de Havilland Chipmunk 75th Anniversary Fly In, Old Warden

From Aviation in Focus – link to source story and more photos

Thanks to LAASI AVIATION

Posted on  by Martin Media

The first fly in that I had attended since September 2019, and it was hard not to feel a swell of emotion on account of the gradual return to normality after Covid coupled with the sight of 30+ DHC 1 Chipmunks, 16 of which took to the air in an impressive formation flypast towards the end of the event. Early drizzle and cloud gradually cleared by lunchtime resulting in some nice sunshine to photograph these pristine aircraft. Entry was £15 to non members of Shuttleworth, which also enabled access to the 6 hangers housing the collection. A nice touch was the free escorted flight line walk, although these were limited to 40 minutes and progress along the line was limited by the slowest member of your group.

All in all an enjoyable day and it was good to see so many familiar faces out in force!

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Log:

G-AKDN de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk 1A 11 Private

G-AKDN

G-ALWB de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk 22A C1/0100 Patricia Neville

G-ALWB

G-AMUF de Havilland DHC-1 Chipmunk 21 C1/0832 Private

G-AMUF

Link to more photos

Ravn Alaska Commences Cabin Disinfection Procedures on Dash 8 Aircraft with Autonomous UVC Disinfecting Robot Manufactured by aero hygenx

RAY, the robot delivers high-frequency UVC light that destroys up to 99.9% of pathogens – including the COVID-19 virus.

OTTAWA, ON and TORONTO, May 27, 2021 /CNW/ – Ravn Alaska has introduced RAY, the autonomous robot to disinfect its Dash 8 aircraft cabins between flights. Designed and manufactured by aero hygenx inc. in Canada, with support from De Havilland Aircraft of Canada (“De Havilland Canada”), the robot emits ultraviolet-C (UVC) light to provide consistent, sustainable and chemical-free disinfection of cabin air and surfaces between flights. Ravn Alaska, which operates 10 Dash 8-100 aircraft manufactured by De Havilland Canada, is one of the first airlines to utilize the robot on regional aircraft.

Image of RAY in Cabin of Dash 8-100 Aircraft (CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)
Image of RAY in Cabin of Dash 8-100 Aircraft (CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)

RAY delivers high-frequency UVC light that destroys up to 99.9% of pathogens – including the COVID-19 virus. The use of UVC light reduces the need for frequent chemical-based disinfection that could impact aircraft interior surfaces and sensitive equipment, and leave residues that may come into contact with passengers and crew.

“We are enhancing our ability to keep our passengers safe by including the chemical-free disinfection method provided by RAY among the procedures we are utilizing to sanitize our Dash 8 aircraft,” said Rob McKinney, Chief Executive Officer, Ravn Alaska. “We anticipate that RAY will be a valuable asset to our airline and for other airlines around the world, as together we seek to rebuild passenger confidence and help our industry recover.”   

aero hygenx (CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)
aero hygenx (CNW Group/De Havilland Aircraft of Canada)

“The transportation industry has been brought to its knees as a result of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, rapid, consistent, safe, chemical-free disinfection of air and surfaces is vital for employee and passenger safety in the fight against current and future pandemics,” said Arash Mahin, Chief Executive Officer, aero hygenx. “We are grateful for the support De Havilland Canada provided to optimize RAY for use in the Dash 8 Series aircraft. We are confident operators will see significant savings compared to traditional chemical-based cleaning methods.”

“We look forward to seeing the deployment of many more UVC-light emitting, RAY robots among operators of Dash 8 aircraft,” said Robert Mobilio, Vice President, Engineering and Quality, De Havilland Canada. “De Havilland Canada has been working throughout the pandemic to help our operators with solutions that assist in returning airline fleets to service, so we were happy to support aero hygenx in customizing RAY for use on regional aircraft and are very pleased that a long-time Dash 8 operator such as Ravn is part of this journey.”

Optimized for use on Dash 8 Series aircraft, RAY delivers the required UVC dosage and 360° coverage throughout the cabin, lavatories and crew area. The disinfection procedure between flights on Dash 8 Series aircraft can be completed in under five minutes. Unlike traditional, chemical-based cleaning methods, no additional time is required for chemicals to dissipate before crew and passengers can board the aircraft. RAY is monitored continuously through HygenX Stream, and operators can access valuable key metrics and reports related to fleet disinfection, unit health monitoring and predictive maintenance. HygenX Stream also facilitates the customization of the level of disinfection based on flight duration and regional risk factors. It also provides the ability to integrate into operators’ mobile Apps in order to boost passenger confidence. 

About Ravn Alaska

Ravn Alaska is a regional airline headquartered in Anchorage that services 14 communities across Alaska. The airline provides daily flights aboard its safety-rated De Havilland Dash 8-100 fleet, charter flights and cargo shipments. Visit https://ravnalaska.com/ to book a flight and learn more about Ravn. 

About aero hygenx

aero hygenx is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, where it has developed and manufactures its revolutionary autonomous UVC robot called RAY. Its founders and executives have a passion for the aviation industry and a combined 80+ years of experience in safety and quality management, airline operations, software, electrical engineering and electromagnetics. The company’s vision is to instill confidence in passengers to travel again and set a new precedent in the transportation disinfecting industry. www.aerohygenx.com

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited

De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8 Series aircraft (Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft), as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes. De Havilland Canada is a part of the Longview Aviation Capital family of companies.  https://dehavilland.com

De Havilland, Dash 8, Dash 8-100/200/300 and Dash 8-400 are trademarks of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited. 

Unstable approach led to 2020 hard landing and rear fuselage strike in Schefferville, Quebec

Dorval, Quebec, 3 March 2021 — In its investigation report (A20Q0013) released today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) found that the January 2020 hard landing and rear fuselage strike in Schefferville, Quebec, was the result of an unstable approach.

From Air Inuit

On 20 January 2020, a de Havilland DHC-8-314 operated by Air Inuit Ltd. was conducting a flight from Québec/Jean Lesage Airport, Quebec, to Schefferville Airport, Quebec, with three crew members and 42 passengers on board. During the landing, the rear fuselage struck the runway as the wheels touched down. After landing, the aircraft taxied to the terminal to disembark the passengers. There were no injuries; however, the aircraft sustained substantial damage.

The investigation found that the flight crew forgot to perform the descent checklist and realized this at an inopportune time, while the captain (pilot monitoring) was providing a position report. Given ambiguities and contradictions in the company’s stabilized approach guidelines, the captain interpreted that he was allowed to continue the approach below 500 feet above aerodrome elevation, even though the aircraft had not been fully configured for the landing. When the aircraft passed this altitude, the pilots, who were dealing with a heavy workload, didn’t notice and continued the approach, which was unstable. At the time of the landing, the aircraft no longer had enough energy to arrest the descent rate solely by increasing pitch attitude. The pilot’s instinctive reaction to increase the pitch attitude during the flare, combined with the hard landing, resulted in the rear fuselage striking the runway, causing substantial damage to the aircraft’s structure.

The investigation also made findings as to risk related to Air Inuit’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training, and to Transport Canada’s (TC) oversight. Transport Canada assessed Air Inuit’s SOPs, but did not identify any specific issues with the operator’s stabilized approach guidelines. If TC does not assess the quality, consistency, accuracy conciseness, clarity, relevance, and content of SOPs, the procedures may be ineffective, increasing risks to flight operations.

Additionally, the captain had not received many of the required training elements during his recurrent training. If required training elements are not included in recurrent training, and if TC’s surveillance plan does not verify the content of crew training, there may be procedural deficiencies or deviations, increasing risks to flight operations.  

Following the occurrence, Air Inuit took a number of safety actions, including the revision of its SOPs to improve guidelines on several subjects, including stabilized approaches, and the revision of its training program to ensure that all training elements are covered within the two-year recurrent training cycle.

See the investigation page for more information.

Voyageur Aviation awarded contract to upgrade Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) fleet

HALIFAX, NS, April 29, 2021 /CNW/ – Chorus Aviation Inc. (‘Chorus’) (TSX: CHR) is proud to announce that its subsidiary, Voyageur Aviation Corp. (‘Voyageur’), has been awarded a 3-year contract to upgrade and modify Transport Canada’s National Aerial Surveillance Program (NASP) fleet of three Dash 8-100 and one Dash 7 aircraft with new surveillance equipment.

Since 1991, the iconic red planes of NASP have played an integral role in keeping our country safe by helping prevent pollution in Canadian waters, protecting the marine environment and endangered marine life, and ensuring a safe and efficient transportation industry along Canada’s massive and varied coastlines.

The contract involves the entire NASP fleet and includes the installation of surveillance equipment provisions for an electro-optical and infrared (‘EO/IR’) sensor, infrared and ultraviolet (‘IR/UV’) scanner for pollution monitoring, observation windows, mission crew seats, and other modifications to existing system installations. Additionally, one Dash 8-100 aircraft will receive Voyageur’s Long-Range Fuel System installation to enable missions requiring significant range and endurance.

“This contract demonstrates Voyageur’s unique engineering capabilities to support customers requiring innovative special mission solutions.” said Scott Tapson, President, Voyageur. “We are excited to expand our relationship with Transport Canada and look forward to working together on this project.”

All work for this contract will be completed at Voyageur’s 200,000 square foot maintenance and engineering facility located at its company headquarters in North Bay, Ontario.

About Voyageur Aviation Corp.

Voyageur Aviation Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chorus Aviation Inc. Voyageur is an integrated provider of specialized aviation services, including contract flying operations both internationally and domestically, and offers advanced engineering and maintenance capabilities. Headquartered in North Bay, Ontario, Voyageur delivers innovative solutions to customers with unique aviation requirements and operates under the core principles of comprehensive safety management, quality assurance, and client-dedicated solutions.   www.voyav.com

About Chorus Aviation Inc.

Chorus is a global provider of integrated regional aviation solutions. Chorus’ vision is to deliver regional aviation to the world. Headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chorus is comprised of Chorus Aviation Capital – a leading, global lessor of regional aircraft, and Jazz Aviation and Voyageur Aviation – companies that have long histories of safe operations with excellent customer service.  Chorus provides a full suite of regional aviation support services that encompasses every stage of an aircraft’s lifecycle, including aircraft acquisitions and leasing; aircraft refurbishment, engineering, modification, repurposing and preparation; contract flying; and aircraft and component maintenance, disassembly, and parts provisioning.

Canada’s PAL Airlines to expand to 11 cities this summer

From Flight Global – link to source story

By Jon Hemmerdinger | 7 April 2021

Canadian regional carrier PAL Airlines will expand its network this summer to include 11 new destinations in eastern Canada.

The expansion comes as Canada’s airlines eye a potential summer rebound in air travel demand.

PAL, which operates De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprops, will this summer add flights to Halifax and Sydney in Nova Scotia, and to Saint John, Fredericton and Bathurst in New Brunswick, the airline tells FlightGlobal.

PAL Airlines Dash
Source: PAL Airlines | A PAL Airlines De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop

The expansion will also see PAL add service to Ottawa in Ontario and Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. Additionally, it will begin flying to four cities in Quebec: Les Iles de la Madeleine, Gaspe, Baie-Comeau and Val-d’Or.

The Fredericton routes will include flights to Deer Lake, and onward to St John’s, and to Ottawa and Halifax, the Fredericton airport says on 7 April.

WestJet has also announced a planned expansion. That carrier intends to restore flights to several eastern Canadian cities in late June, meaning it would again serve all the cities it did prior to the pandemic.

RAY the Autonomous UVC Disinfecting Robot Manufactured by aero hygenx Enters Service on Hydro-Québec Dash 8 Aircraft

  • Designed and manufactured by aero hygenx inc. in Canada, with support from De Havilland Canada, the autonomous disinfection robot, RAY provides a consistent, sustainable and chemical-free method to disinfect cabin air and surfaces between flights

OTTAWA, ON and TORONTO, April 6, 2021 /CNW/ – Canadian-based operator of Dash 8 aircraft, Hydro-Québec, has introduced cabin disinfection procedures between flights utilizing the autonomous robot, RAY. It is the first use of a cabin disinfecting procedure using ultraviolet-C (UVC) light delivered by an autonomous robot on in-service regional aircraft and follows Hydro-Québec’s acquisition of the robot from designer and manufacturer aero hygenx inc. Hydro-Québec, Canada’s largest electricity producer, operates three Dash 8-300 and Dash 8-400 aircraft manufactured by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”).

RAY delivers high-frequency UVC light that destroys up to 99.9% of pathogens – including the COVID-19 virus. The use of UVC light reduces the need for frequent chemical-based disinfection that could impact aircraft interior surfaces and sensitive equipment, and leave residues that may come into contact with passengers and crew. The payback period for RAY is less than 12 months and operators will see significant savings compared to when using chemical disinfectants.  In collaboration with De Havilland Canada, RAY has been optimized for use on the Dash 8 Series aircraft.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic surging on, it is important that we utilize effective and efficient disinfection techniques to ensure a pathogen-free cabin. We believe that RAY will be beneficial to our operation while providing a high level of confidence to employees who fly on our Dash 8 shuttle to the hydro-electric generating sites,” said René Collin, Manager – Air Transport, Hydro-Québec. 

“Rapid, consistent, and chemical-free disinfection of air and surfaces is vital for employee and passenger safety in the fight against pandemics,” said Arash Mahin, Chief Executive Officer, aero hygenx. “We are mindful of the industry’s economic challenges and are confident that RAY will deliver significant cost savings for aircraft operators from the onset. We are grateful and fortunate to have the support of De Havilland Canada, an aviation industry visionary, in helping us adapt RAY to assist the industry in these challenging times.”

“The completion of development and testing of  an innovative, chemical-free disinfection method at a rapid pace is a testament to the agility and versatility of the aero hygenx and De Havilland Canada teams who worked alongside each other to adapt RAY to cater to regional aircraft operations,” said Robert Mobilio, Vice President, Engineering and Quality, De Havilland Canada. “The vision was to create a solution that would provide immediate benefits to the entire regional aviation industry during the ongoing pandemic, as well as in the post-pandemic era where enhanced disinfection is expected to be a mainstay. Hydro-Québec is a highly accomplished, long-standing Dash 8 operator and we are happy to have them on board as launch customer for RAY.”

Optimized for use on Dash 8 Series aircraft, RAY has a compact body while still delivering the required UVC dosage and 360° coverage throughout the cabin, lavatories and crew area. The disinfection procedure between flights on Dash 8 Series aircraft can be completed in under five minutes, and no time is required to allow chemicals to dissipate before crew and passengers can board the aircraft, as is the case when chemical disinfection methods are used. Data analysis and reporting is available via the cloud-based HygenX Stream.

About Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. It is Canada’s largest electricity producer and ranks among the world’s largest hydropower producers. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. The company uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular large hydro. Its research facilities, collectively called Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec (IREQ), conduct R&D in energy-related fields, including energy efficiency and storage. www.hydroquebec.com/

About aero hygenx
aero hygenx is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, where it has developed and manufactures its revolutionary autonomous UVC robot called RAY. Its founders and executives have a passion for the aviation industry and a combined 80+ years of experience in safety and quality management, airline operations, software, electrical engineering and electromagnetics. The company’s vision is to instill confidence in passengers to travel again and set a new precedent in the transportation disinfecting industry. www.aerohygenx.com

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited
De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8 Series aircraft (Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft), as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes. De Havilland Canada is a part of the Longview Aviation Capital family of companies. https://dehavilland.com

De Havilland, Dash 8, Dash 8-100/200/300 and Dash 8-400 are trademarks of De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited. 

De Havilland entitled to terminate SpiceJet Dash 8 order: UK judge

From Flight Global – link to source story

By David Kaminski-Morrow | 7 March 2021

Turboprop manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft of Canada was entitled to terminate a Dash 8-400 purchase agreement with Indian carrier SpiceJet after the airline stopped making payments and taking delivery of aircraft, a judge has ruled.

SpiceJet originally ordered 25 of the type from Bombardier – part of a September 2017 agreement for up to 50, the largest single deal for the aircraft type – before the airframer sold the programme to Longview Aviation Capital, which placed it under the De Havilland brand.

De Havilland has pursued a $42.95 million claim against SpiceJet after the airline took, and paid for, the first five aircraft but failed to take delivery of the next three or make pre-delivery payments on either these or 12 subsequent ones.

The airframer served notice terminating the deliveries of all outstanding aircraft and cancelling the purchase agreement.

SpiceJet Q400-c-Bombardier
Source: Bombardier

SpiceJet’s deal for 25 firm and 25 optioned Dash 8-400s was valued at $1.7 billion

SpiceJet had argued that its obligations to make pre-delivery payments on specific aircraft were suspended by agreement between the two sides, under an April 2019 change order.

But De Havilland countered that the change order did not suspend this obligation. It said that only the scheduled delivery months were suspended. SpiceJet claimed the suspension of scheduled delivery months automatically suspended payment liability because the two were linked.

In a 23 February ruling from the High Court in London, the judge says he is “persuaded” by De Havilland’s argument.

“I am satisfied that, although there was an agreement for variation of the [scheduled delivery months], there was no agreement to excuse payment of the invoices in respect of those [pre-delivery payments] which had already accrued due,” he says.

SpiceJet had also tried to defend its failure to take delivery of its sixth, seventh and eighth aircraft by claiming that De Havilland had breached an obligation to provide assistance in arranging finance.

But the judge rejects SpiceJet’s claim that such assistance amounted to working with the airline and its financiers to procure finance, and that any assistance – given that De Havilland had no responsibility to incur expense itself – would have been “very limited”.

De Havilland was “entitled” to terminate deliveries of the sixth, seventh and eighth aircraft, says the ruling, and similarly entitled to terminate all remaining aircraft encompassed by the order.

PAL Aerospace and De Havilland Canada Announce MOU to Develop Dash 8 P-4 Special Mission Aircraft

ST. JOHN’S, NL and TORONTO, ON, Feb. 25, 2021 /CNW/ – PAL Aerospace and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited (“De Havilland Canada”) today announced the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) to jointly pursue the development of a fully missionized Dash 8-400 aircraft, called the “Dash 8 P-4” for maritime patrol (“MPA”), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (“ISR”), as well as other applications. Modified with auxiliary fuel tanks, the Dash 8 P-4 will have superior range, endurance, and time-on-station.

“PAL Aerospace is thrilled to work with De Havilland Canada on this important initiative for our company,” said Jake Trainor, CEO of PAL Aerospace. “The considerable cabin space, payload capacity, best-in-class airspeed profile and advantageous operating economics of the Dash 8-400 platform, combined with De Havilland Canada’s proud 92-year history of innovation and leadership in aircraft design and manufacturing, provide an ideal foundation from which to launch the Dash 8 P-4 program.”

PAL Aerospace and De Havilland Canada believe there exists a significant global market for missionized turboprop aircraft, especially in the MPA and ISR market. The unique capabilities the Dash 8-400 platform, in combination with PAL Aerospace’s demonstrated global capability as a full-service provider of specialized aircraft modification, technology integration and special missions operation, delivers a unique value proposition for clients looking for leading edge MPA and ISR programs. PAL Aerospace and De Havilland Canada are currently working together to offer a comprehensive Dash 8 P-4 MPA solution for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s ongoing maritime surveillance aircraft procurement.

“PAL Aerospace’s unmatched credentials in the design and modification of MPA and ISR aircraft, their understanding of the Dash 8 as a current operator of the platform, and their more than 40 years’ experience in special missions operations are unique in Canada and around the world,” said David Curtis, Executive Chairman of Longview Aviation Capital, De Havilland Canada’s parent company. “We are excited to collaborate on this initiative and believe strongly that the Dash 8 P-4 will prove to be a market leading MPA and ISR solution while supporting highly skilled employment and the development of critical intellectual property here in Canada.” 

“The Dash 8-400 aircraft’s turboprop efficiency and low-impact on the environment combined with its high productivity and jet-like performance have proven to be an ideal combination for many of our airline customers around the world,” said Philippe Poutissou, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at De Havilland Canada. “These attributes also make the Dash 8 P-4 a versatile and formidable special mission aircraft.” 

This new collaboration affirms commitments from both PAL Aerospace and De Havilland Canada to continue the development of multi-role, MPA and ISR configurations for the Dash 8-400 aircraft. The two companies will continue to cooperate in business development and marketing activities while fortifying long-term support, developing training capacity and combining resources to ensure superior aircraft performance.

An image of a Dash 8 P-4 aircraft is available at: https://dehavilland.com/en/media

About PAL Aerospace:

A proud member of the Exchange Income Corporation family of companies, PAL Aerospace is a Canadian-owned and operated global aerospace and defence company. With a focus on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, in-service support solutions and aircraft engineering and modification, PAL Aerospace is internationally recognized by governments, militaries, and industry for on time/on budget delivery and high reliability rates. PAL Aerospace offers a single point of accountability for its programs and takes pride in being the trusted choice for clients worldwide.

For more information, please visit www.palaerospace.com

About Exchange Income Corporation:

Exchange Income Corporation is a diversified acquisition-oriented company, focused in two sectors: aerospace & aviation services and equipment, and manufacturing. The Corporation uses a disciplined acquisition strategy to identify already profitable, well-established companies that have strong management teams, generate steady cash flow, operate in niche markets, and have opportunities for organic growth.

For more information, please visit www.exchangeincomecorp.ca

About De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited:

De Havilland Canada’s portfolio includes support to the worldwide fleet of Dash 8-100/200/300/400 aircraft, as well as production and sales of the Dash 8-400 aircraft. With its low carbon footprint and operating costs, industry-leading passenger experience and jet-like performance, the Dash 8-400 aircraft, which seats up to 90 passengers, is the environmentally responsible choice for operators seeking optimal performance on regional routes. De Havilland Canada is a part of the Longview Aviation Capital family of companies. 

For more information, please visit www.dehavilland.com

About Longview Aviation Capital Corp.:

Longview Aviation Capital Corp. was established in 2016 to manage a portfolio of long-term investments in the Canadian aerospace industry, including De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited; Viking Air Ltd.; Pacific Sky Aviation Ltd; Longview Aviation Asset Management Inc; and Longview Aviation Services.

Longview, through its subsidiaries, holds the Type Certificates for the entire product line of the original De Havilland aircraft company including the Twin Otter program and the DHC-1 through DHC-8- 400 series, as well as the CANADAIR CL-215, CL-215T, and CL-415 aerial firefighting aircraft, and the Shorts Skyvan, 360, 330 and Sherpa family of aircraft. Longview operates manufacturing and aircraft service support in locations across Canada, including Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.

For more information, please visit www.lvav.ca

Ex-Flybe Q400 arrives at Conair base for firefighting modification

From Flight Global – link to source story

By David Kaminski-Morrow23 February 2021

Canada’s Conair Group has received the first in a batch of former Flybe Bombardier Q400s due for conversion into aerial firefighters.

The turboprop – registered G-KKEV, and originally delivered to the UK operator in 2008 – is one of 11 acquired by Conair for the modification, following the collapse of Flybe a year ago.

Conair will convert the aircraft, flown to Canada via Reykjavik, into Q400AT air tankers at its Abbotsford facility in British Columbia.

The modification will take around 75 days, the company states, and will begin this quarter with the intention of completing the work ahead of the North American wildfire season.

Conair Flybe Q400-c-Conair Group

Source: Conair Group

Modification of the Q400 will include fitting of flight-envelope safety avionics

Conair aircraft conversion manager Dustin Littler says the Q400’s interior will be stripped to the “bare frame” to minimise weight. The cabin will remain pressurised, with the retardant tank – capable of discharging 10,000 litres of fire suppressant – fitted externally.

The cockpit will be fitted with a flight-envelope awareness system, avionics which provide angle-of-attack, g-loading and slow-speed information to the crew – enhanced safety data to assist the pilots given the extreme nature of firefighting operations.

“Conair’s priority is the safety of their crews, proactively adopting innovative technologies that go beyond minimum standards,” says the company.

Director of business development Jeff Berry describes the Q400AT as the “most versatile air tanker of its size” for the firefighting role, adding that it is capable of operating from 5,000ft runways.

“This means [it] can respond to a multitude of fires, including those in more remote settings not located near large airports or tanker bases,” he says.

Unifor head Jerry Dias on his frustration with the airline bailout talks, what the government did right and his biggest personal milestone

From the Toronto Star – link to source story

By Joanna Pachner, Special to the Star | Sat., Feb. 20, 2021

Joanna Pachner is a business writer and a freelance contributor for the Star.

When 20-year-old Jerry Dias Jr. became a shop steward at the Downsview de Havilland plant, close to 40 per cent of Canadian workers were union members. That number has dwindled to below 30 per cent, but Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, has seen its membership grow under Dias’s leadership. The pugnacious negotiator may strike fear in CEOs and Conservative politicians, but even his enemies credit his tenacity and passionate rhetoric, both on ample display in recent months. We caught up with Dias, Unifor’s national president, during a break in airline bailout discussions.

What’s the latest on the talks with Transport Canada?

The federal government understands they have to do something, and something severe. My argument is that what they do has to be specific to domestic carriers — for example, freezing the fuel tax for Canadian carriers, and picking up the extra fees of Nav Canada, the company that runs Canada’s air traffic control system. We can’t talk about “build back better” if we don’t have an airline sector.

How has Unifor been approaching its dealings with airlines around the layoffs?

Our conversations are blunt. I understand the serious challenges, but they can do better to mitigate the impact on people by offering early-retirement incentive packages, worksharing programs. Their preoccupation now is survival so they’re not spending much time on solutions for employees. We’re not seeing the type of co-operation I would expect and I’m frustrated.

Airline workers, of course, are not your only service-sector members who’ve had an awful year.

I’ve probably got 10,000 out of my 315,000 members on layoff. But the pandemic has given us an understanding of who the essential workers in this country are — grocery store workers, health-care workers, transit drivers — and they have been betrayed. This crisis has exposed the slimy underbelly of raw capital. Galen Weston, who should be ashamed of himself, sits on $8.5 billion of wealth and cuts off pandemic pay after two months even though they (Loblaw) have done better than pre-pandemic. Personal support workers are working in two or three long-term-care facilities and many make little above minimum wage. Disgusting.

Which governments have done the best and worst job during this crisis in your view?

It’s a mixed bag. There was no template saying, “In case of a pandemic, do this,” but why were we so unprepared? It was under Stephen Harper that all the potential vaccine manufacturers left Canada, but successive governments haven’t fixed the crimes of others. The federal government moved quickly to introduce CERB, which was huge. The introduction of the wage subsidy was huge, but it was flawed. The loan program for corporations also didn’t work because the interest rates were exorbitant.

As for the Ontario government, there’s a crisis in long-term care and they get an F for passing legislation that prevents families from suing facilities unless they are grossly negligent. They talked about giving four hours of care per resident per day, four or five years down the road. Are you kidding? That has to be done immediately. That said, when I did the deal with the Detroit Three (General Motors Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ford Motor Company), federal and provincial governments were quick to say they would be part of the solution. That’s a huge change for Doug Ford.

Where should Ottawa’s future focus lie? Give me your top three priorities.

We need a just transition to a green economy and to find solutions for the oil and gas industry. We need a real Buy Canadian strategy. The $100 billion a year we have in procurement should be spent on putting Canadians to work. And three is the issue of infrastructure spending that relies on Canadian raw materials and natural resources.

Let’s talk about your white-collar members. Working from home has created issues around ergonomics, mental health and worker safety. Do you see these becoming negotiation points?

No question. This isn’t the first discussion about work at home. Years ago, employers wanted to save on real estate so they had people work at home, but many found that productivity dropped so they brought them back. Now the pendulum swings. People are sick of looking at the same four walls and I think the issues around mental illness and increased stress stem from the blurred lines between home and work.

What would you consider Unifor’s biggest win over the past year?

The Detroit Three negotiations. We bargained a $6-billion deal in a pandemic. Until then, of the $300 billion they had announced for electric vehicles, not one nickel had been allocated to Canada. We now have billions and a stable industry. You have to get in now or risk being left out altogether. Remember, the key ingredients in electric batteries are magnesium, cobalt, aluminum and nickel. We are one of few nations that has all four, so why wouldn’t we use our raw materials? We’re finally having the debate about getting away from being suppliers of raw materials and natural resources to others and buying the finished product to actually using these resources to put Canadians to work.

There has to be a bigger debate about China. If China wants to ship Chinese-built vehicles with Chinese-built auto parts to the North American market, what do we get out of it? The worst thing for Canadian jobs are bad trade deals, and the worst of the worst was the free trade deal with Korea. Same thing with Japan: The Trans-Pacific Partnership gives them full access to our market and we sell squat. We’ve got to be more strategic. This passive Boy Scout approach hasn’t done well.

What do you consider your biggest personal milestone — the fight over the Oshawa plant?

Yeah. It was personal for me because it happened on my watch and my family lives there. There were 30,000 direct and indirect jobs tied into that, so when the closure was announced in November 2018, it was a devastating blow to the community.

That plant has a personal meaning for me, too. When my family immigrated from Eastern Europe, my dad got a job on the line at the Oshawa plant because it offered great pay when he couldn’t get work in his profession. He stayed until he retired, but he was no fan of the union because he believed your demands would drive investment away.

I respectfully disagree with your father. Every day for us is David versus Goliath. If you don’t push, you get trampled. The thinnest book in the world is the book of corporate ethics.

You’ve been called the $5-billion man for negotiating auto deals. Now it’s $6 billion. Can you share some negotiating tips?

Follow your gut. Your first instincts are generally best. But you need to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. I’ve been around a long time so people know when I’m not moving from my position. The key is relationships and people understanding you’re not frickin’ kidding.

Did you ever consider moving to the other side of the table?

Never. I’ve had offers, from which I derived significant humour. Working-class people have trusted me my entire life and I’m not about to mess with that for the sake of a few bucks.

This interview has been edited and condensed.