Incident at LA RONGE (BARBER FIELD) SK (CYVC) (Aerodrome - visual aids, Aerodrome - power failure)
2003-01-15: UPDATE Aerodrome Safety reported that the power bumps are caused by the standby (emergency) powerplant's operation. The actual bumps occur whenever the powerplant picks up and drops it's load. A transfer switch monitors the power from the both the commercial supply from Sask. Power and the powerplant's power and determines which supply is better (voltages good, load balanced etc.) and it chooses which supply to use. Under normal conditions the commercial supply is determined to be the better supply, however this is not the case in La Ronge. Sask. Power is unable to supply a stable source of power for La Ronge and some other communities. As the power demand increases, particularly in the evenings around 5 p.m. Sask. Power's transformers/switching equipment try to gradually increase the supply, thus the Airport may receive a power surge or a load imbalance and the powerplant starts up because the transfer switch has determined that the commercial supply is unstable. Sask. Power is aware of these problems and they have an instrument installed in the Field Electrical Center which is monitoring the power supply. Sask. Power is in the process of building another power line from Prince Albert. This was started a couple of years ago but ran in to some delays due to some environmentalists/property owners who didn't want the power line going across their property. They now have approval to proceed, but this line is not expected to be completed till next summer or even next winter. The Airport also had a new electronic transfer switch installed in the Field Electrical Center this past summer. There was concern that it may be more sensitive that the old one, however a representative with Sask. Power has spoken to the technician from Onan Cummins who installed the switch, they discussed the parameters that the switch uses and felt they were within the correct tolerances (changing the parameters of the switch may cause damage to electronic equipment, motors etc). Sask. Power is also trying to distribute the power a little better as it comes out of the substation at La Ronge to give everyone more stable power but as yet this project is not yet completed.
2003-01-13: TW 250, a Beech King Air medevac enroute from Pinehouse Lake to LaRonge, was given an airport advisory with the additional information regarding power bumps and the possibility of unserviceable runway lights. The crew reported on base leg for Runway 18 at La Ronge when a power bump occurred. The runway lights dimmed and recovered but the taxiway lights on Taxiways B and C failed. The medevac aircraft landed without incident and exited the runway via Taxiway A.
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