Michael Dery

Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling in Cirrus Training Case

In a previous post, we wrote about a lawsuit arising from the 2003 crash of a Cirrus SR-22 in low visibility near Hill City, Minnesota.  In the lawsuit, the next of kin of the pilot and passenger claimed that Cirrus and a university failed to provide the pilot with adequate flight training on the subject aircraft.

The appeal court found that the claim for inadequate training could not succeed as Cirrus did not owe a duty to the pilot to provide training.  In addition, the claims were barred by the “educational malpractice doctrine”.  The policy behind this doctrine is that courts are considered to be inadequately suited to determine the standard or quality of education provided by an institution. …

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New Regulations on Marking and Lighting Obstacles to Air Navigation

Marking and lighting towers and other tall objects that could be obstacles to air navigation is a critical element of aviation safety. Until recently, the Canadian Aviation Regulations contained few clear requirements regarding obstacles to air navigation. On December 31, 2011, new regulations came into effect that expand and clarify these requirements.

The new provisions were in the works for approximately 10 years and were largely driven by a working group composed of representatives from the government, aviation stake-holders, and non-aviation stakeholders (such as energy producers, like Manitoba Hydro) all seeking greater clarity and more concrete requirements under the Regulations.

The new provisions include:

  • a clear definition of an “obstacle to air navigation”, which includes specific heights and distances from aerodromes; 
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13th Annual Aviation Conference

The aviation partners of Paterson, MacDougall LLP and Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP are pleased to announce that the 13th Annual Aviation Conference will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2012, at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel and Conference Centre.

The 13th Annual Aviation Conference continues its tradition of excellence in providing an opportunity for exceptional speakers to come together with attendees from all areas of the aviation industry to examine and discuss topical issues that affect our industry.

The conference will include panel discussions on developments in the areas of aviation law, government initiatives, insurance, commerce and regulation that affect all of us in Canada and internationally. Speakers at this year’s conference will canvass such issues as the Canadian …

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Federal Court of Appeal Suspends Order Requiring Compliance with Official Languages Act

On December 12, 2011, Chief Justice Blais of the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada (“FCA”) granted a suspension (a “stay”) of a rare structural injunctive order, pending an appeal commenced by Air Canada (click here for decision).

The Plaintiffs, Michel and Lynda Thibodeau, had initially logged eight complaints with the Commission of Official Languages concerning the lack of bilingual services on eight different Air Canada flights.  Due to its former Crown Corporation status, and unlike other Canadian airline carriers, Air Canada is required to comply with the Official Languages Act (the “Act”).

At trial, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that the airline failed to comply with the Act’s requirement for the provision of bilingual services on four separate occasions,

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Uncle Sam is Watching (Part 2)

In a previous post, we discussed amendments to the Aeronautics Act which allowed Canadian airlines to provide passenger information to the United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) for international flights that not only land in, but also overfly the United States.  The specifics of the information to be provided was to be set out in future regulatory amendments.  The new amendments came into effect on September 30, 2011.

Under the U.S. Secure Flight program, air carriers are required to share certain passenger information for flights travelling over continental U.S. airspace to a third country.  The information is to be provided to the DHS approximately 72 hours before departure.  In situations where the reservation was created within 72 hours of departure, the information must be submitted …

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British Columbia Aviation Council 2011 Conference and Silver Wings Banquet

Congratulations to the British Columbia Aviation Council for another successful Silver Wings Awards Banquet! 

As always, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Council’s annual industry awards and aviation student scholarships.  Industry award recipients included Pulselite Canada, the CHC Safety and Quality Summit, Central Mountain Air and the Abbotsford Airport.  The winner of the Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award was Barry Lapointe of Kelowna Flightcraft.

This year’s Ernie Alexander Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Michael Saare (pictured above) of BCIT’s Airline & Flight Operations Program. Michael recently obtained his commercial pilot licence and is interested in pursuing a career as a commercial pilot. We are thrilled to have such a deserving recipient and wish him the very best in

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Plane Crash Fraud Charges in Brazil

The AFP Global News Agency reported yesterday that federal prosecutors in Brazil have pressed charges against 20 individuals who claimed they were relatives of air crash victims.

According to prosecutors, the fraudsters faked social security documents and claimed they were relatives of deceased victims.  In reality, those victims had no heirs.  The fraudsters then illegally collected pensions, and allegedly netted $1.6 million from the scam.

Plane crash victims from the following 3 crashes were targeted by the gang:  a)  Air France Flight 447,  b) Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907, and           c)  TAM Airlines Flight 3054.…

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Fun In The Sun

After a longer than expected summer hiatus (no doubt inspired by the very late arrival of summer in Vancouver), the Alexander Holburn Aviation Law Blog is back!  Stay tuned for a post regarding a lawsuit alleging inadequate flight training.…

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Qantas Settles With Rolls-Royce

In a recent post, we noted that Qantas Airways had filed a preliminary action in the Australian federal court.  The lawsuit arose from the failure of a Rolls-Royce engine on November 4, 2010,  which led to a temporary grounding of Qantas’ entire A380 fleet.

Qantas announced today that it has reached a settlement agreement with Rolls-Royce which includes a discontinuance of the lawsuit.  While the terms of the settlement are confidential, the profit and loss impact of the settlement will reportedly be recognized in Qantas’ financial reports as A$95 million.

Last month, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released an interim factual report (link) stating that the failure was caused by a manufacturing defect in an oil feed pipe.  The ATSB’s investigation is ongoing …

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Disability Does Not Affect Two Year Limitation Period

In a recent decision, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the two year limitation period to commence an action in Article 29 of the Warsaw Convention was not suspended because of a Plaintiff’s disability.

Ms. Marwa Sakka flew with Air France on May 23, 2003, from Toronto, Ontario to Paris, France.  To board the flight, she was assisted by Air France personnel as she was seated in a wheelchair and required assistance to access her seat on the airplane.  Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport in France, the Plaintiff claimed that Air France personnel failed to assist despite numerous requests by her mother.


Because of Air France’s failure to assist, Ms. Sakka’s mother claimed that …

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