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...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Airbus a la exterior

Here are more pics to add to the Airbus Art Gallery. These shots were taken under cloudy showery skies in Vancouver. In order for me to get these, I offered to do the "walk around." I must have set a record at Air Canada, because it meant a captain did two walk arounds in a row! lol

I also had to tell a "rampie" what I was doing. The fact that a captain was taking pictures of the aircraft raised a few eyebrows. :)

A shot of #2 from the jetway. Note the two fin like devices with "no step" on them.
As if a pilot would get up on the engine...? :) Anyone know what these things are called? They are "strakes" which helps airflow around these "powerful puppies."

Underneath the "strakes" they say "NO GRAB." And no this is not a warning to passengers stating the F/As are "not to be grabbed." (Sorry, poor attempt of humour)

Looking up the "pipe" of the CFM 56. And NO the engine is not going....

Another shot of the "pipe and back end." Don't touch this if you know what's good for you. :)

Guess how many blades a CFM 56 engine has? Actually, it's kind of difficult to tell because the number "36" is smudged. I should have moved over to the #1 engine, but the rampies were giving me a dirty look. :)

One can see (green-yellow device) part of the reverse thrusters. Most modern engines have "petal" reversers now instead of the "buckets." Why petal? Think petals of a flower. When four are deployed the engine displays four petals.

The THS (Trimable Horizontal Stabilizer) should read zero on the ground. One day the F/O noticed it was "0ff" a little bit. It took some doing with maintenance to realize it was just that..."off" a little bit

Speed tape at it's finest.

The landing light. You can see Captain D in the reflection. These things can slow the airplane by 3 to 5 knots, so I'm told. We call these our "mini speed brakes." Actually, if ATC gives us the green light to speed up past 250 knots below 10,000 feet in the climb, we better make sure these puppies are tucked in. If not, both of us will look at each other and ask, "what's that rumbling noise." :)

"My, what big static ports you have!" (I didn't know what else to say) :)

The tail light...somewhat out of focus. We have two and it's on the number one system.
The lens cover tends to blackened from APU smoke.

The NAV light on the number one system. We alternate from 1 for odd number flights and number 2 for even numbered flights.

Hooks located on the cargo door. I'll call these the "male hooks."

And I'll call these the "female receptors" located on the bottom of the cargo bay.

Okay. You are probably asking, "I thought we are looking at outside pictures?"
Well, my sharp F/O (you can see his reflection) noticed there was quite a displacement from our position (the yellow airplane) compared to runway 28 in Calgary. This is one thing we should notice when take off thrust is set...that the little yellow airplane updates itself on the runway. And sure enough it did!

Keeping an eye on the competition! Westjet is sitting on the button of 28 in Calgary ( I jokingly call it (CYYC) "enemy territory") Actually, we just found out today I will be sleeping with the enemy. My wife was hired as one of their "ambassadors!" I better not talk in my sleep divulging AC secrets. lol


carlton said...

As usual thanks for the awesome pictures ; )

Are engines assigned solely to an individual aircraft or are they swapped and exchanged to different aircraft of the same fleet after overhaul etc

carlton said...

by the way I flew the Tiger Moth yesterday and it was amazing. It was mentally and physically draining as the Moth required constant attention and inputs - but that was half the fun. Such a beautiful machine - I can't wait to go back up again.

I was so involved in learning to fly the old plane that I did not have chance to take photo's - but next time I will try..

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Carlton. To my knowledge they can be swapped interchangeably. But the thrust is tweaked per each airplane. Aircraft all come with slightly different weights and performance factors.

F.Y.I every engine at Air Canada is leased.


From the Flight Deck said...

Oh well, at least you had an experience of a life time!

Daniel said...

Awesome pictures ! The first was is amazing.

The first few times when I was a airbus and actually knew something about the plane I wondered what that noise was. After a few times of looking out the window at night and seeing that it came on like 2 seconds after the side of the engine lit up I finally realized it. Funny though, I don't hear it on the 767/777. Airbus thing ? :P

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. The B777 and the B767 lights are incorporated in the wing. They don't extend.

Daniel said...

Hmmm, true, sorry, I should have known that but I was being stupid.

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. It's okay to have a "helmut fire" now and again. It happens to me all the time! :)

Nadia said...

Hi Doug,

Unfortunately I had never been in a plane like yours (commercial plane I mean) so surely not in the flight deck too! That why I like when you put pictures and descriptions. That make me dream a bit :)

Don't let go it's very amazing what you do!

I have already receive your book. Thank you very much and merci beaucoup pour le petit mot en français !!;)

It's appreciate.


From the Flight Deck said...

Nadia. Du Rien!

I guess we pilots assume everyone has been in an airplane. But I do realize many have not.

Maybe one day you can come for an airplane ride?

Merci pour les mots gentils!!!

A la prochaine!

Captain Doug

whywhyzed said...

One day please tell us about that "barking dog" on the Airbus!

From the Flight Deck said...


Did you have one of those flights where an overzealous dog didn't like flying?

I guess it could be could pay top dollar for a J class seat only to have a screaming kid directly behind you. :) lol

Edwin said...

I actully had the chance of doing the pre-flight walkaround on a MD-87 this summer. I enjoyed it just as much as visiting the flight deck. Maybe you get bored of it over the years? Heck, I'd give anything to do it again :P.


WILLO2D said...

Some more good pics there, Doug. Where would aviation be without "SpeedTape"? We used yards of the stuff to hold together the TVAT fairings on our Buccaneer aircraft.

Another question about engines: if an engine has to be changed, do the engineers try to find one that matches the cycles/hours of the one on the other side, or is it a case of: "That's the spare - that's what's fitted!" Supplementary: if it's the latter and you get an aircraft fitted with a high cycle/hours unit on one side and a newish, low cycle/hours unit on the other, can you feel the difference in thrust levels or do the FADECs and other magic boxes smooth out the thrust levels?



From the Flight Deck said...


LOL re: speed tape.

I've seen a brand new engine matched up with a much older one. I don't think it is required with modern engines as much.

You pegged it as far as the FADECs. We set the thrust levers in the take off detent and let the FADECS work their magic for setting the power.
No tweaking required. Our N1 values have to be within one percent of the required limit, if not, we must call "LOW POWER" and reject the
take off.

Everything is so digital, in sync, so smooth, so monitored, I now find myself relying more on feel and noise when barreling down the runway.

Captain D

From the Flight Deck said...

Edwin. I must admit, a walk around is one of my least favourite things.

One reason why I look forward to flying the wide body fleet, maintenance does the walk around. :)

whywhyzed said...

re:" Did you have one of those flights where an overzealous dog didn't like flying?"

I was referring to that crazy "barking" noise the pressurization system goes through -- usually as we are getting on, or sometimes getting off as well.

Sounds like an annoying dog down below.

From the Flight Deck said...


Barking noise with the pressurization? Firstly, it wold be the air conditioning system on the ground, but I knew what you meant.:)

The air conditioning system makes a hissssssing sound because of the APU. After all, it is a small jet engine in the back.

Also the Packs tend to make a high pitch shrilling sound. Our SOPs state, if conditions allow, to run only one Pack. It cuts down on fuel consumption plus it's quieter especially for the "rampies" and when we do the walk around.

I think the barking sound is more of a eeRRRR, eeRRR. That would be the hydraulic pumps cavitating a little.

Years ago, I wrote an article on airplane noises. I should resurrect it.

Captain D

whywhyzed said...

Definitely in the belly of the plane -- gotta be hydraulics/ Sometimes the rate of barking even changes, and sounds like someone sawing something back and forth.

Zoobah, zoobah, zoobah.


From the Flight Deck said...


Ahhh. The Zoobah, Zoobah you said...gotta be hydraulics. :)

Chris Gardner said...

Just finished reading your book and I did enjoyed it. It was agood read, thanks.
P.S I did finished reading last tuesday while the power was out, oh well things we do when theirs is no TV. HA HA.

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad you survived hurricane IGOR!!!

With no power, and therefore no T.V, isn't proven there is a higher birth rate nine months later? :)

Glad my book stopped that!!! lol

Edwin said...

Hey Doug, just got back from school to check the comments on your video post, but it's not there anymore?
So, why did you remove it? =S

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Edwin. It was prudent for me to delete it.

Thanks for your concern. :)


Ben said...

Hi Doug. Great blog. Regarding upgrading to the 767, I assume a A320 Captain upgrading to the 767 would go direct Captain, correct? If so, does this mean there's many Captains out there with far less time on type than their F/O's have?

From the Flight Deck said...

Ben. You are spot on! When I train on the B767 I would have about 50 hours of line indoctrination and then I'm released to the line. My first officer may have 5000 hours on type, but I'm still captain. That's how seniority works. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Johan. Thanks for commenting positively on my blog.

I hope is treating you well!

Captain Doug