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Carry-On Baggage Requirements

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After reviewing an oversight report of Helicopter Operations at CYMO in April 2009, I e-mailed Technical Team Lead Bill Turcotte and cc'd Inspectors Jamie Bionda, Richard Pearce, Terry Long, Lisa Whitton, Janice Berling, and HAC Pres. Fred Jones:


Hi Bill

Thanks. I can assure you this is the first time I have reviewed this report. I have a couple of questions, if you don’t mind.

I have been reaching out to several colleagues, operators and manufacturers throughout the industry (with regards to these recent interpretations we are receiving from TC). Some of the questions below have been asked to other independent stakeholders, while others have come up through conversations with them. It is amazing the responses I received.

Question 7) is based on a question I received from Phil Croucher when discussing the use of Ground Crew for briefings. As you are likely aware, I discussed this issue with cabin safety and even provided definitions of audio and audiovisual means from the dictionary, but I feel it is worth asking you the same questions. Phil also suggested I speak to inspector Richard Pearce about this issue, so I have cc’d him as well.


I notice in the second paragraph that you state, “Cargo such as groceries are transported for the residents of Moose Factory. Cargo is carried inside, but most cargo is carried by external longline…”. The report also states that “an in-flight was carried out on Expedition helicopters…The personnel handling the passengers embarking and disembarking did their jobs efficiently and safely…”

It seems from these statements you observed cargo being loaded into the cabin of the helicopter (in 2009), as well as Passenger and Cabin Safety procedures, yet you had no concerns with regards to Non-compliance with the CARs referenced in our recent findings.


  1. Did you observe cargo being loaded into the cabin of our helicopters?
  2. In your professional opinion, do you believe that CARs 602.86(2) allows for Cargo in the cabin with the discretion and responsibility placed on the PIC to ensure it is secure and does not block exits?
  3. Do you believe that CARs 703.39/723.39 allows for the use trained ground crew to conduct the standard briefing through the use of the wording “or by audio or audiovisual means”? (or do u believe the CARS states it must be pre-recorded?)
  4. If you do not believe the answers to 2) and 3) are yes, why were there not findings created for these non-compliances with the CARs in 2009?
  5. In your professional experience in the industry, is it common practice for cargo to be carried in the cabin of helicopters (specifically Bell 206 helicopters) and secured at the discretion of the pilot in command?
  6. Is it standard practice throughout the industry to allow small items such as cameras, purses etc. on board in the cabin?
  7. Can you tell me what the main problems identified in the old regulations were and why the regulations were completely change in the 90’s (resulting in the creation of the CARs)? I am sure you are familiar with the principles of the CARs and the issues with the old regulations. Here’s a link from TC’s website that discusses what I am talking about: http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/regserv/cars/geninfo-generalinfo-116.htm

In both cases, we believe that if inspectors and TC would apply the CARs in plain language (as they were intended to be implemented when created), the findings related to Passenger Briefings and Cargo loading in the cabin would not be valid and Jamie would have approved our simple COM amendment that was submitted in November to allow us to insert the words “or by audio or audiovisual means”.

For the legal department and cabin safety to insinuate that the intent of the regulation was for “audio or audiovisual means” to be pre-recorded is another example of TC applying their own rules that are not necessarily compliant with what the CARs state. If the intent was for audio or audiovisual means to be pre-recorded, in “plain language” it would say that. The same could be said about the interpretation they are applying to 602.86.

Of course you are also aware we recently identified a similar issue with regards to TC’s interpretation of the definitions of flight time and air time and the statements that we were forced to keep in our COM that have now been proven to be non-compliant with the CARs.

It seems to me that having the “legal department” create their own rules based on what they believe the “intent” of the regulations is contradictory to the basic principles of that lead to the creation of the CARs in the 90’s.

  1. Any Thoughts?

We will be once again submitting a CAIRS with regards to these larger systemic concerns that seem to re-occur whenever we have dealings with TC. We will also discuss these issues with our attorney and how we proceed if we have not received the approvals we are currently waiting for from TC by the time our contract commences (and our business is effected). We believe that had our COM been amended when submitted, we would be 100% compliant with the CARs through the use of Ground Crew conducting briefings. We also believe that the Amendment was denied without just cause.

I will be forwarding our COM amendment No.14 to Jamie and Janice shortly. It is not a complex COM amendment.

I have also attached another video for your viewing pleasure. Apparently even the grey cup has travelled illegally as cargo in the cabin of a helicopter. I think there may also be a few other non-compliances in this video, but I’ll leave that up to you, Cabin Safety and the legal department to discuss...




Thank You,


Chad Calaiezzi

Operations Manager


Ph#: (866)-572-5755


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Under CARs 602.86, Can a passenger carry a purse on their lap in a 702/703 helicopter flight in Canada?   Carry-on Baggage, Equipment and Cargo   602.86 (1) No person shall operate an aircraft wit

I would say they have been enforcing it at 705 level (for passenger compartment anyway). The thing is, there is actually a Carry-on Baggage regulation in the 705 CARs. No such regulation exists in 702

I also cc'd your friend Richard Pierce on many of my recent requests for clarification...I know what really goes on in our industry...this is an issue we are discussing with our legal council.

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Received from Cabin Safety Inspector Lisa Whitton March 28/13:




I have reviewed the attached script - per 723.39 and have noted the following items that are missing and/or require clarification:


723.39 (1)(a)

(i) “when,where,why and how carry-on baggage is required to be stowed;”


(iv) “the …and advisability of reading the safety features card”


723.39(2) Individual Safety Briefing


I see the infant briefing is included – do you carry passengers that may require other individual safety briefings and if so how will that be completed?





Lisa Witton


Civil Aviation Safety Inspector - Cabin Safety / Aviation Occupational Health and Safety

Inspectrice de la sécurité de l’aviation civile - Sécurité dans les cabines et Santé et sécurité au travail dans l’aviation

Civil Aviation | Aviation civile

Transport Canada | Transports Canada

5431 Flightline Drive, Mississauga, Ontario L5P 1A1 | 5431, promenade Flightline, Mississauga (Ontario) L5P 1A1


Telephone | Téléphone 905-612-6256

Facsimile | Télécopieur 905-405-3305

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Sent to Lisa Witton March 28, 2013 (cc'd Inspectors Jamie Bionda, Richard Pearce, Janice Berling, Terry Long, Bill Turcotte and HAC Pres.):


Hi Lisa,

I am still waiting for a response to an e-mail sent to Janice, March 21, 2013 with regards to carry-on baggage. You were cc’d on this e-mail. Would you care to respond to my questions?

As stated on numerous occasions, we believe that the responsibility is with the Pilot in Command to ensure where baggage is loaded in the aircraft. The video also states that all baggage will be loaded on the aircraft at the pilot’s direction. No passengers actually “Carry-on” baggage; it is given to ground crew and loaded at the PIC’s direction. We believe this to be compliant with the regulations. There is no certified compartment that is suitable in the aircraft, so baggage in the cabin may be loaded in a variety of places (with the responsibility on the PIC to ensure he complies with 602.86; it is not feasible to include all possibilities of baggage in the cabin to be compliant with 602.86.


I have highlighted the areas in 602.86 that I believe are applicable. In keeping with the principles of the CARs, and the fact they are intended to be written and applied in “plain language”, we believe there are allowances for baggage/items in the cabin under the CARs (as long as they are restrained to prevent shifting in flight creating C of G issues, the safety equipment and exits are not blocked, and all items in the cabin are “packaged and covered” to prevent injury). We believe, that by implying, otherwise, your department is not applying the rules in “plain language”, and to some extent, are creating your own rules and enforcing them. We will raise this issue in the CAIRS we will be submitting and discuss with our legal counsel how we should proceed to rectify the problem.


Carry-on Baggage, Equipment and Cargo

602.86 (1) No person shall operate an aircraft with carry-on baggage, equipment or cargo on board, unless the carry-on baggage, equipment and cargo are

(a) stowed in a bin, compartment, rack or other location that is certified in accordance with the aircraft type certificate in respect of the stowage of carry-on baggage, equipment or cargo; OR

( B) restrained so as to prevent them from shifting during movement of the aircraft on the surface and during take-off, landing and in-flight turbulence.

(2) No person shall operate an aircraft with carry-on baggage, equipment or cargo on board unless

(a) the safety equipment, the normal and emergency exits that are accessible to passengers and the aisles between the flight deck and a passenger compartment are not wholly or partially blocked by carry-on baggage, equipment or cargo;

( B) all of the equipment and cargo that are stowed in a passenger compartment are packaged or covered to avoid possible injury to persons on board;

© where the aircraft is type-certificated to carry 10 or more passengers and passengers are carried on board,

(i) no passenger's view of any "seat belt" sign, "no smoking" sign or exit sign is obscured by carry-on baggage, equipment or cargo except if an auxiliary sign is visible to the passenger or another means of notification of the passenger is available,

(ii) all of the passenger service carts and trolleys are securely restrained during movement of the aircraft on the surface, take-off and landing, and during in-flight turbulence where the pilot-in-command or in-charge flight attendant has directed that the cabin be secured pursuant to subsection 605.25(3) or (4), and

(iii) all of the video monitors that are suspended from the ceiling of the aircraft and extend into an aisle are stowed and securely restrained during take-off and landing; and

(d) all of the cargo that is stowed in a compartment to which crew members have access is stowed in such a manner as to allow a crew member to effectively reach all parts of the compartment with a hand-held fire extinguisher.


The fact that most helicopter aerial work AOC’s allow for activities such as “Aerial photography” demonstrates this fact. We believe that under Janice’s current interpretation of the regulations, it would not be compliant to even bring a camera on-board. Therefore, it is not possible to conduct aerial photography from a helicopter; if this is the case why have they issued hundreds of these AOC’s. Are we to believe that all of these AOC’s have been issued, yet not once did anyone at TC realize that you can’t have this item in the cabin? As you are likely aware, most professional photographers taking aerial photos use a very large camera.


There is no doubt that this interpretation of “no items whatsoever in the cabin” will be safer…most helicopter flights in Canada will not be able to be compliant with your current interpretation. You may have just found a way to guarantee we have no aviation safety issues… if we never get off the ground…


I don’t believe you have any idea of what most helicopter operations in Canada entail and are applying fixed wing airline methods of compliance to rotory wing operations. The versatility of the helicopter allows for a wide range of applications, and trying to enforce a one size fits all interpretation of the regulations is an impediment to safety and our business.

I can assure you that if this is the interpretation TC is currently taking, you ladies are about to become a whole lot busier. If your business is making findings, I suggest you spend a day surfing the web. I am sure you will be surprised at what the real industry standard is.


Janice (and many others) have discussed the shortage of staff issues and cut backs at TC with me on numerous occasions. It seems to be the excuse “du jour”. In this case, you should be able to make findings without leaving the office. I can tell you Expedition will be doing everything in its power to ensure we are being held to the same standard as all operators (as is our fundamental right) and will do our best to provide of any evidence that shows otherwise.

Recently, Janice advised that the reason she, and Terry Long advised me that Ground crew could be used for briefings, then had to advise otherwise; staff shortages led to a delayed response from the “legal department”. As someone who is manager at an organization who runs an SMS, I can tell you that the “overworked and understaffed” is the most commonly used excuse when procedures are not followed correctly. In some cases, follow up investigation demonstrates this to be true, but in many more, it is nothing more than excuse to deflect responsibility; this is human nature it seems. I don’t doubt that the cut backs at TC play a role, but in some cases we need to take responsibility and have open and clear discussions about these issues. That is all we are trying to do here. Can someone, please respond to my March 21, 2013 e-mail.


I will review your other concerns about the script and respond shortly.





Chad Calaiezzi

Operations Manager


Ph#: (866)-572-5755


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Received March 28, 2013 (Bill Turcotte, Jamie Bionda, Richard Pearce, Terry Long, Janice Berling and Fred Jones cc'd):


Hi Chad


How is the carry-on/cabin baggage restrained on passenger flights?


Items held on laps or loose on the floor is not considered as meeting the requirements to be stowed or restrained.




Lisa Witton


Civil Aviation Safety Inspector - Cabin Safety / Aviation Occupational Health and Safety

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Sent March 28, 2013:


From the way I read 602.86 the only requirement to restrain the baggage is so as to prevent them from shifting during movement of the aircraft on the surface and during take-off, landing and in-flight turbulence. I can assure you an item held tightly on someone’s lap will prevent shifting in all these conditions. The same is true of a purse placed on the floor, (wedged behind someone’s feet against the seat of a 206), or restrained by a seat belt. I am not sure if you are aware, but helicopters are not affected by turbulence like fixed wing aircraft. When I passed my first Flight Test to become a commercial pilot, the TC inspector rode along with a full mug of coffee (never spilled a drop I might add J)…I also believe the intent of this part of the regulation is to ensure the flight continues within the C of G limits of the aircraft. I can assure you, a purse moving 2 inches will have not affect the C of G.

This portion does not say “in the event of an emergency”; although I would suggest that would be the case as well since a person is expected to hold on to an infant of just under 2 years of age in their arms.

There is also a requirement (602.86 (2)(B) to ensure this baggage is “packaged or covered” to avoid possible injury to persons on board…not restrained…If I wrap it in bubble wrap, then I am compliant. If it is a soft purse or bag, I am compliant. As stated there could be many different ways to be compliant, all of these cannot be covered in one briefing. I believe this is why it is purposely left to the PIC’s discretion. “One size doesn’t fit all”


This is the way we feel the regulation reads in “plain language”.




Chad Calaiezzi

Operations Manager

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Sent March 28, 2013:


I suggest you visit the Sudbury or Dryden fire base this summer. WhAt you'll find is every machine on forest fires loaded with a fireboss bag on the floor in the front seat of every helicopter. They'll also likely be machines from all regions of the country.


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Sent March 28, 2013:

Hi Lisa,

I have discussed this issue with the Accountable Executive and chief pilot. We will submit an amended script shortly stating “No Carry-on baggage is permitted in the cabin of the aircraft” and he will be discussing a legal challenge of TC’s interpretation with our attorney.

I will also be sharing this discussion with as many industry stakeholders as possible and will, use any mean available to disseminate the information we have received from you by e-mail throughout the industry (since once again TC has done a poor job of this).

The purpose of this exercise will be to ensure we are being held to the same standard as all companies, as well as, to advise industry and clients of the drastic changes that they should expect to see moving forward.

We have also have significant jobs booked for the near future which will require the use of cameras and lap tops onboard the aircraft. These clients require these items to conduct compliance flights for winter logging roads, documentation of environmental compliance, documentation of the dismantling of industrial sites. The OMNR will also be flying on many of these flights (in their own aircraft) with the same equipment in the cabin. I will advise our clients that no one in the industry is capable of conducting such flights legally, unless they operate a light helicopter with Carry-on baggage compartments (which are rare) and cancel the bookings. We will discuss with our attorney how we recoup these lost revenues and watch our competitors closely to ensure they are compliant as well.

This will have a dramatic effect on those on our natural resources industries such as forestry, mining, firefighting etc.




Chad Calaiezzi

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Chad, I can't tell you how much your efforts are appreciated by others in industry. It is painful to deal with and I am impressed by your ability to take these things on in such a calm and professional manner. Many other operators would have already driven the money changers from the te


The fact is the Regulator (TC) is supposed to serve "us", their clientele, as well as the public (our clientele) but often lose sight of that. Most Operators just ignore some of these "work to rule" items and, as you point out, are in constant non-compliance or would be out of business. Until such time as TC stops trying to force generic rules on everything that uses the air as its medium of transport we will have these issues.


Great job finding that Grey Cup video... Worthy of jail time to commit such an egregious act I am sure!


Keep up the good work and don't worry about the "Chad Voodoo Doll" I am sure is hanging in TC's office!



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Received March 28, 2013, 16:25 from President of HAC,(cc'd: Nicole Girard, Director Policy & Regulatory Services TC, and Terry Long, Janice Berling, Lisa Witton, bill turcotte, Jamie Bionda, Richard Pearce)




HAC will be joining you in your opposition to this interpretation. Not only is it inconsistent with other regions, but it is inconsistent with long-standing accepted practice in the Canadian helicopter industry.


I truly hope that cooler heads will prevail in Tower C on this subject, and I am forwarding this issue to Nicole Girard, Director Policy & Regulatory Services at Transport Canada for her review, before this unusual interpretation causes any further disruption to your operations, or to others members of our the helicopter industry. I agree that the application of this policy with have implications for many other industry segments as well. I suspect that the members of ATAC, SAC, CBAA, ATAC, NATA, MAC, BCAC, and Aviation Alberta will have an interest in the interpretation being applied in Ontario, as well.


At the very least, my suggestion would be for the region to "stand-down" on the application of this new and extreme policy until a more thoughtful review of its implications can be carried out by Transport Canada. This interpretation has the potential to shut-down many helicopter operations taking place quite safely in our industry today, at considerable expense to the commercial helicopter community and its customers.


Have a good Easter Weekend.








Fred L. Jones BA LLB

President and CEO
Helicopter Association of Canada

“Bringing the Industry Together”

130 Albert Street, Suite 500

Ottawa, Ontario

K1P 5G4



(613) 231-1110 x239


(613) 884-1422


(613) 369-5097



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