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...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why I blog (ged)

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.


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….


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!




Chris Gardner said...

Keep on flying and blogging Capt. Doug. I do find your articles and your sense of humour quite enlighting and thoughtful. As you says keeping flying to yours dreams. take care, Chris from da rock.

WILLO2D said...


I think one or two of your blog posts have been a little close to the mark, but perhaps did not warrant the unwelcome response you obviously received, albeit on a "private" forum. I haven't had chance to read the above post in detail, but I would like to say this:

I read your blog because it provides me with an insight on the work of a professional commercial pilot. I read a number of others for the same reason: Aviatrix, Cap'n Dave, JungleBus Sam, Sulako, and until banished to the politicised compliancy stand over near EGLL's T6 - any idea when the crew bus will arrive? - Ian the Flying Scotsman. I also read them because they give me ideas for indulging in my MS Flight Simulator "hobby" - I am not able to fly solo due to a couple of medical issues.

Before 9/11 I took every opportunity that presented itself to visit the flight deck, and to speak to the flight attendants beyond the usual "coffee please, thanks, see you again, etc." I was always made welcome and my questions answered with I guess an appreciation that here was someone who at least recognised that I knew what a thankless job they sometimes did, especially up towards the front of the aircraft - some of those "J-class" and above(?) SLF shouldn't be allowed to fly in a dog crate!

I, for one, hope that you decide that you are able to continue the From the Flight Deck blog, in addition to all your other "jobs". The world of the professional commercial pilot is becoming ever more closed off to the general public - the events of this weekend will not help. Your blog overcomes that and long may it continue.

Thanks Doug

Best wishes,


Daniel said...

I enjoy it a lot and think its awesome. Maybe the other people are jealous ? :P

You will make a lot of people sad if you stop ! Don't stop blogging !


WILLO2D said...

P.S., where else would one come across such diverse subjects a "ejeculating fire extinguishers" and the comparison of "tree burying to Master Bating"?

Giulia said...

Oh, Ian!!!!

Ha! Ha! Ha!
I forgot about those comments...


P.S. Captain Doug, please keep blogging. I'm still mulling over what I want to say about all this. (That could be good or bad...) I do agree with the other comments, especially Ian's.

Michael said...

Captain Dave,

As many have said, updating your blog daily has been my routine for the past year or so. As an aspiring pilot and one who is currently working on an cadet pilot application to an Asian airline, I must say your blog has been very informative and entertaining. I applaud your continuous effort, and just want to let you know that your work does make a difference to us pilot wannabes.

Keep up with the blogging!!!


carlton said...

I agree with everyone else - please keep your blog open.....

We all look forward to your posts - infact unashamedly its the first thing I do whenever I turn my computer on.

Anonymous said...

It is impossoble to imagine that people would take offence to your blog! Of anything, it almost makes te job of being a pilot more impressive! I hope you will start blogging one day again, but I understand the difficult decision you had to make.

100000th page viewer...

cstclair said...

Captain Doug!

Please keep blogging and sharing your stories of aviation with all of us who are in love with and fascinated by flight.

Don't let some mouthy 500 hour "genius" - who will never amass the skill set or hours you've earned - rain on this parade.

From my own experience I know this for a fact ..

Drivelers offer drivel..

You've always delivered an honest insight to "the flight deck".

Can't wait to go flying with you on the blog again!

Chris St Clair

Tim said...

Don't stop blogging regularly, Capt. Doug! We love your stuff!


shege2000 said...

Captain Doug,

let me share something with you and it could help you in life.

You are not succeeding or achieving success if people are not talking bad of you or providing negative criticism...

You are doing a great job by your blog.

All the best

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug!

I agree with everyone here! Please keep blogging for the many people who enjoy your work! (Me included!)

You've been nothing but a positive writer and that's why I enjoy your blog day after day!!

Take care,


Jack said...

Hey Captain Doug,

We'll need a support group if you have to stop blogging! Your blog is at the top of my Top Sites and I find myself checking for updates whenever I'm on the computer. You've spoiled us by updating often, and taking the time to personally respond to our comments. Thank you for that.

I'm sorry for you that political correctness has caught up to the blog. Working in the corporate world, I find that we "peons" are hardly able to express a thought without criticism. And you work for one of the largest corporations in the country, so this turn of events is not surprising.

On one hand, the internet has allowed us a glimpse of your life and career path - on the other hand, it opens up your written word to those who get off on "catching" anything remotely circumspect.

Keep up the good work, and know that you have many fans behind you.


Anonymous said...

I´m a student pilot in Central America and your blog gives me a fix on my curiosity on what a commercial pilots´ life is like. More importantly, a lesson on how to passionately serve our noble profession on all aspects possible as you do. This is more than just a career path, its a way of life.

Please continue with the great work you do on this blog!


Simon said...

Captain Doug,

I have always loved reading your blog daily and I seriously can't imagine why someone would talk ill of your work?? I have a fascination with weather and flying (private pilot), so it's always a pleasure to read your insight into things. Please don't stop blogging! If you must, then thank you for everything.


Aviatrix said...

Oh c'mon, you gotta show us an example of one of the nastygrams, not just the praise.

Sulako has had a nasty one, but I can't remember ever having had one of those readers. I used to freak out when I saw a bunch of hits from Transport Canada or my company headquarters, but then I figured out that people who like flying stories work there, too.

People who know me can figure out who I am, but I try really hard not to say anything about my coworkers, customers or employer that could be construed as ... well anything. In the end if someone thinks I'm stupid or incompetent from the blog, they'd form the same opinion in real life, so it's just saving me the trouble of having to encounter them.

Daniel said...

A lot of support ;)

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Thank you for everything you do for your profession, for your company, and for your readers.

Your skill as a writer is likely only exceeded by your skill as a Captain, and the age of the 'blog' has given you a medium to share that with your readers.

Air Canada has thousands of pilots, each with their own opinions and unfortunately not all of them feel that the 'average' person should be given such a wide open view of your profession that you give. Writers like you, Aviatrix and Captain Dave give us a unique view. Thank you.

I look forward to having the pleasure of meeting you in YYC for that beer whether you're still writing or not.

YYC Dispatcher

Dominic said...

I can't remember reading anything offensive, derogatory or even politically incorrect on your blog ?!

I too check for updates on your blog almost every day!

keep up the good work and don't change a thing. Your posts are always very enlightening,especially for those of us who don't have to chance to fly for AC yet.

Keep it coming ;)


Danny Asuncion said...


Capt. Doug and I grew up in the same neighborhood. [Back then, we didn't call him captain] Many a winter's evening, all of us kids would play hockey on the frozen lake out back-so late that eventually we could only hear each other's skate blades. But that was alright, because we were all instrument rated.

Never heard him speak ill of anyone;never heard of anyone speak ill of him...till now.

When I learned that some colleagues had turned on him, I was reminded, of all things, of the early, French WW 1 airplanes. The machine gun mounted above the engine would sometimes shoot off the propellor.

I think that there is only one commercial airline captain in Canada who reaches out to the public in a big way. And he works for Air Canada. This gives the company an edge over the competition. A "leading edge", if you will. [Sorry, I couldn't resist that]

Smart Marketing. [And he does it for free]

Nadia said...

That's why:

We love you (virtual friend for sure ;)

We miss you:(

Captain we want you to come back please, please, please!!!!!

You're simply the best


Giulia said...

Interesting (and cute) analogy, Danny. :)

Anonymous said...

Capt Doug,
Just want you to know that I enjoy your blog and hope you keep at it. You (and other airline pilot bloggers)have succeeded in reversing what was developing into an irrational fear of flying on my part. I now thoroughly enjoy flying, just like I did when I was a kid. Knowing what is going on, and having faith that there are dedicated, skilled pros up in the cockpit has made a huge difference. Keep it coming!

Danny Asuncion said...

Kind words, Giulia.

Lakotahope said...

Well, you will have to keep writing about your experiences in flying these aircraft. Always look forward to reading what is happening next--especially, when I want to escape to some aviation 'speak'.

But, I'm glad I found your blog when I did and it keeps me feeling good about airplanes.

One question as I read that guys letter you published. When I had about 20 hours and 8 hours of this was solo time, I remember when I flew as a passenger in a Boeing commercial jet and I had a heavy case of butterflies. Never before in commercial nor when I was flying at that time have I had that experience. I couldn't explain it. I still can't explain it except, that I realized I wasn't in a seat where I could look forward into my destination. Something hidden there?? heh

Anyway, about those pictures down below, I still am amazed at the amount of sensors on the nose and the way these wings bend upwards. I know-it's better they bend than break...