Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pilot license and driver's license please

Arrived from Vancouver at midnight last night touching down 20 minutes late in YYZ due to late connections from Hong Kong. (We pushed back with 25 passengers still stuck in Vancouver customs or wandering the airport). Winds out of the north of 20 knots gusting to 35 knots greeted us for arrival on runway 05. Translation...we had a stiff crab on.

I used my usual bad joke by asking the first officer, "how does it go again, turn into the wind and use opposite rudder?" I got a faint grin out of him. Maybe he thought I was serious I had forgotten my crosswind technique?

It's up early to pick up my eldest from first year university, but not before I pop in at the Air Canada medical department to get a six month check up. My wife had to sit in the car while I had an overzealous doctor check me over. First, it's the eye test. Air Canada has a new device which uses numbers to read instead of letters. It wasn't a good sign when I read letters.

"Glasses must be available" will now be printed on license. "Glasses must be worn" are for those that can't see down the runway. For me, it's the approach charts at night giving me a challenge as of late. (I had the representative of Jeppeson charts visit the flight deck while on the ground in Denver a year ago. After receiving several trinkets, he asked if we had any comments or suggestions. I suggested the font on the taxi charts be much bigger. His response, "oh, you older guys always say that.")

My blood pressure was good. I elected to go off the pills a few years ago. Luckily she took the reading before I dropped my underwear to my ankles for the "cough" test. As well, she allowed me to skip the "finger" treatment.

We pick up our daughter after cleaning out her room where a tornado passed through and began our three hour return journey. After a late arrival and a few prior "red eyes,"fatigue crept into the picture. My daughter, fast asleep from partying late the night before, and with my wife's nose stuck in a book, I could feel a "controlled nap" coming on. Wait a minute, my BMW does not have an autopilot or anyone to tell, "you have control." I decided to pull off and get a coffee.

I pull off to a rest area. Drat, no Tim Horton's! I better get back on the highway. Wait a minute, there's a police cruiser over there parked along the off ramp. Captain Doug's eye's are still 20/20 for distance and I could see him looking my way. I made sure I did a complete stop. I signal left and proceed to the on ramp. Flashers with a crazed police officer jumping a median is in hot pursuit.

"Driver's license please!" Apparently, I turned left which was the wrong thing to do. Captain Doug was going down. This guy was in the lecture mode and my driver's license address and insurance address didn't jive. He returns in a few short minutes, only to say I could have received $110 fine for a "no left turn, $110 fine for an invalid license (people in Ontario you have SIX days to change it) and $110 for an invalid car registration plus two demerit points.

But he said, "congratulations on having a ticket free history." I asked him if I could shake his hand. That's how it ended. Some guys have cars that are "babe magnets," but my car as of late is a "police magnet." Time for a trade in.


Nadia said...

Hello Doug,

Lucky man, now you're a real TV star:) I knew one day you will benefit of your status:)

Congratulation for your medical test. It's a strange exam pant down but no finger test, probably because it was a female doctor:))) But it's OK I don't need more informations...


Sergei said...

Capt Doug,

I recommend Crown Vic as the next car.

Giulia said...

Good call, Sergei! I second that suggestion.

And...NADIA!!!!!! (snicker) :):)

From the Flight Deck said...

Nadia. You're probably right as to why I was spared the prostate test.

Although she did give me a lecture on not having a family doctor.

From the Flight Deck said...

Sergei. Am I getting that old by
suggesting a Crown Victoria? :)

Giulia. I knew the underwear comment would draw some attention. :)

Andrew said...

Oh man, that blows!

I think you may want to stop posting about your traffic tickets, it seems that they just attract more and more of them. When i got my ticket it was gonna be a 110 fine for speeding and 110 fine for not having registration (i was looking for the green card...shoulda been looking for a photocopy.) but i wasnt in a beemer so he dropped the registration one.

cstclair said...

Doug - Always good to have the whole family home again. I'm guessing Napanee was your OPP incursion (they're like circling vultures there). The rest stop refurbishment program along the 401makes great bait for illegal lefts and U turns. Congrats and welcome to the glasses club - something new to misplace. Cheers! Chris!

From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. I thought police weren't suppose to profile drivers and their cars, but something tells me a BMW means "cha ching, cha ching." Having said that, all it takes most times is a "word to the wise." In other words, a mistake was made. Don't crucify the driver for it. But I think many police officers are now looking at it as a possible overtime bonus plus they are obligated to up the coppers for the city's or province's budget.

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. You pegged it! It WAS Napanee and yes they have lots of rest stops closed up. When I pass Napanee I always think of Avril Lavigne.I had her on my flight out of St. John's one day and she signed my book.Now I'll think about your reference to "circling vultures."

As you know, I've received the green light from Air Canada to be TWN's aviation guy. Cheryl L. agreed to identify me as a "commercial airline pilot" and for me to present without my uniform as per Air Canada's request.No calls yet.

Yes, it's nice to have everyone home. She will be a lifeguard all summer in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Time for me to make an eye doctor appointment, change my driver license address and make a call to revenue Canada asking where my refund is.


P.S the offer of the flight simulator is still open although I see they changed the rules a little for P.R sessions.

bloozclooz said...

Congratulations Doug, I totally hear ya about the medical exams and those dreaded eye tests. I also agree with you about letter sizes on taxiway signs and I am only 30, so I don't think it's an "older guy" thing as that Jeppsen guy said, plus that's age-ist!!

As for your car, you know when I read your earlier post about it, I thought "good for him" it's well earned and you deserve to show your pride with the license plate. But now that you mentioned this, I think it's probably a better idea to be conspicuous from now on, because some people are just to jealous/bitter deep down so you may get that unwanted attention as a result. Keep up the good work I LOVE your blog!

Bloozclooz said...

Correction: that should have read "inconspicuous" in my previous comment! Now about TWN, I'm wondering why AC wouldn't want you appearing in their uniform or being referred to as an AC pilot. Wouldn't that be good publicity for them? Hmmm..

Thanks again for taking the time to us your readers! I am sire everyone appreciates it and its aprt of what makes this blog so special!

Adam said...


I just posted on the Flying Scotsman's blog - I saw him in his new Armani glasses on layover quite by chance last month - takes years off him. Same with you I'm certain. I was at Prestwick around the same time as Ian.

Ran through your blog and it's good stuff - well written and informative.

I'm currently an Emirates B777 Skipper and will be moving onto the A380 - my first time on a "bus" of any sort. I will post my experience during conversion on a blog if anyone is interested.

The other day in Dubai, I saw the cops running around in Nissan GT-R - no chance of outrunning that.

Great blog Doug - all the best from the Sandpit


Jack said...

Another great post, Doug!

Too bad about the second police stop. Did he ask you anything about your personalized license plate (i.e. are you a pilot?). I wonder if that had anything to do with the free pass?

Napanee reminds me of photo radar -in the early 90's, I got a ticket in the mail for going 112kmh on the 401 when I was caught by a photo radar van - when the PC's came into power in 1995, they got rid of that program.


Anonymous said...

Hey Doug,

I was wondering when a GFA or other charts predict icing in an area...

How do the meteorologists know it will be in that area? Do they look at satellite images, or use weather radar? Do they make predictions based on airmass positions? Or is it all based on the radiosonde measurements?


Mark said...

Hey Doug, didn't you get pulled over a few weeks back also? It's got to be the license plate + Beemer combo!!! If you are ready for a new car, get a Crown Vic black with no caps on the wheels. There you go, you will look like an unmarked cruiser and you won't get pulled over...lol.

I didn't know that AC pilots have the medical every six months, thought it was annual. If you didn't get the finger treatment today as you so eloquently put it (aka the 2 finger special) it’s coming in 6 months, get ready. When your eyes bulge, it might help the eyesight and then you will no longer need glasses for those Jeppeson charts!

PS. Are you a member of a COPA chapter? I am thinking of getting involved in the one out of CZBA.



From the Flight Deck said...

Bloozclooz. Presently in CYEG (Edmonton) waiting to launch back to Toronto on the "red eye."

Thanks for the kind words about my blog. I like your spin off from "Blues Clues."

I hear ya about jealousy. I'm now in cahoots with Revenue Canada. When I lived in Halifax I had to contact the St. John's, Newfoundland office to get answers. Unfortunately, at the time Air Canada cancelled the London flights. The city was on an Air Canada rampage. Needless to say, I did not get very far with Revenue Canada. Funny they receive millions of dollars from Air Canada pilots. I just called them today and they are withholding my refund until I show them documentation. I better watch paranoia does not set in.

From the Flight Deck said...

Bloozclooz. As far as the media and Air Canada, they tend to shy away from it. For instance, about five years ago I did a stint on jet streams for the Weather Network. I was a lowly F/O then so the comfort factor was not there for the AC heavy hitters. I had a P.R person in the simulator the entire time ensuring I said the right stuff. The P.R fellow turned out to be a great guy and he calls me first if there is a media request.

I think everyone, including me, will be feeling things out as far as me and TWN. Because of it, it's best to start off conservatively.

From the Flight Deck said...

Adam. The A380! Good for you. I don't think we will ever see those mammoths at Air Canada.

Thanks for your post and drop by now and again to let us know how things go with the 380. You're a lucky guy.

I did the Emirates interview about five years ago. It was not for me, but Dubai is a great city to visit. My family loved it and they still talk about the visit.

Keep in touch and good luck with the course.

Captain Doug

Bloozclooz said...

Thanks for the reply Capt. Doug and good luck with the TWN stint and with Revenue Canada as well! I just learned that the AC service between YYT and LHR are to resume soon so hopefully that will make things better :-)

SimPilot264 said...

Hi Doug,

I would have posted this earlier but my keyboard has only now recovered from the coffee spray/spillage when I read: "...we had a stiff crab on"!! Such phraseolgy would, if uttered in certain RAF squadron engineers crewrooms, bring such responses as: "where/who were you with last night?", "are you bragging, or complaining?", or "perhaps you should talk to the padre/doc/O Club chef (select as appropriate)".

Perhaps this would have been better - "Translation... whilst the aircraft heading to approach course differential was significant, it was within the limits set down in the Airbus AOM for the aircraft type in question, and the Company SOPs." No, the original version is funnier!

Re the car issue - 10 year old Ford Escort. You won't be able to get it started, therefore no risk of upsetting the boys or girls in blue. :))


IanH - not far from Firkem

From the Flight Deck said...


I thought the "crab" comment might promote a query/comment or two. :)

Thanks for your humourous contribution. Well done.


From the Flight Deck said...


Just up from doing a "red eye" to Edmonton and back. Chris St. Clair sent me an email this afternoon saying TWN is excited to get some aviation related presentations on the go.

Yes, Revenue Canada is after receipts before they give me my refund. I'm back from the post office sending a registered letter to them. Soon they will be assessing our parking spots at the airport as revenue. Meaning Air Canada employees will be paying taxes on parking.I wonder if a Wal-Mart employee will be paying the same? Even Revenue Canada employees?

Yes, the YYT-LHR service will be back this May. It will be done solely by the small Winnipeg base on the A319. Everyone on the base must be checked out on ETOPs.

Looks like my tax office is no longer YYT but in Summerside, PEI. Last year I taught some weather at Seneca College but they sent me a T4 slip instead of a T4A.
I went back and forth with CRA (Tax man) for two weeks. After hours on their part, I received a small refund.

I bet you can tell I'm grumpy from talking taxes and being up most of the night.

In an hour, I'm off to LAX for a long layover on Redondo Beach.

I'll be out walking aimlessly on the beach tomorrow looking at the scenery. :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Mark. I think you pegged it. I'm starting to get paranoid about driving my car.

Yes, every commercial pilot after the age of 40 has the honour of getting a medical every six months.
Every year I get an EKG and every two years blood work is involved.

For you as a future private pilot I think joining COPA would be a great move.

I'm off to LAX. Sunny and 22C there tomorrow.

Like a good pilot, I'll be "keeping up my scan" at the beach. :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. Those are deep weather questions. I'm literally out the door for LAX. I'll get back to you. Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Jack. I remember the photo radar days but I lived in Nova Scotia at the time. Sounded like a nightmare.

Going 112 clicks and getting a ticket. Absurd.

Off to LAX.


whywhyzed said...

Hey Doug -- are you operating 792 back to YYZ today?
See you there!

From the Flight Deck said...

whywhyzed. I'm doing flight 794 back, the "red eye."
Too bad, I would have liked to have met you.

I'm presently in Redondo Beach about to go bike riding up to Manhattan Beach.