The flight out to Calgary was fairly uneventful with a full load of passengers. Had some bumps near Thunder Bay and over Saskatchewan but the seat belt sign stayed on for ten minutes or so.
Our schedule departure (12:20 a.m.) back coincided with Calgary airport going into noise abatement mode. The winds blew from the south at 5 knots and the runway of choice of course was 16. Runway 10 and 28 were too short with a full load and plenty of fuel with Montreal as an alternate. Toronto was flirting with fog all night.
Our max zero fuel weight was at limits because our max landing weight in Toronto of 64.5 would be exceeded. Dispatch and Load were juggling the numbers.
Even though it said 34 must be used for nose abatement the captain can request 16. That's what we did. The snarly controller came back and stated both 16 and 34 are the same length, what's the problem? Obviously he skipped the class about second segment, hills, terrain, runway slope, etc. He said we would have to call the duty manager. We said, "forget it" in a round about way.
Funny, most cargo operations around the world are exempt from noise abatement.
ATC claimed the winds were calm. They probably were but I knew as soon as I lifted off, I'd have a tailwind.
We have all the passengers on board, but the agent says a YYC rampie and his girlfriend would like to board. The numbers are tight. Looks like we were a little lighter and I allowed them to board.
The agent returns saying we had to call dispatch. Because we would be now exceeding our max landing weight in Toronto I had to deny them.
We take off from 34 with full thrust and the speeds were V1 163, Vr 165 and V2 165. That's fast. The F/O said we rotated at runway 28 chewing up about 10,000 feet of real estate. The wind read out went from calm to a solid tailwind of 15 knots. We took off on the longest runway in Canada, 12, 675 feet. The only glitch is it's 3560 feet above sea level.
A common phrase in the Airbus world is, "what's it doing now?" At rotation we get a master caution light. There is a master caution light on my side and another on the F/O's. Mine said "master" and the F/O's said "caution" I've never seen that in my 14 Airbus years. There was no system fault that triggered it. The same thing happened at flare in Toronto.
I certainly exercised our SOP of a "controlled nap" on the way back. But lately with the Northwest incident with no radio contact in the back of your mind, I made sure the F/O could handle it.
We land at 64.3 tonnes, 200 kgs below max. I could have taken the last two passengers.
P.S This post was written with just two hours of sleep so you may see some grammatical errors.