Flight Plan

My flight plan....to encourage, mentor, guide those pining for the sky. I'm also here to virtually open the flight deck door for those who want to take a peek at the many aspects of aviation.....enjoy!

...and welcome aboard!...

Slats and No slats

Slats and no Slats

A Facebook friend sent this pic. These two are lined up on the parallels flying into San Francisco. The parallels are 750 apart. It shows you what the leading edge lift devices (slats) do and how flat the RJ approaches without them. I've been in the RJ jumpseat a couple of times and it certainly "widens your eyes" while on approach. Especially when I flew the big ole A340.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three sides to a story

Captain Doug's view during yet another visit to the deice facility.

About an hour outside of Las Vegas. Lots of sunshine on the northern edge of the Grand Canyon. Sometimes I wonder why I live where I live....frigid Canada. :)

It was one of those mornings....no towel when I exited the shower, cut myself shaving, couldn't find my watch (still haven't found it), heavier than usual traffic and above all...No Tim Horton's coffee. :(

Snow sat on the wings so it was a given we would be going to the Central Deice Facility. Regulations dictate we must inform passengers about deicing. I'm just picking up the P.A when the in-charge walks in about two minutes prior to push back and says, "we have a problem!"

Three sides to a story...

"There is a passenger in the back of the airplane who just swore at a flight attendant, is angry and won't listen." I was going to look at my watch, but no watch, so I looked at one of the expensive chronometers (big name for a clock) and realized....there goes sked.

I asked the in-charge, "do you want him removed?" I also asked my F/O to call operations to get some back up. I made it perfectly clear I was behind her decision to deplane the passenger. After all, it will be the four of them who will have to contend with him.

It's decided. We will deplane the so called trouble maker. (noticed I said "so called")
Luckily he did not have checked baggage or it would translate into a 20 minute delay to find his bags below.

I went back to the front galley to see him off. This fella was about six four and if he and I were in a fight there would be two hits....him hitting me and me hitting the floor. :)

I whispered under my breath to the F/A as he neared the exit, this guy is big I better get my F/O. :)

Then we had a chat in front of a nearly fully loaded A320. He apologized profusely. He was not drinking and the fact he realized this was serious he turned into a puppy dog.

With the concurrence of the in-chrage. Oops I'm suppose to call them FSDs (flight service directors), the flight attendant in question, the two dispatched agents... we all agreed to give him a second chance. The flight was uneventful.

I talked to the passenger in the bridge in Vegas. He said, "Captain, I wish I could have told my story. It did not happen like that. " It also turned out his wife was a flight attendant for another airline and his son was learning to be a pilot at a flight college. Hmmmm....

I'm wise enough to realize two things from experiences like these. One: The situation could have been handled differently by all parties. Two...there are three sides to a story....your side, my side and the truth! :)

Pushback readiness

The rest of the day proved uneventful except when LAS operations wanted to peg a delay code on Captain Doug. There are 99 reasons for being tardy. I got a "64" (push back readiness).
WTF? Actually, I reiterated the phrase the unruly passenger theoretically said, "this is B.S!" :)
We challenged operations when airborne, but I noticed the code didn't change. I'm suppose to file paperwork to contest it, but Captain Doug will wait for the phone to ring to explain myself.

The life of an airline pilot. :)


Andrew said...

Daniel must be away :P You kids must think you're the coolest with all these hip acronyms you've learned. I'm leaving on a cruise in the Caribbean tomorrow so i'll be escaping this refrigerator of a province.

How do those types of codes effect your record, or what sort of consequences come from those?

From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew. Heading for a cruise? Good for you!

As far as codes, we like to point fingers. Again, Captain Doug was fully ready but now I have to convince others this was the case.

Captain Hip :)

Dominic said...

How long does it normally take for the phone to ring ?! And who decides what code is gonna be applied to the flight ?

I haven't commented on your blog in a while but I'm still an avid follower, keep up the good work :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Dominic. It can take a month or so. I believe station operations points the finger.
I better not comment further......

Buy hey, thanks for the comments and thanks for being an avid follower.

I hope things are going well for you. :)

Captain Doug

Cedarglen said...

Hi Capt., Interesting events as always. Sometimes you got a do-over and sometimes not. as for the Delay Code and carpet dance in a month or so... Keep your notes, have your say when invited and then let it go. Somethings we can control and... you know the rest. I don't think this will be a life-changer for you.

From the Flight Deck said...

Morning Cedarglen (Craig)

Last night I decided to send in a report...a "C.Y.A."

It takes 65 departments to get an airliner airborne, 99% of the time everything and everybody works in harmony. I KNOW the finger pointing is a "check and balance" system, but sometimes it ends up just that...finger pointing.

Enuf said.... :)

You are up early!

Captain Doug


Good morning Captain Doug!

you could have taken him :)

YYZ tomorrow, with I'm sure a visit to CDF again, then YSJ!

Great pic of the Canyon! What's the ride like over that?

Speaking of ride, is the NAVCAN Canadian turbulence forcast a good indicator of the type of ride I may encounter while crossing the country, or is it more for areas that a pilot would avoid? I ALWAYS read it for an indicator of how fast the flight will be ( I'm guessing the J is the jet stream and if its running at 140 plus knots you may stick close to it for a little boost ) I always look at the inbound flight flying west....if they're slow, we'll be quick heading east! YYM to YYZ in 3:04 was the record I have recorded so far. I always set my watch timer to the flight computer time the Captain announces....it's amazing how accurate it is for the most part....people always stare at me when were in the flare and my watch starts beeping...I always reply....the pilot said they'd be X time and they're bang on!

Happy flying!

My wife tells me I have a present from Ontario waiting for me....can't wait to read it!

CAT III Approach

getjets said...

Captain, When I sometimes wonder why I live here,and not somewhere magistic....why isn't my house this or that...projects started not finished, blah blah blah.... I walk out to the sidewalk in front of my house, pretend that I have never been there before..walk up to the porch and look inside the window, because I am looking inside as stranger, my thoughts are, "WHAT A BEAUTIFUL HOME THIS IS!!!!! and it's then, I realize how lucky I am...stops me from obsessing over the silly shit, my house is not a museum, it's a lived in home.I think that can apply to many of the "whys" in our lives.... the trick is..to always keep your eyes WIDE open,to the everyday world thats close....like we all do when seeing things or places for the first time, what is and isn't interesting,keeps our attention, there's beauty near and far wouldn't you say..........! I just realized you didn't ask for my advice, so I won't get paid for this 'psycho babble' session after all!!lol that reminds me, I gotta clean out those damn closets....here I go again...screw it,,those closets can wait... misstwa signing off for now ^j^

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. You are speaking words of wisdom. Great stuff!

Yes, one doesn't realize what is under our feet, how lucky we have it and how things could be a lot worse.

Speaking of druthers, it's my father's (another Newfie) 85th birthday today and I'm not sure of his number, where he lives or if he is still with us.
How's that for psycho babble? :)

Anyway, I'm out the door for Tampa and back. I'll see if I can look far enough your way to see Houma, Louisiana.

Gone flying

Captain Doug


Paul said...

Great story. Another reason I'm so glad I fly boxes! I flew MD-80's for a pax airline for 18 months and had more hassles than the last 10 years flying freight. I'm glad you have the temperament. I enjoy the blog!

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Paul. Thanks for going out of your way to comment. I just got in from a Tampa turn.

I hope the freight business is treating you well!

Captain Doug

Cedarglen said...

Yup! I got the 65 departments and 99success stuff. And even this nearly deaf guy and 'hear' those fingers a-pointing. WHen they go in the wrong direction, they seem very loud. The written response is cool, but then be done with it. Sharing the odd event here - on the blog is another outlet and we (try) to listen with care. Once over, reports filed, posted on blog etc., please be done with it and please don't take it home with you. Nuff Said,


YYM - YYZ by 18:30....

YSJ by 00:15 if all goes well!

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III. Looks like a good day for travelling.

Here's CYSJ's forecast:
Today: Sunny with cloudy periods. High minus 2.

Tonight: Increasing cloudiness with 60 percent chance of flurries overnight. Low minus 10.


Hello Captain Doug!

Thanks for the update sir.....looks like we have a 110-140 kt push to get us to YYZ early...I think this mornings flight did it in 3:01 which is great for a normally 3:40 flight!

Hopefully I'll get a couple of good pics again today.

Thanks again,

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...


Enjoy the push. Just looking at some upper air charts.
They say you might get some bumps from it.
Maybe you can send a PIREP? (Pilot Report, but you can call it a "Passenger Report.")

Metman Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Craig. Thanks for the words of wisdom on "venting."

Like you said, "be done with it."

It's similar to what is said during training or on a "ride" in the simulator...."that exercise is complete, new day, new airplane." :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach.

The ride over the canyon tends to be smooth but the hills near Vegas kick off a few nasty bumps now and again. Apparently, if you fly inside the Canyon, it can be a different story with shear present at the lip.
Not to worry, you won't get any of that in an Airbus 320. :) Besides it's not good for job security. :)

Yes, the "J" represents the jet stream. A jet stream must be 60 knots or more.

It truly is amazing how accurate the flight times are. And that's because of the weatherman! No one ever wants to admit when that guy is right.
For upper winds the weatherman does an excellent job.

I hope you enjoy my book. With your inquisitiveness, it's a guarantee!

Captain Doug

P.S I'm off to an Ixtapa, Mexico tomorrow. Have you been? I haven't. :)

Doug Morris said...

Ah yes, Douglas. I dealt with many problem passengers during my time at YYC. Saw the faces of many smiling pilots as we walked the usually inebriated "problem child" to our car on the apron. However, as you say, there usually are three sides to every story. You are so right! Welcome to my world. Safe flights!

The Other Doug


Good evening Captain,

Thanks for the response again! I've only flown beside the Canyon once, and one of the pilots nicely PA'd our pass over it so we could have a great view, given it was a beautiful clear day, much like your picture.

Never been to Ixtapa...are you flying the jet there or are you going as a passenger on vacation? Either way, it sounds nice. I work with a guy who goes yearly with his wife, and loves it.

Yes it is nice when the weather man is right! My brother in law has his PhD in Atmospheric Science, so I've had many a conversation about how accurate the man can be!

The female Captain and male F/A of the A319 into YYZ tonight stated an air time of 3:12 and the gear touched at 3:10 on my chronometer! ( speaking of which, did yours pop up?? )

Heading down to the gate now( I'm in the AC Maple Leaf Lounge)....for those that haven't tried it, VERY nice and relaxing!

Have to get to YSJ to get my book!

Have a great trip tomorrow!

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Doug. Thanks for your take on things.

Many years ago while working for another airline in the Maritimes, we had a passenger removed by two burly
officers in Boston. The passenger wouldn't let go and took the armrest with him.

Off to Mexico tomorrow.

The other Doug M :)

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach.

I'll be flying there tomorrow as Captain Doug. The flight is 5 hours and 30 minutes. Hopefully, the F/O has been there. I know one thing for sure, I'll make sure he flies the first leg. :)

Yes, I'm told the Maple Leaf lounges are nice. I poked my head into a few. We don't get to see that side as employees.

Enjoy YSJ.

Captain Doug

P.S Thanks for the pics but as you said they were kind of out of focus.

Paul said...

As for your hopes that the freight business is treating me well, I can say that in this crazy industry of ours getting furloughed from a major US carrier was the best thing that ever happened to me. I've seen the world while flying big iron in my pajamas (another advantage of no pax). I drank the purple kool-aid and it was good!

Best regards!

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Paul. Thanks again for the comments. Purple kool-aid? Freight? Sounds like FedEx?

Yes, all the best!

Captain Doug