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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.

Region of Queens Municipality sells Greenfield airport

— By Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

The South Shore Regional Airport located in Greenfield has been sold to a private buyer.

The Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) was the owner of the property. Council made the sale official at the RQM council meeting April 12 after an in-camera session.

The airport has been sold to Liemke Ventures Limited for a total of $565,000 plus HST.

“I can tell you that when Mr. Liemke tells the community of his plans, they’re going to be very pleased. It will continue to operate as an airport, and there’s a good relationship with the South Shore Flying Club and the Nova Scotia Drag Racing Association,” RQM Mayor Darlene Norman said in an interview with LighthouseNOW.

“This is a great step forward to ensure the continuation and future development of an airstrip for the South Shore, which is what it was built for. The sale ensures that the airstrip will continue and grow and provide many new attributes to the northern part of Queens. It’s a good news story.”

Following an in-camera discussion about the sale, the council resumed the public session of the council meeting to vote on the sale. All councillors supported the sale with the exception of Deputy Mayor Kevin Muise, who commented before the final vote of councillors, “I am not in favour of this sale. I find the price is way too low. I know it is the appraised value, but I find it’s way too low.”

The mayor later commented in an email to LighthouseNOW that the airport was sold for the appraised value, “which, according to the Municipal Government Act, must be realized. Could we have requested more, yes, we could have, but why turn away the opportunity to finally put the airport lands into the hands of a business that wishes to see it grow and prosper. This sale has long-standing benefits which far outweigh the (money).”

She added that it was appraised recently by a third-party business that looked at comparable large land sales in the area and the value of the infrastructure.

The assessed value of the property and amenities was $826,000.

CEO and owner of Liemke Ventures Ltd., Gerd Liemke, said there were a couple of reasons for the purchase.

“Two key aspects convinced our investment. Primarily, the strategic location in between the South Shore together with the Nova Scotia growth rate and secondary, the foreseen demand of an alternative logistic hub for the seafood industry,” he said in an email.

Liemke Ventures Ltd. (LVL) is a private company founded in 2020 and registered in Nova Scotia. It is based in Hubbards and is a member of a German-based holding with its main focus in aviation and related business.

Liemke said the airport will remain a public airport and a long-term strategic growth plan is in place. A part of the plan is to install a JetA1 fuel station to serve turbine aircraft such as law enforcement, firefighters, EMS aircraft and midsize business jets. He also wants to build a hangar to accommodate private planes for visitors and local pilots and “reactivate the airport as a port of entry for U.S. travellers.”

His vision for the airport includes “becoming the first choice airport for aviators visiting the South Shore, become a logistic hub for the local seafood industry, contribute to the region’s economic growth, add value for the community of Queens, share and support the passion of flying and to serve rescue and law enforcement agencies.”

The airport has served the area for more than 50 years. Work began on a landing strip in 1965 with the first routine flights taking place in 1970.

It has been operated by members of the South Shore Flying Club (SSFC) an entity formed in 2015 and in 2016 the club signed a 13-year contract with RQM to manage it. The municipality had stopped supplying a manager for the airport several years earlier, according to Norman.

Peter Gow, president of SSFC, said the club is “pleased that things finally finished up. I am certainly looking forward to seeing what happens from here,” he said. “We’ve been doing what we can to keep it alive, and so far we’ve been able to do that, and now that Mr. Leimke is involved that only means bigger and better things. So we’re looking forward to that.”

The flying club boasts nearly 40 members.

Jack Johnson, the spokesperson for the Nova Scotia Drag Racing Association, said the club has been racing at the airport for the past 18 seasons. He indicated it has worked out a multi-year contract with the new owner.

“We look forward to keeping drag racing on the South Shore for many years to come. I think it’s the beginning of a strong relationship,” he said. The club has five scheduled race weekends this year beginning in May.

(Photo: South Shore Regional Airport)

Waterloo Warbirds markings changeover

Text and photos by Gustavo Corujo

In an effort to recognize the current turmoil enveloping Ukraine, Waterloo Warbirds changed the Soviet-era Russian markings on its classic Aero Vodochody L-29 Delfin and MiG-15 UTI to Ukrainian Air Force (L-29) and Polish Air Force (MiG-15 UTI).

“I feel this is the right thing to do at this critical moment in time,” said Richard Cooper, the owner of both aircraft.

More photos of the markings changeover process can be view here.