President’s Corner – December 2017

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Forget About Flying High When You’re High

The message was clear from Transport Canada (TC) medical authorities and regulators during a presentation at the last Air Transport Association of Canada (ATAC) convention in Montreal early November. Even though marijuana will be legal in mid 2018, it will still be illegal to fly with any level of tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, the active substance) in the blood. None, zero, not even for recreational use. If a pilot were to be randomly tested and THC was found in his system, his license could be revoked for as long as it takes for all traces to be out of his system, time yet unknown, since it will depend on so many factors like his metabolism, THC concentration of what was consumed, etc. The underlying message is if you want to keep our wings, best rely on engine power to get high.

TC Language Testing Reform

Alleluia! After so many official and unofficial complaints, frustrations, near misses, incidents, go-arounds and possibly accidents, TC is finally reviewing the way language tests will be administered for pilots. As many of us are aware, mastery of either one of Canada’s official languages is not a given to some foreign students coming into the country for training. In fact, in some cases it is nowhere close to a functional level and that is a major safety issue, making us wonder how some of these students without basic understanding of aviation phraseology can feel safe up there. Not formalized or complete yet, the plan is for TC to stop testing individuals that have a degree (High School, College, etc.) in one of our official Canadian languages, but doing more exhaustive conversational testing with all foreign applicants instead of some other objective form which may have made it too easy, even conducive to knowing the answers ahead of the test. We will follow-up with TC authorities about the details and will keep you updated. Keep an eye on our E-Flight or our magazine.

COPA Convention And Fall Fly-In Coming Every Year.

Building on the success of our Kelowna convention last June and as requests from members over the years, we are hard at work in establishing yearly east and west conventions and trade-show, so there will always be something in your part of the country, every year. A spring convention with the AGM and a Fall Fly-in for the fun of it is the formula being looked at. Our big country allows for some general aviation fun in any part of the country more than just once a year.

Freedom to Fly Fund

Please be generous and help us help you in supporting our mission and replenishing the Freedom to Fly Fund. Don’t forget that for every 100$ you get a chance to win a beautiful Breitling Colt watch.

Season’s Greetings to all and as always, send comments to bgervais@copanational.org.