?mediaId=1258.

The installation of an AOA indicator system in your certified aircraft could be an example of a minor modification. Searching the internet for AOA’s takes us to a well-known (at least to Amateur Builders) aircraft parts supplier. Their selection of AOA systems includes some STC’d AOA’s, but most are not STC’d. Be aware that an STC has applicability to only those aircraft models identified on the STC, so be sure that your aircraft is covered by the STC before you buy it.  Should you purchase an AOA for which installation on your aircraft model is approved by an STC, your AME should have no issue with the installation and maintenance release of your aircraft. If you choose an AOA that is not approved for your aircraft by an STC, then your AME will have to decide if this installation is a minor modification or a major modification. The factors affecting his decision will include the level of details and the quality of the installation instructions provided by the manufacturer; does your chosen AOA system interface with other systems on the aircraft and to what extent; does it have an FAA Approval Letter or Form, etc. The products offered by that supplier typically indicate what documentation accompanies the item; some even indicate that their product may be installed as a minor modification (always confirm with your AME) requiring only a Log Book Entry.

TCCA does recognize the installation of several products as minor modifications and intends on publishing an AC to clarify the regulation in respect of installation of NORSEE articles in GA aircraft. Pending the publication of such an AC, TCCA recognizes the accuracy and validity of the information provided in this article for the purpose of assisting aircraft owners in working with their AME’s in these circumstances. Mr. Blake T. Cheney, Chief, Aircraft Certification Standards at TCCA, has reviewed and significantly improved the content and accuracy of the information published here. We sincerely appreciate his contribution to this important aspect of aircraft operations.

Pointer ELT Support

By JC Audet

OPA extends gratitude for the many emails we received from across the country in response to our call for help with respect to the Pointer ELTs. The following three references were provided as good places to get support for your units. We publish these here for your convenience. We will update this list as we get more references.

HiTech Avionics & Instruments

Buttonville Airport, Hangar 5.

2833 16th Ave

Markham, ON L3R0P8


George Papachristos, President

Toll Free: 1-888-477-9675

Tel/Fax:  (905) 477-8032

Email: sales@hitechavionics.com

Web: www.hitechavionics.com

Select Aviation,

4789 Blvd Allard, Hangar #10,

Drummondville QC

J2A 2R8




Atlantic Avionics,

549 Barnes Dr,

Enfield, NS

B2T 1K3


Tel:   902 873 3534

HELP!!! Pointer Avionics ELTs

By JC Audet

With the demise of Pointer Avionics, numerous COPA members find it extremely difficult to obtain support for their Pointer ELT unit. As more and more of these units are coming up for battery replacement and/or recertification the problem will only grow in importance.

This is a call from COPA to our members asking to inform us if you have a Pointer ELT and if you have found a solution. The obvious solution for the aircraft owner is to purchase a new ELT, but this is not necessarily a favored solution. COPA is also calling out to the industry for the purpose of identifying if there is anybody who can jump into the fray and offer some solution in the form of support for these units.

If anybody could be in a position of providing such support or would know of some organization who could provide support, please contact COPA at operations@copanational.org