Flight plan

......My flight plan....

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Checked out on Cayo Coco, Cuba

Jardines Del Rey (Gardens of the King)

Got to add another notch to my airport list yesterday. (I was there about four years ago to an all inclusive, but that doesn't count).

We fly to about six or seven Cuban destinations and Cayo Coco is part of an archipelago on the north side. The airport is equipped with an ILS and it worked! Most of these Cuban airports have/had military affiliations so it explains the ILS, however, the runway was a tad rough. In fact, our briefing notes suggested using flap 3 for take off instead of our usual flap 1. Captain D thought we were going to bounce into the air. Actually I've departed on rougher runways. :)

The F/O did a great job manoeuvring visually around the dimly lit island. (He has 15 year old triplets with a one year old child- what a combo!) First time I met him and today we will be off to Sarasota, Florida and back, then to Halifax.

Must have been "earth day" yesterday making for some "full moon" events. Firstly, while waiting for our airplane in the lounge a passenger approached me and chatted me up. She worked for an insurance company, CSI. She jokingly said it stood for "Chicks Selling Insurance." :) I applaud her for approaching the aircrew. Since "that day" almost ten years ago, passengers are hesitant to chat with the pilots. We don't bite! She requested a picture with me. (First time for that request). Then once in the flight deck, another lady poked her head in and asked if she could be my co-pilot (First time for that request). Then a lady approached me in Canadian customs at 1:00 a.m this morning and told me. "that was a deadly landing." (First time I heard a landing described like that. Maybe it's equivalent to "awfully nice" or a "wicked smile?") Again...must have been "earth hour."  :)

Many passengers on these charter flights tend to be "seldom flyers." They tend to imbibe a few drinks (after all they are on vacation) with this flight being the norm (a couple were asked to abstain - I'll stop there). Plus, you will notice many clap when we land. (Not...when they return however...lol)

On my welcome aboard P.A last night I said...."welcome on flight 1815 bound for Toronto...and back to reality...." I heard a captain make this announcement on our Cancun flight and thought it was cute. :)

Off to Florida, but not before I poke my head into a bowling alley where my son's hockey banquet is. I'm certain I'll be getting some weird stares and I hope I don't embarrass my son too much. :)

The life of an airline pilot....



Good morning Captain!

Must be neat, and a challenge for you to approach/land an airport you have never seen or been to before..I'm sure you could land YYZ in your sleep by now! :)

Here's a question for you.......we talk about how many flights AC has per day.....where they fly to etc. How many different airports/destinations would a pilot fly to in the run of a year?

What would you say is the biggest challenge flying into an unknown airport/destination?

Enjoyed the read Doug....thanks and safe flying!

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach

Yes, sometimes flying to a new airport heightens the adrenaline. :)

As far as pilots and destinations that depends on seniority, preference, and aircraft type all of which I'm certain you know.

For example, a VERY senior B777 captain may chose to fly to Hong Kong and back and nothing else with the odd "filler flight."

For a commuting pilot they prefer to fly and layover where they live. You'll see for example, a YHZ commuter, choosing YHZ layovers.

Some senior guys on my airplane do nothing but Caracas, Venezuela layovers.

So the answer in a nut shell, one to three airports for the very senior guys to about 40 for the not so senior guys.

For me, I fly to about 30 to 40 different airports because after all, variety is the spice of life. lol
(I do miss my international layovers though) :(

The biggest challenge? ATC, local terrain, whether ATC are into "slam dunk approaches," language, where we park, where do we get the flight plan, where do we catch the crew bus, where do we get
local currency, where are the eateries (noticed I didn't say pubs), to name a few. :)

Last week I had a rare long Montreal layover and the biggest thing was finding where the crew pick up was. :)

Gotta pack....

Thanks for the comments CAT III (Did you see YYT will be getting a CAT III soon?)


....and I thought you were going to say the "beer math"....

should be a box at the bottom of your flight plan.....:) lol

CAT III at YYT? I'll have a look!

Have a great flight Captain!

CAT III Approach

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,

A few weeks ago, I sent you an email on step climbs. However, it seems as though it has not gotten to you. Do you mind if I resend it?

BTW when you use the PBS to get your monthly bids, do you prefer long layovers, except CYDF ;), or more productive flying?


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Nehal. Never did get an email on step climbs. By all means, resend it!

Most guys prefer productivity when they bid.. so long layovers would be given a miss.
Having said that, a long layover in LAX, SFO, LAS would not be shunned upon....at least for me. :)

Yes, for YDF I give it a miss. Ironically, I was born near there.

Captain D out the door

Anonymous said...

Seems odd that it did not get to you, technology :P.


Bas said...

Hey Captain Doug!

Always nice to hear! Are you anywhere near to flying international again?