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...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A visit to Mrs. D's Ottawa's grade six class

This card, although it doesn't look it, stands about 18 inches tall.

Sometimes the most appreciative things in life are free.

Thank you to the grade six St. Monica class and Mrs. "D"

Yesterday, I took the 10 a.m flight over to Ottawa to give a talk to twenty extremely inquisitive kids. Yes, it was on my day off and yes I received official approval. (It's in our SOPs thou shall get approval) I visited the MLO's (Manger of line Operations) office and received a few gifts to give the kids (Air Canada pens, some sort of handle for a gym bag called super gripper, postcard photos of my flight deck, and "sticky" Wings). I also "borrowed" some plotting charts we use for North Atlantic, North Pacific and Polar routes. Plus I had some trinkets left over from years gone by.

I don't know if Mrs. D had them pumped or kids that age are usually that inquisitive, but my hour presentation flew by. They had their hands up the entire time. I've gotta patent some of that enthusiasm! They must have asked 100 questions. Lucky for me I knew most of the answers. lol Why do we land in the wind, how much do I make, what's the best thing about my job, how do you fuel an airplane...?

I also got checked out on a "smart board." This classroom "chalkboard" displays PowerPoint presentations with touch screen features. You can call up the internet, write on the board and superimpose a "keyboard" to type.

The only glitch...I booked myself on the 3:00 p.m flight so I had to leave rather promptly. The teacher, who orchestrated the entire talk and who also showed just as much enthusiasm, sure did a great job inspiring the class. Who or two of the twenty students may end up being a pilot but quite a few also wanted to be flight attendants. :) I get that everywhere I go when I talk to youngsters.

On the flight over the "yellow" hydraulic pump was cavitating big time. The "ERRR, ERRR, ERRR" (I know...too technical) sound would not stop during taxi. Usually, the high pitch sound from the yellow electric pump stops when the cargo door closes. Plus the cavitating sound quickly goes away thereafter. It didn't. One passenger, a frequent flyer, sitting behind me wanted someone to acknowledge this disconcerting sound. The in-charge came back and gave her rendition of what was going on. I threw in the word "cavitation" but he just looked at me as if I had six heads.

I finally figured out why the sound persisted after an engine was started during the taxi out. We must have the electric yellow pump on to back up the hydraulics during single engine taxi. The light came on for me. Then again, captain Doug is not a proponent of single engine taxis out to the runway. I asked when leaving the airplane whether the captain was a "check pilot" for obvious reasons. :)

I also showed the "concerned" passenger my enRoute column and asked him if he could send in a question as to what that noise was. Another passenger piped up and said, "what a great idea!"

Anyway...the visit to Ottawa went very well. Rumour has it, I have celebrity status equivalent to a "rock star" with a particular grade six class in Ottawa. It must have been all the gifts I brought them!

Today I did a presentation to the Burlington Probus group. I talked to a group in their sixties, seventies and later and they were all men. Again, talk about an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd. I gave a PowerPoint presentation, sold some books and answered some questions. Of course I got the "do you know such and such at Air Canada?" I was shocked, I actually knew quite a few of the pilots they asked about.
It goes to show, I too am getting older. Hopefully, I don't lose my enthusiasm. I know this group didn't!

Next week another group of retirees in Mississauga.


Andrew said...

man those smart boards seem like the biggest waste of money, we have a whole bunch at our school, and i dont think i've seen one of them work in all my 4 years @ that school. Glad to hear of a successful visit, sounded like fun.

Daniel said...

I wish it was like that at my school. Majority of the kids here would like to crash the plane and laugh then learn about it -.- .

From the Flight Deck said...

Truth be told, Mrs. "D" had some issues with one of the accessories. The "techies" were in trying to fix it.

But the part I had to use, worked great!

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. Time to change schools. :) :) :)

Edwin said...

I go to a brand new school. We've invested in smartboards for every classroom and laptops for the teachers, next term, the students will recieve laptops as well, the problem is, only about 20% of our teachers knows how to use a computer, so yet, it was kind of a waste here as well.

Sounds like they enjoyed having you there.

I have to study for a stupid german test now.

Happy flying!

Giulia said...

Captain Doug,

Again, thank you for coming to our class on Wednesday. After you left, I had to peel the students off the ceiling--they were so excited! :)

I am still surprised at how engaged they were. I tell you, I don't get that kind of response every day. It didn't take me 20 minutes to get everyone to class and in their seats after lunch recess. They were all sitting at their desks, already pumping you with questions--even before you started your presentation! Ha Ha!

Yes, the gifts were a hit...and it looked like they were ready to pull the buttons off your tunic and steal your hat! :) I liked that they wanted you to autograph their flightdeck postcards. Rock star! :)

You left a group of students who are now inspired with everything aviation. Now they frequently stop their soccer or football games at recess, look up at the sky, and yell out "Look! It's an Airbus!!!" Ha ha...

Thanks a million.
(and special thanks to the Big Boss who also let this happen.) :)

Giulia (Mrs. D)

From the Flight Deck said...

Mrs. D. You are most certainly welcome! Your class bursted with enthusiasm. In hindsight, I should have taken a later flight just to handle all their questions.

I sure hope I inspired the students not only to potentially become a pilot, but to chase their dreams!

Keep up the great work you are doing to inspire those young influential minds.

I hope everybody enjoyed their gifts.

Again, the class was a thrill to visit and you are a credit to your profession. Bravo!

Captain Doug

Tim said...

Sounds awesome, Doug! You're a great role model! Wish I had some of those Air Canada pens and postcards. I have a few from my buddy at USAirways.

WILLO2D said...

You scored a hat trick there Cap'n - A++ Grades all round! Well done to Guilia for getting you there, well done to the Grade 6 kidz for being interested, and well done you for taking on the challenge. You're right, book the later flight next time ;)

The thing now is to keep the kids interested: trip to the local airport, airline ops centre, engineering hanger, etc. But therein lies the problem. 10 years ago - just - not too many problems. Now... who knows, but something must be possible. And it puts learning in a real world context and makes it fun and interesting, and that cannot be such a bad thing.... can it?


From the Flight Deck said...

Tim. I should have saved you a few pens! I'll have to go back to YOW and get some of them back. :)
Either that... I'll go back to Air Canada and ask for more!

Thanks Tim!

Chris Gardner said...

When you do get your promotion to the 767 would you change the licence plate on your car from320 CAPT to 767 CAPT,lol.;0)

From the Flight Deck said...

Ian. Yes, I think I inspired them to look past the horizon. I agree, next time I have a gig like that I'll take my time.

I'm certain Giulia (Mrs. D) will have them to many neat spots. Maybe the airport or the aviation museum? She loves aviation and
it spills over to the kids.

I'm now trying to get into my son's class. It's time his dad embarrasses him. :)

Thanks Ian

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Chris. About a year ago, a flight attendant saw me get out of my car in the employee parking lot and asked the same thing!

And yes, when Captain Doug gets to say "Air Canada heavy" my plate will be tossed with a new one saying
"767 Capt." That is, if it's available. :)

Actually, the plate will soon be coming off my BMW. It's time to return it. Who knows another Beemer might be coming soon. :)

320 CAPT

Giulia said...

Thanks, Ian. :) I try my best to make things fun for my students.

Years ago, I took a group of kindergarten children (5 year olds) to the airport. We got a tour around the ticket counters, we saw the baggage sorting area, we went through "security"( whatever that was at the time), and then we boarded a plane that was empty. Boy, did the children have fun playing in the plane! Air Canada then gave us goodie bags for the ride back to school. I will never forget that field trip.

Sigh...ain't EVER gonna happen now...that's for sure. :)

Ottawa's Aviation and Space museum is a great place! That may be our next stop. :) Stay tuned. And I will see if I can get Captain Doug's book in the gift shop. :)

Oh and Tim...I have PLENTY of pens and postcards. :)

And Doug--that's great that you are trying to get into your son's school! I remember you couldn't do it last year. Your son will be so proud of his father.

Mrs. D

P.S. Edwin...(ahem--using a teacher voice)...nothing's stupid about learning German. Good for you! :) Hope you did well.

Andrew said...

Ooh now i see the connection :D