CWH Lancaster Headed Home
The crew of he Canadian Warplane Heritage Lancaster bomber spent a weather day in Keflavik, Iceland, Wednesday, after flying the first leg of their return trip from RAF Coningsby in England the day before.
Everyone involved with the six-week tour of the U.K. is celebrating it as a triumph but they’re also facing a $180,000 repair bill following an engine failure in late August. A bearing in the supercharger let go and took out other parts of the engine so an overhaul is needed. The museum is accepting donations on its Web site (www.warplane.com).
The Lanc is flying home with one engine borrowed from the RAF. It was swapped for the damaged engine in a marathon repair effort that got the Lancaster back in the air within a week of the engine failure.
During the tour the aircraft flew dozens of flypasts and exhibitions with the RAF’s Battle of Britain Lancaster. They’re the only two flying Lancasters in the world and the formation flights were the first since the 1960s.
The tour included a stop at Durham Tees Airport in northern Yorkshire, which was originally RAF Middleton St. George, which was where Canadian Victoria Cross recipient Andy Mynsarski was based. The CWH Lancaster is named for Mynarski.
Ironically, the engine failure occurred just after the Lancaster took off from Mynarski’s former base.
New Crew Rest Rules Coming
Airline pilots will be flying less and have shorter day under new rules being proposed by Transport Canada.
TC is suggesting that the duty day length be cut from 14 to 13 hours and that 28-day flight time be capped at 112 hours, with a maximum of 190 hours of total duty time.
Night flying hours will be limited to as little as 10 hours in recognition of the effect of being out of sync with circadian rhythms. Pilots flying multiple legs will have shorter days than those on non-stops because of the extra toll that landing and takeoffs take.
The government has given industry three weeks to comment on the proposed rules and there are provisions to allow companies to create their own fatigue management plans.
As might be expected, reaction to the proposal is mixed. Don Adamus, the Canadian head of the Airline Pilots Association said the changes are long overdue but the Air Transport Association of Canada is predicting a significant impact on airlines, particularly small operators.
ATAC President John McKenna told the Toronto Star that the rules could boost labour costs by 30 percent, particularly for seasonal and northern operators.
Visibility a Factor in Mid-Air
The Transportation Safety Board says the visor of Cessna 150 pilot’s ball cap likely prevented him from seeing a glider above his aircraft in time to avoid a fatal collision over Pemberton, B.C. last year.
Four people and a dog died when the two aircraft came together on June 29, 2013 in a remote mountainous area about 100 km north of Vancouver.
In its report, the TSB said the two occupants of the glider would not have been able to see the Cessna below and the Cessna pilot was “probably wearing a baseball-type cap with a sun visor” that would have made it hard for him to see the white glider above.
“The relative position of each of the occurrence aircraft just before the collision would have made visual aquisition difficult,” said the report.
The two aircraft’s right wings were shorn off and there was no chance of survival for any of the occupants.
Generous Donation Secures Air Cadet Squadron
An air cadet squadron in Windsor, Ont has a secure future thanks to three anonymous benefactors.
Facing eviction from their current parade quarters at a military building that is being closed, the squadron was planning to move to a facility that isn’t big enough for its membership but all that’s changed with the donation.
Earlier this week the 364 Lancaster Squadron announced that the donors have turned over an airport hangar and three flying aircraft to the squadron.
“This is the dream,” Maj. Steve Stephenson told CBC News. “Being at the airport, having your own airplanes, you’re going to take the cadets and you’re going to fly around. Your pilots who graduate off the (summer scholarship) courses are now going to be able to come and fly the airplanes.
“Hey, that’s just and amazing thing, an amazing opportunity.”
The squadron got two Cessnas and a Piper in the donation. The hangar has classroom and parade space and having the aircraft onsite will be a big training boon.
“You can talk about it on a chalkboard…but now we can walk to the hangar and say ‘Sit in it. Move the controls. See how they work,'” said Stephenson.
The cadets move in to the hangar in November.