Credit to the photographs

I would like to thank Brian Losisto (Air Canada's photographer) for always allowing me to post his pictures. (The above thrust lever pic is his). Then there is Kelly Paterson from Calgary and plane spotter "Erik" from Germany. Of course, I have lots myself. On that note, if you feel a photo(s) may be in appropriate or the content I post a bit dubious by all means send me an email. I will ratify it! That's all I ask.

...I hope you enjoy the blog...

P.S I'd like to add Nadia from "la belle province" for her contributions!

"The Silhouette" by "Erik"

A321 captured by Nadia

A321 captured by Nadia
A321 departing YUL by tail spotter Nadia

Sunday, August 29, 2010

WestJet's RNP (Required Navigation Performance)

"Keeping an eye on the competition"

A reader sent me this link to a short Westjet video on their new RNP (Required Navigation Performance) system. You are probably asking yourself, why is an Air Canada pilot promoting Westjet? I know about 40 Westjet pilots and we all have a job to do. Gee, I must be drinking some of that Westjet kool-aid. :)

I sure wish I had this system up and running when I flew into Cozumel, Mexico last night. We did an archaic 10 DME ARC VOR offset approach. This technology dates back to the fifties and sixties.

We at Air Canada are getting on board with the GPS approaches. Safety is number one, so GPS and RNP all help elevate the safety bar. Plus it translates into fuel savings.'s that for some Air Canada kool-aid? :)

Thanks "Anon" for sending the link!


david said...

Last year on a Hope Air flight, I flew the NDB/DME approach into Kapuskasing with a 15 DME arc transition, with conditions near minima. I would have been grateful even for a VOR approach that day.

From the Flight Deck said...

David. It's true a VOR approach is more accurate than an NDB approach, but for an Airbus it tends to be a work out especially when we do it, "selected, selected."

I guess my point being is, with the technology the way it is, these archaic approaches should be a thing of the past. Wishful thinking I guess?

Thanks for the comments. Gone to San Diego where it's Localizer only approach.


david said...

Enjoy the LOC approach, Doug! I don't mind them, as long as I don't have to circle in low vis (like I did last week at KBVY).

I've already experienced a military GPS-jamming exercise once, so I'd still want to have some kind of ground-based approach aids as a backup (and stay current using them). I'm thinking more seriously, however, about ponying up the $10-12K to put an IFR-certified GPS in my PA-28-161. That's 20-25% of the value of the whole plane, though, and that's without adding an autopilot as well.

Daniel said...

Will it be RNP10 or something lower? Its cool because on the Embraer PDF it will tell you in purple lettering what RNP it is at the moment... so like it will display sometimes RNP2 or RNP.30 . Pretty neat :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

Just out of curiosity, when does air Canada plan on having the baby Airbus certified for RNP approaches/GPS approaches?


From the Flight Deck said...

David. As far as the LOC approach, I'll volunteer my F/O to fly the first leg. :)

Actually, we flew to Cozumel together. It's rare to be paired with the same F/O back to back. I pity him. :)

Yes, any system needs a back up, and like you said, it's one reason why they still exist.

Wow, a 12K GPS in your airplane! You're getting into some serious stuff. When Air Canada gives me the keys to a $60 million dollar airplane one would think
it would include a few toys. But it's coming!!!!

However, the entire Airbus fleet is CAT III Autoland capable. Yet, the number of times I've actually had to use

Off to California...

From the Flight Deck said...

Nehal. Everyone will be put through training during their recurrent simulator training so realistically it will take just under a year.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Daniel. Good question as to what RNP rating it will have. Sounds like the Embraer is well equipped. But it's a junior airplane so I'm hoping I'll never see it. :)