During the walk around in Ottawa I noticed this artwork.
No, not the tape but the spider... :)
I didn't realize it, but many of our Airbuses (or so I am told when I queried) are incorporating reflective tape so the "rampies" will see these canoe shape fairings at night. (They house the hydraulic screw jacks for the flaps). What a great idea!!!
Here's another shot. Of the three flap fairings, notice the "stick" protruding toward the back in the forefront. That's a static wick and one of my reader's children asked what it was. I think it makes for a great enRoute question. There's 13 of them on one Airbus wing alone. They're wicks which discharge static electricity. You see how easy the questions can be, even a four year old can come up with great aviation questions.
This proves even people at Air Canada have great sense of humours.
Meteorological senses tingling.
We knew thunderstorms would be an issue in Toronto leaving Ottawa as depicted on the flight plan. The preceding crew left a thunderstorm Sigmet on the console recently datalinked by dispatch. Another heads up. I briefed the in-charge thunderstorms are the top of the list for briefing items. (Regulations stipulate we must brief the in-charge). He was cool about it and during the flight I made several calls to him letting him know what was transpiring.
Just as we were to push back, "ground" tells us Toronto posted a "metered delay." We decided to wait at the gate instead of pushing back, starting the engines and burning fuel. We will need it for deviating. Yes, we boarded extra fuel for weather contingencies.
The flight proved mostly uneventful although we had to approach Toronto from the north. We also held for 15 minutes as a local cell had it's way with the airport.
ATC wanted us to proceed to the YSO (Simcoe) VOR and hold at first. I insinuated our weather radar was painting green to yellow there with a few specks of red. Translation, I aint going there. He agreed his so called weather radar is poor and our on board system tended to be far better.
Funny, I wrote an article a few years ago on how Environment Canada had upgraded its weather radars to "doppler." In the article, I mentioned NAV CANADA will soon be superimposing this data on their radar screens to safely vector aircraft around convective cloud. But rumour has it there is an interface problem. Well, a cheap DELL laptop next to the screen with a link to Environment Canada's website could be a start.
(ATC Happenings.....Can you offer anything further???).
Many pilots dump on Toronto ATC. Actually, many pilots dump on ATC in general. But they also dump on their crew meals, crew sked, management, rampies but I guess it's easy to be critical from one vantage point. Yes, I can be part of that group too.
I truly think ATC does an excellent job! And yesterday was no exception. The controller's voices were up an octave and curt. This is what is needed when aircraft are criss-crossing the skies while deviating. My hat is off to you guys!!!
The cell moved southeastward and with a runway change to handle the wind shift the F/O put in on nicely. This one hour flight took nearly two hours to complete so our scheduled departure time for Halifax was not going to happen.
The thunderbumpers moved far enough south so they were easy to circumnavigate enroute to Halifax. Halifax had another runway shut down. Seems like every summer they want to shut down a runway. Of course the winds were Southwest at 20 knots but Captain Doug had to land on runway 14. It all worked out fine.
No, I didn't make my usual joke about how to land into a crosswind, "turn into the wind and use opposite rudder." Even I am getting tired of it. :)
A shot taken last night at FL 380 from Halifax to Toronto.
Our office in the dark around 11:00 p.m local. That's the beautiful city of Montreal glowing in the background. Our wheels touched down in CYYZ at midnight.
Yes, the F/O is there somewhere.