||Final Week's Topic
||Aviation in Canada Blog
News & Background
One reader wrote to me a while back and mentioned to me the possibility
of writing a "blog". I had no idea what it meant, even after he kindly took
the time to explain. Well, a blog exists now. I'm trying it out to see how
well it works. It was established on December 26, 2004, and I intend to write
smaller items in a similar vein to the nature of the topics posted here. I
believe I have set it up to allow readers to post comments, so feel free to
browse, ask questions or whatever. The address is avcan.blogspot.com.
Thanks for checking it out!
I've finally compiled all the topics, in their reformatted state as seen
on the site today, and made them available for download as a file. All the
topics written here are now included in a single ZIP file, in their original
HTML format. Simply unzipping this file, using the folder names included
in a subdirectory you can create when you unzip them, allows you to leaf
through the pages as if navigating this site. It is available from the Archives page, or by clicking here. About 3 MB.
After 18 months of researching, collecting requests, and writing, I feel
that I have provided much of the basic information needed to fly in many
types of airspace in many situations. This is not an all-encompassing collection
of materials, by any stretch. There is much more to aviation than
presented here. There are rules for other countries, and even still, rules
within Canada will change over time. It is important to safe flight in the
real world that current regulations and procedures be sought in advance
of the flight. To all the readers who have supported me either by e-mails
of praise or thanks, or by making suggestions, I wish to send you a heart
felt "thank you" for making me feel like this has all been worth it. It has
been a pleasure writing for you.
Please note that much of this is real-world information from Canada being provided primarily in support of online flying activities within VatSim. The information is meant to be complete and accurate, but it is always best to consult current documents, such as the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) and the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP Canada) to be sure you're getting it right for the real world.
(If you've read this already, click here to skip to the first topic.)
Allow me introduce myself. My name is Michael Oxner, I'm in my thirties and I currently live in Moncton, NB, Canada. I have been interested in aviation since 1985, while still in school. This interest carried me forward to get my private pilot license in 1988. While I didn't push on any further with other ratings, my interest in aviation didn't wane from there. Plane spotting, at and away from airports armed with cameras and scanners (yes, plural on both items), was a hobby and an excellent way to spend a lazy afternoon when nothing else was going on, whatever the season.
After high school, I applied and was eventually accepted for training with Transport Canada for Air Traffic Control. Successfully graduating the training in the facility in Cornwall, Ontario, in 1991, I returned home to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I was assigned to the Tower at Halifax International Airport (CYHZ). Known on the eastern seaboard as the "beehive", Halifax is an airport open to IFR and VFR training as well as a fair amount of scheduled traffic. A normal day at the office was one where every runway was used to its fullest, including Simultaneous Intersecting Runway Operations, AKA Land And Hold Short Operations, with helicopter operations regularly using our main taxiway. We mixed Cherokees and Cessnas with our Dash 8's and B767's all the time. We were #8 out of the airports across Canada in terms of movements at that time, though I don't know where Halifax sits now. I spent nearly two years learning the ropes and gaining experience with a fantastic group of controllers with an awesome work ethic before being sent to Moncton Center for IFR training.
I am currently working at the Moncton Area Control Center in the low-level specialty, where I've been for over ten years. This work includes a little of everything. We work the traffic into and out of the region's airports, both in terminal and non-radar environments. Since our group's airspace reaches up to FL280, we work a lot of strictly en-route traffic as well. A very good work ethic is held amongst our group here, too, as well as the other specialties, Halifax Terminal and our high-level brethren.
I've been running with VatSim's community for about three years as of the date at the top of this page. Late in 2001 I received the battlefield promotion to FIR Chief for Moncton and Gander, which includes the airspace over the western portion of the North Atlantic delegated to Gander by ICAO in the real world.
I still can't answer the question put to me many times, "If you work ATC in real life, why would you want to work ATC in your spare time?", or the logical further question, "If you work Moncton ACC in real life, why do you work Moncton when you're online?". I really don't know. I do like my job, though, and the interaction is great. I like to teach and help when I can, and I guess that's what sparked my interest in doing this "Topic of the Week" thing.
I feel that the experiences brought to me with the jobs and interests
put me in a position to add to the knowledge of the enthusiasts in the VatSim
community, and perhaps even help out a little to those offline who might
come across this, too. I have at least some access to several publications
from work, including several ICAO documents, and of course the AIP that
goes with any Canadian pilot license is right next to me as well. Some
of this information has one man's interpretation, and therefore, mistakes
can be made, so I'm open to debate. I encourage discussion, since we often
learn when we see differing points of view. Please, no flames, just sensible,
level-headed discussions. My e-mail address appears in several places,
and each page in this group has a link to me at the top.
Even though I'm not actively producing topics, I am still interested in further discussion. I regularly monitor a forum created for VatCan, the Canadian division of VatSim. The address for the forum is http://bathursted.ccnb.nb.ca/vatcan/forum/index.php. Look for the "Questions and Answers from real life controllers" forum. Feel free to post any aviation related question in there, and if I don't know the answer, perhaps someone else will.
The goal of these weekly topics was to enrich the Flight Simulation experience by sharing information. I believe I have shared a lot of information, some primary usage and some background information. In either case, I learned a few things while writing these, and received a tremendous amount of support for the ramblings I posted here. It has been an honor and a pleasure to write these. Thanks for everything!