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From Bits and Pieces Newsletter - September
By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159
I’m not a lawyer and don’t want to get into the legal debate regarding Burlington Executive Airpark (CZBA), between Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario, which has been going through some rough times. This has been mostly over whether federal jurisdiction trumps the right of the municipality to interfere in the modifications to the airport, mainly to do with landfill and water quality. Anyone with a strong interest in learning more about the legal fight can do so here, but I’d just like to comment on one component.
People in the immediate vicinity of an airport either like or hate aircraft flying overhead. The bigger the aircraft, the less likely they are to appreciate the noise. A couple of years ago, the turf runway, 09/27, was paved, improving options for pilots dealing with a crosswind, and significant other developments are planned, requiring land filling and leveling. The airport has been in place longer than most – if not all – of the people complaining about its activities. None of us would like to be faced with a change in the landscape facing our homes, but the view we purchased with our home is never guaranteed. There is also the question of whether personal gain in the area of increased property values if an airport is shut down can play a role.
The latest appeal decision is that the local municipality can, indeed, have a say in activities at the site, especially regarding questions of water quality to the surrounding area. At first glance, everything has been done to ensure adequate testing of fill and its effect on groundwater quality, including the drilling of nine test and monitoring wells. One can only hope that, with the closing of Buttonville and the lack of significant evidence of pollutants in the landfill, things will settle down and the airport expansion can go ahead as planned with the blessing of the municipality. ZBA is under private ownership, and it is encouraging to see an airport expanding while others are at risk of being sold off for real estate development.
In the days when we would receive update pages to our Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), we would also receive in the mail an Aviation Safety Newsletter. You can read the latest issue here. I find a lot of useful reminders of how to fly safely by just reading the accident reports. In addition, I may not be alone in having less contact with the manual than I used to in its hard copy form. Updating the changed pages might have been laborious, but it always ensured that you read the changes and familiarised the pilot with the manual on a regular basis. If you haven’t browsed it in a while, you can find the AIM on the Transport Canada website. You can also subscribe to electronic newsletters regarding new publications from Transport Canada. On that page, you can select what types of updates you would like to receive.
We mentioned a while back that the team that won the human-powered helicopter challenge is in the process of using those same aerodynamic engineering skills to beat the human-powered land speed record. AeroVelo and its ETA Speedbike project will have challenged the world record of 83.13 mph during the week of September 8 to 13 at Battle Mountain, Nevada. We will try to have an update in next month’s Bits and Pieces, but for now you can read more here and here. Everything is being done to optimize the bike, from choice of aerodynamic spokes to custom fitting the seat. The honeycomb construction fairing shape is optimized for the ideal laminar flow and minimum drag. You can read more about how that was accomplished by this University of Toronto–associated team here. You can see all the results here.
Ted Kiebke, EAA Chapter 1498, has been writing a series of articles for us on his creative plans to use a two-stroke Mercury outboard marine engine as an aircraft engine. He underwent bypass surgery this month. He tells me that he’s “breathing fire” right now. He didn’t clarify whether that means he’s feeling strong enough to fry bacon just by breathing on it or whether he still hurts a bit, but we wish him well in his recovery and look forward to his next episode.
If you have ever dreamed of owning and flying a jet aircraft, the possibility just came one step closer. We include this month an announcement from Oshkosh-based Sonex Aircraft and its SubSonex JSX-2 Personal Jet. The aircraft completed its first flight shortly before EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, and the company is now taking orders for kits, which at $130,000 includes airframe, jet engine, ballistic recovery system, upholstery, and retractable gear. Read more on the jet’s website.
Once again EAA Chapter 65, Stoney Creek, Ontario, will host a Transport Canada (TC) safety seminar aimed at amateur-built aircraft owners. On September 27, this seminar will fulfill the requirements for a biennial training activity. You can download a copy of the flyer. This is probably the only TC safety seminar focused on amateur-built aircraft. Members of Chapter 65 are fortunate to have the presenter Mike Skoczen and Jaime Alexandre (MD-RA regional inspector) as members. Attendees will receive a sticker for the two-year TC recurrency training requirement. We appreciate the efforts of Joe Brunski, Chapter 65 programs director, for organizing this and sending out the information. You can also read about it on our Facebook page. Don’t forget to check that page regularly since time-sensitive information for Canadian aviators gets placed there when we know it won’t make Bits and Pieces in a more timely fashion.