Saturday, February 27, 2010

Odds and ends....

From "Erik" (Odds and a 747 end)

1. Reader Dan A. had this to ask. "The Breakthrough"

I'm curious about a moment that every
airline captain has experienced,but I've
never heard one discuss: When they
learned that the airline had hired them.

It must truly be one of life's transition
moments. Because one minute you
weren't sure if it would ever happen,
and then the next moment you find
out that it just has.

Yes, the day the airline (for me Air Canada) calls, it's a day of jubilation.
To work so hard in getting the qualifications, only to wait for the nod can take years.

Then there's the many hoops to jump through in order to get the acceptance letter.
It truly is a feeling of intrepidation when Air Canada puts you through the paces.

But like you say, it's a crossroad in a pilot's career.

***New*** When Air Canada called there was a hint of hesitation. Why? Well the connectors joined up and made everyone believe the connector and mainline pilot seniority list was going to merge. It was a matter of time. So this made me hesitate for a nanosecond. Others took longer, and it cost them dearly. It just goes to confirm my thinking on opportunity, "go for what's being offered."

2. One reader claimed he read my book from head to toe in one sitting. Kisun wrote: "I think I broke my record in reading a whole book within 12 hours!

Hello, Doug!

I have found your blog through Joe d'Eon (flywithme) and eventually also found your book from the flight deck as well. I quickly rang up my local book store and ordered a copy. I received it 10 a.m Australia Sydney time and now I am 3/4 through your book and now I am wishng the book was at least a 1000pages thick!! By the way it has been 8 hours since I have received your book! LOL and I do not read books that v often! I have an ambition of becoming an airline pilot for QANTAS or V AUSTRALIA wish me luck! Thanks for replanting that 'inspiration' for me which will keep me committed!! Great book and I hope your trips are always safe! Once again, great book!

3. This week I found out my enRoute editor, who I've been dealing with for 10 years, will no longer be editing my column. That's four editors in over 13 years. I told her I am still amazed enRoute has kept me on. Because after all, change is always around the corner.

4. I noticed Captain Ian is pumping out lots of videos on his blog. I decided to put together some 'stills' in a movie fashion but I wanted to add music to it. (Ken Tobis, Dream II) I have the You Tube video of the song attached to the 787 pic. Instead of spending 99 cents and downloading the song from iTunes, I opted out the cheap way (typical pilot) and tried through my kids Limewire. This morning my main PC will not allow the mouse to click on any icons and the cursor turns into an hour glass over the start menu. Continuing with the cheap pilot approach, I've been trying all day to ratify with free software. No joy! I think I might turn this PC into a Mac. It's a Boeing versus Airbus thing, but I'm already a convert. This post is from my Mac Powerbook. "Look Mom no viruses." :)

5. Tomorrow is an early rise with a 5:15 a.m check in. I won't say the flight numbers, (sorry Nadia) but the show goes like this. YYZ-MCO-YYZ-YHZ. Monday: YHZ-MBJ (Montego Bay) -YHZ. Tuesday one leg home to YYZ.

Thanks for listening.


Nadia said...

Bonjour Doug,

Thanks for given me your flight destination with that I can find your flight number:
On the flightaware they give me Airbus 319. So what's the difference with Airbus 320?

You should really like CYHZ :)

Bonne journée et bon vol

Andrew said...


I've just finished Capt. Sully's book and at one point he talks about how he is away from his family so much. It seems people think pilots are always gone. Do you feel that you are away from home alot more then if you where working in an office?


From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. I feel I'm home more than most people. In fact, some pilots work as many days as most people have off. Meaning senior pilots fly 8 to 9 days.
Most people have the weekends off (8 days). You have to remember Sully commuted across the United States to get to work. No wonder he felt he was away from his family.

But as one pilot put it, "I wish I made as much money as everyone thinks I make, have as many days off as my neighbour thinks I have, and have as much fun on layovers as my wife
thinks I do - I would be a happy person."

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Nadia. I'm in YHZ. I knew you would get the flight numbers without a problem.

The Airbus A319 is about 12 feet shorter than the Airbus 320 and carries 120 passengers versus 146 passengers for the A320.

We won the hockey game!

Bravo Canada.

I was announcing the scores on my flight to Halifax as flight dispatch datalinked us.

Captain Doug

Ian said...

The life of the American airline pilot is very different to the one most of my colleagues have in BA - and I did read his book in the end, although I found it a bit sickly to be honest.

If I was in the LHS of the B744 here - I'd do one, LHR-SIN-SYD-SIN-LHR, one LHR-JFK-LHR and I could be just about done for the month.

As it is, the way I bid trips, I am usually away 4-5 times in the month. I can do a Far East, 2Caribbeans and an East coat USA to make it up. That means I would be away out of the month 6-8 nights max - the rest at home, which surprises people. Sometimes more - but in the end not so bad.

If you are on the B737NGs at Ryanair - you get home every night.

Lots of hangovers in Canada I hear...especially in Ancaster!

Cheers, Ian

Lakotahope said...

er, hmmm, What's a Mac???? heh

From the Flight Deck said...

Ian. Another great perspective on flying. I hear you as far as Sully's book. It tended to be a little too patriotic but he certainly had his fair share of knocks as well.

Yes, that was quite a game. I was announcing the score as we flew from Toronto to Halifax. I was just pulling in at the gate and we could see everyone glued to the T.Vs inside the airport. I knew the Americans tied. While driving to the hotel layover, the cab driver turned on the radio. We listened to a blow by blow description of the game. It must have felt the same way years ago when people huddled around the radio. Now they can watch it from their Iphones. Funny we were just entering the city of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia when Sydney Crosby scored the goal - his home town.

Just finished a three day mission. Now it's time to make an executive decision on a computer. As I mentioned to Lakotahope, I inadvertently deleted all my emails on my MAC.

Not a good week for computers. I hope the Airbus doesn't do that on me. :)


Lavi said...

Hey Doug, I might be able to help, I know Macs well. Which program were you using for your emails? Or do you just use an internet based email such as Gmail?

From the Flight Deck said...

Lavi. I use "Mail." Standing by. Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Lakotahope. I thought I was swinging toward another MAC but just yesterday I was deleting a whack of emails but the computer died during the process. When I turned on my Powerbook in the hotel all my emails (about 3000) vaporized.

MAC versus PC
Boeing versus Airbus
Coke versus Pepsi

The list is long.