Wednesday Night #856

Written by  //  July 29, 1998  //  Reports, Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

Our special guest was J. Robin Wohnsigl, VP Technical Operations of Air Canada since August 97, introduced by Emile Fattal.
Born and educated in New York, he is a mechanical engineer,and was commissioned Second Lieutenant, US Air Force in 1964; h then earned an MSc in aerospace engineering. He has taught at the USAF Academy, served in Thailand and UK, and later was responsible for developing and executing the total support program for the F-1117 Stealth Fighter. (No jokes about Air Canada not being visible!)
Before joining Air Canada, Robin was with Control Data, heading up a Program Management Division.
Thus, most of the discussion focused on Aviation, a subject close to the heart of the House and also of two welcome new participants, J. Robin Wohnsigl, VP Technical Operations of Air Canada and Carroll McCormick, a freelance writer on business and technical subjects, particularly air traffic control.

Setting the stage was a most complete and amusing video of aviation from the Tiger Moth to the 747 from the P51 to Stealth Bomber showing most of the aircraft captained by our guest Robin Wobnsigl in the USAF and/or our host and chair David Nicholson in the RCAF and TCA. [these videos, shown on Wednesday nights, are compiled for the evening from the over 5000 hours of tapes collected over the last ten years, on almost any subject, and copies can be made for use in schools, etc.] In this video we saw “The joy of flying with an Airline makes one want to buy an aircraft.”

Time sharing, fuels, jet sales, Bombardier, Buffett
The heady growth of “time-sharing” programs that allow companies and wealthy individuals to buy only part of a private jet is helping to fuel a boom in business aircraft sales, pitting Bombardier Inc. against U.S. tycoon Warren Buffett.

The Stealth Bomber
Unclassified information relating to the Stealth Bomber reveals that the aircraft derives its stealthiness from its material as opposed to its shape. For this reason any water or condensation on its exterior renders it visible to radar. The stealth fighter on the other hand, is invisible to radar by virtue of its shape and its stealthiness is hence unaffected by water.

Mirabel airport
Mirabel was built following a geometric projection of air traffic growth which never materialized. The oil crisis of the early 70’s also contributed to a decline in international air traffic as costs rose to airlines and therefore to passengers. Frequencies diminished just as Mirabel came on-stream. Mirabel was also built at a time when new airports were being located far from city centers (i.e. Narita, Sao Paulo, Dallas-Fort Worth). This was in line with the need to lower noise levels in dormitory areas, although the greatest noise was generated by the older generation aircraft, not the new jumbos which were being introduced. Remote airports also allow for 24-hour operation which is particularly advantageous for all-cargo (freighter) aircraft. Today, however, close to 80% of cargo travels in bellies and on combi aircraft.
Unfortunately, neither the planned phasing in of connecting flights at Mirabel nor the high speed link with Dorval ever took place and Mirabel remained an unfulfilled promise as a total airport. Even if the high speed link had materialized, it is unlikely that it would have been popular with travellers who would have been forced to transfer from plane to bus or train and back to plane. It was almost inevitable that scheduled traffic be consolidated at one airport. The question is, is Dorval the right airport?

Open Skies
Montréal and Toronto are superb hubs for the Great Circle routes to the east, and Air Canada is eager to exploit this geographic advantage. Although thanks to the open skies policies, Montréal is poised to benefit from this advantage, it does not unfortunately, have sufficient originating and destination traffic unless it can feed in U.S. connecting passengers who require a full range of European destinations. “Open Skies” hasn’t happened yet.
The Canadian government, in an effort to maintain the viability of both major Canadian carriers, has erected legislative barriers to achieving this. There appears to be a worry that Air Canada will swallow Canadian, but this would be detrimental to service. Despite the frequency of mega-mergers and strategic alliances in the air transportation industry, Canada should maintain two carriers in the interest of maintaining healthy competition.

Notes: Ron Meisels:-8/4/98 “Air Canada was a great short at $12.25, target $8-9. Nothing wrong with the Co., just an abundance of sellers of the stock.”
Friday 24 July 1998 Drawn by Montreal’s high-quality, multi-lingual work force, Air France announced yesterday it will set up a new call centre in the city to field its North American calls. 70 new jobs.

Reported Problems with the Boeing 737:
We know that the plane stalled and spun, but as yet we cannot say with any certainty that this was the result of a faulty rudder. The search for the cause continues.

ATS and the Vienna Air Traffic Control Tower simulator:
ATS is a St-Bruno company that produces air traffic control simulators that provides a three hundred and sixty degree replication of conditions in an actual control tower. It can simulate up to 120 aircraft movements per hour, was produced for Vienna originally in 1994 and updated recently. The simulator can be used to train air traffic controllers without slowing down the operation of the tower or compromising safety. After training on the simulator, the controllers are prepared to work with a minimum of additional supervision, saving time while improving safety.
Unfortunately ATS is currently in debt under bankruptcy protection and has until August to present a restructuring plan. The calibre of their employees is so high that it is unlikely that many will still be without alternative employment even if such a plan is successfully presented on schedule. One of the major problems with the company is the need to tailor each simulator to meet the needs of the individual customer. Very little if anything can be reused in another application.
See also: Training Air Traffic Controllers In Virtual Airports by our guest Carroll McCormick, M.A.Communications Independent journalist

Burma and the World Court
Should world democracies take a stand against the internal problems of a sovereign state?
The answer is a definite yes!
In the case of Burma, Canada has joined many nations in deploring the treatment of Aung San Suu Kyi. She was, after all, elected by 80% of the voters in an election whose results were over-turned by the military junta. The Government-in-exile resides in Washington. Democracy is a popular concept among the people of Burma. Canada and the U.S. have boycotts in place. It is the duty of human rights organizations such as the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development to speak out against injustices.

International Criminal Court (ICC)
As for the the International Criminal Court (ICC), the statute stipulates that if the country of residence of the accused criminal tries him/her, the international court has no jurisdiction (and no reason to intervene). For example, the U.S. authorities tried the individuals accused of conducting the massacre at Mai Lai. There would, therefore be no cause for the ICC to claim jurisdiction. The ICC is established to prosecute criminals whose own countries (or the country in which the crime was committed) will not, or cannot try them fairly. The current paradoxical situation wherein the United States, in the company of several anti-democratic nations, has opposed the establishment of the ICC can be explained by the quite natural opposition of the Pentagon and by the probably ill-informed if not politically motivated Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms. In time, the opinion of more numerous, more moderate Americans should prevail.
Meanwhile, for a sample of the vitriol emanating from the American opponents of ICC, see: America’s Survival, Inc. home page, where you learn the shocking truth about the United Nations and its International Criminal Court (ICC).
EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT IN JEOPARDY Rome, July 14, 1998 by Warren Allmand

The Proposed Ban on Advertising in Split Runs of U.S. Magazines
The truly schizophrenic nature of Canadians became very evident on this point of debate:
* We must come to grips with the fact that we are another Denmark or Norway, not a mega-market.
* A big problem in this country is that we can’t tell each other about ourselves and we can’t find the venue in which to do it. If we want to keep this country together, we have to talk about it and write about it for other Canadians, coast-to-coast. [but in a way that is interesting to the WORLD. DTN]
* People buy Time because they want to read American editorial comment.
* It should be noted that Time and Reader’s Digest have been excluded from the new policy.
* New York City accounts for a quarter of the advertising billing in the world. Canadians have to face this reality.
* This kind of nationalism is the nationalism of the 60’s or 70’s. In the era of globalization, it no longer flies. We need limited objectives and to do the things that we do well.
* The borders of the world are lifting and will soon disappear.
* Canadians are their own worst critics.
* We have a pretty good quality of life in this country and we are very civilized about major changes. There has been very little blood shed over the cultural revolution.
* Rather than complain about the policy announced by Minister Copps, let us work towards the solution that makes sense for all parties – strategic alliances between U.S. and Canadian magazine publishers.

The true nature of Canadians, native and naturalized, was evident when the evening ended. We all remained on good terms, chatted and slowly parted, still friends.

Wednesday Night #856 Most of Wednesday evening July 29, 1998 was taken up with Aviation, a subject close to the heart of the House and also of two welcome new participants, J. Robin Wohnsigl, VP Technical Operations of Air Canada and Carroll McCormick, a freelance writer on business and technical subjects, particularly air traffic control.

J. Robin Wohnsigl DTN photo

J. Robin Wohnsigl

The evening began with a most complete and amusing video of aviation from the Tigger Moth to the 747 from the P51 to Stealth Bomber showing most of the aircraft captained by our guest Robin Wobnsigl in the USAF and/or our Host and chair David Nicholson in the RCAF and TCA. [these videos, shown on Wednesday nights, are compiled for the evening from the over 5000 hours of tapes collected over the last ten years, on almost any subject, and copies can be made for use in schools etc.] In this video we saw “The joy of flying in an Airline makes one want to buy an aircraft.” Time sharing fuels jet sales Bombardier, Buffett players in market where firms, the wealthy buy part of private plane.

The heady growth of “time-sharing” programs that allow companies and wealthy individuals to buy only part of a private jet is helping fuel a boom in business aircraft sales, pitting Bombardier Inc. against U.S. tycoon Warren Buffett.
The Stealth Bomber
An interesting discussion took place on unclassified information relating to the Stealth Bomber. This aircraft derives its stealthiness from its material as opposed to its shape. For this reason any water or condensation on its exterior renders it visible to radar. The stealth fighter on the other hand, is invisible to radar by virtue of its shape and its stealthiness is hence unaffected by water.
Mirabel
Mirabel was built following a geometric projection of air traffic growth which never materialized. The oil crisis of the early 70’s also contributed to a decline in international air traffic as costs rose to airlines and therefore to passengers. Frequencies diminished just as Mirabel came on-stream. Mirabel was also built at a time when new airports were being located far from city centres (i.e. Narita, Sao Paulo, Dallas-Fort Worth). This was in line with the need to lower noise levels in dormitory areas, although the greatest noise was generated by the older generation aircraft, not the new jumbos which were being introduced. Remote airports also allow for 24-hour operation which is particularly advantageous for all-cargo (freighter) aircraft. Today, however, close to 80% of cargo travels in bellies and on combi aircraft.

Unfortunately, neither the planned phasing in of connecting flights at Mirabel nor the high speed link with Dorval ever took place and Mirabel remained an unfulfilled promise as a total airport. Even if the high speed link had materialized, it is unlikely that it would have been popular with travellers who would have been forced to transfer from plane to bus or train and back to plane. It was almost inevitable that scheduled traffic be consolidated at one airport. The question is, is Dorval the right airport?

Montréal and Toronto are superb hubs for the Great Circle routes to the east, and Air Canada is eager to exploit this geographic advantage. Although thanks to the open skies policies, Montréal is poised to benefit from this advantage, it does not unfortunately, have sufficient originating and destination traffic unless it can feed in U.S. connecting passengers who require a full range of European destinations. “Open Skies” hasn’t happened yet.

The Canadian government, in an effort to maintain the viability of both major Canadian carriers, has erected legislative barriers to achieving this. There appears to be a worry that Air Canada will swallow Canadian, but this would be detrimental to service. Despite the frequency of mega-mergers and strategic alliances in the air transportation industry, Canada should maintain two carriers in the interest of maintaining healthy competition.
Reported Problems with the Boeing 737:
We know that the plane stalled and spun, but as yet we cannot say with any certainty that this was the result of a faulty rudder. The search for the cause continues.
ATS and the Vienna Air Traffic Control Tower simulator:
ATS is a St-Bruno company that produces air traffic control simulators that provides a three hundred and sixty degree replication of conditions in an actual control tower. It can simulate up to 120 aircraft movements per hour, was produced for Vienna originally in 1994 and updated recently. The simulator can be used to train air traffic controllers without slowing down the operation of the tower or compromising safety. After training on the simulator, the controllers are prepared to work with a minimum of additional supervision, saving time while improving safety.

Unfortunately ATS is currently in debt under bankruptcy protection and has until August to present a restructuring plan. The calibre of their employees is so high that it is unlikely that many will still be without alternative employment even if such a plan is successfully presented on schedule. One of the major problems with the company is the need to tailor each simulator to meet the needs of the individual customer. Very little if anything can be reused in another application.

Training Air Traffic Controllers In Virtual Airports by our guest Carroll McCormick, M.A.Communications Independent journalist
Burma and the World Court.
Should world democracies take a stand against the internal problems of a sovereign state?

The answer is a definite yes!
In the case of Burma, Canada has joined many nations in deploring the treatment of Aung San Suu Kyi. She was, after all, elected by 80% of the voters in an election whose results were over-turned by the military junta. The Government-in-exile resides in Washington. Democracy is a popular concept among the people of Burma. Canada and the U.S. have boycotts in place. It is the duty of human rights organizations such as the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development to speak out against injustices. Do see Warren Allmand ( on Myanmar ) Burma problem.

Warren Allmand Pres. Int. Centre for Human Rights & Democratic Development DTN photo
Warren Allmand of ICHRDD

As for the the International Criminal Court (ICC), the statute stipulates that if the country of residence of the accused criminal tries him/her, the international court has no jurisdiction (and no reason to intervene). For example, the U.S. authorities tried the individuals accused of conducting the massacre at Mai Lai. There would, therefore be no cause for the ICC to claim jurisdiction. The ICC is established to prosecute criminals whose own countries (or the country in which the crime was committed) will not, or cannot try them fairly. The current paradoxical situation wherein the United States, in the company of several anti-democratic nations, has opposed the establishment of the ICC can be explained by the quite natural opposition of the Pentagon and by the probably ill-informed if not politically motivated Senator from North Carolina, Jesse Helms. In time, the opinion of more numerous, more moderate Americans should prevail. Meanwhile, for a sample of the vitriol emanating from the American oponents of ICC, see: America’s Survival, Inc. home page, where you learn the shocking truth about the United Nations and its International Criminal Court (ICC). EFFECTIVE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT IN JEOPARDY Rome, July 14, 1998 by Warren Allmand
The Proposed Ban on Advertising in Split Runs of U.S. Magazines:
The truly schizophrenic nature of Canadians became very evident on this point of debate:

We must come to grips with the fact that we are another Denmark or Norway, not a mega-market.
A big problem in this country is that we can’t tell each other about ourselves and we can’t find the venue in which to do it. If we want to keep this country together, we have to talk about it and write about it for other Canadians, coast-to-coast. [but in a way that is interesting to the WORLD. DTN]
People buy Time because they want to read American editorial comment.
It should be noted that Time and Reader’s Digest have been excluded from the new policy.
New York City accounts for a quarter of the advertising billing in the world. Canadians have to face this reality.
This kind of nationalism is the nationalism of the 60’s or 70’s. In the era of globalization, it no longer flies. We need limited objectives and to do the things that we do well.
The borders of the world are lifting and will soon disappear.
Canadians are their own worst critics.
We have a pretty good quality of life in this country and we are very civilized about major changes. There has been very little blood shed over the cultural revolution.
Rather than complain about the policy announced by Minister Copps, let us work towards the solution that makes sense for all parties – strategic alliances between U.S. and Canadian magazine publishers.

The true nature of Canadians, native and naturalized, was evident when the evening ended. We all remained on good terms, chatted and slowly parted, still friends.

Herbert Bercovitz Diana Thébaud Nicholson Editor

We pay tribute to our devoted scribes whose meticulous notes enable us to publish summaries of Wednesday events. Herb Bercovitz, Michael Judson, who are an indispensable part of the organization and we thank them!

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