11 août 2022 | Local, Aérospatial

CF Snowbirds grounded in ‘operational pause’ as crash investigation continues - Skies Mag

Following an accident earlier this month involving a CT-114 Tutor jet operated by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, an operational pause has been ordered on the entire Tutor fleet.


Sur le même sujet

  • Port of Montreal busier than ever, creating opportunities for smugglers

    12 mars 2019 | Local, Sécurité

    Port of Montreal busier than ever, creating opportunities for smugglers

    Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press On a crisp day in early March, Tony Boemi looks out on the stacked shipping containers that stretch into the horizon of the 26 kilometre-long Port of Montreal. "We've been going up tremendously," the port authority vice-president says. Traffic at Canada's second-largest port rose nine per cent in 2018 to the equivalent of more than 1.6 million 20-foot containers for the fifth straight year of record volumes, prompting concerns the docks will be overloaded by 2022. Vancouver and Halifax, the largest and third-largest ports, respectively, also saw record container traffic last year. "I'd be lying if I said we weren't struggling with managing the sudden surge," Boemi says. Driving the boom is Canadian demand for clothing, appliances and other consumer products made in Asia, as well as a new free trade agreement with Europe. However, the surge in traffic comes with a downside: The additional containers present an opportunity for criminals to capitalize on limited law enforcement resources and hide more contraband among the legitimate goods. Bud Garrick, an investigator with Presidia Security Consulting and former deputy director-general of the RCMP's criminal intelligence service, said imported drugs and exported stolen cars constitute the biggest smuggling problem, with authorities nabbing only a small fraction of the spoils. "Marine ports are an attractive environment for individuals with ill means and mind to smuggle things into Canada," he said. "The amount of cargo -- shipping containers -- that moves in and out of ports is phenomenal...It's a magnitude problem." The criminal allure of ports is simple. Airports are under too much scrutiny, and air freight is costly. Overland smuggling does occur, but on a smaller scale. "Trying to intercept smuggled cargo at a port is expensive and disruptive, and you'll never have enough resources to catch most things through random screening," Peter Hall, an associate professor of urban studies at Simon Fraser University, said in an email. "Mostly 1/8the CBSA 3/8 focus on screening for terrorist and bio-hazards." A 2015 federal auditor general's report found that the Canada Border Services Agency "did not fully have the necessary authorities, information, practices and controls to implement its enforcement priorities and prevent the export of goods that contravene Canada's export laws." Just like legitimate trade, black market port activity works both ways. Incoming ships bring drugs such as cocaine and heroin, while outbound ships contain a growing number of stolen vehicles. "The most prolific is actually in Alberta," said Henry Tso, vice-president of investigative services at the Insurance Bureau of Canada. "A lot of the cars are being shipped from Alberta to various ports in Canada, mainly Vancouver." More than 25,000 vehicles were stolen in Alberta in 2018, part of a 50 per cent increase over the past five years that stems in part from overseas demand for high-end pickup trucks and SUVs. The thefts, which recent cases have linked to criminal organizations in West Africa, northern Europe, the Middle East and China, rely on human as well as technological flaws. "Certain docks, there are some you know are run by organized crime. Even in Quebec, like the Montreal ports, one terminal is clean, the other one is not clean," said Tso. "The major issue is corruption," said Anthony Nicaso, who has authored more than two-dozen books on organized crime. "There is no political will to fight organized crime," he said, "probably because money does not stink, so who cares -- money is money." Back at the Montreal port, Boemi estimates the CBSA thoroughly inspects about three per cent of containers that roll through the port. The CBSA declined to give statistics, but noted that screening devices such as gamma-ray detectors -- which sense radioactive material -- scan each container. "The CBSA requires marine carriers to electronically transmit marine cargo data to the Agency 24 hours prior to the loading of cargo at a foreign port. This requirement allows the CBSA to effectively identify threats to Canada's health, safety and security and take actions prior to cargo and conveyances leaving foreign ports," the CBSA said in an email. A Canadian Senate report from 2006 found that 15 per cent of stevedores and more than two-thirds of checkers who worked at the Montreal port had criminal records, along with more than half of the workers at an outside company contracted to pick up waste and maintain ships at the docks. In an effort to boost security, the Port of Montreal now requires that truckers with Transport Canada security clearance have their fingerprints scanned upon entry. The port and CBSA have signed on for a trial run of blockchain technology that aims to better secure and streamline freight shipping. Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union representing some 10,500 CBSA employees, is not satisfied. "With stolen cars, with drugs, with guns, we need to increase our capacity to monitor this properly," he said. https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/port-of-montreal-busier-than-ever-creating-opportunities-for-smugglers-1.4330014

  • Lawsuit over massive Veterans Affairs accounting error to cost Ottawa almost $1 billion | CBC News

    3 mars 2024 | Local, Terrestre

    Lawsuit over massive Veterans Affairs accounting error to cost Ottawa almost $1 billion | CBC News

    An embarrassing multi-million-dollar accounting error that was covered up for years at Veterans Affairs Canada will end up costing taxpayers almost $1 billion now that a Federal Court judge has signed off on a combined class-action settlement.

  • ‘First-class’ fighter pilot becomes eVTOL entrepreneur

    28 janvier 2021 | Local, Aérospatial

    ‘First-class’ fighter pilot becomes eVTOL entrepreneur

    BY NATASHA MCKENTY | JANUARY 28, 2021 Estimated reading time 14 minutes, 58 seconds. Brandon Robinson's Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and Top Aces fighter pilot exploits compare to those of a protagonist in a blockbuster movie. After graduating from the Royal Military College of Canada with First Class Honours, his career quickly skyrocketed from frontline fighter squadron to being selected for the prestigious Fighter Weapons Instructor Course (FWIC) – the Canadian version of Top Gun. He obtained an MBA at Royal Roads University, and then did a tour in Ottawa where he “managed over $4 billion in procurement projects for the Fighter Force.” He spent the next few years instructing for FWIC. “Think ‘Viper' from the movie Top Gun,” he laughed. I then completed our Joint Command and Staff College program for those flagged for senior leadership.” While instructing for FWIC, Robinson earned the CF-18 fighter pilot instructor role at 410 Squadron in Cold Lake, Alberta, leading into oversight of CF-18 Fleet Tactical Standards, and then onto senior project management with a deputy director role in multiple Air Force projects. Robinson is modest. He credits his competitive nature “and a lot of luck” for his success. “I fully acknowledge that without exceptionally talented and competitive friends, I would not have passed, let alone have been fortunate enough to fly jets,” he told Skies. He found Military College to be physically and emotionally demanding, having a way of teaching you your limits and how to “be at peace with them.” Despite the challenges, he was one of the top five engineers in the program all four years. For Robinson, aviation was innate. His grandfather, RCAF Capt Eric Robinson was a Second World War bomber pilot. His father, Brian Robinson, began flying at the age of 14, but his hopes of joining the Air Force were grounded when he learned his vision wasn't good enough. “My father was very young when he and [my grandfather] built from scrap metal what is now a family airplane — an old RC-3 Republic Seabee aircraft.” Brian retired from his day job to turn the family hobby into a successful custom aviation engineering business. There was always “an army of airplanes” in and around Robinson's home. The first time Robinson piloted a plane, he was three years old. His grandfather let him sit in the seat in front of him. “I couldn't sit. I had to stand,” he laughed. “He said, ‘OK, you have control, so take us over there.'” That experience “made an imprint” for Robinson. After high school, much to his “mother's chagrin,” he joined the RCAF to “fly fast jets.” After military training, “there's a big [graduation] ceremony where they hand out the slots, and I remember looking at the card and seeing the CF-18 symbol on the bottom,” he said. Internally, he was bursting. Not surprisingly, when asked about the memorable moments of his career, he said it's difficult to choose. Robinson recalled, after being on the Squadron for just three months in Bagotville, Quebec, he was deployed to Hawaii for a joint exercise with the U.S. Navy. “The U.S. Navy has this big exercise, and the Canadians were asked to go,” he said. “So, we ferried CF-18s across the country, from Quebec to Comox, British Columbia. We overnighted, met up with an aerial refueler and then the next thing I know I'm in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, tanking off a refueler. There's a portion where, if you can't get gas, you're going to have to eject because you can't get back to land. I'm a 27-year-old kid who only has 200 hours of experience in this CF-18, and I'm over the middle of the ocean thinking, ‘OK, you better make this happen.' It's not the easiest maneuver either,” he laughed. Robinson shared the story of how he earned his call-sign: Repo. “I was flying, and my left engine essentially blew up; one of the main turbine hubs fractured. It severely crippled the aircraft, placing it into a reversionary control architecture. The engine was destroyed, and the aircraft was on fire,” he said. After 10 “very long seconds” of being “out of control,” he “dealt with the fire” and regained control. “I was able to land it safely back at the base. However, it was too badly damaged to fix. So, the joke was that the government had to repossess or repo it,” he laughed. “The damaged engine almost fell out when I landed.” He remembered flying low-level over the ocean while “shooting missiles at drones and dropping bombs on remote-controlled moving ships; being in front of 100 angry fighter pilots leading a NATO coalition strike mission; [and] early morning departures over Torrey Pines in California to dogfight over the ocean.” In 2018, with 20 years of service and a list of neck and spine injuries in his rear-view, he knew it was time to find adrenaline elsewhere. “You can't pull seven-and-a-half Gs for 20 years without hurting a few things,” he laughed. Leaving, he admitted, was a difficult decision, but entrepreneurship was also on his radar. The kid that grew up in rural Ontario, Canada, with an “army of airplanes” at his disposal and a military career most would envy, headed out to his next call of duty. He joined forces with his father to start Horizon Aircraft, an aerospace startup that is currently developing the Cavorite X5 — a new eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) design for the urban air mobility market. Horizon has been developing the Cavorite X5 for the past two years. The concept for the X5 came from the company's initial prototype, the X3 — an amphibious design with a hybrid electric power system. “When we were asked to push the performance even further, we naturally began investigating distributed electric propulsion and the potential for eVTOL modification of the core X3 concept,” explained Robinson. “That's how the X5 The five-seat Cavorite X5 is powered by an electric motor coupled with a high-efficiency gas engine, but is ultimately built for fully electric flight. Horizon is building the aircraft to fly at speeds up to 350 kilometers per hour, with a 450-km range. The focus is to produce an aircraft “able to do real work in harsh environments,” including disaster relief, medevac, air cargo and personnel transport. Today, Robinson has his hands full with multiple patents pending, including a “fan-in-wing design” that would allow the Cavorite X5 to fly either like a conventional aircraft or an eVTOL when required. The X5 “flies like a normal aircraft for 99 percent of its mission,” said Robinson. The wing design “allows the aircraft to return to normal wing-borne lift after its vertical portion is complete; when moving forward, the wings close up and hide the vertical lift fans.” Horizon is working towards a large-scale prototype it hopes to have flying by the end of 2021. Robinson has become comfortable fielding questions based on skepticism. He's built an army of support from his highly-skilled network, including Virgin Galactic test pilot and close friend, Jameel Janjua. “Our team is extremely experienced, formed out of my father's previous custom aviation engineering business. We also have an individual leading the technical development who has designed, built and tested two novel aircraft designs from scratch. https://skiesmag.com/news/first-class-fighter-pilot-evtol-entrepreneur

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