Flight plan

My flight plan....

My blog is to inspire and motivate those who have a love for aviation. I will attempt to virtually open the flight deck door and allow a peek behind the scenes.

And please help make this blog interactive by sending in comments. Don't be shy! :)))))

If for any reason you have an issue found within, send an email and I will ratify it!

Again, this blog is for aviation enthusiasts so welcome aboard!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Pillar to My Dream

Thanks Ray!

F/O Doug "cutting in" some 30 years later in our Halifax residence. The  "blue" was going. 
 A Pillar to My Dream

While on this four day paring I received an email stating a boss from the past passed away…

At age 15 Ray Hartlin hired me as a painter. My first job had me paint a large pool for an apartment building. “Here’s the paint, roller, tray and brush. I’ll come back in a few hours to see how you are doing.” Well that young skinny freckled face grade 10 kid who had a crazy notion of being an airline pilot, finished the job and it launched his painting career. He learned to 'cut in,' 'roll,' spray, vinyl, wall paper and it’s still engrained in him. In fact, his wife still becomes very elated when she sees him with a paintbrush in his hands…some 35 years later!

I love to paint. I find it therapeutic and it’s a job few men like doing. It also subsidized my income as a younger pilot. It frequently turned many husbands in the neighborhood green with envy.

Having said that, my F/O pulled out a cooking magazine on this pairing. I saw him turn two F/As into butter. Their knees buckled in the flight deck. A male that can cook! That does it, I’m either taking cooking lessons or at least have a cook book in my flight bag. I never knew the awe this could evoke. lol

Mr. Hartlin always had work for me. Throughout high school and university he would find something for me to do. He even hired me to work in his hardware store. There I learned to mix paints, fix broken windows, order wood and deliver drywall.

He even rehired me when I left for Sable Island, tree planted or ventured for further studies. If I had a flight lesson he would allow me to leave early to chase my dream.

One could list a handful of people who inspired and encouraged a career. He was one of them. This is what I wrote as condolences to the family:

To chase a dream, one needs financial and moral support. Ray hired me at age 15 and throughout high school, university and years afterward... he helped me chase my goal. Few people stand out along the trek of life, but Ray was a pillar to my dream. You were always appreciated! - Captain Doug Morris (Air Canada)

As I write this I am sitting as captain in an airliner whisking across North America with 150 knot tailwinds on the behind. We are running two hours late and will touch down in Toronto at midnight thirty. I look out into the pitch black darkness and thank my lucky stars the planets lined up for me during my trek and had pillars like Ray Hartlin along the way.

Steady as she goes - I like the T-shirt "almost staff."
Picture altered to hide my bald spot. I didn't do a good job painting that spot. lol


Anonymous said...

That was a beautiful post and a wonderful way to honour the memory of one of your "angels" on earth.

Even though you couldn't make his funeral, I am sure he is smiling right now--proud that he played a small part in your success.

From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Anon. (Something tells me I know this anon) :)

And I think he IS smiling (Ray was a bit of a "kidder." )

But this time he is smiling back at me. For some reason, he bestowed lots of faith in that freckled face kid. :)


.... the world is a better place because of truely good people that have graced it.....

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach.

Words of wisdom! Thanks.

getjets said...

A good time now, to Stop and reflect...to Thank those that have past..and especially to Thank those who are still with us!!!

Anonymous said...

Words to live by, misstwa. :)

getjets said...


Anonymous said...

Some really good words in memory of Ray. Thanks for sharing them with your readers.

Is that "ACA Red" you are using in the last image?


Christer said...

It's wonderful people like this we never forget! Having these people in our lives should inspire us to be the same way to others as we have the opportunity. I know a lot of Ray has rubbed off on you. Your gracious help to those interested in flying and willingness to share your knowledge with mere enthusiasts is evidence of that!

Oh yeah, I noticed you are painting that red the real way- no tape or fancy tools to get the lines nice and straight. Congrats! That takes a very steady hand and lots of patience, although I imagine your career helps keep those skills sharp. Think it's safe to say stakes are much higher when landing an airliner than painting a clean line;).

I too am one of the few that actually enjoys painting and have used that skill to make some needed money as well. Thanks for sharing Doug!

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Whenever it's simulator time, I tend to go into the "reflect mode." I think about the "what ifs."

Luckily training has become more humane and we have a train to standards philosophy.

So, Misstwa, here's a toast to those still with us!

Actually, today marks the birthday of my biggest pillar of all - my mother. Even though she left us 25 years ago her pillar of support remains.

From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. I wouldn't be using aviation paint (ACA RED) especially when a kit costs some $400. :)

Good question though.

From the Flight Deck said...

Christer well said. Yes, the stakes are higher when landing an airliner. You error in painting there is always a rag...You error in aviation...well........

Glad to hear you are part of a painting fraternity.
Yes, everyone thinks they can paint until you see them paint. :)

Gotta hit some books and learn how to do a GPS approach.

The A320 fleet is moving forward in technology.

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Thanks for the great post, I'm sure the family appreciated your kind words in your memories of him.

Everyone who chases a dream needs the support of those who love them, as well as some caring individuals who influence their lives. I'm sure there are plenty of young people whose lives you influence every day from your book, your blog as well as your training.

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. Well said (as always). Chasing a dream is rarely done solo.

Thanks for your kind words.

Captain Doug

getjets said...

If you don't mind, a Birthday wish for your Mother today!!!!! She is proud!!!
^j^ misstwa


From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. When I was a weatherman, she had a dream of me in a dark blue uniform. Not only was she proud but she foresaw the future.

Now I need her again for tomorrow's training. I just called my partner (don't get any ideas lol) F/O
and apparently we are preparing for two different scripts. The turn over date is March1st.
I was called to volunteer as a guinea pig for the new script and he wasn't. Hmmmm

Why do I feel tomorrow will be interesting?

Thanks for the birthday wish. :)


getjets said...

y w
dark blue uniform...yes....much better than "highway ORANGE"...lol

Hmmmmm...you will be great tomorrow...and you won't be alone...not to worry, and why are we always so hard on ourselves...when WE should be Our own, biggest fan!!!!!! crazy crazy world.....^j^

Cedarglen said...

Doug: As always, thanks for the moving post. I am so sorry to hear about your recent loss. None of us makes his/her mark alone; we all have mentors, helpers and the odd Guardian Angel looking after us. The gentleman was clearly one of yours. Thoughts are with you.
You probably won't see tis before SIM time begins, but best wishes! While there is some testing involved, as you point out they now teach to standards. I'm sure you will land safely. So what is it - REALLY? It is a (safe) chance tp practice those important skills that 1) One must be able to perform and 2) Simply cannot be done in a real airplane. Speaking only as a self-loader, I'm glad that you do the SIM work every 6-8 months. I know that you know that these excercises are beneficial - and essential. Some call it Professional Responsibility. Best wishes. The very best part of the SIM days is the learning. I certainly do not know, but I'd bet... If a pilot is not happy with his/her own performance on some SIM leg, time can be found to fly it again! It is about learing, relearing and improving, not terrorizing the working line pilots. I know that you will make good use of the time.

Chris Gardner said...

Sorry for your loss Doug I know if you are not there in body you are in there in spirit. I had a couple of teachers in jr and sr High School who spark my interest in history exspecially in military matters. When I applied to university as a mature student (age not behavior) these two teachers where more than glad to write me letters of reference for me. Since 1991 I have been taking courses part time working on a major in history and a minor in political science and have about 30 courses under my belt and need another 10 to complete my degree most of it is sausage filling electives.

Andrew said...

Paint looks good!

I've got a Met question for you. Say your forecasting 10mm of Rain, but all of the sudden it becomes cold, how would the forcast convert to snow? Is there anyway of figuring out how much snow a certain amount of rain would make?


From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Yes, we can beat ourselves up pretty good. Lived through day one. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Criag). It's so true...we can't fly the flight of life...solo.

The simulator for me brings out the multiple layers of the airplane. I now have fifteen years of Airbus and yet I discovered new things today.
Unfortunately, you don't always discover them on a good note. :) This airplane can bite ya. Overall the session went well with just a few bruises (ego) and bite marks.

We'll see tomorrow if they didn't terrorize the working line pilots. lol

Thanks for taking the time.


From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Well working us hard for the four session is a given.

But around hour three you start to get "punch drunk." You don't want to play anymore.

Saturation is good but sometimes the cup of knowledge overflows. Gee... I can get philosophical during times like these. :)

You are heading home again.


Doug in the sim

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Sausage filling electives? I guess that's up there with frisbee 101 and basket weaving.

You're getting close to the finish line. Keep it going! :)

Doug the Sim Man

From the Flight Deck said...

HI Andrew. We tend to use a 10 to 1 rule. For every 10 mm of rain would mean 100 mm (10 cm) of snow.
Of course that varies according to snow type...light flaky snow compared to dense wet snow.

All the best with the forecasting. :)

Metman Doug


punch drunk is a good way to put it Captain! That's the turn where the trainer knows he's separating the men from the boys...I say keep the cup up to the brim!!!!! hahahahhahahhahahahahahah...( in a sinister laugh ) But on a serious note, I hope you enjoy some of your sim time and come out feeling like you've learned something new....I can understand it must be stressful seeing as Sim time equals an extention of employment.....

Good thing about the sim is you can "freeze" it, at least with ours you can( but I don't like it, because like your job, there are no pauses or resets in real life ... if you mess it up, you fix it! )

Sure am heading home! In the Maple Leaf Lounge as I type, waiting for 8968 to YSJ...on time!

The 1197 was an E90 and we did it in 3:08 ... a little bumpy but sure enjoyed the push! .... and I say we like I had something to do with it :P crazy passenger.

Now if I could only find the shuttle from Terminal 1 to the AC sims.......:)

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Enjoy that Maple leaf lounge. I've never been. I guess they think employees may wreck the place. lol

Yes, the "sim" equals an extension of employment. And to add salt to the wound, we are not paid for the misery.

But stay tuned, a new contract is on the horizon. :)


Thank you sir! I will/am enjoying the hospitality....at least until 21:10 or so when I head to gate 136 for departure.

Here's to that new contract.....that kind of surprises me a bit...but I won't say more :)

Maybe we can sneak you in for a drink or two on your sim lunch break ( think they'd tell the difference between punch drunk and really drunk? all said in fun of course :):) lololol )

Here's a thought....AC Christmas party in the Sim building...after a few, time for the drinking games......who can get it closest to center, longest glide, steepest climb, keep knocking an instrument down and see who can go the longest......oh boy.....I've gone way to far....Max reverse thurst!!! ( I think Getjets influence might be entrained in this....lolol )

Looking forward to hearing about the Sim experience this go around...no pun intended...well maybe....:)

Happy Simulating and take care,

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Punch drunk and really drunk?
I'll take the later. lol

Yes, I mentioned about our contract so that may raise an eyebrow. I better stop there and pretend I am studying for tomorrow.

And speaking of CAT III, today re certified me. :)


ps....the AC Maple Leaf Lounge in one corner looks directly at the YYZ tower, and it's very close....so many cool things to see at this airport, but no access to it :(

As I type the Lounge rumbles from the thurst of monster fans on take off....I always know when there throwing a match ( or ten ) into a 777 because the building resonates which a harmoic that makes everyone think, wow....that is one big jet firing up.....

As I relax in comfort, the airports mostly hidden components operate as one huge machine in perfect balance around me.....and when I land safely and think about the complex process of intimately mixing all aviation components required to go from a to b, I am amazed at what I takes to get me there.

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III approach. Are you looking at the tower or the "ramp control" tower? The control tower is on the other side of the field. But funny thing is, the "ramp" tower is taller. :)

Yes, there are many hidden departments which get an airliner airborne...about 65 of them. :)

Those 777s have the world's most powerful commercial jet engine. No wonder it reverberate buildings. :)

getjets said...

CAT III Approach....and what a "Positive" influence I am.....I will take that as a compliment....i think....
yea too bad there isn't a "SIM", for living your life....screw it up in there instead....lol...it's all good, or maybe....you can just get better at screwing it up for real...practice makes perfect...Happy and Safe Monday to ya'll:):):)^j^

getjets said...

Captain Doug or.... live ATC at JFK....had several "go arounds this morning....Wind shear...loss of up to 25 knots at 100 feet...happens alot???? curious...it seems excessive....^j^

but what do I know...i'm just your friendly neighborhood AviaGEEK;)

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Good one, the "sim" of life. If you don't like what you see, change the scenario.

You could be onto something. :)

Captain Doug with a renewed license.


From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. 25 knots? No, it doesn't happen much but when it happens it can be interesting.

I just checked the weather this morning at KJFK. The surface winds were from the east but the winds aloft were from the southwest. That will do it. Whenever a well developed system moves in one runs that risk when landing on an easterly runway.

I remember flying on the "big bus" with a big pilot supervisor. The guy got caught high because of the mentioned scenario.
I'm thinking...is this a test? Does he want me to say something? After the landing he walked away with a bruised ego. Ouch.

Daniel Asuncion said...

Ray Hartlin...your first employer. I had no idea.

Didn't know Ray, but I certainly knew the name. And that he was Bob Hartlin's brother. Bob [and maybe Ray too] helped a neighbor put up a fence - it took a day]. That fence is still there.


Life Sim. Now that's an idea. If only...

P.S. Basketweaving

Don't kid yourself...it's not
easy to make a good basket.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Dan. I believe I helped put that fence up.

Actually, a lawyer (Burgess) was my first employer. I helped build his house from head to toe
when I was 13 and 14. Funny, I look at my son who is that age and I'm not sure if he could change a lightbulb. lol But you should see the dexterity he has on X-box.

And as far as the basket...excellent point. I know I couldn't weave one. :)

Thanks for checking in Daniel