Category: Canadian Aviation News

Body of 47-year-old Newfoundlander among 3 recovered from Labrador plane crash

News provided by CBC News – link to full story

Police heading to crash site on Friday morning to recover remaining bodies

CBC News · Posted: Jul 19, 2019

Mistastin Lake was formed by a meteor strike in northern Labrador. It’s very remote, only accessible by air.(Michael Zanetti)

On Friday morning, the RCMP released more information on the seven people in the floatplane that crashed into Mistastin Lake on Monday.

The body of a 47-year-old fishing guide from Newfoundland and Labrador was recovered from the wreckage of a plane crash at a remote lake in Labrador, along with two American men.

The bodies of a 66-year-old man from Illinois and a 67-year-old man from New Jersey were also recovered earlier this week.

The remaining four men — one from Quebec, one from Newfoundland and Labrador, one from Indiana and one from Illinois — are still missing and presumed dead.

Sources tell CBC News the 47-year-old man was from Grand Falls-Windsor, and that his body will be returned to his family after an autopsy in St. John’s.

Police headed to crash site

The RCMP began flying officers and supplies to Mistastin Lake in northern Labrador on Friday morning to search for the bodies of the missing.

The floatplane was operated by Air Saguenay — a small airline that has had three fatal crashes in nine years.

RCMP Cpl. Jolene Garland said crews have a “green light” to begin transferring 10 to 15 people and supplies to the crash site. They weren’t able to reach the lake on Thursday because of high winds and heavy rain.

It will take several flights by plane and helicopter to get the officers and supplies there.

It’s not clear where the bodies of the three dead were located, but they have been recovered.

Police released the following information about the victims of the crash on Friday morning:

  • Pilot – 66-year-old man from Quebec (missing).
  • Guide – 50-year-old man from N.L. (missing).
  • Guide – 47-year-old man from N.L. (located, deceased).
  • Passenger – 67-year-old man from New Jersey (located, deceased).
  • Passenger – 66-year-old man from Illinois (located, deceased).
  • Passenger – 40-year-old man from Indiana (missing).
  • Passenger – 38-year-old man from Illinois (missing).

The RCMP underwater recovery team, Labrador’s general investigation unit and air services are heading to the area with help from Nain’s ground search and rescue team.

Only one of the men has been identified — Gilles Morin, the pilot for Air Saguenay, who had worked with Three Rivers Lodge in Labrador for about six years. Air Saguenay had earlier this week said he was 61 years old. 

The group was flying from Three Rivers Lodge, near Schefferville, Que., to Mistastin Lake as part of an excursion.

The other six have been confirmed as four American tourists and two guides from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in airline industry

News provided by The Globe and Mail – link to full story

Christohper Reynolds, The Canadian Press, 19 July 2019

Mandalena Lewis has spoken out publicly about the ‘toxic’ relations and ‘cowboy culture’ at airlines and launched a proposed class action lawsuit against her former employer, WestJet. CHAD HIPOLITO/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Mandalena Lewis was enjoying a layover in Hawaii with her WestJet co-workers the night she says a pilot pinned her down and tried to force her to have sex.

“I escaped being raped, but I was sexually assaulted,” the former flight attendant said.

A warm Sunday evening on the sands of Maui’s Makena Beach Resort in January 2010 had led to a group dinner and then an invitation from the pilot to have drinks on his balcony, which she accepted. Once in the room, he “dragged her onto the bed, kissing her and groping her” as she “physically resisted the assault and yelled for him to stop,” according to Lewis’s 2016 lawsuit against WestJet, filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

“It was a terrible situation. It was traumatizing,” Lewis, 33, told The Canadian Press.

Lewis later learned that WestJet had investigated a complaint from a flight attendant two years earlier alleging the same pilot had sexually assaulted her during a layover in Alberta, according to the lawsuit. It states the company did not discipline or fire him, nor take steps to warn or protect women scheduled to work with him.

WestJet has denied the allegations, which have not been proven in court.

Fired in 2016 after eight years with WestJet, Lewis has spoken out publicly about the “toxic” relations and “cowboy culture” at airlines and launched a proposed class action lawsuit against her former employer.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear WestJet’s arguments to quash the lawsuit, which accuses the airline of failing to provide a harassment-free workplace for women. WestJet previously failed to scuttle the action in the B.C. courts after arguing that the dispute belongs in the quasi-judicial realm.

Airline insiders say the alleged incident speaks to an industry plagued by sexual harassment and gender discrimination as it struggles to shed a “frat boy culture” among pilots that plays out in everything from lewd jokes in the cockpit to “midnight knockers” at the hotel door.

The Canadian Press spoke with seven current and former flight attendants and multiple experts who say aviation is struggling to rise above 20th-century attitudes and adapt to the #MeToo era.

Complaints citing sex in the flight industry have more than doubled over the past decade or so, totalling 118 in the period between 2014 and 2018, according to the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Harassment-specific complaints that cite sex rose 58 per cent between 2004 and 2018.

By comparison, other federally regulated industries such as banking, broadcasting and telecommunications saw fewer than 10 complaints collectively over the past 15 years, according to the commission, despite having much bigger workforces.

Airline employees highlighted a lopsided dynamic in which men occupy the vast majority of pilot jobs – 93 per cent at Air Canada and WestJet, slightly more balanced than the industry average of 95 per cent – and women comprise between 70 and 80 per cent of the country’s 15,000 flight attendants, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“When there’s a hierarchy like that, it creates a power dynamic, and some people will take advantage of it,” said flight attendant Florence LePage, citing sexist humour as one of the softer manifestations.

On a flight between Yellowknife and Whitehorse this year, a pilot phoned her from the cockpit to ask, “‘What is the difference between a chickpea and a lentil?’ Then he said, ‘The difference is that I would not pay to have a lentil pee on my face,“’ recalled LePage, who is in her 20s and works at a major Canadian airline.

Other flight attendants pointed to incidents of pornography on the flight deck and unwanted advances after touchdown.

“I was warned constantly about midnight knockers,” said one flight attendant who has worked at WestJet for more than 15 years and wished to remain anonymous for fears about job security.

She alleges she was at a bar on a layover in Moncton soon after joining the company and the pilot, who had consumed several margaritas, started to stroke her.

“I just remember the feeling of the back of his hand on my upper arm…and of course it was unwelcome. So I said, ‘OK, I’ve got to go.’ And as I’m on my way out, the first officer does the same dang thing.”

The pilot insisted on walking her back to the hotel, which was across the street. In the elevator, she said he snapped the room key from her hand. She said she managed to retrieve it and waited for him to pass by before stepping into her room, which was adjacent to his. “I dead-bolted my door and I thought, ‘Thank God that’s over.“’

Then the phone rang. “He said, ‘Hi, it’s me.’ And I said, ‘What do you want?’ And he said, ‘I just wanted to make sure you made it to your room okay.“’ She hung up.

“I was absolutely terrified.”

An undercurrent of in-flight flirtation can blend easily into romantic encounters during trips of up to four days spent with the same colleagues in far-flung climes. But the dynamic can also spill over into unsolicited, sexually aggressive behaviour from male colleagues and passengers, said Jocelyn Frye, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress who focuses on women’s rights and economic security.

“They’re away from family, they don’t have those constraints, nobody’s around…they can do sort of crazy things and they think there’s no consequence,” Frye said.

“That can create more vulnerability and more potential for harm for people on the receiving end of those comments or that conduct.”

Expectations can also become internalized, with employees labelling less party-inclined colleagues as “slam-clickers.”

“It means that if you go to your hotel room and you slam your door and you click it locked, you don’t hang out and you’re antisocial,” said Mandalena Lewis. “I’ve been called a slam-clicker.”

WestJet said in an e-mail it treats harassment seriously and is “committed to providing and ensuring a safe and harassment-free environment for WestJetters and guests.”

The company highlighted an anonymous whistleblower hotline and safety reporting system, and said its “respect-in-the-workplace policies” are clearly outlined, in addition to mandatory annual training.

Air Canada, meanwhile, said it has “zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination or violence in the workplace.”

“Employee safety and well-being is one of our cornerstone values which we will not compromise,” the company said in an e-mail.

The stalwart statements come as cold comfort to Lewis.

“‘Be a dutiful daughter. Don’t be a problem employee,“’ she said, mimicking their stance.

“It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors.”

Héroux-Devtek is proud to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing

Provided by Héroux-Devtek

LONGUEUIL, QC, July 19, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Héroux-Devtek Inc. (TSX: HRX) (“Héroux-Devtek” or the “Corporation”), the world’s third-largest landing gear manufacturer, is proud to celebrate the 50thanniversary tomorrow of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing that allowed humankind to take its first steps on the moon on this day in 1969. Héroux-Devtek, then Héroux Marchine Parts Limited, built the landing gear for the lunar module’s epic journey.

“Héroux-Devtek is proud of being part of the historic mission that allowed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to take “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Our work with NASA on this project remains a big part of our identity and a testament to the expertise and knowhow of our engineers and employees,” said Martin Brassard, President and CEO of Héroux-Devtek.

“Since 1942 we have grown from a small repair and overhaul facility to a world-class supplier to the global aerospace industry. Our work with NASA was an important moment in our history and propelled Quebec minds and technology onto the global stage,” added Gilles Labbé, Executive Chairman of Héroux-Devtek.

Canada Post issued two commemorative stamps celebrating the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission – and the Canadians who helped make it possible. Héroux-Devtek manufactured the spider-like landing gear legs on the lunar module to NASA’s specifications. The legs were also part of the launch platform that let Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin lift off from the moon and reconnect with the main command module. Those legs remain on the moon at the Apollo 11 landing site, in an area known as the Sea of Tranquility.

Héroux-Devtek and its Longueuil facility employees ratify a new three-year collective agreement

Provided by Héroux-Devtek Inc.

LONGUEUIL, QC, July 18, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Héroux-Devtek Inc. (TSX: HRX) (“Héroux-Devtek” or the “Corporation”), the world’s third-largest landing gear manufacturer, today announced that the unionized employees at its Longueuil, Québec, facility have voted in favour of the early renewal of a three-year collective agreement, which now extends through April 30, 2023. The renewal concerns approximately 210 employees who are members of Unifor, Local Section 1956.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with our employees that will allow our teams to fully dedicate time and resources to delivering the record backlog of our Longueuil facility. This also demonstrates the dedication of our personnel to meeting customers’ expectations.  Our employees are the main force of our company and we are very pleased to work hand-in-hand with them in order to continue offering high-quality jobs throughout our organisation.” said Martin Brassard, President and CEO of the Corporation.

Bad weather delays search for float plane passengers at Labrador crash site

News provided by the Vancouver Sun – link to full story

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Bad weather has forced the RCMP to call off flights taking search teams to the remote Labrador lake where a float plane carrying seven people crashed on Monday.

Three bodies have been found and four men are still missing, though authorities have suggested there is little hope of finding survivors so many days after the crash, the cause of which is still unknown.

RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jolene Garland says multiple air trips will be needed to carry personnel and equipment to Mistastin Lake, about 100 kilometres southwest of Nain, where debris from the plane was spotted on Tuesday.

Garland initially said the plan was to have everyone on site today, and that flights had begun, but she later clarified after speaking with officers in Labrador that no flights were able to take off because of heavy rain and high winds.

Pilot Gilles Morin, 61, of Quebec has been identified by his employer as one of the seven men on board.

The RCMP said the two fishing guides on board were from Newfoundland and Labrador and the four fishermen, travelling from Three Rivers Lodge in Labrador to a remote fishing site, were from the United States.

Trio of deadly crashes not a sign DHC-2 Beaver is unsafe: aviation experts

News provided by The Vancouver Sun/The Canadian Press – link to full story

THE CANADIAN PRESS Updated: July 17, 2019

Gilles Morin is seen in this undated handout photo. Gilles Morin, 61-year-old pilot with Air Saguenay was one of seven people on board a float plane that crashed into a Labrador lake on Monday. Three people have been confirmed dead and four are missing. JEAN TREMBLAY/ THE CANADIAN PRESS

MONTREAL — At least eight people have died in three crashes involving de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver planes in less than a week in Canada, but civil aviation experts say the aircraft remains the safest, popular and best option for bush pilots.

Gilles Lapierre, past-president of Aviateurs Quebec, an association of Quebec pilots, said while it has been more than 50 years since the last Beaver was built, pilots operating in remote regions appreciate what the aircraft brings.

“In the air, the Beaver is considered a Jeep by comparison,” Lapierre said. “Even if it’s 50 years old or more, there is no modern plane that can compare to the Beaver and that’s why it’s still very popular among outfitters, seaplane operators and companies whose business is to fly people in the bush.”

Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating at least three crashes involving DHC-2 Beavers since July 11, when a float plane crashed in the central Ontario community of Hawk Junction, killing two people aboard.

Last Friday, a plane crashed near Lac Boulene, southeast of Chibougamau, Que., killing three of four people on board. Officials believe the plane was flying too low while avoiding a severe storm and struck some trees.

Recovery operations are underway in the most recent incident, when a Beaver carrying seven people including the pilot crashed in Mistastin Lake, in a remote part of Labrador on Monday. Three people are confirmed dead with another four occupants missing.

Plane owner Air Saguenay said weather was good on Monday and the plane had undergone a mechanical inspection in the spring. It was contracted to an outfitter in Labrador.

The single-engine Beaver aircraft was produced between 1947 and 1967.

“The Beaver is not a plane that’s built for flight in the clouds, it was constructed for visual flight,” said Lapierre, who has flown the plane on occasion. “Sometimes when flying it in changing weather, you can inadvertently find yourself in conditions where you lose visibility … you try to get out of that situation because the craft isn’t equipped for instrument flight.”

Jean Lapointe, a former pilot and civil aviation expert, said numerous bush pilots had input on de Havilland’s design, explaining its longevity.

He described the Beaver as “robust but simple in terms of conception and maintenance” and are pretty much the only aircraft operating in remote, inhospitable regions, and where weather conditions can change quickly, which means increased risk.

“They operate in difficult regions where there’s less technical support in terms of air traffic control or meteorological stations, so bush pilots need to be resourceful and versatile,” Lapointe said.

He noted the plane involved in the Labrador accident had been damaged in 2001 and rebuilt.

The pilot, Gilles Morin, was described by his employer as an experienced pilot with 20,000 hours under his belt.

The Saguenay, Que.-based airline confirmed his death on Wednesday.

Lapointe said Air Saguenay has a good track record and typically sent its most experienced pilots to work in the north.

Morin’s experience — between three and four decades’ worth — was all the more significant given the types of conditions bush pilots face, with short flights involving numerous takeoffs and landings.

“Bush pilots are a rarer breed, young pilots want to work fly for airlines or fly helicopters,” Lapointe said. “It’s difficult to keep people long-term in this kind of work.”

Levaero Delivers first PC-24 in Canada

Provided by Levaero Aviation

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO. JULY 17, 2019 Levaero Aviation is proud to announce that immediately after receiving Transport Canada type certification, it has delivered the very first Canadian-registered Pilatus PC-24 Super Versatile Jet. The new aircraft owner is an experienced operator and the PC-24 will diversify its existing aircraft fleet. 

Image source: Pilatus Aircraft Ltd

“Since the PC-24 was first revealed to the public, pulled into the Swiss rollout event by 24 horses, Pilatus has delivered more than 35 aircraft, which have amassed more than 7,000 flight hours,” said Stan Kuliavas, Vice President of Sales at Levaero Aviation, “this aircraft is extremely well-suited for operations in Canada and we look forward to many more PC-24 aircraft gracing the Canadian skies.” 

PAL Aerospace Awarded Heavy Maintenance Contract for Royal Canadian Air Force CT-142 Fleet

Provided by PAL Aerospace/CNW

ST. JOHN’S, July 17, 2019 /CNW/ – PAL Aerospace is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract to provide heavy maintenance services for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CT-142 Dash-8 Fleet.   The contract covers an initial four-year period and includes opportunities for PAL Aerospace to earn contract extensions that increase the life of the agreement to seven years.

“PAL Aerospace appreciates this new opportunity to continue building our relationship as a trusted partner of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said PAL Aerospace Senior Vice-President of Business Development John Turner.  “We understand the important role these aircraft play in training Canada’s next generation of aviation professionals, and we look forward to working closely with the RCAF in ensuring the successful delivery of this contract.”

Flown by the 402 Squadron, the CT-142 is used to train Air Combat Systems Operators and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators from the Royal Canadian Air Force and other Air Forces from around the world.  Designed and produced in Canada, the CT-142 is a conversion of the twin turboprop Dash-8 airliner modified to include a suite of on-board training computers and a large radar system.

PAL Aerospace will perform the maintenance services associated with this contract at our facilities in St. John’s, Newfoundland; and Winnipeg, Manitoba. The awarding of this contract furthers PAL Aerospace’s goal of expanding and developing our ISS capabilities across Canada. 

FLYHT and ATP CaseBank Partner to Produce Enhanced Aircraft Reliability Application

Provided by FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd./Globe Newswire

CALGARY, Alberta, July 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd. (TSX-V: FLY) (OTCQX: FLYLF) (the “Company” or “FLYHT”) today is pleased to announce a new partner relationship.

FLYHT, an industry leader in capturing, processing, and transmitting real-time aircraft data, along with ATP CaseBank, the leading provider of troubleshooting, reliability and defect trend analysis solutions, are pleased to announce a jointly offered solution to improve aircraft reliability.

The two companies have joined forces to create an application that will help identify and communicate potential and existing aircraft equipment health issues, more effectively allowing for better diagnosis and subsequent repair. This Aircraft Health Monitoring System (AHMS) is designed to detect, alert, and automatically capture key diagnostics data for all aspects of the aircraft, in real-time. This breakthrough helps airlines discover issues before they affect the serviceability of the aircraft, enabling proactive maintenance to avoid future flight delays or cancellations.

“This new partnership with FLYHT delivers the two things the aviation industry values most when it comes to maintenance – efficiency and accuracy,” commented Chris Lewis, Chief Operations Officer of ATP CaseBank. “CaseBank’s advanced troubleshooting ecosystem coupled with the dynamic on-board data capture capabilities of FLYHT allows airlines to detect and fix emerging faults sooner than previously possible, often prior to failure.”

The unique benefits offered by this innovative AHMS application can be classified into three main groups. First, real-time monitoring always allows for the operational status of the entire fleet of aircraft to be known, with instant updates relayed as conditions change. Graphical displays also provide location and health status for each aircraft. Next, the diagnostic capabilities of the troubleshooting and analysis ecosystem allow the on-board system to automatically capture important data relevant to each fault and give airline maintenance control the ability to explore current and historical data, send action messages, and launch troubleshooting guidance to resolve technical issues as soon as possible. Finally, the solution proactively identifies impending issues detected in the patterns of data produced by the aircraft which have not yet affected the serviceability of the aircraft – allowing them to be identified early and enabling maintenance recommendations to pre-empt functional failures.

“It’s an exciting combination of capabilities,” said Tom Schmutz, CEO of FLYHT. “FLYHT offers real time reporting of aircraft faults and the ability to query aircraft systems for diagnostic information. CaseBank’s Spotlight adds the intelligent database to guide the query and diagnose the fault. A real-time problem can be identified and quantified before the aircraft even lands.”

Customers of both ATP CaseBank and FLYHT can begin taking advantage of this partnership immediately and those interested in obtaining more information about this new technology are encouraged to visit http://www.flyht.com.

MicroPilot Nears DO-178C Certification

Provided by MicroPilot/CNW

By the end of Q2 2020, MicroPilot will have the processes and artifacts in place to achieve DO-178C certification for it’s MP2128HELI3autopilot. This marks the end of a 5-year project and closes a critical regulatory gap.

STONY MOUNTAIN, Canada, July 16, 2019 /CNW/ — MicroPilot Inc. is nearing the end of a five-year effort to achieve DO-178C Design Assurance Level B certification for its upcoming MP2128HELI3 autopilot. This certification will simplify the task for operators of RPAS/UAVs to obtain authorization from regulators to conduct missions in higher risk areas where RPAS/UAV operations are currently prohibited, such as over population centres.

MicroPilot Announces availability of DO178 certifiable RPAS Autopilot
MicroPilot Announces availability of DO178 certifiable RPAS Autopilot

DO-178C is a software certification standard for airborne systems. To achieve this level of certification, software must be extensively documented, pass rigorous design reviews, and be extensively tested. As with all Aviation standards, complying with DO-178C is extremely difficult.

“DO-178C is an enormously expensive process and this project represents an ongoing commitment to moving the industry forward,” says Howard Loewen, president of MicroPilot inc. “Certifiable software is a key piece of the RPAS/UAV regulatory puzzle and will open the door to higher value uses for RPAS/UAVs.”

A key feature of the MP2128HELI3 that enables it to achieve the DO-178C certification standards is the use of an ARINC 653 compliant partitioned operating system. Partitioning allows both certified and uncertified software to execute on the same processor and simplifies the task of certification by greatly reducing the amount of software that requires certification. Partitioning also provides greater flexibility by simplifying the addition of non-safety critical code. Without partitioning, non-safety critical code must be certified as if it were safety critical.

After more than half a decade of work and a process that began with the creation of MicroPilot’s XTENDERValidate requirements generation software and trueHWIL simulator, MicroPilot’s DO-178C certified MP2128HELI3 autopilots are scheduled to be available end of Q2 2020.

About MicroPilot
Started in 1994, MicroPilot is the world leader in professional autopilots for UAVs and drones. MicroPilot is an ISO 9001 certified autopilot manufacturer that markets single-board autopilots, enclosed autopilots, and a triple redundant autopilot. MicroPilot offers a family of lightweight UAV autopilots that can fly fixed wing, transitional, helicopter, and multirotor UAVs. MicroPilot also provides complementary products such as the XTENDERmp, SDK, and trueHWIL2. MicroPilot autopilots have been purchased by more than 1000 customers in 85 countries.