Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Halifax and more Halifax (CYHZ)

Our layover hotel in Halifax at 5:00 a.m during the snowstorm
last week. This same hotel was the venue for our high school prom some 31 years ago.
Today, it was finally announced we will be having a reunion. "Disco Doug" will be in attendance this July.

This is what the roads looked like in front of the hotel. We had a cab driver originally from Montreal drive us to the airport. He did an excellent job. I had him again this morning and let's just say he wastes no time getting to the airport in any condition.

Just finished a three day pairing with two nights in Halifax. Pilots bid their schedules through a computer based system. I qualified Halifax layovers a little too much and because of it I've been overdosing on Halifax.
This pairing consisted of 7 legs (flights) with five of these flights requiring deicing. I am getting very familiar with the deice checklist. Someone mentioned if the flight deices then we lost most of our profit for the flight.
I missed the storm which passed through Toronto although I arrived there the next morning with slippery taxi-ways to greet me. We were told to hold short of runway 15R and I applied the brakes 30 feet prior to the hold short line. The only glitch, we slid 30 feet past the hold short line. Luckily the runway was not an active runway.

Overnight more snow will be blanketing metro. I'll be checking in during the wee hours at 6:10 a.m. And you can probably guess where I'm off to. (Nadia it's flight 602 with flight 121 on the return).

As mentioned in a previous post I can not exceed 82 hours for this month or I will be forced to drop my last pairing. Right now I'm up to 80 hrs 54 mins. It will be close because I guarantee I'll be following the deice checklist at the CDF readying for yet another flight to Halifax.
Captain Doug


Anonymous said...

If the runway were active, is there something more drastic you could do... reverse thrust, maybe?

Reg said...

If a domestic pilot from a non snow country like Australia were to get a job with AC, what process would they have to undergo before they could fly in ice and snow conditions?

Nadia said...

Salut Doug,

Happy to get some news.
Thanks (Merci beaucoup) for the flight numbers.

I try to understand what you mean with pairing CYYZ-CYHZ because I count 6 flights and you say 7, maybe I should count Calgary? (flight 121)

And I would like to know if during this trip, on departure or arrival to Toronto, you speak to the tower (ATC). Because I can't listen Halifax communication.

Bonne journée

Nadia (CYQB)

SimPilot264 said...

Hi Doug,

Halifax looks on the cool side!

I have a question for you: In one of your recent posts you mentioned the high crosswinds at altitude experienced on a trip down to MCO. Ian, The Flying Scotsman is providing me with some info on 777 op limits; are you able to recall what the heading to track differential was and what the wind info was on the ND?

I "fly" MS Flight Sim, usually using a facility to download "real world weather" and I was getting a difference between track and heading of nearly 25 degs. That was "on" a 777. I've seen an almost 20 degs difference when "flying" a 319/320, but nothing approaching 25.

Thanks in advance...


Ian said...

Hi Doug - dirty weather out east I for me, westward out over the Atlantic, BGI bound - where I hope the only white on the ground is the sand.

After the inbound sector and home 3 days, then Beijing.

I'll have a cool one for you on the layover.

Cheers, Ian


From the Flight Deck said...

Ian. Barbados...nice. Just got back from a Halifax turn. Just a standard day: deice, gusty winds in Halifax, mechanical problem, hold in Toronto, gusty surface winds with a near go-around due to an aircraft on the runway, full flights with one in the jumpseat.

I get to go to Montego bay, Jamaica on Tuesday but the only glitch is it's for 50 minutes.

Don't just have one on the layover, have a few! :)



From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. The thought crossed my mind about using reverse, but I knew it wasn't an active runway so I didn't want to scare the passengers. Reverse thrust is more effective at higher speeds. In fact, our procedure is to stow the reversers at 70 knots on landing. But you're right, if I was heading into the "rhubarb" rest assured reverse thrust would be applied. Thanks for the question.


From the Flight Deck said...

Reg. There is nothing special done as far as handling ice and snow conditions. You are basically thrown to the wolves. Sure you can read notes on our icing procedures and answer a few questions but it's all hands on. Thinking of heading north? It's great for block growth. :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Nadia. I'm back from Halifax. The first officer flew to Halifax and I flew back. So I worked the radios on flight 602. I talked to Montreal center on 133.22 mhz (Montreal, bonjour, it's Air Canada 602 flight level 350) before switching to Boston center on 128.05.

From the Flight Deck said...

Ian H. If memory serves me correctly it was 20 to 25 degrees. Our readout got up to 185-190 knots blowing 90 degrees to our track.

F.Y.I when ATC points out traffic referencing the clock they reference our track not our heading. So in this scenario a 12 o'clock position would be our 11 o'clock position when heading south with a strong westerly flow.


Daniel Asuncion said...


That's going to be quite a reunion,
Doug. You have plenty to be proud
of (accomplished very much) but, of
course, only you will know how much
struggle, effort and sheer guts were
required in order to fight your way
into that left seat.

Disco Doug?

From the Flight Deck said...

Dan. Dan. Funny that very topic came up in the flight deck this afternoon. I had a senior flight attendant in the jumpseat commuting from Halifax to Toronto. She perused through my book - I had a captive audience so I thought I'd try to sell her a copy.:) She saw my tree planting picture in my book and mentioned I had to work hard. I agreed by saying every pilot has a story and it's not always an easy journey. My F/O today had 27 years military time. He was bumped back from a cruise pilot position on the B777 to F/O on the A320. An example of the hiccups along the way.

Disco Doug stemmed from one particular dance at high school.
----- Original Message -----

whywhyzed said...

Isn't F/O on the 320 a whole lot better than being a Dozer on the 777? At least you're flying the plane!
How come this is considered a bad thing?

From the Flight Deck said...

Whywhyzed. Senior cruise pilots (dozers) fly about 9 days a month whereas an A320 F/O would fly 12 to 16 days a month. Cruisers would get more expense money and
make a few dollars more for less days flown. It boils down to lifestyle. Because of cutbacks we even had two A320 captains go back to cruising on the B777.

You're right, cruising is not for everyone because you don't fly the plane (land/take off). That's one of the reasons why I left the position.