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, January 3, 2011

Hola Puerto Vallarta....

A new follower "getjets" sent me this pic which accompanied a really neat PowerPoint presentation. I'm hoping we can eventually post it on my blog.

Our routing to Puerto Vallarta (sort of). The "block" flight time is 5:30 but the flight plan stated we were 17 minutes over schedule. We took off at max take off weight (70 tonnes) packed with a full load of passengers with Guadalajara as an alternate. Interesting to note the "block" time coming back is 55 minutes shorter.

Good morning....

Captain Doug slept in. A first! What a way to start the new year. I knew something was up when daylight was poking in the room. I should have been up and out the door in the dark. Twas not the time to be tardy because I knew my F/O would be late arriving.
Crew sked called the night before giving me the heads up. My F/O was flying in from St. John's, Newfoundland. They were short F/Os (back log from the holidays).
That meant I would be getting the flight plan, walk around and readying the airplane all by lonesome. (I think this sounds similar to a recent post, "where's my F/O?")
I made it out the door in 15 minutes but my drive to the airport had me speeding in the range of a rotation speed for a lightly loaded A319. :) Luckily it was a Sunday morning. It turned out, I checked in precisely right on the minute.

In flight planning I wished one captain a "Happy New Year" and asked if he had been to PVR (MMPV) before. (I was a PVR virgin). He told me it was a "good operation." That's all I wanted to know. Translation...they don't keep you high (no slam dunk approaches), the ATC English is good, and ground operations should be smooth. He did tell me they canceled their outbound flight (mechanical I think), and for me not to eat the fish tacos. Apparently he and the F/O suffered a little back end turbulence a few days later. :) :) :)

Elvis is in the building

My F/O arrived at 09:57 and the park brake came off at 10:00. But that was after I had to make an announcement to a full load of passengers explaining it takes two pilots to fly this airplane and the first officer will be along jokingly stating..."Elvis is in the building." :) I also suggested they applaud as he entered the aircraft. I didn't hear an applause. :(


My F/O and I go back over 20 years to Air Atlantic days and it's the first time we ever flew together. We had a lot of catching up to do. Many pilots (including me) are like little old ladies and like to gossip. We would throw out a name and then comment. "What about so and so...?" We both agreed we had worked with a lot of pilots "left of center." lol

Plus my F/O was a Newfie so there is an automatic bond (right "getjets?"). I listened to his aviation journey and the many jobs he pursued before getting on with Air Canada.

Greased it on....

The F/O quickly accepted the challenge to fly us to beautiful Puerto Vallarta. Like most southern airports it lacks an ILS so doing an offset VOR approach among some very big hills raised an eyebrow. Actually the weather was gorgeous and I couldn't believe the lushness of Mexico's west coast. It's a place where Captain Doug and family must visit. We did a straight in visual approach to runway 22 (a gentle sea breeze blew from the Pacific) with a temperature of 27 C greeting us. The F/O greased it on! I could tell he knows the sweet spot of the A320. His landing technique is the "all in one flare" whereas mine is the heavy Airbus approach, "check the descent rate and wait" and both work fine. Although I must admit he had Captain Doug rising from the seat a little. lol
He received about 6 to 7..."great landings!"

Most vacationeers are in a great mood heading to their destination. They are a little grumpier coming home. The biggest mood swings (so say the flight attendants) are with the Las Vegas (lost wages) flights. But I'm not sure why because I thought, "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." :)

During my stroll through the PVR airport a passenger approached me asking for a BIG favour. He wanted to know the score of a particular football game while flying back to Toronto. I jokingly asked, "do you have a lot of money on the game?" His face stiffened a bit and said, "I have a lot more than that riding on the game."
We got him the info during the flight and I heard he was relieved.

I did go back and shake hands with a captain who retired a day before. Both the F/O and I moved up a number. I know...a shallow comment. Actually he was a well liked man and it seems he will enjoy retirement.

Another reason why I went back to the cabin is because the in-charge mentioned a "window" came loose during landing. Hmmmmmm?

It turned out it was the cabin interior around the window shade that needed a little TLC. But I don't blame her in trying to ground the airplane so we could have an unexpected layover. lol

My blog....

While flying back my F/O asked how my blog was going. I was taken aback because I thought most AC pilots did not know about it. But remember how I mentioned about pilots and gossip...:)

I told him "very well...but it is starting to affect my family life." With any form of entertainment there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes. For a blog that means lots of email, queries and "other external forces." As I've said before, "aviation is not only a passion, it's a disease." That also applies to blogging! I'm up to 320 posts in two years. I must learn to back away from the computer a little. :)

Having said that, I'll probably post tomorrow with my wife giving me the look.

What can I say...I need help.... :) :) :)


getjets said...

Excellent Post....Ahhhhh Royalties,please ;) misstwa lol

WILLO2D said...

"...I'll probably post tomorrow with my wife giving me the look.

What can I say...I need help.... :) :) :)"

You could suggest to your good lady wife starting a blog of her own ;)

IanH - ducking for cover whilst donning kevlar helmet and body armour....

Edwin said...

If you ever where to find yourself up there without anything to talk about you could always try out a game called Autopilot Kerplunk.

1)Each pilot takes turns choosing and pulling a circuit breaker
2)The pilot who pulls a breaker which drops out the Autopilot loses!

I wonder how you would explain this to AC management back on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

I'm sure your readers certainly appreciate any 'heat' you take from your 'other half' with all the work you do on your blog. Aviation certainly is a disease and most of us have to be at least a little crazy to be involved in the industry!

YYC Dispatcher

E92Vancouver said...

This is such an excellent blog. About the wife. Maybe you can get an advertising revenue stream from the blog and if you give her the money from it,she may be a little more accepting of it.

From the Flight Deck said...

IanH Funny I've been suggesting lots to my wife lately, but a blog wasn't one of them. :)

I like your "stir the pot" suggestion though. ;)

Sending an email is a quite a feat for some. I'll stop there. lol


From the Flight Deck said...

getjets. I'll give you 100 percent of my royalties. How's that? :) :) :) I think that's fair.

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Edwin. That game is certainly not good for job security. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. You have that right, we aviation buffs must be a "little crazy." Reminds me of the anecdote I told in my book about the "lavologist" saying..."and what...give up aviation?!"

From the Flight Deck said...


Thanks for the positive feedback.

Yes, she frequently reminds me I'm not making money from this blog. I believe I would kill my blog or scare people away if I lace it with ads. I mean really, do people actually respond to those ads claiming flat stomachs in a week, etc? :)

Thanks for the suggestion though. :)

Captain Doug

getjets said...

Captain Morris you are one fair man and something tells me when it comes to 'royalties' its not...TICKETY BOO...but...ZIPPITY DOO!!!!! :o lol!!! I Thank you for using the pic, and hope the rest can be posted as well in time. I agree, balancing our time... with family, wk, friends, hobbies etc. not always easy...Family is always number one, then work,friends, then ya turn around and someone or something puts a "stick in your spokes" to speak, just have to keep trying to Fly Straight where life is concerned, Keep up the great work!!!! misstwa

WILLO2D said...

Hi Doug,

I think you suggesting "lots of things to your wife recently" probably should be filed in the "too much info" folder... if you know what I mean. And I think I'll stop there ;))

On a more serious note, would you explain the difference between your heavy airbus "check the descent rate and wait" and the F/O's "all in one flare" landing techniques.

When I did a couple of landings in a JP5 with a former C130 driver he taught me the "point aircraft at landing spot, retard noise over threshold, flare then increase noise slightly to check sink rate onto runway. This stopped the main leg oleo's coming up through the upper wing skin!! However, with a former "fast jet" driver (F4's and Jags) the technique demonstrated was to set the aircraft up in the landing attitude by a mile to go then arrest the sink rate with noise at about 20 feet. Both techniques worked but I don't think either was taught to the real student's! The gentleman I flew most with, KB the Unit Test Pilot, had a technique all his own... which also worked.

I'll be going north to York tomorrow, weather has improved but I just have to avoid the earthquakes!! Mom doesn't have t'internet(!!!) so I'll be off-line for a few days.

I'll send you an e-mail re MS Flight Sim when I get back.

Kind regards / IanH

Chris Gardner said...

One blog is too many and a thousand is never enough. You sir did the first step of a 12 step program,lol. Anyways I hope your layover in St. John's last week was good and did you had any trouble landing at the airport. Take care Chris.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Craig. I didn't do my YYT turn last week. I was drafted the night before to do a Philadelphia turn.

"First step of a 12 step program"...I love it. Yes, I need some detoxing. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. You speak words of wisdom. Yes, now and again someone throws a "stick in the spokes." :)

Tickety Boo? You must have watched my video. :) I didn't think they would keep that segment.

Thanks for the comments.

Captain Morris

P.S your royalty cheque is in the mail. ;)

From the Flight Deck said...

IanH. Sorry about the TMI.... :) :)

Check the descent rate technique:
What you described is what I'm alluding to. We get a "fifty" foot call and then shortly thereafter a "thirty." The power is set to idle.
When the runway starts coming up fast you check the descent rate and then release a bit to further descend. I likened it jigging for fish. :)
Seasoned pilots do it without the other noticing. On the A340 it was a three stage landing. 1. You would get the "mains" on, 2. then check it to allow the rest
of the bogie to settle (many thought it was the middle landing gear that caused a thump - not so) and 3. then check the rate of the descent of the nose wheel.
The nose wheel had a long way to go and if it wasn't checked there would be one hell of a rattle in the flight deck and into "J class."

My recent F/O did the "check and flair" all in one. It requires perfect timing...or else. This guy had thousands of hours on Dash 8 and that was a typical way to land.

NO internet????
I hope the withdrawal symptoms will be mild. :)

Talk to you soon.

Captain Doug

getjets said...

yea, they kept your video in(like you didn't know...ha ha), I also got the prize for first and last to view it...thats a joke. actually a very good video, and thats not a "suck up" :)