Flight plan

To wish you were up there...then to achieve it...trumps everything...
Captain Douglas E Morris

......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 rectify it. [email protected]

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


"Picture of the day" taken holding short of runway 06 Right in Montreal. For a new hire, dollars to donuts you will be starting here...right seat in the Embraer. At least he looks happy! :)))

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Taking a look at the "love tap."

Maintenance truck 

Icing at plus 16 C?

This morning saw me back in the saddle after two weeks. It was a "little thing" day. Starting by spilling my treasured coffee on my freshly laundered uniform. Of course there were no napkins in the car. 

The first two legs were warm up "Rapidairs" to Montreal and back launching a four day mission.

Nothing out of the usual...until we receive a call from the "back end" stating some pilot near the wing claims there is ice on the wings while passing through 16,000 feet. WTF? The TAT (Total Air Temperature) displayed +16 C and the ambient temperature confirmed  plus 4 C. I crisply retorted, "is this guy an A.C pilot?" Not that it matters who reports the ice, but heck it was Monday morning.

But it got my meteorological side of the brain grinding its gears. There are about 30 parameters which may cause airframe icing. One of them...skin temperature must be zero Celsius or less. With a TAT (skin temperature) of plus 16 then this wasn't the case. 

When I checked the log book (captain's duty for every aircraft) I assumed it had not flown that day. However, when I checked the brake temperatures they told me someone heated the brakes. Hmmm?

I rechecked the log book. It indeed flew a "red eye" from Vancouver meaning the fuel sat in temperatures at -57 C for at least four hours. Plus it arrived with lots of fuel so the fueler did not add warm fuel for the short trip to Montreal.

Do you see where I'm going? Then Captain "D" checks the fuel temperatures. Minus 5 !!!!
Bingo! With us flying in moist conditions, the cold soaked wing created it's own ice and the low pressure over the wing (think additional cooling) exemplified things. 

I radioed to the "de-ice co-ordinator" to give him a heads up. But all the aircraft were checked.

The pilot from "another airline" met with me after the flight and he sent me some pics later on in the day.

This ice formed well aft of the leading edge and posed little threat because of the area involved and it's location. The ice melted nicely in Montreal. :)

Love tap.

We had the same airplane all day (it is rare) and on the walk around the F/O noticed a small bump on the tail. Maintenance sprung into action. We took a 30 minute delay while paper work was filed and a "bingo" (bump inspected and now a go) sticker applied. With possibly ten vehicles approaching an aircraft during ground stops it's inevitable for some to get a little too close. 

One of the duties a captain has is making an announcement to explain things...and people want to hear the truth...sort of. You know the P.A..."Ladies and Gentleman this is your captain speaking......." (With a deep voice and a pause.... )  I downplayed the bump by calling it a "love tap." :)

Because of the delay, the "push back" crew hightailed it to another airplane. We waited ten minutes with me doing the "beverage math" for our layover in St. John's Newfoundland. Noticed I didn't say beer?

Light snow, -3 C with winds of 20 knots greeted us in Newfoundland. I want my Mexico back. :(

Update on Diesel daughter's cell phone.

Apparently it was stolen the first night we arrived. I had all our valuables in the safety deposit except her phone. Apparently they racked up over $1000 on the phone but we will be charged $150 for roaming charges. Diesel daughter is hard on the bank of Dad. :)

The life of an airline pilot....


getjets said...

jeez...welcome back to the real world...the rude awakening and 'after the vacation blues'....all at no extra charge of course...sometimes i've wondered if its even worth taking a long vacation...

curious.....can you see the harbor like last time...it is so beautiful!!!!

so I hear on the news this evening,besides the fact that caos is everywhere.....that Quanta's airlines is going to have John Travolta tape the safety clip, i believe the one shown before the flight..and that many a Quanta's employees are upset..seems Quanta's has cut many jobs...and they are probably paying him, god only knows what for doing it...personally, he is definatly
'over rated'!!!! him being such a "so called" hotshot pilot and all.. yea yea yea...i will give him credit for 'Pulp Fiction'..but how hard can it be to play a overweight, heroin addict ,hit man...if it doesn't work out for him maybe Quanta's let me be his understudy...i think i may have just sunk to a new low.... i am gossiping like a hen in the hen house....lol

P S....is a "LOVE TAP", the same as a "WHITE LIE"....ha ha...
stay warm Captain..^j^

Tim said...

Sounds like the usual adventures of an airline pilot. Always fun!

Hope "Diesel Daughter" got a tetanus shot. Not getting one after a close encounter with a sharp metal object can be nasty. My dad has had a nail in his foot before, so he can testify to the pain...


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Tim. "Diesel daughter" is doing fine.

I cut my foot on some coral and by the looks of things maybe "I" should be heading to the hospital? LOL

Last time I cut myself on coral was during my honeymoon/wedding in Bermuda. Maybe it's history repeating itself. :)

Just sitting in flight planning for three hours prior to launching for a long layover in Montreal.

The F/O might be dragging me to a NHL hockey game.


From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. I had a room overlooking the harbour. Even though it was 5:00 a.m it looked tranquil.

I think you need to set out on a pilgrimage back to the homeland. You will love yourself for it. :)

Love tap and white lie? Maybe... What about a "wicked smile?"

Anonymous said...

Why do you feel the need to compare yourself (your photos, words, etc) to other blogs? You should really accept the compliments people give you about your blog. Really.

getjets said...

there's the moon perched...watching over everything...and everyone...the shadow of your contrail...showing where you've been....the moon leading you to where you are going...and you were nice enough to take a pause..and share your reflections of your family...bittersweet no doubt...i thank you for sharing that!!!

misstwa(because.......well just because!)

From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. I guess we pilots/bloggers get a little competitive. :)

Point well taken!!! :)

Captain Doug in Montreal about to see if tickets to the game tonight are not at stratospheric prices.

getjets said...

OH OH, I will gladly turn in a 'love tap' and 'white lie" for one large 'wicked smile'...how generous of me...ha ha..

now I'm off to the live airport webcam at Edmonton int'l(CYEG), North runway,South runway, and South Departures vantage points...one thing for sure, it is stilllllll winter there...!!!!

remember no "dilly dally"...with life...!!words of wisdom from a dear friend of mine ^j^

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Funny, I'll be heading there tomorrow via Toronto.

This four day pairing sure is taking me to exotic destinations.

But like anything in life....it is what you make of it.

Captain ^D^ in Montreal

getjets said...

life is what you make of it...seems simple enough...if i could just get passed those "self inflicted wounds" brought on by my own hand....at times..
maybe look inside your house as if you are a stranger...you just might see how lucky are...i have done that...not kidding, then I did not see all the tasks started and not finished or whether or not my house was clean...or whatever it was I may have been obsessing about!! sorta like the stars, life isn't supposed to be "tidy" yea listen to me...like i have all the answers...AS I said before...if you come in my house..."YOU CAN LOOK AT MY DUST..BUT DON'T WRITE IN IT"

I will look tomorrow for the green longitude/latitude ticks...on the tracker...

all those exotic places you refer to....was that you being a smartass......yes, yes, i take pride in knowing that a little of my smartass may have rubbed off on you...
good lord,julie..enough already...

Anonymous said...


I like that comment..."like the stars, life isn't supposed to be tidy".

Yes, you do find beauty in disarray.

Thanks for that imagery.

And to Captain Doug,
How's Montreal? What a great city!

getjets said...

Anon....you are very welcome!!.....and another thing...who said we have to find the answers.....to what...now why would i want to make it easy on myself, i just didn't realize the scenic route was so damn bumpy ...just ask any of my FORMER friends......lol Yea, but life is the still the best show in town....think it's time for a glass of whine...no no I mean WINE.....oops I forgot this is a "NO WHINING ZONE" misstwa signing off for now ^j^

getjets said...

Captain..that is funny,not knowing your going to Edmonton tomorrow....
interesting.... i will try to track your "puddle jumping" behind as you move along then...so goodnite ^j^

Anonymous said...

Here's a question for you, Captain Doug:

Where are the Ians?

You know, IanH and Ian the flying Scotsman?



Hello Captain Doug!

Thank Mrs. Doug for us, or Mrs. Doug, if you are reading this, thank you for your understanding with the blog. We really appreciate Mr. Doug's insight into the aviation world!

Great post! Those were some excellent trouble shooting skills...nice work. That scenario should probably make it onto an exam that Captain Doug prepares for new hires :) Makes one think outside la boite :)

Smooth air and happy flying!

CAT III Approach

ps....I say smooth air because it seems like a luxury rather than the norm lately.... my flight from YYZ to YYC last week in an A321 saw the seat belt sign on for two hours plus, straight......suspended cabin service and the works. I was not amused but still stopped by the flight deck and thanked the Captain for a safe flight and his numerous attempts at trying to find a less bumpy road! I'm sure our altitude trend looked like a yo yo by the end of it. He PA'd the cabin many times which I appreciate as you know:) Us, ATC or others could not find smooth air anywhere......

Hope you have better luck:)

pps....do you find the air is getting more rough over the years?


and yes anon....where are the Ians???

Anonymous said...

yeah, CAT III, we miss them... :(

And it sure would be nice if we could get a hello from the others...like Nadia...

It seems like a lot of people went into hibernation.

Just missing their viewpoints, I guess.

Cedarglen said...

I second CAT III APPROACH's thanks to Mrs. Doug. I'm sure that the blog canbe a drain/strain at times, but we know that Capt. Doug enjoyes it at least as much as we do. Collective thanks to Mrs. Doug and the kids are in order. -Craig

carlton said...

Thanks Mrs D - we love this blog and would certainly be very sad to see it go.....

Yeah... where are the Ian's, Nadia etc - I particularly miss the Flying Scotsman's blog - I think perhaps it is due to the airlines policy of being anonymous : (

The world famous Flying Scotsman steam train is been brought back to life this year, it would be nice if the blog with the same name would also come back...

Capt Doug, thanks as always for the great blog!

Nadia said...

No no, I'm not hibernate

I came here a few times a day but I have too much trouble writting in english so my husband have to translate everytimes.

I don't want to disturbe him too much he's doing some work in the basement before BB #1 arrive.

Thank you to get worry about me :)


Anonymous said...

:) Hope your pregnancy is going well, Nadia. Happy and healthy 9 months.

JetAviator7 said...

Interesting about the ice. Yes, there are more things that can go wrong than a little "love tap", but at least not to you.

Fly safely and keep an eye out for more ice - winter isn't over yet.

All Things Aviation

From the Flight Deck said...

JetAviator7. I agree wholeheartedly! Just finished four days consisting of 10 legs. That included landing and departing in snowstorms and deicing. I lost track as to how many times.

So yes, winter ain't over yet.

Doug at home

From the Flight Deck said...

HI Carlton. It's Mrs. D's birthday today. :)

Can't say hoe old but she is one year younger than I. :)

Always a pleasure to hear your take on things, Carlton!


Nadia said...


yes my pregnancy going well except
for nausea. Thank you for good words.

And like you all said both IAN miss me :( it was great to receive some news from the other side espacially for a British Airways fan.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi CAT III approach.

Good question about the weather.. "if it's changing."

Years ago when I flew for a small operator on the East coast there was a dinosaur that flew for us.
He was in his "late fifties!" lol

This guy flew years in the Arctic and he claimed he witnessed rare red sunsets later in years because of southern pollutants. Plus he claimed thunderstorms were getting bigger. I guess if you are a firm believer of global warming then it sort of makes sense.

As far as the air getting rough, just from the increased traffic, there is certainly a higher probability of wake turbulence.

Today when I fly to Cuba I will see hundreds of aircraft crisscrossing the skies all of which "cut the tranquil sky like a knife."

Those in the "know" claim weather in the future may be more intense so I guess it means...."hold onto your hat." lol

Having said all this, weather forecasting, as to where the bumps are, better communication with dispatch, etc help alleviate some of this.

You know...I am recruiting questions for June's edition. Maybe I'll send this one to my editor for approval?

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Anon. Good question about the Ians!!!!!

As far as Ian H, his computer system was compromised, so he has gone incognito for a few weeks. I received a few personal emails explaining things so I'm certain he will be back!!!!

As far as the "Ian the Flying Scotsman" I think company policy (B.A) told him to shut things down. :(
I did send him an email a couple of months ago, but "no joy."

Even his sister, who was a regular contributor for awhile, has not been around.

I was going to email her but I too ran into computer woes. Firstly, I've forgotten her name...I know
her posts are somewhere on my blog.

Plus I have a new computer so previous emails are either on my laptop or old desk top. But guess what "Diesel Daughter" did to my email account on my laptop? Yup! Gone! Anyone know I retrieve them?

Then my old desk top computer keeps shutting down so I can't find old emails.

So that's the scope on the "Ians."

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) I modified the picture (Intersection) and made it a post for comments.

And I agree, we should all "stick to the script." :)

Although the odd distraction doesn't hurt either. :)


Thanks for the answer Doug...much appreciated...and if you would like to use it, anytime!

So now that you've mentioned the aviation highway ( not to be confused with the information highway, which this blog continues to be for all followers thanks to a Captain who will remain nameless ) What kind of spacing ( up/down, left/right ) do you need to maintain with all of those aircraft buzzing around??

now my brain is wandering......if there are so many flights, is there a circumstance where TCAS could set off a wave of others if a corrective move had to be made? How crowded is too crowded??

Thanks again Captain...always a pleasure to hear your experienced take ( not quite dinosaur yet...lol ) explanation of things!

CAT III Approach