A330 Loses Wheel

April 20, 2017 in News by David Niles

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

April 20, 2017 in News by David Niles

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

April 20, 2017 in News by David Niles

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

April 20, 2017 in News by David Niles

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.

 

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Beauty in Beastly Weather

April 12, 2017 in News by admin

Photographer Ken Lin has taken some spectacular images of the Canada 150 Hornet.

The RCAF is putting its air demonstration teams through their paces in Comox, B.C. this week as they get ready for the six-month air show season.

The Snowbirds and CF-18 demo teams typically spend a couple of weeks on normally-balmy Vancouver Island in April to put the final touches on their routines before hitting the road.

The weather has been rainy and cold, with some warm sunny days, but the flying goes on and our photographer Ken Lin has found ways to get some spectacular images because of, rather than in spite of, the challenging conditions.

The newly-painted CF-18, sporting a red and white Canada 150 theme, has been a show stopper for those who gather at the observation areas around the base to watch the shows come together.

The intricate design came from Jim Belliveau, who has been the brainchild behind the elaborately painted fighters for more than 10 years. See more photos on our Facebook page.

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Vimy Mission Accomplished

April 12, 2017 in News by admin

Five replica biplanes fly past the Vimy Monument April 9. Photo by Alexandre Dlulaba.

Five replica First World War biplanes flew around the Vimy Monument in France on April 9 as part of a huge ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the epic battle.

The aircraft, four Nieuport 11s and an SE-5, duplicated an honour flight that took place in 1936 marking the dedication of the monument.

After Sunday’s flight, Lt. Gen. Mike Hood, commander of the RCAF, presented the five pilots and four support personnel in France medals commemorating their historic flight.

Those receiving the medals were Allan SnowieDale Erhart,B Rent Handy,  Peter ThorntonLarry RickerPaul O’Reilly , David Wilson , Al French and Will McEwan.

With the Vimy flight behind them, the group now has to disassemble the aircraft and load them aboard a C-17 for transport to Greenwood, Nova Scotia, where they’ll begin a cross-Canada educational tour.

Although much of that trip will involve appearances at high schools and halls across the country, there will be at least one more high-profile flight.

The biplanes will join the Snowbirds for a flight over Parliament Hill on Canada Day.

The main thrust of the cross-Canada mission is to educate Canadians about the importance of the Battle of Vimy to the evolution of Canada as a nation.

It was the first time Canadian troops had gone to battle as a unified force and not as part of British-led operation.

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Bombardier Chairman Cuts Pay

April 12, 2017 in News by admin

Bombardier Chairman Pierre Beaudoin is taking a $1.4 million pay cut.

Bombardier’s board of directors has approved cutting Executive Chairman Pierre Beaudoin’s pay by $1.4 million USD to his 2015 rate of $3.8 million USD.

The pay cut was requested by Beaudoin after filing documents made public last month revealed that the total compensation for senior executives jumped 50 percent from $21.9 million USD to $32.7 million USD. Previously CEO Alain Bellemare asked the board to defer more than half of the planned pay for executives until 2020.

The hefty increases for the top floor suites came after a tough year for Bombardier which saw 14,500 employees laid off and the company receiving more than $1 billion in federal and provincial bailouts.

At first, Bombardier defended the increases saying they were awarded after the executives reached “performance targets” as part of their contracts.

But as public backlash grew (including a tongue lashing from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau), the top execs started relenting and Beaudoin said the controversy over pay became “a distraction” to efforts to turn the company around.

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Flying Replica Arrow Takes Shape

April 12, 2017 in News by admin

A two-thirds scale Arrow is being built in Calgary.

A group of Calgary pilots is building a .6 scale replica of the Avro Arrow that they hope to fly within the next five to 10 years.

The group has been meeting for 20 years about the project and much of the first few years was spend in research. The build goes on every Tuesday night and the plan is to fly the aircraft as an amateur built.

It will be powered by a couple of jet engines “similar to what is used in Citation jets” and operated under a special certificate of airworthiness.

The volunteers also operate the Avro Museum at Springbank Airport and the flying replica is the ultimate goal of keeping the legacy of the famous fighter alive.

“For me, the challenge of preserving that knowledge and that achievement, in addition to the challenge of building a flying replica of the aircraft, is what keeps me going,” Paul Gies, the lead builder, told the CBC.

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Zenair Stab Inspections Needed

April 6, 2017 in News by admin

Zenair 601 owners have to inspect their horizontal stabs.

By RAA Canada

In September 2016 an Advanced UL Zenair 601 was on approach to Guelph Airpark when the nose pitched abruptly downward and crashed, killing the one crew member on board. The Canada Transport Safety Board did a comprehensive investigation and found preexisting internal damage to the forward spar of the horizontal stabilizer. The build quality of this part had been exceedingly bad, with only half the required number of rivets holding the left forward attach bracket to the spar. In addition, there were many extra holes randomly drilled through the spar and the bracket, which weakened the spar. It appeared that these mistakes had been ignored during the build, and once the skins had been installed they could not be seen even during an annual inspection.

In the 1990s the builder of an Advanced UL signed off his own work without any Transport Canada requirement for an inspection, and based on that signature the plane became legal for the carriage of a passenger. Later this was changed to require that the manufacturer or his representative signed the document, but there was still no specific inspection requirement. The quality and extent of inspection was left to each manufacturer to decide.

Zenair has looked further into the situation and they have issued instructions to remove and inspect the horizontal stabilizer of the 601 and 650 series, the 701 and 750 series, and the STOL 801. The lower skin must be cut open to reveal the internals so that the brackets and spar may be inspected for loose rivets, adherence to plans, and quality of build. A new closure piece is then riveted over the inspected area using their specified procedure.

Their website shows other build problems with mounting brackets and the fuselage tabs to which those brackets are bolted. The easiest path to find the information is to Google “Zenair 601 horizontal stab”. Some builders have not paid attention to a good fit and have just tightened bolts to close a gap, rather than shimming to fill the gap. The site also shows brackets that have been badly drilled so that the bolt holes are ragged and oval. In many cases, because of edge distance requirements, it is not safe to updrill to use a larger diameter bolt. Some brackets also show cracks near the bolt holes, possibly from the bolt heads’ biting into the curved area of the brackets if the builder located the hole too close to the corner of the bracket.

For Advanced UL aircraft this is definitely a Mandatory Action before next flight. Failure to comply means that the plane no longer meets the manufacturer’s specification, a requirement in this type-defined category. There is no AD process for Basic UL or Amateur Built aircraft but owners would be foolish to ignore the manufacturer’s concerns. Many in these two categories were built from plans so dimensions can vary from ideal. Amateur Built planes receive MD-RA pre-cover and final inspections but a Basic UL receives neither. A couple of 3/8” wrenches will remove the tail, and if nothing is wrong the plane can be flying in a day. If there are discrepancies it is far better to find these on the ground.

Anyone considering the purchase of one of these aircraft should verify that the work has been done and that it has been logged.

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Canadians Flock to SNF

April 6, 2017 in News by admin

Insight Aviation, of Fort Erie, is exhibiting at Sun ‘n Fun.

By: Phil Lightstone

In typical Florida weather, Sun ’n Fun opened hot and humid, with a broken ceiling at 3800 feet.  With a record of 510 exhibitors, Canadian participation was at an all-time high with a total of 10 companies exhibiting.  Members of the Buttonville Flying Club from Toronto flew down in record numbers.  Igor Egudkin made his maiden flight with instructor Humberto Villalobos in his late model Cessna 182.  A low-time pilot, Igor used the flight to build instrument time towards his rating.

Sun ’n Fun’s direction has shifted to embrace education and careers within aerospace.  The  third annual job fair, saw over 300 applicants, all with pre arranged slot times for interviews with prospective employers.  The new Aerospace Opportunity Centre has been established to create an incubator for aviation startups.  The new AOC brings innovators together with venture capitalists, in an environment focused on aviation.

Patrick Coulter, flying out of Collingwood Ontario, received his private licence a year ago.  Last week he purchased a turbocharged Cirrus SR22.  Coulter’s mission at Sun ’n Fun was laser focused on researching a panel upgrade, Avidyne or Garmin,  decisions not for the faint of heart nor the pocketbook.

Insight Instruments of Fort Erie, Ontario  is presenting their line of Canadian designed and manufactured graphic engine monitors, air data computers and lightning detectors.  Insight is working on a new instrument which will revolutionize older aircraft and is awaiting Transport Canada certification.

Companies offering ADS-B products were everywhere.  OpenFlight Solution’s FlightBox now incorporates AHRS. With plug and play versatility, FlightBox easily displays traffic, weather and attitude information to EFB’s such as ForeFlight and WingX.  FlightBox can be purchased in a some assembly required kit or full built.

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A350 Lands in Vancouver

April 6, 2017 in News by admin

Cathay Pacific has introduced A350 service to Canada.

The first scheduled flight of Airbus’s latest airliner landed in Vancouver earlier this week.

Cathay Pacific has launched daily A350-900 service to and from Hong Kong.

The aircraft is Airbus’s answer to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which Air Canada operates on Asian routes.

The Cathay Pacific version features the individual seat pods in first class that have become standard on new aircraft but back in economy Airbus managed to add an inch to the width of the seats, an important factor in the game of inches that has become airline competition.

The aircraft is fast (.85 Mach cruise) and, like the Dreamliner, pressurizes the cabin to about 6,000 feet at altitude.

The thicker, more humid air is healthier for passengers and they feel noticeably better at the end of a long trip.

KF Aerospace Expands

March 30, 2017 in News by David Niles

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

March 30, 2017 in News by David Niles

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

March 30, 2017 in News by David Niles

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.

Ghost Plane Crash Likely Suicide

March 23, 2017 in News by David Niles

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.