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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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Do You Know What to do in the Event of a Cockpit Illumination?

  • Cockpit illumination incidents caused by laser pointers have increased significantly in Canada.
  • Anyone projecting a high-intensity beam of light toward an aircraft can be charged under the Aeronautics Act.
  • They can also face charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • There are several types of lasers.
  • Crew members should not look to find the source of a laser beam.
  • Effects can range from a loss of night vision to permanent eye damage.
  • Laser Incident Procedures outlined.
  • Directed Bright Light Illumination Incident Report/Questionnaire available at http://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/wwwdocs/Forms/26-0751E_1405-03_E_X.pdf
  • For more information, visit www.tc.gc.ca/Lasers.


  • Fatigue is recognized worldwide as a leading cause of accidents and incidents (examples given).
  • Factors and effects on personal performance: impaired decision making, short-term memory loss, lack of task attention, poor communication and slowed reaction times.
  • Effects on relationships - learn to honestly assess your levels of fatigue.
  • Sleep - in general, we need seven to nine hours of sleep every 24 hrs.
  • Sleep loss can be cumulative and over time a sleep debt builds.
  • Shift work or night rosters disturb your body clock.
  • 17 to 24 hrs. of continuous wakefulness is equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%- 0.10%.
  • Quality as well as quantity of sleep are important.
  • Sleep inertia is the disorientation and reduced alertness that is felt when you first wake up. A

smartphone app that claims to be able to monitor your sleep patterns. http://www.sleepcycle.com/.

  • Micro sleeps may happen when you are when fatigued and trying to stay awake.
  • Tips for sleeping well.
  • Sleep will also be interrupted by alcohol or stimulating drugs close to bedtime.
  • Managing fatigue is about modifying behaviour.
  • How to measure your own level of fatigue - physical, mental and emotional signs.
  • Fatigue affects your ability to fly safely.

Transport Canada's Fit to Fly Workshop

  • How to support aviation personnel with mental health and substance abuse disorders in the interest of aviation safety.
  • Provides information about best practices and programs, shares practical methods of promoting a healthy workforce. "Tools, Programs and Best Practices."
  • Addressed the topic of random drug and alcohol testing.
  • Four panels: 1) "Understanding Mental, Physical and Substance Abuse Disorders." 2) "Tools, Programs and Best Practices." 3) "Prevention, Implementation and Measuring Success," 4) "Rights, Regulations and Roles." (This panel revealed that views on mandatory testing range from supportive to complete opposition.)
  • TC will continue to have a zero tolerance policy for cannabis, regardless of whether it becomes legal, as cannabis use is not consistent with being medically fit to fly.
  • Further Fit to Fly sessions to be listed on the TC Web site.
  • Visit www.tc.gc.ca/FitToFly

Report Unsafe Unmanned Aircraft Use

  • Pilot observed an unmanned aircraft close to his aircraft as he was positioning for takeoff
  • Pilot alerted Controller
  • Tower contacted Police Department
  • The investigation showed that the unmanned aircraft was flying 50-100 ft. over a DHC-2 that was taxiing for takeoff.
  • The unmanned aircraft was also operated between the aerodrome and an approaching helicopter. ATS was able to communicate the hazard to the flight crew of the helicopter.
  • The case was referred to Crown counsel and the operator was charged under Canadian Aviation Regulation (CAR) 602.45.
  • The offender pleaded guilty in provincial court and received a $3,000 fine.
  • Reporting unmanned aircraft helps to prevent hazardous situations and improve aviation safety.
  • For information on reporting unsafe unmanned aircraft use, visit www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/reportdrone-incident.html.

Accident Synopses Involving Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs)

TSB A16Q0063

  • DJI Phantom unmanned air vehicle (UAV), piloted remotely by a citizen, fell to the ground from a height of 25-50 ft. into a gathering at an event.
  • The aircraft struck and injured a person in the head, an evacuation by ambulance to a regional hospital was required.

TSB A17Q0044

  • An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) flew 30-40 ft. below a de Havilland DHC-8-300 which was on an IFR final approach, at 4 000 ft.
  • The flight crew did not have time to take evasive action.
  • The aircraft landed without incident and no one was injured.

TSB A16C0099

  • The UAV/RC model came within approximately 100 ft. of the Embraer ERJ 190 on final approach.
  • The flight continued and landed without further event.

TSB A17O0079

  • An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was observed by flight crew of a de Havilland DHC-8-402 at their 11 o'clock position during approach.
  • The UAV was approximately 4.2 NM from the threshold of the runway, 1,500 AGL.
  • The pilot flying made a small roll input as an evasive manoeuvre, and the UAV passed just under the left wing of the aircraft.
  • There was no damage to the aircraft, and no reported injuries to the occupants.

TSB A16C0056

  • An unmanned air vehicle (UAV) was observed by flight crew of a de Havilland DHC-8-106
  • about 100 ft. from their right wing and about 100 ft below the flight path while descending to the assigned altitude of 2 700 ft above sea level (ASL).
  • The UAV was detected on primary radar and the appropriate Police Service was notified.

Transport Canada's New Online Payment System

  • Transport Canada Civil Aviation has introduced an online payment system.
  • The online system is secure, convenient and easy to use.
  • Lists of services for the online system.
  • Clients can use the online payment system at www.canada.ca/payments-air
  • Once a payment is processed, a receipt and a confirmation email will be sent listing all the services purchased in that session.
  • An ORDER ID number that must be included on application forms before they are submitted to the department for processing.
  • Questions regarding the new system can be sent by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TSB Final Report A16O0016 - Runway incursion and risk of collision

  • An Embraer 190-100IGW taxied over the hold line and onto Runway 24R without authorization at the same time that an Airbus 320-214 was on final approach for landing on the same runway.
  • The flight crew of the Airbus 320-214, which was now 0.41 NM from the threshold and at 270 ft. (AGL), reported the aircraft on the runway and overshot.
  • The Airbus was climbing through 580 ft. AGL when it flew over the Embraer.
  • Air traffic control (ATC) had not been aware of the runway incursion before being notified by the Airbus 320-214 crew that there was an aircraft on the runway.
  • The incursion occurred during hours of darkness.
  • The plain language taxi instruction issued by the ground controller was misinterpreted by the flight crew.
  • The controller's attention was on the Airbus final approach, resulting in the stage 1 alert being undetected on the surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) display.
  • The runway incursion monitoring and conflict alert system (RIMCAS) stage 2 aural alarm did not provide a timely warning to the airport controller to provide alternate instructions to the flight crews.

General Aviation Safety Campaign

  • There are more than 350 000 aircraft and 700 000 pilots worldwide who are part of the GA community. GA
  • As a step towards enhancing safety in the GA community, TC launched the General Aviation Safety Campaign (GASC) at the COPA Convention and Trade Show in Kelowna, B.C.
  • Sessions covered topics that ranged from aviation insurance to the contents of survival kits.
  • This campaign will enhance GA safety through promotional tools and educational materials.

TC is working in partnership with COPA and SmartPilot.ca to ensure an effective, national rollout of this campaign.

SmartPilot proudly works with.

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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).