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The Aviation Safety Letter (ASL) is published quarterly by Transport Canada, Civil Aviation. The ASL includes articles that address aviation safety from all perspectives, such as safety insight derived from accidents and incidents, information tailored to the needs of maintenance and servicing personnel.

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Integration of Electronic Flight Bags in the G.A. Cockpit

  • Investigating the effects of using an electronic nav aid during VFR flight.
  • 30% of pilots use a tablet. 40% use a GPS.
  • As electronic aids are not in syllabus, pilots must teach themselves.
  • Dangers of focusing on nav aid at the cost of instrument scanning & visual awareness outside the cockpit.
  • Low-time pilots at more risk of deviating in altitude.

Pilots report benefits of using E.N.As include:

  • Safer flights.
  • Better route planning.
  • Staying closer to planned route.
  • More likely to divert.
  • Feel less tired.

Research suggestions include:

  • Be aware of the changes that the tablet and GPS can have on your performance.
  • Ask your instructor for advice on using electronic aids.
  • Find the best way to mount your external device.
  • Read the manual fully so that you are aware of the devices limitations and operating procedures.
  • ALWAYS be ready to continue your flight without them in case of failure/dead battery/etc.
  • After landing ask yourself, "What do I remember more: the tablet's screen or the terrain?"

How is Your Situational Awareness?

  • The value of reading TSB & NTSB accident reports.
  • While reading, try to place yourself in the cockpit and ask yourself:
    "What was the situational awareness (SA) in the cockpit a few minutes prior to the accident?"
  • For pilots, "SA" means knowing what is going on around them and being ahead of the game.
  • "High SA" means a lower chance of CFIT, loss of control, or a mid-air collision.
  • Techniques for maintaining a High SA

Annex 19 & Canada's State Safety Program

  • The move towards a GLOBAL state safety program.
  • As a member state of ICAO, Canada must conform to global civil aviation norms.
  • The goal of Annex 19 is to foster a positive and proactive safety culture.
  • Canada is required to establish mechanisms to monitor and measure safety performance using SSP requirements and guidance.
  • Canada is on track to meeting Annex 19 standards by November 2019.

Phraseology Guides

  • Over the years, miscommunication has been recognized as a cause or contributing factor in operating irregularities and continues to be a challenge.
  • To improve communications, Nav Canada offers free "VFR" and "Ground Traffic Phraseology" guides (in both official languages).
  • You can access both documents in PDF format here: http://www.navcanada.ca/EN/media/Pages/publications-operational.aspx
  • A 3rd "IFR Phraseology Guide" is scheduled to be released later in 2019.

Updating Publications

  • A reminder that Pilots have a responsibility to keep updated publications, global positioning system (GPS) databases, and to read NOTAMs prior to flying. Flight planning is important.
  • As updates to publications such as the Canada Flight Supplement (CFS), the Canada Air Pilot (CAP), navigation maps, GPS databases, and NOTAMs are constantly being made, Pilots should be sure to have the latest information prior to flight.

Ordering of Transport Canada Publications and Forms

  • Link: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/tp185-menu-5395.htm
  • Visit our online forms catalogue: http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Corp-Serv-Gen/5/Forms-Formulaires/
  • Contact our Publications and Forms Order Desk:
    • North America...........1-888-830-4911
    • Local..........................613-991-4071
    • Fax.............................613-991-2081
    • E-mail........................This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Night Flying Tips

  • Hazards related to night flying.
    • Weather conditions safe to night fly?
    • Increased pre-flight preparation.
    • Check Cabin Heat/De-mist for safe operation.
    • Increase Carb Heat checks in flight.
    • Beware of Laser Light Pointers, especially on final approach.
    • Be Alert for a "Black-Hole-Illusion" on dark (moonless/cloudy) nights, which could potentially lead to CFIT.
    • If you haven't flown at night for some time, identify which regulations have changed since your last night flight.

Transport Canada Aviation Safety Seminars

David Charles Abramson Memorial - Flight Instructor Safety Award

  • Congratulations to Wayne L. Cave of Chinook Helicopters, Abbostford, B.C.; the 16th recipient of the annual DCAM Flight Instructor Safety Award.

New Regulation on Alcohol Consumption

  • No person shall act as an Air Crew member:
    • Within 12 HOURS after consuming an alcoholic beverage
    • While under the influence of alcohol
    • While using any drug that impairs the person's faculties to the extent that the safety of the aircraft or of the person on board the aircraft is endangered in any way.

TSB Final Report Summaries

TSB Final Report A18W0052 - Loss of Nose Wheel on Touchdown

  • Nosewheel failure on landing in a Beechcraft 1900D. Minor damage. No injuries.

TSB Final Report A18W0111 - Collision with Obstacle on Takeoff

  • A Piper PA-28-161 Warrior II landed in a hay field, regularly used by the pilot.
  • The aircraft had been flown into and out of this particular field for approximately 2 years.
  • On takeoff, the aircraft failed to climb and ran into a stack of hay bales at the end of the field.
  • The left-wing fuel tank ruptured on impact. The resulting post-impact fire destroyed the aircraft.
  • Neither occupant was wearing the available shoulder harness. Both were wearing their lap belts.
  • Both occupants received head injuries.
  • One managed to escape the aircraft, but the other did not and was fatally injured.
  • Only 10 degrees of flap was used. 25 degrees was recommended for soft field, obstacle clearance.


  • Aircraft performance calculations should be completed before flight to ensure that the actual or anticipated aircraft performance is at the level expected by the flight crew.
  • Shoulder harnesses are an important part of the safety equipment installed in the aircraft that, when worn, can reduce the risk of injury or death in an accident.

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We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada for this initiative through the Search and Rescue New Initiative Fund (SAR NIF).