Past Editorials

Ghost Plane Crash Likely Suicide

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
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Drunk Pilot ‘Ashamed’

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
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Crash Pilot Ignored ATC Calls

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
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High Flight Poet Honoured

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
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Canadian Replica Biplanes Honor Vimy

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
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Helicopter Circumnavigation Eyed

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
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$23,000 Raised For Instructor

A GoFundMe campaign launched two weeks ago to benefit an injured Victoria flight instructor has reached almost a quarter of its goal. The online fundraiser for Kristen Ursel totalled $23,000 by Wednesday with a goal of $100,000. Ursel, a single mother who is an instructor with the Victoria Flying Club, was paralyzed in a training
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Breitling Launches DC-3 Tour

An iconic DC-3 will become the oldest aircraft to fly around the world this year and it will make a stop in Toronto Breitling’s DC-3 is 77 years old and took off from Geneva March 9, the 77th anniversary of its first flight. The aircraft will be in Toronto Aug. 16-17 after going through Europe,
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Youth Movement

A Prescott, Ontario woman has become the youngest female Boeing 737 pilot in Canada after she took the right seat of a Sunwing aircraft earlier this year at just 22. Siobhan O’Hanlon was among a graduating class from the University of Waterloo to benefit from a partnership with Sunwing. She graduated the program with Bachelor
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Westjet Pays House Repairs

WestJet stepped up immediately to pay for repairs to a Calgary couple’s home that was hit by toilet ice earlier this week. The chunk of ice went through the roof, ceiling and ended up in the basement of the home that Theresa Couch and her husband have shared for 42 years. All of a sudden
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Lucky Rescue in Arctic

Two stranded Nunavut hunters defied incredible odds by catching the attention of a crew member aboard an RCAF aircraft that just happened to be flying overhead. Tyler Amarualik and 15-year-old Eugene Gibbons were with Lloyd Satuqsi when their snowmobile broke down about 40 km from Hall Beach on the northeast coast of Nunavut. Satuqsi set
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Airlines Avoid Alcohol Test Mandate

Canada’s eight largest airlines appear to have headed off mandatory random drug and alcohol testing for flight crews but Transport Minister Marc Garneau has reminded them they’re being watched. After a Sunwing captain passed out drunk in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 he was supposed to command to Regina and Cancun last Dec. 31, Garneau
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Bombardier Loan ‘Legal’

Bombardier has hit back at allegations by Brazil-based Embraer that a $372.5 million loan from the Canadian government violates international trade laws. In an op-ed article published in the Globe and Mail, Mike Nadolski, Bombardier’s vice president of communications and public affairs said the loan agreement was specifically structured to ensure compliance with trade laws.
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New Laser Protection Developed

A Nova Scotia company has invented a window film that protects pilots against laser attacks. Metamaterial Technologies Inc. (MTI) nannounced this week that it has reached a deal with Airbus who will test the material for possible use on its products. The film reflects laser light but is transparent to normal light intensities. It is
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Super Hornets Will ‘Weaken’ RCAF

Two leading defence analysts have concluded that the federal government’s plan to buy 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets as a stopgap measure in the tortured fighter replacement program will actually weaken Canada’s air defences and make it Luddite among its allies. In a paper released this week, Dr. Gary Schaub, Jr., a senior military researcher at
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Two Instructors Die in Crash

Mount Royal University in Calgary temporarily grounded all its aircraft Tuesday after two of its instructors died in the crash of their Tecnam P2006T northeast of the city on Monday. They were identified Wednesday as Jeffrey Bird and Reynold Johnson. Bird was a former military flight instructor and Johnson a retired airline pilot who had
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Pizza For the Competition

Some stranded Air Canada passengers are singing the praises of a WestJet pilot who bought them pizza after their own airline told them there was no food available. The unidentified WestJet pilot called a local pizza place in Fredericton after a planeload of Air Canada passengers landed back there when their plane couldn’t land in
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CAE Wins C295 Training Contract

Airbus has awarded the contract to provide a full suite of training services for the C295 fixed wing search and rescue program. The contract could be worth as much as $300 million if all the options are exercised. The first $200 million over the next 11 years and another $100 million if the contract is
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Fairview Canso First Flight June 18

The remarkable journey of a PBY-5A from the edge of a northern lake to a touchstone for Canadian aviation history will end, and begin, June 18 with the official first flight of C-FNJE at Fairview Airport in northern Alberta. The Canso, as Canadian versions of the Consolidated Vultee design were known, recently received approval from
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Buy An Arctic Tour Kilometre

The Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour has begun a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for an ambitious air show tour of dozens of northern communities this summer. Supporters are invited to “buy a kilometre” of the 31,000 km tour that will take top air show acts to far flung communities that dot the Arctic. “For only $25 CDN,
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Engine Swap At -30

Aviation companies in Iqaluit rallied to help a Swiss Air International maintenance crew navigate some unfamiliar territory this week. On Feb. 1, A SwissAir Boeing 777 on its way to Los Angeles from Zurich had to divert to Iqaluit with an engine failure. Another plane was sent from New York to get the 233 passengers
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Travel Ban Hurts Student Pilot

An Iranian student pilot training in Manitoba has been caught up in U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration ban. Bardi Salimkhani was due to go on a long cross country flight through the U.S. with his aviation degree program classmates at Providence University College, a Christian post secondary school  in Otterburne, 50 km. south of Winnipeg.
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Super Hornets By 2019

Canada will get its first of 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets in 2019 but the fourth generation fighters might not look like much of a bargain by that time according to a CBC report. The Super Hornets are expected to cost as much as $120 million each, depending on how they’re equipped according the network.
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Air Georgian Pilots Join ALPA

Pilots who fly for Air Georgian, which operates regional service for Air Canada in Ontario and the West, have voted overwhelmingly to join the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) “We welcome our more than 230 colleagues at Air Georgian and look forward to the contributions they will bring to our union,” said ALPA president, Capt. Tim
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TSB Hits ELT Survivability

The Transportation Safety Board has reiterated its call for improved crash survivability of emergency locator transmitters in its investigation of a 2015 helicopter crash in Ontario. Two people in the Robinson R-44 were killed in the crash, which occurred while the aircraft was being used in a forest spray operation near Foleyet, Ontario, about 100
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Northern Lights Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the Northern Lights Aero Foundation annual awards. People are encouraged to enter their picks for female aviation industry leaders in a variety of categories. “Each year, the national not- for-profit foundation honours outstanding Canadian women who have made a significant contribution to Aviation or Aerospace, and who continue to
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McLeod Eyes Improvement

Canadian Red Bull Air Race pilot Pete McLeod is hoping to put it all together in the 2017 race season. McLeod, who is based in London, Ontario, finished a respectable eighth in total race points 2016 with an underperforming engine that forced him to fly even more aggressively than he is known to fly. Through
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French Team Visits Canada

The French Air Force’s demonstration team the Patrouille de France will return to Canada for the first time in 31 years with a performance at the rescheduled Wings Over Gatineau show on April 30. The troupe, which flies eight Alpha Jets, last appeared in Canada at Expo 86 in Vancouver. Earlier this year it announced
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Vintage Wings Restructures

Canada’s premiere private aircraft collection has changed the way it operates Vintage Wings of Canada will continue to allow public access to its planes. At a meeting in December, the board of directors of the charitable organization announced to members that it would be winding down the foundation. The organization has been heavily reliant on
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Canadians Join International Boards

Two prominent Canadian aviation leaders have joined the executives of major international organizations. Canadian Owners and Pilots Association President Bernard Gervais has been elected the North American vice president of the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Gervais has been president of COPA since 2015 and has led a major restructuring of the organization to
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