17 April 2015

Greenbank and a Tale of Three Airports

Photo: Greenbank Airport before all the fuss

By Gord Mahaffy, COPA Flight 70, Oshawa

If you think that the concern over the proposed amendments to the National Aeronautics Act is overblown, consider this: In the space of one week there were three public meetings focused on changes to airports in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The first was in Oshawa on March 26 to consider the new Oshawa business plan which includes the Oshawa Airport.

The second was in Port Perry on March 30 to consider improvements to the Greenbank airport. The third was on March 31 to present a plan for extending the runways at Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport (BBTIA). With the exception of a few COPA members all of these meetings were attended by people opposed to any kind of changes whatsoever and many of these people would like to see the airports closed.

There will be more comments on the developments at the BBTIA airport by members of COPA National but this article will be focused on Greenbank airport.

First some background on Greenbank. Up until 2008 it was owned and operated by Micky Jovkovic who was slowly making improvements. He planned to add hangars, pave the runway, and build a restaurant. Unfortunately Micky died tragically in August of 2008 and several years later the airport was sold to a numbered company.

While all this was happening another phenomenon was occurring driven by the explosive growth in construction in the Greater Toronto Area. The disposal of gravel being excavated from huge building projects such as the Toronto subway was proving difficult. This created a controversial industry; that of paying landowners for the privilege of dumping this fill on their land. Anyone with enough land could have truckloads of gravel dumped and make lots of money while being completely passive in the whole operation.

The downside to all of this is the damage to the environment that it causes and the noise and pollution it causes for the neighbors. If the soil is contaminated it can contaminate water supplies and cause serious health problems.

To control the effects of unrestricted dumping for profit most municipalities have strict by-laws that require the soil to be used for legitimate building purposes. Other conditions include limits on daily loads and soil testing on a regular basis.

Ah, but there is a loophole that unscrupulous operators can employ to get around municipal by- laws. If the property is an airport then it comes under federal jurisdiction and municipal by-laws don’t apply.So there exists the situation where a legitimate airport that wishes to expand their facilities can import the necessary fill and actually make some money from the process which will help defray the cost of improvements.

On the other hand there is a temptation to use an airport as a dumping ground just to collect dumping fees.

This is the situation that the Scugog Council was dealing with at their meeting on March 30. Most residents of the area believe that Greenbank airport is now just one big gravel dump and when all of the fill has been dumped in this pristine area it will simply be closed and the owners will walk away with the profits.

Less cynical people including many pilots hope that it will be completed as per plans and present Southern Ontario with a pristine, full service, state of the art airport with increased capacity for General Aviation.

When the project first started the owners of Greenbank voluntarily complied with local building regulations and agreed to pay the municipality a “Tipping Fee” for every cubic meter of fill dumped. This was enforced by a one year contract between the municipality and Greenbank.

But this contract expired on March 31 2015.

The Scugog Council extended this contract for one week and submitted a new set of restrictions for Greenbank to consider.

These new conditions include increasing the security deposit to $1 million, increasing insurance coverage to $10 million, eliminating Saturday deliveries of gravel, erecting a security fence, giving municipal inspectors full access to the site and allowing the municipality to do its own soil testing by drilling 50 foot deep wells 10 feet apart in critical areas.

If the owners of Greenbank accept these conditions then another one year contract will be signed and work may proceed. If the conditions are not acceptable then more negotiations will be needed and work will stop until an agreement can be reached.

As of this writing a new contract has not yet been signed.

13 April 2015

College of Pilots Event Held in Ottawa

From the College of Professional Pilots of Canada

Join us in Ottawa on Friday, 17 April 2015 to hear from former Concorde pilot John Hutchinson speak about what it was like to fly one of the world’s most famous airliners.

This event is being held at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum starting at 1800 hrs and everyone is welcome.

Following Captain Hutchinson’s speech there will be an informal networking session where pilots can learn more about an organization we recently became affiliated with, the Honourable Company of Air Pilots. This event will be a good opportunity for pilots early in their careers to make contacts with more senior members of our industry.

External links

06 April 2015

Book Review: Yukon Wings

  • Yukon Wings
  • by Bob Cameron
  • Published by Frontenac House, Calgary, Alberta in 2012, printed in China
  • 12.25" X 9.5" hardback
  • 368 pages, including cast of major characters, notes, index of aircraft and general index
  • $60.00

Author Bob Cameron grew up in the Yukon, the son of a Yukon aviation pioneer. He graduated as an engineer and worked for United Aircraft in Montreal, before returning to the Yukon to become a bush pilot for Trans North Turbo Air. He retired as Operations Manager there after three and a half decades of flying, in 2001. Over the years Cameron also made it his vocation to collect Yukon flying stories, photos and artifacts, up to and including collecting aircraft wrecks. He still lives in Whitehorse, too. If anyone can tell the story of pioneer flying in the territory it must be him!

At 368 pages and 4.5 lbs (2 kg) dead-weight, this is no quick pass over the subject. This is a truly "large" work, with a lot of photos and a lot of detail in it. That said the book is very readable from start to finish and you can feel the author's personal connection to the people he is writing about, many of whom were his boyhood heroes.

The book's 16 chapters focus on the period between the First and Second World Wars when aviation arrived in the Yukon and went to work there. It covers into the time of the Second World War, as well, with the flying support for the Alaska Highway and Canol Pipeline construction that made use of local civil aviation, as well as the northwest ferry route of aircraft heading from North America factories to aid the Soviet war effort.

The book really starts with the US Army expedition of four British-designed Airco DH.4 biplanes landing in the Yukon in July, 1920 on their way to Alaska. It was not until 1927 that anyone actually set up an air service in the territory, when the Yukon Airways and Exploration Company started flying with one Ryan B-1 Brougham aircraft named the Queen of the Yukon, similar to Lindbergh's Ryan, the Spirit of St Louis. This outfit carried out the territory's first passenger flights, first airmail and first air freight runs, too. The Queen of the Yukon met an inglorious fate when it hit a Model T Ford truck on landing roll-out. It was replaced by an Alexander Eaglerock biplane and eventually a replacement Ryan, the Queen of the Yukon II. That latter aircraft was also crashed, with fatal results, after an engine failure on take-off on 22 November 1929.

In many ways that initial episode sets the tone for much of the story that Cameron tells, of brave and resourceful people setting up commercial air services and crashing aircraft. The book is full of the author's collection of many dozens of photos of airplane wrecks. In most parts of the book you can't thumb four pages without seeing a crash photo. In many ways this is unavoidable, as early commercial aviation had an abysmal safety record and a complete history, like this book, cannot ignore that aspect of the story or gloss it over.

The book covers in great detail and lyrical narrative the endeavours of air services such as British Yukon Navigation Company, White Pass Airways, North Airways, North Canada Air Express, United Air Transport and of course Yukon Southern Air Transport, that became part of Canadian Pacific, flying aircraft like the Fairchild FC-2W2 and 82, the Keystone-Loening Commuter flying boat, the Buhl AC-6 Airsedan, the Lockheed 10A Electra, the Ford Trimotor, the tubby American 100 Pilgrim, the Bellanca 66-776 Aircruiser, Curtiss Condor, cabin WACOs and of course the stalwart Fokker Universal and Super Universal. Cameron delves into the fierce competition of the inter-war years, the rate wars, but also the cooperation between companies, especially when aircraft went missing or were stranded in a remote location, unservicable.

Cameron seems to have always had a personal interest in Yukon aviation history, having grown up surrounded by it. He started collecting stories and photos, but also used his time bush flying to visit old wreck sites and eventually collected the remains of three Fokker Super Universals in the 1970s, a type dear to his heart and one of which no examples remained. The huge one piece wooden wings of the "Super" had a very limited lifespan, especially in the north bush and none survived. After 18 years of painstaking restoration by Calgary pilots and engineers Clark Seaborn and Don McLean one "Super" flew again from the remains of the wrecks Cameron had saved. CF-AAM was flown around North America and even won a "Judge's Choice" award at Oshkosh in 1999. It now resides at the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada (formerly the Western Canada Aviation Museum) in Winnipeg.

The author received a grant from the Yukon Foundation's Doris Stenbraten Fund to write the book. Of note Doris Stenbraten was the author's high school English teacher! The book was actually printed in China and the publisher, Frontenac House of Calgary, is supported by both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Alberta.

Yukon Wings is a very complete, well written and profusely illustrated work, it would make an excellent addition to any aviation enthusiast or history buff's book shelf.

External links

03 April 2015

New AIM is out!

The 02 April 2015 copy of the Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual is now available for free download as a 40 MB sized PDF!

Transport Canada doesn't give a lot of stuff away for free, so get your free AIM today

01 April 2015

Book Review: Fling Wing

  • Fling Wing - The New Age Bush Pilots with Adventures From a Pilot's Log
  • by Jack Schofield
  • Published by Coast Dog Press, Mayne Island, BC
  • 8.25" X 8.25" softcover
  • 148 pages
  • No price imprinted, but some booksellers have listed it for $24.95

This book is a recent offering from Jack Schofield, long time west coast pilot, journalist, writer and founder of Canadian Aviator magazine, originally called West Coast Aviator. The book first came off the presses in 2012.

This is a lavish, full-colour work, in a small, square book format, with an emphasis on photographs illustrating selected parts of the history of the Canadian west coast helicopter business. The book follows two approaches to the story. The first 42 pages chronicle a general history in pictures of BC helicopter civil flying, while the balance of the book tells the story of Peter Barratt, the founder of West Coast Helicopters in photos and narrative.

Part one starts at the beginning, with the story of the founding of Okanagan Helicopters by Carl Agar, Barney Bent and Alf Stringer in 1948, starting with a single open cockpit Bell 47-B3. The photos and text follow the company through to its absorption into Craig Dobbin's Canadian Helicopters in 1987. It touches on the founding of Vancouver Island Helicopters in 1955 by Ted and Lynn Henson, including Ted's death in a 1957 helicopter accident. The book also has brief chapters on helicopter maintenance and heli-logging, including its phase-out in recent years for economic reasons.

The second part of the book details episodes from Peter Barratt's 45 year helicopter flying career, from his immigration from the UK as a child, through his time as an RCN Sea King helicopter pilot, to his civil flying career, starting with Okanagan Helicopters on Bell 2006s and S-61s. After he became the Okanagan base manager at Port McNeill, BC, Barratt became involved with the Nimmo Bay resort, a fly-in fishing lodge that he helped construct, hauling loads on the Jet Ranger's hook. He later became an investor in the resort, which allowed him to pursue his other love in life, fishing. Barratt later switched to flying for Highland Helicopters, then back to Okanagan, which became part of the Canadian Helicopters empire and later founded his own company, West Coast Helicopters.

The book's publishing company, Coast Dog Press, represents five different authors who all live on Mayne Island, BC. The company website gives the feeling that it is more of a co-op, as the site explains, "publishing these days is a mugs game, and writers must now market as well as write their books. There are so many people who now deem themselves to be writers that traditional publishers receive about 1000 unsolicited manuscripts per year and rejection slips are flying out there like snowfall on Mount Baker." Coast Dog Press seems to be this group's solution, allowing them an umbrella to do their own writing and marketing. It is worth noting that Fling Wing at least seems to have been published without government assistance, a rarity in Canadian aviation book publishing these days.

Fling Wing is a fun read and certainly will appeal to aviators young or old and also as a good book to share with a non-flyer on a day when the fog socks Tofino in down to the shoreline and the only flying being done is "hangar flying".

External links

27 March 2015

LSA Sales Figures

Back the early 2000s, when I worked at COPA, we had some conversations with the good folks at EAA as they were advocating for the then-proposed Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) category. That category greatly borrowed from the Canadian experience with the Advanced Ultralight Aeroplane (AULA) category that we have had since 1991 and the resulting LSAs, on the market since 2004, are very similar aircraft.

EAA was very interested in our technical details, including our TP10141, the design standards for AULAs, as well as the aircraft that were already flying in the category here in Canada. We were happy to share our experiences, as I have flown quite a number of AULAs, doing reviews for COPA, including the Merlin, EZ-Flyer, CT2K and the Allegro.

Since I have been doing my annual analysis of the civil fleet numbers since that time, one thing that did come up was sales expectations. EAA was planning that the new LSA category would provide new, inexpensive and fun two seat aircraft and that it would revitalize the sagging American aviation market.

At that time we had had our AULA category for about 13 years and I pointed out that the national fleet had statistically increased by an average of 60 aircraft per year in that time. I noted that with a population that is ten times that of Canada, it would be reasonable to expect that US sales would be about 600 aircraft per year. The EAA rep indicated that after all the work that they had done that sales in that range would be a disaster for aviation in the US. He indicated that they had projected sales much higher than that, some 5,000-10,000 aircraft per year in the US. I thought at the time that would have to mean that Americans would have to be an average of at least ten times richer than Canadians, or at least ten times more interested in buying a new two seat airplane. I wished them luck and hoped he was right.

Over the years I have kept an eye out for LSA sales numbers. At one time Cessna had 1200 orders for their Cessna 162 SkyCatcher, which sounded very positive. In the end they only delivered 192 aircraft, with the remaining 80 unsold aircraft used for parts, when the company cancelled 162 production. In the case of that design, price increases and lacklustre performance drove buyers away.

So this week I was interested to see recent sales figures released. These show sales of 199 LSAs in 2014, down from 259 in 2012.

The leading builders in 2014 were:

  • CubCrafters - 50
  • Van's Aircraft - 26
  • Searey - 19

In overall production since 2004 for the US market Flight Design leads with 372 aircraft and CubCrafters is second, with 326 aircraft flying. In the case of Flight design that represents about 37 aircraft per year sold.

While these are great little aircraft I don't think the category has met expectations for revitalizing aviation in the USA.

17 March 2015

Mike Shaw to Retire as Flight 8 Captain

After more than 15 years at the helm of Flight 8, Captain Mike Shaw has decided to retire.

In a recent message to the flight members he explained his decision:

I have decided that since I expect to be travelling most of next winter, I should resign as Captain of Flight 8 effective the end of April 2015. It's been a pleasure and I have enjoyed all of your company over the years. I hope someone will step forward and assume this position, I still want to attend meetings when able.

Anyone interested in taking over the running of Flight 8 should contact Mike Shaw to put their name forward.

14 March 2015

Canadian Air Racing Team

By Mark McIntyre, Temper Tantrum Racing

My name is Mark McIntyre and I am an AME, pilot and a member of COPA Flight 193 in Saint John, New Brunswick. I have started a new project that I need a bit of help on so I thought I would reach out to other COPA members across Canada.

I’ve started an air racing team to compete in the Reno Air Races in the Formula One Division. I have gathered a large team of skilled volunteers for the build. However we are falling short on funding. So I started a Kickstarter Fund Raising Campaign. Below you will find the link to my campaign and a complete write up on what is going on, along with a short, 45 second video of the races.

With maximum exposure we can make this team competitive and showcase Canadian aviation on an international level.

External links

12 March 2015

Urgent Action: Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory (CARAC) developments

By Trekker Armstrong, Executive Chair, COPA

CARAC was established in 1993, and is a joint undertaking of the government and the aviation community, with participation from a large number of organizations outside Transport Canada with the intent of representing the overall viewpoint of the aviation community. COPA has been an active participant in these Focus Groups.

Transport Canada’s recent Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA #2013-014) on aerodromes does not reflect accurately the efforts of the Focus Group and will materially damage COPA’s hard work and progress. As written, the NPA would cater to opponents and discriminate against the interests of the aviation enthusiast. The NPA has potential to significantly impact recreational aviation in general, and private owners and operators, in particular.

Transport Canada now wants to move from a permissive environment to what they call “participatory decision making” to ensure that local land use authorities and the public have input and indeed a greater say in whether or not an aerodrome can be established and developed. Furthermore this is also being extended to non-certified new and existing aerodromes. COPA provided direct input on the extent of damage this initiative will cause. COPA’s response can be found on COPA’s National website.

Given the far-reaching potential of this initiative, the industry responded with an unprecedented amount of feedback calling for a Focus Group meeting which finally occurred in June 2014. COPA was in attendance.

In October 2014, COPA, along with other participants of the Focus Group, was completely surprised that an amendment to the Aeronautical Act was hidden as part of the Federal Government’s omnibus budget Bill C-43. None of the participants of the Focus Group had knowledge of this development, or it’s content. Had the Focus Group known that the initiative extended as far as the Act amendment proposes, there would have been considerably different discussions about the implications of the expanded applicability. Given that there was no discussion or consultation with industry about the Act amendment itself and the scope of the application, the Act amendment should have be pulled from Bill C-43 to permit a thorough discussion with the industry.

COPA submitted a brief to the House Standing Committee on Finance and appeared before the Senate Committee on Wednesday, 19 November 2014. At that time COPA’s President & CEO Kevin Psutka asked the House Standing Committee on Transport and the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications to vote in favor of returning the amendment to Transport Canada for consultation with the aviation industry.

Regardless of COPA’s and other industry efforts, Bill C-43 received Royal Assent on 16 December 2014 and is now law.

A continuation of the Focus Group meetings on the proposed Aerodrome NPA was planned for January 2015, but due to scheduling conflict, was postponed. In order to move forward with this initiative, Transport Canada indicated they would publish the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) through the Canadian Aviation Regulation Advisory Council Activity Reporting System in early March 2015. COPA received email notification of the NPA on 26 February 2015. The disadvantage of issuing the NPAs before the Focus Group convenes will make it more difficult to change many of the measures. Now Transport Canada has scheduled the NPA Focus Group to discuss the regulatory proposal on 31 March and 1 April 2015.

As COPA continues to work on this issue, we strongly recommend that every member read the Notice of Proposed Amendment on Aerodromes and send in your written response to the CARAC secretariat (carrac@tc.gc.ca) with copies to COPA (pgilligan@copanational.org). COPA is in the process of drafting its position brief and it will be available at COPA "Take Action". The cutoff date for comments on this proposed rulemaking is 8 April 2015.

This issue is so important that every member should contact their MPP, MLA or Provincial Transport Minister. Contact information. The time for comment is very short on this critical issue that is fundamental to your Freedom to Fly in Canada.

04 March 2015

Information Session Invitation - Ottawa Terminal Control Area Changes

By Michel Tremblay, Airspace & Procedure design Coordinator, Performance Based Navigation (PBN) OPI, ATC Team Supervisor, Ottawa, Québec Terminal, Nav Canada

As of 30 April 2015, the Ottawa Terminal Control Area size and classification will change. In order to efficiently communicate the changes to the pilot community and operators, Nav Canada will be hosting an information session at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum Theatre on 31 March 2015, 1900-2200 hrs. The session will be interactive and offer an opportunity to discuss the issues with air traffic control representatives.

Confirming your attendance will help improved planning for the evening. Please RSVP to Christiane Vinet.

Directions

02 March 2015

New Strict Proposed Regulations For New & Existing Aerodromes

URGENT ACTION, 8 April 2015 Deadline!


From Patrick Gilligan, COPA

Transport Canada has just sent a new strict proposed regulation for all aerodromes. A consultation requirement with 27 "onerous" public notification steps estimated by TC to cost new and existing aerodrome owners up to $60,000.

The most devastating requirements are:

  • The installation/aerodrome must adhere to local building and fire codes, no longer according to the National Building Code of Canada.
  • Information on the environmental status of the project, including any requirements under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Public consultation

  1. The public consultation process will apply to:
    a. A new aerodrome development
     i. Within a built-up area of a city or town;
     ii. In non-built up areas if
      1. It is within 4000m of a built-up area of a city or town;
      2. It is in or within 4000m of a protected area; or
      3. It is within 30 nautical miles of a registered or certified aerodrome.
    b. An existing aerodrome development if
     i. modifications result in changes to existing level(s) of service or operation; or
     ii. modifications result or could reasonably result in change(s) to existing usage.
  2. Pre-Consultation: Proponents must notify NAV CANADA and Transport Canada of their aerodrome proposal regardless of the requirement to conduct a public consultation.

Action required

Until 8 April 2015, comments on this notice may be addressed, in writing, to:

CARAC Notice #2013-014 contact info: carrac@tc.gc.ca also please copy COPA’s National office by copying Patrick Gilligan who is the coordinator for COPA’s response.

Note: after this date, comments will no longer be considered in further revisions to the regulations and standards.

External links

01 March 2015

Progress on the Environmental Assessment at Toronto City Centre

By Cheryl Marek, Southern Ontario Director, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

In 2013 Ports Toronto proposed an extension of Runway 08-26 in order to allow for commercial jet flights into and out of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA) (formerly known as Toronto Island Airport) in response to a request from the airport’s anchor tenant, Porter Airlines.

To assess the Porter proposal, Ports Toronto (formerly Toronto Ports Authority) secured Swerhun Facilitation to develop and oversee public engagement in determining the scope and process for the EA and Airport Master Plan. To date (February 28), since November 2014, there have been about 7 Agency Advisory Committee (AAC) meetings, an Open House Day and 2 public input sessions, and 2 of 4 Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings. The 14 AAC groups include, for example: City of Toronto a) Waterfront Secretariat, b) Community Planning and c) Toronto Public Health; Build Toronto; Transport Canada; Greater Toronto Airports Authority; Province of Ontario a) Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and b) Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The 36 SAC include active participation by COPA, Toronto Island Pilots (TIPA - COPA Flight 32), Tourism Industry of Ontario, Porter Airlines, Toronto Financial District BIA, Air Canada, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Trans Capital Air, Stolport Corporation, and a couple dozen environmental, boating, waterfront, neighbourhood groups. Detailed comments from all meetings (recorded during or submitted in writing or by phone) that inform the processes are found at BBTCA Runway EA website under the various drop down menus.

The Draft EA, to be discussed at the March 3 and 10 SAC meetings, will assess effects from the following two future scenarios:

  1. No amendments to the Tripartite Agreement are implemented; and
  2. Tripartite Agreement is amended to permit commercial jet operations and the extension of Runway 08-26.

I look forward to comments you may have, especially with respect to General Aviation at BBCTA.

The update of the 2012 Airport Master Plan is addressed through a conceptual design developed by Ports Toronto that could accommodate the requested runway extension, as well as noise and other mitigation measures that could be required as a result of commercial jet flights. The proposed design and operational changes to the runway are described in Ports Toronto’s 2015 Master Planning exercise. More details are found on the BBTCA Runway EA Public Meetings page under February 26 Master Planning Presentation and Master Planning Handouts.

25 February 2015

Moe's Fly-in 2015

Maurice Prud'homme's 26th annual Ottawa River Ice fly-in, sponsored by COPA Flight 169, is coming up this weekend!

Here are the details:

  • Date: Saturday 28 February 2015
  • Location: 45 26 57 N 75 55 48 W, one mile west of the Ottawa VOR, on the Ottawa River
  • Runway: 34-16, 3280 feet X 100 feet, surface is ice and snow and may be ploughed if possible, skis are recommended
  • Food: Provided!!
  • Frequencies: Air 123.20 MHz, ground: 122.75 MHz
  • Information: Maurice Prudhomme 819-682-5273

24 February 2015

Quest Aircraft Sold!

Bushplane builder Quest Aircraft has been sold.

Quest builds the Kodiak ten-seat turboprop STOL utility aircraft at its plant in Sandpoint, Idaho. The company is privately owned and thus always on the lookout for investors to help it grow. The company produces the Kodiak as its sole product, but has always planned to expand into producing new aircraft designs.

A few years ago Setouchi Holdings of Japan became a dealer for the Kodiak and the company recently decided to buy Quest Aircraft. Setouchi Holdings is part of the part of the Tsuneishi Group. Setouchi has said that the company will remain in Sandpoint and retain its existing staff.

Here is my ever-expanding list of western aerospace companies bought out by non-western interests:

  • Cirrus Aircraft - Government of the Peoples Republic of China
  • Continental Engines - Government of the Peoples Republic of China
  • Enstrom Helicopter Corporation - Chongqing Helicopter Investment Co, China
  • Epic Aircraft - Engineering LLC, Russia
  • Flightstar Sportplanes - rights, tooling and parts inventory purchased by Yuneec International, China
  • Glasair Aircraft - Jilin Hanxing Group, China
  • International Lease Finance Corp - 90% New China Trust Co Ltd, New China Life Insurance Co Ltd, P3 Investments Ltd and China Aviation Industrial Fund
  • Liberty Aerospace - 75% owned by the Kuwait Finance House, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Finance House of Bahrain
  • LISA Airplanes - 75% owned by Heima Mining Company, China
  • Mooney Aviation Company - Soaring American Corp, backed by Chinese investors
  • Piper Aircraft - Government of Brunei
  • Quest Aircraft - Setouchi Holdings, Japan
  • Superior Air Parts - Weifang Tianxiang Technology Group, China
  • Thielert Aircraft Engines - Government of the Peoples Republic of China

External links

16 February 2015

Book Review: Queen of the Hurricanes - The Fearless Elsie MacGill

  • Queen of the Hurricanes - The Fearless Elsie MacGill
  • by Crystal Sissons
  • Published by Second Story Press, Toronto
  • 6" X 9" softcover
  • 270 pages including bibliography
  • $24.95

Elsie Gregory MacGill described herself as an ordinary person, but she certainly lived an extraordinary life.

MacGill was born in Vancouver, in 1905, to a famous mother, Helen Gregory MacGill, a noted professional who became a judge and a life-long feminist herself. When Elsie MacGill was young, women won the right to vote in Canada, but that was only a start in the crusade for equality in which MacGill was to play a key role. She went on to graduate from the University of Toronto as the first woman engineer in 1927. Left disabled by a bout of polio, she persevered, although walked with a cane much of her life. Two years later she had a master's degree in aeronautical engineering. She then worked for Fairchild Aircraft and then moved onto Canadian Car and Foundry (CCF) in Fort William (now Thunder Bay), as Chief Aeronautical Engineer. There she designed the Maple Leaf II biplane, the first aircraft designed by a woman.

It was at CCF that she found herself when the Second World War broke out and she became responsible for Hawker Hurricane production and the later conversion to building the troublesome Curtiss SB2C Helldiver dive bomber. Leaving CCF under a somewhat scandalous shadow, she soon married Bill Soulsby, who had been CCF's General Manager, in 1943. She quickly started her own engineering consulting company and, due to her high degree of engineering skill, her feistiness and tenacity, never found herself short of work.

MacGill became very involved in a number of groups working to further women's place in Canadian society. Initially skeptical that there was a problem to even be solved, MacGill started to see that other women were being disadvantaged in ways she had never encountered in her time in the field of engineering. She joined the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs of Canada and quickly became the head of the organization. Her boundless energy lead her to be named as a commissioner on the federal government's Royal Commission on the Status of Women that ran from 1967-70, helping shape its final report. After the commission had completed its work she continued touring and speaking about the commission's report, encouraging people to read it and keep the pressure on government to implement its recommendations.

MacGill was named to the Order of Canada in October 1971 and died suddenly on 4 November 1980 from a lung infection. She was 75 years old.

Today she is remembered through the many awards and the recognition she was accorded during her lifetime and also through the Elsie Gregory MacGill Memorial Foundation, founded in 1984 by her many feminist and engineering friends.

In taking on this biography, independent historian Crystal Sissons has created a fitting tribute to an important Canadian figure. The book is officially "A Feminist History Society Book" and Sissons states in her introduction that it is primarily though biographies that much of women's history is preserved. She holds closely to that aim throughout the book, but don't think that this is a book of feminist doctrine, because it isn't. It is a fair and balanced look at an ordinary person who lived an extraordinary life. MacGill clearly got many things in her life right, but she made mistakes as well and these are fairly described in Sisson's text.

The book is very well-researched and footnoted, although to save space the footnotes are located on the internet instead of on paper, an interesting approach. Sisson's writing is both engaging and scholarly, without being at all dry and the reader is left feeling they would have known and liked MacGill herself. The one aspect of her life I would have liked to have heard more about was her relationship with her husband, Bill Soulsby, as there is not much detail provided. Soulsby must have had some interesting thoughts on being partner to a remarkable engineer and feminist like MacGill and must have accompanied her on many of her speaking engagements. Sissons notes that MacGill was a very private person when it came to her personal life and so it was likely just due to lack of source material that more was not said on the subject of their relationship.

Queen of the Hurricanes - The Fearless Elsie MacGill belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in engineering, aviation, feminism or Canadian history. You don't have to have an interest in all of those subjects to find this an engaging and thought-provoking read.

External links

Free Enterprise in the 21st Century

I guess I just don't understand free enterprise or capitalism here in the 21st century. I always thought it meant that the market, buyers with money, would decide whether products and ultimately companies would sink or swim, based on the quality of their ideas and their ability to turn those ideas into something people will pay for.

So this week in Duluth, Minnesota, mayor Don Ness is hopeful that the Minnesota state government will put up US$4M, to go with the US$6M the city has committed, to build a new US$10M plant at the Duluth Airport. The plant will be leased to Cirrus Aircraft who will use it to build their new SF50 Vision personal jet aircraft in. The jets will sell for about US$2M each. Cirrus CEO Dale Klapmeier indicated that time is running out for the state to commit. Mayor Ness is very concerned that without the city and state building the plant for Cirrus that the company will move its manufacturing of the SF50 elsewhere, lured by incentives from other cities in the US.

You see in free enterprise there is lots of competition, at least between US communities willing to give tax breaks or even build facilities for companies, in an attempt to lure jobs to their communities.

The odd thing is that Cirrus was bought out for US$210M in February 2011, by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Government of the People's Republic of China. The Government of the People's Republic of China is currently arguably the richest entity of any kind on earth. So why do they need handouts from small US cities? It is also a communist government and a bit totalitarian, but let's not get into that.

Okay so let's summarize: The City of Duluth and the State of Minnesota want to provide a total of a US$10M taxpayer subsidy to the Government of the People's Republic of China as an incentive for them to establish their Cirrus SF50 production in Duluth instead of having it lured away by greater government subsidies from other cities. The new plant will build jets for rich Americans, since I doubt that poor or middle class Americans, like most of the taxpayers in Duluth, will be buying too many personal jets.

That all seems to add up to the taxpayers of Duluth and Minnesota subsidizing lower aircraft purchase prices for wealthy Americans via the intermediate step of providing facilities to a Chinese government state-owned enterprise.

Is it worth mentioning that government subsidies like this are not permitted under most trade agreements, like GATT? Of course that would be applicable if the City of Duluth was subsidizing a private company, but in this case they are really subsidizing a foreign government, so I guess that doesn't count.

I guess I just don't understand free enterprise, at least 21st century free enterprise.

External links

14 February 2015

Non payment of Nav Canada service charges

By Nav Canada, via COPA

Nav Canada invoices and collects charges to cover the costs of air navigation services provided or made available by the Corporation, in accordance with the Civil Air Navigation Services Commercialization Act. Charges are structured in such a way that all customers pay for air navigation services, in a reasonable and equitable manner.

Since implementation of the Nav Canada charges for small aircraft in 1999, the number of owners who are not paying their Nav Canada invoices has increased every year. Given that Nav Canada does not make a profit but sets its charges at a level to allow it to recover its costs, it is important that charges are paid in a timely manner.

In order to ensure fairness and equity amongst its entire customer base, Nav Canada is taking action to recover these outstanding charges. The company has retained a collection agency, CTL-WDW Ltd., to pursue outstanding debts.

All customers with a past due balance will shortly be receiving a Notice of Collections letter from Nav Canada, giving them 30 days to contact the Corporation and pay, or initiate resolution of their past due amount. Inaction, refusal to resolve or pay the past due amounts will result in the account being listed with CTL-WDW for collection action. CTL-WDW will report non-paying/non-acting accounts to a credit bureau that may negatively affect customers' credit ratings.

Nav Canada continues to modernize its operations to improve service delivery and control costs, and as a result, has not raised its rates in over a decade. In order to keep these rates as low as possible, it is important that all customers pay their invoices.

All of Nav Canada's charges, including the annual fees, were developed, approved and implemented in accordance with the requirements of the ANS Act. Payment of the charges by aircraft owners and operators is a legal obligation.

Further details can be found in the Customer Guide to Charges at www.navcanada.ca.

11 February 2015

Questair Venture on Skis?

It is winter in Canada and so Flight 8 member André Durocher recently had his homebuilt Questair Venture on skis, as shown in these photos.

Durocher added, "I need someone to compute my new Vne."

Photos

07 February 2015

COPA Seeks New President and CEO

COPA is looking for the person who will become just the third person to lead the organization since it was founded in 1952. Here is the official announcement for the job opening:

COPA is a not-for-profit organization with over 17,000 members. Its mission is to protect Personal Aviation and promote it as a valued, integral and sustainable part of the Canadian Community. More information may be found on COPA's website at www.copanational.org

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President & CEO leads a small team of dedicated professionals at COPA's national office in Ottawa. The President & CEO is responsible for providing valuable membership services, contributing to the corporate strategy and business plan, leading and integrating corporate goals and deliverables, influencing governments, assisting the Board with regard to corporate governance while leading and managing the national office.

The successful candidate will have experience with how governments work at the political level and related legislation; knowledge of the challenges facing General and Personal Aviation in Canada; experience in managing and leading teams and effectively working with a Board of Directors. Ideally the candidate will bring experience with regulatory structures and regulations affecting aviation and its impact on the aviation industry. A comprehensive job description, inclusive core and desirable qualifications, may be found at www.copa.recruiterbox.com.

Interested individuals may apply in confidence for the position through the online recruiting website at www.copa.recruiterbox.com or forward their application via e-mail to copa@applications.recruiterbox.com The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, March 26th , 2015.

02 February 2015

COPA/AOPA Survey: NEW Canadian Cross Border requirement

By Patrick Gilligan

COPA and AOPA need all pilots to complete this survey. Your opinion counts!

In previous articles (August 2014 COPA article and October 2014) I alerted members to the development of an additional procedure being developed by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) for crossing the border. This survey will provide statistical feedback to Canadian and US officials to find a solution that both addresses their goals and minimizes duplication. COPA is heavily involved in finding creative solutions to minimize the detrimental consequences that any additional requirements will have on our sector of aviation.

I would like to emphasize that no changes have been made to the existing requirements. Any change to the requirements for crossing the border in a GA aircraft will, at the earliest, occur sometime in 2016.

COPA highlighted that the fundamental issue is the elimination of duplication. Since all pilots must complete the US eAPIS reports for entering and exiting the US, it would be a relatively simple extension for the US to send information to Canada for their security purposes.

CBSA officials continue to collaborate with our sector, while at the same time respecting the Government of Canada’s privacy rules and policies, which make the work more challenging. A Washington meeting succeeded in convincing the CBSA that their US counterparts are willing to cooperate. COPA will continue to participate in the ongoing working group meetings as well as with our counterparts in the US in an effort to develop a program that both meets our government’s needs and minimizes the impact on our sector of aviation.

Complete the COPA/AOPA Survey on CBSA’s Canadian Cross Border NEW requirement

31 January 2015

Special Event For Kevin Psutka

by Jack Hawley, Director, Communications and Advertising, The Cornwall Flying Club/COPA Flight 59

The Cornwall Flying Club/ COPA Flight 59 will be hosting a very special event to honour the work of our COPA President, Kevin Psutka who will be retiring soon.

Please reserve the April 18, 2015 and consider attending this most auspicious occasion to show our respect and gratitude for all that Kevin has done on behalf of the members of COPA and indeed for Canadian General Aviation in general.

  • Date: Saturday, 18 April 2015
  • Cocktails: 1700 hrs, Dinner at 1800 hrs
  • Location: Best Western Parkway Inn & Conference Centre, 1515 Vincent Massey Drive, Cornwall
  • Cost: ~$35‐40/person

If you are interested in attending please send an e‐mail to me and I will send you the tickets.

28 January 2015

US Customs and Border Protection Updates Border-Crossing Documents

Dianna Sullivan, the General Aviation Program Manager-Operations, Office of Field Operations, CBP Headquarters recently announced that new versions of several border-crossing documents giving guidance for private aircraft have been written. These documents give the latest procedures for flying into the US.

Sullivan wrote:

We have updated the Airports list and the Service Providers list along with republishing and updating the Private Air guide. Please check the FAQ section of the Private Air Guide, we were able to include some recurring issues that have been brought up to CBP’s attention recently.

The new documents are all found on the CBP Pleasure Boats and Private Flyers page. This include:

External links

27 January 2015

Heather Sifton Last Flight

by Jeff Page, COPA Flight 70, Oshawa

Heather Sifton passed away Friday January 23rd.

The Sifton family has asked that the news be shared with the aviation community. Heather was a strong supporter of the Buttonville Airport and the Buttonville Flying Club.

The funeral was a low-key, private, family affair, not open to the public.

External links

24 January 2015

Kevin Psutka Reveals Plans

by Kevin Psutka

After 18 great years at COPA I have decided to move on. Please see the announcement of my retirement from COPA and my farewell message to members.

The COPA Board is seeking a new President and CEO (the ad will be available on the front page of the COPA website), and in the interim the CEO will be Trekker Armstrong, COPA Chair, assisted by COPA Director Jean Messier.

My last day in the office is 28 January 2015. As of 29 January, any email for the President and CEO should be sent to president@copanational.org and it will be responded to as soon as possible. kpsutka@copanational.org will be deactivated.

As of 2 March 2015 I will be employed as a Safety and Security Representative at the Air Line Pilots Association International.

Media Contact

21 January 2015

Upcoming Crystal Sissons Book Signing

By Jay Hunt, Volunteer Tour Guide Lead, Vintage Wings of Canada

During tours of the Vintage Wings aircraft, when we stop at our Hurricane MK XII restoration project we make a point of talking about how Elsie MacGill became the first female electrical engineer in Canada when she graduated from the University of Toronto and was the first woman in the world to earn a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering and the first woman to be admitted to the Engineering Institute of Canada. We tell how she set up an assembly line at Canadian Car and Foundry in Fort William, Ontario (now part of Thunder Bay) that produced over 1,450 Hurricanes for the WWII war effort.

We neglect to mention that following the war she became a tireless advocate for women’s rights. She was a member of the Ontario Status of Women Committee (an affiliate of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women), and served as a commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada . She was awarded the Order of Canada for her work on women’s rights in 1971.

The full story of this amazing woman is now told in a new book “Queen of the Hurricanes: The Fearless Elsie MacGill” by Gatineau author Crystal Sissons. Crystal is a history Ph.D. graduate of the University of Ottawa who works in the social sciences and humanities field. She is an active member of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Ottawa.

Please join us in welcoming Crystal to the VWC hangar on Saturday, January 31 from 1 to 3 PM. She will begin at 1 PM with a brief talk on Elsie’s life followed by a discussion. She will then sign books until 3:00 PM.

External links

12 January 2015

Call for Presentations – Aviation History Convention

By Dr. Richard Goette, CAHS National Vice- President, 2015 Convention Co-Chair and Jim Bell, CAHS National Secretary, 2015 Convention Co-Chair

The Canadian Aviation Historical Society (CAHS) is holding its 2015 convention in Hamilton, Ontario, from 17-21 June, at the "Courtyard Marriott Hotel. The theme will be "Celebrating Canada's Aviation Industry" with sessions exploring civilian and military topics.

This convention is open to all – university students, aerospace industry professionals, academics, military personnel, professionals in aviation or heritage industries, and aviation enthusiasts of every kind. International presenters are also welcome. Our focus will be on history, but we welcome proposals addressing the current aerospace industry and those utilizing multi-disciplinary approaches. Presentations should be 30 minutes in length and may be formal academic papers or informal talks. Power point will be available.

As part of the CAHS 52nd Annual Convention, the conference will include a trip to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum for its annual Father's Day weekend flying event plus other aviation-related events and activities. Held near the Hamilton International Airport and only a short distance from Canada's primary aviation hub, Toronto Pearson International Airport, a variety of exciting local and regional (Toronto/Niagara Falls) activities promise to make your trip worthwhile.

If you are interested in participating in our convention, please send a short proposal and a short biography (one page each max.) to Richard Goette and Jim Bell at CAHSHamilton2015@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is 15 February 2015.

Please feel free to forward and post this message widely!

External links

11 January 2015

Pontiac Airpark Project Ends

André Durocher, the driving force behind the Pontiac Airpark, recently announced that he has ended the project.

The 550 acre residential fly-in community was slated to have included not only a large number of home lots, but also a club house, two runways and a seaplane base on the Ottawa River. There is also an existing equestrian facility next door.

The project was conceived back about 2003 by Durocher, a land surveyor, as a place for people to build homes and park their aircraft in their own hangars, next to their houses. The airpark was to have been located west of Ottawa, on the north side of the Ottawa River in Quebec.

By the summer of 2011 the two perpendicular runways had been completed and gravelled in, with a plan to pave them later. The water aerodrome facilities for floatplanes on the Ottawa River adjacent were commenced and registered with Transport Canada.

Construction on the first residential lots at the airpark project had started in December 2011, with the intention that home building would commence in the spring of 2012. In February 2012 an additional 85 acres of land, located immediately north of the airpark project and north of the River Road, was acquired. This parcel became the Elevage Fabie equestrian facility, which was opened in the fall of 2012. By March 2012 a further 130 acres to the west of the airpark's location was added, with the intention of making it available for a golf course, hotel, restaurant and spa. Also in March 2012 the mayor of the Municipality of Pontiac endorsed the project. In February 2013 seven more parcels of land from the former Canadian Pacific Railway line property were added to the project. The intention was to construct trails for horseback riding, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and allow greater access to the surrounding countryside.

In having to terminate the project Durocher said, "unfortunately, after 12 years of great efforts I only sold one (1) lot so I decided to close the project." He stated that the land the residential airpark was to have occupied has been already been sold. Durocher indicates that he doesn't think the new owner will quickly develop the property, but will likely hold it as a long-term investment.

07 January 2015

Book Review: Polar Winds - A Century of Flying the North

  • Polar Winds - A Century of Flying the North
  • By Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
  • Published by Dundurn Press, Toronto
  • 7" X 10" softcover
  • 224 pages including index, bibliography, notes and glossary
  • $28.99

Polar Winds - A Century of Flying the North is Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail's second book, following on the success of For the Love of Flying: The Story of Laurentian Air Services. Polar Winds was launched late in 2014.

In taking on the story of aviation in Canada's north, Metcalfe-Chenail was left with some choices. She decided to make 60 degree north her latitude cut-off, recognizing its arbitrary nature. She also recognized that covering the complete history of northern aviation would be a daunting task. In the book's introduction she notes that Polar Winds is "not an exhaustive history, but a representative one." She has attempted to tell the key stories and also stories that typify northern aviation, intentionally making sure that people usually left out of these sorts of histories, such as women and native people, have their stories included as well. The book is profusely illustrated, using a wide range of period photographs and a much-needed two page map of the north.

In researching this book Metcalfe-Chenail proved no armchair historian, preferring to walk the ground and dig up the stories first hand. While working on this book she lived for three months at the Berton House Writer's Retreat in Dawson City, wading through northern archives and libraries, as well as interviewing people. She also travelled throughout the north, flying on Air North's turboprop airliners to places like Whitehorse, Dawson City and Old Crow. She flew on Buffalo Airway's antique DC-3s and Norseman bush-planes in the summer and winter, piloted on occasion by "Buffalo" Joe McBryan himself. She saw ice fog over the Mackenzie Delta, as well as the midnight sun.

History books like this are specialist publications and doing all that travel, spending the time writing and doing research over such a wide area wouldn't make sense without the financial support the author received from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Edmonton Arts Council and the Fox Moth Society of Yellowknife. Her publisher, Dundurn Press of Toronto, is also supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

The book starts with stories of the Klondike gold rush during the last years of the 19th century, when Dawson City filled up with prospectors, miners and a lot of hangers-on, all looking to get rich. Travel to Dawson was a slow and perilous process with some people taking up to two years to get there from Edmonton. Many people sought to shorten the trip with air travel by balloon, airship and later airplane, although none succeeded until much later, after the gold rush was long done. The first person to fly over Dawson City was "Professor" John Leonard, who in 1899 shipped a balloon to the city and made several ascents and parachute jumps, all in exchange for passing the hat for donations. No other aeronaut did as well in the north.

Polar Winds continues with the stories of many northern aviators, like Dolar De Lagrave who flew a glider in Dawson City in 1927 and American barnstormer Clarence Prest who flew a Standard J-1 into the Yukon but was denied carrying passengers for hire for competitive reasons, not that there were any Canadians to compete with. The book goes on to cover many dozens of tales, including the RCAF's Hudson Strait expedition, the American Alaska Air Expedition, the mineral exploration boom of the 1930s, flying the mail, the flying fur trade and, of course, the manhunt for the Mad Trapper of Rat River, when aviation proved its worth and helped the Mounties get their man.

The book covers the exploits of not just individual pilots, but the RCAF, RCMP and other organizations that flew the north, including the Hudson's Bay Company. The stories of building both the poorly-planned Alaska Highway and the Canol Pipeline during the pressure of the Second World War are included, along with the Cold War defence stories, such as the building of the DEW line. The scourge of tuberculosis that ravaged native populations and required air travel to treatment facilities, is here as well. Metcalfe-Chenail doesn't shy away from the darker and more controversial uses of aviation, such as its part in taking native children to their fates at the residential schools. She also covers the story of Fred Carmichael, Canada's first indigenous pilot, as well as women aviators such as Lorna de Blicquy, who became the nation's first female Department of Transport inspector following a career flying up north.

While not dwelling excessively on the hazards, Metcalfe-Chenail also includes a chapter on some famous crashes, searches and survival stories, plus some stories of wrecks that had less positive outcomes, some being found only years later. She gives coverage to helicopters and ultralights employed in the north as well.

Polar Winds - A Century of Flying the North is definitely a worthwhile addition to any aviator's bookshelf.

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail continues to write in her current position as Edmonton's Historian Laureate.

External links

04 January 2015

Canadian Private Fleet Growth Slows Further In 2014

The Canadian private civil aircraft fleet continued to grow in 2014, but at a very slow rate, one that was lowest since 2001 and worse than at any time during the recession of 2008-10.

In 2008 the fleet grew at a peak rate of 3.2%. By 2012 it was down to just 1.96%, dropping to 1.92% in 2013 and now 1.21% in 2014.

The numbers seem to indicate that structural changes are occurring in the aircraft purchase market in Canada, probably as a result of the ongoing poor state of the Canadian economy, plus demographic factors involving an aging pilot population. As in all recent years, the fact that the fleet has continued to grow at all and not shrink is probably due to the persistently high asking prices for used aircraft in Canada. The US economy and its dollar remained somewhat weak through early 2014 and the Canadian dollar only fell precipitously with oil prices late in the year. With the Canadian dollar now at 85 cents US, Canadian aircraft asking prices in US dollars may have dropped enough to reduce the recent year's cross-border aircraft shopping spree which has driven up the overall number of aircraft registered in Canada. As I have noted in years past, even though the Canadian civil fleet has grown in size each year, the number of hours flown probably isn't increasing and may in fact be decreasing.

In 2014 the total Canadian civil fleet increased in size by 296, compared to 538 in 2013. In 2014 the private segment of the fleet once again accounted for all the growth seen, increasing by 349, while the commercial aircraft fleet shrank by 49 aircraft and the state fleet, those aircraft owned by the various levels of government in Canada, shrank by four aircraft. While private aviation is growing very slowly, state and commercial aviation both got smaller in 2014.

Certified Aircraft

Certified aircraft have been leading the growth in private aircraft for a number of years, including in 2013, but lost that lead to basic ultralights in 2014, probably because as the US dollar climbed it made importing aircraft more expensive. The numbers dropped in 2014 with 103 certified aircraft added, notably down from 2013's total of 187.

In 2014 the new additions to the certified fleet were made up of 66 airplanes, 40 helicopters and 1 balloon while the number of gliders was reduced by four. Certified aircraft accounted for 30% of the private fleet growth in 2014. There were 16,396 private certified aircraft at the end of 2014, out of a total of 29,162 private aircraft registered.

Basic Ultralights

BULAs were by far the quickest growing area of private aviation in 2014. In 2014 the category increased by 135 aircraft and accounted for 38% of the private fleet growth. There were 5,915 BULAs registered at the end of 2014. The enduring attraction of this category is undoubtedly its relatively low cost.

Amateur-builts

Amateur-builts were in the number three position again in 2014, increasing by 67 aircraft, down from an increase of 90 in 2013 and 98 in 2012. In 2014 the aircraft added were made up of 65 airplanes, four helicopters and four balloons, while the number of helicopters and airships decreased by four each. The number of gyroplanes remained unchanged at a total of 183. Amateur-builts made up 19% of the aircraft added to the private fleet in 2014.

Amateur builts now number 4,136 in Canada and include a wide variety of aircraft, from fixed wing airplanes, helicopters, gliders, gyroplanes to balloons, airships and even one ornithopter.

Owner-maintained

The O-M category added 26 aircraft in 2014, up from the 22 added in 2013, leaving the category in fourth spot once again ahead of advanced ultralights. By the end of 2014, there were 631 O-M aircraft on the registry, made up of 615 airplanes and 16 gliders. O-M aircraft made up 7% of the aircraft added to the private fleet in 2014.

This category has continued to suffer from low numbers of aircraft being moved from the certified category ever since the American FAA announced that O-M aircraft will never be allowed to fly in US airspace or sold in the USA. Overall this category continues to stagger along with a low degree of interest from owners.

Advanced Ultralights

Advanced Ultralights remained in fifth place for growth in 2014, increasing their numbers by only 17 airplanes, the same number added in 2013. Their growth in numbers in 2014 made up 5% of the private fleet increase and brought the total number of AULAs on the civil register to 1,210. By the category definition, all AULAs are powered, fixed wing aircraft.

The AULA category was introduced in 1991 and therefore 2014 was its 23rd year. The category has increased its numbers at an average of 52 aircraft per year and so can hardly be considered the success that was anticipated when it was started. As in the past five years, the number of AULAs added in 2014 was well below the average from the category's earlier years. The low sales figures are mostly likely linked to the high price of new AULAs and their American counter-parts, Light-Sport Aircraft.

Commercial Fleet

In 2014 the commercial aircraft fleet decreased by 49 aircraft to bring it down to 6,964. The numbers show an decrease of 21 airplanes and 29 helicopters, with no increases in any category.

In round numbers, at the end of 2014 the private fleet made up 80% of the aircraft in Canada, with the commercial fleet at 19% and the state fleet at 0.7%, all basically unchanged from 2013. As commercial aviation fails to grow or even shrinks over time private aviation is making up a greater proportion of the fleet.

Imports & Exports

Aircraft imports into Canada in 2014 numbered 619, which was down from 669 in 2013 and well below the 968 imported during the pre-recession days of 2008. In 2014, 850 aircraft were exported, giving a difference of 231 favouring exported aircraft over those imported.

Looking at 2014

World oil prices dropped below US$60 per barrel late in 2014 taking the Canadian dollar with it, as the world markets were temporarily over-supplied with oil. Oddly, while automotive gasoline prices dropped, avgas generally didn't, or at least hadn't yet by year end, often leaving it almost twice the price of car gas. If avgas prices do drop in 2015 this may encourage more flying to take place, but there is also a real risk in 2015 or 2016 of a sudden increase in oil prices, as the far eastern economies recover and demand surges in the face of a current loss of oil capital investment and the resulting supply shortages.

Note: Data for this report was taken from the Transport Canada Civil Aircraft Register and reflects the difference between the number of aircraft registered in Canada on 31 December 2013 and 31 December 2014. These statistics reflect the net number of aircraft built and imported, minus the number destroyed, scrapped and exported. Just because an aircraft is registered in Canada does not mean it is being flown and therefore the number of registered aircraft should not be confused with the amount of flying activity.

27 November 2014

COPA's President & CEO, Kevin Psutka, announces his intention to retire in 2015

Ottawa, Ontario—November 27, 2014 —COPA’s Board of Directors today announced that Kevin Psutka has declared his plans for retiring from his position as COPA's President & CEO in 2015.

"Kevin’s extraordinary vision and leadership guided COPA through times of tremendous change," said Trekker Armstrong, Chairman of COPA’s Board of Directors. Mr. Psutka, with 18 years tenure in his current position, has proven to be one of the most knowledgeable Executives on general aviation matters in Canada’s Personal Aviation sector.

With over 5000 hours flying experience, including commercial fixed-wing and rotary licences, Mr. Psutka has firsthand experience with past and present challenges facing our sector and very knowledgeable of the future challenges our sector will face. As President and CEO, Mr. Psutka’s duties and responsibilities are wide ranging. In this capacity he is liaison and primary contact person for: Transport Canada, Nav Canada, other Canadian Aviation Associations, AOPA and EAA plus US & Canadian Border Agencies. This extended beyond North America to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and The International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), where he serves as Vice President for North America.

While the COPA Board understood and was planning for succession, Kevin Psutka’s announcement to the Board of Directors has triggered the succession plan. He will remain in full capacity as President & CEO until such time as a replacement is found, with a succession transition to follow. The COPA Board of Directors will immediately undertake to enact the succession plan and begin the recruitment process for a new President & CEO.

COPA is the largest aviation Association in Canada covering Personal Aviation – that sector of General Aviation where aircraft are flown for personal travel and recreation. COPA is also the 2nd largest AOPA in the World. COPA protects Personal Aviation and promotes it as a valued, integral and sustainable part of the Canadian Community.

Media Contact

External Links

18 November 2014

TSB Reemphasizes SECURITAS

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is putting new emphasis on its SECURITAS safety reporting program.

SECURITAS has been around for a number of years, but hasn't been widely used in the transportation industry to report problems to the TSB so action can be taken. Reports made under SECURITAS are confidential and the reporter's name is not revealed. TSB investigators take the reports and act on them on behalf of the person reporting the problem to correct safety issues before accidents happen.

The program can be used by transportation industry personnel, such as aircraft pilots, air traffic controllers, ship's crews, pipeline crews and train engineers. It can also be used by passengers and by the general public to report hazards and safety concerns.

To help relaunch the program and get more people using it the TSB is asking people to:

The TSB also asks people to forward their email notices and other materials, but they have marked everything they distribute "Copyright © 2014 Transportation Safety Board of Canada, All rights reserved", which, given Canada's very strict new copyright laws, really precludes sharing anything. Perhaps they need to rethink their licensing and issue their material under permissive licences instead, such as Creative Commons, or even make it explicitly public domain so that people can share it freely.

Canadian Aviation Historical Society - Ottawa Chapter

By Don MacNeil, CAHS Ottawa Program Convenor

Dear aviation or military enthusiasts:

The Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society would like to invite you to attend any of our monthly meetings which occur from September through May on the last Thursday of each month. Meetings are held in the Bush Theatre of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum starting at 1930 hours.

Please feel free to bring family members or friends as well. A $1 landing fee is charged to cover coffee and donuts and the museum charges a nominal parking fee for the evening.

Also included is the planned slate of speakers for our 2014-2015 winter season.

If you enjoy our meetings, a membership is only $12 for the digital version of our monthly newsletter or $30 for the paper version making for an affordable gift or personal investment.

Upcoming Events

  • November 2014: Confirmed - "Identifying the remains of Canadian military personnel", Ms. Laurel Clegg, Forensic Anthropologist
  • January 2015: Confirmed - "Women in the CAF", Sarah Hogenbirk, PhD Candidate
  • February 2015: Confirmed - "Letter to my Grandson" & Book Signing, Wally Kasper, Bomber Command Lancaster pilot
  • March 2015: Confirmed - "Canada Aviation & Space Museum Update", Erin Gregory, CASM Staff
  • April 2015: TBD - "NRC Flight Lab Tour"
  • April 2015: Backup - "Bomber Command", Ron Moyes
  • May 2015: Confirmed - AGM and "Vintage Wings Update & Researching Vintage Wings Stories", Dave O'Mally, Vintage Wings - Director of Marketing

External links