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

Thursday, December 30, 2010


I knew it was going to be a "little thing" day when I popped a button off my overcoat. (and I thought I took it easy this Christmas) :) Then the only car ahead of me in the Tim Horton coffee emporium drive thru at 5:00 a.m ordered up a list that must have taken 5 minutes. Why don't people go inside if they plan on buying half the store?

During the walk around, (yes Captain Doug offered the first leg to Calgary), I saw a little frost on the wings. It's off to the CDF we go. And it's foggy! A light southerly wind advected relatively warm moisture over a cold surface reducing visibility big time in some spots while driving to work. I dare not think how many accidents it caused during early morning rush hour. Plus the process of sublimation...when a solid turns directly to a gas...i.e when snow transforms directly to vapour added to near zero visibility.

This is our view while taxing to runway 06L. (This picture was taken with the park on). The RVR (Runway Visual Range) was dropping as we neared the runway. (It got to 900 feet). Translation..I had to do the take off. (RVRs below 1200 are done by the captain). We also had to get a take off alternate. A take off alternate must be available when visibility goes below the required visibility for the approach in use. Generally when it goes below 1/2 mile. For the A320, it must be within 340 nautical mile radius. This "plan B" airport is a requirement in case we "blow a fan" and we can't come back to land.

You know it's a foggy day when ATC cleared us to hold short of the CAT III hold line.
Aircraft are kept further away during CAT II and CAT III operations because the aircraft may interfere with the ILS signals.

This is Calgary during the taxi out. Yes, another deicing was required with light snow falling at minus 19 C. I kept asking myself, why am I doing these flights? I should be steering to warmer climates like LAX, Cancun, Florida or the Barbados. Note the plume of smoke over the city of Calgary in the background. It's due to an inversion (warmer air aloft). Meteorology is everywhere!

That's it for flying this year! Actually my flight hours for December need topping up so I could fly New Year's eve day, but heck it's only money. :)

Enjoy everybody!


Anonymous said...

Good morning Captain Doug,

Thanks for the post, I flew out of YXU this evening and there was still some of that stuff lingering around, along with some BR and low ceilings, YYZ was looking a lot better.

Definitely enjoyed the holiday season upgrade to the B767 equipment, had a great ride in the bulkhead seat!

Happy New Year!

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. Glad it all worked out and you had lots of leg room in the bulkhead seat. "So close and yet so far from business class." :)

Yes, Happy New Year!

Captain Doug

Christer said...

I like that shot of Calgary- at first glance you'd think something big was on fire. Have a safe and Happy New Year!


From the Flight Deck said...


Yeah, it sort of looked nuclear. :)

All the best in the New Year!

Captain Doug

Tim said...

Happy New Year, Doug!

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Tim. Flew in your neck of the woods a few days ago.

Hope you have a great new year, Tim!

Keep in touch

Captain Doug

whywhyzed said...

Interesting about the Capt having to do the takeoff in bad viz.....

Do you ever ask the F/O how many hrs on type he has, or is this kind of a cheeky question?

Reason I ask is that I know it's possible that the Capt has less than 50 hrs on type (ie he/she just came over to this aircraft) whereas the F/O may have been on type for thousands of hours.

I guess it's just Company policy to assume that the Capt has more total hours and experience and therefore that's what counts?

Edwin said...

Interesting question whywhyzed.

Happy new years to all!

And thank you Captain Doug for the posts you've brought us in 2010. Looking forward to many more in 2011!


From the Flight Deck said...

We frequently feel each other out while walking to the airplane. Lately training is down so
pilots aren't moving from one airplane to another. So there is an assumption the pilot has been on the plane for awhile. Plus I look at their seniority
number. If I see there are just hanging on the A320 list then I may ask. Sometimes I ask just for conversation.

Having said that, I am amazed of the caliber and standard my F/Os bring to the flight deck. Sometimes I ask myself,
was I that keen and sharp?

Pilots can sniff out pilots very fast.

It's true a low time captain must do the take off with a very experienced F/O beside him, but another stipulation is the captain must have 100 hours on type. If he doesn't the flight is not going.

I wouldn't say it's a company assumption. It's just the way it is.

For example, when I go on the B767 and it's my first time to Santiago, Chile. You can rest assured I will be picking the brains of the F/O and
suggesting he/she fly the first leg. Some of the F/Os on the big planes are very senior, they may have 20,000 hours with 5000 hours on type.
But the captain still starts the engines, taxi the airplane and is pulled in the office if something goes wrong. It's the rules we fly by. :)

All the best for the new year!

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Edwin. Yes, Whywhyzed asks some deep questions. But you offer lots to this blog as well.

I won't forget my time I spent during New Year's in Sweden.

It's getting late there, you should be partying. :)

All the best!

Captain Doug

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Just a quick question...what did you end up with for total hours for 2010, and how does that compare to other years in your career?

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. I flew 775:30 hours. I was very close to flying today. Crew sked was drafting but I decided to stay home and enjoy my son's birthday and go to a party. Since I made the command decision to stay...
it's time to party!!!!

Happy New Year to all you Calgarians.

Captain Doug

WILLO2D said...

Ah - New Year in Sweden. I remember mine. Spent with family, friends and colleagues in Enebyberg, in the northern suburbs of Stockholm. About 2 foot of snow, -10 c; first fireworks went off at 00.00 CET and the last at 00.00Z. Fond memories...

You all have a great party; I'm on early driver shift tomorrow morning to get my daughter to work...

Doug, did your daughter make it to Q8 ok? For her, it's already 2011! And a very happy birthday to your son!

Kind regards,


From the Flight Deck said...

IanH. Firstly, Happy New Year!!!
I always enjoy your comments.

I remember spending New Year's eve in Austria on a ski excursion. They celebrate New Year's on New Years day night. That year I celebrated...with a copious amount of beverages....twice! Bonus for a young man in his early twenties.
I'll never forget skiing down the hill at night holding candles in a successive line. Now you got me having flashbacks.

I'm thinking about my ski instructor named Honey. And she was! Curly eye lashes, beautiful blue eyes, spoke five languages and taught tennis in the summer.

I better stop right there. :)

Yes, my daughter made it to Q8 (like it) safely. Sounds like the family has some influence. My daughter was met by a special "meet and greet"
person and was whisked through security and received her visa very quickly.

It's nice of Dad to drive his daughter to work. :)
My middle daughter, (diesel girl) will be making her way downtown Toronto. I don't even want to know. :)

I'll pass on the birthday wishes. It's very nice of you!

One day, we will have to meet up and share some stories!

Until then...Happy New Year!!!


getjets said...

Happy New Year's Eve Captain Doug, This is my first comment to "From the Fight Deck", As in your youtube video, quite obvious the love and pride you feel for your job, as well as all who are partners as well, down to the last "lug nut"!!!! I love aviation, everything about it!!!! I too, was born in Newfoundland, (St John's), but now live in Southeast Louisiana. Thank you for sharing your stories, they are appreciated! this is misstwa(because I really do Miss TWA Airlines!!!!) signing off for now, and wishes for a safe and Happy New Year to you!

Daniel said...

Happy New Year !

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Happy New Year Doug and everyone! All the best in 2011!

Adam & all the Winnipeger's!

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi getjets!
Welcome to the blog and Happy New Year! A "Newfie" living in Louisiana? I bet a Newfoundlander fits in nicely with the laid back Southern hospitality. Thanks for the visit and we hope to see more comments from you. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Adam and Daniel. Happy New Year to you guys as well!

Here's to another year of aviation.

Captan Doug

getjets said...

Captain, I thank you for your response, and why the hell am I up so early on this first day of 2011..being a holiday!!! yes our southern hospitality is absolute and i think personaly a nice mesh with the "newfie" in my blood!!! you don't have to worry about "inbreeding" all the way down here...that was a joke!!!!! being a natural born smartass doesn't hurt either. I'll be checking in with your stories,and teachings... aviation, aviation..all i ever want to talk about, passion with me, anyting to do with it, ever watch those jet engine "test" videos....and thats just for starters... so until this is "misstwa" (because I really do miss TWA Airlines) signing off, and you and your family take good care :)

From the Flight Deck said...

getjets (misstwa). I'm asking the same question....why am I up so early? From one Newfie to another, we like our beverages, and this Newfie
capitalized on that last night. :)
Your comments sure have pep! Good for you!
Captain Doug

getjets said...

pep...mmmm maybe for you as in "peptobizmal" (spell), you know that pink stuff, takes days to get it outa your teeth...ok, maybe i went over the line with that one....NAAAA Oh and there's always the TWILIGHT ZONE marathon,runs all day, New Years day on one of those brain death cable stations. that'll make ya feel better....don't worry, it only takes ALL day to feel better.. ha ha misstwa

From the Flight Deck said...

I'm not that bad. lol In fact, if I had a car this morning I'd be off to the gym, but not before I get a Tim Horton coffee. Do you miss that stuff?

The glitch is my wife is working for the competition this morning and my middle daughter has yet to return home from her new year adventure.

Captain "carless" Doug

getjets said...

THE thats where the coffee shop must be, anyway first things morning wake me up is know, the drink that kills labatory rats, at least in the 60's. My husband is 2 day old PJ's only dress code I know today....tomorrow its "SAINTS" football, so have to decide what jersey to wear. Drew Brees of course.....oh Captain, why not "JOG" to the gym....yea, ok that was a lame joke, going out on a limb can be risky.....hope daughter home safe and sound soon! misstwa

carlton said...

Happy New Year Captain Doug and also to the fellow bloggers (aviation enthusiasts).

Looking forward to reading of your aviation adventures in 2011.

Cheers, Carlton (in a very foggy UK).

From the Flight Deck said...

getjets. It's actually plus 8 C (do you still remember Celsius?) here and raining... so jogging to the gym is not on the radar.
I've biked there but not jogged. I'm approaching 50 REALLY fast so I better drive. :)

No sight of my middle daughter, my wife, or my son that turned 13 yesterday.
I did hear from my daughter visiting in Kuwait for a few days. She is being spoiled rotten over there.

Captain Doug waiting patiently :)

getjets said...

Before I give you the rest of the day off, you may have seen this Hilarious video, but if not, you will LYAO!!!!

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Carlton.

Happy New Year!

Just checked out Heathrow's weather and it didn't look too bad. What large airport are you closest to?

Captain Doug in a very unseasonable warm Toronto

carlton said...

I am visiting family in Lincolnshire, the nearest airport is HUY (Humberside Airport).

It is actually not too foggy now - just cold, damp and miserable.

My girlfriend is in Toronto at present and she say's that it is 10 C. I guess us Brits must have stolen all your snow this winter ; )

From the Flight Deck said...

getjets. Thanks for the link but I've seen it before. :) It sure does use great graphics!
Enjoy your day even if it is in two day PJs. :)

Captain Doug (still no sign of life in this house)

P.S LYAO...didn't know what the acronym stood for, but coming from a Newfie I figured it out. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. That's exactly what Brits tampered with the weather patterns. :)

Your girlfriend left you high and dry for the holidays???

Enjoy Belgium!

Captain Doug

getjets said...

Plus 8C...mmmmm (translation) EXCUSES, EXCUSES...think you got it 75 F, rainy, here, you do know Fairenheit, ha ha, and it's 200% humidity, hell, liked to kill me getting the newspaper outa my front Children and esspecially grandchildren were born to be spoilttttt. Ain't it you can have the rest of the day off. this "Pain in the A*#" signing off, gotta check out next episode of the twilight zone

getjets said...

try brushing your teeth, house full 5 minutes later... child, you do know thats a joke..or....:)

From the Flight Deck said...


My son just woke up, I've got someone to talk to... :)

Enjoy New Year's Day!

carlton said...

Her father sadly passed away last week so she is having some quality family time in Toronto.

"Enjoy Belgium?" I am not going to Belgium any time soon - but we have some nice Belgian chocolates from Christmas - yum!

getjets said...

you enjoy as well Captain

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. I was about to ask about your girlfriend's father because you told me before he was not well.
My condolences....

I quickly googled HUY airport and there were references to Belgium. I don't know why. That will teach me to read things a little more carefully.

I'm not batting too well. :)


carlton said...

Thanks for that, he has been ill for some time, at least he is at peace now.

Humberside is a very small (off-the beaten track airport). It has daily flights to AMS and to other regional airports, but other than the occasional summer charter flights to Spain etc it is very quiet - I am not at all surprised you havent heared of it. The concorde once did a charter in to HUY too, with hindsight I really wish I purchased a ticket - that is one dream that will be left unfulfilled!

Regards Carlton (just about to tuck into my New Years Day meal)


Captain Doug,

You stole my next question!!!! I always wondered when passing CAT III, II, and I signs what they were for and it was on my list for a next question for you.

Hold distances....makes perfect sense.....thanks.

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. You know, that might make for a good enRoute question. I must keep this one in my pocket for future use.