Well my blog and reputation hit some turbulence this week. A couple of work colleagues on a private AC pilot forum took a disliking to some pictures, articles and my sense of humour. A simple email or phone call would have sufficed because I always believe, “a word to the wise is sufficient.”
(I admit, I may have deviated slightly but I quickly adjusted and got back on course)
It started with a seed planted on the forum asking others what they felt about my blog. (I wondered why there was a spike in visitors on my blog that day) :) The seed laid dormant for days, but the link to my blog sat in open view. Along came a colleague and the post festered into some harsh comments about me, my blog and my enRoute column. Some would label it slander. Both of my colleagues have come forth and apologized and for that I say, “thank you!”
It serves me right for going public. I know for sure I could not be in management or a politician because you must have skin of an alligator. :)
But why did (do) I blog???
I fervently believe my profession is second to none. It goes without saying I am extremely proud of it and the company I work for. I consistently try to portray its professionalism.
IT’S WHY I…..
Taught weather to aspiring pilots for over 20 years
It’s why I jumped at the opportunity to teach weather to Air Canada’s new hires
It's why I taught weather to the new hires years ago
It’s why I approached enRoute 13 years ago to portray a pilot’s point of view. And I thank them for letting me continue....
It’s why I wrote for Wings, Aviator, Weatherwise magazines, various Air Canada’s publications including ACPA’s (pilot union) journal as well as the Toronto Star, National Post and the Globe and Mail.
It’s why I wrote my book, From the Flight Deck and why it’s deemed a best seller in Canada!
It’s why I said “Yes” to Caissie Productions to produce potential aviation documentaries to enlighten the public on aviation
It’s why I did two complimentary “pilots” and flew to Montreal to pitch the concept to Air Canada
It’s why I say “Yes” to Air Canada’s PR department for special requests
It’s why I flew to Ottawa to give a presentation to a grade six class. (The teacher mentioned the kids and parents are still talking about it)
It’s why I talked to several large groups of retirees (Just received a letter stating how well received my recent talk was)
It’s why I said “YES” to give talks to safety seminars in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
It’s why I give next to free aviation talks to anyone that wants to listen
It’s why I did radio phone-ins, T.V interviews, and newspaper interviews (True it was to promote my book but most of the content pertained to aviation in general and not my book)
It’s why I allow children in the flight deck prior to the flight
It’s why I tried to answer everyone directly on my blog
It’s why I appeared on the Weather Network
It’s why I volunteered (yes volunteered there is no pay) to be their aviation weather consultant
It’s why I just sent an email to Air Canada volunteering to be a mentor for the new pilots joining us in November
It’s why I answered tons of emails from hopefuls wanting to pursue this profession
It’s why I volunteer for technical advice
It’s why I wanted to convey how great my profession is….
THAT IS WHY!
But if some still debate my intent, here's one email I received just confirming the above. I would like to thank this gentleman for coming forward and allowing me to post his feedback about my blog.
Hello Captain Doug,
Just a quick note to say I am sad to see your blog come into a holding pattern. Even though I haven't joined, your blog has been one of the first things I read daily when I log onto the internet. As I work in Alberta, and my wife and two daughters are in New Brunswick, I have to fly often( YMM to YYZ, then home to YSJ and back ). I have, over time, developed an extreme fear of flying due to a few turbulence events that have left me a little unsettled to say the least! I have found that reading your blog, the experiences you share, and the detail that you put into your aviation explanations, has allowed me to fly a little easier each time. Given that I'm somewhat of a pilot myself ( I'm not, but I do work in a control center in oil operations ) you get very used to being at the "controls" and seeing what is transpiring on your instrumentation in front of your eyes. It's hard for me to be in the back seat when the seat belt sign lights up! I want someone to explain to me what in the world is going on, and how long it's going to take to fix it! I find myself sitting over the wing waiting and watching for the pilot flying to set the flaps for take off, look for leaks in the hydraulics, checking the rivets to make sure everything is ok, and listening for any different sounds in the turbines ( i.e. vibrations ) just in case someone in the pointy end misses it! I know, I know...........Your blog has allowed me to be in the pointy end and have a better understanding of what you do, and the professionalism at which the pilots operate. Thank you so much for that.
And at the end of each and every flight, if one isn't there to greet passengers deplaning, I always sidestep the flight attendant, poke my head in the flight deck, and say thank-you very much for the flight......and an extra compliment if I'm sitting over the gear and I can't even feel the wheels touch down on the runway when we land!
So even though I fly in the A-319, Embraer 190, or the CRJ most often and most likely haven't had the pleasure of having you as my Captain, I wanted to say to you, thank-you very much for the flight. Your words have allowed people like myself to develop an aviation passion, and truly experience aviation from the flight deck!
and here's more of his feedback....
......I understand how it would get you down, but know that there are many people who appreciate what you do!... and are loyal Air Canada customers such as myself I might add.....I spend over $25,000/yr flying with your company because I think they're the best, and your blog only affirms it!
THAT IS WHY!