COPA Flight hosts TC Safety Seminar

By Adam Hunt


COPA Flight 8 was fortunate enough to have a Transport Canada Safety Seminar for our September 2012 meeting, presented by two Civil Aviation Safety Inspectors from the Ottawa Transport Canada Centre, Claude Hurley and Oonagh Elliott. The seminar was held in the new theatre at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.

Elliott is a longtime Ottawa inspector and has served the area in the past as an enforcement inspector. With TC reorganization she is now with general aviation, but as she noted, she still has the same cubicle at the TCC on Camelot Drive.

Hurley is newer at TC, having come from the commercial offshore helicopter world two years ago and before that the Canadian Forces. He is now the Technical Team Lead, Flight Operations at the TCC.

The presentation started with a review of the CARs requirements for recency training. These include that pilots have “successfully completed a recurrent training program” in the last 24 months and attendance at a safety seminar, such as this one, counts for that requirement. This was probably one factor in the large turnout of area pilots that evening.

Hurley and Elliott then lead the group though a bush survival exercise, where they handed out cards that had pictures of items that you might have with you in an aircraft. They then asked the participants to think about keeping or trading the cards to improve survival odds in the summer bush. This got people thinking about what they have in their aircraft and what they should have, even in the summertime. Next in the fast-paced presentation was a look at CAIRS, the new Civil Aviation Issues Reporting System that provides a means for raising industry-wide issues that TC needs to address.

The new Civil Aviation Services Ontario (CASO) services were also highlighted that allow members of the aviation community and the public to quickly direct questions and complaints to the right place.

A review of aviation licensing requirements followed, including a reminder that the old paper licences have expired and that if you don’t have a new “booklet” style licence then you don’t have a valid licence. Due to processing time it was pointed out that document holders need to keep track of their expiry date and ensure that they apply for renewal at least 90 days in advance.

Document holders were also reminded to put their ratings and other validation stickers in the booklet.

Because aerodrome circuit entry and exit procedures have been identified as a recent safety issue, especially in the Ottawa area, it was to this subject that the presentation turned next. This discussion included Mandatory Frequency (MF) areas versus Aerodrome Traffic Frequency (ATF) areas and in particular the close proximity of one of each of these at Rockcliffe and Gatineau airports. The emphasis was on entering and exiting the circuit without traffic conflicts and with whom to communicate and when.

The three very small restricted areas in the Ottawa area, at Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall and the DND facility at Dwyer Hill have had a large number of airspace violations. Elliott noted that a review of recent CADORS showed 41 Class D Terminal Area airspace incursions, nine Class C control zone incursions and 48 incursions into the three restricted areas. Some time was spent reviewing the maps of these restricted areas and how to identify them on the ground so that they can be avoided. Landings were the last subject of the evening. Elliott noted that Ontario Region in 2011 saw 53% of all aircraft accidents occur in the landing phase and, of those, half were assessed as having lack-of-skill causes.

There was discussion about how the 2012 COPA survey shows that in the past five years the median annual time being flown has dropped from 40 hours to just 27 hours, which might start to explain the high number of lack-of-skill landing accidents.

Hurley and Elliott emphasized the need to plan landings carefully to not exceed aircraft or pilot limits. This includes considering field conditions, including crosswinds, rehearse the landing sequence, have an escape plan in case things go badly and then afterwards to debrief yourself, or reflect on how you did, and see how it could be done better next landing.

As always the accepted wisdom is that good landings are a product of good, stabilized approaches, with accurate speed control and touchdown occurring on the runway centre-line.

COPA Flight 8 would like to thank Claude Hurley and Oonagh Elliott for taking time to present the safety seminar to our members. The flight hopes to do another safety presentation within two years, to comply with TC’s recency requirements.