Flight Plan

My flight plan....to encourage, mentor, guide those pining for the sky. I'm also here to virtually open the flight deck door for those who want to take a peek at the many aspects of aviation.....enjoy!

...and welcome aboard!...

Can you say "Super?" It's the new weight category for these birds. New photo from ERIK.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April's enRoute is up...

click here

Boeing 777 tail

Q: I noticed cabin ventilation diminishes prior to engine start. Why?  
Alessandro Da Soghe
Jet engines require highly compressed air to set the turbines in motion. This air generally comes from the APU (auxiliary power unit) located in the tail. However, the APU also supplies conditioned air to the cabin during airport stops. During engine start, most of the supplied air goes toward the engines. On rare occasions, a wind blowing on the tail may give a faint smell of exhaust, but it’s very short-lived.
Q: What does it mean when you hear “cabin crew, prepare doors for arrival (or departure) and cross-check” over the PA?  
Sébastien Gauthier-Mercier
During pushback and upon arrival at the gate, the flight service director will use the PA system to remind the cabin crew to either arm the doors (during pushback upon departure) or to disarm them (upon arrival at the gate). All main exits have inflatable emergency slides that must be either armed – allowing the slides to deploy – or disarmed. In the flight deck, the doors are monitored to ensure they are in the armed or disarmed position.  

B777 pushback

Q: How do thrust reversers work? 

Scott Cote 
St. Albans, Vermont

For a jet engine, three basic types of thrust reversers exist to redirect air: bucket, clamshell and bypass. The latter, which deflects air forward, is the most common method for reducing the speed of airliners. Some think engines’ blades spin in reverse to slow aircraft down. Not so. The aircraft I fly, the Airbus A320, has four deflectors angling outward from each engine, giving the appearance of flower petals. The action of the deflectors causes the rumbling noise you hear upon landing. Many of Air Canada’s flights, however, are quieter since, under certain conditions, reverse thrust is not necessary: The brakes and ground spoilers easily handle all the work.

Thrust reversers at work....I miss that bird! (A340)

Max reversing in Ottawa



getjets said...

oh captain Doug, that is cheating...i am saving myself for the actual April'enroute' to be delivered to my grimmey little paws....so no read here.....but i gotta tell ya, if I had a set of 'cahonasssss', i would give up the right one, just to be at the fundraiser run on your runway..!!!!!i am not even kidding!!!!and the logo for the race is so cool!!!!!

why want to turn the clock back...when you have the power to change the past right now in this minute, change the past...by looking to the future.....
also I read this morning that Boeing flew a 787 dreamliner to Gander airport for high and cross wind testing.....guess what....no wind today....so they moved the testing of the 787 to St. Johns Newfoundland....i believe it was today...what a interesting twist.....i have got to go back home there, and I will....the weather does not show....but as I have said, i feel a warming trend...so do take care!!!! misstwa ^j^

Anonymous said...

Hey Captain Doug! Great insight as always. Really enjoy your stuff. Just a quick question about the B787 when it comes to AC....I guess I should say if...

What do you see happening with hiring and equipment bidding? It would seem as though there would be a lot of movement going on. How long after do you think they will retired the 330 and 767?

:) Hope all is well!


already read it on my A319 flight last week!!!!!! :)

I always thought of the thurst reversers as a blow off valve, but now I know the different types!

Thanks for the great info as always sir!

CAT III Approach

Cedarglen said...

Hi Doug: A good set of questions, if a bit elementary for serious readers. We understand that these are for the in-flight 'zine, so cool. I have to with Anon's question about the 787 etc. AC is way down the line and only God knows when AC will ever see one. Even then, the numbers are not big. I have to wonder if Captain Doug might be to close to fishing time, before he gets a serious chance at that airplane. I'm sure that your contract has some productivity provision, suggesting 2-3 years of productive time if/when they retain you on a different airplane. I know of one large line that holds (or requires) two years. What is the stanard at AC? Heck, except fot the money, yo may not even want to fly larger machines. Some folks are quite happy to stay senior on smaller gear, to keep the family happy. What think you? -C.

Cedarglen said...

Let's make that 'retrain' not retain. -C.

getjets said...

hello Captain Doug and all.....if you are interested......go to the web-site
"[email protected]"

scroll down a little and click on "new pictures of AF447 wreckage...some of the most wicked pictures i have ever seen..!!and you can zoom in....i spent at least an hour looking at them for reference points of where on the plane...though they say at bottom of each pic....wicked pictures...and I believe they found some human remains...or saw...

Anonymous said...

Evening from Taipei Capt D!

Interesting to read your en route section on thrust reversers. I noticed when we landed, on the A340-300, thrust weren't even used. Seemed like we were coming in really slowly!


Scote1992 said...

Thanks for putting in my question

From the Flight Deck said...

Scotte1992. Not a problem! Only wish the pool of questions was filling up. Not so.
For June's, I had to get creative....

Daniel said...

You should include my recent question... o wait, only Airbus knows the answer to that :D

Hmmm, maybe do some advertising? " Ladies and gentle, on behalf of the First Officer and I , Doug Morris, your captain, I would like to thank you for flying Air Canada and I hope you enjoy your stay in _____ or wherever your travel's take you. Also did I mention my blog is looking for questions? Look outside and see if you something neat, email me about it when you get home. Again, thanks for flying Air Canada."

Nothing in the SOP's say you can't say that? haha.

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. You are going to love this month's enRoute edition. Looks like they sent a couple of people to New Orleans for a write up!
Oops, I let the cat out of the bag. :)

Yes, you owe it to yourself to return to your homeland. New Orleans or Newfoundland, I really don't know who is more unique? :)))

I'm certain it will be "when" you go not "if" you go.

And I know a great airline to take you there. :)

Captain ^D^

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Anon. That very question was asked to our Senior VP of Operations and he mentioned the 767 and A330 will eventually be phased out but very slowly. So when the B787 shows up on the ramp, the last quarter of 2013, it should make for a "hold unto your hat" scenario.

Captain D

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. You are welcome and keep flying AC! :)

From the Flight Deck said...


You're right the Q and A's I write for enRoute cater to the person in 22B that flies once or twice a year.
Having said that (and I've said this before) if I had a dollar for every passenger, flight attendant, employee and get this...even pilots!!!....
that said it's the first page they turn to, I would be a VERY happy guy. This month marks 13 complete years!!! I can't believe I've been there that long and I bet others think the same thing. LOL

AC is still slated to see the first B787 the last quarter of 2013. This date does not seem to be wavering.
Actually, I believe we are the launch customer of these "newbies" in North America with us potentially getting up to 50. Nothing to sneeze at. :))))

We are in the midst of a new contract and rumour has it our pay may be predicated on categories of "wide body" and "narrow body."
So "wide body" would incorporate the B777, A330, B767 and the new B787. Meaning everyone may gravitate to this bird. Stay tuned.

Generally we can move around equipment every time there is a bid. The glitch is, if one down bids, one is frozen for four years.

And you are right, "staying senior on junior equipment" is the rule to abide by. But not for this cat, as soon as I can hold the B767 you'll see captain D taking a new course.

I miss my overseas!

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. I tried to go the link but you gave me an email account. :((((

Yes, I heard they found the wreckage. When I heard that, I thought about my article I posted on March 23rd. Remember the driver that drove me to the Montreal airport? He was a sonar tech that could hear a whale passing wind from 800 feet.
Maybe it was him that actually found the wreckage? He was adamant the group would find it.

The entire world is watching this.

Captain ^D^

getjets said...

is the airline lovely airline with a big red maple leaf???? oh and it's on the tail....

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. That would be the one! :))))

Craig Ritchie said...

Hita Capt. Doug

What sort of aircraft would use bucket-style reversers?

By clamshell I'm guessing you're referring to old DC9 and B737-200 types, where the rear portions of the engine nacelle are hinged to tilt inwards? Or is that a bucket style?

Oh and by the way - even when I was flying 120,000 miles a year (AC SE for 10 years), your column was always the first thing I looked at in En Route! Still is.


From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Ed in Taipei. With a big bird like that, it does seem like you are approaching a little slower.

As mentioned in my article, if conditions are right (sounds like other airlines are doing this as well) then reverse is not used. It saves wear and tear on the engines, it adheres to noise abatement procedures for some runways and the "bean counters" determined it saved on fuel.

Thanks for going out of your way to comment.

Captain Doug in Canada

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. I don't think "Jacques from Airbus" would know that question. LOL

For the sake of our readers, here's your question:

Would you happen to know the Spoiler Drag Coefficent for the A319, A320 and A321? I have it set to 87, with that, I can't drop 1000 feet without gaining 10 knots.

Daniel. That's exactly what I did on a few P.As and you're right it doesn't go against SOPs, but the response was dismal.

I even stood by the doorway while passengers deplaned. I did notice a high ratio of Japanese tourists on one flight.

So, I tried it a couple of times but I sure wasn't getting "warm fuzzy feedback."

Many of the flight attendants are recognizing me and they go above and beyond to promote the page and I thank them for it.

Maybe it's time to change the format? I just hope enRoute is not thinking to change me. :)

If they do, it's been one hell of a ride!

Captain Doug

P.S What does the "award of excellence" for your father entail?

From the Flight Deck said...


Gee I wish I could show you the difference between the "bucket" versus the "clam shell." But if you
google it, you'll see the difference. (Actually I just modified my post for YOU!!!!)

So you were a Super Elite? I sure hope you sent in your kind comments to enRoute. Nudge-nudge... :))))\

I see we are acknowledging a new group...MM (Million Mile) member.

Boy I need to hire you for my P.R department! Thanks Craig!

getjets said...

yes Captain I remember your post on the wreckage.....what i thought of when my newsletter came to me!!!

the emergency landing of the , I believe the United Airways, flight that came back to New Orleans, after taking off there...you can read the transcript and the best of all, listen to the taped ATC tapes....i promise it is compelling, all the more because you know the outcome..and not a soul was enjured!!!!, they did run off the runway and you can hear the controller say, the runway was "FOULED"...it was called 'fouled several times....is that an actual "get the hell out of the way aviation" term....and i also think the pilot may have turn off the breaker..for fear of fire...it was the possible chance of smoke in the cockpit...so that turns into ZERO tolerance with procedure i am sure..and had no intstruments to go by, and the controllers guided him with the edge lake ponchitrain(the 7th largest lake in the lower 48)..just in case you play trivial pursuit anytime soon...that fact could come in handy...(i am not sure that qualified for a small or LARGE LOL).....and then said make a left or a right..lol isn't that the best, I am quite sure i don't have all the facts exact...but its damn close,, i do this for a living...ha ha misstwa out of breath...

getjets said...

I did not sign out proper......^j^

Daniel said...

Hehe, I think it is great ! No changes need! I read it every flight I fly on. The people beside me, if my dad isn't usually will look at it, then open up theirs are read it.

As for my dad, he gets a 4 day package at the Sandals Bahamas resort with the CEO and 15 other winners of the reward. Although, he says apparently the CEO bails the first time because he has a airline to run ;) " Daniel free time " is what my dad calls it. I call it " P-A-R-T-Y T-I-M-EEEEEE" hahahaha

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. Sandals Bahamas resort with the CEO? I need to get me one of those awards. LOL

Again, good for your Dad!

From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. I remember you sending me the link to this incident but I can't find it. Just went on a few sites and poked around. Something tells me lots is going to come from this incident.

Daniel said...

Hahaha, I assume my mom will bring back a picture of my dad on his knees begging the CEO for a raise !

I don't think it really hit him when he got it because they kept it a secret till he was presented the award and he didn't expect it. I think it was emotional for him to ( He never does get emotional ). He gets along with the people at work very well, infact, hes apparently the only lead that has never had a complaint by his colleagues. Plus never having a sick day in 33 years helps !

It is easy for a gate/ramp agent or a lead to get it because he/she is around his/her colleagues all the time. Where a pilot your all around different places and don't have the same connection (correct me if im wrong). But you are a well known Captain and the F/O's seem to like you a lot. I know my dad and Richard do! Both say nice things about you and never had any complaints. Many people think a lot about you and look up to you for who you are. Wait some time while you are still young/er. Don't forget, my dad is 51 and has been working at Air Canada/Canadian for 33 years and just got it. You will get it soon Captain' ;)

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel. For a younger person...you speak volumes of wisdom and are very complimentary. Your dad taught you well!

Captain Doug

Daniel said...

Thanks :)

carlton said...

One of the first times I flew on an airliner and witnessed reverse thrust I looked at the engine and thought 'oh no part of the engine has fallen off' - I later learned that this was the bypass reverse thrust at work.

Max reverse thrust is great - very dramtatic ; )

I will be flying across the pond to YYZ next Saturday - with BA, and we are rostered a 777, can't wait! We will listen out for a captain with a scottish accent!

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. Yes, when passengers saw the "buckets" they frequently asked...WTF? LOL

Because we do not use max reverse as frequently anymore, we pilots get more compliments on our landings. (I think?) It's because we are not scaring the "you know what" out of everyone. :)))))
You get the bump, the braking, and no noise....nice....

So you are coming to Canada? Maybe we can meet and talk about reversers over a beverage?
Yes, I'll still talk to you even if you are flying BA. LOL

That Scottish accent captain certainly went into the "witness protection" program mode. :)
If only I can find his sister's email.
Love to find out the full story.

Captain Snoopy


great update with the pics....shows the action very clearly!

Flying to Chicago O'Hare for the first time on Monday morning via YYZ! Any tips??

carlton said...

Yes, that would be great to meet up over a beverage and talk all things aviation. I was actually going to ask if we could meet up so I could get my book signed ; )

I am in Toronto from 16th to 24th April, are there any particular days you are free?

My email is carlton_lagusz 'at' hotmail.com

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. So you are flying to the second busiest airport in the world?

Any tips? Hold onto your hat! LOL

I have not been there in over eleven years and that's fine with me! I'm glad the Embraer does that route!

So what's up in ORD?

Actually, Chicago is a neat city downtown.

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. I have several days off during that time. :)

Sounds like a plan! Will you be downtown YYZ?

Is there anything better than beverages and talking all things aviation. Is there? LOL

We'll be in touch....

carlton said...

"Is there anything better than beverages and talking all things aviation?" - if you ask me, absolutely not (with exception to flying of course...).

I will be staying around down town Toronto. Looking forward to meeting up!

Regards, Carlton, enjoying days off with lovely sunny weather for a change ; )

From the Flight Deck said...

Carlton. There used to be one other thing better than aviation, but I've given up on that one...LOL

The weather finally broke here as well. There is actually some optimism in the air.

Cheers to that rendezvous!


Craig Ritchie said...

Hiya Capt Doug

Thanks for the explanation and pics! That does help a lot!

Buckets ... clamshells .... suddenly I feel in the mood for seafood!!

I used to fly a ton with work ... not so much now, but still enough to satisfy my interest in flying. Off to ORD next week.

I wonder what happens when one hits one million miles?



From the Flight Deck said...


As far as seafood, there are two waypoints off the coast of Labrador (part of the North Atlantic tracks) called
"steam" and "oystr." (steamed oysters). :)

As far as the million mile club:

It appears that at the 1MM mile mark you receive a beautiful wooden box, recognition Letter, Special Edition Reduced Model of an AC777-300ER, 2 x SWU,2 x SSWU upgrade coupons, AC SE Membership Card and Luggage Tags with a 1 Million Miles Logo.
As well it appears you receive lifetime elite status regardless of miles flown.

I attended a frequebt flyer club meeting a few months ago and I met one gentleman that racked up 2 million miles. He brought his model to show everyone.

Enjoy ORD!