Aviation Safety Letter 2/2004

To the Letter - Class D Airspace at Bagotville, Quebec

Dear Editor,

Just over two years ago, Bagotville air traffic control (ATC) established a class D controlled airspace for all VFR aircraft flying above 1 200 ft AGL within 30 mi. of the Bagotville Airport. Several incidents have occurred lately, mainly due to the lack of awareness of this airspace. Several pilots have simply not communicated with ATC, and created dangerous situations for other pilots. Unfortunately, this controlled airspace does not yet appear on the VNC map for the region of Chicoutimi. However, it is indicated in the Canada Flight Supplement. I encourage all pilots in the region, and those who are passing through, to familiarize themselves with this zone in order to ensure the safety of all.

Capt F. Chouinard
Air Traffic Control
Bagotville, Quebec

The Flight Safety Officer (FSO) at Canadian Forces Base Comox also contacted me, with reference to some incursions into active military airspace by civilian aircraft in recent months. Here are some examples of conflicts they encountered. While operating VFR-on-Top in CYR107, a military aircraft came within 1/2 mile of a civilian DHC-2 Beaver at the same altitude, necessitating an evasive action. The Beaver left the area, and the military aircraft continued its mission. In another case, during a crew training flight in CYR106, a civilian aircraft was observed to operate at 9 900 ft without authorization. This was also a DHC-2 Beaver, owned by local commercial operator. The military crew contacted the civilian aircraft and arranged mutual separation. The civilian pilot reported that he was conducting a bird survey and had a filed company flight note but not a flight plan. The pilot was aware of the air defense identification zone (ADIZ) requirements but appeared unaware of the CYR106 procedures. The FSO wants to stress the dangers of unauthorized incursions into active military airspace and military control zones. He points out that GPH 204, the military Flight Planning and Procedures Document lists 10 restricted areas for British Columbia, as well as four military advisory areas. This information is documented as well on various flight charts but it is not (surprisingly) contained in the CFS. He stressed not only the need to educate pilots who stray into military airspace, but also their supervisors, instructors and dispatchers. Since military aircraft are often involved in high-speed maneuvers, dropping or firing objects, this is not where a civilian pilot wants to wander around. An in-depth pre-flight of the route to be flown is the key to avoid military areas. - Ed.

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