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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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Saying NO

  • Real experience can only be gained through two simple letters: NO.
  • Despite the need to build hours, even when we understand the risks of saying NO, we must recognize the benefits as well.
  • This is precisely what a major operator would expect you to do.
  • Never regret the hours you are turning down, they are not worth it. The real experience is the gain in decision making, situation analysis, self-esteem, risk assessment, refusal, and humility.
  • And that is precisely what the serious airline companies are looking for.

David Charles Abramson Memorial (DCAM) Award

  • Deadline for nominations re the 2017 award.

Light the Way

  • Nav Canada's "Light the Way" program helps to ensure an accepting workplace culture that openly acknowledges the reality of mental health conditions.
  • Peer supporters have many facets, the most important of which is building a relationship with a colleague, based on confidentiality, trust, respect, genuineness, and empathy.
  • "By coming forward in the workplace, they remind us that mental health impacts all of us. They inspire hope in coworkers who are facing similar situations, and help them to explore options and a way forward."
  • List of NAV CANADA's wide range of programs, activities and incentives to support employee health and wellness.

Fit to Fly

  • Information on the first "Fit To Fly" workshop, focused on:
    • Raising awareness on the importance of employee assistance programs;
    • Providing information on practical methods of promoting a healthy workforce;
    • Establishing networks for information-sharing and partnerships;
    • Providing health services information; and
    • Clarifying the ability to conduct random alcohol and drug testing.

Underwater Egress

  • In ditching accidents, many people survive the initial impact, but needlessly drown because they were not able to extricate themselves from the aircraft.
  • Most drownings occur inside the cabin of the aircraft, and those who have survived often had difficulty exiting the aircraft.
  • Panic, disorientation, unfamiliarity with escape hatches, and lack of proper training are some of the major factors.
  • If we are strapped into an aircraft that is sinking, a common reaction is to first release our seat belt, then try to get out (as we would in a car).
  • In many accidents, people have hastily and prematurely removed their seat belts and as a result, have been tossed around inside of the aircraft by the inrushing water. With the lack of gravitational reference, disorientation can rapidly overwhelm a person.
  • We need to stay strapped in our seat until the inrush of water has stopped, our exit is identified and we have grabbed a reference point. And if we need to push or pull open our exit, it will be a lot easier if we are still strapped in our seat.
  • Be familiar with your exits and door handles and know how to use them with your eyes closed.
  • If you're submerged upside down in the dark, freezing water, this simple task suddenly becomes monumental.
  • Five simple steps to help prevent panic and disorientation if you are faced with an underwater egress situation :
    • Stay Calm/ Wait for the Motion to Stop.
    • Open/Identify Your Exit.
    • Grab Hold of a Reference Point.
    • THEN Release Your Seat Belt/Harness.
    • Pull Yourself Out.
  • Once clear of the aircraft, find a way to the surface.
  • Hold one hand above your head as you surface to make sure you don't come into contact with any wreckage and/or debris.
  • Remember that training and preparation are the keys to survival.
  • Practice the skills for ditching and underwater egress until they become second nature,
  • Knowledge and preparation are your best safety net.

And don't forget:

  • The time invested in properly briefing your passengers could be the best investment you ever made.

SKYbrary Safety Management Reference Library

  • A reference library containing a collection of guidance material, tools and regulatory requirements has been created by numerous international organizations.
    • to promote a common understanding of safety management principles and requirements, and,
    • to facilitate harmonized implementation of safety management systems across the international aviation community.
  • These products are distributed to the aviation community via SKYbrary.

Canadian Owners & Pilots Association (COPA) Convention

  • Information on the 2017 COPA Convention.

New Transponder Code for Gliders

  • Gliders tend to be difficult to see when they are in flight. That is why gliders operating in areas with a high volume of commercial air traffic, like the Toronto area, are equipped with a transponder (Mode A or C).
  • Most Canadian gliders operating outside of controlled airspace, primarily within Class G airspace, are equipped with FLARM®, developed by the European gliding community to avoid mid-air collisions.
  • An article on FLARM®, Gliders: Advancements in Collision Avoidance Technology, was previously published in Aviation Safety Letter (ASL) 1/2016.
  • In response to individual requests from glider operators and pilots, NAV CANADA announced the assignment of a new transponder code (1202) for glider operators in Canada.
  • For more details on the use of transponder code 1202 for glider operators, see AIC 3/17

Transport Canada - Aviation Document Booklet

  • Information on the January, 2017 switch from 5-year validity to 10-year validity of ADBs.
  • In rare cases, a recent medical renewal by your Civil Aviation Medical Examiner (CAME) may not yet be in Transport Canada's database. In this case, retain your old ADB until you have a medical and have your new booklet updated.
  • In the rare event that a pilot uses all of the space provided in the ADB for licence, permit and medical labels prior to the booklet's validity date expiry, a new booklet will be issued upon request.
  • There is no cost for the initial issue or renewal of an ADB.
  • Level 4 language proficiency holders can go no longer than 5 years without demonstrating their proficiency. Only 5% of licensed Canadian pilots hold a level 4 proficiency. If this is problematic, it is highly suggested that effort be made to obtain a level 6 proficiency.
  • Further information regarding language proficiency may be found at: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/general-personnel-proficiency-2085.htm.

New Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft

  • As of March 16, 2017, new safety rules - targeting model aircraft (recreational drone) users who do not belong to the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) - were issued.
  • The new rules were created to bridge the gap between current and future regulations, and introduced a mechanism to enforce compliance immediately.
  • The new safety rules prohibit the use of model aircraft (recreational drones) in higher-risk areas (e.g. near aerodromes, heliports, seaplane bases, forest fires, emergency operations, as well as buildings, crowds, gatherings, etc.).
  • Anyone flying a model aircraft (recreational drone) in these areas could face fines of up to $3,000. The rules apply to recreational unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) weighing more than 250 g, and up to 35 kg, that are not operated by a member of the Model Aeronautics Association of Canada (MAAC) at a MAAC-sanctioned field or event.
  • The number of reported incidents involving remotely-controlled aircraft (either model aircraft or UAV) more than tripled from 41 when data collection began in 2014, to 148 in 2016.
  • Reports by pilots and witnesses have included incidents of these aircraft flying too close to aerodromes, other aircraft, and over people on the ground.
  • The new rules will be enforced by Transport Canada. The Department is also strengthening its enforcement capabilities on the front line and has established a partnership with the RCMP, who will do likewise with other interested law enforcement agencies across the country, so that they can administer fines on behalf of Transport Canada.
  • As of 2017, more information on the new safety rules for model aircraft (recreational drones), consult the Interim Order Respecting the Use of Model Aircraft for the full list of provisions.

TSB Final Report Summaries

TSB Final Report A15W0087 - Mid-Air Collision

  • Detailed Final Report on the mid-air collision of a Cessna 185E floatplane with a Cessna 172P landplane.
  • After the collision, the Cessna 172P broke up in flight due to collision forces and fell to the ground. Both occupants of the Cessna 172P were fatally injured.
  • The pilot of the Cessna A185E lost one of his floats but was able to maintain control, and landed safely on the grass infield at CYMM (Fort McMurray).
  • A contributing factor was that the mid-air took place in CYMM's Practice Area.

TSB Final Report A15O0031 - In-Flight Breakup

  • A Piper PA-32RT-300T with three people on board was cruising at 10,000' when the pilot advised air traffic control (ATC) that there was a problem and that the aircraft was returning to Sudbury.
  • During the descent, the aircraft disappeared from radar at 8 900 feet ASL, then reappeared momentarily at 6 300 feet ASL and 3 800 feet ASL, after which there was no further radar contact.
  • On its way down, a brief ELT signal was detected by the Cospas-Sarsat search and rescue satellite system. This allowed SAR to locate wreckage the following morning.
  • The aircraft had broken up in flight, and debris was found as far as 6 500 feet from the main crash site.
  • A post-crash fire destroyed most of the main wreckage.
  • All three people on board sustained fatal injuries.
  • No cause for the breakup was given.

TSB Final Report A15P0147 - Engine Power Loss and Forced Landing

  • A Beechcraft A36 Bonanza suffered power loss six minutes after takeoff forcing the sole-occupant pilot to land on a highway.
  • During landing, the aircraft struck a truck and a power pole, and came to rest on the edge of the road.
  • The pilot was able to egress, but sustained serious burns.
  • A post-impact fire consumed most of the aircraft. There was no signal transmitted from the emergency locator transmitter (ELT).

TSB Final Report A15F0165 - Severe Turbulence Encounter

  • A Boeing 777-333ER encountered severe turbulence at flight level (FL) 330
  • During the encounter, 21 passengers were injured, one of whom was seriously injured.
  • Damage to the aircraft was negligible.

"Take Five":Flying with Floats

Take Five Minutes to read this detailed checklist on Flying with Floats. It includes suggestions on:

  • Preparing yourself for flight.
  • Preparing the aircraft for flight.
  • Flight planning.
  • Final pre takeoff checks.
  • Pattern for survival - Keywords
  • Departure.
  • En route.
  • Arrival.
  • On the water.

Top 10 occurrences that relate directly to the pilot, and which happen most often during takeoff and landing

  • Engine failure/malfunction.
  • Loss of control in flight/mush/stall.
  • Dragged wing/float/pod.
  • Nose over.
  • Loss of control on the ground/in the water.
  • Hard landings.
  • Collision.
  • Overrun.
  • Wheels down on the water.
  • Injuries caused by prop contact.

When you've completed your flight PLEASE CLOSE YOUR FLIGHT PLAN!

Learn from the mistakes of others. Asking for advice doesn't show your ignorance. Not asking does!

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).