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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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Guest Editorial - The Drone Zone

  • Risks to aviation fromthe growing number of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS or "Drones").
  • Goals of Transport Canada's Task Force, responsible for implementing new regulations, standards, and programs regarding Drones.
  • Update on the Task Force's current findings.
  • How to apply for a RPAS Special Flight Operations Certificates (SFOCs).
  • How to report a drone incident to Transport Canada.
  • If you see a drone operating in a manner that presents an immediate danger, contact your local law enforcement.

Sharing the Skies - Harder than it Sounds

  • Background on "wildlife-strike prevention."
  • Bird Strikes have caused 4 fatal crashes, resulting in 8 casualties.
  • Each year ~45 strikes have damaged aircraft using Canadian Airports.
  • A further 180 "adverse effect events" (AEE) due to wildlife strikes or presence at airports (e.g., aborted takeoffs, rejected landings, etc.) all result in high-risk operations.
  • The need for proper wildlife management program and trained personnel at vulnerable airports.
  • The requirements for ATC to advise pilots of the hazard, its severity, and its location (in three dimensions) on the airport.
  • The inadequacies of "Passive Wildlife Management."
  • A robust wildlife management program requires a variety of audio/visual tools.
  • The need for Accurate Strike Recording (and how to keep them).

A Letter to the Loved Ones of my Friend, a Private Helicopter Pilot

  • A Letter from a Flying Instructor detailing the need to insure pilots keep their knowledge & skills current.
  • Excellent Hints & Reminders of critical factors to consider in insuring a safe flight.

Radium Luminous Devices

  • The dangers of Radium-Painted Aircraft Instruments.
  • Best ways to handle them.
  • Safe ways to dispose of them.

David Charles Abramson Memorial (DCAM) Award

  • Info on the annual award promoting flight safety by recognizing exceptional flight instructors in Canada.

Prospective Memory in the Cockpit

  • First in a series of in-depth reports from the Advanced Cognitive Engineering Laboratory.
  • "Prospective memory" supports your ability to carry out any behaviour that you, at one time in the past, planned to carry out in the future.
  • The four key elements of prospective memory:
    • Forming an intention,
    • Monitoring for cues that signal when the task is to be carried out.
    • Retrieving the details of the desired action.
    • Carrying out the intention.
  • Examples of "PM" failures in high-workload conditions.
  • Helpful ways of learning skills to help avoid PM failures.

TSB Final Report Summaries

TSB Final Report A17Q0162 - In-flight Collision with Drone

  • Details of a mid-air collision between a Beech King Air and a Drone.
  • The drone was destroyed. Luckily, the aircraft received only minimal damage to its left wing.
  • Overview of Canadian Airspace Classes.
  • Summary of incidents involving Drones from 2014 through 2017.
  • Reminder that unapproved Drone operations can result in a fine of up to $25 000, and in some cases, Drone Operators may be found guilty of an indictable offence or an offence punishable on summary conviction.
  • The use of drones near an aerodrome or within controlled airspace poses a serious risk to aviation safety.
  • All recreational and non-recreational drone operators must know & comply with the regulations, including the requirement to operate within line of sight.
  • It is important for the public to notify TC when observing the use of a drone near an aerodrome so that TC can take appropriate action.

TSB Final Report A16A0032 - Collision with Terrain

  • A Mitsubishi MU2-B pilot "got behind" the airplane in instrument conditions and struck the ground, resulting in the deaths of all on board.
  • Some valuable lessons to be learned from the detailed TSB examination.

TSB Final Report A16A0084 - Collision with Wires

  • A privately operated Bell 206B helicopter collided with and power transmission lines and fell into the river below. There were two fatalities & one survivor.
  • Dangers of fatigue & Cannabis ingestion on a pilot's abilities.
  • Dangers of low flying.
  • Explanation of the difficulty of seeing & avoiding power lines at low altitudes.

TSB Final Report A16Q0020 - Temporary difficulty with aircraft control

  • While the incident involves a Bombardier Dash 8, this report containd valuable information on the combination of turbulence and shear contributing to temporary difficulties with aircraft control effectiveness.

General Aviation Safety Video Gallery

  • A series of Aviation Safety Videos including:
    • An Introduction to General Aviation Safety.
    • Through the Overcast - Floats.
    • Aircraft Egress.
    • Safe take-offs & Landings.

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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).