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...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Going Places

Guess who won "Best airline in North America" last year?

Someone wanted to see the overhead panel. Airbus's motto: "black is beautiful."
No lights on the switches means everything is copacetic.

click here

Just finished September's flying. Although I was projecting a meagre 72 hours, I managed to pump it up to 82 hours with one day of "make up" and "block growth."

There is an enterprising pilot who developed many programs to view our schedules for the month, figure out expenses, pilot pay, who's in town on layovers, and now he developed elog books and maps of where we've been. Click on just below his company logo and hopefully you'll see where I've been this year. It doesn't look like I've been to too many places but remember many were flown more than one time.

So far I've done 210 flights and logged 605 hours with three months to go.

Yesterday was around ten hours of flying with a 13:30 duty day. We flew from Ottawa to Vancouver and then back to Toronto. Twice across the world's second largest country. (Well not quite across, but you get my drift). But get this, my F/O who commutes from Vancouver hopped on a flight as a passenger to make it three times for him (another five hours).


Daniel said...

Air Canada = amazing :P

Your link is neat ! :)

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you know it but you have a few followers of your blog here in Barbados(TBPB). Your map is missing an AC 966/967 :) . Anyway if you are ever down this side on a Saturday make sure to wave at the guys and girls at the Barbados Light Aeroplane Club.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hello Anon in Barbados. As you know I spent New Year's there, but I haven't piloted an Airbus to the beautiful Barbados this year. Looks like 2009 I did.

I did bid BGI layovers this month, but sadly I didn't get any. If there's going to be a party, I'll put more "weight" on BGI layovers. :) :) :)

Captain Doug

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug!

Congrats Air Canada on being #1!

That's a cool program - you seem to enjoy the perimeter of the continent.

I'm sure someone's asked this already but where's your favourite layover?


Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,
Sorry this comment/question is completely irelevant to the post. I am a Junior at UND and am trying to figure out where I would like to end up in terms of an airline. I am from MSP and Mesaba and then Northwest/Delta was the path I wanted to take. When Mesaba was sold to Pinnacle my thoughts changed- Skywest then hopefully Delta, but I am also interested in SWA and JBU. We have a new program at our school called the gateway program with JetBlue and Cape air. Basically the program works like this (btw, there is no contract involved) : You do an internship at cape air as an undergrad for a semester (after interviewing to get accepted into the program). Then after graduation you flight instruct for one year, then you head out to Cape Air where you fly their 402s for 3-4 years. Then you get an interview with Jetblue. (Basically, they said the entire program is an interview with JetBlue). I would end up at jetBlue at the age of 25-26. I was wondering what youe thoughts are- my problem is I am not sure that JetBlue is where I want to go (nothing against the comapany, I have heard they ae awesome to work for). Basically, as you know the other option is to go to a regional and get PIC 121 turbine. At cape air you get 121, but it is not turbine. Basically my dilemma is if I fly for cape and dont get hired, then I have no turbine time. If I go to a regional my options are more open, but I probably wont get hired by a major at 25-26 as I would with the gateway program. Basically I am curious for your opinion on the matter. I hope this isnt too confusing of a question and I apologize for the length.
(ps- I see a lot of air canada guys overflying, and boy, I am jealous -believe me, I would LOVE to be outta North Dakota. Ever hear us on the minne. center frqs over northern MN/ND?)

Andrew said...

I guess 3rd times a charm :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

Just wondering what you think of US aviation schools like Embry Riddle?


YZF Elite said...

Looks like you've covered most 32x routes this year. Only somewhat interesting route missing is YYT-LHR.

From the Flight Deck said...

YZF elite. Good eye on your part, but I won't be doing that route for awhile. It's dedicated only to the YWG (Winnipeg)
pilot base. Everyone has to be ETOPS qualified so logistically a smaller base is required.

Apparently, the new route is doing quite well.

Thanks for the comment.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Anon. My last pairing was with an Embry-Riddle grad. He says it's about $50,000 a year now...translating into a $200,000 degree!
Sure it has a name for itself, but you are paying for it. The F/O mentioned it's ladened with rich kids uncertain with what they want in life.
He too left with a huge debt. Something to think about when you come out unemployed or making poverty wages. You sure will have an
uphill battle. But if money is less of a concern, I wouldn't mind sitting in Florida learning to fly. :)

Things are starting to happen again. You must also ask yourself, do you want to be tied up in school for the next FOUR years.

Again, I think they offer a phenomenal package, but so do other schools.

Someone in the business mentioned about schools like are putting all your "eggs in one basket." What happens when times are lean?
Would an aviation degree help you? Lots to think about.

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Andrew. I was having a hard time working out the link to "Crewsware" so I had to post to see if things would really work. I guess you saw it all transpire. It all worked out. Thanks for keeping an eye on things! :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. Not a problem leaving your query here. I can see your predicament. But if you said there is no contract (i.e no commitment) and you are guaranteed right seat in an Airbus in your
mid twenties...I know what I would do. It almost sounds too good to be true. Do you have to commit to Jet Blue?
I see you'll have to pay for it...flying 402s for four years on poverty wages.But a "bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush."

No matter what transpires, you will be building time. Total time takes precedence over turbine time.

I just flew over your neck of the woods a couple of days ago talking to Minneapolis center. What is UND's call sign?

All the best with your training and your decisions.

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. Yeah, apparently I can use the link as a screen saver as well. Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Heather. Yes, sometimes we don't blow our own horn enough. We win many awards over the year, but we do very little to brag about it.
Maybe it's best?

My favourite layover in the States is San Francisco. Internationally, it would be London, England.

My favourite place to fly into for beauty is Vancouver. The neatest at night is Vegas.

The worst for weather is St. John's, Newfoundland but for domestic layovers it is up there in hospitality. Did I mention YYT (St. John's)
has the highest bars per capita in Canada and perhaps North America? :) :) :)

Sadly, Captain Doug will be "on the wagon" with short layovers in October.

Thanks Heather. I see you joined up as a "follower." Welcome!

Captain Doug

Chris Gardner said...

Hey Doug there is always Tims exspecally the one at Duckworth & Prescott St.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Chris. Sorry this comment flew over my head??? "Say again" :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Doug,
With regards to Jetblue, one is oly gaurenteed an interview, not a job (most likely in the E190). You are not committed at all to Jetblue. The thing is I don't know if doing the program is the best thing to do for flexibilty- I am not sure if Jetblue is where I want to end up. So you think part 121 PIC in the 402 looks as good as PIC turbine?
Our Callsign is Sioux- when I am on long cross countrys getting flight following pretty much all we hear up here is WestJet and Air Canada! (and occansionally Delta)

Chris Gardner said...

It was the comment you said about the "dry" layovers while you are in St. John's lol.

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Now I got it! F.Y.I Our layover hotel has changed. It's even closer to George Street. I won't comment any further. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. Sounds like your hesitation with Jet Blue will steer you down another road.

The first thing an employer asks is, "how much time do you have?"

Then it's, "how much twin PIC?"

I wish you luck with your decesion. You are doing things right by asking questions.

It will all work out!

I am off to Vancouver tomorrow morning. Who knows, we may do the northern American route so I will listen out? Sorry, I can't say my call sign. :)


Anonymous said...

Hey Doug,
I think I may still interview, and see if I even get accepted into the program. Who knows where i will go- I don't! With regards to your flight tomorrow-don't laugh at us too much when we stumble on the radio ! :) If you fly over GFK it would be kinda cool if you posted a pic from FL360 or 380, wherever you guys are at- I will look for the contrails :)
(Are you allowed to disclose you dep. time from toronto so I can figure out when you wil pass over?

shege2000 said...

Captain Doug,

Thanks for previous email from you and I follow your blog religiously and I am taking high interest in aviation through your blog and other aviation blogs.

With Air Canada acquiring 14 B787, is it possible for Airbus pilots, such as you, to transit to Boeing aircraft?


From the Flight Deck said...

Shege2000. The aircraft we fly is based on seniority, and unfortunately, not about saving money for training. When my seniority number dictates I can hold a Boeing 767 (next biggest airplane) then I will be trained on it.
After that, I could go the A330 which means another course. After that, it will be back on the Boeing product, the 787. Another course. And then the B777. Yes, another course. Thanks for following my blog.

Captain Doug

P.S we've been told we will be getting more than 14 B787s.

Chris Gardner said...

Would the 787s be replacing the 767& A330s in the Air Canada's fleet?
By the way I been flying with Air Canada going back 1967 when I was 3years old and I still do today although my last flight was a freebe with my aeroplan points flying from st. John's to Montreal and return. sorry Capt. it was a E190 not a airbus.

Andrew said...


How do you think the Boeing 787's will affect Air Canada's Hiring, (approx how many pilots will be put on 787s)?

I saw an article in the news about a UFO sighting in MTL. Do you have any stories about UFOs that you'd like to share?

Vicky M said...

Hey! I just picked up your book yesterday and I'm loving it! I also frequently choose Air Canada because of the unparalleled customer service!

Thanks for writing From the Flight Deck!

From the Flight Deck said...

Vicky M. Thanks for buying my book and enjoy the read!

Sounds like you fly quite a bit. I'm off to Vancouver this afternoon from Montreal and then to Edmonton.

Thanks for your kind words!

And yes, keep flying Air Canada!

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Anon. I am reluctant to give flight info. With my flight to Vancouver I had to be even more prudent.
As mentioned, we were going to have a dignitary on board. But as you probably read, he stood Captain Doug up.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Chris. The 767 will be replaced first. We only have 8 A330s so they may stick around a little longer.

It's okay to fly on the "jungle jet" (made in Brazil) as long as it is with Air Canada. lol

Most passengers love the E190 although the overhead bin storage is lacking.

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. As far as the 787s, hiring will be huge! If you assume 10 to 15 pilots per airplane is needed, coupled with retirements, hiring
will be "hold on to your hat" proportions.

As far as unusual sightings, it's been boring. The planet Venus takes on many guises which causes one to give the odd double look.

Talking about UFOs while flying is like making comments the clouds look like bunny rabbits. Even if they do, you don't go there.

I hope I was evasive enough. :)