I wish you a Happy February! Having been born and raised in Ontario I am always delighted by the pleasant weather of the West coast. No more so than in February; when the rest of the country is gritting their teeth and girding themselves against a cold and dreary month, in beautiful British Columbia, we are awakening to green grass, flowering crocuses and a general Spring-like set of conditions. It is for that reason that I have dubbed February the “Spring Teaser”. It’s a wonderful month full of promise.
Subsequent months may bring rain, snow or overcast skies, but the Spring Teaser gives us the inspiration to push through to the season of CAVOK. Fitting, I think, that we have Family Day in February – a time when we can picnic or barbecue and dream up plans for the upcoming Summer.
This month our faithful Safety team will be hosting some events to get us ready. Dustin will be holding a safety Hangar Talk and Warren LeGrice will be putting on a refresher training course – be sure to check out the calendar and reserve a space! Our presentation for the month of February will be Warren taking a look at the Dryden accident and how that was a turning point for the CARS. Speaking of safety – it’s the little things that can get you the worst. Slips, trips and falls may not give you cause for concern, but the consequences of a bad slip or a fall can take you out of the cockpit for a while. Please exercise caution in icy, slippery conditions. February may be the Spring Teaser, but her icy mornings can be hazardous.
Lastly, in the positive spirit of the Spring Teaser, I’d like to share a story with you from one of our members. His story epitomizes the far reaching effects that small acts of kindness can have. He is currently a commercial pilot, with his own aircraft and no real need to belong to the club. But he did join, and for reasons that had to do with his past flying club experience. Twenty years ago he was a new pilot. He found himself invited to join his local flying club. He didn’t have a lot of flying (or life) experience at the time, but he was nevertheless treated with respect and dignity. The club members swapped stories with him, encouraged him to fly their aircraft and never once judged him for the brashness of his youth, the loftiness of his dreams or his lack of experience. He enjoyed a happy, but brief spell at the club before his career took him away from home. He built up a career, a family and a good life for himself in our province. He went on to recount that he kept thinking back to his old flying club, the gentle and knowledgeable members and the warm welcome he received there. He wasn’t in a position where he needed to be part of a club – but he found that he craved the camaraderie of his past club in the old days. So he joined the Abbotsford Flying Club where he is a member who enriches our club with his knowledge, experience and positive attitude.
There are several lessons we can take from this story. Firstly: welcoming acts of inclusion and encouragement of new and/or young members will create an impression that lasts a lifetime. Secondly, the benefits of having a healthy, friendly flying club go beyond the club itself – these benefits can span the entire country! Thirdly, General Aviation is about people: we need not make giant, sweeping gestures to ensure that GA stays alive. All that is needed is a welcoming heart, a spirit of understanding and a willingness to share our club to sustain General Aviation well into the future.
Some members will have noticed disturbed ground around the hangar buildings. This is the result of part of our geotechnical site testing for the taxiway re-paving project. On Thursday Jan 24th six holes were dug to depths of three to five feet, to examine the underlying ground, and to perform percolation testing. As expected, the ground looks good, and percolates well.
Soil sampling around the hangars
On Friday Jan 25th Benkelman Beam testing of the taxiway bearing strength was performed. This test measured the surface deflection of the taxiways under loading from a short wheelbase single-axle truck loaded with concrete blocks for a total gross of nearly 30,000 pounds.
In October, Transport Canada put a proposal to the 13th ICAO Air Navigation Conference on the topic, which was well supported.
The change is something we should expect in due course. In the meantime, it seems our use of magnetic north has just become less accurate again, and those runways might not be exactly where you think they should be.
It gives additional focus to the need to switch navigation away from magnetic north to True North.
NavCan did testing last year in Nova Scotia which confirmed the reasonableness of the change and that it can be achieved successfully.
By Alister Doyle OSLO, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Rapid shifts in the Earth’s north magnetic pole are forcing researchers to make an unprecedented early update to a model that helps navigation by ships, planes and submarines in the Arctic, scientists said.
Compass needles point towards the north magnetic pole, a point which has crept unpredictably from the coast of northern Canada a century ago to the middle of the Arctic Ocean, moving towards Russia.
“It’s moving at about 50 km (30 miles) a year. It didn’t move much between 1900 and 1980 but it’s really accelerated in the past 40 years,” Ciaran Beggan, of the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, told Reuters on Friday.
A five-year update of a World Magnetic Model was due in 2020 but the U.S. military requested an unprecedented early review, he said. The BGS runs the model with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Beggan said the moving pole affected navigation, mainly in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada. NATO and the U.S. and British militaries are among those using the magnetic model, as well as civilian navigation.
The wandering pole is driven by unpredictable changes in liquid iron deep inside the Earth. An update will be released on January 30, the journal Nature said, delayed from January 15 because of the U.S. government shutdown.
“The fact that the pole is going fast makes this region more prone to large errors,” Arnaud Chulliat, a geomagnetist at the University of Colorado Boulder and NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, told Nature.
Beggan said the recent shifts in the north magnetic pole would be unnoticed by most people outside the Arctic, for instance using smartphones in New York, Beijing or London.
Navigation systems in cars or phones rely on radio waves from satellites high above the Earth to pinpoint their position on the ground. “It doesn’t really affect mid or low latitudes,” Beggan said.
“It wouldn’t really affect anyone driving a car.”
Many smartphones have inbuilt compasses to help to orientate maps or games such as Pokemon Go. In most places, however, the compass would be pointing only fractionally wrong, within errors allowed in the five-year models, Beggan said.