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RE: THANKS TC

On September 11 at about 5 p. m. local time, I was returning to London, Ont. After a day in Ottawa, when at 6,500 feet northwest of Kaladar I started to experience some engine roughness. After a few quick checks to determine the cause of the engine problem and no improvement, I notified the Toronto Centre controller to whom I been talking to on the Peterborough PAL on 134.25. His concern and care as he helped me determine my best options for a diversion, including phone calls to Trenton and Peterborough, were greatly appreciated as the engine slowly lost power over some very rugged terrain.

After he had determined the runway construction was not an impediment at Peterborough, a safe landing was completed. I cannot thank the controller, whoever he was, enough for his help during this fairly tense event. It also underlines the usefulness of radar service on a VFR flight.

To the controller on duty that day, a heartfelt thank you. CHRISTOPHER STAINES Komoka, Ontario

 

RE: AIRPORT FEES

I flew my privately registered Piper Seneca II aircraft on a family vacation from Alberta to St. Hubert, Que. In July. A night was spent in Dryden, Ontario heading east. The next morning I was flight planning and deciding where my next fuel stop would be. My original plan was to fuel at Pembroke, Ont. Which was on a more direct route. I then thought of North Bay knowing some history of it being an air force base as a point of interest for my family.

I checked the current Canada Flight Supplement for airport information and found no reference to any fees. As a result, I decided to divert off my direct route and use North Bay Airport as my fuel stop.

Upon landing, I noticed that the airport appeared deserted with hardly any general aviation or other aircraft visible. I taxied up to the FBO and parked across the apron. The family deplaned and utilized the facilities at the FBO.
After paying $504.83 ($1.79 per litre) for fuel (the highest price of the whole trip) and oil, we reboarded and carried on east (The second highest cost for 100 avgas was Winnipeg [$1.74] which does not charge any fees).

About a month later, I received an invoice from the North Bay Airport for an Airport Facility Fee, Landing Fee, and a Terminal Fee totaling $108.51. I was shocked!

As earlier mentioned, there was no reference to any fees being charged in the Canada Flight Supplement. There are other airports listed in the supplement such as Toronto Pearson, Calgary, Edmonton International, as well as other smaller airports that list fees being charged. Knowing that, I then check to see what the cost of the fees are. I then decide to use or avoid the airport.

I mostly avoid the airports that charge fees unless there are no other airports available. To receive the invoice after due diligence was taken in my mind is like an extortion.

I called the number provided on the invoice and explained the above. The person I spoke with was unaware that the information about fees was not in the Flight Supplement or that other airports that charged fees did have a notation in the Supplement to that effect.

I mentioned that had I known in advance of the fees that I would have never landed at the airport. I pointed out that Sudbury does not charge any fees to piston aircraft and that Pembroke only charge commercial aircraft. They usually add a few cents on to a litre of fuel to cover the operations of the airport. I was then informed that North Bay Airport also charges 5.5 Cents on a litre of 100 avgas that is included in the cost.

I have never heard of anyone visiting a mall or a gas station located in a shopping center parking lot and later receiving a bill for facility fees, building (terminal) fees, or fees to cover the asphalt driveway/ parking lot. One definitely does not pay a mall fee to shop in any store in the mall. Such costs are usually borne by the business by paying rents and possibly taxes.
The businesses then work those and other costs such as electricity, heating, personnel etc. into the cost of the service and products bought by the public.

The airport lists the Facility Fee as “This fee is used to support operating cost, capital improvements and the rehabilitation of assets. The use of the Airport facilities is defined as any aircraft landing at the airport for the purpose of processing passengers, aircrew and or cargo.” In my case, I was there to obtain fuel and carry on; there was nothing to “process.”

Is this not just another fee on top of what you are already charging in landing, terminal, and fuel to cover the same purpose?

With that being said, I was informed that the Terminal and Facility Fees would be waived however I would still be required to pay the Landing Fee which amounts to $24.49 + HST = $27.67 which I still feel is unjust due to the fact of the lack of advertising in the Flight Supplement. No wonder the airport is like a ghost town and will likely be more expensive to operate with less incoming revenue.

JAMES (JIM) KRUK Airdrie, Alberta

Ed. It is unfortunate that you were surprised by North Bay’s fees. In case you are not a frequent user of COPA’s Places to Fly site http://www.copanational.org/Places tofly.cfm by visiting the listing for North Bay and then clicking on the link for the airport website you would have found the fees document, which highlights that if your aircraft weighs more than 2,000 kg, there are several fees that apply and that most fees do not apply for aircraft weighing less than 2,000 kg.

When I checked the listing I noticed that it was a bit out of date, including not being specific enough about the fees kicking in for aircraft weighing more than 2,000 kg. I have updated the listing, which anyone can do, and I even updated the fuel price for my recent experience ($1.89 tax in).

I agree that this airport is one of the most expensive for fuel. We encourage members to “adopt an airport” by checking for changes in prices, airport features etc. and then taking the time to update the Places to Fly listing, and we encourage all members to check Places to Fly whenever they fly for information that is not provided in the CFS.

The government and Nav Canada have not responded to COPA’s calls for inclusion of fees in the CFS so Places to Fly is your best source for this information.
COPA President/CEO Kevin Psutka

 

RE: CRASH LANDING

Jorma Kivilahti’s article in the October COPA Flight “Crash landing: it can’t happen to me?” is an important reminder to us pilots to be prepared not just for a forced landing, but also subsequent survival in the outdoors.

As a botanist and Director of Forests, Fish and Wildlife for Prince Edward Island, I too often see people woefully unprepared for the outdoors - even in this reasonably “unwild” province. That said, the article contains a mix of useful and potentially dangerous advice. Some examples in the latter category:
“All fruits and berries growing on trees and shrubs in wooded areas are edible. . . .” Be suspicious of absolutes. In my part of the world, there are certainly toxic fruits on woody plants: poison ivy comes quickly to mind, and the pits and seeds of some members of the cherry family contain a chemical related to cyanide, for example.

Fruits and berries, “. . . Of non-woody plants, except the wild strawberry, and not edible.” Again, not true. There are many edible (and some delicious) non-woody plants out there. With some basic plant id skills, one can eat very well in the woods of eastern Canada at many times of year.

“. . . .running water tends to purify itself so it is okay to drink.“ Surface water - including running water - can contain a parasite that causes giardiasis, or “beaver fever.“ Water purification tablets are a great addition to any survival kit.

My intent is not to pick apart the article, just to illustrate that the suggested “rules to remember” should be taken with a grain of salt. First aid training, basic survival skills and a decent kit are among the items I consider essential for flying, hiking, hunting, and other enjoyable outdoor activities. I hope Jorma Kivilahti’s article will cause others to think about this as well, and strive to keep such support skills as sharp as their flying skills.
KATE MACQUARRIE Hazelgrove, PEI

 

RE: COPA For KIDS

I just wanted to pass along a very sincere thank you to you and your organization for the wonderful opportunities you provide through your COPA For KIDS program!

My 14-year-old son Andrew Juvonen is a second-year member of the Air Cadets with Squadron 249 Beausejour, here in Manitoba which is where we found out about COPA.

He was delighted to attend his first aviation program the other day at Lyncrest Airport and flew with Pilot Tom Stoyka who also provides the ground school training for his Squadron. What a wonderful experience!

Andrew has wanted to be a pilot since he could first say the word “plane” and he is still determined to make this dream come true! This program is such a great opportunity for kids like Andrew to get a taste of “flight” first hand and it has certainly solidified for him that this is truly what he wants to do! And the bonus was that his younger brother went along and also enjoyed a ride!! Thank you again for this great opportunity! A grateful mom.
GLORIA JUVONEN Manitoba