Yearly Archives: 2013

Transport Canada Proposes New Regulations for Offshore Flights

On March 12, 2009, a Sikorsky S-92A helicopter destined for the Hibernia Oilfield crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Seventeen passengers suffered fatal injuries in the crash and the lone survivor suffered serious injuries.  In response to safety recommendations from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, regulatory amendments have been proposed by Transport Canada.  The proposed amendments are meant to reduce the risks associated with flights in support of offshore oil, gas or mineral exploration.

The proposed amendments contain the following new requirements:

(a)        no offshore operations flights are to be conducted if the sea state reported at the destination exceeds the sea state for which the helicopter is certified to conduct a ditching in

Keep reading

Conflicting Court Decisions on Airline Baggage Loss Claims

In late 2012, the European Court of Justice released its ruling in the matter of Sanchez v. Iberia Airlines, in which it had been asked to decide whether an airline was liable for loss of baggage to multiple passengers who had packed items in the same bag, or whether compensation was only available to the passenger who had checked the bag.

The Court was called on to interpret Article 22(2) of the Montreal Convention, which is an international convention that governs the liability of air carriers engaged in international carriage. This Article states that in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay of baggage, an airline’s liability will be limited to 1,131 Special Drawing Rights (approximately $1,750 CAD) …

Keep reading

Lasers and Aircraft Safety

A 19-year old man was charged in Calgary this week with assault causing bodily harm and two mischief-related charges under the Criminal Code.  He is being accused of pointing a type-3 laser at a Calgary police helicopter pilot three times.  For a recent article about the rising frequency of these incidents in Canada, click here.  It is alarming and perplexing that these events continue to occur.…

Keep reading

Supreme Court of Canada Grants Leave in Montreal Convention/Language Rights Case

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will hear an appeal of a case which considered the interaction and potential conflict between the Montreal Convention (a treaty governing international air travel) and Canadian language law rights.   

Click here to view a recent article regarding this case.  Click here to view the announcement from the Supreme Court of Canada.  Click here to view the Federal Court of Canada decision that is being appealed.…

Keep reading

Privacy at the Airport: Canadian Government Updates Airport Body Scanners

Canada’s Minister of State (Transport) announced yesterday that new software will be deployed on Canada’s full-body scanners that will enhance passenger privacy at airports.  The new software produces computer generated “stick figures” rather than an outline of the passenger’s body, enhancing privacy for air travellers.  In addition, the scanner does not collect personal information from the passenger it screens nor is the image correlated in any way with the name of the passenger or any other identifying information.

The changes likely arise in response to the decision by the United States to get rid of body scanners that could not be modified to alleviate privacy concerns.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center (a public internet research outfit in Washington, DC) claimed …

Keep reading

Crash After a Single Engine Take-off in a Piper Aztec is not an “Accident”

On August 24, 2009, the Canadian pilot of a twin engine Piper Aztec flew from North Carolina to Southern Ontario.  To clear customs, the pilot made a stop in Brantford, Ontario.  After the Canadian Border Services Agents did not arrive, the pilot decided to fly the short remaining leg to his farm.

The pilot started the left engine, but had difficulty starting the right.  He shut down the aircraft and attempted to find the problem.  Eventually he determined that the right engine was not going to start.  He considered his options and decided to attempt a take-off with only one engine.

The pilot started his take-off roll.  After the wheels of the aircraft lost contact with the ground, the asymmetrical …

Keep reading