Aviation In Canada

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Speaking of the Split Crow...

A reply to yesterday's post mentioned the term, "Split Crow." This happens to be the name of the final approach fix, a low power NDB, for runway 06 at Halifax. Recently, the naming convention was changed on these and other locator beacons from the old single-letter to two- or three- letter designators to reduce confusion in RNAV and FMS systems. The name chosen for the newly designated ZHZ NDB was "Split Crow". Our AIS office was taken by a few calls over that name and the name of the other one, the "Midtown NDB," since these are also, by coincidence, the names of two local taverns. You see, Split Crow was the name of a point in Halifax Harbour, used in World War I, while Midtown was used since, geographically, there was an intersection of two main roads in a nearby community, and locals called it, "Midtown Junction." This wasn't good enough. They let Split Crow remain, but forced the name change on the Midtown NDB. It is now called the "Bluenose" NDB, after the schooner of the same name which is a Nova Scotia tourism icon. It has nothing to do with the tavern of the same name.

And I'll let you figure out the history behind the "Alpine" NDB at Saint John, NB. It is only pure coincidence that a local beer company brews Alpine beer in that city.