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PA-30 with a gear problem at CYFB Print E-mail

N8234YThis 1966 Piper PA-30 Twin Commanche N8234Y had a gear-up problem on landing at CYFB Iqaluit, Nunavut around 6pm local time on March 30, 2013.  The plane was up from the US, having just completed a leg from Kuujjuaq, Quebec. The owner reports that they had a good gear down indication on final, but the right gear was not fully locked when they landed. The other two landing gear collapsed during the landing.  He says it was  "actually not very dramatic, and the damage was light".  The plane skidded on its belly and came to a stop on the west edge of the runway..  Emergency crews were called out, but there was no fire or fuel leak.

 

 

 

 

 

 

N8234Y on the jack Local crews spent a number of hours trying to jack it up and get the gear to drop and lock.  This photo shows the work underway trying to get the plane back up on its wheels. The mishap closed the first 4,000 feet of the 8,500 Runway 34 for about a number of hours while the plane was moved, however most of the evening turbo-prop scheduled flights were able to land.

The plane remained here for a couple of seasons while the owner arranged for repairs.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 20:37
 
Northern Air Transport Association Print E-mail

Northern Air Transport Assoc.The Northern Air Transport Association is holding its annual conference and trade show in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories from April 8 to 10, 2013.  NATA brings together commercial aviation operations across the Canadian North.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 March 2013 17:57
 
A380 returns Print E-mail

Bert Rose A380 cockpitThe Airbus A380 returned to CYFB, Iqaluit for some additional cold weather testing in January of 2013.  They spent the better part of a week here, testing a new Rolls-Royce engine. As always, a plane that big in a town this small creates a lot of attention.  Bert Rose and Cam McGregor, part of the original Polar Pilots group here in Iqaluit, got a tour of the plane with test pilot Thierry Bourges.  This photo is Bert Rose sitting in the left seat.  Quite a difference between the cockpit of a C172, and the Airbus A380!

 

 

 

 

 

Airbus A380 with Trent XWBYou'll notice the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine, painted blue, in this photo of the A380 parked on taxiway Bravo at CYFB, Iqaluit.  The photo is courtesy of Airbus. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 21:45
 
Helicopter goes down during Arviat, Nunavut rescue Print E-mail

A dramatic search and rescue near Arviat, Nunavut on January 9, 2013 turned a rescuer into the rescued.   Around 3:45 pm that day, a Custom Helicopters Bell 206 Jet Ranger (C-GGZS)  that had been hired pick two hunters off of the sea ice broke through the ice on landing.  The hunters who were to be rescued by the helicopter had to help the pilot from the machine as it slipped partially into the water and turned on its side.

The hunters were overdue from a seal hunting trip on the night of January 8th. They were on an ice pan that broke off from the land fast ice, preventing them from getting back to their snowmobiles and equipment.  The Canadian Forces Search and Rescue were called in when the men didn't return to Arviat as planned.  The Joint Rescue Control Centre dispatched a Hercules search aircraft, which located the men early on the morning of January 9th  Attempts by local Arviat searchers to reach the men by boat failed due to the extreme cold. Temperatures at the time were below -30 degress celcius, with wind chills making it feel like about -50.

The Canadian Forces then called in the private helicopter which was based in Gillam, Manitoba.  Hunter Joe Karetak picks up the story here.

The Custom Jet Ranger C-GGZS arrived on scene and attempted the rescue, with the Hercules circling above.  When C-GGZS ran into trouble, Search and Rescue technicians parachuted down from the Herc to assist.  All were picked up by a Canadian Forces Griffon helicopter which was enroute to the scene from CFB Cold Lake, Alberta. The Griffon arrived about 20 or 30 minutes after the mishap with the Custom Helicopters machine, according to a Canadian Forces spokesperson.

The two hunters and the Custom pilot flown to Arviat,  Nunavut, where they were treated for hypothermia at the nursing station and released.

The Transportation Safety Board is interviewing everyone involved in the incident, but may not conduct a full investigation, according to CBC North News. Here's the Civil Aviation Daily Occurence Report on the incident

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2013 00:32
 
Perimeter Air crash at Sanikiluaq, Nunavut Print E-mail

C-GFWXA Perimeter Aviation Fairchild SA227-AC Metro III (C-GFWX) crashed at Sanikiluaq, Nunavut around 6:15pm Eastern Time on December 22, 2012.  The plane was chartered by Keewatin Air, and was enroute to Sanikiluaq from Winnipeg, Manitoba.    There were seven passengers and two crew aboard the flight.  A six month old child was killed in the crash.

The plane was on a second landing attempt on Runway 27 at the time of the crash.  The Transportation Safety Board says it landed hard, and then went down beyond the west end of the runway.  There was blowing snow at the time.  There was no post-crash fire, and most of passengers were able to get out of the plane on their own.  People from the community drove to the crash site with snowmobiles and sleds to transport the injured to the local nursing station.  Sanikiluaq is small Inuit community on the Belcher Islands, in the southeast corner of Hudson Bay.  It has no doctor or hospital.  The pilot and co-pilot were flown to Winnipeg for treatment, and later released.

The wreckage of the plane has been removed from the crash site, and stored in two sea-lift containers.  It will be shipped south at the beginning of the summer shipping season.

The death of the infant is prompting some calls for the use child safety seats on commercial aircraft.

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. An investigator was in Sanikiluaq on December 27, 2012. They'll be examining the flight data recorder, which has been recovered from the crash site.  Information on the TSB investigation, including a Google map of the area, is available here

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 December 2012 11:41
 
Canadian Electronic charts Print E-mail

NavCanada VFR chartsNavCanada, the company the runs Canada's air navigation system, has recently made available electronic versions of the Canada Air Pilot (IFR approaches plates, etc), various VNC navigation charts and other publications.  You'll find the order page here.  There is a fee for online purchase of the publications. The files are downloadable PDFs, that allow you to print your required pages.

For Nunavut, you'll want E-CAP1 for IFR; the map at the left shows the VNC chart numbers; Hi and Lo level enroute charts are also available.

If printed at the correct resolution, the electronic versions are authorized for in-flight navigation. (Up to 4800 optimized dpi colour (up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi colour and 1200 Input dpi).

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 December 2012 03:25
 
Alaska Wing Men Print E-mail

Alaska Wing MenSeems like just about every network has an aviation-related program these days.  And National Geographic TV Canada has added one to their mix of shows.  Alaska Wing Men takes on a number of flights with pilots flying small, single engine aircraft in the challenging skies of Alaska.  The show is features alot of flying, including some interesting glacier and rough terrain landings.  Check it out here... they have shorter video segments from the show available for on line viewing.

Last Updated on Saturday, 08 September 2012 00:26
 
Airline Pilots Association calls for airport upgrades Print E-mail

Turning final CYXPThe Air Line Pilots Association says creating GPS approaches for both ends of all northern airports would improve air safety in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.  Devin Lyall told CBC News the Association has identified 28 airports in Nunavut and the NWT that would benefit from the additional GPS approaches. He says airports would also benefit from lengthening and paving, though he acknowledges that comes at a high cost./ Lyall says the ALPA has formed a committee on Remote Operations, which includes pilots from First Air, Canadian North, Calm Air, and Air Alaska.

Photo at left shows Cessna 172 C-GOLJ turning final for 24T CYXP Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Click to enlarge.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 July 2012 18:39
 
TAWS systems now mandated for some smaller aircraft Print E-mail

Universal Avionics Transport Canada has introduced new regulations requiring "private turbine-powered and commercial airplanes with six or more passenger seats to be equipped with an alert system known as the “terrain awareness and warning system” (TAWS).

In a written statement on July 4, 2012, Transport Canada noted the following:

"The new regulations will replace the current regulatory requirement for a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) under section 605.37 of the Canadian Aviation Regulations. In comparison to GPWS, TAWS gives the flight crew much earlier acoustic and visual warnings of a collision, and does so under conditions where GPWS cannot. "

"The regulatory amendments require TAWS to be installed with an enhanced altitude accuracy function. TAWS requires precise altitude information to work properly in all climates. Without the enhanced altitude accuracy function, TAWS may give altitude readings that are incorrect by up to 500 feet because of factors such as air pressure and frigid temperatures."

The Canadian Aviation Regulations are available on line. And here's the updated Advisory Circular 600-003 with more details on the requirements (Oct 2013)

If you're not familiar with TAWS, here's a quick look at the system by Universal Avionics.  And here's a background paper from 2006 from the International Civil Aviation Organization discussing the value of TAWs based systems.

Last Updated on Friday, 18 October 2013 20:51
 
Dangerous Flights TV program Print E-mail

Dangerous FlightsIt seems aviation is coming popular in the reality of TV world. The Discovery Channel has recently introduceda new aviation based show.  It is called "Dangerous Flights", and features some challenging ferry flights around the Atlantic and Pacific.  One of the episodes features a flight through from Europe, through Greenland to Goose Bay, Labrador and on to the US.  A range of single and small twin engine aircraft are featured, including Cessna 206, Cirrus SR22 , Beech Bonanza, Dornier 228, King Air C90B, Phenom 100, Piper Cheyenne, Piper Navaho.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 June 2012 21:19
 
SAR Tech lost in Nunavut rescue receives posthumous bravery award Print E-mail

Sgt. Jannik GilbertPeople across Nunavut were deeply saddened by the tragic loss of a Canadian Forces Search and Rescue Technician involved in a rescue effort near Igloolik, Nunavut on October 27, 2011.  Sergeant Janik Gilbert was one of three SAR Techs who jumped into the icy waters of Hecla Strait in an effort to rescue two Igloolik hunters.  He did not survive.

Gilbert was with the 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron based at the Canadian Force Base in Trenton, Ontario.  This group is responsible for aerial search and rescue operations in a large part of arctic Canada.  Having spent time in a Hercules as a volunteer spotter with the Iqaluit Civil Air Search and Rescue Assocation (CASARA)  group over the years, we've had a chance to see first hand the amazing work done by Canadian Forces Search and Rescue crews.  Anyone who travels in the north, by air, sea or land, knows the importance of their brave and selfless service.

CBC News has a story about the tragedy here, including links to earlier stories and the official statement from the Canadian Forces.   The Royal Canadian Air Force website also has an article on the tragedy.

Funeral services were held November 5th at La Chapelle Ste-Jeanne D'Arc at Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, Quebec.  Here is an article about the funeral.

UPDATE December 21, 2011:

The Canadian Department of National Defence published the Aircraft Occurrence Summary outlining what happened on October 27, 2011.  Read the report here.  A final report is expected in October 2012.  See the CBC News story here.

UPDATE June 16, 2012

Gilbert was posthumously awarded the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea. CBC News has a story about the bravery award here.

UPDATE October 6,  2012

SAR TechsThe Search and Rescue crew that performed this mission were honoured with a national award for the complex and demanding rescue mission.  See the story here.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 18:26
 
Canadian 406 ELT rules Print E-mail

406 ELT kitIt continues to be legal to fly private aircraft in Canada with a 121.5 ELT. And a recent edition of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association newsletter reports that changes to the rules aren't likely in the near future.

However, keep in mind that  COSPAS/SARSAT no longer monitors 121.5.  So if you don't have a ELT operating on 406 mHz, you don't have a means of automatically notifying the search and rescue authorities if your plane goes down.  If you're relying only on your 121.5 ELT, the only chance to you have of being detected in an emergency is if another aircraft hears your ELT signal on 121.5.  And in the north of Canada, that isn't something you want to rely on.  The advantage of the 406 ELT is that it can provide data about your flight, and with some units, GPS information about your location.  But the issue about whether or not to convert to 406 is complex.

The Canadian rules on ELTs are expected to change.  But it isn't clear when that will happen, or what the new regulations will entail. Transport Canada sent the proposed new regulations back for "further consultations with stakeholders" in May 2010. And apparently, the new minister sent them back for further review again in 2011. Isn't isn't clear yet whether Transport Canada will mandate the change to the 406 ELT, or look at some of the other options currently available. The Department of National Defence (DND), which runs Canada's Search and Rescue system,  favours the 406 mhz ELT.  But it isn't clear whether the government is prepared to mandate 406 ELTs, knowing the US isn't likely to follow suit, and knowing that there is new technology (Mid Earth Orbit Satellite systems /MEOSAT) on the horizon that may provide better aircraft tracking options.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the use of radio transmission, announced in the summer of 2010 that it proposed to ban the use of 121.5 ELTs in the US starting in August, 2010. However, that didn't happen. Most recently, the White House urged the FCC to make 406 ELTs mandatory in the US by 2022.   The Aircraft Electronics Association wants the FCC to continue to allow existing 121.5 ELTS to be used, but is against continuing the manufacture of 121.5 ELTs. 

In Canada, there has been much debate about whether the 406 ELT is the best answer for emergency alerting for private aircraft.  The Canadian Owners and Pilots Association has been very active on this file, trying get Transport Canada to look at a wider range of emergency alerting alternatives, including tracking devices such as SPOT and Spidertracks.  And wth changing technology, there may soon be other options that could provide a wider range of more effective aircraft tracking and emergency alerting options.

Here's the recent chronology on the 406 issue in Canada:

In May, 2010, the COPA reports that Transport Canada will mandate the use of a 406 ELT on most aircraft flying in Canada, including private aircraft. The regulation has not yet been "gazetted" in the Canada Gazette yet, which means the current 121.5 ELT rules remain in effect.

On July 8, 2010, the Director General of Civil Aviation for Transport Canada, Martin Eley, told the Canadian Business Aviation Association convention in Calgary that " an ELT regulatory package is currently being processed and will come into force as soon as possible."

He went on to say that "the current regulation does not mandate a 406 MHz ELT, but it does require that you have a transmitter with similar performance capabilities. We are also giving you time to make this upgrade to your aircraft. This will also provide time for ELT production to increase." He didn't specify what those timeframes would be.

COPA says it appears that "alternate means of emergency location approved by Transport Canada" in the new regs isn't likely to include some of the new tracking systems on the market, like SPOT, Spidertracks, Latitude Web Sentinel, Skytrac and others.  These tracking systems appear to be unacceptable to DND and Transport Canada because they cannot automatically activate a distress signal in a crash.  But of course, the regular tracking would provide a fairly narrow location to start a search, even if a pilot wasn't able to manually send a distress signal using the tracking unit.  And, as COPA has argued,  ELTs, both 406 and 121.5  sometimes fail to survive a crash and transmit an emergency signal.

In March, 2011 COPA reports that there is no new information on this file. The March 2010 article at COPA noted above continues to be the most up to date information.

In December 2011, COPA again reports that there hasn't been any change in the situation. Apparently, the new Transport Minister has referred the draft legislation back to his department for further study.  As COPA notes, changes in coming satellite technology, improvements in currently available tracking devices and the failure of a number of 406 units in crashes all point to different options for emergency notification for general aviation.

The COPA website has an excellent article explaining the situation. There is also a  COPA article from February 2009 that outlines some of the issues behind the requirement for 406 ELTs.

If you're not a member,  consider joining COPA for important information on this and many other general aviation issues.

There was also some controversy around the original planned requirement that the new 406 ELTs would have to be installed by an avionics shop. There continues to be an exemption in effect that allows the work to be done by a licenced AME on private aircraft installations, where the ELT does not interface with an onboard system such as a GPS navigation system.  Currently, the exemption is in place until March 31, 2014, according to Transport Canada

Through any transition period that may be prescribed by the new regulations, pilots flying in the arctic regions of Canada will need to think very carefully before flying with just a 121.5 ELT.  Only using a 121.5 ELT means no method of automatically alerting authorities if you get into trouble, other than hoping another aircraft is listening on 121.5.  We've seen some pilots using satellite flight tracking services, and devices like SPOT, in addition to a 121.5 ELT. And as noted above,  Canadian Search and Rescue authorities are strongly encouraging the use of 406 mhz ELTs.

Here's the list of Canadian certified 406 ELTS

Last Updated on Monday, 10 February 2014 20:54
 
Midnight Sun Challenge 2010 -> Northern Wilderness Tour 2011- Aircraft Adventure 2012 Print E-mail

Lovelace Aviation AdventureIn the summer of 2009, John Lovelace of "Wings Over Canada" fame, undertook a major flight project to celebrate the Century of Flight.  The Cross Canada Century Flight saw 100 small planes to make the long coast to coast trip.

The success of the Cross Canada Century Flight has led to the creation of the Century Flight Club.  They're planning annual general aviation flight events.  In 2010, the Midnight Sun Challenge saw 100 small planes travel to Whitehorse, the capital city of Canada's Yukon territoryYukon is a great place to visit, with the colourful history of the Gold Rush, strong aboriginal cultures, and miles and miles and miles of beautiful scenery.

The 2011 flight was called the Canadian Wilderness tour, and saw Lovelace and company head to LaRonge, in northern Saskatchewan

For 2012, they visited Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories.  More information is available on their Century of Flight Facebook page, or in this brochure.

2013 will see the Lovelace group head east, to the Maritimes.

You can also check out the Century Flight Club website.

Last Updated on Friday, 07 June 2013 21:10
 
Air Greenland inaugurates new route to Iqaluit - UPDATED Print E-mail

Air GreenlandAir Greenland has begun a new connection between Nuuk, Greenland and Iqaluit.   The summer-only service gives Nunavut residents and tourists a chance to make a quick connection between the neighbouring capitals. The flights run Mondays and Fridays, starting June 15, 2012.  The service was successful enough to warrant a second season in the summer of 2013.  Despite being relatively close together, it has been years since there were direct scheduled flights between Canada and Greenland.

Air Greenland is flying the route with a Bombardier DASH 8. Flying time is estimated to be about 1 hour and 45 minutes. That's a lot quicker than a couple of days - flying to southern Canada, on to Copenhagen and up to Nuuk, which is how that trip is done when these direct flights aren't available.  Tickets can be booked with First Air.

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 23:48
 
Qikiqtarjuaq runway damaged - UPDATE Print E-mail

Part of the runway at CYVM Qikiqtarjuaq was closed this week (June 5, 2012) following damage from a rapid snow melt and associated flash flooding.  The first 1100 feet of the normally 3800 ft runway 21(T) are affected.   Fuel delivery to aircraft is also not available due to the closure of a taxiway because of the flooding. CBC News reports that the runway damage has limited flights into the community to medevac and other emergency flights.  Work is underway to repair the damage, though there may be further flooding possible as another lake breaks up.

UPDATE:  NOTAM was lifted within a couple of days as repairs to the runway were made

Check for updated NOTAM information for CYVM here.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2012 11:29
 
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