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Three Fatal Crashes Last Week

tsblogoThere were three fatal light plane crashes last week in Canada, one of the toughest weeks in recent memory.

On Sunday, two passengers on a Cessna 206 died when the aircraft crashed in northern Quebec.

The pilot, Philippe St-Pierre, 38, of Gatineau was taken to hospital with severe burns.

One of the passengers has been identified as Alain Lafontaine, 55, a senior legal counsel with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. The other passenger, 38-year-old man, was not immediately identified.

On Sept. 24, the body of 61-year-old Brian Hickey was pulled from a float plane that crashed three days before in Fairbank Lake. A 32-year-old passenger was treated for minor injuries.

A well-respected glider pilot from Bromont, Quebec was killed in a landing accident Sept. 24. Jacques Fontaine, 60, was coming back from a four-hour flight when something went wrong “in the last phase of landing.”

He was flying a Schleicher ASG 29 glider, a high performance racing aircraft.

Baggage Fee Collusion Alleged

A class action lawsuit filed in Saskatchewan alleges that WestJet and Air Canada colluded in levying baggage fees for domestic flight in 2014. The suit says it’s an unlikely coincidence that the two airlines announced the fees within three days of each other. WestJet announced the $25 fee for the first bag on Sept. 15,
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CSeries Declared Green

A Swedish group has awarded its Environmental Product Declaration to the Bombardier CSeries airliner adding credence to one of the company’s biggest selling points for the aircraft. The International EPD System says the average CSeries airliner will pump 120,000 fewer tonnes of carbon into the air over the lifespan than comparable aircraft. That’s like taking
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First Inuk Woman Captain

She’s one of 14 indigenous pilots working for an indigenous airline but Melissa Haney is the first woman captain. The pilot flew an Air Inuit Dash-8 to her home town of Inukjuaq to a hero’s welcome at the airport. More than 300 people showed up to congratulate her. “I was super surprised,” Haney told CBC. “I
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RCAF Needs Lots of Aircraft

A House of Commons Committee has issued its report on the state of the RCAF and it doesn’t paint a very encouraging picture. Decades of political wrangling and procurement paralysis have led to a situation where almost all of the RCAF’s different classes of aircraft are in need of replacement either immediately or within 15
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Jail Time For Tardy Hijacker

An Okanagan Valley man who called in a bomb threat against a WestJet flight in 2014 will spend a year in jail for what he admits was a “stupid” idea. Michael Howells, 37, was late for his flight from Kelowna back to work in Fort MacMurray so he called in the bomb threat to delay
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CSeries Support Urged

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says the federal government “must” invest in Bombardier’s CSeries program because it’s good for the country. He told Bloomberg that CSeries “is by far the most innovative project in Canada in a very strategic sector, and clearly to me, the federal government has to be part of that,” He said the federal
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WestJet Becomes Oil Patch Charter

Westjet has inked a deal with Suncor Energy to conduct more than 100 weekly flights between five cities and Fort MacMurray to move its workers. It wasn’t immediately clear what affect the deal might have on Suncor’s own significant aviation operations, which included several Bombardier regional jets. The new arrangement will see regular flights from
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Battle of Britain Pilot Goes Flying

Battle of Britain Pilot Goes Flying Canada’s last surviving Battle of Britain pilot got reacquainted with an old friend Sept. 10, the day before celebrating his 100th birthday. The former fighter pilot went for a 20-minute flight in Dave Watson’s Harvard during the Western Warbirds Flight Fest in Oliver, B.C. “It was a little bumpy,”
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Vintage Fleet Damaged

A pristine 1930 Fleet Model 2 was substantially damaged in a landing accident at Springbank Airport in Calgary Sept. 13 but its owner and pilot escaped injury. Geoff Pritchard said he lost control of the bright red biplane just after landing and the aircraft left the runway and flipped. “It left the concrete runway and
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Historic Homebuilt Back in Canada

A tiny homebuilt that was the subject of a documentary is safe at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre in Sault Ste Marie after an unusual trip from Vermont. The 18-foot-long aircraft’s fuselage made the 1,300-km journey strapped to the roof of a Toyota Echo and the wings followed on a trailer. While the MacGregor isn’t really
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Disruptive Passengers Plead Guilty

Two women whose antics aboard a Sunwing flight to Cuba prompted a fighter escort back to Toronto have pleaded guilty to criminal charges relating to the incident. Lilia Ratmanski entered her pleas on charges of mischief and smoking on an airplane July 7 was joined by her travel mate Milana Muzikante on Sept. 9. They
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Misfueling Led To Crash

The Transportation Safety Board has confirmed earlier speculation that a piston-powered Piper Navajo had been fueled with Jet A before an off-airport landing near Thompson, Manitoba a year ago. The Keystone Air Service Navajo suffered a dual engine failure shortly after takeoff from Thompson last September 15 and the pilots put it down in a
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Engine Bottleneck Stalls CSeries

Bombardier says it can’t build the number of CSeries it wants to this year because Pratt & Whitney can’t deliver the engines it needs. Bombardier will only be able to build seven CSeries this year compared to the 15 it wanted to. The CSeries is the launch customer for Pratt’s new highly efficient PurePower geared
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Cyclone Phase-In Through 2025

It will take the RCAF nine years to make its new Cyclone anti-submarine helicopter fleet fully operational but that’s OK because the Navy doesn’t have enough ships to hold them. That’s the observation of analysts as they watch the inevitable unfold after years of procurement problems with the Canadian military. The Cyclones won’t be fully operational
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Pilot Killed in Twin Crash

The pilot of a privately owned Piper Twin Comanche was killed Monday when the aircraft went down in a densely populated area of Powell River, B.C. The airplane crashed in a bushy area of downtown Powell River between grocery store and an apartment building. Police later confirmed the pilot and owner of the plane David
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