Election Derails Crew Rest Changes
New proposed rules to bring crew rest provisions for some of Canada’s airline pilots in line with those of most other countries are on hold pending the outcome of the federal election.
Transport Canada has announced it is delaying implementation of the changes to assess the comments it has received since it put the rules in the Canada Gazette.
The rules proposed by TC were a compromise that infuriated some sectors of the airline industry because they applied only to major carriers at first. Smaller airlines were to be exempt initially and the rules were going to be implemented over a longer period.
The changes prompted angry responses from some operators who said they would cost too much money to implement. But pilots unions said the changes are an essential safety measure and Canada is five years behind the rest of the world in implementing them.
With TC’s announcement, the timeline becomes even more muddy.
“It’s very ambiguous. There’s no definitive timeline if and when a new government will even approach this document once again,” Capt. Ian Smith, president of the Air Canada Pilots Association told the Toronto Star.
The rules would reduce a duty day to 13 hours from 14 and also take into account circadian rhythms and the number of cycles in calculating permissible flying times. Maximum duty time in a month would be 190 hours, of which 112 hours could be flying time.
Quebec Poised to Bail Out Bombardier?
Bombardier’s withering financial problems are leading to speculation that the family control over the company is about to come to an end.
Various financial publications are predicting Bombardier will be bailed out of its cash crisis by the Quebec government in the form of even more investment by the Quebec Pension Plan.
Bombardier is down to about $3 billion in cash reserves, thanks to a variety of factors, although the CSeries development program always seems to get singled out for most of the blame.
Regardless of where the money is going, the cash reserves only represent about a year’s worth of liquidity for Bombardier, which burned through $1.6 billion in the last six months.
However, the last thing Bombardier needs is more debt so any help from the pension fund will likely be in the form of equity and the number will almost certainly be big enough to wrest majority control from Bombardier family shareholders and their cronies.
The speculation came after Airbus confirmed that Bombardier had asked it to take over a majority stake in the CSeries program and that it had rejected the plan. Bombardier also confirmed the report and said it would continue to look for buyers for CSeries. Bombardier shares dropped on news of the failed talks.
Pilot Fired For Not Reporting Overrun
The pilot of an Orca Airways Navajo has been dismissed for running off the end of the runway at Tofino Airport and not reporting the incident.
According to the CBC, the unidentified pilot warned his six passengers it was foggy in Tofino when they took off from Vancouver in September and that they might have to land in Port Alberni.
On the second landing attempt in Tofino, the aircraft apparently landed long and went onto the overrun. The three runways at the former military airfield are 5,000 feet long and have both GPS and NDB instrument approaches.
He apparently didn’t tell his dispatcher about the incident, which CEO Andrew Naysmith told CBC is against company policy. The mishap seems to have come to light when passengers reported it.
Orca is one of the biggest charter and scheduled carriers on the West Coast. It has 16 Navajos along with four King Airs.
60 Years of Precision Celebrated
George Miller, the former team lead of the Snowbirds and Aviation Hall of Fame member marked his 80th birthday and 60th year of continuous flying on Oct. 6 in a most familiar way.
He took a hop around the patch at Langley Airport in B.C in his uniquely liveried Navion with his flying buddies, the Fraser Blues.
Miller founded the Blues after he retired from the Canadian Armed Forces and the team has performed at hundreds of air shows in B.C. It doesn’t perform a regular show schedule but the four members of the team still get together for performances and practice.
The flight on Oct. 6 was practice run and photo flight.
Miller spent 35 years as a military pilot, flying F-86s, CF-104s and as a member of the Golden Hawks. He later became team lead with the Snowbirds.