1. When I push any air Canada aircraft and I tell them "cleared to start engines," why do they always start 2 and then #1. I thought it was always 1 and 2?
On the Airbus we start #2 because the park brake hydraulic yellow system is on engine #2. Just a safety back up. The brake accumulator should allow several parking brake applications so if necessary #1 could be started first. If we had to start using external pneumatic, then #1 is usually started first.
Picture is from Kelly in CYYC
2. Dose it happen often when you arrive at the gate and your ramp attendants are not there and cause you to burn unnecssary fuel and dose it aggravate you?
3. I've noticed on one flight, from a passenger prospective during push back, the cabin ventilation stopped periodically prior to engine start is that because so much air is required to bleed to the main engines to start?
In order to start a jet engine, it requires lots of pressurized air. Usually it’s a minimum of 30 P.S.I. (A normal atmosphere is 14.7 P.S.I). Thus most of the air from the APU bleed is directed to start the engine. I try to get the engine start switch back to normal ASAP to get the air flowing in the cabin.
4. When engine start is completed what causes the cabin and electronics to flicker rapidly? Is that because you press the bus switch from APU to GEN 1 and 2?
We get electronic bumps when each engine is started. We also get a significant bump when I disconnect the external power prior to engine start. On the older small buses it’s a downright “clunk” when this happens. And yes, it sometimes knocks out the odd screen.
It also affects the entertainment system in the back. So much so, many FSDs don’t start the safety demos until the second engine is started. It’s a normal thing for the small Airbus. It’s one thing I noticed...and forgot about....when I transitioned from the big bus to the little one.
5. I heard you pilots and flight attendants don't get paid until the cabin door is closed, engine start and the brake is released. If this is true what happens when you do a Rapidair flight when it takes about 1 hour? Do you only get paid for that flight?
The clock starts ticking when the doors are closed and the parking brake is released. It’s true a Rapidair flight YYZ-YOW is about an hour, but remember we usually do a turn. Or we will be going somewhere after the turn or just came in from another destination. If for some lucky reason we only fly one flight of about an hour we get DPG (Daily Pairing Guarantee) It fluctuates...but it’s about 4Hrs 25 mins.
6. And last...have you ever done a YUL to YOW where the airtime is like 20 min and what's the maximum altitude for that flight I found for short flights they still climb to 30000 + feet I know air is less dense and yet flys faster with less power but isn't the same amount of fuel getting there?
I’ve done more YUL to YOW sectors in the simulator. They like this leg because it loads up the pilot. We don’t climb that high on this short sector (30,000 feet) but we certainly do for YUL-YYZ. The flight planning program juggles the numbers and if it’s beneficial for us to go higher…we go higher. It’s true we burn a little more fuel getting there, but on the other side (the descent)...the engines are at idle most of the time.