Sunday, August 29, 2010

Checked out on Cozumel (Mexico)

Toronto's sky line at 1:10 a.m inbound from Mexico.

Captain Doug on the Cozumel ramp. I took many pictures on the approach, but I must have had the camera on the wrong setting. I realized all the photos were blurry so I asked the F/O for one on the ramp. He took several pics and this is the only half decent one. Funny, we both flew four hours, dodging thunderstorms over Florida and the Gulf of Mexico and landed safely in an airport where neither of us have been to and yet we couldn't figure out my digital camera. Men!

Both legs went well to Cozumel and back. (Cozumel is an island about 40 miles south of Cancun). We did a non precision VOR approach on runway 11. Non-precision approaches are the norm in this neck of the woods. I guess I'm spoiled with CYYZ having ILS approaches on all ten runways. The F/O flew the leg (he never been there either, but I find it's better to monitor things instead of flying the leg). Someone years ago suggested this and it works great. But you'll get some staunch captains thinking this is where experience should take over and always do the leg. Strange, there is a higher proportion of accidents when the captain flies.

While on short final, I could not believe the recently laid black asphalt that greeted us with newly painted lines. What a pleasant surprise! The procedure is to roll to the end and turn around. Luckily we tucked into the turn around point at the end because another airplane landed behind us. I'm not sure if this procedure would stand the test in Canada or the U.S.

Even the taxiways were recently paved. Nice.

I get to add another notch on the airport list.

After getting to bed at 3:00 a.m, I'm off to San Diego this afternoon. But I'm a seasoned veteran flying into SAN, I've been there once before! :)

Gone flying!


Andrew said...

Doug, how many different airports have you been to?


From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. I think I'm up to 110 as a pilot. Plus another 20 or so as a passenger. That's on the top of my head.
Heck...I've got a five hour flight this afternoon. That will give me something to think about. :)

Jim said...

Captain Doug, I thought in the U S that at least one pilot on the crew had to have experience at the arrival airport.
Am I mistaken on that point or is the rule in Canada diferent.
BTW I enjoy your blog. Feel it is a great learning experience for the novice such as me. Thank You.

Jack said...

Hi Doug,

Great post, as usual. Thanks for the frequent posts. Some of us may be quiet but we love reading about your adventures, past & present.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Jim the ruling is different. There are some airports, deemed by the FAA, the captain must self brief. I flew into one tonight...San Diego.
The self briefing procedure is not a major feat.

Air Canada does have a no "green on green" policy whereby two new pilots SHOULD not fly together. Noticed I said, "should."

Also we have higher landing limits for new captains.

Thanks for the comments about my blog. I hope you stick around.

Captain Doug in San Diego

From the Flight Deck said...

Jack. Thanks for the comments. Yes, sometimes you wonder if many in cyberland are appreciating the blog. Doug in San Diego

Andrew said...

Hey Doug,

Just curious, how it works when you want to travel off duty, like if you wanted to go to Australia, how would you go about doing that?


Daniel said...

^ Employees can fly with there family by only paying taxes. So he could just book a flight with his pass and his family and just pay the fees for it. When they do, they are known as cons. With seniority you can be a con ahead or just a plan con. My dad, who has been with Air Canada for 32 years is known as a con ahead unless you have someone with 33 years at Air Canada and then they pass my dad. A employees son flying alone is called a C3 and is at the back of the pack.

Seniority plays a minor role in it but it is enough to effect others. Usually its first come, first serve.

Doug if I am wrong, I am only telling what I have been told from other Air Canada employees and my dad. Feel free to correct me.

Memopilot said...

Hey Captain¡¡ Good to see you have a good time here in Mexico. Its true, airports around here are mostly non precision.

Cancun and Cozumel are both a great place to vacation. ¡¡¡

Happy Landings ¡¡¡

From the Flight Deck said...

Hello Memopilot. Yes, I've been to Cancun at least six times on vacation. Plus, I stopped in Cozumel while on a cruise. These two places are keeping Air Canada busy.

I see Mexicana is grounded.

Are you flying yourself?

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Daniel. You were on a roll explaining things to Andrew but one technical point. Passes are all predicated on seniority. It's never a first come first served. Other airlines do it that way, but not here at A.C.

Andrew. If I wanted to go to Australia... I go on our company employee website and place a booking. If there are seats left and if no other employees are ahead of me, then I'm going to Australia! Passes for any airline are a huge benefit.

Thanks Daniel.

Captain Doug on a short layover here in Halifax

Andrew said...

sweet, tag-team effort on answering that one, Thanks!


From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. Daniel is very enthusiastic about aviation! Good for him.

Daniel said...

I have been lied to :( Whenever we fly and go standby and not going on a reward pass, we go if there isn't any seats. Although , if we booked first does that mean someone could still go in front of us?

Daniel said...

Correction, we go only if there seats.

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel it doesn't matter when you booked. You could have booked two weeks in advance and another book two hours before the flight. If the person who booked two hours before is senior, they get the seat. Seniority rules! There is an exception where you can buy seniority where you pay extra.

I've seen myself commuting back to Halifax with the last seat and a senior pilot showed up at the very last minute, took the boarding card and said, "thank you very much."
I stood there and watched the flight push back. Now you know why the tickets are called"stand by." Sometimes you can "stand" there and say "bye to the airplane.:)

Daniel said...

Yes, I very much hate that. My dad has collected a lot of reward passes over his time at Air Canada when we were flying back from Las Vegas on flight 670 YUL - YHZ we were told that even if were flying on reward passes other passengers could take our seats. My dad got pissed at that because the gate agent even said, we wont have a open seat for 2 days. Its like, whats the point of reward passes if others can take your seat, its just like flying standby.

Memopilot said...

Right now everything it's stuck around here, there are no comercial pilot license for the last year. Not even one ¡¡¡¡

And yes, Mexicana is grounded to say the least, it is the end for them. 89 years flying non stop but now it's hard to think they will make it. Nobody want to deal with the big Debt.
Firts this guys broke it and then somebody will buy it cheap ¡¡ The last mexicana owners had everything figured out.

They took money from the airline to maintain the other bussines they have. Force a bankruptcy for the big airline and then make all pilots from mexicana merge to the other smallest job contract rule
So with this action Mexicana disapear, Click and Mexicana link(regional) stays alive and Voila¡¡¡¡ Millions of savings for less paid employes
And the worst thing. Mexico does not have a Chapter 11.

So far captain, the thing doesn't seem so well for a mexican aviation student but, there is no turning back, hope everything puts itself together again

Regards Cap ¡¡¡¡

From the Flight Deck said...

Memopilot. Like you said....there is no turning back!

Sure things are looking bad, but I think the industry is at the bottom of the trough.

This is what Boeing posted a few days ago.

Boeing Co reiterated on Thursday that it expects North America airlines to take delivery of about 7,200 new planes over the next 20 years at a value of about $700 billion.

Keep your chin up! Things will get better! Even I have to keep telling myself that. We may be hiring soon.

Thanks Memopilot!