Sunday, June 20, 2010

ATC Happenings (Blog)

This drawing is from ATC Happenings' blog. Although the site is lacking pictures, (I'm sure that will change) this one certainly makes up for the void. :)
Click here for direct link to blog

I'm presently on a YVR (Vancouver) layover and thought I'd post something for father's day. I hope none of the father's out there will take offence to the pic I chose. :) :) :)

I had a recent request from a new start up blogger to give some exposure to his brand new blog.
He is an air traffic controller at a major Canadian centre and wished to remain anonymous as far as name and the exact centre. But one can quickly put two and two together from his writing. Especially when he talks about a major centre dealing with float planes. Did I tell you I was on a Vancouver layover? :)

Capt Doug Morris,

I'm an Air Traffic Controller in Canada and I really enjoy reading your blog. I started off as a flight instructor and after a few years of that I got into ATC, about 15 years ago. It's a career I really enjoy and dealing with professional pilots is great.

I've recently started a blog myself mostly about work as an ATC and if you have time I'd appreciate if you get a chance to take a look. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated. If you like what you read and you add my blog as one of your links that would be VERY much appreciated.
Thanks for all the great stories. I look forward to more.

His posts are great and very informative. I noticed he has only two followers, so make his day and sign up. It's always good to have ATC on a pilot's side.

So without further ado, please visit his site.

I also moved the ATC link to the right of this posting where you can listen to the "shop talk."


ATC Happenings said...

Captain Doug,

A huge thank-you for posting about my new blog. I look forward to speaking on the radio with you one day and being able to say "hi" when I know it's you.

Happy flying!

From the Flight Deck said...

Mr ATC (name kept anon)

You are more than welcome. Just about to board for our flight 214 to YYC. We will be in touch!

Captain Doug

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Let me know when you're in YYC for a bit of a layover, beer is on me!

Enjoyed the trip down to SNU, J class upgrade in the off-season is the best kept deal bar none!

We had an interesting one hour delay out of YYC last Saturday. Crew had to burn about 1000 kgs of fuel on the ramp and taxiway before we were at MTOW (ground personnel in YYC put a little too much Jet-A on board and initially wanted to bump some luggage). Captain did a GREAT job keeping us informed including coming out into the cabin three times. Truly a class act!

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC dispatcher. If you are offering free beer, I'm there. :)

We too had an interesting delay out of Calgary yesterday. (I was just passing through) It seems some "rampies" booked off because of Father's day so the operation was short staffed.Actually, I'm told by many in YYC the entire operation is always short staffed. The "rampies" also groom the airplane in places like YYC i.e there are no designated groomers.
As a consequence we took a 30 minute delay. Rumour has it, at Westjet the F/As and pilots do the grooming.

Glad to hear the captain went out of his way. Yesterday we had 42 kids going to a Tim Horton camp from Vancouver and I made an announcement inviting them to the flight deck when we parked at the gate. It turned out they were running late so they couldn't take me up on the offer. In hindsight, it would have been a work out for both the F/O and I.

Lavi said...

Hi Captain Doug,
Are you flying out from Vancouver on Wednesday by any chance? My girlfriend is coming back from a work trip that evening.
On the way to Vancouver, she asked the F/As for the Captain's name (as she flew the A321 there) but to her surprise, none of the F/As knew the Captain's name. Is that normal?

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Lavi. I'm back flying on Thursday. Yes, with a big company like Air Canada it is not unusual to NOT know the captain's name or even meet him/her.The captain usually deals directly with the in-charge flight attendant but sometimes I make it a point to go in the cabin to say hi to everyone.
I mentioned this before, but many times you first meet the flight attendants at the end of the flight. Either when leaving the plane or boarding the crew bus.
Frequently the question heard is, "were you on my flight?"

Having said that, we do give the in-charge a "captain's info sheet" which states the captain and F/O's name, flight number, altitude, air and flight time, altitude and destination weather.
So in theory the F/A could have consulted it.

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

More then a rumour about WestJet, definitely the truth, in fact, even their non-rev employees remain on board after the flight to assist. One way to keep their expenses down, though they do have a staff that does overnight grooming when the aircraft remains at the station overnight.

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. I knew that too, but I have to watch what I say. :)

Thanks for your comments.

Captain Doug

whywhyzed said...

re: the "Captain's Info Sheet" has always puzzled me why you announce the 'planned altitude of...'

Is it some kind of regulation, or what?

As much as I love flying (both as a passenger and as a part-time pilot), as long as we get there safely, who cares about the altitude?? I have to say that 99% of the people on board care about the arrival time much more than the altitude!!

From the Flight Deck said...

Whywhyzed. I often wondered the same thing. Why mention the altitude especially when we may change altitude three to four times on a flight? I think it stems back to the onset of the jet age. We were trying to woo people by bragging how high we would be/are cruising.

So you make a good point...altitude is irrelevant.

I also query the "destination weather" on the captain's info sheet. Is that present weather or forecast weather?
But you will find 95 percent comes from the latest "actual" (METAR).
That's why when the in-charge gives the temperature during their spiel based on the captain's info sheet, it might be different than what the captain says because he just called up the latest weather before giving his spiel.

The intricacies of an airline. :)

Sam said...

WOW! Great blog. I'm in the "sealcoating" biz and I can't imagine what it would be like to sealcoat a commercial runway. I'm sure that, as a pilot, it is something that you pay attention to. Be safe up there ;)

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Sam. Yeah, A guy in the "sealcoating" business would have a heyday on the long runways and taxiways. Yesterday, I took off on Canada's longest - runway 34 in Calgary.

Over 12,000 feet long and 200 feet wide. Lots of area there! You should knock at the Airport Authority's door, they are building a parallel runway and I assume it too will be a long one. :)

Thanks for commenting on my blog.