Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Calgary Flying

On Approach to 25 left Las Vegas. One can see the 'hotel strip' to the right.

Being vectored onto approach runway 16 in Calgary with a big ominous cloud staring at us.

This greasy spoon, Diner Deluxe, made it in enRoute's places to eat.
With a 20 minute walk from the hotel, and up a steady hill on Edmonton trail, it was worth the trek. The place was lined up, but being solo allowed me immediate seating.

Day one consisted of one leg to CYYC (Calgary). As per my procedure, I asked the F/O which leg he wanted. It didn't matter to him so a coin toss confirmed Captain Doug is the PF (Pilot Flying). It had to be one of my smoothest landings on runway 16. We arrive at noon. The F/O is a Calgary local so I cab it downtown. While checking in, the front desk staff is quite inquisitive and knows his aviation lingo. Turns out I flew with his dad on the A340. An hour later I get a note under my door offering complimentary breakfast for the next two days. A case in point, be nice to everybody. Seems like a simple formula, but I've witnessed how some pilots handle fuelers, rampies, agents, flight attendants, hotel staff, etc. and it's not always diplomatic.

Day two, consists of a 12 hour duty day from Calgary to Las Vegas, Vancouver and back to Calgary. Vancouver had lots of heavy showers in the area. Westjet had a high speed reject on runway 08 Right and blew two tires. Luckily things were back to normal when we arrived.

With a three hour pit stop the F/O and I capitalize on a great Airport Asian restaurant and yes they offer airline discounts.

Lots of convective cloud plus Chinook type conditions greeted us on arrival into Calgary with many reporting moderate bumps. We were armed and ready but it turned out to be a non event except on final. ATC vectored us a little too close to the final approach fix so our localizer did not arm in time meaning the glideslope did not capture. Translation, we were high! The F/O did a great job getting, "dirty and down." Our company adopted a new "stable" approach call.
Basically, the aircraft must be configured for landing (gear down with flaps), on profile (at least within one dot of the glideslope, on the localizer, target airspeed and vertical speed and all this must be met at 500 feet or GO AROUND! I called "stable" at 500.

It's off to the hotel solo again. The F/O suggested I try the "Deluxe Diner" for breakfast the next day. I had to waiver my second free breakfast in order to pursue this reconnaissance - not easy for a typical thrifty pilot. It was a place to be seen in Calgary and the omelette was not worth the trek up the hill, but the friendly attractive waitress proved it to be a successful mission. Again proving my point - be nice to everyone.

I'm back home and it's off to 'Micky Mouse land' this afternoon.


Mark said...

Hey Doug. Good post.

That's too bad about Skerservice today.

From the Flight Deck said...

Mark. I just heard the news! Another one bites the dust exemplifying this industry is upside down.

Canada 3000, Jetsgo, Zoom and now Sky Service.

Looks like my sister in law is out of a job. She also worked for Canada 3000.

I'm off to see Mickey Mouse in Orlando.


Mark said...

Enjoy Mickey. I'm off to ground school in a few minutes.


Lavi said...

Great pictures, and your little footnote explanations bring the pictures to life, in my head, anyway. Keep'em coming!

Hope all's well.

Mike W said...

Interesting about the "Approach Stable" call at 500 ft. We just went to that call recently where I fly. Thought it was standard at most of the majors.

From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Lavi. Did an Orlando turn last night. We were vectored directly over the CN tower from the south. Visibility was excellent and the near full moon added extra lighting. Downtown looked beautiful, but I wasn't quick enough on the draw to get a photo.


From the Flight Deck said...

Mike W. The call is standard for the small buses and I think it's standard across the fleet now. We 320 drivers were the guinea pigs for the program. It was implemented about 2 to 3 years ago which stemmed from our own FOQA (Flight Operations Quality Assurance) program. But I think a well documented unstabilized approach from another carrier was the seed.

I still run into a few guys, including me, forgetting to make the call, "stable." I have yet to make the other call and I'm hoping I'll never have to.