Category Archives: News

Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association open house

— Text and photos by Gus and Clara Corujo

On a rainy, cold, and windy day, the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association hosted its final open house fly day of the season.

With three Harvard aircraft and a rotation of five pilots, the CHAA succeeded in bringing broad smiles to their delighted passengers.

This all-volunteer organization is on a mission to acquire, preserve, restore, maintain, display and demonstrate the Harvard and other training aircraft associated with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan.

The Harvard takes flight today as both a symbol and a poignant reminder of all those who served to safeguard our freedom, serving as a living memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure we can continue to live in a free country.

A special thank you is extended to the Canadian Harvard Association and the dedicated army of volunteers who have transformed CHAA into a remarkable organization.

Bombardier ramps up EcoJet flight tests

As part of a new stage of the EcoJet research project, Bombardier is flying an 18-foot-wide test vehicle designed as a blended wing body aircraft, with the goal of reducing business jet emissions by up to 50 per cent. (Photo: Bombardier)

Bombardier at NBAA-BACE 2023 provided an update of its EcoJet research project, outlining progress in its second test phase and unveiling new images of an 18-foot-wide demonstrator. The Montreal aircraft maker explains its EcoJet research project aims to reduce aircraft emissions by up to 50 per cent through a combination of aerodynamic, propulsion and other enhancements.

The research into EcoJet technologies began 15 years ago and the project has materialized into a family of Blended Wing Body (BWB) test vehicles for flights to develop and mature relevant technologies. Bombardier explains analysis of the data gathered from the 18-foot-wide prototype will allows its engineering team to perfect its knowledge of new aviation control laws that are adapted to the radically different BWB geometry, bound to be applied to more sustainable, future business aircraft.

“Our engineers are eager to start working with the results yielded by this second phase of the flight test program,” said Stephen McCullough, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Product Development, Bombardier. “Building on the significant data drawn from the initial flight-testing phase, and now leveraging a model twice as large as the first prototype, we can further refine our analysis. With each additional experimental stage, we are paving the way for more sustainable aircraft designs and new technologies.’’

Comprised of several free-flight campaigns, the flight-testing program involving the BWB designed vehicles will be held over multiple years to generate increasingly precise data in representative environments. The 18-foot-wide prototype of Bombardier’s EcoJet research project flew for the first time in 2022. Bombardier explains its Research and Technology team started testing real life feasibility of their theoretical work back in 2017 with the first prototype, which had a wingspan of approximately eight feet.

Also at NBAA-BACE 2023, Bombardier celebrated the September 2023 delivery of its 150th Global 7500 business jet to an undisclosed customer. The Global 7500 was entered into service in 2018.

Flight Academy awarded collegiate status

— By Samantha Johnson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

South Alberta Flight Academy was awarded collegiate school status by Alberta Education in April. Superintendent Reagan Weeks gave a brief presentation to the board at the regularly scheduled Prairie Rose Public Schools meeting on May 9.

Even though PRPS knew the competition would be fierce, they put in an application because of the excellent program that has been created. Collegiate requirements included a collaboration between the school division and Super T Aviation, which is an accredited school within the province of Alberta in its own right. Thus, it can grant certifications to students.

The new collegiate will have three streams. In Grade 10, students will now take part in wilderness training, where they will experience a mock plane crash. Additionally, they will receive their radio licence along with numerous other certificates.

In year two, students will have additional opportunities they haven’t had previously and will have to make some choices. A new stream will be aeronautical mechanical engineering where the students will learn how to take care of airplanes and work through the certification process. The second stream is becoming a pilot and the third stream will be air traffic control and drones.

All students in the academy will be exposed to all three streams but to become fully certified, they will pick only one. Also being added is the option of taking a fourth year where students can complete their commercial pilot’s licence or complete the training to be certified as an aeronautical mechanical engineer.

Students in the three streams will help build the next plane. PRPS plans to sell the student-built plane every three years. The newly built one will be kept for students in the program and new graduates to use for getting their flight hours in, which will avoid incurring the high cost of rental fees.

(Photo: Facebook, South Alberta Flight Academy)

Remembering Eric Dumigan at Tillsonburg Regional

— Text and photos by Gord McNulty, CAHS Vice President

Family and friends of renowned aviation photographer Eric Dumigan gathered at Tillsonburg Regional Airport on September 23, to celebrate his life as he would have wanted. An exceptional turnout of people and planes spoke volumes about the esteem in which Eric was held throughout the aviation fraternity. The event was hosted by the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association in their hangar.

Bernadette LaBarre Dumigan expressed heartfelt thanks to everyone for their attendance and donations to a GoFundMe campaign after Eric died unexpectedly on September 25, 2021. In an emotional and touching moment, Bernadette said she would “rather have a short life with Eric than a long life.”

Speakers included longtime friend Rich Kolassa from New Jersey and Naomi Wadsworth of the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, NY, among others. In fact, Rich recalled he first met Eric at the Geneseo air show in 1998 and they would see each other at events four to six times every year.

Family members said they would miss Eric’s laughter and his mischievous smile. As they said, he was always in a good mood and invariably had a story or two.

Dave Rohrer and Leon Evans led CWHM representatives in the museum’s B-25 Mitchell. Hannu Halminen brought his striking P-51 Mustang in the colours of RCAF 424 Squadron. Alf Beam in his T-28 Trojan and a Viking Air DHC-2 Beaver also highlighted an array of visiting aircraft.
Well-known air show pilots attended as well as members of the Guelph Tiger Boys; the Jet Aircraft Museum; the Canadian Aviation Historical Society; the EAA Chapter 65 Golden Horseshoe; and more.

Six Harvards flew a missing man formation in a fitting tribute to Eric, remembered by Rich as “not only a great photographer but a great human being.” Eric may be gone, but his inspiring legacy will live on.

Last 2023 Trillium Aviators Fly In

— By Phil Lightstone (Photos by Ivan Kristensen)

The last Trillium Aviators Fly In for the 2023 season took place on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. Roughly 25 aircraft and more than 40 people flew into the Orillia Rama Regional Airport (CNJ4) from all over Southwestern Ontario. With two runways (12/30 is 3,000 x 75 feet asphalt and 04/22 is 2,000 x 150 feet) and a seaplane base, Orillia offers easy ramp access for both amphibious, fixed-wing and rotor aircraft the like.

(Photo: Ivan Kristensen)

A hidden gem at Orillia is the Tailwinds Bar and Grill. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating with the outdoor seating overlooking the lake. This venue provides customers with an outstanding view of the lake and seaplanes operating on the lake. The flight training unit at Orillia offers a seaplane rating course. Subsequently, the lake is quite busy with floatplane traffic. Enjoying a burger while watching the floatplanes take off and land is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Gail Karns, Lake Country Airways, reports: “The Trillium Aviators all looked like they had a great time, with severe VFR weather and super food at Tailwinds Bar and Grill”.

(Photo: Ivan Kristensen)

Through Ivan Kristensen’s tireless volunteer efforts, the Trillium Aviators will be entering their sixth season of gathering like-minded pilots and aviation enthusiasts for mid weak fly outs to destinations in southern Ontario. The fly outs range from bring your own lawn chair and lunch to delicious BBQ hosted by local COPA chapters. Ivan started Trillium Aviators in 2020 as a reaction to the Covid pandemic based upon fly outs which he experienced while vacationing in Florida. Ivan’s email list now has over 332 names. To date, Trillium Aviators have held 59 outings. Email Ivan at ivankris10@gmail.com to get added to the list or if you are interested in helping with event logistics and planning.

Brockton calls for a report on possible sale of Saugeen Municipal Airport

— By Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times (Photo: Pauline Kerr,  The Walkerton Herald Times)

BROCKTON – Brockton council gave the go-ahead for a detailed staff report on Saugeen Municipal Airport. The report will “evaluate the service and the potential implications of a sale or dissolution of the organization.”

The Sept. 12 council meeting was held in the downstairs hall at Elmwood Community Centre. One community member attended the meeting; also in attendance were SMA commission chair Dave Hocking, and vice-chair Tom Hutchinson. Carl Kuhnke, Brockton’s representative on SMAC, was absent.

The staff report presented at the meeting stated, in part, that “during budget deliberations… Brockton had the opportunity to consider the ongoing funding contribution made to Saugeen Municipal Airport, noting the large fundraising goals that had been included in the proposed budget. Council of the Municipality of Brockton had also identified the need to evaluate the service and the benefits it provides to all Brockton residents.”

Brockton council directed staff to send a letter to West Grey and Hanover, the other two partners in ownership of the airport, “inviting them to consider a sale of the asset, or a voluntary winding up.”

Staff have recommended preparation of a comprehensive report evaluating the service and the possible sale of the asset.

A copy of the letter sent to West Grey and Hanover, along with a piece of correspondence sent to Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody by Hocking, were included in the agenda package.

The letter to the other two municipalities, dated Sept. 8, commends the volunteers and pilots who have been instrumental in the continued operation of the airport since its beginning in 1990. The letter goes on to describe the financial challenges facing many municipalities, and the need for Brockton to “consider the long-term viability of this service (SMA) and its benefits to all Brockton residents.”

The letter further states, “In light of the current economic conditions, Council of the Municipality of Brockton believes that now is the time for… Brockton to consider the future of the Saugeen Municipal Airport, and whether it should continue as a municipally-subsidized organization, particularly given the jurisdictional challenges associated with the competing provincial and federal regulations.”

The letter invites West Grey and Hanover to join Brockton in undertaking “a public process to consider authorizing a sale” of the SMA, potentially to an entity that would allow the facility to continue as an airport, or to dissolve the partnership that owns the airport.

The first step, according to the letter, would be a staff report, either prepared jointly or separately, “on all aspects of the airport.” This process would be followed by a motion by each municipality on its intent regarding the future of the SMA.

If neither West Grey nor Hanover is willing to undertake this process, Brockton council “is of the opinion that the cost-sharing agreement that was put in place in 2005 should be reviewed and renegotiated in the near future as Arran-Elderslie is still mentioned as a party to the agreement.”

There was a brief discussion among the council members in attendance.

Coun. Kym Hutcheon said, “I do not like it that taxpayers continue to subsidize the airport.”

Coun. Tim Elphick stated he thought it “prudent” for council to review the service provided by the SMA. He also called for input from the SMA as part of the report.

Coun. Greg McLean said he “looks forward to a report that outlines the nuts and bolts” of the airport operation.

Coun. Mitch Clark made it unanimous, saying the report should provide a comprehensive look at “where the money is going,” and evaluate what service is being provided.

Diamond DA42-VI flying with Sustainable Aviation Fuel for first time

A Diamond DA42-VI training aircraft, powered by the Austro Engine AE300, carries out circuit of the aerodrome at Bremen airport. (Photo: Bremen Airport)

A Diamond DA42-VI training aircraft from the European Flight Academy, a brand of Lufthansa Aviation Training GmbH (LAT), on September 23 made a few circuits of the aerodrome at Bremen Airport using Sustainable Aviation Fuel for the first time. Diamond explains the flight was the result of intensive preparation between LAT, Diamond Aircraft, and the engine manufacturer Austro Engine.

Bremen Airport was chosen for this flight, as it counts among the first airports in Germany to stock and refuel with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) provided by World Fuel Services. This SAF is obtained from oil waste, aquatic plants and soil plants in Ghent, Belgium. In a first step, Diamond explains the oils and fats are hydrogenated and then refined in a similar way to fossil fuels.

The event is described as a kickoff for extensive tests with blended SAF. Unblended neat SAF has been proven to generate up to 80 per cent less CO2 emissions than conventional kerosene, explains Diamond., which anticipates increasing availability of ASTM D7566 SAF blends as a drop-in fuel for General Aviation in the coming years. The company plans to release the entire fleet for this fuel mix by the end of 2025. Significant market penetration of SAFs is expected by 2030 and availability of 100% pure SAFs without blending for 2050.

“SAF is the most immediately available key to reducing CO2 emissions in aviation,” said Robert Kremnitzer, Head of Design Organization at Diamond Aircraft Austria. “The majority of the Diamond fleet can benefit directly from using kerosene piston engines. We are very pleased to be able to demonstrate this as a model example through the cooperation with our partner LAT and Bremen Airport, and we are convinced that we will jointly pave the way here.”

Wheatland County approves amendments for De Havilland despite opposition

The De Havilland Field facility outside of Calgary in Wheatland County is to be the site of final assembly for the DHC-515 Firefighter aircraft, DHC Twin Otter and the Dash 8-400 aircraft. (Image: De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)

— By Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, DrumhellerMail.com

Wheatland County council passed second and third reading to make textual amendments to its West Highway 1 Area Structure Plan and Land Use Bylaw for the proposed De Havilland Field aircraft manufacturing facility following a public hearing during the regular Tuesday, August 15 council meeting.

These amendments will allow De Havilland Aircraft of Canada to construct a new aircraft manufacturing facility within the county, including an “associated aerospace facility and businesses,” as well as place shipping containers for temporary storage and “move parts and equipment to the site prior to construction of the aerodrome facility.”

“The developer, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, is proposing to construct a new aircraft manufacturing facility which will consist of an aircraft assembly facility, parts, manufacturing, and distribution centre, maintenance repair, overhaul facility, runway, and associated commercial and industrial uses,” explained Community and Development Services general manager Sherry Baers during the meeting.

Several stakeholders and ratepayers were in attendance during the public hearing portion of the meeting, with some stepping forward to speak both in favour and against the proposed De Havilland Field development.

Strathmore Wheatland Chamber of Commerce executive director Natasha Fyfe was among those who spoke in favour of the development. She noted the potential positive economic impacts the development could have for Wheatland County, between the creation of “hundreds of jobs during the development phase,” along with the estimated 1,500 jobs De Havilland Field would generate.

Along with the benefit of bringing jobs to the region, the proposed development will also help to attract new residents and businesses. Developer Neal Coulter, who is behind the Lakewood Meadows development in the Town of Strathmore, touted the neighbourhood development has seen a surge in purchases since De Havilland first announced its intention to build in Wheatland County, which has allowed the developer to not only sell some 30 lots in Phase 1 of the development, but has also allowed them to bring forward Phase 2; nearly 90 per cent of lots in Phase 2 have already been sold.

Despite support, several landowners were also in attendance and expressed their concerns for the De Havilland Field project.

A primary concern for some of the landowners was the loss of prime agricultural land, and impacts on property values for surrounding and adjacent landowners. While it is anticipated these values will increase, this could put a damper on those agricultural producers looking to expand in the area if land prices were to rise. It was also questioned what impacts having a development, which will include factories, will have on adjacent properties in close proximity to the facility, and the noise impacts of a proposed road diversion through the area.

Another concern was whether the economic benefits touted by those in support would actually have any impact on Wheatland County. One landowner expressed, with the City of Calgary and other municipalities in close proximity to De Havilland Field, whether any of the proposed 1,500 jobs at the De Havilland Field would go towards people living in Wheatland County or to people living in Calgary, Strathmore, or other municipalities.

Likewise, landowners expressed concerns, while De Havilland Field itself would bring tax revenue to Wheatland County that the municipality would miss out on other residential developments which will spring up in neighbouring municipalities like the City of Chestermere or Strathmore.

Following the public hearing, Wheatland County council provided some clarity to landowners in attendance. Council members expressed their gratitude for a business such as De Havilland considering the county, and explained the tax revenue and employment opportunities generated by the development could help retain youth who may otherwise leave rural areas due to a lack of job opportunities with room for growth and advancement. They also acknowledged that much of the land within Wheatland County is agricultural, but that diversification is necessary for the sustainability of the county due to a disproportionate amount of taxes received from agricultural properties.

Council gave second and third reading to both amendments to the West Highway 1 Area Structure Plan, redesignated lands for the De Havilland Field from the Agriculture General District to a Direct Control District, and made textual amendments to allow De Havilland to place storage containers temporarily on the parcels.

The sky’s the limit with Kids Fly at SMA Day

“It was fun,” say Shanika Latrell and Tatiana Emke, upon their return from a flight with pilot Jamie Hastings over Grey-Bruce during the Kids Fly at SMA event. (Photo: Pauline Kerr, The Walkerton Herald Times)

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

BROCKTON – Kids and airplanes – it’s an unbeatable combination, especially when you add sunshine, snacks and a lot of volunteers focused on making sure the kids have a great time.

Jack Zeinstra said the event had originally been scheduled for Aug. 26, but the weather was less than co-operative.

Aug. 27 was completely different, with sunshine replacing the storm clouds. Kids and their families lined up to register for a chance to fly, and pilots lined up with their planes on the runway, ready to go, as Friends of the Saugeen Municipal Airport held the annual Kids Fly at SMA event.

In all, six pilots volunteered their time to introduce kids – 122 of them, aged eight to 17– to flying. The pilots were Jamie Hastings, Tony Lang, Brenda Jolly, Ryan Dewsbury, Devon Allensen, and Rick Lark. Zeinstra said some of them were there for the full five hours – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, he said there were too many other volunteers to list, some from the airport and some from the community.

Each child went on a flight, not just for a couple of minutes but for a good 15 minutes or more, over Grey and Bruce counties. The youngsters were urged to bring along a camera to get some pictures.

After a safety briefing, they were escorted to their plane, and off they went. Upon their return, grins were the rule of the day. Each child was presented with a certificate giving the date of the event and the name of the pilot.

They also got a free hamburger, hot dog or fries from the Fired Up Grilled in Action Food Truck.

One of the “junior pilots” was Olivia Filsinger from Elmwood. The young hockey player (goalie) brought her camera to record the event. Her pilot was Devon Allensen. Olivia’s comment after landing was brief: “Awesome!”

Zeinstra said the event is held annually, usually just before children go back to school. The date for next year’s event hasn’t been set yet, but after the popularity of this year’s Kids Fly at SMA event, it’s sure to be a success.