30 January 2012

CATSA Canada ≠ Safety

Shouldn’t our Government’s advice lean towards safety? Here is CATSA’s advice about security screening,

“Dress comfortably with easy-to-remove outerwear, jackets, belts and slip-on shoes”. The source http://www.catsa-acsta.gc.ca/Page.aspx?ID=7&pname=Screening_Controle&lang=en

I guess CATSA security people don’t talk to the flight safety people? Would you wear “slip-on shoes” in an airliner? Like sandals, just to ease getting them off and on again at the security inspection station, really!

I hope not, when you consider that the vast majority of people survive aircraft accidents, many after sliding down the inflatable emergency exit slide on to a runway or unprepared rough areas of an airport, potentially covered in broken glass, plastic, metal, jet fuel, weeds, fire, you name it…

I’m sorry but I want good shoes tightly secured to my feet when I get to the bottom of the slide, not to mention as I hurry to the emergency exit closest to my seat.

Everyone made it off Air France, but look at the terrain they slid down the slides into--not barefoot country.


The modernization of Canada’s busiest airspace

by Patrick Gilligan, Vice President, Operations, Canadian Owners and Pilots Association

IFR pilots, get ready for major changes in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal-Quebec City corridor. On February 9th, the airway system in the corridor will change and several traditional airways will be removed from navigation charts.

Air navigation systems around the world are transitioning to a performance based navigation (PBN) system which allows for greater efficiencies for pilots and air traffic controllers. The new system is simpler to manage and allows for improved capacity and more efficient flight operations resulting in reduced fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.

Nav Canada, in collaboration with customers and industry associations such as the NACC, COPA, ATAC and CBAA, has designed a brand new low level and high level RNAV (Area Navigation) route system, based on PBN, from Toronto to Quebec City. The introduction of the new route system necessitated revoking some of the conventional airways. To assess the impact of this change, Nav Canada conducted a sampling of flight plans to determine the impact on non-RNAV equipped aircraft in the area where airways are being revoked. A sample of 358,518 IFR flight plans from our 2011 traffic database, found only 536 filed by pilots of Canadian registered non-RNAV equipped aircraft. In other words, some 99.85% of the IFR flight sample was capable of RNAV navigation.

Pilots flying this corridor using non-RNAV equipped aircraft will still be able to use traditional ground based navigation aids. Some VOR airways have been retained in the corridor specifically for non-RNAV equipped aircraft. However, on any flight off airways, mileage, minimum altitude information and track will need to be calculated by pilots during the flight planning stage. Pilots can expect to receive traditional clearances via: VHF and LF airways, VOR to VOR, VOR radials and NDB bearings, or radar vectors.

Air traffic controllers are being trained for this major change and mitigation has been put in place to address issues related to non-RNAV capability. More detailed information on the changes can be found in the Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) 38/11 and 45/11.

Finally, a new website http://onboard-abord.ca/, provides an advance look at these changes. The website also contains other important information to help familiarize pilots with evolving air traffic management and flight planning procedures that are applicable to the air navigation system.

Nav Canada Updates Flight Plan To Include Tracking URL

Lloyd Bunbury just sent us a note indicating that Nav Canada has amended the flight plan filing form to allow indicating a tracking URL to follow for the flight from such sources as SPOT.

Lloyd writes: "I just filed a flight plan ... and noted that you now have a "Tracking URL" field allowing me to enter my SPOT2 tracking URL when filing! This is BIG news and I thank you for listening and taking such immediate action to include this data in the flight plan! Kudos all around!"

This will be a great boon for pilots and may actually help get someone found sooner as it makes more locating resources quickly available to SAR.

27 January 2012

Flight 8 Is On Diaspora

Yes Flight 8 is branching out into social media, in an attempt to get more exposure for the club and also share more information and photos, as well.

Flight 8's internet presence consisted of just a website only for a number of years. Initially run by Flight Captain Mike Shaw, then current webmaster Adam Hunt took it over. On 26 August 2007 the old website was replaced by a new one written in XHTML to make it web standards compliant and also make it load and work better.

Then on 12 August 2007 Mike Shaw launched this blog, with the urgent question "Does the Canadian Owners and Pilot's Association Flight 8 need a blog?". With 101 posts to date (not counting this one) it seems to be fulfilling its purpose and occasionally draws debate on contentious issues.

On 25 January 2012 Mike Shaw moved the flight onto Twitter. Not one to be outdone for social media, Adam Hunt opened a Diaspora account for the Flight on 27 January 2012.

Since most people have never heard of Diaspora, some explanation is in order. Diaspora is a social media network that was created by four students attending New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences: Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Dan Grippi, Max Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer. Like a lot of people they had serious issues with Facebook and the fact that it is a private company that owns the rights to everything you write or upload and sells your data to advertisers, tracks you everywhere on the internet, doesn't listen to its users and is generally evil. This article has a lot more detail on the problems with Facebook.

The four students started something better, what Facebook should have been from the start: a free software project to create a disbursed social network where anyone can host a "pod" or server to be part of the network, where you own your own data and where there is no advertising or profit motive behind it all. This article explains more, as does the Wikipedia article. As of January 2012 Diaspora is still in "alpha" development phase, but it works pretty well at this point and is worth supporting as a project.

Flight 8's Diaspora account can be viewed without being a Diaspora member, having an account or without signing in. Of course you can join Diaspora on any pod you like and participate there as well. In the meantime the Flight 8 page will carry meeting announcements, photos and other information.

Both the Twitter and Diaspora pages are linked from the main navigation menus on the Flight 8 website, so they are easy to find.

Will there be more social media forays for Flight 8? That depends on how these ones work out! You will have to stay tuned to find out!

COPA Turns 60 in April 2012

The national organization, COPA, turns 60 this year!

"The idea to form COPA was born in April, 1952. Laurentian Air Services pilot John Bogie was having lunch in the Ottawa Flying Club lounge with Spartan Air Services pilot Bill Peppler and Paul Saunders when Ottawa pilot Margaret Carson came storming in and declared that something had to be done about the way small aircraft owners and operators were being mistreated by the government."

That got it all started. The COPA Flights (local chapters) were started in 1964 and Flight 8 was initiated in 1967, making it 45 years old this year!

Keep an eye on the national website for information on celebrations.

24 January 2012

Last Flight For Dr Trevor Lyons

Retired Ottawa dentist and COPA Flight 8 member Trevor Lyons recently passed away.

His wife and fellow pilot, Rhonda, sent Flight 8 the following message:

"Sadly I must tell you that Trevor died January 1, [2012] after a brief illness. Please pass this news along, I know that Trevor was well known in the aviation community."

Trevor and his bright yellow 1941 model rag-wing Erco 415C Ercoupe, CF-JZH, will be missed in Eastern Ontario skies.

*Ottawa Citizen Obitiary

Twitter and COPA

Do you use Twitter? In my view it is best of the social networking sites. I believe COPA National should be on Twitter. I know they don't have a lot of staff but twitter is not labour intensive and it is a great way to get the word out about issues, good news, bad news, happenings, etc. etc. etc.

COPA flight 8 appears to be one of the few Flights with a twitter account, @copaflt8. Please fell free to follow Flight 8 tweets. It's new so don't expect much at this point.

22 January 2012

Pontiac Airpark Aerial View

Pontiac's developer, André Durocher, just sent me a really nice aerial shot of the aerodrome facing west, taken in July 2011.

It is such a good photo that I couldn't resist posting it here!

* Pontiac Airpark Homepage
* Google Satellite view
* Pontiac Airpark on Places to Fly

16 January 2012

Pontiac Airpark News

Pontiac Airpark developer André Durocher reports that as of December 2011 the first residential lot, Lot 36, has been prepared for building in the spring of 2012.

* Pontiac Airpark website

05 January 2012

First Van’s Aircraft RV8 on penetration Wheel/Skis

By Patrick Gilligan

December 17th, on a cold morning while the fields were frozen, aerodynamic and flight tests were conducted at Indian Creek airstrip in Ontario on a RV8 equipped with a Lycoming O-360.

The skis were designed and built by amateur aircraft builder Patrick Gilligan. Inspired by simplicity and repair ability, these skis are bolted together using a combination of UHMW, hardwood Plywood and aluminum rectangle tube. Fasteners are stainless steel, bungees are landing gear chock cords and Galvanized steel cables make up the limiting cables.

Why install skis? Skis are an additional safety for flying during late Fall, Winter and early Spring where the ground is soft and in the event of an emergency the aircraft can be landed on soft surfaces, frozen lakes, rivers and fields without tearing off the landing gear or flipping upside down. Although in very deep snow chances are the aircraft may flip but with minimal damage. Cruise performance decreased by only 4-6 MPH and lift increased slightly.

For more information contact Patrick.

*Ski video #1
*Ski video #2

03 January 2012

Modification To Restricted Areas: CYR537 Parliament Hill & CYR538 Rideau Hall

To Ottawa area COPA Flights, from Kevin Psutka:

This relatively minor change to the two restricted areas in Ottawa can catch some of you if you plan a sight-seeing trip down the river. This change occurred without consultation and I will meet with the RCMP responsible person in the near future to discuss his plans for expanding the restrictions further.

This change is one of the Aeronautical Information Circulars that have recently been released. This is just a friendly reminder to check the AICs periodically because these sorts of changes can creep in without notice other than an AIC.

AIC 2/12 says:


Following an evaluation, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police has requested modifications to restricted area CYR537 PARLIAMENT HILL, ON and CYR538 RIDEAU HALL, ON.

Designated altitudes for the restricted areas shall be increased from 1,500 to 3,000 feet ASL and the radius shall be increased from 0.25 to 0.35 mile.

These changes will take effect February 09, 2012 at 0901 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The appropriate aeronautical publications will be amended.

For further information, please contact:

Marcel Pinon
Manager, Airspace and Service Requirements
77 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5L6

Phone: (613) 563-5630
Fax: (613) 563-5602
Email : pinonm@navcanada.ca