17 April 2013

Project North Star To Visit CFB Trenton

By Bill Tate, Vice-President, Project North Star

Our first planned Special Event is for Friday 14 June 2013, which is a trip to 426 Thunderbird Squadron at CFB Trenton.

While at 426 Squadron our tour will take in the training aspects of the new C-130J Hercules that the RCAF is taking delivery of, replacing the older C-130 models.

The tour will consist of:

  • 10:00 Arrival and welcome by 426 Squadron Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Damon Perrault, in the foyer
  • 10:05 Intro to the Sedley S. Blanchard Air Mobility Training Center (AMTC)
  • 10:15 AMTC Tour (split group)
  • 12:00 Lunch (Yukon galley) - $10 per person
  • 13:00 AMTC Tour (split group)
  • 14:00 Departure

Here are some of the tour highlights:

  • Fuselage Trainer (FuT)
  • Integrated Procedures Trainer (IPT)
  • Tactical Flight Training Device (TFTD)
  • Weapon System Trainer (WST)
  • Hercules Observer Trainer (HOT)
  • Night Vision Integrated Simulator (NVIS)

After 426 Squadron we will visit the RCAF Memorial Museum along with the restoration shops where we will have the opportunity to talk to their volunteers.

After the museum tour we will have an early dinner at Tomasso's Italian Grille before returning to Ottawa. At this time we have only 11 seats left.

For booking please email to confirm you are coming and mail a non-refundable deposit of $30.00 payable to PNSAC and a post-dated cheque (14 May 2013) for $40.00 payable to PNSAC and in the cheque memo please indicate Trenton trip.

Please mail the completed booking information, including Name of Participant (in full), Date of Birth (dd/mm/yyyy), Preferred Contact Information (e-mail or telephone) and cheques to:

PO Box 44005
541 Montreal Rd
Ottawa ON K1K 4P8

10 April 2013

Flight 8 Diaspora April Update

As I mentioned in my last post a month ago, about Flight 8's presence on Diaspora (D*), I was about to commence a new strategy to attract followers there. This is my report of the last month's efforts.

As I noted previously, I had not pursued finding followers on D* and had instead just simply posted interesting content daily and waited to see how may people would just pick it up and follow my posts there. That resulted in a total of 38 followers accumulated over a year of postings, which isn't too bad on a network of 405,000 people, by just passive means.

In the last 30 days though I set out to find more people to follow and thus to attract more to follow the Flight 8 posts. I did this by mostly signing up people who commented on items posted by people I was already following. I wasn't very diligent about this, but it has resulted in the account now having 120 followers!

Since this has been fun to do over the last month, I will continue this approach and see how many I can sign up over time.

D* remains a very active, interesting and dynamic on-line community, with lots always going on. The focus does seem in general to be more European, left-leaning and oriented towards issues like free software, politics and human rights, but I think organizations like Flight 8 bring some diversity and balance to content there. This should make the place more interesting to more people and hopefully attracting more users to come and join us there.

One thing that is worth mentioning is how polite everyone is on D*. Even though we come from many different places, have different points of view and many people post under pseudonyms, I have yet to see really anything in the way of incivility there, let alone even one single flame. People are remarkably respectful of diversity and that makes it a fun community to belong to.

As you can tell, I think it is fun project to be part of. The software works well and is still being steadily developed by a community of programmers. The two things D* really needs are more users and good quality content. I am enjoying contributing!

Anyone who would like to interact with interesting people from around the world on D* can sign up for an account on any one of a number of pods. As mentioned before, my personal account is on Diasp.org and that seems to be a good pod, in addition to joindiaspora.com, where the flight account is.

External links

08 April 2013

Ottawa International Freezes General Aviation Fees

The Ottawa International Airport Authority has announced that they will not raise GA fees at the present time.

The Airport Authority had indicated last year that they intended to raise fees in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which a year ago had been running at 2.5%. With the cooling economy though the CPI registered only 0.5% over 2012. The authority explained:

We are pleased to announce that, because this increase was so small, we have decided to defer the increase until February 1, 2014. February 1 coincides with the timing of our annual changes to all other aeronautical rates. Accordingly, at the end of November We expect to announce an increase in general aviation fees as Well as any applicable changes to other aeronautical rates, to take effect on the following February 1. We will base the increase in general aviation fees on the increase in CPI from January 2012 to October 2013. On a go forward basis, We plan to continue to use February 1 for any subsequent fee changes for General Aviation. We trust that you will find this deferral to be acceptable.

Canadian Owners And Pilots Association President and CEO Kevin Psutka responded to the announcement, saying, "thank you for deferring an increase. Any relief on the cost of aviation is appreciated."

04 April 2013

Can You Trust the TC AIM? With Caution!

aim cover

TC’s Aeronautical Information Manual, (AIM) is getting more and more out of date. If it is not doing its job get rid of it! I find it depressing to constantly find inconsistencies in TC’s venerable, Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM). Aside from the fact that I was assured they would make section 4.5.2 Traffic Circuit Procedures — Uncontrolled Aerodromes, more adequately reflect the Canadian Air Regulations, that has not happened yet. My suggestion is to follow the regulations not the AIM!

Here is another example of TC’s lack of care. In the section describing how we are to talk on the radio, the newest AIM, and likely all previous editions, says in section 5.7 Use of Numbers,

“All numbers except whole thousands should be transmitted by pronouncing each digit separately.”

That is certainly how I was taught. Fair enough, but then why a few pages earlier in Section 4.5.6, Use of MF and ATF, does it give this example of correct usage,


Hey TC it’s “runway one eight”.

Come on Transport Canada, Canadians, hell pilots, expect and need better!

03 April 2013

COPA Flight 8 and Twitter

Adam Hunt said, “COPA Flight 8 has now been doing social networking on Twitter and Diaspora (D*) for about 14 months, having started in January 2012, so I thought this would be a good time to give an update on how it is going. I manage the flight's D* account, while Mike Shaw handles Twitter, so I will leave it to him to provide an update on that.”

OK, ok, I will bring the Twitter business up to date. First, Twitter, as you likely know is a business that allows free access to sign up, tweet and read tweets, i.e., Twitter postings. I am far less active on Twitter than Adam is on Diaspora.  (The name “Diaspora” sounds like a digital laxative, or something.) Adam does a posting every day or so. I managed a tweet every three days or so. My tweets tend to be topical although several include photos of aircraft taken in China’s Aviation Museum.

I have 107 followers, not many by Twitter standards, but given my limited activity not bad. Most are in North America, a few in Europe and a couple in places like New Zealand. I follow 153 twitter users, most again in North America. I tend to follow users that point to news items, interesting stories or publish interesting photos. For example, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield’s postings from the Space Station are amazing. I also follow non-aviation twitters associated with photography and video. As well I follow some economic tweeters. I would follow other COPA Flights but I can only find one other flight using Twitter, Flight 10 from the Saskatoon area.

I haven’t put much effort into seeking followers. I have had almost no comments or re-tweets and I have not commented on many tweets by others. I do not automatically follow those who follow me. I find the number of tweets is just overwhelming even though I follow  a mere 153 others. I like most on Twitter I lurk. I find the newsy links to be especially interesting.

The bottom line, I doubt that twitter has brought any new members or a great deal of interest in Flight 8, but I have found it a fun interesting experience. Certainly better than Facebook. I will continue my limited Twitter efforts. See you on Twitter at @copaflt8.