Sunday, June 21, 2009

YYZ-YVR: navigating, communicating, deviating

It started with "crew sked" calling to give me a "heads up" the flight was delayed an hour. Too late I was already enroute to the airport. Our flight plan indicated the #1 engine IDG (Integrated Drive Generator) was off line. I.E the #1 generator was U/S so the APU had to be on the entire flight plus we were restricted to 33,500 feet. Not a good thing when there were numerous reports of scattered thunderstorms and rough rides. Lucky most of the rough air was 35,000 feet and above.

The airplane arrived with hot brakes with a short turn around (we are told to use the brakes instead of max reverse if possible). We taxi out, but YYZ "ground" gave us a runway change -opposite ends. Lots of summer construction had many taxiways shut down so there was a lot of weaving and bopping to get to the runway. Sure enough at take off we get "brakes hot" when the gear tucks into the tummy. I convinced the F/O I've seen this before so we didn't extend the gear to cool the brakes. They were only 5-10 C too warm.

Had to duck around thunderstorms around Sault Ste. Marie, Winnipeg and Calgary. This photo shows our two main instruments. (Sorry for the poor quality. I wanted to take more but the camera batteries died - should've known). The one on the right, ND (Navigation Display) is where weather radar returns are depicted. You can see the red blisters indicative of a Cb, thunderstorm. One can also see our track was between two large cells and we were upwind of the big one (wind read out top left corner: 180 degrees at 22 knots). The F/O (his leg) did an excellent job deviating and navigating while I did the communicating.

The worst part about the trip. The "J" class passengers ate all the cookies and ice cream. It was off to the Elephant and Castle for a de-breifing after this atrocity.

I'm out the door again for a Vancouver layover. Lets hope we don't run out of cookies.