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7 things to do in Québec City this winter

Experience the magic of Québec City during the winter months. Here, the streets covered in snow create a whimsical opportunity for the perfect seasonal adventure. Fly in and out of the Neuville Airport and take advantage of COPA Flight 198’s courtesy car to get to and from your accommodations

Once there, make sure to add these seven winter activities to your Québec City itinerary.

1. Connect with local COPA Flights and board members

Connect with COPA Quebec board members Pierre Drapeau and Jonathan Beauchesne to learn more about aviation in the area.

Pierre is a private pilot with 750 hours of flying experience. Since 2007, he has been a COPA member and owned a Cherokee 140, a Mooney M20E which he has just sold, and a recently acquired Taylorcraft. Pierre also has 37 years of experience as an air traffic controller at Montreal Terminal.

Jonathan has served on the COPA Board of Directors since 2014. He has contributed to the defense of several airfields, including St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, St-Cuthbert, and St-Roch-de-l’Achigan (projected).

For contact information for COPA Flight chapters across Canada, visit copanational.org/copa-flights.

2. Spend a night in a hotel made of ice — Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel)

Did you know that Hôtel de Glace is the only ice hotel in North America? This fairytale-like masterpiece is made exclusively out of ice and snow — including the drink glasses — making it a truly unique overnight experience available only in the winter. Even if you can’t stay here overnight, you can still experience the renowned Ice Hotel by taking a day tour.

The themed suites showcase ice sculptures expertly carved into the walls by talented artists. The hotel even has a chapel that has seen numerous couples declare their love for one another over the years! The intricately carved ice sculptures and impressive architecture make Hôtel de Glace a winter experience you’ll never forget.

3. Wander through Vieux-Québec (Old Québec City)

7 Ways to Make the Most of Our Winter Wonderland | Visit Québec City
Photo credit: Destination Québec Cité

Take a walk-through Vieux-Québec, where cobblestone streets and charming European-like architecture create the perfect setting for a winter walk.

Explore Petit-Champlain, a pedestrian-only street with an array of unique boutiques and stunning architecture. Grab a bite to eat at one of the many pubs then tour the citadelle.

You can even go ice skating and cross-country skiing here! Walking around Vieux-Québec and finding its hidden gems is a can’t-miss experience when visiting Québec City.

4. Immerse yourself in culture

Take a break from the colder temperatures at one of the city’s many museums. Begin your cultural exploration at the Musée de la Civilisation, where the exhibits showcase Québec’s heritage and the evolution of its people, traditions, and innovations.

For art enthusiasts, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec is where you want to be, with an impressive collection of Québécois and Canadian art spanning centuries. Wander through the galleries, marveling at masterpieces that reflect the region’s artistic mastery.

To learn more about the province’s politics, visit the Assemblée Nationale du Québec. This historic parliamentary building not only offers a glimpse into Québec’s political workings but also boasts incredible architecture.

5. Take part in a dog sledding adventure

Photo credit: Au Chalet en Bois Rond

Glide your way through the snow on an unforgettable dog sledding adventure with Au Chalet en Bois Rond. Connect with the natural beauty of winter in a way like never before. The enthusiastic sled dogs will weave you through the snow-covered trails on the outskirts of the city, about 45 minutes from downtown.

Not only will you get the heart-pounding excitement of the ride itself, you’ll also get to spend the day hanging out with the dogs who are leading the way. When the ride is done, warm up with some well-deserved hot chocolate.

6. Hit the powder and ski or snowboard at Mont-Saint-Anne

Located just 30 minutes northeast of Québec City, Mont-Sainte-Anne provides the perfect landscape for skiing and snowboarding, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth. With breathtaking views of the Saint Lawrence River and well-groomed trails, you’ll enjoy the scenery as much as you enjoy the slopes.

If you don’t have your own gear, you can easily rent all the equipment needed. Not confident in your skills just yet? Sign up for a lesson and an expert will help you get started.

7. Get your maple fix at a sugar shack

Vivez l'expérience de la cabane à sucre - Au Chalet en Bois Rond
Photo credit: Au Chalet en Bois Rond

Sneak away from the bustling city and visit a traditional sugar shack, a small wooden house built for making maple syrup. Located just a short drive from the downtown core is Le Relais de Pins, a rustic sugar shack perfect for an authentic experience. The “sugaring season” takes place during March and April, but Le Relais de Pins offers maple syrup experiences year-round.

Enjoy a hearty meal and choose from favourites like French Canadian pea soup, warm maple ham, and meat pie — a maple-inspired meal awaits you. While you warm up from the cold and fill your belly, you’ll also be serenaded by lively folk music!

Québec City in winter is a magical destination with a never-ending list of activities to experience. From the awe-inspiring Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel) and many museums to the thrilling adventures of dog sledding and skiing, there’s no shortage of winter indoor and outdoor excitement here. Embrace the season, bundle up, and make the most of your winter getaway in Québec City!


COPA Member Profile: Brig. Gen. Paul Hayes

By: Phil Lightstone, Richmond Hill, ON

Brigadier General Paul Hayes (retired) has had a passion for flight since he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) at age 18 in 1951. Over his flying career, he has accumulated more than 8,000 hours flying military aircraft, helicopters and general aviation aircraft. Holding a commercial Class 1 IFR pilot’s licence, Paul continued to fly a Cessna 182RG up until the last few years, flying about 100 hours per year. Paul is a member of COPA, AOPA, EAA and is a Past Director and Chairman of COPA.

At the end of grade 12, Paul joined the RCAF Auxiliary as a member of 411 Fighter Squadron in Toronto as a summer job, training initially as an Airframe Technician. After graduating high school, he was recruited by the RCAF regular forces and began flight training on the Harvard MK2. Paul grew up in a single parent home, with two younger sisters. Paul recounts, “My father died when I was in high school. He was a heavy smoker and smoked three packs a day, passing away at 48 years old from heart failure, when I was 15 years old. My mom was not totally happy about me joining the Air Force, mostly concerned about the potential hazards of flying.”

In the summer of 1953, Paul graduated his flight training courses, received his wings and was commissioned as a Flying Officer (a war time rank). He transitioned to jets in the fall of 1953, flying Vampires, a dynamic single seat jet fighter. Transitioning from the piston powered Harvard to the Vampire required studying the Vampire flight manual, writing an exam, successfully completing a blindfolded cockpit test, followed by starting the engine and going flying.

Paul enrolled at the University of Toronto (University College) and graduated in 1956 with a B.A. in Geography. He began flying general aviation aircraft in 1954 having been checked out in both a Piper Cub and an Aeronca Champ by Marion Orr (a distinguished WWII WAF pilot) at the Maple Airport. Paul had a number of University of Toronto (UofT) friends who he wanted to take flying, however, civilian passenger flights in military aircraft were frowned upon.

Paul was able to transition his military licence to a civilian licence through visiting Transport Canada with his logbook. He had over 700 hours and was interviewed by a TC inspector and paid an administrative fee of $25, receiving a commercial IFR licence.

While attending UofT, Paul flew out of Canadian Forces Base Downsview, accumulating close to 300 hours annually flying weekends and in the summer. In the summer of 1956, he was checked out in the T33 jet trainer and Sabre jet fighters. After completing his university degree, the regular Air Force recruited him with an operational posting to fly North American F-86 Sabres in Germany.

In the summer of 1957, Paul was posted to 422 RCAF Squadron in Baden Germany, spending 3.5 years. Paul then spent close to three years with the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), 73 Wing, teaching jet fighter tactics in Sabres. The Luftwaffe had purchased 250 Sabres from Canada, all built by Canadair in Montreal. Paul transitioned 50 German pilots onto the Sabre, 15 of whom had been WW2 Luftwaffe fighter pilots.

Paul returned to Canada in the spring of 1964 as a Captain and was assigned to an administrative ground position. During the Cold War, the RCAF maintained an operational readiness status through ensuring that all pilots kept flying. Flying 100 hours per year ensured that he kept all his ratings. Posted to western Canada, Paul flew T33s out of RCAF Station Gimli MB, while rotating through a variety of ground postings. Paul was posted to Gypsumville MB, a new DEW Line radar station located north of Winnipeg. To keep his flight hours up, he would drive to Gimli and fly T33s to various military Air Bases in Canada.

He subsequently rejoined 411 Squadron and later became the Squadron Commanding Officer. In 1980, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and appointed as the Commander of the Air Reserve Wing in Toronto, which included both 400 and 411 Squadrons, and was assigned the responsibility of converting both Squadrons to tactical helicopters, in support of Army field operations.

Paul was promoted to Brigadier General in 1987 and posted to Winnipeg, the RCAF’s Air Command headquarters. As Commander of the Air Reserve Group, Paul commanded 2,500 people, encompassing 8 flying squadrons, plus other support units. His day-to-day activities included monitoring the performance of NATO, NORAD and army helicopter missions. Paul saw lots of travel, living in Toronto but worked from his HQ in Winnipeg. With operational support units in Germany, Paul frequently travelled to Germany. He was part of the Department of Defense’s Strategic Planning Group, reporting directly to the Commander of the Air Force Lt General Fred Sutherland. Paul continued to fly during his administrative postings with his last six trips in the Air Force in the back seat of CF18s. Paul retired from the Canadian military in 1990 but stayed involved with assignments in a couple of important honourary positions.

Military Aircraft Hours
Harvard 600
Vampire 400
T33 900
Sabre 1,800
Beech 18 (C45) 400
Otter – wheel, ski, float 2,100
Helicopter 1,000

In addition to the military aircraft listed in the above table, Paul has about 800 hours in various civilian aircraft.

Paul was active in AeroCan Aviation Specialists, an aeronautical consulting company, which he co-founded in 1983. He worked on a variety of aviation consulting projects encompassing airport design, analysis of operational requirements, consulting with airline manufacturers and mobile telecommunication companies (ensuring that the placement of new cellular towers do not infringe upon airport flight paths).

Paul was an active member and past president of the Buttonville Flying Club, and Director of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association sharing his experience with both experienced and new pilots, both in the hangar and in the air. During the last decade of his life, Paul maintained his flight skills and proficiency through flying a Cessna 182RG on a regular basis.

National Association of Flight Instructors Plans Educational Sessions at SUN ‘n FUN

― By: NAFI 


Hundreds of members and guests of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI) are planning to visit the association’s activities here March 28 to April 2 at Lakeland Linder International Airport for the SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo, Florida’s largest convention.

NAFI’s formidable presence will highlight its planned flight instruction safety and business summit scheduled from Oct. 24 to 26. NAFI’s inaugural summit in the fall will also be held on the SUN ‘n FUN campus. Attendees at the SUN ‘n FUN this month can also register for the fall summit online below and at NAFI’s booth at the fly-in and airshow. NAFI’s exhibit will be in Hangar A, Booth 077.

The booth is staffed by NAFI volunteer board members, including Chair Karen Kalishek, Secretary JD Debosky, Chair Emeritus Robert Meder and Board Member Victor Vogel. They will be in Lakeland throughout the event to showcase NAFI’s programs, benefits, and networking opportunities. In addition, existing members and new members can renew or join NAFI at a discounted rate during the show.

Register at NAFI Summit 2023 | Become a Better CFI  for NAFI Summit: Flight Instruction Excellence, to be held October 24-26 at the SUN ’n FUN Museum at Lakeland Linder International Airport (KLAL). The summit will host current and prospective certificated flight instructors, leaders in aviation, industry advocates, government representatives, and media. Early bird rates are in effect until July 1: $250 for NAFI members, $310 for non-members. NAFI and SAFE Master Instructor rates are $199.

(Photo: Phil Lightstone)

Webster Trophy applications open for 2023

The Webster Memorial Trophy Competition has opened the application period for the 2023 program, which is set to take place August 21 to 26, 2023, at the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre, in Waterloo, Ontario. To be considered for this year’s National Finals, a process that begins with regionals, applications must be submitted before midnight on June 15, 2023.

Year 2022 saw the return of the competition to determine Canada’s top amateur pilot following the global pandemic, with a high level of competition at all stages. It was won by Harmeet Garg of Southern Interior Flight Centre, finalist for the Western Canada region.

Garg wins Webster Trophy as Canada’s top amateur pilot

“We’re delighted to host the prestigious Webster Memorial Trophy Competition this year and look forward to welcoming the finalists and Webster Team to WWFC,” said Bob Connors, General Manager of the Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre.

Organizers of the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition note the 2023 program will include updates and modernizations to continue to honour John Webster’s memory and the traditions of the competition. “By working through our operational pause during the global pandemic and collecting feedback from our 2022 qualifying and competition processes, we have identified more ways to develop the competition to reach a more a contemporary audience while continuing to honour our traditions,” said Laura Matheson, Webster’s National Administrator for 2023. “The 2023 rulebook will be released shortly, reflecting these changes.”

The annual Webster Memorial Trophy Competition has operated since its inception in 1932, interrupted only three times: First by World War II, again in 1954 due to rising administrative costs, and most recently in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The competition is named after John C. Webster Jr., a civilian pilot who participated in the 1931 Trans-Canada Air Pageant. In July 1931, John Webster flew his Curtiss-Reid Rambler representing Canada in the King’s Cup Air Race in England. A month later, while in St. Hubert, Québec, practising for an aerobatic display as part of the pageant, Webster was involved in a fatal aircraft accident. His father, Dr. John C. Webster, of Shediac, New Brunswick, established the John C. Webster Memorial Trophy Competition to perpetuate his son’s memory.

For more information visit www.webstertrophy.ca.

(Photo: Webster Memorial Trophy Competition)

Nielsen receives 2022 DCAM Award for flight instruction

Dale Nielsen was awarded the 2022 David Charles Abramson Memorial Flight Instructor Safety Award at the recent Air Transport Association of Canada conference in Vancouver, BC.

Nielsen provides his expertise with the fixed wing division of Chinook Helicopters, based in Abbotsford, BC. He was presented with the David Charles Abramson Memorial (DCAM) award by Adam Wright.

Organizers of DCAM note Nielsen has contributed and given back to the Canadian aviation industry over a career that has spanned more than 50 years and 19,000-plus flight hours. This includes time with the Royal Canadian Air Force, commercial operations, as a person responsible for maintenance, charter flying for medevac with 703, 704 and 705 operators, in addition to flight instruction.

He wrote flight safety columns for many years for COPA Flight magazine and produced a complete line of training manuals, while also serving as a mentor to new generations of pilots.

Sponsors and supporters of the 2022 DCAM Award include: Air Transport Association of Canada, Essential Turbines, FlightSafety Canada, Hamilton Watches/Swatch Group Canada, Helicopters magazine, Seneca College, Wings Magazine, Lost Aviator Coffee, Canadian Forces Snowbirds, COPA, and Aviation Solutions.

Nominations for the 2023 DCAN Award can be made at any time at the program’s website.

(Photo: Adam Wright, DCAM)

Drones with morphable wings

Aerodynamic representation of the UAS-S45 wing with and without deformation. (Image: SUBSTANCE, École de technologie supérieure)

— By Luc Boily

In its scientific news and innovation SUBSTANCE bulletin of November 8, 2022, the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) of Montreal included a research article published on October 26 entitled New morphing wing technologies for the drones of the future. You read correctly!

According to the authors, Musavir Bashir, Simon Longtin-Martel, Ruxandra Botez and Tony Wong (from the Canada Research Chair in Aircraft Modeling and Simulation Technologies), morphing wings allow an aircraft to fly more efficiently than fixed wings. Such a property allows the wing to change its geometric shape in flight and maximize the aerodynamic performance of the aircraft.

Obviously, morphing wing technology presents several challenges, but its designers believe that it will play an important role in the future of aviation, due to its increased fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The concept developed by the researchers is the aerodynamic optimization of the deformation of the leading edge of the nose (DNLE – for Droop-Nose Leading-Edge) on a well-known drone: the UAS-S45.

To help reach their goal, the researchers leveraged an innovative algorithm called Black Widow Optimization (BWO). They have thus succeeded in improving aerodynamic performance while minimizing drag and maximizing aerodynamic endurance in the cruise flight phase. Numerical studies have validated the effectiveness of the optimization strategy, namely a reduction in drag of nearly 12.18 per cent and an increase in aerodynamic endurance of nearly 10 per cent. These results indicate how the leading-edge morphing wing can improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the UAS-S45 airfoil.

“Morphable wing technology is the future of aeronautical design. Drones could fly efficiently in various conditions by changing the shape of their wings during flight, like birds,” reads the conclusion of the scientific article. Crumbling wing technology optimizes fuel efficiency and handling. The DNLE optimization was designed to increase the aerodynamic performance of the UAS-S45 in the cruise phase for an angle of attack of 2°. The DNLE optimized airfoil demonstrates a drop in drag coefficient to 0.00678 compared to the reference airfoil. In addition, up to 15.22 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency has been achieved by increasing the lift-to-drag ratio for the UAS-S45’s optimized airfoil.


Northern Lights Elsie MacGill Awards Gala

— By Gus and Clara Corujo

The 13th annual Elsie MacGill Award Gala was held at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel on Saturday, October 22, 2022. The Elsie MacGill Awards program was established in 2009 by the Northern Lights Aero Foundation.

Named after aviation pioneer and human rights advocate Elsie Gregory MacGill, the awards program recognizes eight women across seven categories, including: Business, education, engineering, flight operations, government, trailblazer and two rising stars.

The Northern Lights Aero Foundation goal is to bring more recognition to women doing incredible work in aviation and aerospace in Canada. Below are this year’s Elsie Recipients:

Business Award – Arielle Meloul-Wechsler, Air Canada Executive Vice President

Education Award – Stéphanie Angrand, instructor, Canadian Forces leadership school

Engineering Award – Damineh Akhavan, CEO of Global Women in STEM

Flight Operations Award – Kim Winsor, Air Canada training Captain

Government Award – Gisele Garceau, professional engineer and commercial pilot

Trailblazer Award – Marlene Shillingford, Chief Warrant Officer, 2 Canadian Air Division

Rising Star Award – Donya Naz Divsalar, CEO Caidin Biotechnologies

Rising Star Award – Zainab Azim,future astronaut Virgin Atlantic

For more images from this event, visit Gusair.com.



CHAA banquet held in Tillsonburg

— By Gustavo and Clara Corujo

The annual Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association banquet was held at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 153 in Tillsonburg, Ontario, on Saturday, October 15. One of the most anticipated events for the association finally returned since the pandemic and came back stronger than ever.

This year’s event included the introduction of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association’s (CHAA) 2022 Board of directors, slideshow, awards presentation, ticket sales, fundraising auction, and silent auction. A special slideshow tribute was presented for the members who lost their lives over the past couple of years.

This year guest speaker was Ted Barris, who is the author of the books Behind the Glory, Battle of the North Atlantic and The Great Escape, among others.

A special thank you to all the volunteers who worked tirelessly and made the event a success and Tillsonburg Legion Ladies Auxiliary for providing a wonderful dinner service that we all enjoyed.

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Association is a non-profit organization, founded in 1985, to acquire, preserve, restore, maintain, display and demonstrate the Harvard aircraft and other aircraft associated with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

For more photos of the event, visit Gusair.com.

Huronia Airport Fall fly-in

— By Gustavo Corujo

The 2022 edition of the Huronia Airport Fall Fly-in and Open House was held on Saturday October 1. The event was sponsored by Huronia Airport and the Midland-Huronia Chapter of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association.

Located four nautical miles south southwest of Midland, Ontario, the airport saw a great turn out of visiting and local aircraft. It attracted large numbers of visitors driving in as well. Xstream Sport Aviation offered introductory flights all day. ZENAIR opened its doors to visitors from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, with two guided tours offered during the day.

For more photos of the event, visit Gusair.com.

Unions demand return of detained flight crew

By Christopher Reynolds

CP – Unions are calling on the federal government to secure the return of five Canadian airline employees detained in the Dominican Republic. The flight crew has been held for more than 40 days after it discovered 200 kilograms of cocaine in the plane’s avionics bay and reported it to police in Punta Cana on April 5, say three labour organizations representing 93,000 aviation workers.

The Air Line Pilots Association, the Canadian Union for Public Employees and Unifor say their members were arbitrarily detained, threatened and prosecuted despite following Transport Canada protocols and international laws. The crew members – two pilots, two flight attendants and one part-time maintenance engineer on a Pivot Airlines charter flight – were jailed then later released on bail after surrendering their passports pending further investigation.

“They’re being essentially held in a foreign country without proper evidence being presented. We’ve asked the government to intervene and return them home,” pilots association president, Tim Perry, said in a phone interview from the Montreal airport. “We’ve heard credible threats against their safety.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and the Prime Minister’s Office have both acknowledged the situation to unions and airline, he added.

Global Affairs Canada spokesman, Jason Kung, said in an email last month the department is aware of the detention and that consular officials are providing assistance, but privacy considerations prevent disclosing more information. “It’s obviously a tense situation. Our member is certainly worried. He’s got a young family living at home,” said Unifor spokesman, Scott Doherty. “The indications are that this is cartel-related.”

The Dominican Republic prosecutor, which is appealing the five crew members’ bail, aims to hold the crew members in jail for more than 12 months, the unions said. “We are gravely concerned about our members and the entire crew, who have been held captive under tremendously challenging conditions,” Wesley Lesosky, who heads CUPE’s airline division, said in a joint release. “The fact is Canadian lives are at risk in the Dominican Republic. We need our government to act.”

That country’s National Directorate for Drug Control said in an April 6 release it found “eight black packages” in the avionics bay of a private plane bound for Toronto from Punta Cana International Airport. Each package contained 25 smaller packets, the agency said, amounting to more than 440 pounds of cocaine. The directorate said nine Canadians, one Dominican and one person from India were under investigation.