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! :)))

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A wing is NOT just a wing

Here's a few pics CAT III Approach (an avid blog fan) sent yesterday enroute from work in Alberta to his home on the East coast. He is one of many that does this trek.

A wing is a fuel tank, has spoilers, ground spoilers, flaps, slats, ailerons and changes it's shape according to the task at hand. It doesn't like to be contaminated, has engines mounted to it, bends a little, and has wires, heating tubes, cables with a herculean skeletal make up wrapped in aluminum and composites. It keeps us afloat in the wild blue yonder.

       .....Fly Wing Fly.....!

A "clean wing" on a east to west heading...Lake Ontario is to the South.
An Airbus wing. Not sure if it is an A319, A320 or A321...doesn't matter... they are the exact same wing. I bet Toronto ATC has them slowed to 170 knots until the FAF (Final Approach Fix) :)

The aircraft turns (banks) via the spoilers (as seen) and/or the ailerons located on the outer portion of the wing. There are five separate spoilers. Some of them act in unison on both wings to act reduce speed or descend. They are then called "speed brakes" a.k.a the "boards." You may hear a wallowing sound when near an airport...that's the speed brakes.
I live near the "SETLO" fix where you have to be at 3000 feet or higher at a speed of 200 knots. You'll hear the pilots deploying the speed-brakes overhead.

The Airbus has four flap settings, 1, 2, 3 and full. Pretty simple, eh? The rule of thumb... turning base or about ten miles to five miles out..flap 1, four miles...flap 2, three miles...gear down...two miles...flap 3 and one mile...flap full. On the leading edge are "slats" which also redirect air flow. 

The spoilers act as ground spoilers when the mains are on. Think drag chute on a dragster.


Depiction of the A320 flight controls.


Daniel said...

"Air Canada XXX, maintain 170 till Vepna, contact tower there 18 7 good day." - Like a song in my head after listening to it thousands of times on liveatc.

I must admit, I do like the shape of the A320 wing. When I do sit in economy I like to sit right behind the wing so you can see all that goes go on. Although, in first you get to see the might engines at work :D

The Embraer 190/195 wing is also pretty cool. Nice and smooth :)


From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. You have the lingo down! Nice pic of the Embraer wing. Agreed, nice and smooth.

Captain Doug


Hello Captain!

I'm glad you got the pics! It's an A319 :) I do the same Daniel..( as you can tell ) I enjoy listening and hearing all the different inputs that are being made "From the Flight Deck" :):)

I agree with the Embraer.....always nice and shiny and a really smooth transition to the winglet too! Nice look to it.

Thanks for the post Captain!

My wife and I are YSJ to YUL tomorrow for a Rod Stewart concert! She's a die hard 80's fan!

Safe Flying

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Tis a shame one can't listen to ATC in the back. Many Airlines have that feature.
Having said that, with wi-fi on the horizon you will be able to. We are running two A319s around in a "test mode." You'll be able to skype, watch videos and everything else. I assume it will filter out certain sites. :)

Rod Stewart? Some women actually think that guy is good looking. LOL I know my sister does.

I assume it will be at the Bell Centre. Was there last week to see the game. It's huge.

Now I have Rod Stewart songs bouncing around in my head..... :))))

Captan Doug

P.S Glad you liked the post!

carlton said...

Im with Daniel and Cat III Approach - I always prefer to sit behind the wing - watching it changing shape with the flaps, spoilers etc. It always fascinates me.

I didn't realise that spoilers were also used for banking though? They certainly appear effective as speed breaks, the whole airframe seems to vibrate ; )

Bas said...

You forgot to tell that it can fall off any moment during cruise as many people think haha!

I love details like these, that's why I can spend ages reading flight manuals lol. Thanks for sharing! :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Bas. Sounds like you should be an aerospace engineer.... :)))

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. I posted a diagram depicting the flight controls...just for you! Lots going on...out on that wing with some flight controls having multiple functions.

getjets said...

"WINGS"....Wings that can lift 10's of thousand of pounds, yea it's the nut and bolts,,,but seems magical at the same time...i did not realize to the extent the wings that get ya up,up and away....big part of bring ya back down....i guess i just figured reduce the engine power....and you have a "controlled fall"....as a passenger, sitting just behind the wings, and see the different configurations of flaps being set...seeing all the hardware, nuts, bolts, tubing,etc. and thinking..." i would rather not have seen all that hardware" because just looks like awhole lot of what can go wrong" ....which of course,is silly...Hell I can raise the hood on my toyota camry and see the same thing....and thats way more dangerous...there's no redundancy with my car!!unless i am including myself....(i just insulted myself, didn't I..ha ha)i am partial to wings...i have several pair....and keep a few..just for parts....lol

The cool thing about live ATC, you can listen to VHHH(Hong Kong)for instance, while everyone is sleeping here on this side of the world, except me, and simultaneously pull of airport activity there in Hong Kong, and match the flights with the controllers, actually gives me a rush...(and yes maybe i need to finance a real life)mmmm for it all to make sense...JFK is my favorite listen...though...and its so lovely that at CYYT(St.John's) some of the controllers and pilots speak French to each other....today, i am monitoring LAX, while watching live LAX runway cams....AND holding down a full time job....well gotta go, Thank you Captain Doug, and CAT III approach for the pics...remember no 'dilly dally'...misstwa

getjets said...

one of the top 50 ATC feeds, right now showing..."Lakeland Regional Airport, Florida(KLAL)"...is closed due to severe weather...that there are no collapsed buildings or major injuries reported...and to seek shelter in hardened buildings....the feed, i believe is a radio broadcast...anyway just never saw or heard and being listed as one of the 50 top ATC feeds, gotta get the word out,assuming for the pilots....

JetAviator7 said...

My son Chad, who is now an A&P "roadie" with ATI worked at the KLAN airport years ago fueling and de-icing airplanes in weather most of us would rather not go out in.

When I go commercial I like to sit right behind the wing root.


All Things Aviation

Chris Gardner said...

Is there an test for us after we study the diagram how spoilers work?

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Only you... and I mean only you...can claim you have wings and get away with it!!!
If I said that, Captain Doug would lose his medical. LOL

I agree it's neat to listen to ATC around the world. Many times when I transmit, I think to myself, how many people are listening. F.Y.I they don't speak French in CYYT. The controllers have accents, but they are Newfie accents. :)))
Only in La belle Province du Quebec do they speak French.

Thanks for checking in.

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. I saw the radar depicting those thunderstorms roadblocking mid Florida. And to think I was going to fly extra hours with open time available to Orlando. I'll give it a miss and stay home and blog. :)

Actually I have to ready for an aviation talk on Saturday in front of 120 people.

Then I teach Air Canada new hires on Monday.

Some vacation. I know, I know it's self induced.

From the Flight Deck said...

Jetaviator7. KLAN? I haven't been to Lansing, Michigan. Yes, I bet your son saw some interesting weather. Michigan is TOO close to Canada, that's why. :)

When I travel in the back, I like business class. It doesn't matter where the wing is. LOL

Just kidding. I guess for us aviation enthusiasts, a wing is a necessity to look out the window and ponder. I've caught myself tons of times looking out at that engineered marvel and thinking....

Again, I must include your site to my "blog suggestions."

Thanks for visiting.

Captain Doug

Ken said...

Pilot: "Approach, Acme Flt 202, with you at 12,000' and 40 DME."
Approach: "Acme 202, cross 30 DME at and maintain 8000'."
Pilot: "Approach, 202's unable that descent rate."
Approach: "What's the matter 202? Don't you have speed brakes?"
Pilot: "Yup. But they're for my mistakes. Not yours."

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Good point. That diagram looks complicated. I don't believe it's an Airbus publication. Airbus has the philosophy that a pilot does not need to know all of the aircraft's intricacies. From days gone by, pilots would have to know how many rivets a wing has (over exaggeration to prove my point) and if you didn't know that stuff, they would nail ya.
Things are now much more civilized...I think.

Still don't why the A319 allows full deflection of the speed brakes, but the A320 only allows
half deflection except when we disengage the autopilot.

Plus I learned tonight never to put a mini disc in an Apple computer. I had to lug my 22 inch desktop
to the Apple store tonight only for an 18 year old employee to tell me...."mybad."
I have to go back for them to remove the disc and replace the hard drive.
Who knew?

From the Flight Deck said...

Ken. You won't believe this, but I was going to include that very joke with this post!

Always loved that one. LOL

Thanks for taking the effort to post this!

Captain Doug

carlton said...

Thanks for the diagram, actually thinking about it I have seen spoilers used for banking, but mainly just prior to landing and after takeoff to keep straight and level flight.

Carlton, at work sat in a concrete bunker with no windows - wish I had your views...

carlton said...

p.s yeah are you going to test us ; )

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. A concrete bunker? Doesn't seem to appealing. :)

Regarding my view, I'm starting to ask myself..."what will I do, when it is eventually taken away?"


That word is creeping into my vocabulary more and more...

P.S There will be no test, and if there was, it would be open book. :)))))))

Cedarglen said...

As Chris wondered, when is the test? Nice pix and I enjoyed the functional diagram. Yes, let's just get into a "Flap" about it all. Great post, Captain. As is the norm here, I learn something new every day. Thanks. -Craig

Cedarglen said...

Addendum: I looked around JetAviator7's site when first mentioned, a couple of days ago. Nice place and the gentleman has some interesting material. I hope you fellows cite each other in the appropriate places. -Craig

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) Haven't heard from you in awhile! Welcome back! Captain D

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) Done, in reference to JetAviator7's site. Hopefully, he reciprocates. :)

He does seem to have some neat material and it looks to be a FRIENDLY site. :))))

getjets said...

LAX tower: "Execjet 594, following B737 traffic on a 2-mile final, Runway 25 Left cleared to land"

EJA594: "Roger, cleared to land. Is he arriving or departing?"

stolen...but actual excerpt from another avia blog, which was posted in all it's glory

getjets said...

Well then... "I Stand Corrected" about French speaking at CYYT...pending futher investigation..lol

Chris Gardner said...

Second language at CYYT. A while back when I was flying back home I was sitting next to the emerency exit on a A320 the FA asked if we spoked english or french and I responded back asking her she knew newfieness. Also the pilot welcoming us abord and giving the usual flight info but wht made this intro different waxs that instead of saying going to St. John's he blirted out da rock. I figured this guy done this flight too many times and has gone native,lol. Take care and happy flying, Chris.

getjets said...

your writing.."FROM UP HERE"....seems to have been moved from front to the futher back ...you know the one that writes of 'spices', 'smells of romance' winter winds',maybe even 'fresh coffee',and all goings on below....and that bad ole ferocious dog bark.....and that "life",,,,even may seem "on hold"...that we are somehow protected but also, deprived of such emotions, when we are so very up high....explained....a fine writing....Captain...to be moved so soon seems Odd???? it is a superb writing!!!

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. We do have to watch what we say on the P.A. Just recently I had to do the mandatory deicing P.A to the passengers. I was stating it was due to the falling snow and I was searching for a word to describe it. The F/O saw me pause and said "frightful" and smiled.
Well captain Doug said that "F" word. Gee, I had to back paddle as to not scare anyone. Phew....

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. Seems you were the only one who appreciated it so I figure I would move it back to the "artsy-fartsy" section. LOL Thanks for the kind words. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. And you of all people an ex Newf....

It's time you pack those bags and return to Mecca. :)

Cedarglen said...

Doug, I've been here all along - but no point in taking up space when there is nothing to say . -Craig

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) Point well taken. :)


Hello Captain!

Can't wait for the ATC stream...I'd like to hear a cockpit stream as well someday...even camera's! lol...I bet the pilots wouldn't though :)

The concert was great! Stevie Nicks was just as good as Rod Stewart, and I could only wish to have that much energy when I'm in my 60's!!! It's amazing they both perform like they do at that age!

Flew the Dash to Montreal...just missed the storm on the way out and on the way back which was nice! On the way in heavy cloud the pilot kept hitting the lights on and off....is that just to look at what percipitation was there?? hmmmmm....

Great pic too of the controls!

Safe flying!

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Glad the trip to YUL went well!

There was talk of having a camera in the flight deck but it went away as fast as it came. :)

Hitting the lights off and on? If we are in heavy cloud we sometimes turn off the "strobes" at night time. They can be very distracting. Or were they the "wing inspection" lights? If so, the pilot was checking for ice.

Now you have me singing Rod Stewart songs...I should be singing "If you want my body" to the boss.
Nay, if I was to sing, she would think I was in pain. :))))

Captain D


they were lighting up the wings.....ice check? Great....should I be worried when that happens? Maybe I'll check myself next time! ....... oh wait....I did :P my wife kept telling me to let the pilots do their job....I told her I was helping! lolol....

same thing happens when I sing to my wife!!! LOL! funny how that happens.

CAT III Approach