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.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Walking the Gangplank

Just got out of the "sim." Instead of regurgitating the last two days, I decided to hit "control - alt-delete." Although I better watch what I erase, I am the first A320 line captain to be checked out on the new GPS approach. It's true many companies have been doing these approaches for years, but not my fleet. Apparently 40% of the "small buses" are modified. Rumour has it the 'mod' comes with a price tag of over a $ million per airplane. Funny one can buy a GPS for $150. That does it, next time round I'm coming back as a airplane parts salesman or a pharmaceutical rep for the baby boomers. LOL

Here's a few words for the occasion (and yes one does get philosophical in times like these). :)

It says, "Welcome to the A320 #3". Yeah right!
It's equivalent to..."a wolf in sheep's clothing." :)

Walking the Gangplank

As I walk the gangplank...I slip from reality to the virtual world.
There I am tested, challenged, observed and checked.

It’s a world few people see, but a necessity for what I do.
It is here...where I train in the virtual world to ready me for the real one.

This world can whisk me to New York with a engine fire on a go-around
to certifying me to land in zero visibility in Vancouver…just with the touch of a screen.

Other nearby 'sims' put other pilots through their paces.
So many virtual worlds...so many scenarios.
One is in Halifax mired in fog, the other in Hong Kong and yet another simulates a take off in a blinding Montreal snowstorm. 

After four hours of squirming, screwing up and nailing procedures
The pivotable box of magic rests on its powerful hydraulic jacks.

The gangplank descends to allow two others their turn.
Smiles are exchanged, but they bear resemblance of ones found at funerals.

As one captain who flew his last “sim” said, “it never gets any easier.”

 But for me...I get to keep my job a little longer!!! 

*<:- class="Apple-style-span" style="font-weight: normal;">(celebration smiley)

The Gangplank- from real to virtual


Chris Gardner said...

At lest the sign did not say abandon hope to all yee who enter here.Congrats passing on your sim test.

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Good answer. I like it. :)

Andrew said...

ya they should dress up the outside of sims like dungeons and have depressing music playing.

From the Flight Deck said...

Andrew...Yeah and have the "checkers" (check airmen) dressed like the grim reaper. lol

whywhyzed said...

I can tell you, these things are pretty darn realistic.....probably not allowed anymore, but a friend of mine invited me to be the "check airman" one afternoon a few years back and it's a good thing I had my seat belt on -- we were practicing engine cuts.
Nuff said ;-)

getjets said...

Captain Doug, appreciate the response on earlier post(wind shear)...does make for interesting exchanges between ATC and Pilots
Congrats on the renewed license...so no standing in the "goverment cheese" line after all....
at least they didn't make you say your "abc's" backwards....better yet....or sings them...ok, little lol
^j^ misstwa

Nadia said...

Hi Doug

Congratulation for the sim test.

Because with that success you can pursue to entertain us with your great stories.

I'm not written often but I read you everyday.

(After 10 years of try and patience baby no 1 is on his way. Don't worry he will became an aviation fan soon ;)


From the Flight Deck said...

Nadia. Félicitations! I hope he or she reads my blog just like their mom!

Again. Bravo!

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

HI Getjets. Nope, they didn't give me the pink slip... yet. lol

Just got drafted to go to Tampa and back. I'll see if I can see New Orleans from above today. :)

I love returning to line after training. I get to take off with two engines. :) :) :)

Here we go.


getjets said...

okidoki....will look for ya...safe flying Captain Doug ^j^

Bas said...

Congratulations! Today I passed my theoretical driving exam haha, kind of the same NOT! :P Maybe we'll once meet in the virtual skies as I'm saving for a 737-800 sim experience, it'll be a typical Boeing Vs. Airbus I think xD

From the Flight Deck said...

Bas. Let us know how it goes.

Just did a Tampa, Florida turn in the real world.

The flights went without a hitch. Just the way i like them. :)

Captain Doug

JB in KTPA said...

Capt. Doug,

So you want to be a pharmaceutical rep??? Well, I am one and I would love to trade with you for a day - in the simulator of course!!!! Hope you didn't need to practice a missed approach into KTPA this time:)

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi JB. Nope, the last visit to Tampa went without a hitch. :)

So.....how is business in the pharmaceutical sector or should I ask? :)


JB in KTPA said...

Capt. Doug,

The Pharma business is Addicting;) - ba da dump!!!!Actually its been a lot better. The industry has been reducing its sales forces over the past year - just happy to be still employed. So, has the Morris family purchased any real estate on the west coast of Florida??