Credit to the photographs

I would like to thank Brian Losisto (Air Canada's photographer) for always allowing me to post his pictures. (The above thrust lever pic is his). Then there is Kelly Paterson from Calgary and plane spotter "Erik" from Germany. Of course, I have lots myself. On that note, if you feel a photo(s) may be in appropriate or the content I post a bit dubious by all means send me an email. I will ratify it! That's all I ask!
P.S I'd like to add Nadia from "la belle province" for her contributions!
...and YYC Disptacher...

...I hope you enjoy the blog...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Maybe the new look? Air Canada pilot uniform

Dear Captain Doug. My dad wanted me to ask you a question as he works in the corporate image business: There's a new uniform being planned for Air Canada pilots - single breasted jackets, but still gold and black, and a purple tie.What do you think of this? My dad has reservations as the three button blazer is not flattering to big tummies, and double breasted can hide the kilos.I know it is an usual question.I am also studying fashion design.Melissa.

I have found a link to the new uniforms.

Your blog followers and readers might be interested to see. Bye, Melissa.
Hi Melissa. (I moved your question to a new post).
Our new uniform was "worn tested" over a year ago, but as far as what the new look will be is still questionable. As to when they will arrive is even more dubious. The uniform committee heard from many pilots. For one, they want the double breasted tunic to stay. They think it's classier. But the most contentious issue is "hat or no hat." As you can see in the picture you supplied, it does not include hats. More and more pilots no longer want the hat, but most do. I found there is a correlation to those with hair and those that are "hair challenged." (I like my hat). Another issue is the tie. Many think the tie looks too much like a flight attendant's tie.
Many believe we should tone down the uniform even more, maybe like Westjet. But what works for Westjet doesn't necessarily work for an international carrier. Passengers want a uniform.
It depicts authority, control and respect. Try wearing a bomber jacket in Asia and you probably won't make it pass customs. Many countries worship the uniform. Even the bus driver in Japan has a full uniform with white gloves.
When I walk into the waiting lounge enroute to my airplane I sense numerous people watching and judging. People want to see control. Image carries a lot of weight.
(One company I worked for disapproved of pilots eating ice cream because it did not convey a professional image).
Our SOPs state we must have our tunic buttoned. I can tell an American pilot a mile way because they tend to utilize the open tunic look. To quote you, they don't try to "hide the kilos."
Good luck with fashion design. Maybe if you hurry, you could design our new uniform.


Anonymous said...

Dear Doug,

I agree with the uniform issue, I think it should depict authority. Specially since Air Canada is an international career, it looks more professional. Imagine walking through LHR with a leather jacket and no hat! Doesn't look good I don’t think.

On a totally different topic I have a question for you -- I'd like to hear your opinion on failed check rides. What happens if a pilot fails to measure up to Air Canada standards on an initial PPC training? Also, what happens if you already have a type rating but bust your recurrency training? Does the company get rid of you? And if they do, then what should you say in your next interview? I don’t think it sounds good to an employer if you mention that you have failed a checkride and that’s why you are out of a job at the moment!

Sorry to bombard you with questions... I'd just like to hear your opinion since I'm sure you have seen these scenarios first hand.


From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. I agree with you wholeheartedly regarding uniforms.

About ten years ago, if an Air Canada pilot failed more than two check rides in two years, he/she would be out the door. Back then, it meant consulting a psychologist to see if there were issues at home after your first failure. Needless to say the stress factor goes sky high. Also, if you fail your command sims for captaincy you were not given another chance.

A few years ago, we negotiated a "train to standards" in our contract but there is still some of that old school lurking.
I don't know of anyone being terminated because of poor check rides.

As far as interviews, the best advice for that is tell the truth. I know of a few candidates that didn't fess up to their "skeletons in the closet" and it came back to bite them.

Capt. Doug