Saturday, December 19, 2009

From Deicing to Cruise Ships

At Montreal's deice center at 7:00 a.m getting rid of frost with Type 1.

While on approach to 27 right in FLL. There were at least four cruise ships moored at the docks.

Minus 20 C was the temperature in YUL during the walk around. Lucky it was the F/O's turn.
After we started both engines the "push back" crew reported both engines were leaking fuel big time. This is typical during cold starts, but we have a limit of one drip per second. We were told the rate was greater. The procedure is to wait a few minutes and if it did not subside then we had to shut down the engines and restart. Luckily the seals to the engines warmed up and the leaking stop. Over to the deice center for a quick spray for frost.

We flew to Toronto and had an hour to get our flight plan, go through American customs and ready for our flight to Fort Lauderdale. The flight attendants dislike this run because the clientele tends to be demanding. We had a full flight (174 passengers) and sure enough a few passengers were living up to the F/As expectations.

The flight was good but we encountered some "bumps" due to a jet stream over southern Georgia.

During the flight back to Toronto we encountered moderate turbulence for a couple of minutes due to a jet stream. Winds got up to 160 knots from the west at FL350. We descended to FL330 and the winds dropped by 50 knots. A 25 knot shear per thousand feet. No wonder we had bumps. We were just getting served left over "business class" meals and we didn't want our meals flying about. The Airbus 321's wing span needed a few feet added to it. Because it's the same wingspan as the A319 and A320 it rolls quit a bit in turbulence.
Good ole Dougie boy greases it on in Toronto and I got about five "nice landings" from the deplaning passengers. I told them they know how to charm a pilot.
It was deemed a "nice landing" because we land using only idle reverse i.e. no loud rumbling reverse thrust. The landing is actually quiet. Plus I used "low" autobrake which works nicely on the A321 with braking applied smoothly and evenly. The bean counters determined by not using reverse thrust saves fuel and wear and tear on the engines. Plus we lease the brakes so it's better to wear them out. Of course this is done in the right conditions.
It's back to Florida tomorrow for a "turn." Then it's off to St.John's, Nfld where RDF (rain, drizzle, fog) will greet us.
Capt. Doug
P.S The Flying Scotsman posted a glowing tribute of "moi". With the "nice landings" from passengers, coupled with Ian's glowing tribute I will need a bigger captain's hat.


Dogbait said...

A 3 month layover in Florida wouldn't go astray given those extremes in temperatures.

From the Flight Deck said...

Dogbait. There are some beautiful places in Florida. My wife keeps telling me we should buy some real estate there. She is hating Canadian winters more and more.
She sees me commuting from a warm place the last five years of my career. I still don't think commuting is worth it.

How is the weather in OZ?


Ian said...

I need a massive favour ;)!!

PLEASE keep my wife away from yours. "Ian, did you speak to John at BA about commuting from would be great"...

Shaking head as I type this.

Susie said...

Hi Doug - both Ian's wife and I are pressuring him on the French commute for selfish reasons!!

Your book was really great reading by the way - you sure have great writing skills.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.


Dogbait said...

Our AC captain friend I mentioned had a condo in Panama City in Florida and avoided the Canadian winters like the plague.

Weather here in the south of Oz is beautiful at the moment with days in the mid 20's. We had one 40c day last week and a few more in Jan and Feb for sure but we get cool changes to keep us sane. I see the Americans and Brits are jumping up and down with their stint of snow at the moment. You guys take it in your stride!

Chris Harvey said...

Captain Doug:

I'm currently a first officer in the Caribbean (a Canuck) building time in the islands on Twin Otters.

Wanted to tell you your website, is sure good reading, and pretty inspirational to someone in a mountain of training debt. Will be interested to hear sometime what AC look for in pilot candidates too, and any handy hints you can offer!

I also read the Flying Scotsman thanks to your link - great blog too.

Hope your flights go well today, Happy Holidays.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Chris. Welcome aboard! Thanks for the post. How many hours are you up to?

As you know, things aren't moving at Air Canada but they will. In the mean time, happy flying and keep in touch.

Capt. Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Glad to hear you are potentially moving up to the Dash-8. It's a great all weather airplane. I have over 5000 hours on them.

What island are you operating out of?

You're a little low on time but you are getting there!

Having said that, I'd be getting your resume ready.

Capt. Doug

Chris Harvey said...

Hello Captain Doug,

I have my fingers crossed too - but in the end, I am happy here too.

Based at SXM - so sometimes we see the Air Canada B767s and Transat Airbuses skimming in over Maho.

Saba is the most demanding of our fields - just under 400M total tarmac. First time I observed flying in - and it could be called "awesome" !

I'll let you know how the interview goes - but another year on the Otter wouldn't be bad either I guess.