Well, the New Year has arrived and we’re still here! Put that in your ear! The last two years have not been conducive to any flying operation, but we have managed to hold on and even expand. Smith’s Falls is picking up and OAS remains stable. 2002 saw the closing of Aviation 550 at Gatineau Airport along with numerous flight schools across Canada. It is our goal in 2003 to improve the service at OAS and ensure that we stabilise further to enable continued growth in the coming years.

Thank you to all of our loyal students and customers who have made this company so successful in an industry that is not always friendly to itself. Hope to see you in friendly blue skies soon!





Firsts and Other Wonderful Achievements in


1st Solo

Roger Bureau

Bruce Haydon

Peter Leduc

Tsukasa Matsudaira


Brian Creber


J.P. Nicolotti

Class 4 Instructor

Kelly McIlwaine

OAS would like to congratulate all of these pilots!


Pilot Stories

This month’s feature article is from Ercoupe pilot Trevor Lyons, recognisable at the North Field by his snappy little yellow plane and leather flying goggles.       Read on!

Aviating Antiques

Next time you snuggle down in the cockpit of a Katana, adjust the pedals, close out the world as you latch the canopy in a state-of-the-art low wing 'plane, consider what it might have been like to fly the 1930's equivalent of a modern aeroplane.

Back then the wind tunnel at Langley was a novelty. Fred Weick, an engineer in the employ of NACA (the forerunner of NASA) was permitted to use it to develop his ideas for a safe modern aeroplane. An aeroplane that was spin resistant as well as ground loop resistant. What he developed became the Ercoupe which is certified as "characteristically incapable of spinning". This 'plane, the first production light civil aircraft with tricycle undercarriage, demonstrated exceptional cross wind capability and was the forerunner of today’s aircraft. Just imagine a 747 with a tail wheel!

The Ercoupe, like the Katana and the Grob, has a bubble canopy, but with the Ercoupe the windshield and back windows are fixed and the side windows slide down into the fuselage to permit cockpit egress on either side. Unlike it's modern counterparts, however, the 'plane can be flown with the cockpit open. The canopy can also be opened or closed in flight - just like the good old Spitfire.

Although the Ercoupe has a silencer on the exhaust system, the cockpit is still a very noisy office, particularly in the winter as the sounds are magnified by the side windows. All this din is partly due to the loose nature of the cockpit seals as well as the minimal nature of the rubber block engine mounts, so there is a lot of vibration, too.

When you fly this aeroplane you have to become a part of it, you could say that you 'put it on' like a favourite sweater. Becoming one with the aeroplane puts the romance back into flight although, at times, it may not be as refined as a newer steed.

From the Desk of the President


During my time in the Air Force I attended a leadership course. One of the Instructors, an ex-US Navy Vice-Admiral told a story supposedly true story that as Pearl Harbour was being attacked, a supply officer tried to refuse to issue ammunition for the new 1” anti-aircraft guns because they didn’t have the correct requisition forms! I don’t know if this story was true or not, but it did make the point made by Group Captain Douglas Bader that “rules are for the blind obedience of fools and the guidance of wise people”.

What does this have to do with flying? Well, let’s look at incidents in which blind conformation to rules led to disaster in one example and comic relief in the other. Case 1: a light twin overshot at MPA when the pilot knew the fuel situation was desperate. (How the pilot got into this fix is another story). As a result the aircraft flamed out and crashed into a city street. Had the pilot stayed with the approach he would have been visual at MDA minus 50’.  Another aircraft that had just departed the same runway reported this to him. Am I suggesting we bust limits as a policy? Absolutely not, but in this case one has to question the slavish adherence to limits, given the firm PIREPS from other aircraft. Case 2: We were scheduled to depart Halifax one morning when there was not a cloud in the sky. The RVR machine however, was giving RVR 400’ which was the minimum it could report. It was obviously U/S but one pilot chose to sit at the end of the runway as it was “below limits”.  We departed all stops to the

‘Rock’ and back there was this aircraft still parked at the end of the runway! This particular pilot continued to wreak havoc with the schedule until they powers that be stuck him behind a desk where he could blindly quote rules ‘til his hearts content! Why have I chosen to rant about rules? Well it seems that the proliferation of civil servants in this country & knee-jerk reaction to Sept. 11th, we in GA may well get buried in a plethora of rules if we don’t make our voices heard!  (Con’t next column)

With a thick aerofoil, a wide chord and only a thirty foot wing span, the Ercoupe takes it's time reaching     altitude, although lightly laden it can still show 750 feet a minute, or better, in the climb on a standard day. On a hot day, however, and with a full load, this climb stops at about two thousand feet! Dump your passenger to double your altitude! In reality, the Ercoupe makes a nice big single seater.

With a ninety-knot cruise and a fuel burn of thirty pounds an hour, eighty litres of fuel will carry the pilot further than the average human tolerance for vibration, noise and fresh air.

Virginia in the nineteen thirties was warmer than Ottawa. It still is and the design of the Ercoupe reflects the Virginians need for ventilation. That is why I wear a snowmobile suit for winter flying. Summer or winter, flying the Ercoupe is a cool experience.

Forgiving and fun - is there a better combination for aviating adventure?

By Trevor Lyons

The solution? Join COPA, get active in aviation issues or we may well finish up like other countries in which the bureaucracy has destroyed GA and should you fall afoul of any of the vast amounts of regulations, a COPA membership will get you the best guidance as to how to handle it!

That’s All for Now!        LARY


Operations Manager Teri Loretto would like to invite you to an upcoming play she is appearing in. Teri is performing in Third Wall Theatre’s production of T. S. Elliot’s Murder in the Cathedral at the Christ Church Cathedral (Bronson at Sparks) January 21st to 25th

This play is a theatrical interpretation of the assassination of Thomas Beckett in the Canterbury Cathedral in the 1100’s. You can get your tickets at the Arts Court box office at (613) 564-7240. Dinner packages available for a full night out!

Multi-Engine Training at OAS

In co-operation with West Capital Aviation, OAS will be offering Multi and Multi-IFR rating at Ottawa international. The aircraft has a Garmin 430 GPS coupled with STEC autopilot and Stormscope and is an excellent training package for those wishing to acquire these ratings.


By the Hour $295/hr +gst

8-hr basic $285/hr +gst

12–hr pack $275/hr + gst

25-hr hour-builder $265/hr+gst

50-hr hour-builder $265/hr + gst.  See Dispatch for details!

Thanks for reading this month, until the next keep the blue side up!