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...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Why the Bumps and Chiefs

1. Mechanical

2. Convective

3. LLWS (Low Level Wind Shear)

4. Frontal

5. Orographic (Mountain Wave)

6. CAT (Clear Air Turbulence)

7. Wing tip vorticies

Well the forecast of LLWS pulled me out of my early morning "check in stupor." Ottawa's TAF (aviation forecast) said to expect a change in wind from light easterlies at the surface to a very strong southwesterly flow aloft. Visibility would also be low in fog and rain.

The flight from Toronto to Ottawa spans only 195 miles so the southwest flow of 100 knots tended to be a work out especially landing on 07.

The day before, when teaching weather to the new hires, I queried the class if they knew the six (not man made) different types of turbulence. Well, have you ever been in front of a group of people and have a "helmet fire?" You know where I'm going with this. :) Yes, Captain Doug couldn't remember "frontal" and "orographic" turbulence. Embarrassing.

Well on the legs from YYZ to YOW and back again we encountered convective turbulence in moderate showers, CAT with the jet stream aloft, LLWS on approach (we were ready for it so it tended to be a non event), frontal (wind shift) on the way back with a cold front passing through Southern Ontario and then a sometimes moderate bump from mechanical turbulence as strong northwesterly winds picked up behind the cold front.

Then it was down to Saint John's, Newfoundland where we transited a strong Northwesterly jet over Prince Edward Island at FL 370 giving light to moderate chop for 30 minutes. Captain Doug did his best explaining "why the bumps" with a P.A to the back.

Chiefs (chief pilots)

This pairing, I am flying with an ex chief pilot with Air Georgian. A pilot knocked at the flight deck door while readying for YOW's flight. (He was capitalizing on the jumpseat reciprical program). He was a chief pilot at First Air in YOW. He is from my home province, Nova Scotia. While standing in line at Tim Hortons in YOW ( I needed another coffee to counteract the early wake up) I met a friend who was an ex chief pilot at Air Nova. He is now chief pilot at NAV CANADA who calibrates the instrument approaches at Canadian airports plus a whole lot more.

We talked about one mutual friend who is chief pilot for a phone company in Nova Scotia. The NAV CANADA chief pilot just hired another ex Jazz chief pilot who recently worked for Emirates. (Apparently things aren't as rosy for some in the sandbox of Dubai). Incidentally, Air Canada has no chief pilots but flight managers. Is there words of wisdom here? Yes, the aviation industry is a very tight group and "be nice to the people going up the ladder because they may be the same people you see going down the ladder." :)

Off to sunny and warm Orlando tomorrow. :)


Daniel said...

Air Georgian pilots are awesome ! :D Really friendly and even one is helping me a bit with my PPL, currently he is getting selected by Jazz.

Have fun in Orlando, I wish I was there, I hate snow.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Captain Doug,

I wish other pilots would apply the same courtesy with a P.A. to the cabin during turbulence events. I'm sure they'd be shocked to see that they alleviate many back seat tensions just by a simple explanation as to why, and how long it might be expected. If they hear the "driver" is not concerned, they tend not to be either!
Thanks Captain!

CatIII Approach

p.s. When you announce who's flying, do you tell the cabin you're in Enroute, or do you wait to see if they pick it up?

Danny Asuncion said...

That's kind of a scary picture...

From the Flight Deck said...

Danny. Just goes to show what an airplane can produce as far as wake.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Anon. (CAT III Approach)

Yes, when the bumps are "bad" I make an announcement for the very reasons you stated.
People want to hear the pilot is not rattled.

I had to do that yesterday as well. Got some good bumps between Toronto and Montreal both ways.

I did announce I am the guy who writes for enRoute on a couple of flights because I was looking for more
questions. At the end of the flight, I stood by the door and I received zero comments. All I got were blank stares.

So I decided to give it a miss.

I sure get recognized from the flight attendants lately. They all think it's great. At least that's what they say to my face. lol

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. Yeah, the Air Georgian group are all great guys and gals.

Orlando was great. I see I have another one in December.