Monday, December 14, 2009

Halifax -a city that is old, new, big and small

The Halifax Town Clock

If you get close to the Halifax clock you'll notice the Roman numeral for four is IIII not IV. They say it's done for aesthetic symmetry.

Our long layover hotel is located on the west side of Citadel Hill. The Town clock is on the east side overlooking the water. 

The Nassau turn yesterday was mostly uneventful. We took the super fast walkway to the international gates. This is the GTAA's white elephant. They have been working on it for three years trying to work out the bugs- it tends to be loud so passengers could not hear the generic announcements. It was up and running and you have to be stable on your feet to ride it. I'm certain it will knock off a few old ladies and rumour has it, it already did.
It's a great concept but the treadmill expands and contracts. It's interesting to see when there is a group with bags. They all get very close in a hurry. 

Started the APU and a "low oil level" on the APU page illuminated. The APU is suppose to be started 10 minutes before push back so we can save on excessive use. Just what I needed. We had to call maintenance, write it up in the logbook, get an authorization number and had to query maintenance whether it would work in the Bahamas. They said it could be run for 10 hours and then it had to be looked at.

I was flying with a new F/O on the bus and he warned me. I volunteered he fly to Nassau.
I thought we had time on our hands while walking to the gate, but I read somewhere, "he who thinks he as time on his hands- is late."

We dodged a few thunderstorms off the coast of Florida topped at 42,000 feet. There were easy to pick around with us at FL 380.

I used the Bahamian slogan in my announcement. "The latest weather in the Bahamas ( I pause)..."well as the saying's better in the Bahamas ....sunny and 30 Celsius." Didn't get any feedback.

Nassau's ATIS (incidentally it's now called Pindling International so I had to change all my Jeppeson charts) stated the NDB/VOR and ILS were all out of service. Hmmm. I guess that makes it the visual. Funny they are making millions in the casinos, but aren't putting it back for reliable approach aids. Apparently the ILS is there (FYI it was working) but it has to be FAA approved and tested.

Our flight to Halifax from Toronto late last night ran into another snag. The wing anti ice valve was faulty so it was set in the open position just in case we flew into icing conditions. This required a gamut of positions for the bleed air, cross feed, pack, and also required a cross bleed engine start. However, "Jacques from Airbus" neglected a few moot points.

We were confused so we took a delay of 1o to 15 minutes holding short of the runway while we talked to maintenance control. We arrived in YHZ 10 minutes late.

Sitting in YHZ. It's an RDF day. That's my patented meteorological term for "rain,drizzle, fog."
Could be worst. Could be sitting in YEG where it was the coldest place on earth yesterday.

Capt. Doug



david said...

"IIII" was common for 4 until recently -- I think it was the main (or only) version I saw in the medieval manuscripts I used to study. Wikipedia says it's because "IV" was the Roman abbreviation for head-god "Jupiter" (which ties in nicely with your mention of thunderstorms near Florida: perhaps you angered Jupiter):

From the Flight Deck said...

I didn't mean to tempt the weather gods. Looked at your link. Interesting stuff. Doug

Ian said...

Hello Doug

Chiming in from the Sandpit - seems my sister still can't get a hang of the schedules - operating into EGLL tomorrow. Anticipating some angry passengers given what our cabin crew are planning - but there is more to this than meets the eye I sense, having spoken to my own crew, some of whom weren't fully equipped with the pertinent facts. A legal challenge to the action now coming I hear.

Given the flight deck concessions to ensure our survival, I am less than impressed with our cabin crew colleagues!

Over on my own blog I'll chat about our own APU issues - and some of the recent updates from Boeing on operation later!

Believe the B787 may be heading into the Seattle skies later - some good news.

Hope the Halifax layover was good, even though your FO deserted you!

Cheers, Ian

From the Flight Deck said...

Ian. I assume you guys (B.A) will have the seat belt sign on because it seems you may be in for a rough ride.

No one wins in these situations. I think everyone is tired of scrimping and everyone blames management. A recipe for
confrontation. We'll be watching from this side of the pond.

Yes, good news about the B787. Air Canada has 25 firm orders with 25 optional after that.

Yes, the layover in YHZ was good. I got to visit my sister and capitalize on a free meal.

I hope your company can work things out.


Ian said...

Hi Doug

Seat belt signs on, along with the "brace brace brace" announcement potentially!

I feel for the cabin crews - but commercial reality kicks in. There's the Gatwick contract which was negotiated by the same union - and now the old guard are stirring it up - having really lost nothing to be frank.

Some say it's a power struggle between BA and the Union and it might be - that said, working it through and compromising like all the good marriages out there will work wonders - let's hope it's not too late.

Cheers, Ian