A330 Loses Wheel

An Air Canada A330 lost a wheel during taxi at Dorval on Monday.

Ground crews at London’s Heathrow Airport were surprised to find an Air Canada A330 missing one of four wheels on its right main gear when it landed there on Monday.

The aircraft took off from Montreal seven hours earlier and left the wheel in Montreal beside a runway. It apparently rolled away while the aircraft was taxiing for takeoff.

No one noticed anything amiss in the takeoff roll or landing and Air Canada said the mishap, attributed to bearing failure, never endangered the flight, despite breathless mainstream media accounts that suggested something serious had happened.

“As the landing gear is comprised of eight wheels in addition the two nose wheels, this had no impact on the safe operation of the flight,” spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur told the CBC.

The aircraft was supposed to do a fast turn in London for a return trip to Montreal but had to be fixed first so the passengers had to be put on other flights.
How the wheel came loose is being investigated but the airline insists the airplane was properly maintained.

Rouge Pilot Collapses On Final

The pilot flying on a Rouge flight collapsed on final.

An Air Canada Rouge lost consciousness as the aircraft approached Pearson International Airport on April 3.

The flight was enroute from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and set up for the runway when the pilot flying collapsed.

The pilot monitoring (PM) took immediate control and landed the aircraft without further incident,” said the CADORS report.  “The pilot regained consciousness at some point during short final or after touchdown. The pilot sought medical attention immediately after the conclusion of the flight.”

The airline downplayed the incident despite the rarity of pilot incapacitation, especially in critical phases of flight.

“While this situation is certainly not something we experience often, all crew members are trained and qualified to manage a flight to landing under a single pilot operation – if needed,” Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick told CTV News.

TC Defends Simulator Training

Most Transport Canada don’t fly airplanes anymore.

Transport Canada’s director general Aaron McCrorie defended cuts to training flights for its inspectors in Parliament on Tuesday saying they’re actually better off learning on the ground.

“You can actually get better training with a simulator,” he said in testimony before the House of Commons Transport Committee.

McCrorie was responding to questions from committe members about a survey conducted by the union representing TC inspector pilots that said 80 percent of its members though safety was being compromised by moving training from the cockpit to the simulator.

The change in training focus came with sharp budget cuts to the inspector flight training budget and the pilots are now able to be fully checked out without ever leaving the ground.

McCrorie told the committee that there are  “better, more efficient pilots coming out of the simulator stream.”

He was backed up by Denis Guindon, director general for aviation safety oversight and transformation said simulators can replicate situations that are too dangerous to try in flight and modern sims replicate “everything down to the last two feet.”

TC has cut its training budget from $8 million to $3.5 million and financial constraints are thought to be the real reason TC inspectors hardly ever fly anymore. The Canadian Federal Pilots Association says its survey found two thirds of TC inspector pilots haven’t flown a plane in the last year.

TC spokeswoman Natasha Gauthier told the National Observer last week that the department has “revised its flying program” using “the latest simulator technology” and said it’s in line with international standards.

Pearson Delays Ripple

Runway construction has reduced access to Pearson.

Reconstruction of a main runway at Canada’s busiest airport has caused rippling cancellations, particularly among regional airlines.

Runway 05/23 will be out of service until the end of May and that has caused some slot problems.

Most cancellations have affected regional airlines and London International Airport has had 10 Toronto flights cancelled in the last couple of weeks.

“There have been cancellations and we are concerned,” said Mike Seabrook, the airport’s chief executive told the London Free Press.

“They (Air Canada) are between a rock and a hard place. Pearson has to do airport maintenance. They are not going to cancel flights from Heathrow or Beijing.”

The closure also affects business and general aviation traffic. Slots are required for all such traffic and no arrival slots will be issued from 3 p.m. to 7:59 p.m.

 

Chris Gonsalves

Flight Date: 03/28/2017
Flight School: Genesis Flight Center
Flight Instructor: Ash Hundal
Comment: Congratulations on your first solo Chris!!

 

KF Aerospace Expands

KF Aerospace will undergo major expansion in Kelowna

KF Aerospace will hire 90 employees in coming months to cover a major expansion in its maintenance and cargo conversion business.

The company has signed a deal with Aeronautical Engineers Inc. which holds the engineering rights for installing cargo doors on Boeing 737-400 and 800 passenger aircraft as well as MD80 and CRJ models. The Kelowna-based KF Aerospace will do the conversions on AEI’s behalf.

KF Aerospace also won a contract from Vx Capital to do conversions on up to 19 737s owned by Vx Capital.

“Even better, we still have a few other announcements pending over the next few weeks – all good news,” said Grant Stevens, KF Aerospace’s director of human resources.

KF Aerospace fell on hard times two years ago when it lost the contract to carry freight for Canada Post and Purolator. The company refocused on its maintenance business and earned deals to convert WestJet airliners from seatback televisions to online entertainment systems.

As part of the expansion, the company is building a new hangar at Kelowna International Airport.

Hawk One For Sale

Hawk One is for sale for $1million.

Vintage Wings of Canada is selling Hawk One, its Canadair MK-V Sabre that has been used as an air demonstration aircraft since 2009.

The airplane was originally restored as a tribute to the centennial of powered flight in Canada in 2009. Vintage Wings has flown the aircraft at air shows in the intervening years but it hasn’t flown since 2015.

It was flown by astronaut Chris Hadfield at the reenactment of the flight of the Silver Dart in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in 2009.

The nonprofit foundation that ran Vintage Wings’ flight ops has been restructured and it would appear the notoriously thirsty Sabre is a casualty of that. The aircraft is being sold by Courtesy Aircraft Sales in Rockford, Illinois.

The Sabre in question was built in Canada and has the more powerful Orenda 14 engine that is favoured by fans of the airplane. It served in the Royal Canadian Air Force until 1968.

The airplane was owned by EAA in the 1990s and flown in U.S. Air Force colours. The aircraft has had a lot of work, including a rebuilt engine, modern avionics, updated ejection seat and dozens of other items far exceeding the asking price of $1 million CAD. It has 3,506 hours TT and 363 hours since its restoration.

17 WOAW Events in Canada

Participants show their certificates after a flight.

Canadian volunteers staged 17 events in the annual Women of Aviation Worldwide Week in early March as part of a global effort to expose women to aviation.

A total of 53,000 girls and women at 148 events all over the world jumped at the opportunity to visit local industry facilities, attend multi-faceted events, meet female role models, try various skills, hands-on, and check out static aircraft displays. A total of 9,056, went on a Fly It Forward flight – an introductory flight for women and girls who have not previously flown on any small aircraft.

The week organized by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) aims to address the air and space’s industry deeply rooted gender imbalance by inviting girls of all ages to discover the industry’s careers and hobbies within a welcoming environment and familiarizing them with women’s past and present contributions.

Studies and iWOAW’s annual feedback surveys show that women and girls are unlikely to consider the industry’s technical careers traditionally presented as men’s jobs without an explicit invitation to do so.

Since 2010, iWOAW’s Fly It Forward Challenge and Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week initiatives have successfully changed perceptions. For more than 80 percent of nearly 200,000 participants to date, the impact went beyond a perception shift; it was life changing. In fact, 64% are now considering a career or hobby in the industry.

No participating airport anywhere in the world introduced more women and girls to flying than Albuquerque International Sunport did. It wins the 2017 Most Female Pilot Friendly Airport Worldwide title. Runner ups in the airport category are the Lachute Airport, QC, Canada and the Brampton-Caledon Airport, ON, Canada.

Hosting a one-day event including a fully fledged conference, many industry booths, activities spanning across two airports and coordinating as many as 170 flight introductions per hour, Marguerite Varin of Lachute, QC, Canada is this year’s Most Productive Organizer Worldwide in the flying event category.

Canadian Aviator – First Solo Contest

Each year Canadian Aviator Magazine has a draw for some great prizes. They are awarded to one of the pilots that soloed during the year. If you soloed this year simply go to http://canadianaviator.com/new-pilots-beta/ and complete the entry form. Good Luck!!

Ghost Plane Crash Likely Suicide

Crash airplane was rented in Michigan.

Authorities are now calling the mysterious crash of a pilotless Cessna 172 in Northern Ontario a suspected suicide.

The University of Michigan, which owned the aircraft, issued a statement Wednesday saying the ghost flight and crash “likely were an act of self harm” by Xin Rong, a PhD student at the university who rented the 172 last Wednesday.

Rong, an experienced pilot, filed a flight plan from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Harbor Springs, Michigan but the aircraft was found between 60 km. west of Marathon, Ontario, about 750 km. north, the next morning.

There was no sign of a pilot, no tracks in the snow, the autopilot was on and the fuel tanks were empty. It is believed that somewhere along the way Xin jumped from the plane. No body has been recovered and the search has been supended.

The Transportation Safety Board briefly investigated but apparently reached the same conclusion as the U.S. officials and cancelled the probe.

Xin, 27, was from Changchun, China and was studing artificial intelligence with a goal of working in aviation safety.

Drunk Pilot ‘Ashamed’

Miroslav Gronych pleaded guilty in court.

The Sunwing pilot who passed out in the cockpit of the Boeing 737  he was supposed to command to Mexico last New Year’s Eve has pleaded guilty to having care and control of an aircraft while impaired.

“I can’t even describe how ashamed I am,” Miroslav Gronych told a Calgary court. “My kids will be punished for my mistakes.”

Gronych was fired by Sunwing and has been receiving treatment for his alcohol addiction since the incident, which received world-wide attention and sparked a safety reminder to airlines from Transport Canada.

Although he’s been out on bail since shortly after the incident, Gronych was taken back to jail to await sentencing. Prosecutors have asked for a year but the defence is hoping for three to six months.

Between midnight and about 6 a.m., Gronych drained a 26-ounce bottle of vodka in his hotel room before stumbling off to work. He was an hour late, his pilot wings were pinned upside down on his uniform and he took several tries to hang up his jacket.

He was found passed out in his seat with his face pressed against the side window before being escorted from the airplane by fellow crew members.

Sunwing found a sober pilot to replace him and the flight took off for Regina, Winnipeg and Cancun several hours late.

Gronych is a Slovakian national and was in Canada on a work permit.

Crash Pilot Ignored ATC Calls

Two Cargair 152s collided in Montreal.

Investigators in Montreal say air traffic control tapes show one of the pilots involved in a midair collision last Friday didn’t respond to at least four attempts by ATC to raise him on the radio.

Two Cessna 152s owned by Cargair at St-Hubert Airport and being flown by Chinese students collided above a busy shopping centre. One of the students died in the crash of his plane into the parking lot while the other went through the roof and survived.

ATC apparently warned one of the pilots that he was not at his assigned altitude but the 23-year-old student did not respond. Both of the pilots had flown in the airspace and dealt with ATC repeatedly during their training and were described as being “proficient” in English.

TSB investigator Jean-Marc Ledoux told CTV there could be any number of reasons for the pilot to ignore the controller’s altitude directions.

“We have to consider a lot of things before coming to any conclusion,” he said. “Understanding why a person takes several times to reply or correctly reply to an instruction from an air traffic controller might depend on several things. Does he have problems with the radio? Was he very busy on the flight deck with something else?”

High Flight Poet Honoured

PO John Gillespie Magee Jr. wrote High Flight.

Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame has named John Gillespie Magee Jr. as its Honorary Poet.

Magee was a 19-year-old RCAF Spitfire pilot in 1941 when he penned “High Flight,” an oft-spoken sonnet that has become the go-to passage when tributes to fallen pilots are in order.

Magee wrote the passage about a month before he was killed in a training accident.

He mailed the poem to his parents in the U.S. and it was published in several newspapers and bulletins.

Magee was born in China to missionary parents and was renowned as a poet while at the Rugby School in England. He earned a scholarship to Yale University in the U.S. but enlisted in the RCAF as a pilot.

In addition to the Magee tribute, the Hall will induct Helijet founder Danny Sitnam, Porter Airlines founder Bob Deluce, test pilot Rogers Smith and Erroll Boyd, the first Canadian to fly across the Atlantic.

The Belt of Orion Award for Excellence will go to the RCAF Golden Hawks.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly named the Snowbirds as recipients of the Belt of Orion. Our apologies.

Canadian Replica Biplanes Honor Vimy

Canadian Museum of Flight volunteers work on a Sopwith Pup.

Seven replica biplanes of the type flown by Canadian pilots over the Battle of Vimy Ridge 100 years ago were to be in France Thursday as Canada gets ready to mark a turning point in its history.

The four seven/eighths scale Nieuport 11s, an SE-5 and two full-scale Sopwith Pups will represent the aerial war component in the battle, which marked the first time a unified Canadian force faced an enemy under the Red Ensign.

They were to have been loaded in an RCAF C-17 at CFB Comox for the trip to France.

On April 9, 1917, four Canadian battalions launched an offensive and took the ridge after three days of intense fighting. Overhead were Canadian members of the Royal Flying Corps, checking troop movements and spotting artillery, most of the time in a late spring snowstorm.

The replica aircraft will do a single 270-degree turn around the Vimy monument in a reenactment of a flight that occurred at the dedication of the monument on April 9, 1936.

The aircraft are part of Vimy Flight, an effort by a group of retired RCAF pilots to commemorate the battle that most historians agree signaled Canada’s coming out as a nation on the world stage.

The Pups were built from kits at the Canadian Museum of Flight over the past two years and were supposed to fly at Vimy but a late engine change delayed their construction and they didn’t have enough hours on them to fly at Vimy. The Pups will be on static display during events in France.

They will, however, be ready to fly in the second stage of the Vimy Flight operation. All seven aircraft will form a flying circus barnstorming across Canada starting in May. At each stop, they will present educational programs on Vimy and the importance of Canada’s contribution.

Canadian Museum of Flight volunteers work on a Sopwith Pup.

Seven replica biplanes of the type flown by Canadian pilots over the Battle of Vimy Ridge 100 years ago were to be in France Thursday as Canada gets ready to mark a turning point in its history.

The four seven/eighths scale Nieuport 11s, an SE-5 and two full-scale Sopwith Pups will represent the aerial war component in the battle, which marked the first time a unified Canadian force faced an enemy under the Red Ensign.

They were to have been loaded in an RCAF C-17 at CFB Comox for the trip to France.

On April 9, 1917, four Canadian battalions launched an offensive and took the ridge after three days of intense fighting. Overhead were Canadian members of the Royal Flying Corps, checking troop movements and spotting artillery, most of the time in a late spring snowstorm.

The replica aircraft will do a single 270-degree turn around the Vimy monument in a reenactment of a flight that occurred at the dedication of the monument on April 9, 1936.

The aircraft are part of Vimy Flight, an effort by a group of retired RCAF pilots to commemorate the battle that most historians agree signaled Canada’s coming out as a nation on the world stage.

The Pups were built from kits at the Canadian Museum of Flight over the past two years and were supposed to fly at Vimy but a late engine change delayed their construction and they didn’t have enough hours on them to fly at Vimy. The Pups will be on static display during events in France.

They will, however, be ready to fly in the second stage of the Vimy Flight operation. All seven aircraft will form a flying circus barnstorming across Canada starting in May. At each stop, they will present educational programs on Vimy and the importance of Canada’s contribution.

Helicopter Circumnavigation Eyed

Bell 429 that will fly around the world.

A father and son team from Ontario will fly a state-of-the-art Bell 429 helicopter around the world starting July 1.

Bob Dengler and his son Steven announced the flight Wednesday and said it will be the first time a Canadian crew has flown around the world in a helicopter and the first time a father and son crew has done it. The two will be accompanied by Bell Helicopter test pilot Dugal MacDuff.

“It is a true adventure that’s an official Canada 150 event celebrating the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation,” said Steven Dengler

The helicopter, one of Bell’s latest designs, is a light twin designed primarily as a medevac platform but in wide use as a utility and law enforcement aircraft.

The crew will set out from Vaughan, north of Toronto, on Canada Day and head east through Quebec and the Maritimes before skipping over the Atlantic via Greenland and Iceland. They’ll head through Europe and Russia and end with a cross-Canada tour that will finish at the Bell plant in Montreal in mid to late August.

The flight will cover almost 38,000 kilometres with 103 stops in 14 countries. It will raise money for True Patriot Love Foundation, which helps veterans and families, and Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation.