Helicopters Magazine

Features Procedures Safety & Training
Letter to the editor

Jan. 22, 2009 - Just finished reading your Dec 2008 issue and wish to congratulate you on a fine product. I knew Fred Jones when he and I were both with TC and know he is a fine man for the job.


January 22, 2009
By Jock Williams

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Re: Ken Armstrong Column, Oct/Nov/Dec 08 Helicopters: Transport Canada – friend or foe?

Just finished reading your Dec 2008 issue and wish to congratulate you on a fine product. I knew Fred Jones when he and I were both with TC and know he is a fine man for the job.
 
Ken Armstrong's article on TC really hits the nail on the head. Post military I was a TC inspector for 13 years -primarily as a training pilot -a wonderful job but later as "Superintendent of Licensing" and "Superintendent of Airline Operations" in the Toronto office -a death sentence in each case. The potential to do good for the industry was there -but permission wasn't!
 
 I am now back flying a Citation Excel -where I belong – but was lucky enough to do 1200 hrs Kiowa with the Reserve and so am at least a "pretend" helicopter guy – and proud of it. Your magazine represents us rotorheads very well indeed!
 
I often disagree with Ken Armstrong – but in this case his critique of TC – its motivations, actions, disregard for reality, and bullheadedness is right on the mark. They have become "the enemy" to many of us in civil aviation – be it fixed or rotary wing – despite having a large number of highly competent and qualified inspectors and a wonderful support staff who are earnestly trying to do the right thing.
 
TC is plugged at the top with a number of senior administrators who have little or no civil aviation experience, but who have specialized in taking care of one another and climbing the career ladder sans qualification other than the ability to succeed in job "competitions."  It is a sad truth that these individuals run the system whilst the good ones labour ineffectually trying to "pick up after them."
 
Sadly I do not know what can be done to make TC the "service" organization it can and should be. Ken is absolutely right in saying that the goal of serving to foster the development of civil aviation was dropped consciously as a role in 2000 or earlier – and SMS is a game of smoke and mirrors calculated to look and sound good without achieving any concrete results whatsoever!
 
Never forget the "good guys"(and ladies) at the worker level in TC – and never forgive the others. We all know who they are – but until the politicians come to recognize them for what they are -we are in serious trouble.
 
Best regards,
 
Jock Williams


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