As anticipated the flights were full this morning to Montreal so it was the jumpseat only for Doug. A flight attendant also wanted the 'jump' for an important meeting, but I had to pull rank.
When I entered the flight deck one could immediately sense tension but I quietly watched it play out. The captain was briefing like the take off will be off an aircraft carrier.
The "chatty" factor was not there between them and nor with me. Luckily I brought along a crossword.
During engine start, the #1 generator went off line. "Here we go," I thought. But a reset got everything back on line.
During cruise the F/O asked if the captain had been "checking" much. I come to attention. This guy is a checker and I have should have known. The only pilots which do flap 3 landings are checkers and he briefed a "flap 3" landing. The "bean counters" calculated we would save fuel and reduce wear and tear on flaps if we used one less flap setting (flap 3). What also raised an eyebrow was the captain sported a long sleeve shirt. Someone once told me there is a correlation to long sleeves and being a little different. (Ian, I hope you don't wear long sleeve shirts).
The captain asked the F/O to do a P.A to update the arrival time. The producer of Caissie productions (sitting in J class) said he sensed nervousness with her P.A.
I asked the checker his name. I have an annual route check next month, and if I see his name, I'll be coming down with the sniffles.
The meeting itself was just under two hours. The senior director of marketing was passionate about aviation and one could feel the enthusiasm. We also had to convince two 'reps' from Spafax (which produces enRoute magazine and all the in-flight entertainment). They did mention my column is well read and well received.
So now it's time to come up with financial proposals, meaning things won't get going until the spring.
I flew back to CYYZ stuck in the middle seat in the back of another fully packed airplane. It just reinstated the fact I will always detest commuting.
I just read this to my wife and we both got a good chuckle out your comments. This is fun stuff to read so keep it up. The best part is the fact that it is real.
Last Sunday one of sales team was coming from Edmonton to Toronto for our annaul sales meeting and was delayed by -46C because the de-icing equipment would not work - go figure.
Al, thanks for the positive feedback. You make a very valid point, "the best part is the fact that is real." I like it.
I'm preparing a talk for young air cadets (potential pilots) for tomorrow night in downtown Toronto. I must be careful not
to stunt someone's dream by offering too much reality.
Pleased to report short sleeves are the order of the day with yours truly - even with the tattoo of a big Scottish redhead on my forearm (only kidding).
Interesting discussion with your checker...good you got the name for future reference.
BA appears on course to WORK!
Ian. Took a quick peek at your blog and found out things have settled down with B.A - at least for now.
On a sad note, I see flyglobespan just closed their doors leaving 4500 stranded.
I'm out the door to give a talk to young air cadets wanting to venture into this crazy world of aviation. I still think it's a neat place to be.
Good luck with the chat tonight - sister is home in Ancaster complaining about the cold (and it's starting to snow here in southern England).
Globespan - another casualty - and more of our brethern out of work. They did some interesting work, flying the airbridge for the forces from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
Simon, from Monarch, was at one of my little chats oh, a decade ago, when I had just joined the Boeing 747-400s, and he has our "disease".
I hope those affected as either clients or employees at GSM get home, and find work in the skies soon.
And yes, I am now JFK bound on Monday - and the song "I'll be home for Christmas" will be playing in the car when I land back at T5!
Sure the cadet talk will go well!
Little Confused...what do you mean by Checker? is that like a company version of an Transport Canada inspection?
Just in from wife's Xmas party - so off to bed shortly - BUT...
I read somewhere in the dim and distant past (I believe a Cathay incident) - the PF was wearing a long sleeved shirt and the cuff somehow caught a throttle and reduced it to idle at cruise, with the consequences we only know from the sims (hopefully).
Believe Boeing might even have sent out an update to operators in the aftermath!
Ian. The talk went very well. They gave me a nice model airplane as a thank you. Plus, I sold ten books.
On a sad note, the captain that proof read my book, passed away yesterday of a stroke. He just retired from Air Canada two years ago, he was 62.
Hi Andrew. Yes, a checker is a company check pilot mandated by Transport Canada. Doug
I am sorry to hear of the passing of your colleague Doug - my condolences to you and his loved ones.
That is shocking news - and I of course know how his family and friends feel given what happened to us this month.
Sorry to hear about the untimely loss of a fellow aviator.
Good luck with your project.
On the long sleeve thing -- I used to fly a Piper Super Cub out of NC3 (Brampton ON) and one day I was wearing a long sleeve jacket.
The throttle lever is on the left, right near the little sliding window, and I thought I'd get some fresh air by sliding the window back but my sleeve caught the throttle lever and I inadvertantly brought the engine back to idle while opening the window...what the??...no big deal, but for a second there my heart was in my mouth and thought I had the proverbial engine failure and forced approach on my hands.
Ian, Chris. Thanks for the posts regarding a fallen aviator. I must admit I did not know him that well but he offered to proof read my book without hesitation.
He was the type to offer without hesitation.
Seems so many look forward to retirement and they drop like flies thereafter.
Captain Al Reichert played hockey well into his late 50s and was in good shape, but he died from an non preventable stroke.
whywhyzed. Thanks for sharing your experience. There's more to it than I thought regarding long sleeve shirts. Maybe someone out there can do a Phd thesis on this?
Just like the seat belt sign. As soon as you turn it on, the turbulence goes away and vice versa.
I wear short sleeved shirts in the summer and long-sleeved shirts in the winter or when there are a lot of mosquitoes. I thought that was why they came in long and short-sleeved varieties.
Aviatrix. Good point. It's a difference some pilot observed and then put two and two together. Basically, if you wear long sleeve shirts, don't allow newspapers in the flight deck,wear smelly cologne or overbearing aftershave then one is deemed a non-conformer. But the list doesn't stop there, and each pilot has his/her list to look for.
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