Re: Radiotelephone Operator’s Restricted Certificate (Aeronautical)


I want to put to rest a Canadian aviation regulation mythology: “You must carry your radio operator’s certificate with you on board the aircraft”. This claim is heard in ground school classrooms. It’s taught in Air Cadets. It’s told to flying students by their flight instructors. I’ve told it to my students. Here are some examples of the claim in the wild:

There are a number of documents that must be on board in order to fly [...] I carry a Restricted Radio Operator Certificate, restricted to aviation. (Bits of Paper)

During flight operations in Canada, the following documents must be carried aboard the aircraft [...] Pilot radiotelephone operator’s certificate… (Required documents)

So an operating certificate is always needed wherever a Canadian pilot is operating a
radio on a Canadian aircraft [...] They have not been inspecting Canadian pilots recently to ensure
that pilots are carrying this licence, but can do so at any time. (The AOPA/COPA Guide to Cross Border Operations, Page 31)

The following must be carried by the pilot [...] A Restricted Radiotelephone Operator’s Certificate is only required if you intend to transmit on an aviation-band radio. (Are you legal?)

Also on board must be [...] the radio operator’s licence of the pilot [...] (From the Ground Up, 27th Revised Edition 1996, p. 100)

What do the regulations actually say?

A person may operate radio apparatus in the aeronautical service, maritime service or amateur radio service only where the person holds an appropriate radio operator certificate as set out in column I of any of items 1 and 3 to 15 of Schedule II. (Radiocommunication Regulations, s 33)

The holder of a radio authorization shall, at the request of an inspector appointed pursuant to the Act, show the radio authorization or a copy thereof to the inspector within 48 hours after the request. (Radiocommunication Regulations, s 38)

You need only produce the radio operator certificate or even a copy within 48 hours of a request by an Industry Canada inspector. You do not need to be able to produce the document while exercising the privileges. When Canada wants you to have the document with you, it knows how to say that:

[...] no person shall act as a flight crew member or exercise the privileges of a flight crew permit, licence or rating unless (a) the person holds the appropriate permit, licence or rating [...]; and (d) the person can produce the permit, licence or rating, and the certificate, when exercising those privileges. (Canadian Aviation Regulations, s 401.03)

For pilot licences and medicals, you must be able to produce the licence and medical while exercising their privileges. For the radio operator certificate, you do not.

X.509 should have an issue date

X.509 certificates don’t have issue dates, and this is a problem.

In the wake of the Heartbleed vulnerability, it is important for users to know that a website has created a new keypair and been issued an updated certificate verifying the new public key.

For example, if I want to be sure that Wikipedia is safe to log into again, I need to know two things:

  1. Has Wikipedia upgraded to a non-vulnerable version of SSL?
  2. Has Wikipedia re-keyed and issued a new X.509 certificate?

Question 1 can be checked by visiting a site like, which checks to see whether a site is still vulnerable to the Heartbleed exploit.

Question 2 is trickier. One might think you can just visit, click on the little padlock in the address bar, and view the certificate information.


Issued on 2012-10-21. Okay, so Wikipedia hasn’t updated their certificate. Or have they? In fact, Wikipedia did install a new certificate on April 9, 2014. However, they say on their blog:

Our SSL certificate provider keeps the original “not valid before” date (sometimes incorrectly referred to as an “issued on” date) in any replaced certificates. This is not an uncommon practice. Aside from looking at the change to the .pem files linked above in the Timeline, the other way of verifying that the replacement took place is to compare the fingerprint of our new certificate with our previous one.

To add to the confusion, Firefox reports the “notBefore” field of an X.509 certificate as an “Issued On” date. The X.509 specification does not have an “Issued On” date.

Thus, if a website is using a certificate provider that doesn’t update the “notBefore” field when they do a certificate replacement, a user has almost no way to know when the site re-keyed aside from the testimony of the website operators.

The only way to know if a website has issued a new certificate is to compare with the previous certificate. This is not possible if you have never been to a website previously. The Certificate Revocation List is not helpful because revocations are listed by serial number, which you would also not know if you did not have the previous certificate. It is not feasible to save the certificates from websites that you regularly visit just to be able to verify a reissue in cases like this.

There is one service that does, though. uses a repository of certificates collected starting in 2012 from over 100 million hosts during 100 separate scans. They are able to compare certificates and say on what date a site’s current certificate was first observed. However, we should not have to rely on third-party scrapes for this.

The X.509 certificates should simply include an issue date.

Cinar Corporation v. Robinson

The Supreme Court of Canada mostly rejected (in many cases) the abstraction-filtration-comparison test for substantiality in copyright infringement:

Quick summary: Robinson created a children’s television show. He pitched it around but nothing materialized. Five years later, he saw a blatant copy of his show, being produced by several parties he’d pitched his work to. A main issue on appeal was whether the trial judge used the correct approach to assessing substantiality of the copying. Cinar wanted the court to use the abstraction-filtration-comparison test, which they presumed would be in their favour. The Supreme Court rejected that approach, insisting on a “qualitative and holistic approach to assessing substantiality”.

This is significant in that content creators continue to be given more protection for their selection and arrangement of non-original things than they would in the US. The court continues to look to the skill and judgement expressed in the work as a whole, rather than analyzing works piecemeal.

The court didn’t reject outright the abstraction-filtration-comparison approach, but said such a “reductive analysis” isn’t appropriate in most cases and left open the possibility of using it in certain situations, specifically mentioning computer programs as one such possibility.

I might have more to say about this after a more thorough read-through, but for now, just want to point out my favourite line:

Claude Robinson was a dreamer.

Runners Dis-Connect

This is my one negative post of the year. It’s regarding this article (“Why Running Harder Won’t Help Get You Faster”) over at

The article makes the following claims:

  • Patience pays off.
  • Consistent, moderate workouts will trump a few weeks of hard, gut-busting workouts every time.
  • More importantly, after 42 weeks, the high intensity runner is at a point that they can no longer make up the difference in fitness simply by training hard for a few weeks.

They say this conclusion is justified because of “recent research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology” (Astorino et al. 2013, reference below). They say the study gives them “the scientific data to prove what good coaches have known for so many years. Patience pays off.”

The Astorino et al. study

The study involved 30 healthy, sedentary women aged 18-40 years, free of known disease or musculoskeletal problems. They were split into three groups: high (HI), low (LO), and a control group that received no treatment.

The HI and LO treatment groups performed 3-a-week supervised interval training on a bicycle ergometer. The HI group’s workload was kept at 80-90% of the individual’s max. The LO group’s workload was kept at 60-80% of the individual’s max. Each session involved: 4 minute warm-up at 40W, 6-10 60s bouts at the target workload with 60-75s active recovery at 40W between each bout, followed by a 2-4 minutes cool-down at 40W. Every week, two additional bouts were added to the regimen and the target workload increased 5%. Every three weeks, the number of bouts were reduced to 6 and workloads were reset based on the VO2Max test done at the end of the preceding week.


Astorino et al. discuss (emphasis mine):

Results revealed similar improvements in VO2max across training groups and a greater increase in VO2max early on in training in HI versus LO.


HI (+12.4 %) revealed a greater percent change in VO2max after 3 weeks versus LO (+5.4 %), although LO revealed an additional significant change in VO2max from weeks 3–6 that was not seen in HI. Furthermore, VO2max was higher at 12 weeks in LO compared to 6 weeks, which was not seen in the women performing HI. These data illustrate a potential advantage of more intense interval training versus moderate exercise early on in training, in that it may elicit marked changes in VO2max which would augment subject tolerance to exercise soon after initiation of physical activity. Moreover, because of its relatively low time commitment and the fact that it may be more enjoyable than aerobic exercise (Bartlett et al. 2011), interval training may be a suitable exercise modality for novice exercisers to initiate before transitioning into more traditional exercise regimens.


In conclusion, 18–30 min / week of interval cycling performed for 12 weeks led to significant improvements in VO2max in sedentary young women whether intensities were moderate or more rigorous. Consequently, more tolerable regimens of interval training seem to elicit similar alterations in cardiorespiratory fitness as more intense regimes. The magnitude of improvement in VO2max was greater early on in HI compared to LO, which suggests that more intense interval training may be desirable to induce large, rapid changes in VO2max in untrained individuals soon after initiation of exercise training.

Here’s what I want to emphasize from this study:

  • It studied two different interval training regimes, each of which is considered high intensity training (Astorino et al. describe the study: “Women completed 3 day / week of supervised HIT”). The LO group is not what would be considered low intensity. The LO group still did repeated 1-minute bouts of 60-80% of max. It is more “tolerable”, but this is not a slow and steady, “patience pays off” type of training.
  • Both types of interval training ended up at the same level of improvement after 12 weeks.
  • The HI group got to that point faster than the LO group.

The RunnersConnect article

What did RunnersConnect take from this article?

Clearly, this research shows that while you’ll see rapid improvements from running workouts as hard as you can in the first few weeks, this improvement curve will level off and running at moderate intensity levels will produce equal, if not better, long-term results.

This is a false analogy: RunnersConnect leaps from a study about interval training to a statement about running workouts in general. The study did not compare HIT against prolonged bouts of “patience pays off” levels of training. It is possible that interval training would have out-performed simply running at “patience pays off” intensity levels. Oh, guess what? That study has been done (Nybo et al. 2010). An interval training program produced almost a two-fold improvement in VO2Max compared to prolonged running.

Next, RunnersConnect says:

 Mainly, both groups performed the same workouts for twelve weeks, which means the same stimulus was being applied with each session.

This is false. The stimulus was continually increased by adding bouts and intensity every workout, and rescaling to the new maximum every three weeks.

Consistent, moderate workouts will trump a few weeks of hard, gut-busting workouts every time.

That statement is not supported by the study. There was no significant difference in the LO group’s 12 week improvement compared to the HI group.

Then, they present this gem of a graphic (I almost don’t want to repeat it):


“While the data is not factual, it represents my experience with runner progression as a coach.” Does the data represent his/her experience with runner progression? Or is the data not factual? They can’t have it both ways. Even if it did represent his/her experience with runner progression, this is at best anecdotal evidence: a casual observation — one that is not done under any scientific protocol. Anecdotes are subject to cherry-picking. People remember instances that support what they wish to believe. This leads to confirmation bias and hasty generalization. There is no way to know if anecdotal experiences are typical. Quoting Barry Beyerstein, “Anecdotal evidence leads us to conclusions that we wish to be true. Not conclusions that actually are true.”

Why trot out the study of Astorino et al. if in the end, RunnersConnect was going to support their conclusion with anecdotal evidence?

They finish with:

More importantly, after 42 weeks, the high intensity runner is at a point that they can no longer make up the difference in fitness simply by training hard for a few weeks.

By “high intensity runner”, they mean the hypothetical runner that may or may not exist because the data in the chart is not factual.

I agree with RunnersConnect on only one point. Certainly, if you’re training so hard or wrong that you’re getting injured, not getting injured will be a better route to success.


Astorino, Todd A., Matthew M. Schubert, Elyse Palumbo, Douglas Stirling, David W. McMillan, Christina Cooper, Jackie Godinez, Donovan Martinez, and Rachael Gallant. “Magnitude and time course of changes in maximal oxygen uptake in response to distinct regimens of chronic interval training in sedentary women.” European journal of applied physiology (2013): 1-9.

Nybo, Lars, Emil Sundstrup, Markus D. Jakobsen, Magni Mohr, Therese Hornstrup, Lene Simonsen, Jens Bulow et al. “High-intensity training versus traditional exercise interventions for promoting health.” Med Sci Sports Exerc42, no. 10 (2010): 1951-8.

Shoulder pictures

I got pictures of my shoulder.

Here’s the first picture my doctor and I saw:

Initial x-ray of my shoulder break

Initial x-ray of my shoulder break

The CT scan:

CT scan of my shoulder: anterior view

CT scan of my shoulder: anterior view


360 view of my shoulder

360 view of my shoulder

Fixed, literally:

Internal fixation

Internal fixation

I got my shoulder fixed

The CT scan showed a “comminuted mildly displaced lateral humeral head fracture, the main fracture line extending through the base of the greater tuberosity. The tuberosity fracture fragment measure[d] approximately 3 x 1 x 2 cm. Other much smaller fragments additionally noted posteriorly.”

My surgeon recommended surgery based on the amount of displacement, the presumed health of my bone, my age, and my activity level. The procedure was called open reduction and internal fixation. That means an open surgery to set the fragment into its proper location, followed by some method of fixation — in my case, a single screw. I assume the smaller fragments were just removed.

Since this was a somewhat time-sensitive surgery (if we waited too long, the bone would heal in the wrong place), somebody else’s more elective surgery had to be cancelled. My surgery was scheduled for 16 days post-injury.

I was in the hospital for about 6 hours, probably 1 of which was actual surgery. There were a lot of drugs. 4 regular Tylenol, 1 NSAID, one other thing. Something in my IV to make me feel light-headed. A brachial plexus block anesthetic to make my shoulder and arm numb. Then some gas. Them some other gas. The last thing I remember was looking over to my side and seeing the CT scan images on some screens. Then I woke up with a sling around my still anesthetized arm.

A friend was very nice and picked me up from the hospital, taking me home in a cab, and getting my pain medicine from the pharmacy. Apparently you don’t need to prove that you’re the prescription holder, even for oxycodone.

The pain ended up not being bad, so I didn’t need the medicine after the first day. I had already broken the shoulder, after all. I also have this sweet cryotherapy unit (thanks AJ!). It’s the size of a small cooler that you fill with ice and water and continuously pumps 4°C water through a shoulder wrap. It’s nicer than using an ice pack because the wrap is light-weight and fits snugly around the entire shoulder and upper arm. I don’t have a cast — just a sling, which I wear for most of each day.

The most frequent question I’m asked is “how long will it take to recover?”. That depends a lot on what you mean by recover, but here’s the plan:

  • Weeks 0-2: Allow my arm to dangle like a pendulum 3x per day.
  • Weeks 2-4: Physiotherapist can start to move my arm through ranges of motion
  • Weeks 4-6: Stretching and assisted active range of motion
  • Weeks 6-12: Increased stretching, no more sling, strength training
  • 4-6 months: Return to ultimate!

I broke my shoulder

The injury

“You BROKE your shoulder?!?’b”, said one friend over Whatsapp, so maybe I should be a bit more specific… I broke a piece off of the humerus, near or at its head.

It was during a casual game of ultimate in the VUL this Monday, about 48 hours ago. It was the first point. I jab-stepped toward the disc holder to get my defender to back off, then cut downfield expecting a throw. The throw was an O/I flick, meaning it started out to my right as I was running downfield, then it curved back towards the path I was running along. I dove to catch the disc with my left hand outstretched, but instead of coming down on my arms, I came down hard solely on my left shoulder… kind of on the armpit.

If I’d been successful, it would have looked something like this (with a little less athleticism and music):

The problem was that my shoulders weren’t square to the ground when I laid out. All the force was absorbed by one joint, and it couldn’t take it. In the video, Simon keeps his shoulders square to the ground and lands with both arms:


I knew immediately that I was injured. The shoulder felt out of place, likely subluxed slightly. I called for an injury sub. As I got up, I could feel it grind back into place. I assumed this was just what a subluxation felt like, and that I’d stretched some ligaments. My teammates got me into a sling and I sat out the rest of the game. About fifteen minutes after the injury, I started to feel light-headed and nauseous, but that passed quickly. With my good arm, I threw a disc around with a friend after the game ended and then went home.

It did still hurt a lot, if I moved it in certain ways, so I called 8-1-1, BC’s non-emergency health line. I described my injury and symptoms and the nurse said I could wait until the next day to see a doctor.


The next morning, 9:20am, I saw the sports medicine doctor at UBC that I like. (They’re both good, but I just have happened to see one of them much more than the other.) He couldn’t properly evaluate my shoulder because it hurt too much to move through particular ranges, so he ordered an x-ray. We could clearly see where the piece of the humerus had broken off. However, it only showed its displacement in one plane, so he wanted to consult with the orthopedic surgeon.

This morning (about 36 hours after the injury), I met with the orthopedic surgeon. He also said the x-rays didn’t give him enough information. He referred me for a CT scan, which I had this afternoon. The CT scan gives much more information about the situation, even some info about the soft tissue. Depending on how much the bone is displaced, he will recommend either conservative treatment (immobilization in a sling), or surgery. I should know soon!

Progressing as a player

No matter the treatment, I won’t be playing ultimate for three months. I’ll be in a sling for at least 6 weeks, followed by physiotherapy and strength training. Next month, my club team, Refinery, is going to Canadian Nationals. While I won’t be playing, I’ll be supporting them every way that I can.

I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do to progress as a player during this time yet. I’ll be at every practice, where I’ll be able to throw with my good arm, and visualize myself in all the drills and scrimmages. I’ll be watching a lot of game footage. I will probably eventually be able to do leg press, back extensions, and maybe unilateral dumbbell work. I’ll eat, hydrate, and sleep as well as I can. I expect I’ll be able to run and keep working on my speed and conditioning well before the three months comes around.


The worst part of this is how awkward everything is!

  • I can barely put on a shirt. I might just switch to sleeveless shirts and zippered hoodies.
  • I can’t tie my shoes… probably going to buy some sandals.
  • I havent even tried to crack an egg, but I’ve seen people that just do it one-handed by default, so this might be fun to learn.
  • Typing takes forever. Coding is so tedious. Emacs keybindings are impossible. I will try to learn one-handed dvorak.
  • I’ll need some of these flossing things.
  • My nuzlocke run will have to wait. Playing a gameboy one-handed just doesn’t work so well.

Not everything is bad. I can shower and sleep. Lying on my back is only slightly uncomfortable, and lying in a recliner is also an option.

Follow the tag broken shoulder if you’re interested in updates!