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...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Flyer Talk and more

Photo from "Erik" (Incidentally, there are no four bangers left at Air Canada)

Yesterday, I gave a talk to the Mississauga Probus club with standing room only. I'd like to think it was because of me, but their room was downsized at the last moment.Yet at least 100 plus packed the room.

The PowerPoint projector wasn't talking to my computer (same story two weeks ago) but this time it did not take an hour to ratify.

The elderly group laughed at all my jokes and I'm amazed how they hung on to every word about the mile high club. In fact, I held the mike so I could move around the room a little and I felt like a stand up comedian. In case anyone is thinking I belittled the profession, I talked some serious stuff too. :)

The immediate feedback was excellent and I sold 16 books. One lady described it as a "fun talk."

Then it was back home to work on my Air Canada weather presentation.

Then off to the police station to get fingerprinted so I can assist with my son's hockey team. Yes, you read right. Someone decided all coaches should be fingerprinted.
I asked them why my "federal" fingerprints were not good enough but all I got was a blank stare. Hmmmm?

Then it was off to downtown Toronto where I met up with some of Air Canada's frequent flyers. They almost swarmed me when I entered. What a great bunch and their airplane knowledge is astounding. One gentleman is approaching two million miles! He has flown from Toronto to LAX every week for the last 13 years.
He brought along a beautiful B777 model Air Canada sent.

I'm thinking they all travel because of their jobs. Not so. Many just love getting into an airplane. I thought we pilots were the only ones like that. :)

One gentleman (now retired) just flew to Tokyo, stayed overnight and flew back with the same crew that brought him over. In fact, he stayed at the same hotel.

Another member (Margarita girl?) flew to Tokyo, had some noodles, and then immediately flew back to Toronto. Talk about expensive noodles. I didn't meet her, but those were some of the stories I heard.

They said the youngest in the group is a 15 year old pianist from Calgary with "super elite" status. Unfortunately, he is not old enough to enjoy the executive "Maple Leaf Lounge." Bummer.

If I can remember right 30,000 miles or 50 segments gets you "elite" status where 100,000 miles/year gives you "super elite."

I sold more books there as well. And I've been invited back to their next rendezvous. I still can't get over their aviation IQs. In fact, many just returned from a personal tour of the B787 in Seattle. They said the Boeing people listened to everything they said.

Here's their forum:

Flyer Talk

Well after two weeks of being off and doing 'executor' work I am looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I'll be heading to Phoenix for the first time as captain and the first time in 12 years.

The phone just rang with my daughter crying saying she just put diesel fuel in our unleaded gas car. The car won't go. Now I really need to go to work.

For some...days off...just aren't days off. lol


Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hey Captain Doug,
I just remembered that on my flight to YYZ this past summer, i was on the AC A319 with the fin number 264!! I took a whole bunch of pictures in YYZ!! That is one cool plane!!!!:)
The Winnipeger,

From the Flight Deck said...


Yes, FIN 264 in the old TCA colours. Pretty sharp.

Daniel said...

777 model you say for free? Lucky man. When Air Canada asked my dad what he wanted for never having a sick day in his 32 year old career for them, all he asked for was a Embraer 190 or 175 model for me but they told him that it was to much for them to do. So of course he had to go out an buy it. Fortunately people that like him buy me other models like the A380 etc when they go away but not Air Canada :P

O well, they will always be my favorite airline :D

Daniel Asuncion said...

Ouch. Yes, there is a difference between diesel and gas...

But, of course, there is a difference between a car and a daughter... Cars can be replaced.

From the Flight Deck said...

Dan. You are filled with words of wisdom.

Regrettably I responded with inappropriate words but Captain Doug calmed down.
I had to call a tow truck and arrange a mechanic.

My blood pressure is back to normal.

The car is still in the shop.

And yes my daughter is still talking to me. :)

thomashouseman said...

Pretty sure here in Australia we have different sized nozzles for Diesel/Petrol so you can't put one in the other...

From the Flight Deck said...

Thomas. We do too! That's why I am amazed this happened. My daughter sensed something was wrong. The nozzle did not fit correctly and the smell was different. She even queried the fellow working the station. It was quite a night for her conked out on a major road. A few people felt sorry for her as she came back balling her eyes out and they pushed the car to a parking lot.

Funny, we just bought another new vehicle and my wife came home with it needing gas. She was afraid
of the same thing happening to her. She admitted she did know what the BMW took.

So before I go to work this morning I will be getting gas. I sure hope I don't run out. It wouldn't look good with me in uniform pushing the car to a gas station. LOL

Anonymous said...

Hey Captain Doug,

wow....even the guy at the gas station didn't know?? Was it a Jetta? i'd be calling them and having a chat.

well, it's a good thing "dad" can't make the same mistake in his office :)

good luck with the "flush" and I'm glad you're still on speaking terms....we dad's tend to get a little excited when it comes to mechanical things .....

look on the bright side...maybe your daughter has highlighted a safeguard that should be looked into, to be even MORE safe?! hmmm....

Happy Flying!

Christer said...

Sounds like you've had quite a busy few days!

Mileage qualifications for Elite are 35 000 status miles or 50 status flight segments, for Super Elite they're 100 000 status miles or 95 status segments. The "status" miles or segments are the key here. They're based on the fare purchased- for example, lowest based tango fares within Canada do not count for status. When flying certain Star Alliance partner airlines, the level of earned miles also varies. Some airlines, like Lufthansa, can often be very stingy and award only 25 or 50%, whereas airlines like Singapore usually give you nothing for a Y ticket. On the other hand, some purchased executive/first class fares will award you 150% status miles.

So, there's rarely a direct correlation between awarded miles for elite status and actual miles flown. It can be kind of tricky, and those of us who have to fly a lot try to make the most of the rules to guarantee a better travel experience for the next year!

Have a good trip to Phoenix, and best of luck with that gas tank:)

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Christer. Thanks for setting me straight with the "status" thing. It sure is complicated.

I'm presently in PHX and the flight went well although we were 25 minutes late due to strong headwinds.

I'm still waiting an answer from home about the gas tank.

Doug in PHX

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Anon.

Yes, my daughter even queried the gas attendant because she sensed something wasn't right.
All he said was, "yes diesel, yes, diesel..."

Good point about the same mistake in my office. :)

I now feel really bad for cussing in the beginning. My CRM skills momentarily broke down. :)

But how does a 17 year old know the difference between gas and diesel? They don't teach that on facebook. :) More and more cars are diesel so it's inevitable it will happen again.

As far as a safeguard, we will be calling customer service Monday morning. :(

Thanks for the comments.

Doug in Phoenix

Lavi said...

That was about as entertaining an ending to a blog posting as I've seen!

From the Flight Deck said...

Lavi. My daughter must have taken some CRM classes. She just sent me an email saying, "it was much more
expensive than she thought...but at least everyone is safe...that's all that matters."
I think Captain Doug is in for another shoocker...the bill!

Arf said...

Nice post. I expect that your car will survive, but what a mess to deal with!

Most of the Elites/Superelites you would have met at the "do" congregate on Flyertalk's Aeroplan forum, and yes many of them will fly anywhere so long as mileage accumulation is involved (many will add extra legs onto a trip to max miles, for example). I don't do that as I enjoy my time at home too much, but I do usually get 40-50k status miles in annually on AC to keep my Elite status. The piano playing kid you met is a huge international phenom, which is why he flies so much.

I've been offline for a while, but have been catching up on your blog: you know you are doing something well when colleagues and others snipe at you. It is envy speaking! Take the nastiness as a compliment for your success in bringing to Air Canada's public an insider's view of flying. I think the EnRoute columns have lasted so long precisely because there is at times a bit of wit injected into the responses. That humanizes the roll of the pilot and allows readers to identify with you/them as humans who care about flying and about passengers.

Keep your chin up and ignore the snipers: they ain't worth it!

Cheers, Arf

From the Flight Deck said...

Arf. Words of wisdom and well said! I called them piranhas, but I like "snipers" as well!

The car is now out of the shop. It only cost me $430....choke... :(

Those sure were expensive CDs (my daughter went to buy them for me for tomorrow's weather class).
With that in mind, tomorrow's class will actually cost me money. Oh well.
But for some twisted reason, I actually enjoy meeting the new hires. First time in a long time. There's slight optimism in the air. :)

Again, your comments are well said!

Thanks for going out of your way. Just in from PHX (we arrived in Toronto 35 minutes early because of 140 knot tailwinds) Now it's off to New York, New York and back.

Captain Doug

Edwin said...

Very well said Arf.

Speaking of new hires, when was the last time Air Canada hired? I just re-watched the pilot of that pilot series again, and your sim partner seemed to be below the 35 year old new hire average?

And another question, just saw this video pop up in my subscription box and I was wondering how often does these bird strikes occur?

Regards, Edwin =)