About Howard

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So far Howard has created 93 blog entries.

Help From Above

Tune into the TV news in Vancouver, and one might see a story about a hapless hiker who’s lost in the local mountains, or a senseless snowboarder who rode out-of-bounds into a ravine. Invariably, to get the story, the reporter interviews one of the back-country rescue specialists at North Shore Rescue (NSR), with a bright yellow helicopter belonging to Vancouver-based Talon Helicopters hovering in the background. If the rescue is successful, the video might show people dangling on a long-line below Talon’s TwinStar helicopter as they drop gently into a parking lot. Sometimes, though, the rescue becomes a recovery mission. And in the 20-year relationship between NSR and Talon, rescue specialists and pilots have seen their share of both.

2017-03-15T07:27:43+00:00 March 15th, 2017|

The Shape Of Things To Come

Imagine that your ink-jet printer has gone wonky. It’s sitting on your desk, running its print head back and forth for hours, continually printing one word. Once the unruly piece of technology is under control, you manage to pull out the paper. You can see, and feel, that the word “ROTOR” has been built up from the paper’s surface. If you scrape it off, the word will sit on your desk, like a paperweight. That’s the essence of 3D printing.

2017-02-13T17:22:02+00:00 February 13th, 2017|

Air Canada Unveils New Livery and Uniforms

In simultaneous events in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, earlier today Air Canada revealed its new livery and branding, in an event described as “the future of Canada’s flag carrier.” Air Canada also introduced new uniforms, menu items, and wine choices at the events. The new livery was designed in conjunction with branding agency Winkreative and features a white upper fuselage, black tail and underbody, black engine nacelles, and a striking black “mask” surrounding the cockpit windows. Air Canada’s iconic red maple leaf rondelle returns to the livery after a 24-year absence: on the tail, on the inner part of the nacelles, and on the belly (visible when a plane flies overhead).

2017-02-21T11:00:27+00:00 February 9th, 2017|

Runway-Inspired Fashion Takes Off with Very Plane Clothes

How does a successful aviation photographer make the leap from snapping aircraft shots for major airlines to launching a collection of aviation-themed clothing? If you’re Laird Kay, it’s about style. Kay began, like many other AvGeek plane spotters, taking photos of aircraft at his nearest major airport, Toronto-Pearson International (YYZ). “People on social media were looking at my photos and saying ‘that would make a great t-shirt – I would love that,’” says Kay.

2017-02-12T14:11:04+00:00 January 25th, 2017|

Charting Out the North Pole

The iconic Jeppesen approach charts are filled with the information pilots need to complete a safe approach and landing. The format of the charts has also inspired a series of more than 80 commemorative maps recognizing Jeppesen employees, and honoring pilots such as Jimmy Buffet and Harrison Ford, and events such as Apollo 13 and the Miracle on the Hudson. In 2013, Jeppesen added Santa Claus to the list of honorees with the release of its North Pole Village chart.

2016-12-10T16:13:32+00:00 December 2nd, 2016|

Battle of the Beams

SmartSky’s patented 4G technology uses ground-based, phased-array antennas that follow each aircraft with a narrow, electronically steerable beam. With two blade antennas mounted on the bottom of the fuselage, receive equipment, and Wi-Fi in the cabin, the on-board Internet experience will rival what passengers have at home.

2016-12-10T16:18:18+00:00 December 2nd, 2016|

Tape’s Rolling! Sony Resumes Production of Hi8 Cassettes

Sony recently resumed production of professional-grade Hi8 tape cassettes, giving support to a format that’s still in use by airlines worldwide in early-generation in-flight entertainment systems. Introduced in 1989, Sony’s Hi8 tape format was one of the final iterations in the evolution of analog videotape formats that began 60 years ago with massive, two-inch wide, reel-to-reel broadcast videotapes.

2016-12-10T17:12:00+00:00 November 15th, 2016|

No Roads? No Problem!

Suzanne was in desperate need of a follow-up MRI. Last time, she’d had to endure multiple flights and an all-day trip from her Nunavut village to Montreal for her scan. But today, she and her neighbours watched in awe as a massive, brilliant white hybrid airship slowly approached her village’s frozen harbour. The airship touched down gently on its air-cushion landing gear, stopping right by the shore. This afternoon, the medical professionals in the airship’s fully-equipped imaging clinic would welcome Suzanne for her MRI appointment, steps from her home. And no, this isn’t science fiction.

2016-12-10T16:19:50+00:00 November 9th, 2016|

Remotely Powered

As the helicopter industry continues to adapt to the challenges faced in the oil-and-gas sector, two long-established operators have added unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) services to their portfolios. And rather than starting from the ground up, the Bristow Group and Era Helicopters have partnered with experienced unmanned aircraft system (UAS) companies.

2016-12-10T16:21:16+00:00 November 7th, 2016|

High Flyer Interview: Craig Richmond, CEO, YVR

Craig Richmond is the President & Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR). Craig carved out 15 minutes to speak with Airways about the successes and challenges facing Canada’s Asia-Pacific gateway airport. He has had a long career in airport management worldwide, and re-joined multi-year SkyTrax award-winning YVR in 2013.

2016-12-10T16:21:44+00:00 November 2nd, 2016|