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"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day two of four

A big bird at Toronto's deice facility. It was enroute to Vancouver and then Sydney, Australia. We had to wait until it got out of the way. Even at idle thrust the fluid was whisking back along the ground from the jet blast. Actually, one truck got a little close to the aft right engine and you could see it wobbling in the wind.

Captain Doug...still waiting for "BIG BIRD" to move so I got creative with this shot.
I notice my camera is now causing a streak in the pics. These shots were taken on day one, after doing a West Palm beach turn and with us running late due to the inbound flight. Our long duty day went past by an hour.

Last night just passing over Montreal enroute to St. John's Newfoundland.
Note the wind read out (top left corner) of 201 knots. It got as high as 210 knots. The strongest I've seen it over land. I even mentioned it during our pre descent announcement.
While others partied on Crescent street in Montreal, Captain Doug flew overhead at FL 330 in stronger than hurricane "strength five" winds. But it was smooooooth!

Nadia, we flew by you last night at 615 knots actually top speed got up to 630 knots.
We were FLYING! :)

Day Two:

Our inbound flight from Toronto was running 30 minutes. A good way to start the day. NOT!
Light snow fell on yet another cold Canadian city so it meant we would be getting even more proficient with the deice checklist. Actually, I am getting really tired of it.

But what a minute, while getting a clearance ATC mentions there is flow control into Toronto. Expect a 45 minute delay. We decide to go for the deice and get type four anti-icing fluid to give us breathing room in case they stick to their guns with the "wheels up" time.

When at the deice center, "Iceman" informs us there is only one truck. We check our deice flow chart. It said, "if thou gets deiced with type IV with only one truck... then thou must do it with engines off." We shut down. :( During the spray I query Iceman, why only one truck thinking the other one is broken. Reason..."the others are having lunch, so we are only operating one truck." WTF? What happens if Captain Doug decides to pull off and have lunch? Our dispatchers don't leave their desk during their shift and I'm told the guys at Toronto's CDF stay in the trucks as well. Hmmmmm? Funny, this was the same excuse I heard two years ago during the same operation. I'll stop there.

Because we deiced with one truck, the flowchart also states, "thou shall do a PDI (Post Deice Inspection). The F/O gets up and I wait until he gets into "J" class to make a P.A something to the effect... "the good looking first officer will be inspecting the wings as per our procedure." He said he heard one snicker from a female passenger in "J." He came back and said, "you got me good," with a big smile.

As we taxi out ground queries our runway choice. "You might want to use runway 32 after I tell what 25 is like." We departed off 32.

Now we are running big time late. The flight we were to take from Toronto is a continuation from Fort McMurray, Alberta. These passengers were scheduled to sit for an hour. Noticed I said, scheduled? They had to wait for us.

We get our flight plan from the gate. Glitch number one...the printer is DOT matrix so our regular weather charts are missing. Luckily ex-Metman Morris had a good look at things on the previous flight...ahem. The datalink rattles off a PIREP (pilot report) from a Halifax flight stating they encountered moderate plus...almost severe turbulence at FL250 to FL 280. I check out our flight plan altitude, tropopause height, shear forecast and aver we will be above it. But you should have seen the shear of wind speed as we climbed through the screaming jet stream.

I did the walk around while the F/O readied the flight. This was after I greeted most of the passengers with a loud welcome aboard as I entered a loaded airplane and with everyone staring at us. One business class passengers demanded when the bar will open because of the delay. Tough crowd.

I declared the aircraft free of ice. But the deice co-ordinator had different views. I ask him back for a second opinion. "There is some residual fluid freezing and the light snow is sticking to it." Guess where we had to go? Did I tell you I'm getting tired of the deice checklist?

Here I sit in St. John's, Newfoundland and my meteorological senses are tingling. This place is going to get hit by a big one. And guess who will be departing in the thick of things?
Did I tell you I'm getting tired of that deice checklist?

I'm looking forward to visiting Mickey Mouse late tonight. I sure hope I don't have to pull out that checklist. :)


Ryan said...

After seeing your comment on your last post, I must ask: How have you gotten through this much time as an A320 driver without a Nexus card?! You must be transborder 5+ day a month; I can't imagine doing that without my Nexus.

It really is worth it, last SFO-YYC trip it took me 10 minutes 30 seconds from main wheel touchdown to starting my car.

Daniel said...

Nice pics ! Would you happen to have any FLL turns next week or the week after? Or YHZ ?

Anonymous said...

32? You flew right over my house. :)

Nice pics.

Scote1992 said...

Not to bash your 630 kts ground speed, but on my last x-country I had quit the winds. I was in the trusty 172, and on the way back our indicated was 115, but our ground speed was 65!

Anonymous said...

Mickey Mouse as in Mickey Quinn's at the Delta? If so, enjoy!


Cedarglen said...

Thanks for another great post, Doug. I (we)understand that you are mid-span and cannot write much, but still you do. Thanks.
The winter westher gets old, quickly. In ithe mid-60s, my family spent a few years in the 'burbs of Mpls, MN. We already knew snow, but the negative (F) temps and wind-chill temps were new. Dad's early comment was, "Shut up and shovel." AFter he had joined us for a few minutes, he understood.. Winds above 200Kts are beyond my understanding, I'm just glad that they were in your favor, if not you'd have been looking for an alternate and regardless of fuel on board. Did I mention agreement that weinter weather can suck? AC's procative cancel-in-place thing is just good business, smooooth flying or naught. Oh yes,I can see it... Cruising at FL390, crew calls Lunch Time and enters big circles (parking?) for 30 or 60 min, while Capt and F/O both enjoy a Crew Meal. $4K in fuel and 150+ annoyed PAX, I don't think so.. One does not park between TO and landing, anymore than the dispatch or operations folks do; you just get it done. Someday, those composite materials will heat themselves and melt the accumulated ice while you taxi to a clear-skin TO. OK, I dream a little. I think the 787 (joke) is all electric cnd can almost do this. As for the "J" nut asking about the bar, too bad you do not have a 'lay' version of the weather to had to him, with his iced water. I've heard FAs refer to "J" Class as Jerk Class more than once. Please, let those W'man senses do their thing and do'nt even think about V1+VR, unless you know that a good nest is waiting. I know - you do that everyday.
One of these days, I'll share an old discussion with my late father about the 'real value' of services. In short, snooty surgeons vs. multi-seat airplanes. I am a convert, so please prove us right by flying safe. I have to ride a jet Thursday and I'm not looking forward to it. The flying itself will be fine and I will trust my crew. Getting to the jet is a pain and I avoid it as often as possible. Regards,

Cedarglen said...

Addendum: Did I mention... Hang in there, you will be home and off, perhaps before you read this. Thanks for doing it right!

Cedarglen said...

Capt. Doug, I hate to distract you from you planned comments, but when you have the time/space, please address automatic braking. I think your 'automagic' airplane has seveal settings: Off, auto and maybe Auuto 1 through 4? Most folks understand automobile, even motorcyhcle ABS breaking as sensing the wheel rotation speed and adjusting the braking force as necessary to apply maximum stopping, but without locking up the wheels and skidding. I have felt it once or twice in my car and I'm probably alive becasue it worked on a high-end motorcycle that I no longer ride. Beginning at that point, even this old fart understands OFF and that the pilot may apply brake pressure as desired with the pedals. I will assume that AUTO is going to override your pedal action, when/if it is strong enouogh to lock-up one or more wheels. You landing plan includes a suggestion for brake action, perhaps 1-4, or maybe just auto, but I do not understand the 1-4 options. How are they different from the automobile's ABS function in which a ver hard push is limited to max effort, short of locking up (stopping)the wheels.
I undersstand that you are busy and that you have your own agenda for the blog. No rush on my part, except that it is a seasonal inquiry. When you ocan find the time, I'd like to understand more about how auto braking works and how the different settings affect the stopping power of your very smart airplane. Thanks.

Memopilot said...

Hey cap, do you know that some mexican scientists have developed a new ice protection material, they call it "plasma", regards !!!!

From the Flight Deck said...

Memopilot. Read the article. This plasma stuff sounds intriguing.

They also have infra red deicing but I'm not sure how it works, if at all, for anti-icing.

I haven't heard from you in awhile.

Are you back flying?

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Ryan. I'm thinking very seriously about getting a card. This month I would use it six times.

I heard the interview wait is long but that could only be rumours. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Daniel. No FLLs in the near future. I'm heading to SFO and LAX next week. Time to get away from deicing.

Captain Doug :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. Thanks for the comments.

I hope you like the sound of airplanes as well as everyone else in your house. :)

We live by the waypoint SETLO here in Toronto. Sometime I hear them extending the speed
brakes to make the restriction of 200 knots and 3000 feet.

Thanks for the visit.

Captain Doug :)

whywhyzed said...

Is that what that weird growling sound is? I often hear it over Georgetown as planes are turning base and it always seems to be a 320. I wish I could describe the sound but it's almost like a groaning sound.

From the Flight Deck said...

Whywhyzed. That's it! The groaning sound is an Airbus, not the pilots. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Scote1992. You trumped me as far as wind/groundspeed percentage. :)

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Duane. Didn't get to capitalize on Mickey Quinn's at the Delta. By the time we got to the hotel it was 2:00 a.m. That's even late in Newfoundland standards.

There's always next time. :)

Captain Doug

Daniel Asuncion said...


Tropopause, datalink, you ever have Flight Deck dreams? At the end of your day, I would imagine that your mind sometimes is still racing as you fall asleep...

F/O...J class snicker. Ouch. In order to twist the knife a bit, next time you see that F/O, present him with a Snicker(s) Bar.

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. Believe it or not, we have a job where things are not taken home...usually.
When the park brake is set, our job is done.
Sure there are druthers like a bad approach, hard landing or being wound up flying with an
"undesirable." But generally speaking we do not bring home the job.

Unlike a doctor who lost a patient, a police officer who discovered a mutilated body or the teacher ladened with homework.

Good points though!


P.S I won't embarrass my F/Os again. (Maybe) :)

Ryan said...

If you are only open to an interview in YYZ you could be wait a couple months, but if you're willing to go to Erie you can get it done in a couple days. I'm know the guys on the FT AC forum have a list of the best locations for wait times.

Chris Gardner said...

Nice photo of the sun dog in the sky overlooking the Southside Hills. We did get 30 cms of snow from the storm however it was light so it was easier to shovel from my steps. My god Capt Doug of all the time you spent at the deicer this winter you shouild be paid overtime,lol. Anyways glad you got out town ok and had a nice trip.
P.S do you like my self profile shot of me I took that in downtown Drummheller AB. inside a dinasor mouth.

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig)

Thanks for the suggestion of a post on auto brake. Will do!
Sounds like you have a pretty good understanding already!

You posted some other great comments as well. People taking breaks, J class mentality, and a rendition of the good ole days. :)
It's all good stuff. I guess many out there are kind of shy to post. :)

I received your letter yesterday. Again, you are a man of kind words!

I sent your signed book today.
Enjoy the read and again thanks for all the thought provoking comments!

I have lots on the go. Tomorrow is a day off, then it's to SFO for a layover. Early Tuesday I will be in the simulator for the weather Network.
That afternoon I command a flight to LAX. Friday I will be taking (hopefully) 13 student pilots to the CDF Central Deice Facility.

I just accepted to do a speech at the University of Western Ontario's four year aviation program. As well, Air Canada will be opening a new P.R section on Facebook and guess who they asked to answer pilot questions? But first I must fly to Montreal for an interview to see if they like me. :)

I guess busy is good.

And speaking of which, trainer Doug is off to coach my son's hockey game.

Captain Doug