Dramatic evidence is being presented to an Environmental Review Tribunal, tasked with reconsidering the approval of eight mega wind turbines near the Collingwood airport.
Doug McKechnie is a former Air Canada pilot with 40-years of experience – and on Tuesday (May 31st) he said the proposed 500-foot structures would be in the “worst possible position” and pose a “substantial, unacceptable risk.”
He tells Bayshore Broadcasting News that it’s a “near certainty” that an accident will occur, since small aircraft pilots rely on Visual Flight Rules.
McKechnie says the inexperience of many occasional pilots, changing weather conditions and wind patterns caused by the turbines also contributes to the risk.
The Tribunal also heard from two American experts in aviation risk analysis, hired by the town of Collingwod and Simoce County.
Doctor Adam Dershowitz and Doctor Dennis Moore, senior officers at California-based Exponent Incorporated, told the Tribunal that swirling wind vortices created by the turbine blades are too risky to the safety of pilots and passengers using the airport, especially when confronted by relatively inexperienced pilots of small planes in adverse weather and visibility conditions.
They also said six of the eight huge wind turbines would not meet the rigorous safety regulations of the US Federal Aviation Authority.
This scientific assessment is consistent with cautionary testimony provided earlier Tuesday by David Gascoine, the President of Genesis Flight Centre.
The two American specialists went on to say that the technical advice provided to the Tribunal by Doctor Raymond Cox on behalf of wpd Canada was flawed.
In their professional opinions, neither Doctor Cox or any other aviation expert could conduct a proper quantitative risk analysis of the contentious project because of lack of radar tracking and reliable dynamic weather information.
They characterized the approach taken by Doctor Cox as more of a “legal analysis” than a risk analysis.
Using information drawn from a number of American and European aviation accidents caused by wake turbulence of jets in close proximity , they observed that a solid qualitative analysis of the risks associated with Clearview turbine turbulence would likely establish that these risks are much closer in size to those created in such jet accidents and much higher than indicated by Doctor Cox.
On Monday, independent aviation consultant Charles Cormier testified that WPD Canada’s plan for eight turbines is far too close to the Collingwood Regional Airport.
Cormier is expected to present again on Wednesday with the Clearview Aerodrome.
The tribunal will release its decision in August.
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