23 March 2013

Large hangar available at Waterloo

By Robert A. Kozlowski

I am trying to get the word out about the availability of our hangar at Kitchener/Waterloo Airport (CYKF) within the aviation community.

You might know the history behind the Millard family and how they have contributed to Canadian aviation.

The latest venture was an MRO to service Boeing 737s and Airbus A320s at Waterloo.

Unfortunately just as the MRO was getting started, the president Wayne Millard passed away and the family decided to shut down the MRO.

That has left the family with a very large hangar and we are looking for tenants.

Ideally it is best suited for an MRO and/or airline, we are open to referrals and ideas.

Robert A. Kozlowski
Vice President of Operations
Millard Properties Ltd/Millardair Inc.

15 March 2013

Foreign Ownership - Huh?

After struggling along financially though the recession of 2008-2011 Cirrus Aircraft was running short of aircraft orders, cash and laying off staff. Things at the Duluth, Minnesota aircraft builder were not looking good. Then in February 2011, Cirrus was sold for US$210M to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (CAIGA), a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation. CAIGA is wholly owned by the Government of the People's Republic of China.

At the time AVweb's Russ Niles said "Chinese participation in the aviation industry isn't necessarily a bad thing and the folks in Duluth and Grand Forks could have suffered a worse fate. In the absence of a sale, bankruptcy was a real possibility for Cirrus and it might have been hard for a trustee to justify operating the business with the numbers it was showing. As for where it leaves current Cirrus owners and those thinking of buying one, the sale is probably a positive thing." I posted about this event and I agree with Russ, it was either Chinese ownership or the company was probably finished.

Every time North Americans buy Chinese goods, at places like Walmart, the Chinese government makes money and then uses that cash to buy up North American companies. That is just the way whatever we have that passes for free enterprise works these days, at least regarding Chinese state owned companies.

So Cirrus got settled into being owned by probably the richest entity of any kind on the planet, the Government of the People's Republic of China. Suddenly investment was available for mothballed programs like the Cirrus Vision SF50 single engine jet, workers were recalled and production increased. All well and good and as expected.

Then, in early March 2013 it seemed that the company was going, hat in hand, to the city council of Grand Forks, North Dakota, where Cirrus has its secondary plant, asking for a US$950,000 loan to buy a new autoclave. The company already has large outstanding loans from the city and this loan would have just increased the payments.

Even more surprising was the way it turned out, with council initially refusing the loan, concerned about the company's ability to repay it, then relenting, apologizing for the doubt and granting the loan. So now Cirrus can go and order their new autoclave, something they claim will create ten new jobs in Grand Forks.

Personally I don't really get it. Since when is a US city council now a bank, loaning money to companies? Since when do small US municipalities, in one of the most indebted nations on earth, the USA, lend tax money, collected from their residents, to the communist Government of the People's Republic of China, as I noted, probably the richest entity on earth right now? Is this what is meant by capitalism and free enterprise in the 21st century?

I realize that this is all tied to jobs and if Grand Forks wants manufacturing jobs to stay in the city then they have to pay companies to stay there or else some other municipality will lure them away, but the way this loan looks, I think it is really time to rethink that whole flawed premise. Foreign buyouts and investments should not turn out to be a hostage taking.

Americans always tell me how much they hate communism and love their free enterprise system, where anyone can build up a business though sheer determination and hard work. To me a US municipality lending money to the Chinese government to build airplanes to sell to rich Americans doesn't seem to fit any notion of capitalism I know of, no matter how hard I squint.

Feel free to tell me that I am wrong!


Pontiac Airpark House and Hangar News

By André Durocher

At the Pontiac Airpark residents have lots of house and hangar options!

One option is to build just a hangar home and live in it, with no need to build a separate house. The hangar just has look similar to a house, which is very easy to do with a few windows, the use of colour, etc. Decorative hangar doors, available from suppliers such as Higher Power Hydraulic Doors and Hydroswing, can help you to achieve this.

You can also build your garage first, then you will have one year to build your actual house.

Buildings on one lot can be owned by more than one person or family, meaning that a group of pilots can buy a lot together and build their hangar.

More information:

12 March 2013

Ottawa Flying Club to Host Captain Clair Maxwell

From the Ottawa Flying Club

Attention Women in Aviation!!

The Ottawa Flying Club will be hosting a talk on the experiences of women in the field of aviation. The keynote speaker for the afternoon is RCAF Captain Clair Maxwell, a commercial helicopter pilot who now specializes in helicopters and UAV accident investigations.

In addition, Major Pascale Cloutier, the president of the Ottawa-Gatineau Women in Aviation Chapter will be here to discuss their scholarship program.


  • When: Friday March 15 at 1330 hrs
  • Where: OFC basement classroom

10 March 2013

Social Networking - A Year Later

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.

The background on D* and what it is, is explained in my first post about it. Basically it is like a combination of Twitter and Facebook, but built on free software, community owned and run, with no ads. Unlike Facebook, D* doesn't make money selling your data to advertisers and instead relies on donations and T-shirt sales to get by. I have made a couple of small donations in the flight's name to help the project out. Also unlike Facebook, D* has attracted people from all over the world to exchange ideas, rather than write about what they had for lunch. This all makes it a very interesting place to be, even though it is a smaller community than Facebook is.

I gave an early look at how things were going for Flight 8 on D* in March 2012.

On D* it is easy to control who can see things posted. For Flight 8's posts I have made all the content public, meaning anyone on the internet can see all the posts at www.joindiaspora.com/u/copaflight8.

My approach has been to post something pretty much every day, usually first thing in the morning. In general I have been posting aviation photos from fly-ins from my own collection and also photos contributed by Flight 8 members Michael Dixon and Nathalie Huard. To give a break from photos I have posted aviation videos about various types of aircraft, focusing on amateur video. I have also posted flight news, like upcoming meetings and when write-ups on meetings have been made available on the flight 8 website. I also occasionally repost other people's aviation posts, although I try to keep reposts to a minimum. The overall effect I have been going for is to present an interesting and positive look at personal aviation though photos and video.

In terms of attracting followers my approach has been passive, to just post good content with very broad tags and see how many people I could attract to follow the postings. The result has been that after more than a year I have three Flight 8 members and 35 other people following the account, which is not too bad for no direct effort to attract people beyond posting content.

I have used the flight account to "like" and comment on other people's posts, which in turn has attracted more followers. The one thing to be careful of though is what is commented on, as I have been trying to avoid "inappropriate material" that the flight might not want to be associated with. Unlike Facebook, which is pretty heavily censored, D* is uncensored, meaning you find a real diversity of material posted, especially under tags like #nsfw.

Of the followers that I have, about a half a dozen regularly comment on posts I make, which adds some worthwhile interaction. Many of the followers are from Europe, with a couple from Canada as well, all with some interest in aviation.

Of course there maybe many more people who see the posts through following some of the really broad tags I use such as #aviation and #aircraft, as well as non-signed in people who see them on the open internet as well, but these are difficult to quantify.

Overall I think the flight's presence on D* has been very positive. The account has attracted a small group of fairly dedicated followers and some worthwhile interaction, but naturally it could be improved upon as well!

To that end I plan to embark on a more active campaign to attract followers to the flight 8 account. I'll make another post here in a month or so when the results can been seen!

In the meantime anyone interested in joining us on D* can sign up for an account on any one of a number of pods. 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.

09 March 2013

Rockcliffe Flying Club to Hold 52nd Anniversary Wings Dinner

The Rockcliffe Flying Club will hold their 52nd Anniversary Wings Dinner at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on Friday May 3, 2013 at 1815 hrs.

The event will celebrate the achievement of club members over the past year, including licences and ratings earned.


  • Cocktails 1815 hrs
  • Banquet Dinner 1900 hrs
  • Children’s Programming & Pizza Dinner ($5/child)
  • Silent Auction to raise money for the RFC Scholarship Fund. To contribute items, contact Kathryn Buchan
  • Reservations required
  • Tickets: $45/per person, purchase tickets at RFC Dispatch
  • RSVP: by April 22, 2013 to Kathryn Buchan or at RFC Dispatch at 613-746-4425

05 March 2013

Winter Horseback Riding at Pontiac Air Park

By André Durocher

Above are some recent photos from the equestrian farm's winter activities next to Pontiac Air Park.

Air Park residents and visitors can participate in these activities, riding your own horse or with a rented one. For more information on activities at the equestrian, visit the Élevage Fabie website.

For the latest news about the Pontiac Airpark please check the airpark website.

04 March 2013

Ottawa Flying Club To Hold 85th Annual Wings Dinner

from the Ottawa Flying Club

The Ottawa Flying Club will hold its 85th Annual Wings Dinner on 11 May 2013, so mark the date in your calendars now!

The Wings Dinner is the Ottawa Flying Club's annual celebration to mark the achievements of our student pilots in earning their private, commercial, multi, IFR and other ratings.

The dinner will be held at the Restaurant International - the culinary school's restaurant at Algonquin College.

As well as the awarding of wings for those who have completed their private licenses, other licenses and ratings since since May 2012 the evening will include other awards and a guest speaker, whose name will soon be announced!

Cocktails will be available at 1800 hrs and supper will be served at 1900 hrs. There will be a cash bar.

Tickets will go on sale soon and will cost $35 for students and instructors and $45 for members and guests.

For more news:

01 March 2013

RFC Volunteer Opportunity: Girls' Day at the Airport and Museum

From Rockcliffe Flying Club

The Ottawa chapter of the 99s, the Rockcliffe Flying Club and the Canada Air and Space Museum are holding a number of activities at the Aviation Museum as part of Worldwide Women in Aviation Week. See the website for more information on this event.

We are hosting a flying event on Saturday March 9th (with a rain date on Sunday March 10th). The objective is to introduce girls/women to their first flight. The flights are provided at no charge to the participant. All flights will depart/arrive on Delta, next to the Museum building.

Rockcliffe instructor Jean Rene de Cotret has already recruited pilots for this event, but we are recruiting volunteers for:

  • Registration: To book participants for a time slot for their flight and complete any required paperwork prior to the flight
  • Escorts: To walk the passengers to and from the aircraft and ensure all individuals on the taxiway are accompanied at all times
  • Marshallers: Using standard hand signals, guide aircraft to and from boarding positions to maximize safety and minimize turnaround time
  • Photographers: To take a number of candid pictures throughout the day, as well as photograph each participant for our "photo logbook" and validate our claim for number of passengers flown.

All shifts are for 4 hours (0900-1300, or from 1300-1700). We have listed all shifts for both the primary day (Saturday) and for the rain date (Sunday) – if the event proceeds as planned on Saturday then there will be no shifts on Sunday. If you can volunteer for one day but not the other, no problem, please sign up for what you can.

To indicate your interest in volunteering, sign up on the RFC Volunteer Management System, and indicate the shift of your choice – they are listed under the "Sign Up" tab, under "Girls Day at the Airport and Museum 2013". If you do not yet have an ID in the RFC VMS then you will need to register first at the same link.