Canadian International Air Show

aviation, Flying Is Fun

Blue AngelsI was lucky enough to score some VIP tickets to the Air Show being held at the CNE this weekend.  Sunday, a couple and friends and I will be right down at Lake Ontario watching a tremendous lineup of aircraft dancing through the sky.  The latest schedule I’ve seen includes:

CF-18 Hornet             12:30
CF18/F86/Tutor        12:43
Spitfire Demo           12:48
Mike Wiskus             12:56
Horsemen P-51s      13:08
Blue Angels            13:30
F-22 Raptor Demo    14: 40
F-16 Falcon Demo    14:53
USAF Heritage Flight    15:06
Matt Chapman         15:14
SAR Helo Demo/Cadets    15:26
Open Airspace          15:41
Snowbirds/Hawk1        15:50
Hawk 1 Demo              15:55
CF Snowbirds              16:01

That makes 4 hours of fun!  The US Navy Blue Angels are making their first appearance since 1983 and should be a great sight.  Having a Raptor show up is also a treat.

We’re in the middle of a beautiful stretch of weather and the forecast is looking like we’ll have perfect conditions.  Cameras are charged up, extra memory cards are packed and I’m ready to go!

Nicest weekend of the year – for some




Summer weather has finally arrived in Ontario.  Sunshine and temperatures in the high 20’s.  Everyone’s so excited except for me.  A major system test will have me in the office on Sunday at 6am for a few hours and then stuck in the basement at home monitoring systems until after dinner.

Sometime’s being in the IT business really, really, REALLY sucks!

Wish for 2009


2009 arrived here in Brampton wrapped in a cold blanket.  A very cold blanket.  This old man didn’t see it arrive, we were fast asleep when it arrived with all its promise intact.  

What do I wish for in 2009?  Peace.


Peace in a world that staggers back and forth from the brink.  The Cold War may be long gone but the proxies are out there rattling their sabres – India, Pakistan, Israel, Hamas……

Peace in the world economy.  Hopefully we’re nearing the end of this negative spiral.  My retirement plans are counting on it.

Peace in the air.  Can I have fewer air lesson cancellations due to weather this year please?

Peace to you and yours. 

Happy Winter Solstice! Happy Winter?



At 7:04 EST (12:04 UTC) the Sun reached its Southermost declination.  Winter officially arrived. Cold, but not as cold as yesterday, and light, fluffy, beautiful snow.  The days start to get a little longer and winter settles in for the next few months.

Perhaps it’s a good time to skate away on the ice of a new day.

Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull, circa 1977

Chances of a white Christmas? Oh, about 300%



Yesterday the Greater Toronto Area got whacked with the first serious snow of the season.  About 15cm fell accompanied by strong winds.  Trying to shovel the driveway last night was an exercise in futility.  Throw one shovel load and get half of it back in your face.

Now we’re under another warning as the system shown at the top left of the image above comes barrelling at us.   This one starts tonight and promises another 10cm before it lets up tomorrow.  If that’s not enough, the long range says a third storm will hit on Christmas Eve.

After clearing the driveway this morning I headed out for a little shopping expedition.  Actually managed to get more than half the Xmas gifts out of the way.  No lineups anywhere I went.

We’re on holidays until the 5th of January so I can finally get into the Christmas spirit.  Annual regulars’ party at Jake’s tomorrow and Maxine and David are coming down (weather permitting). 

If man was meant to fly, he would have had better luck

Flight Instruction

For the second weekend in a row, my flying lesson has been cancelled.  Last week was because my instructor had a personal matter to attend to and today is due to weather.  Low ceiling and icy rain.

At this rate it will take me about 4 years to get my minimum hours in before I can take my flight examination.  Good thing I’m not going for a commercial rating.

Flight Rights Canada


The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today launched Flight Rights Canada, to provide Canadian air travelers and carriers with a clear documentation of the rights and obligations they both have.



  • Air passengers in Canada are entitled to easy access to information regarding their rights with respect to air transportation services, including but not limited to such things as denied boardings, cancellations, and long delays. Passengers are also entitled to information about services for air travellers with various disabilities.
  • Carriers are obligated to make their terms and conditions of carriage easily available to passengers.
  • Air transportation regulations specify what elements must be addressed in a carrier’s terms and conditions of carriage.
  • Carriers are required to address matters such as compensation for denied boarding as a result of overbooking, delays, cancellations, passenger re-routing, and lost and damaged baggage.
  • The terms and conditions of carriage are legally binding on carriers.
  • Passengers have recourse to a complaints resolution process that begins with the air carrier. Under this process, passengers should seek direct redress or remedy first from the carrier for any breach of service commitments or obligations.
  • Passengers may seek corrective measures or a refund of direct expenses incurred, if they believe an air carrier has not lived up to the commitments in its published tariffs.
  • If a complaint is not resolved between a passenger and the air carrier, the passenger can contact the Canadian Transportation Agency at 1-888-222-2592 or by e-mail at The Agency is an administrative tribunal with quasi-judicial powers. It is responsible for a wide range of adjudicative and economic matters pertaining to federally regulated air transportation.
  • The Agency initially uses an informal approach to manage complaints. If passengers are unsatisfied with the informal process, they can launch a formal complaint to the Agency.

September 2008


Passengers have a right to information on flight times and schedule changes. Airlines must make reasonable efforts to inform passengers of delays and schedule changes and to the extent possible, the reason for the delay or change.

Passengers have a right to take the flight they paid for. If the plane is over-booked or cancelled, the airline must:
a) find the passenger a seat on another flight operated by that airline;
b) buy the passenger a seat on another carrier with whom it has a mutual interline traffic agreement; or
c) refund the unused portion of the passenger’s ticket.

Passengers have a right to punctuality.
a) If a flight is delayed and the delay between the scheduled departure of the flight and the actual departure of the flight exceeds 4 hours, the airline will provide the passenger with a meal voucher.
b) If a flight is delayed by more than 8 hours and the delay involves an overnight stay, the airline will pay for overnight hotel stay and airport transfers for passengers who did not start their travel at that airport.
c) If the passenger is already on the aircraft when a delay occurs, the airline will offer drinks and snacks if it is safe, practical and timely to do so. If the delay exceeds 90 minutes and circumstances permit, the airline will offer passengers the option of disembarking from the aircraft until it is time to depart.

Passengers have a right to retrieve their luggage quickly. If the luggage does not arrive on the same flight as the passenger, the airline will take steps to deliver the luggage to the passenger’s residence/hotel as soon as possible. The airline will take steps to inform the passenger on the status of the luggage and will provide the passenger with an over-night kit as required. Compensation will be provided as per their tariffs.

Nothing in Flight Rights Canada would make the airline responsible for acts of nature or the acts of third parties. Airlines are legally obligated to maintain the highest standards of aviation safety and cannot be encouraged to fly when it is not safe to do so. Similarly, airlines cannot be held responsible for inclement weather or the actions of third parties such as acts of government or air traffic control, airport authorities, security agencies, law enforcement or Customs and Immigration officials.

Flight Rights Canada does not exclude additional rights you may have under the tariffs filed by your airline with the Canadian Transportation Agency, or legal rights that international and trans-border passengers have pursuant to international conventions (e.g., the Warsaw Convention) and related treaties.

Long overdue.

A hot time in Vancouver


car fire

I transferred from the Richmond Inn to the Hilton yesterday.  Much nicer hotel with a great view of the mountains and the airport.  And other things.

Woke up this morning to the sight of a car fire about a block away from the hotel.  Nothing major so I placed a non-emergency call to the fire department.


Speaking of fire, last night’s sunset was pretty.


Was hoping for some nice weather but so far today is coming up cloudy and cool.  Oh well.

Weather is fun

Flight Instruction, Flying Is Fun

This week in ground school we had the second of three classes in meteorology. You think you know weather but until you start to look at through a pilot’s eyes you really have no idea of how important and complex it actually is.

Through how air moves (predictably) to the different types of clouds and what they mean to the dangers that weather holds for small aircraft, it’s a fascinating part of the studies. Unfortunately, I’m going to miss the final class next week as I’m off to Vancouver on business. I can make the class up later but I think it’s best to take all 3 in a row so I’ll jump out of the current schedule and pick it up again on a different night.

In the meantime, I’ve picked up a few books on the subject that I’ll read while I’m away.

If you’re interested in the subject, a good place to start is the Cloud Appreciation Society where you’ll find thousands of cloud pictures.