Saturday, June 8, 2013

Paint Job on Harper's Jet Creates Some Controversy

Paint Job on Harper's Jet Creates Some Controversy

The RCAF's new paint scheme for the Prime Minister's CC-150 jet is creating fodder for political opponents in Ottawa who say the new colours look the like the Conservative Party of Canada colours.

Photo by MCpl Roy MacLellan ©2013 DND-MDN, Canada

Photo by MCpl Roy MacLellan ©2013 DND-MDN, Canada

The new paint scheme is a big departure from the gun metal grey the RCAF jets have been recently painted.

RCAF Photo

This is not the first time the RCAF have used this paint scheme the CC-137 Boeing 707 fleet, the predecessor of the CC-150 Polaris, was painted in a similar paint scheme.

A CF Boeing 707 in formation with its replacement, the Airbus A-310, designated the CC-150 Polaris. (RCAF Photo)

Boeing 13705 (CC-137 / Boeing 707) was the last of the non-tanker Boeings to be pulled from CF service, having been put into storage on 29 April, 1995 the Boeings were frequently pulled out of line service for various tasks, such as carrying the Prime Minister, foreign dignitaries and members of the Royal Family and training flights.

Boeing 13705 - (RCAF Photo)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shuttle XING

Shuttle Endeavour Crossing
The space shuttle Endeavour is seen atop the Over Land Transporter (OLT) after exiting the Los Angeles International Airport on its way to its new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 12, 2012.

Endeavour, built as a replacement for space shuttle Challenger, completed 25 missions, spent 299 days in orbit, and orbited Earth 4,671 times while traveling 122,883,151 miles. Beginning Oct. 30, the shuttle will be on display in the CSC’s Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, embarking on its new mission to commemorate past achievements in space and educate and inspire future generations of explorers.

Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Saturday, September 15, 2012

TSB Report: Midair collision investigation highlights importance of training and preflight preparation for safe formation flying

Gatineau, Quebec, 11 September 2012—The TSB today released its investigation report (A11P0027) into the 09 February 2011 midair collision between two Cessna 150 aircraft over Dewdney, British Columbia.

Photo: TSB | 
Cessna 150G involved in a midair collision in Dewdney, B.C.
The two accident aircraft were part of a four aircraft formation flight. One was the lead aircraft and the other was behind and to its right. During a right turn while in formation, the aircraft on the right lost sight of the leader. While trying to regain sight of the leader, the aircraft climbed, turned left, and struck the lead aircraft. The two aircraft briefly joined together and descended out of control until about 400 feet above ground level where they separated. The lead aircraft then broke up and continued descending out of control to the ground. Both of its occupants suffered fatal injuries. The other aircraft's pilot regained control and landed in a nearby field without engine power, and was uninjured.

"Formation flying is a challenging activity requiring high levels of skill and discipline," said Bill Yearwood, Manager, Air Investigation Operations, Pacific Region. "Without appropriate training and thorough preflight briefings, there is an increased risk of in-flight collisions, and these collisions often cause fatal accidents."

Training is required for formation flying during events such as air shows. However, for casual formation flight outside of air shows, the only regulatory requirement is a pre-arrangement between pilots intending to fly in formation. The group had a pre-flight briefing to discuss join-up procedures after takeoff and breakout procedures. However, this briefing did not discuss the procedures for loss of sight of an aircraft, nor did it review the practices for returning to the formation. Further, the investigation found that flying in formation in high-wing aircraft such as the Cessna 150 poses an elevated risk of loss of visual contact, due to the limited cockpit vision angles.

Since the accident, Transport Canada issued a safety bulletin regarding the hazards associated with formation flying. It highlights the importance of pre-flight planning and flying skills in reducing the associated risks.

TSB Report: Incomplete weight and balance calculations increase the risk of aircraft loss of control

Incomplete weight and balance calculations increase the risk of aircraft loss of control

Gatineau, Quebec, 14 September 2012 — The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released today its investigation report (A11O0166) into the stall and impact with water of a Georgian Bay Airways Found Bush Hawk-XP aircraft that occurred in Parry Sound, Ontario, on 8 September 2011.

Photo: TSB
Following take-off, the aircraft pitched up and turned to avoid rising terrain. As it turned, the aircraft entered in an aerodynamic stall at an altitude from which recovery was not possible, and struck the water. The pilot and 2 passengers quickly escaped the aircraft with minor injuries.

In its investigation, the TSB found safety issues related to aircraft performance and the risks associated with incomplete weight and balance calculations. Specifically, the investigation found that while the actual weight was under the maximum gross take-off weight, it was much closer to the maximum than the pre-flight estimate. It also found that the aircraft centre of gravity was beyond the limits of the aircraft.

When aircraft loads are not weighed, or when weight and balance are not properly calculated, the result can be an attempted take-off with the centre of gravity outside of the prescribed limit for the aircraft – which increases the risk of control difficulties. The operator, Georgian Bay Airways, has since installed a 2000-pound scale at the main base to ensure that all cargo is weighed, rather than estimated, before loading.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


September 5, 2012

WASHINGTON - Today the NTSB recommended that the Federal Aviation Administration require that large airplanes be equipped with an anti-ground collision aid, such as an on-board external-mounted camera system, to provide pilots a clear view of the plane’s wingtips while taxing to ensure clearance from other aircraft, vehicles and obstacles.

On large airplanes (such as the Boeing 747, 757, 767, and 777; the Airbus A380; and the McDonnell Douglas MD-10 and MD-11), the pilot cannot see the airplane's wingtips from the cockpit unless the pilot opens the cockpit window and extends his or her head out of the window, which is often impractical.

The NTSB said that the anti-collision aids should be installed on newly manufactured and certificated airplanes and that existing large airplanes should be retrofitted with the equipment.

“A system that can provide real-time information on wingtip clearance in relation to other obstacles will give pilots of large airplanes an essential tool when taxiing,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “While collision warning systems are now common in highway vehicles, it is important for the aviation industry to consider their application in large aircraft.”

The recommendations follow three recent ground collision accidents (all currently under investigation) in which large airplanes collided with another aircraft while taxing:

• May 30, 2012: The right wingtip of an EVA Air Boeing 747-400 struck the rudder and vertical stabilizer of an American Eagle Embraer 135 while taxing at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (Preliminary Report:

July 14, 2011: A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 was taxing for departure when its left winglet struck the horizontal stabilizer of an Atlantic Southeast Airlines Bombardier CRJ900 (Preliminary Report:

April 11, 2011: During a taxi for departure, the left wingtip of an Air France A380 struck the horizontal stabilizer and rudder of a Comair Bombardier CRJ701 (Preliminary Report: 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ottawa to Nairobi Kenya

Ted's 9,000 Mile Aviation
Adventure from Ottawa
Canada to Nairobi Kenya

Visit this great blog about a local Ottawa pilot - Ted Horton, and follow his adventure in his Cessna 182 traveling from Ottawa to Nairobi Kenya.

Monday, August 27, 2012

NTSB Report: Reno Air Race Crash Caused by Deteriorated Part

August 27, 2012

WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board determined today that deteriorated locknut inserts found in the highly modified North American P-51D airplane that crashed during the 2011 National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, allowed the trim tab attachment screws to become loose, and even initiated fatigue cracking in one screw. This condition, which resulted in reduced stiffness in the elevator trim system, ultimately led to aerodynamic flutter at racing speed that broke the trim tab linkages, resulting in a loss of controllability and the eventual crash.

On September 16, 2011, as the experimental single-seat P-51D airplane "The Galloping Ghost," traveling about 445 knots, or 512 mph, in the third lap of the six-lap race, passed pylon 8, it experienced a left-roll upset and high-G pitch up. During the upset sequence, the airplane's vertical acceleration peaked at 17.3 G, causing incapacitation of the pilot. Seconds later, a section of the left elevator trim tab separated in flight. The airplane descended and impacted the ramp in the spectator box seating area, killing the pilot and 10 spectators and injuring more than 60 others.

"In Reno, the fine line between observing risk and being impacted by the consequences when something goes wrong was crossed," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman. "The pilots understood the risks they assumed; the spectators assumed their safety had been assessed and addressed."

Contributing to the accident were the undocumented and untested major modifications made to the airplane, as well as the pilot's operation of the airplane in the unique air racing environment without adequate flight testing.

The nearly 70-year-old airplane had undergone numerous undocumented modifications. The modifications, designed to increase speed, included shortening of the wings, installation of a boil-off cooling system for the engine, increasing the elevator counterweights, modification of the pitch trim system, and changing the incidence of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers.

Although the Federal Aviation Administration required that a flight standards district office be notified in writing of any major changes made to The Galloping Ghost before it could be flown, investigators could find no records that such notifications were made except for the installation of the boil-off cooling system. The undocumented major modifications were identified through wreckage examinations, photographic evidence, and interviews with ground crewmembers.

In April, while the investigation was ongoing and after the NTSB's investigative hearing in January on air race and air show safety, the NTSB issued 10 safety recommendations to the Reno Air Racing Association, the National Air racing Group Unlimited Division, and the FAA.

A synopsis of the NTSB report, including the probable cause and a complete list of the reclassified safety recommendations, is available at:

Other information and previous press releases related to the Reno Air Races investigation:

Reno Air Races Recommendations Issued Earlier this Year:

Air Race and Air Show Safety Hearing :

Investigation Update:

NTSB Opens Docket on Reno Air Races Crash

Aviation News