I am writing to commend Paul Hayes (my COPA Regional Director) on the excellent article he wrote for the February COPA Flight (page C-16).
His treatment of the issues raised by the rapid construction of many wind turbines throughout Canada was extremely well done. He certainly raised my awareness of the dangers represented by these devices and made me think about them in a different light than before.
He addressed the difficulties we all face with the proliferation of these potential obstructions to safe aviating in the country in a thorough and professional manner. He outlines the issues and the exposures - now and in the future - that we must address to continue protecting the integrity of the national airspace.
Like so many other problems we in the General Aviation community must grapple with on an everyday basis, these wind turbine towers are being located across the land without being in the context of any overall strategy for integration with aviation facilities - either current or planned.
The regulators must pay attention to the safety issues raised by Paul’s thoughtful examination of the tower proliferation before we are saying “I told you so” after some tragic event caused by their construction.
Keep up the good work with the Federal agencies - even though the task sometimes seems fruitless due to a lack of care and neglect on their part!
DAVID R. COX
ed. Thanks Dave. Paul is participating as a subject matter expert in a risk assessment exercise, conducted by SMS Aviation Safety Inc. and funded by COPA’s Freedom to Fly Fund. Others are involved from the wind industry, Nav Canada and Transport Canada. TC’s position on this issue has been simply to worry about lighting and marking. They have been blind to the other issues of turbulence and loss of use of aviation facilities, including aerodromes, airports and even navaids (turbines block ATC radar and skew VOR signals). It is incredible that we have to do TC’s safety work but it is good to have Paul on our side.
COPA President and CEO
I have been a member of COPA for a number of years now and I am very grateful to have access to the resources of the organization and the benefits of membership. I am particularly impressed with the various “Guides” that COPA makes available to Canadian pilots and which I have found extremely helpful.
I have made two lengthy crosscountry flights since becoming a pilot. In 2005, in the company of a fellow airman, I flew my AULA Challenger II, on wheels, from Sainte Lazare, Quebec to St. Albert, Alberta. The following year, on wheelskis, I brought the airplane home to Kugluktuk, Nunavut, where it now resides. In 2010 I flew my Amateur- Built PA-12 replica, on straight floats, on a more northerly route from Sudbury, Ontario to Kugluktuk, Nunavut.
Both of these experiences have been nothing short of amazing and have, I hope, improved my flying ability. I would love to do the trip again someday in the opposite direction, and probably with the ultralight on wheels. I should be able to take more time “to smell the roses” as I will be retiring in a couple of years.
One Guide that appears to be missing from COPA’s extensive collection is some type of directory of all the small, private, mostly-grass airstrips that dot this country but are seldom listed in the Flight Supplement because they may not be “licensed” or “registered”, or simply because the owners have not bothered to provide their airport data to the authorities. I, for one, would prefer to avoid the larger airports and the possibility of fees for landing and tie-down. I believe that most private airstrip owners would welcome the occasional visitor and there is some possibility that flyers would be allowed to camp, thus reducing accommodation and meal expenses – not to mention the friendlier atmosphere and camaraderie of fellow pilots that “grassroots” airports provide.
To be sure, it would be a bit of a chore to compile all the data, but I’m certain that COPA, along with the network of pilots and flying clubs in the regions, would be up to the task.
ed. Thank you for writing COPA and for the nice compliments. Your suggestion is a good one and is already part of COPA`s Places to Fly which can be found on our website.
As you identified, it would be an impossible chore for COPA staff to compile all the data, update and maintain. However, COPA created an online database that Pilots, Flying Clubs, etc. can add or update any airfield, aerodrome or airport.
Please go to this link http://www.copanational.org/Placestofly.cfm
I encourage you to also add airfields you discover during your cross-country flights.
COPA V-P, Operations