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!
P.S I'd like to add Nadia from "la belle province" for her contributions!
...and YYC Disptacher...

...I hope you enjoy the blog...


The latest "Readbacks"

From "Getjets" Flight 907 from MCO to YYZ

Monday, November 22, 2010

Checked out on KPHX

This is an Airbus ND (Nav display) If you look at the top left corner it states GS 602.
Translation... we were whisking across the ground (groundspeed) at 602 knots because of a tail wind of 141 knots. We just flew over Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Saturday started off with one leg to Phoenix. I haven't been there in years as a pilot.

Actually, truth be told my family and I flew out of there about six years ago, after touring Vegas and the Grand Canyon. The flight was kind of full direct to Toronto so we decided to fly to Calgary and then to Toronto. Bad mistake!

A charter company, Jetsgo, went belly up that day so paying passengers were taking up the empty seats big time. We watched 22 flights push back from the gate during the five days we spent trying to get home. The first night we slept at the airport hoping to get home on the "red eye." Airline passes...most of the time works, other times...well...

We bucked a headwind all the way to Phoenix thus arriving 30 minutes late. I did not recognize the airport one iota. Things have changed. Of course ATC arrival persistently asked, "Air Canada, do you have the airport in sight?" "Air Canada do you have the airport visual." But a wind was stirring up dust so visibility was down a bit.
Finally, we were given a simple heading for the ILS.

The layover was downtown and get this...both the F/O and I PLUS the "back end" went put for Mexican food. A rare event. No not mexican food but going out with the F/As. :)

The next day the strong jet pushed us home 35 minutes early. But we had a three hour wait in Toronto before we were to fly to New York city and back.

Both the flights there and back were uneventful. We did have one snag, the number two engine fire loop B was U/S requiring us to test the system every leg. In Toronto it didn't test. After maintenance came and reseted some C/Bs we were good to go. Guess what didn't check out in New York? This time after contacting maintenance control through the radio and resetting the circuit breakers we were off to Toronto.

Besides, I had a class to teach in the morning so staying in New York for the night was plan C.

The class today consisted of 10 lucky new hires. I came out strong wooing them with METAR and TAF stuff but I found things slipped a bit on my end. We got into some dry theory and I now know I will be amending my slide show for the next class in December. Four of them will be cruisers on the B767 and the other six, Embraer F/Os.

It's time I get ready for tomorrow's flights. The clock radio will be set for 4:15 a.m for a 5:45 a.m check in. Oh yeah! I will eventually end up in St. John's, Newfoundland tomorrow night.


WILLO2D said...

Good morning Doug, this is your early morning call...;) An interesting post.

I notice on the ND image, both VORs are showing ABQ. Is this following normal SOP? Reason I ask is that when I "fly" my sim I usually "leap-frog" the VORs with one showing the previous VOR and the other showing the next VOR en-route. Or I have the nearest available showing if one of the en-route VORs is out of range. I find this helps to maintain position awareness particularly with the somewhat simplified nav systems my sim aircraft are equipped with.

Re. the Fire Loop check, it appears that you could do with keeping a "little black book" of meaningful info. You could then impress "Maint" with your in-depth knowledge of the aircraft when you call up for advice... well, most of the time! The last aircraft type I did line work on, we always had problems with an electronics pod either not "timing in" or failing to initialise at all. One of my jobs was to organise the replacement of the pod for investigation. That is until one night shift when we changed a pod on one aircraft three times; then the electricians found one of the 110V 3 phase fuse links up the "back hatch" had blown. Replace the fuse link and the original pod worked like a charm. That little piece of info went in Vol 3 of my "book"; I started Vol 5 last week. One afternoon the aircrew -navigator - raised a maint card after a training flight: Pod would not time in. On checking the aircraft fit it was noted that a pod was not fitted to that particular aircraft! Happy days.

Have a good trip to YYT,

Kind regards,


Anonymous said...

Hello Captain Doug,

Is the "319" in the top left the aircraft you were flying or the NM left to a certain point?...I notice it says "NM" beside it..maybe it was just a fluke that you took the pic with an Airbus aircraft number showing. :) Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Sorry! I said top left then realized after I hit post! I meant top right....early morning!


Have a great flight!

Daniel said...

Nice pic :)

Have fun in YYT, it will be snowing !

shahrukh said...

Hi Capt. Quick question for you. How does the outside temp affect landings and take offs? Reason I ask is whenever I fly into Phoenix, summer afternoons, the landing seems to be a little faster and a tad bit harder, than compared to coming into Vancouver at midnight, when it almost feels like the pilots have turned off the engines somewhere "up there" and effortlessly glide in for a landing. Also, please describe spooling engines in lay mans terms. If the engines are spooled to 50% does that mean there is 50% thrust too? I think my wife bought your book as my Christmas present. Will enjoy reading it. Thanks.

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hey Captain Doug!
Do any new hires start off as 320 FO's?
The Winnipeger

From the Flight Deck said...

IanH. Thanks for the wake up call. Yes, it came early. :)

Great advice for a "little black book." I used to do that. This time maintenance came in and pulled the C/Bs so fast I didn't have a chance to look.

Having said that, we must first consult the QRH (Quick Reference Handbook) and also a C/B checklist book which is filled with maintenance 'trial and errors'.

I guess they don't want us randomly pulling C/Bs. :)

Having said that, I could suggest to maintenance what I learned from experience ("the little black book") and to see if they tell me to go "pound sand" or not. lol

As far as the VORs enroute, they auto tune along the way. We do not "hard tune" them while enroute. Only on departure or arrival...if we prefer.

Nice talking to you.

Yes, I see the windiest, cloudiest city in Canada (YYT) is living up to its name.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Anon. I think I was in an A320. What a coincidence! The 319 NM is 319 nautical miles from the waypoint KK48A.

Good eye!

Andrew said...

Was the Mexican food from Jordans by any chance?


From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. I truly forget the name. We ate at a large center downtown. Nearby was a "Hooters" and beside the Mexican restaurant was a Greek restaurant.

The food was very good. All of it came on hot wooden platters.

I'll be there again next weekend. Maybe I'll try the Greek? I don't think my wife would like to hear I ate
at "Hooters." lol

From the Flight Deck said...

Adam the YWGer. :)

Four out of the ten were awarded B767 cruise pilot and the other six, Embraer F/Os. All of them will be based in Toronto. Who knows, maybe the next class may see A320 F/O? I hope they do. That way it will give me some commonality amongst the class.

Chris said...


Nice post - love the 140 knot tailwind!

Out of curiosity - why is it rare for the flight and cabin crew not to go out together on a layover?

Glad to see you haven't let those amateur critics get the better of you.


From the Flight Deck said...


On the domestic routes (North America) the pilot's and flight attendant's schedules are totally out of phase.

A case in point, today I flew three legs and each leg I had a different "back end."

On the long haul, getting together was more of a common occurrence.

There are many other reasons why......but I'll leave it at that. :)

As far as the amateur critics, they were my co-workers.

Thanks for the comments/questions.


Danny Asuncion said...

Airbus ND. Beautiful design. In the Research and Development phase, are pilots consulted?

From the Flight Deck said...

Dan. Yes, pilots are consulted during flight deck layout.

But as one adage out there goes.
"Boeing was designed by engineers for pilots, but Airbus was designed by engineers for engineers."

Whoever did the designing, I think they did a great job!

Doug - who will be watching his ND enroute to Phoenix tomorrow. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Shahrukh. My apology for such a tardy reply. I'm sitting in the hotel lobby here in PHX waiting for our crew pick up.

Outside temperature plays a major role on aircraft performance. A summer afternoon landing in PHX? The temperatures would
be in the high 30s (Celsius) so the air is less dense and somewhat unstable. Afternoon landings tend to be a little more "snug" than
night landings because of stability.

Even for take off, temperature plays a huge role. I remember sitting on the ramp in New Delhi with a fully loaded A340 destined for Toronto.
The temperature was 31C. We had to wait until it cooled to 30C before the take off "numbers" would allow a safe take off.

Spooling of the engines is "more power the faster they go". With older engines that time from adding more thrust to the engine delivering took a few seconds.
But with high by-pass fans the spool up time is almost instantaneous. Yes, 50% N1 (the big fan) means 50% thrust.

This morning take off performance will not be an issue in PHX. The desert air is only 6 C.

Again, sorry for the later reply.

Captain Doug

shahrukh said...

Hi Capt. Thanks for the reply. No apologies needed, I know you're busy. Thanks for the information. I knew thermal currents would play a role, but did not make the connection with less dense air. Love airplanes, always have, always will. Something about them brings out the little kid in everyone. Enjoy your day.

From the Flight Deck said...

Shahrukh. I hear ya about "there's something about airplanes." I have the next ten days off but I'll be itching to get going again after that. They are addictive!



Rishi said...

Hi, Capt. Doug!

How are ya?

I'm wondering if you could please explain why the Nav Display is in ILS APP mode? Isn't the plane flying too fast and too far to be in approach mode? (The real question is: How far from an airport can the plane engage in APP mode?)

Thank you,


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Rishi. The ND is showing ILS APP because we loaded the approach during pre-flight. Our flight plan infers which approach is in use but
from experience we may change that. It's only when we are "cleared the approach" by ATC that we "arm the approach." We engage the APPR button (actually we also engage the other autopilot as well at
this time) and read out "CAT III Dual, AP 1(2). This arms the glideslope and localizer. Some guys hold off arming the approach if we are high in altitude or approaching the runway at a sharp angle.
The reason for this is to alleviate a false localizer. Myself, I was taught, "cleared the approach, arm the approach." I'd rather deal with a false localizer ( a rare event) instead of missing the LOC or G/S
because it was not armed. Hope this helps. I guess you MS Flight Sim?

Captain Doug