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, January 6, 2011

Tampa Turn

One can see the thunderstorms over Florida topping at 45,000 feet. They slipped slowly southward associated with the polar jet stream overnight. They weren't severe but a thunderstorm is a thunderstorm.

I could smell a delay when the F/O and I entered the American customs hall and saw about 20 pilots and flight attendants lined up....let alone the passenger queue. Looks like America's finest were whittled to a skeleton crew. I mentioned these guys must be working to rule. The F/O cracked the joke...."how would we know?"

It turned out a 10 minute delay was posted.....waiting for passengers and baggage.
I did a "welcome aboard" announcement plus explained why our tardy departure.
We had one celebrity board during the process...Walter Gretzky. For those who don't know hockey, he is the dad to probably the world's best hockey player - Wayne Gretzky.

The in-charge noticed his name on the PIL (Passenger Info list) and I asked if he was sitting in "J." "Nope, he was in the back." Both the in-charge and I thought it would be a great gesture on Air Canada's part to send Mr. Gretzky to "J." Many passengers thanked me for this after the flight. Mr. Gretzky thanked me and shook my hand. I should have got a picture. A kodak moment. :(

The flight to Tampa was uneventful until we hit the northern border of Florida and had to contend with thunderbumpers. (Yes, in January) We did a bit of dipsy-doodling and dodged the convective beasts nicely. :)

Tampa was down to a one runway operation - 18 left. Because of it, ATC wanted us to "call the airport visual" so he could tuck more airplanes in the approach. The problem was he cleared us to 3000 feet but the bases were at 2500 feet. Do you see where this is going?

"Air Canada do you have the airport visual?" I'm working the radios, the F/O is the PF and stated we were IMC (instrument meteorological conditions) ...a few times.
Now do you see where this is going? Finally we get lower with the airport visual and we are cleared the "visual 18 Left."

.............."Air Canada this isn't going to work...pull up, climb to 3000 feet and steer a heading of 090"......

We cleaned up the airplane and cuss under our breath. Well at least I did. :)
Another announcement is in order because I know I have a few rattled folks back there. After three years, it was Captain Doug's first go around! Which reminds me, I must file an ASR (Air Safety Report). I also made sure I went back to say good bye to the deplaning passengers. Studies show passengers appreciate this. I know I would.

We load up and the in-charge informs me singer Sass Jordan is on board. She is up in "J" but hiding under a hoodie. She bolted after deplaning. I mentioned to the F/O it must be tough being a celebrity. People always poking at you, wanting autographs, etc.

We had to dodge those somewhat nasty cells again, plus we were giving passengers an update on the Canada-Ruassia junior hockey game. It looked good...Canada was up 3 to nothing in the third. Then the data link started rattling off updates. Captain Doug was the bearer of bad news...."for those who have been following the game...unfortunately Russia beat Canada five to three."


YYZ - TPA said...

Great blog and I hope I can catch you on a TPA or SRQ turn in the next few months.

I'll buy a book and maybe swindle an autograph out of you!

From the Flight Deck said...

YYZ-TPA. Yes maybe our paths will cross.

I always carry an extra copy of my book (my publisher's words of wisdom)

My wife wants to buy a property near Sarasota so the odds of meeting may be higher. :)

Off to Miami on Saturday.

Thanks for the visit.

Captain Doug

YYZ - TPA said...

Bought a property in Sarasota just over a year ago and you would love it just as our family does.

Only problem is AC limits SRQ flights to seasonal only so maybe you could help with getting a year round schedule if we become neighbours. lol

Cedarglen said...

Cpt, Doug, I'm glad that you agree about ads on your blog. With I don't think anyone objects to mention of YOUR OWN book! (I think I'll order a copy this evening.) I certainly understand why you and the lead FA upgraded Mr. G. That said, I must say that (free) upgrades based on name are a poor policy, especially in presence of 'lesser folks' who pay for out "J" seats. Just my thought. Too bad about the go around, but ATC has their problems, too. If if needs an ASR filing, heck yes. They are looking for patterns over time, not individual events. Best wishes

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hey Captain Doug,
Is Winnipeg an Air Canada Pilot Hub? I am pretty sure it is, but on all of the websites I have been to it says that the hubs are CYYZ, CYUL, CYYC & CYVR?

THe Winnipeger,

From the Flight Deck said...

Adam. Air Canada has bases in YUL, YYZ, YWG and YVR but not YYC.

Hope this helps.

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

YYZ-TPA. Glad to hear it's working out. My wife is working on me everyday to buy. Eventually I'll give in.

Yes, we'll have to see what we can do about flights all year round. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Craig. Excellent point about upgrades. It was the first one I initiated in three years!
I'm getting soft in my old age. :) If the "said" passenger did not get upgraded by the agent then the last resort is the in-charge aka FSD (Flight Service Director). I DO NOT intrude because I could write a small book on situations in the past.
No sir, this is a sensitive topic. Captain Doug is backing off. :)

And I agree about ATC adhering to constraints. For Tampa last night, they had a runway shut down due to construction. Everyone is trying their best!

ASR has been filed :)

On the small Airbus fleet, an incredible system (FOQA) has been initiated which peruses over all flights. Trends are noted and documented. Many airlines are coming on board with similar systems.
All data is kept anonymous.

Flight operational quality assurance is a method of capturing and analyzing the data generated by an aircraftmoving through the air from one point to another. Applying the information learned from this analysis helps to find new ways to improve flight safety and increase overall operational efficiency.

Cedarglen said...

Again. Cpt. Doug, both the improvement systems and your approach to driving and impressive. This Self-Loader is impressed and I would be honored to ride on your small Airbus tube. I'll respect the back-off; smart choice . Again, a FUN blog

From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Craig. I guess when my blog stops being FUN then it will be time to push it in the hangar.

Until then, and with my wife's concurrence, I've got lots to talk about.

Captain Doug

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Thanks for Clearing things up!:)
The Winnipeger,

Craig said...

We were on short final at YYJ a few years ago, practically over the piano keys, when the pilot pulled up abruptly and applied power to go around. Weather was perfect, so there were many confused faces in the cabin as we climbed away.

The intercom crackled to life and the Captain comes on, apologizing for the go-around, which he says was initiated by some ground traffic appearing where it wasn't supposed to be. "So we'll go around and give it another try," he says, "and a student pilot at the Victoria Flying Club will go change his underwear."

I don't know if that was the actual reason for the pull-up, but his comment left pretty much everyone aboard laughing.

Craig too!

From the Flight Deck said...

Craig. Seems like your captain had a better sense of humour than me.

I told the passengers, "we had to go around because an aircraft in front of us wouldn't get out of the way." :)

I like your rendition better.

Captain Doug

JB in KTPA said...

Captain Doug, I came across your blog 6months ago and have enjoyed each and every post - so glad they are frequent! Everytime I see the AC Maple leaf I often wonder if you are in command. Now I know that yes indeed you have been to TPA. Sorry to hear about the additonal landing practice you all received. For the week of January 3rd,
18L/36R has been the only rnwy in operation due to the re-numbering and a new numerical paint job to designate 18R/36L as 19R/10L - (18L/36R will have the same touch up in a few weeks)all seems to be due to a slight shift of the earth's magnetic pull - at least that what the local news said. Do you have any other insight into the magnetic pull??? Anyway, thanks so much for the insight into the Flight Deck

From the Flight Deck said...

JB in KTPA. Thanks for the explanation. Orlando went through some major construction as well, but I think for lighting requirements.

I see... the good ole magnetic shift is affecting Tampa. Where I learned to fly, Halifax, Nova Scotia they had to renumber the runway I did hundreds of landings on. It used to be runway 24 but now it's 23. I still can't get my head around it. :)

There are a few websites which depict the position of the magnetic North Pole. It's hundreds of miles away from True North.

I'm off to MIA tomorrow morning.

The wife is zooming in on your area for a potential condo.

Thanks JB

Captain Doug

Chris said...


I think it's great that you come out of the cockpit and say goodbye to the pax. I haven't seen any more than the shirt backs of the flight crew for years here in Oz.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Chris. It's suggested we go back and say hello but it's not imperative.

How are things in Oz?

Captain Doug