Prior to entering flight planning, crew sked called saying our return flight was cancelled and we will be deadheading home early in the morning.
(And yes I followed the cardinal rule by calling home to give my wife a heads up. The rule is to always call ahead if you are going to return home early). LOL
The reason for the cancellation...proactive decision due to a pending Toronto snowstorm. Too bad, because I looked forward to my LAX Redondo Beach long layover. This month I did not bid one-day turns because the boss said I was home WAY too much. Hmmmmm…. :)
So here I sit at FL370 in J class. My F/O had to settle with the “other” section. It sure takes the sting out of deadheading as captain with an automatic upgrade. The F/O gets theirs based on space available. And yes, I think it’s unfair and yes I’ve been there.
We boarded the airport hotel shuttle and it worked its way doing the milk run picking up passengers at various hotels. The driver asked a full bus their airlines. “American, Delta, AirTran, United, etc “ were blurted out and then it came to the F/O and I. A pause. Then Captain Doug boomed out, “Air Canada the number one airline,” accompanied by a big smile. I did get a few smiles and chuckles back but most of them looked like they needed a Starbucks hit.
I boarded the flight last. I often wonder why many stand in line in the departure lounge and rush to wait in the bridge or wait for slow pokes to make their way in the aisles.
Plus I chatted up the duty free agent asking her about her job. Over the years interviewing people for enRoute I quickly realized everyone loves talking about their job. She was no exception.
I began to settle in seat 2C waiting for the question I generally get and I was armed with a reply. Sure enough as I placed my bags in the overhead bin, I hear, “hey, aren’t you suppose to be flying the plane?” Another pause. Then another big smile. Then, I boom out…”Because Air Canada is such a safe airline we fly with extra pilots. “ Well at least I got more chuckles in business class than on the hotel bus. Maybe I lack a true sense of humour, but passenger mood sure has changed.
Finally one lady joked, “I thought you were the automatic pilot.”
“No, there’s two of them in the flight deck plus two real ones. You have six pilots on board today.”
I make sure I finish jesting with a smile.
And speaking of snowstorms....
Here's YYZ's TAF:
FM020600 06015G25KT 3/4SM -SN VV007 TEMPO 0206/0209 2SM -SN
FM020900 05020G30KT 1/4SM +SN +BLSN VV002 TEMPO 0209/0215 3/4SM
-SN BLSN VV005
FM021500 05020G30KT 1/2SM -SN BLSN VV003 TEMPO 0215/0217 2SM -SN
FM021700 02015G25KT 2SM -SN BLSN OVC010 TEMPO 0217/0219 3/4SM -SN
What does this translate into? Nasty stuff!
By 0900z the weatherman is bringing it down to 1/4 mile in heavy snow and lasting for six hours. The rule of thumb for snow accumulation is to invert the fraction.
So 1/4 means about 4 cm of snow/hour.
The media has been playing this "baby" up for days. And speaking of media Captain Doug has been asked to do an interview on winter operations for the Weather Network around noon. Right in the thick of things.