Flight Plan

My flight plan....to encourage, mentor, guide those pining for the sky. I'm also here to virtually open the flight deck door for those who want to take a peek at the many aspects of aviation.....enjoy!

...and welcome aboard!...


The latest "Readbacks"

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lots of ups and downs

Whistler Village

Lots of Ups and Downs

No, this is not about my career, or any pilot's for that matter. Nor is it about multiple legs (flights) or touch and goes. It's about gondolas, quad chair lifts and some T-bar lifts. Just finished my first day of skiing at Whistler after years of absence on the hills.

Ten to fifteen cm of new snow glistened the hill on top of a 3 meter base. It was worth the arduous task of getting on a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. The family and I didn't make it on the first full B777. We managed to sneak on the second B777, the first time for me on this bird. (Ian, those mighty engines during start-up certainly rattle the cabin). I was impressed with the overhead baggage bins. They look like they can store large trunks. Perfect for contingency passengers who prefer not to check bags.

During the ascent on the multiple chair lifts it made me think about adiabatic lapse rates, it rained in the village but quickly turned to snow as temperatures typically drop 2c/1000 feet.
I also experienced the LCL (Lifting condensation level) where the base of a cloud forms. But the LWC (Liquid Water Content) was not enough to produce rime ice in the cloud. I guess thinking like a weatherman/pilot never stops.

I survived the first day. The hill is very quiet even though the Paralympics are in full tilt. To ski directly into a chair lift is unheard of, but I'll take the near pristine conditions and no line ups.

Tomorrow's forecast is moving in 10 to 15 mm of rain at the base, but will add to the near record snowfall on the hill.

Captain Doug in Whistler


Reg said...

Whenever talking about our schooling, my wife always likes to quote that she learnt all about adiabatic lapse rates which is supposed to impress everyone. So what, I say, I learnt Latin but I suspect ALR's has more relevance to the real world.

Ian said...

Glad to see you and the gsng made it ok on the passes out to the West Coast - good job! And have lots of fun needless to say.

The power from either the Trents or the GEs is intoxicating and yes, the vibes at start through the cabin is something.

I don't think you're a Boeing convert yet...besides, you'd have to learn to balance the food tray on your knees all over again!

Back to finding out what I am doing over this weekend - all hell has broken loose - B744s positioning down the route system, B777s coming in from maintenance checks early, pilots getting ready to serve meals and work the cabins - it is going to be quite the few days!

Enjoy your break Doug!

Cheers Ian

Anonymous said...

Have fun in our neck of the woods.
Most beautiful place in the world.

reader from YVR

From the Flight Deck said...

Reg. I'm looking out of the hotel window and the forecasted rain is well upon us. I'm hoping the ALRs will pull through and turn the rain to snow as we ascend the hill this morning.

From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. Your license plates say it all, "Beautiful British Columbia."

From the Flight Deck said...

Ian. On day two, the ascent up the hill went from steady rain to blizzard like conditions with 30 to 40 knot winds causing white out conditions with snow pelting the face. I think I heard my wife mumble she would take a beach vacation anytime over this.

The weather conditions remind me of the time I skied and took lessons in Austria. The day we arrived it was nothing but brown dirt half way of the hill. But a cold front swept through and dumped a massive amount of snow.

It's a bit frustrating skiing with the family only skiing 'green runs' and the odd intermediate after heavy convincing. When I took lessons, my instructor, Hans, had legs the size of tree stumps and his policy was not to wait for anyone that fell. You had to catch up with the group. I finally switched groups. My new instructor, Honey, (Yes, Honey) had long curly eyelashes. Well, I'll leave it at that. :)

Looks like B.A is heading into a zone of turbulence but as to whether it will be short lived or persist for days is anyone's guess. This airline business is not for the faint of heart.

Doug in Whistler

Mark said...

Hey Doug,

Sounds like you are enjoying Whistler. I was supposed to be there tonight for a bachelor party for an old high school buddy. Couldn't make it out early enough, so just flying to Victoria on Thursday to visit some family, then to Vancouver Friday (wedding Saturday) and then back to Toronto on Sunday. When are you flying back? Maybe you'll be on passes Sunday back to YYZ!

I flew today (beautiful day here in Toronto!) and learned slow flight and did a few stalls and spins. I was taken aback of the sensation of the stall and spin maneuvers. It was definitely nerve-racking, but it's all part of the training and something that I will get more used to with increased experience. Geeze, I love to fly! Miss it already.

Chat later


From the Flight Deck said...
This post has been removed by the author.
From the Flight Deck said...

Mark. Tomorrow is our last day of skiing. Today was unfortunately steady rain, but we managed to get in some skiing at higher altitudes. Actually my daughter managed to take in a full day snow boarding lesson. I thought about snowboarding, but some one pointed out broken bone cases go up exponentially after age 40 so I came to my senses.

We hope to make it back on Thursday. Looks like we will be crossing paths.

I must admit I wasn't a fan of spins and stalls either. At one time, the requirement on the PPL flight test was just an incipient spin but this may have changed. Keep it going!

Doug in wet Whistler.