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Northern Lights Winners Announced

Northern14-003The Northern Lights Award Foundation has picked the 2016 winners of the awards for women who are leaders in aviation.

The winners will be formally recognized at a gala in the fall.

Rosella Bjornson was the first female first officer when she took the right seat of a Transair flight in 1973. She was the first woman pilot with a jet type rating and the first female member of the Canadian Airlines Pilots Association. She became the first Canadian female airline captain in 1990 and was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1997.

Brig. Gen. Lise Bourgon was a Canadian Forces Sea King pilot and held numerous senior posts in military operations, including being the first female wing commander in the RCAF. She won the NLAF Flight Operations/Maintenance Award.

Dr. Sylvie Beland won the Government/Military Award for her work in aerospace technology development. She helped develop the Canadarm2 for the International Space Station and has held numerous leadership positions in technology.

The Business Award was won by Jolene Mahody, the executive vice president and CFO of Chorus Aviation, the parent company of Jazz. She’s been in the aviation business since 1992 and is a chartered accountant.

Dr. Catherine Mavriplis won the Education Award. She has a PhD in Aeronautics and has been on the faculty of the University of Ottawa since 2008 and in 2011 was selected as the NSERC/Pratt&Whitney Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering.

The two Rising Star Awards go to Holly Johnson, a robotics specialist who is also a private pilot and Navreet Saini, a private pilot who now works as an avionics engineer in the flight test department of Bell Helicopter.

Snowbirds Conquer Washington

Snowbirds over Washington, D.C. last week.
Snowbirds over Washington, D.C. last week.

Canadian military jets flew through some of the most restricted airspace in the world last week as part of a goodwill visit to Washington, D.C.

The Snowbirds flew right over the highly protected government buildings that surround the Mall in downtown Washington. Under normal circumstances, aircraft flying that close to the White House, Capitol building and the Washington Monument would be blown out of the sky.

But even though the visit was tightly orchestrated and officially sanctioned by the highest levels of the U.S. government, they were limited to about 1,500 AGL for the two passes.

The flight was followed by a public showing at the Stephen Udvar Hazy hangar of the Smithsonian Institution at Dulles Airport.

The team is on the East Coast swing of its early summer tour and did a Memorial Day show in New York over the weekend.

Manitoba Air Show This Week

The military training facility at Southport will host the Manitoba Air Show.
The military training facility at Southport will host the Manitoba Air Show.

For the first time in almost a decade, the Manitoba Air Show is returning to Southport on June 4.

The local chapter of the 99s are the lead organizers of the event which will feature the Snowbirds and the CF-18 demo teams.

Also taking part in the show are the Skyhawks parachute team, and a search and rescue demonstration.

Numerous private aircraft are expected to fly in for the event, which, besides the flying displays, will have a host of exhibitors, booths and displays.

Air Canada Bill Passed

A bill to relieve Air Canada of Canadian maintenance requirements has passed the House.
A bill to relieve Air Canada of Canadian maintenance requirements has passed the House.

A bill that removes employment requirements for Air Canada that resulted from its privatization almost 20 years ago has passed third reading.

Bill C-10 takes away requirements for Air Canada to conduct maintenance in Winnipeg, Montreal and Mississauga.

Critics say the bill lets the airline off the hook for a fundamental condition of its privatization. The airline argues it makes Air Canada uncompetitive with airlines that are free to shop the world for maintenance.

The Trudeau government isn’t saying anything but speculation is the bill is part of the deal that led to Air Canada saying it would buy up to 75 CSeries airliners from Bombardier and do heavy maintenance in Quebec.

Air Canada has not finalized that deal and it is widely believed Air Canada is waiting for passage of the bill before pulling the trigger.

The bill now moves to the Senate and it’s not clear if the upper chamber will deal with it before the summer break.