05 October 2015

Westport "Pigs and Pies" Fly-in

The Rideau Lakes Flying Club (COPA Flight 56) will hold their annual "Pigs and Pies" Fall Fly-In on Saturday 17 October 2015

The club says: "come join us for a great fall celebration near the fabulous town of Westport, Ontario. View the planes, celebrate the changing leaves, and enjoy the Westport throughout the day. Fun for the whole family."

Everyone is welcome to fly or drive in.

Here are the details:

  • What: Westport "Pigs and Pies" Fly-in
  • When: Saturday 17 October 2015, food served from 1000-1400 hrs
  • Where: Westport ON (CRL2), (N) 43 39 93 (W) 76 23 92
  • Runway: 07/32, 3118 feet long
  • Radio: Traffic 123.2 MHz
  • Food: Smokies and delicious pies served from 1000 until 1400hrs in exchange for a donation to the club
  • Contact: Mike Miles 613-276-6276 or Russ Walker 613-273-7349

External links

21 September 2015

Ottawa Flying Club to Hold 57th Annual Fly Day

By The Ottawa Flying Club

It's that time of year again! On Saturday 26 September 2015 the Ottawa Flying Club will once again host its Annual Fly Day event supporting The Rotary Club of Ottawa. Members of the public will be able to register the morning of the event to take a sightseeing tour of our beautiful city for $40 per person.

Pilots Needed!

We have about 15 planes to date but more never hurts....! Fly Day is a great opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering your time as a pilot. We are seeking as many pilots and 4 seat or larger aircraft as possible. A tax receipt will be provided to pilots for their fuel used during the event. For more detail please contact Marc Desjardins.

Volunteer opportunity!

The OFC is seeking energetic people to assist with multiple tasks during the day of the event including passenger escort and aircraft marshalling. At a minimum volunteers who will be airside require a student pilot's permit. We can still use non-pilot volunteers for other non-airside tasks! For more detail please contact Julie Marion.

The OFC has been supporting the Rotary Club of Ottawa for more than 30 years through the annual Fly Day event. The Rotary Club is a not-for-profit international organization with a mission of assisting families with physically challenged kids by providing respite care services. Over the past 10 years the OFC has helped raise more than $100,000 through the Fly Day events with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the Rotary Club of Ottawa.

Fly Day is a fun and popular way for the community to learn about the Ottawa Flying Club while doing something great for a local charity. This year's proceeds will benefit the Ottawa Rotary Home, long known for offering short-term respite care to families who have children with disabilities, and the Rotary Club of Ottawa.


Tour tickets are $40 per person. The gates open at 0830 hrs and the first flight is at 0900 hrs.


Events (apart from flying) will include:

  • Ground Displays and Demonstrations
  • Colouring Contest for the Kids
  • Breakfast and Barbeque, and food services from our excellent Lunch Pad Café
  • Information about learning to fly

For more information, please contact Margot Nichols of the Rotary Club of Ottawa at 613 860-1521

External links

15 September 2015

Gatineau to Host September Air Display

Thanks to the work of Vintage Wings, Gatineau Airport will host a small airshow on Saturday, 19 September 2015.

The event is the Battle of Britain Air Show & Pub Night, taking advantage of the military aircraft that will be in town for the Battle of Britain Parade that day.

The airshow will consist of a CF-18 Hornet demonstration, at 1530 hrs, followed by the Snowbirds at 1600 hrs. There will also be static displays, followed by a twilight run-up of a Spitfire, Hurricane, Lysander and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster bomber.

The air demonstrations are open to the public, while the Vintage Wings pub night at their hangar require tickets to be purchased.

The gates open to the public at 1300 hrs.

External links

02 September 2015

Lancaster Airpark’s Annual Labour Day Corn Boil

The Lancaster Aero Club (COPA Flight 190) will host their Annual Labour Day Corn Boil on Monday 07 September 2015 between 1100-1400 hrs.

Everyone is invited to fly in, drive in, or bike in to the airpark!

Here are the details:

  • Date: Monday 07 September 2015
  • Time: 1100-1400 hrs
  • Location: Lancaster Airpark (CLA6), Latitude: 45 12 00 N, Longitude: 74 21 45 W
  • Runway: 07/25 2,400' grass, elevation: 145' asl.
  • Note: All circuits to the north
  • Frequency: Traffic: 123.2 MHz
  • Food: Hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob
  • Prices: Adults: $8, Children under 12 free!
  • Contact: Brian Russell, 613-347-7000

External links

25 August 2015

Safety Alert on Unmanned Air Vehicles

Photo by Zimin.V.G.WikiMedia Commons

by Mélanie Drouin, Manager, Canadian Aviation Regulations Advisory Council, Transport Canada

Transport Canada issued a Civil Aviation Safety Alert to remind all persons operating unmanned aircraft (model aircraft and unmanned air vehicles or UAVs), for any purpose, about the safety impacts and consequences of interfering with manned aircraft operations, including firefighting aircraft.

This summer, a number of incidents occurred in British Columbia where manned aircraft fighting forest fires were grounded due to interference from unmanned aircraft. The Canadian Aviation Regulations state that no unauthorized person shall operate an aircraft within 5 nautical miles (9km) of a forest fire or within any associated restricted airspace.

The Civil Aviation Safety Alert is also a reminder of the consequences of contravening regulations pertaining to the use of unmanned aircraft.

Please distribute the Alert or this message where appropriate.

20 August 2015

Book Review: Lost - Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation

  • Lost - Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian Aviation
  • by Shirlee Smith Matheson
  • Published by Frontenac House, Calgary, Alberta, 2015
  • 9" X 6" soft cover
  • 224 pages, including notes and sources, aircraft index, general index
  • $21.95

This book, by author Shirlee Smith Matheson, was originally published in 2005 as Lost: True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies. The new edition, with a new name, is more than just a reprint, it expands some stories and even completes some, when old wrecks have been located in the intervening ten years since the first version came out.

The theme that ties this collection of chapters about missing aircraft is how easy it is to completely lose an aircraft in the Canadian wildness and not just small aircraft, as some aircraft lost for years have been quite large.

The book starts with the story of Ken Leishman and his 1979 disappearance while flying a medevac in a Piper Aztec between Sandy Lake, Ontario and Thunder Bay. The charismatic Leishman literally lived a life of crime, having stolen everything from furniture to gold and carried out bank robberies, but he was caught and did jail time. He even completed several jail breaks, but it was after his debt to society had been paid and he seemed to be "going straight" that he disappeared doing a "real" job, flying for a commercial carrier. His aircraft wreck was found some five months later.

Another chapter covers the loss of Sigismund Levanevsky and the Soviet four-engined Bolkhovitinov DB-A bomber he was flying across the North Pole in 1937 as part of raising Soviet technical prestige and that was never found.

There is the story of Gavin Edkins and his Cessna 150 flight from Fort McMurray, Alberta to Red Deer in 1996 that never arrived. In that chapter author Matheson criticizes the Canadian Forces SAR team and their scientific search methods, giving a lot more credence to people's dreams about where the aircraft was and the inherent wisdom of the local bush pilots, but when given free reign none of them could locate the aircraft either and it remains lost to this day. That same chapter covers the strange story of gold miners and suspicious mine stakes, ending in the loss of a Fairchild 82, pilot Chuck McAvoy and two American geologists in 1964. That wreck was located, 39 years later, in 2003.

The author next delves into British Columbia and its habit of "collecting wrecked planes". This chapter covers the 1942 crash of a Lockheed 14-H2 Super Electra en route to Vancouver from Prince George, BC. Its ten passengers and crew of three died when it hit Mount William Knight in the Cheam Range. The aircraft was not found for eight months. Another BC wreck was an RCAF Consolidated B-24 Liberator bomber that disappeared in 1945 on a training flight from Abbotsford, BC. It was found three weeks later, also in the Cheam Range. A Trans Canada Airways Canadair North Star with 66 people on board disappeared in 1956 on a flight from Vancouver. The captain declared to ATC that one of the North Star's Merlin engines had caught fire and was heading back to Vancouver when it impacted Mount Slesse, not far from the other two. It was found five months later, possibly the victim of mountain wave conditions. There had been no survivors.

Other chapters cover war hero and seasoned bush pilot Johnny Bourassa's 1951 disappearance, another wreck that was never found, plus the crash of a US Army crew and their Martin B-26 Marauder in 1942 on what was to be a ferry trip from the US through Canada to the UK. It crashed in Labrador and was noted for the fact that when it was found the captain had left a lengthy diary that detailed how the crew eventually starved to death awaiting a rescue that never came. SAR during World War Two was often non-existent. Further stories include a U-boat hunting Lockheed Hudson that has eluded location in Nova Scotia since 1943 and a Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress lost in Labrador. Another chapter deals with famous hockey player Bill Barilko, who had scored the Stanley Cup winning goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1951, but who disappeared on a fishing trip with a friend just a few months later, a wreck that wasn't found for 11 years.

For her final chapter the author returns to British Columbia's "Graveyard of Lost Planes" and relates a set of stories that include a lost Convair B-36, an enormous six-engined bomber that iced up, lost three engines and jettisoned a "Fat Man" atomic bomb over BC waters in 1950, the USAF's first "Broken Arrow" incident. The crew bailed out and the bomber flew on to crash, but it was not found for three years.

Overall the book is an interesting read for all aviators. It can be a bit dramatic in places, but never gruesome. It really drives home the reality that you can never be "too prepared" to survive in the terrain that is under your route of flight, because, even with modern ELTs and SAR, some aircraft still go missing and are never found. You really want to stack the odds in your favour.

The publisher, Frontenac House, is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and also the Alberta Government's Media Development Fund.

External links

11 August 2015

Embrun Fly-In 2015

The Embrun Aero Club (COPA Flight 132) will hold their fly-in breakfast on Sunday 23 August 2015, between 0800-1100 hrs at the Embrun Airport.

Everyone is welcome!

Here are the details:

  • Date: Sunday 23 August 2015
  • Time: 0800-1100 hrs
  • Location: Embrun Aerodrome (CPR2) Latitude N: 45 14 28, Longitude W: 75 17 55
  • Frequency: Traffic 123.2 MHz, within 5 nm 1320 ft ASL
  • Caution: Watch the wires on short final to Runway 26, they are marked with balls but are 30 feet high.
  • Price: Breakfast:
    • Youth (13 and up) and adults: $7.00
    • Children under 12: $4.00

External links

Carleton Place Fly-In 2015

The Carleton Place Flying Club (COPA Flight 121), will hold their 16th annual fly-in BBQ event on Saturday 12 September 2015, at the Carleton Place Airport. This annual event is well-known for the large number of ultralights it attracts, especially Quad City Challengers.

Everyone is welcome but an RSVP is requested by Wednesday, 09 September to allow for food planning purposes.

Here are the details:

  • Date: Saturday 12 September 2015
  • Rain date: Sunday 13 September 2015
  • Time:: All day, but lunch is served 1100-1400 hrs
  • Location: Carleton Place Airport (CNR6), Latitude N: 45 06 14, Longitude W: 76 07 24
  • Frequency: Traffic 123.2 MHz
  • Caution: Low-slung wires 200 feet short of the threshold of runway 35
  • Contact: 613-836-7243 or email

External links

05 August 2015

Edenvale Gathering Of The Classics

This upcoming Saturday, 08 August 2015, is the annual Edenvale Gathering Of The Classics, one of the summer's bigger fly-in events.

The event features classic and antique aircraft, including Second World War aircraft, homebuilts and ultralights. Also on display will be classic cars and motorcycles.

Here are the details:

  • Date: Saturday 08 August 2015
  • Rain Date: Sunday 09 August 2015
  • Time: 1000-1600 hrs
  • Location: Edenvale Aerodrome (CNV8), Latitude (N): 44 26 28, Longitude (W): 79 57 45
  • Frequency: ATF 122.775 MHz, AWOS 123.175 MHz
  • Circuits: Left hand circuits to all runways.
  • Admission:
    • Adults: $10
    • Youth (10-17): $5
    • Children 9 and under: free
    • Pilots and passengers flying in: free, plus free coffee and a donut!

The Short Wing Piper Club is planning to fly-in to this event!

External links

14 July 2015

News from the Carleton ACE Lab

Kathleen Van Benthem, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Carleton University Advanced Cognative Engineering Lab (ACE), who has spoken to COPA Flight 8 in the past, recently send news about the Aging Pilot Study.

The study is complete and four videos have been produced that outline the project and its results.

Van Benthem writes:

It has been a while, but I am finally finished the Cessna study at Carleton U! We were very fortunate in that SmartPilot.ca came out last fall and made some professional videos about the lab and this study (much better than our homemade ones!). You will find the videos here (no login in required).:

The four videos presented cover:

  • The people of the aging pilot study
  • Understanding the study
  • So what? Lessons learned
  • About the Lab

Van Benthem also noted that a recent Carleton article has focused on the work done at the ACE lab by several grad students, including the work of Chris Nicholson, a psychology PhD student who is interested in how flight simulator motion affects pilot training.

In that same article Van Benthem summarized the findings of the aging pilot study:

Research at the ACE lab showed that, although older pilots did show poorer results on some aspects of flight performance when compared to younger pilots, some of the effects of age were reduced by having higher levels of expertise. "This emphasizes the need for continued upgrading of skills throughout the pilot lifespan," says Van Benthem.

She also notes: "I am also happy to say that we are working on finding the funding to continue this work, and develop a GA-purposed cognitive health screening tool."

Flight 8 would like to congratulate Kathleen Van Benthem on completing the study!

09 July 2015

Book Review: Wings Over High River

  • Wings Over High River - Conversations with A. Gordon Jones - The Biography of a BCATP Pilot Instructor
  • by Anne Gafiuk
  • Published by The Nanton Lancaster Society, Nanton, Alberta
  • Book launch 1 December 2012
  • 11" X 8.5" soft cover
  • 287 pages
  • $47.00

This book, by freelance writer Anne Gafiuk, was an accidental project. She started off writing a story about another World War II pilot when her background research took her to the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, Alberta. The Museum's Tink Robinson connected her with Gordon Jones, a local pilot who was an instructor with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) during the Second World War and taught at #5 Elementary Flying Training School in nearby High River, Alberta. In interviewing Jones and his family at their home in High River in southern Alberta, Gafiuk became entranced by his story and the museum convinced her to create the book from her interviews. The museum then published the book in house. Jones was well known at the museum because he owned and flew a deHavilland Tiger Moth, a yellow one in BCATP markings and he displayed it often at the museum.

Gafiuk showed up at the Jones house for her first interview bearing a homemade lemon meringue pie and that won over hearts and minds. She came back, several times, to complete the interviews through 2011-12.

Gordon Jones was born on 12 January 1923 in Bangor, Saskatchewan, the son of Welsh pioneer settlers. Jones' father served in the infantry in the First World War and was gassed in France. He came home with shrapnel wounds. Jones himself lived through the rigours of farm life in the Great Depression and then he enlisted in the RCAF when he turned 18 in 1941. He had to redo the medical three or four times before they took him and he then reported to #2 Manning Depot in Brandon, Manitoba in May 1941. After basic training he was assigned to do guard duty as an Aircraftsman Second Class at #10 Service Flying Training School at Dauphin, Manitoba. He was next sent to #4 Initial Training School in Edmonton, where he flew the Link Trainer simulator.

Jones did his Elementary Flying Training at #5 EFTS in High River, Alberta, on Tiger Moths, where the instructors were civilians at that time. Jones arrived in Fort Macleod and #7 SFTS for his service flying training on Ansons. Billy Bishop himself pinned Jones' wings on and Jones was then promoted to Sergeant pilot. Hoping to be sent overseas, Jones was surprised to be posted to #1 FIS in Trenton for instructor training on 1 January 1942, on Harvards. He says of the 40 or so members of his course who did go overseas, only one made it home.

After instructor training Jones was posted back to #5 EFTS in High River in March, 1942 to teach pilots and was promoted to Pilot Officer and later Flying Officer. It was in High River that Jones met his future wife, Linora Randle, and he says that she taught him how to dance at Alberta country dances. In October 1943 the school converted to Cornells, but Jones never lost his admiration for the Tiger Moth. Jones and Linora Randle were married in October 1944 and it was in that month that the orders came to begin the closure of #5 EFTS as the war wound down. Jones was sent to #1 FIS Trenton and later posted to #16 SFTS in Hagersville, Ontario, where he became a testing officer, taking trainees up for flight tests. No matter how much an instructor wanted to be sent overseas, once you had some seniority in the job you were too valuable as an instructor to go.

After the war Jones went back to farming and stayed in High River the rest of his life. He owned a Piper Cherokee 235, became a member of the International Flying Farmers and a freelance instructor. For a while he owned a flying school and flew charter flights as well, including air ambulance flights. He served on the local airport commission and became the Flying Farmer representative to the COPA board. He was elected to the Municipal District of Foothills five times and became the Reeve. He had kidney cancer in 1973, but overcame it. He later traded his Cherokee for a Piper Lance and then in 1994 bought a real yellow BCATP Tiger Moth when it came up for sale. He kept the Lance as well until 2008, when he was diagnosed with cancer again, beating it again. In 2012 he was given an Award of Merit by COPA President and CEO Kevin Psutka. He kept his Tiger Moth to the end of his life, willing it to the museum.

His biography was published in late 2012 and Gordon Jones passed away on 10 September 2013, at age 90.

In many ways this isn't a classic sort of biography of a World War II pilot. Instead this is a sort of a scrap book of interview transcripts, old photos, pages from logbooks, flight test reports, that sort of thing. It's a warm and personal book and has an intimate quality to it. During the long interviews that the author did with Jones and his family, friends and wartime associates she became a part of that family and very close to her subject. The book is full of the little stories and anecdotes that made up wartime service, even here in Canada, far from the fighting, stories of low flying exploits, cross country flights, promotions, train trips and country dances held on remote prairie air bases. Overall it is a delightful read and surprisingly compelling. It is also profusely illustrated with hundreds of photos and documents.

Wings Over High River is an interesting personal story, one that most aviators would find of interest.

External links

07 July 2015

Bancroft 2015 Pancake Breakfast Fly-In

The Bancroft Flying Club (COPA Flight 119) is holding their 2015 pancake fly-in breakfast on 12 July 2015.

The event will include a display of classic automobiles. Airplane rides will also be available from WM Aeroflight at $50 per person on both 11 and 12 July.

Everyone is welcome to fly in or drive in!

Here are the details for the event:

  • Date: 12 July 2015
  • Time: 0800-1200 hrs
  • Location: Jack Brown/Bancroft Municipal Airport (CNW3), N45 04 23 W77 52 44
  • Frequency: Unicom 122.8 MHz, within 5 nm and 4100 feet ASL
  • Breakfast:
    • pancakes
    • sausages
    • orange juice
    • coffee
    • real maple syrup
  • Prices:
    • Adults: $6.00
    • Children (5-10) $4.00
    • Children (under 5) free
    • Families: $20.00

External links

Midland Fly-In 2015

The Midland Fly-In is coming up soon on 11 July 2015! The event is organized by the Midland-Huronia Chapter of the RAA and sponsored by Aircraft Spruce and Speciality.

The event includes a Transport Canada Safety Seminar at 1000 hrs.

Other highlights include an airport terminal open house and displays by Aircraft Spruce and Speciality, as well as the Midland District Model Railroad Club. Zenair will also be holding an open house and there will be displays of vintage automobiles and motorcycles.

Everyone is welcome.

Here are the details:

  • Date: Saturday 11 July 2015
  • Time: 0900-1500 hrs
  • Location: Midland-Huronia Airport (CYEE), N44 41 05, W 79 55 46
  • Frequency: Unicom 122.85 MHz
  • Telephone: 705-526-8086
  • Food: Lunch will be available on site

External links

06 July 2015

RAA Ottawa-Rideau­ Chapter 4928 Fly-In BBQ Lunch

RAA Ottawa-Rideau­ Chapter 4928 is holding its July fly-in BBQ lunch on 12 July 2015 at Kars/Rideau Valley Air Park.

Everyone is welcome to attend! Fly-in or drive-in.

Here are the event details:

  • Date: Sunday 12 July 2015
  • Time: Lunch served 1100-1400 hrs
  • Location: Kars/Rideau Valley Air Park, Kars, Ontario (CPL3), 45°06′N 075°38′, RWY 26/08
  • Radio: Traffic 123.4
  • Food: BBQ

External links

29 June 2015

Smiths Falls Fly-in Lunch

The Smiths Falls Flying Club, COPA Flight 100, will host a fly-in lunch on 18 July 2015, in conjunction with a Transport Canada training session.

Everyone is welcome to attend! Fly-in or drive-in.

The Transport Canada recurrency training session will start at 1300 hrs, following lunch at 1100 hrs.

Here are the event details:

  • Date: Saturday 18 July 2015
  • Time: Lunch starts 1100 hrs, Transport Canada recurrency training session starts 1300 hrs
  • Location: Smiths Falls-Montague (Russ Beach) Airport, Smiths Falls, Ontario (CYSH)
  • Radio: Unicom 122.7 Mhz within 5nm and 3400 feet ASL
  • Food: The Ad Mare Seafood Truck will be at the airport. Ad Mare’s famous fish and chips or fish tacos will be served. Price will be $12. Indoor seating will be available.

External links

28 June 2015

Iroquois Flying Club’s 49th Annual Fly-In Breakfast

The Iroquois Flying Club will hold their 49th Annual Fly-In Breakfast on 19 July 2015 at the Iroquois Municipal Airpark and everyone is invited to fly or drive in.

Here are the details:

  • Date: 19 July 2015
  • Time: 0800-1130 hrs
  • Location: Iroquois Municipal Airpark (CNP7)
  • Frequency: Unicom 122.8 MHz
  • Information: 613-657-1646
  • Menu: Eggs, Ham, Baked Beans, Roll, Coffee and Juice.
  • Price: $6.00, Children 6 and under $3.00
  • Note: There is a separate breakfast line for pilots and their passengers

Canada Day Fly-In 2015

by Brenda Reid

On 01 July 2015 Canada Day, The Rockcliffe Flying Club will host its Annual Fly-In Breakfast from 0730-1100 hrs. Cost for breakfast is $6.00/per person. This year we are serving pancakes and sausages, baked beans, rolls, coffee, tea and juice. We will be serving bacon and eggs for those who prefer the traditional RFC breakfast.

Sightseeing flights in a Cessna 172 will be available from 0930-1630 for $35/per person. Registration is based at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. The flights will be based at the RFC. The customers will be shuttled back and forth from the Museum to the RFC.

If you have any questions you can contact Brenda Reid or call 613-746-4425.

External links

23 June 2015

Book Review: Air Canada - The History

  • Air Canada - The History
  • by Peter Pigott
  • Published by Dundurn Press, Toronto, Ontario, 1 March 2014
  • 10" X 7" soft cover, also available in PDF and ePub digital formats
  • 328 pages, including notes, further reading and index
  • $35.00 in hard copy and PDF, $16.99 in ePub

Peter Pigott's recently published history of Air Canada is surprisingly readable, and while not as gripping as a mystery story whose ending is unknown, this book will keep you reading right to the end.

Pigott has researched his subject well from original sources, archives, interviews and papers and presents it in chronological fashion, starting from the formation of Trans Canada Airlines in 1937. Not a commercial enterprise when it was conceived, the fledgling national air carrier was created as a part of Canadian National Railway and as a policy instrument to establish something that Canada lacked, a national airline. In those days there were lots of small air carriers, but none provided more than local service; no one was flying passengers or freight coast to coast.

It had actually been the short-lived Conservative government under RB Bennett that started the construction of a national series of airfields and navigation facilities as a Great Depression relief effort, to provide work for unemployed men. The Trans Canada Airway was inherited by the Liberal Mackenzie King government in 1935, almost complete. All it lacked was an air service to use it. TCA was born as a result and given a monopoly on the airway. It was to be a "social instrument - an essential service like the provincially owned electricity companies or the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, designed to bind the country together...." The first minister responsible was the irrepressible CD Howe. The first flight was flown from Vancouver airport in a Lockheed 10A Electra to Seattle, on 1 September 1937.

The airline went on to fly a wide variety of aircraft including the Avro Lancastrian, Canadair North Star, Vickers Vanguard and Viscount and the jets, the Douglas DC-8 and DC-9, the Lockheed L-1011, the Boeing 747 and 727 and the Airbus A320, A340 and A319.

Pigott goes on to detail the airline's life in a good level of detail, including the decisions made in the executive suite, the political interference suffered, the aircraft purchased and sold, the organization, uniforms, the strikes and other challenges. Much of the tale is told with the spectre of privatization hanging over the whole endeavour, something wholeheartedly supported by most of the leadership over the years and only completely achieved in July 1989.

The author divides the story up by company president, with chapters on the years dominated by Gordon McGregor, Yves Pratte, Claude Taylor, Pierre Jeanniot, and finally the Americans, Hollis Harris, Lamar Durrett and Robert Milton. The book ends in 2002, leaving the newer tales for a future volume.

Pigott includes pretty much everything, the crashes (including the "Gimli Glider" incident), the national and regional politics and the politics of routes, the early computer reservation systems, finances, cabotage and rights granted, competition with Canadian Pacific, Pacific Western, Wardair and WestJet, customer complaints about poor service, the takeover of the ailing Canadian Airlines, even the "Airbus Scandal" of the Mulroney years. The book is illustrated with many photos of the aircraft, the designer uniforms, aircraft paint schemes and the key people involved. He also covers the regional and budget air services Air Canada started: Air Canada Connector, Jazz, Tango, Zip and even AeroPlan, the customer loyalty "points" system. Even though he shows obvious keen interest in the subject, Pigott is a consummate historian and the reader never feels like this is a "fan" work, but always a passionate, but unbiased history.

I have to admit when I picked this book up I thought, "how interesting can a history of Air Canada really be?" But the author tells a story worth relating and he makes it engaging, if not gripping. I think this is a book that anyone interested in aviation or just general Canadian history will enjoy and find hard to put down.

The book's publisher, Dundurn Press of Toronto, is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

External links

18 June 2015

COPA Announces New President & CEO

By Trekker Armstrong, Chairman, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

June 15, 2015

COPA’s Board of Directors today announced that Mr. Bernard Gervais has been appointed as the next President and CEO of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association. He will officially begin his term on July 1st, 2015.

The Succession Committee of the COPA Board, went through a structured and disciplined recruitment process and was fortunate to have attracted numerous qualified applicants. We wish to thank and acknowledge those applicants who sought to contribute to the success of the Association.

Mr. Gervais is the Past Chairman of the Board of the APBQ (The Quebec Aviators and Bush Pilots Association) and is an outspoken advocate for personal aviation. He has actively collaborated with Transport Canada, NAV CANADA and Community stakeholders on numerous cases. Mr. Gervais has been instrumental in organizing air rallies and provincial air tours to promote general aviation and flight safety. He holds a Private Pilot’s license with a Night and Seaplane endorsement. He flies a 2008 Maule MX-7 on wheels, floats and skis.

As President and CEO, Mr. Gervais’ duties and responsibilities are wide ranging. Mr. Gervais will be responsible for providing valuable membership services, contributing to the corporate strategy and business plan, leading and integrating corporate goals and deliverables, while influencing government bodies. He will be the liaison and primary contact person for entities such as Transport Canada, NAV CANADA, other Canadian Aviation Associations, AOPA and EAA, as well as US and Canadian border agencies. Mr. Gervais will work with the COPA Board regarding corporate governance, while leading and managing a small team of dedicated professionals at COPA's national office in Ottawa.

Mr. Gervais will attend COPA’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday, June the 20 th at St. Andrews Airport (CYAV) in Manitoba. He welcomes the opportunity to meet with COPA members and with others in the broader aviation community.

External links

17 June 2015

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Fly-in - 09 August 2015

The L'Association des Pilotes et Propriétaires de Hangar de St-Jean-sur-Richelieu (COPA Flight 160) are holding their 11th annual fly-in on Sunday 09 August 2015 and everyone is invited to come!

The event features free hotdogs, corn on the cob and soft drinks plus a one day pass for all pilots and passengers to the International Hot-Air Balloon Festival which is held at the same time and place.

Pilots can check for NOTAMs on the club web site for last minute updates.


  • Location: St-Jean Airport (CYJN)
  • Date: Sunday, 09 August 2015
  • Time: All day, except runways closed 1800-1900 hrs for balloons
  • Frequencies: Tower 118.2 MHz, Ground 121.7 MHz
  • Contact: Nicole Legault

External links

28 May 2015

COPA Annual General Meeting Coming Up


Join COPA in Winnipeg on 20 June 2015, at our Annual General Meeting. A host of activities are planned in connection with the COPA business session. Friday evening there will be a barbeque meet and greet at Lyncrest Airport and participants will be able to take part in a progressive fly-out dinner on Saturday. Tours are being arranged to visit Nav Canada's Area Control Centre, CYAV Tower, Canadian Propeller, AeroRecip,the Western Canada Aviation Museum, the Museum for Human Rights and the Polar Bear Exhibit at the Winnipeg Zoo.

For more information and to register visit www.copawinnipeg2015.ca.

See you in Winnipeg!

22 May 2015

Howard Watt: Air Mail and Bush Pilot 1926-1941

By Diana Trafford

I'll be giving a talk on my uncle, Howard Watt at Venturing Hills, Luskville, Quebec, on Thursday 28 May 2015 at 1900 hrs.

Uncle Howard flew in the Red Lake Gold Rush of 1926 in a Curtiss JN-4, then owned a Standard J-1 based in Toronto, flew a Ryan M-2 out of The Pas which he later bought, then flew mainly Fairchilds for Canadian Transcontinental and Canadian Airways on the Quebec North Shore mail service, and finally set up in the Lower St. Lawrence as an independent operator with 2 Fox Moths and later a Dragon.

The talk - very much a story telling approach - will last 45-50 minutes, probably with a break in the middle to allow people to talk to each other. I have about 100 slides and hope to show video clips as well so that people will get a feel for those early planes. Technical details for the planes I mention are given on the slides.

I'll be giving a 30-minute version of this talk at the 2015 convention of the Canadian Aviation Historical Society in Hamilton on 18 June 2015.

14 May 2015

Crosswinds Café opens weekends for the summer at Huronia Airport

The Crosswinds Café is re-opening at Huronia Airport on 16 May 2015. It will be open on weekends in the summer.

The Huronia Airport is located near the towns of Midland and Penetanguishene on Georgian Bay, Ontario and is owned and operated by the municipalities of Midland, Penetanguishene and the Township of Tiny.

The airport is also known as the home of Zenair, one of Canada's most prolific kit plane manufacturers.

External links

07 May 2015

COPA at AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

From COPA National HQ

This is COPA's first official invitation to all Canadian Pilots at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and is brought to you by AIG and the Magnes Group. Refreshing root beer floats will be offered to satisfy your thirst after your full day of gawking at aviation's finest and newest products.

Prizes will be raffled off with the grandpPrize of an iPAD Mini 64gb and a one year subscription to ForeFlight Canada going to one lucky winner.

Special guests are being invited and hopefully will come speak to our crowd of Canadian aviators. Don't miss out! Mark your calendar! Attend COPA's "All Canadian Pilots Reception 2015" (spouses and friends are also invited).

See you Tuesday 21 July 2015, between 1730 hrs and 1930 hrs, under the Partner Resource Center tent on the north side of the Exhibit Hangar A.

External links

06 May 2015

COPA Flight 100 Fly-In at Smiths Falls

COPA Flight 100 Smiths Falls invites everyone to come to their annual fly/drive-in breakfast this summer at Smiths Falls-Montague (Russ Beach) Airport.

The club says, "hang around as long as you like and bring the whole family. Enjoy a great breakfast and look at lots of planes".

Here are the details:

  • Date: 7 June 2015
  • Time: Serving from 0730 until 1130 hrs
  • Location: Smiths Falls-Montague (Russ Beach) Airport, Smiths Falls, Ontario (CYSH)
  • Weather: Rain or shine, the event is on!
  • Contact: For more information, call 613-283-1148 or check the club website

External links

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