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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chit-chat over the "Rocks"

DC-3 (Buffalo Airways)


Whywhyzed (YYZ) sent this video depicting DC-3s at Oshkosh. Thanks YYZ!


Push back happened a couple minutes ahead of schedule yesterday with a fully loaded A321 (174 passengers) destined for Vancouver. The only snag - two overhead bins in "J" class were duct taped closed due to a broken hinge.

Most of the flight allowed great views of Canada in the winter, but I can't believe the amount of snow especially in the Prairies. But sight seeing only does so much for passing the time so I started asking my F/O questions....i.e to his story. (It's the first time we met) I'm asking more questions because I get lots of queries from upstart pilots.

I remember reading in my "how to freelance write" books... a good writer listens. And you just don't listen to the story, but you listen FOR a story. :)

He graduated from Mount Royal in Calgary, Alberta with a two year aviation diploma. He also had a physics degree from the University of Alberta. He decided to get in his car and drive north to Yellowknife and start knocking on doors. The trek was 25 hours due north with no formal job offer... just determination!

Nothing materialized, but he helped with loading at Buffalo Airways. One day, the boss asked him how long he worked for the company. He said he didn't. So the boss said we better change that. One of his first jobs was a flight attendant. (Think well over six feet and burly). But that indirectly lead him into the right seat of the DC-3. My F/O said two of the DC-3s flew on D-DAY!!!! That puts them to be at least 67 years old! Plus he flew water bombers and the DC-4.

For those in the know, Buffalo Airways, have made a name for themselves in the show "Ice Pilots." It's a hit in Canada, Great Britain and Australia. One follower sent me this link.
Ice Pilots

Having flown over the Rockies three times we conversed with Edmonton centre a lot. Captain Doug pointed out to the F/O there sure were lots of female controllers at the centre. The F/O piped up stating they now have a calendar out to raise money for a hospital. Let's just say there's no pictures with them staring at blips on the radar. Ahem.

Here's their website: Controlling the Skies. Hey, it's for charity.

Actually a few years ago, Air Canada flight attendants did a similar version called Cabin Fever.
It did well, but it could have done a lot better if it had more support. I'll stop there.

Gee, maybe we pilots can do something? "Cleared to take it off." Okay, I'll stop.... :)

Then I made a comment...can you imagine how many pilots in the next few months will be asking...."are you in the calendar?"

Then we looked at each other....silence. "Should we ask?".... Smiles....

But then practical Captain Doug mentioned..."what happens if she wasn't?" "How would that make her feel?"

More silence.....

Then my F/O smiled and said, can you imagine being married to an air traffic controller?
The flight deck filled with one liners.....

The pilot would ask....."do you want to..ahem?"

Their retorts...

"Do you have a clearance?"

"Pull up and go around!"

"Do a 180...NOW!"

"Stand by!"


"I gave you implicit instructions. I want a full read back!"

But maybe....just maybe....

"You are cleared for an approach."

Okay, okay we were trying to get through the long day. LOL

Thanks for listening to my banter. I'm sitting in cool, damp, overcast Vancouver. At least there is no snow.


carlton said...

Good for him!!

I know of at least three former cabin crew that swapped the trolleys for the right hand seat. For one of them it was a very tough journey - after years of training and tens of thousands of pounds, he still had to fly as cabin crew for almost three years (even though he had his CPL) until one lucky day when a regional hired him to be a F/O on the 'bumpy' Fokker 50 fleet.

As you say, determination and passion often get you there. As for me, I guess it will always be a dream not accomplished.

Thanks for the regular posts ; )


From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. Yes, perseverance wins, but those darn roadblocks of reality sure get in the way for so many.

Yes, the F/O was asked to fly and another F/O was asked back to be the flight attendant. :)

Still sitting in Vancouver.

I'll be donning the uniform in another hour.

This weather is reminding me of Britain. :)

Captain Doug

carlton said...

..what, cold, damp, grey, miserable? I love Vancouver though, we were there a couple of years ago.

I hope you have a pleasant and smooth flight home Captain!

From the Flight Deck said...


I too love Vancouver. In fact, many times I think I would like to be based here. Unfortunately, the YVR base does not offer the opportunity YYZ does.

Many think YVR is always cloudy and damp. They never lived on the east Coast. :)

In fact, I flash that fact up on my Powerpoint presentation to the new hires. It asks which city sees more rain...Halifax or Vancouver?
Answer: Halifax.

Doug in moist but above freezing Vancouver. :)

carlton said...

Yes, I would move there tomorrow if I could. It would certainly suit my love for the outdoors, whilst having similar weather to the UK to ensure I don't get too homesick lol.

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. I agree. One can play golf or sail in the morning and then go skiing in the afternoon. I see the forecast is minus 21 C for Toronto tonight. It will be a cold walk to the car. :)

carlton said...

blimey - here in the UK everything grinds to a halt when it reaches minus 5. The lowest temperature my digital weather station recorded this year was minus 9 (although as you know that is almost unheared of here!)

I was in Toronto a few years ago when it was minus 26 and we were walking along the harbour front towards Union Station - it was painful...

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hey Captain Doug,
I sure wish i was in Vancouver! I would love to hit the slopes in Whisler! Here in the middle of the country we have 7- 8 feet of snow! It is still falling! The good thing is it may be -40 (just like the past week) but there is not a cloud in the sky!

The Winterpeger,


Hello Captain Doug!

aside from perseverance, passion determination, etc......

That post was damn funny!!! You and the first officer could take that to the next level and do a skit on SNL!!!! Must have made for a great flight!

You could even add "sterile below 10,000" for the older folk..... LOLOLOL!!!

Funny, and honest stuff....that's what makes this blog real, and great.

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Carlton. While flying into Toronto tonight the temperature at 3000 above ground was minus 17 and the surface it was minus 20.
I see the nation's capital, Ottawa, will be a frigid minus 30 tonight.

From the Flight Deck said...

Adam. When I flew over Winnipeg yesterday I commented to the F/O it looks like it will be a nasty spring as far as river run off.
Start building the dikes!

You're right.... there wasn't a cloud in the sky. No wonder Winnipeg is one of the sunniest cities in Canada. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III approach. Glad you liked it. Sterile below 10,000...not bad! :) I suspect there will be a few more suggestions in the next few days. :)

Captain Doug

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

Great story about the F/O. I did kind of skim over you man-talk about the lady calendars though... :) (Not insulted at all by the way! I would be pro-male calendar though. Go figure! :)

I do enjoy Vancouver! It's a good spot to just hang out and relax...even with rain! Hope the rest of your leg goes well!

Take care,


mikeyyc said...

Went through YEG a couple days ago and someone asked one of the guy controllers which month he was. We had a good laugh at that one.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Heather. Glad you didn't mind the "guy" talk. :)

Now back in frigid Toronto.

I'm off to Tampa on Thursday, however, the pit stop is for 40 minutes.


From the Flight Deck said...

MikeYYC. So they are asking. :)

Flew through Edmonton's airspace last night and things were tame. Lots of "nice" voices though. :)

Over the years I've heard a few stories where a pilot followed up on the "voice." The odd visit to the tower, flight service station and the "center"
proved to have many different endings. :)

And no I never ventured. :)

But I think everyone out there has followed up on a voice, and I'm certain there's tons of stories about the surprises as well. :)

Captain Doug

Cedarglen said...

Capt. Doug, A great posting!! As for the FO mentioned, hang onto and folliw that guy! Anyone who has serious seat time in a DC-3, is a very serious, qualified pilot. The 320 FiFi series may confuse him, but the man knows how to fly. Very few aircraft generate that kind of Soul Feeling, but the DC-3 is -- a ver special airplane. Nuff Said.

whywhyzed said...

I was at Oshkosh this past summer for the DC-3 75th anniversary. Among other things, one night there was a talk on the DC-3 by Dave Douglas (of Douglas aircaft fame) and Buffalo Joe McBryan was on the panel. What an interesting bunch of guys -- he was very low key but so interesting.
Someone put together a great video: click here.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Craig. Sorry for not responding to your other comments. But I will!

Yes, that DC-3 is a unique airplane and it truly has soul. (Please see the attached video) I know I couldn't fly's TOO manly for me. :)

I'm just a European made fifi flyer. LOL (kidding)

Captain Doug :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Whywhyzed. Thanks for the link. I modified my post. Great shots and I love the sound of those engines.

The F/O said Buffalo Airways is the largest consumer of AVGAS in Canada because of those babies.
He said it was difficult flying to many northern destinations because they would suck every ounce of AVGAS 100 suppliers would have.

I must get myself to Oshkosh. I bet I could sell a book or two there. :)

Again, thanks for the video!

Captain Doug


Hello Captain,

Two more....

If it's not going so well...."missed approach"

and if it does " I'm arriving!!!! "


on a serious note...

compared to the DC-3's how often would an airline pilot hand fly the aircraft vs. using autopilot in real time? Is this a requirement for training besides when you would do it in the sims?

Happy flying to Tampa....YYZ on Friday afternoon for me!

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III approach. I think I know what you are asking. :)

Basically the airplane is flown 99 percent of the time on autopilot.

I engage it around 1000 to 1500 feet AGL (or sooner) and disengage around 1000 to 500 feet on approach. The rest of the time "George" is flying.

Most companies prefer the airplane to be flown on autopilot. It lessons the work load in most conditions.

Many of my F/Os hand fly to 10,000 feet. All that does is up the workload for me. :(

When you fly overseas it's best to get the autopilot engaged soon. In fact, many departures require it.

I'm off to Vegas tomorrow. It was my day off, but I need to top up my flying.

Off to Tampa on Friday? Funny I'm going there Thursday.

Captain Doug


Hello Captain....

Happy flying to Tampa...for you. I read your early comment about flying there.

YYZ for me on Friday, then YSJ!

That's exactly what I was driving at. Thanks for the response.

I was on an RJ flight out of YYZ to YSJ last year, and about 30 minutes in to the flight the throttles were pulled way back and we descended harder than normal, and a 180° turn was started( I could tell because it was clear and we were passing some of the same lights I saw earlier ) . Turns out the cabin door had an open light alert. We flew back to YYZ low. Reason I asked about the hand flying is the approach was anything but smooth....engines were pulled back, I'm assuming too much because I could feel the sink rate pick way up( and a word that reminds with tall quickly entered my mind ) , then they were hammered....this back and forth continued until we almost touched down so I assumed the plane was not in auto.

Thanks again Captain!

CAT III Approach

Cedarglen said...

Capt. Doug: Thanks for poasting the DC-3 video. I know that you love your 'Electric Jet' but for stick and rudder folks, the DC-3 is a real airplane. In the late 70s, I was honored to log about two hours of right seat time in a grand old DC-3. Two solid weeks of intense study for two hours of air time? Hell yes! It was the experience if a lifetime.
Thanks also for posting your South Pole flying friend's site. The Twin Otter is *almost* in the DC-3 class: One cool airplane. Oh yes, I found thata semi-old video of Capt Doug! Good stuff and a fun watch.
I still hope that you can avoid adding ads to your blog, Mrs. Doug's wishes notwithstanding. I'll continue reading. Period. Happy Landings,

Cedarglen said...

Sorry for the messes; obviously having some keyboard trouble on this end - more more week and the new box arrives. Lastly, thanks; those older posts do not need replies. You have more important things to attend to. Fly safe and hit the right airport. Rubber side down, my friend. Rubber side down!

From the Flight Deck said...

HI Craig. Today was my day off, but just to keep the boss happy I'm out the door on "make up." (Actually, she didn't tell me to fly extra I took it upon myself).Translation: I'm working extra hours.
Every month is a juggling game to top up the hours. Generally speaking we are paid by the hour. Today's flight, Vegas and back, will top me up nicely. The only glitch is... I'm approaching the maximum hours contractually. Sometimes we have to drop some flying because we exceededthe limit. Like I said....a juggling game.

Off to Vegas

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hi Captain Doug,
We Winnipiegers are already perparing for the worst. The Red River is one meter above the normal height. They say we mat be have the flood of the "century"!

The Winnipeger,

getjets said...

DC-3's are BADASS!!! The old throw back livery, especially the "Lindberg Line--TWA"!!!was like getting the treat outa the cracker jack box!!!!We have 2 DC-3's here in Houma, standing guard over the airport;) 'click,click,click....that ole counter of yours, just clicking away. Perhaps factor in a + or - 2% to get a more accurate know like the political polls do. The reasons are this last post for were being playful, talking about the calenders, the women controllers.. oh and put me down for 1/2 dozen of "them there" CLEARED TO TAKE IT OFF" calenders!!Like Cedarglen says, your blog is FUN! you,, Captain Morris were having FUN!!As far as the "lost ones" referenced by Cedarglen, remember..they have feelings too, lost..only to be found..mmmmm I truly enjoyed this particular post, Thank you Captain Doug!misstwa signing off for now^j^

getjets said...

Ok, just a couple of retorts or AHEM"s

"whizz Air", LINE UP AND WAIT
"HOLD SHORT" (is that a request...?)
"ROGER ROGER"(oh thats not your name)
"AFIRM"(a firm whaaaaattt)
"POSITION AND HOLD" (hey, why not)
Well, its not my best work, may getcha by for a while...ha ha. Captain......Captain..did you hear that CLANK SOUND???????that was my halo hitting the floor....oh well, safe flying Captain Doug, ^j^

Cedarglen said...

Yes, I well understand 'topping off' the monthly hours. Pilot's compensation is a complicated scheme, but it usually works well for you 'Major' boys and girls. With , both enough driving hours to pay the bills and enough at-home hours to keep that "Honey-do" list to a minimum. When she starts asking,"When do you fly again, honey," it is time to look at that list again.
Love the posts!

getjets said...

yes and Thank You Whywhyzed for the Fabulous DC-3 video!!!!!!!Those puppies landing with their front paws first, They grab the earth, not the other way around!!!not to sound like a half broken adventures for me with out Captain Doug, as well!!!!^j^

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Just in from Vegas. Thanks for all your posts! Boy...they have energy not to mention other things. :) :) :)

After over nine hours of flying, I must ready to teach 13 students weather (airframe icing) early tomorrow. They too want to "grab the earth" from landing anything they can get their hands on.

Chat later.

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

HI Craig. I'm now projecting 86:16 hours and max for the month is 88:00. I still have three one day pairings left so any bit of "block growth" could cause a major hiccup. Life is a game of juggling. But it's a good juggle. :)

I'm out the door early tomorrow to convince 13 student pilots this is one of the greatest jobs out there. And they better learn to juggle! :)

Captain Doug

getjets said...

Captain,my 8th grade, class went on a "field trip" to the McDonald Douglas aircraft facility, just to the side of the runways,at Lambert Field intr'l airport,in St Louis. One massive building, Even then I !!!!love aviation as well!!!Especially "jetspotting" those beautiful TWA jets,At that time I was living just across the Mississippi River on the Illinois side, well you are teaching (airframe icing), isn't that called "WINTER"...ha ha, just funnin with ya ;)..I tell ya I thank the Gods for the "El nino" climate pattern last summer,it kept the hurricanes out of Gulf.. making their curve early,back into the Atlantic Ocean. High Pressure... was indeed a friend for the Gulf States!! After Katrina,which was the most heart breaking avent!!!!!!! but for us here in Southern most Louisiana,hurricane "Gustav" year or two earlier slammed us here in Houma, Imagine, this we were hit so hard, and we decided to stay, so Houma(city I live in) was put in "lock down, not one single soul was allowed back in the city, until power, and many other services were about erie...for a half a week not one light, no one and I mean no one was allowed to venture(those that stayed), i would go outside and all you hear were sirens, and generators, Waiting 2 hours for gas for the generator....when they turned back people wanting to come back home, they were made to stay on the interstate or highway, every road was blocked, course, and not to make light of this, mandatory, no liquor sold, Nothing, needless to say, there many "liquor runs" before, it hit. and the sneaking around raiding friends liquor stashes. Imagine, waking up, and nothing, absolutely nothing was open for business, and as the officials said, "you stay", your on your own literaly!!!!no one allowed one the streets after 7 pm. Seemed and looked like the end of the world...I heard some of the most WICKED sounds coming from my house during the brunt!!!! there was alot of damage to the house,but it remained in tact...My granddaughter were safe and sound in Northern Louisiana!!! I suppose anywhere you live...there's potential for worst case scenerios(weather wise)!!!! hope class goes well, Captain, I will take a swing at tracking your happy Ars to Tampa, I believe tomorrow. I don't want to ask for your flight numbers, I've been tracking flights for years now...especially the A-380 to and fro...Dubai to Toronto being one of them, Safe flying Captain Doug!!!!! your pal,misstwa ^j^

getjets said... about rambling on and on...I am really embarrassed...the blog, after all, asks for COMMENTS,please forgive!!!being a good listener does not always translate...after all this is not my blog...sorry Captain!!!!:(

Cedarglen said...

Those hours are close. Schedules are a backroom dance. every bit as complicated as driving the plane. Used to be similar in my business and truly an art form of their own. We all hope that your 13 students benefit from your airfame ice presentation; important stuff 'ya know! As taught by a flyer, not a desk jockey, there is some built-in credibility. I hope that they are paying attention. Ice is both heavy and deforming and neither is good. I hope they get it. As always, your posts are FUN; Thank you!

Chris Gardner said...

Capt Doug do you get paided extra when you teach the new hires at work or is it part of your 88 hours monthly work load. A small suggestion to top up your January hours maybe fly to yul late night flight from YYZ January 31, and fly back on Febuary 1. It may work but this suggestion makes too much common sense,lol. Take care Chris.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Chris. Teaching the new hires is "above and beyond" as far as pay. :)

Actually, your flight suggestion is a pilot's dream.

It would top the pilot up for both January and February. :)
Plus the flight is just over an hour but we would be paid DPG (Daily Pairing Guarantee) of 4:25 per each day.
I did a pairing to New York last fall like that, but it didn't fall at the end of the month. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. That's quite a "hurricane" story! Sounds like a bit of overkill on the "officials" part.

As far as flight tracking, I realize there is a few of you out there that are "into it."

As far as Emirates, right now it's kind of a dirty word here in Canada. Lots of politics on the go. :)

Captain's Doug's "happy ars" will be heading south in the afternoon. :) :) :)

From the Flight Deck said...

"Please forgive!!!being a good listener does not always translate...after all this is not my blog...sorry Captain!!!!:( "

Getjets. No need to are just being Miss TWA. :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) You pegged it! Contracts, regulations, schedules are as complicated as flying the plane.

The class went well today.

I even said to them, "I hope I am scaring you, because it's serious!"

Next class I will be taking them for a tour to the CDF in February.