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! :)))

Sunday, April 3, 2011

CAM (Commercial Aviation Management)

The "line up" for the night

University of Western Ontario's CAM (Commercial Aviation Management) degree

Did my 25 minute talk last night in London, Ontario. As soon as I walked into the large elongated rectangular room I knew it would be an issue for a PowerPoint Presentation with the screen nestled at one end. I would only have the first third of the room's attention, the middle third would be tuning in and out and the back third....talking. Well Captain Doug pulled a "speaker's faux pas." I made a gruff comment two thirds of the way through my talk. The chatter proved too distracting. I then tried to back paddle about the comment.

It was about as distracting as a lady who passed out because she had too much to drink in the front row of another talk I did two years ago.

Speakers pick up on the "vib" and for some reason I didn't get it last night. Years ago, I did a "toast to the bride" speech and remember when one gentleman half way through my talk gave me a "thumbs up" signifying "you are on a roll." I always make it a habit to complement the speaker when they return to their table. People don't realize how wound up speakers are. One can never enjoy the meal either because your mind is on the speech. Last night when the other speaker sat down, he said "I'm glad that is over with, now I can relax" and took a large gulp of his rum and coke. Maybe that's what I should have had? LOL

The students as a whole were great and many remembered me when I gave an informal "pep" talk three years ago. I chatted with three and I asked them what they figured their four year degree coupled with flight training cost...about $100,000!

Seems of late, I've been doing some soul searching and after my less than stellar performance last night I've decided to be less "open" in giving talks. Driving for three and half hours (there and back), getting a free meal and a sip of wine and selling one book all for half a tank gas money just isn't cutting it. Plus I had to give up a date with the "boss."

Again, the graduates and the others enrolled in the course were all top notch and if I was doing the hiring, I would hire them all!

Did manage to get a free copy of a book from the professor who recruited me three years ago. She wrote...E-Learning in Aviation

Today...a new day...

After a long night for me, I received a few "pat on the backs today." Actually, one from the student president of the program saying "good job last night." Thanks Grant!

But here's one from a frequent flyer who likes my enRoute stuff:

Hello Captain,

I'm an avid reader of your blog, and a frequent flyer on AC. I don't do any of the crazy transcontinental flying others do, but I usually do 60-70 segments a year on AC metal...mostly in Canada and quite a bit on the YOW-YYZ-YOW commute.  I've been a long time fan of your column in EnRoute and for years I've asked many a SD if you were commanding when I've boarded an A320 hoping for a chance to meet you in person and thank you for sharing some insight to those of us who sit in the back but dreamed at some point in life of sitting up front.  

I'm not sure if you know, but there are quite a few posts on the AC forum at FlyerTalk that list having you as the captain of their flight in the "Canadian Celebrity Sightings" post.  I'm sure you'll be happy to note that many of us frequent flyers, who talk to flight crews about turns and wheels up time, consider you a celebrity. 

Thanks for taking the time in both EnRoute, and your blog, to give propeller heads like me a chance to hear about your experiences and hopefully I'll run into you one of these days.

A New Private pilot:

Hi Doug!  After a year and 3 months of being a weekend warrior, I passed my PPL flight test.  Talk about a stressful day.  You know the drill from forced landings to diverting in bad weather and then of course a real 15kt wind G25 made for fun times.  Just some paperwork for transport and I can take passengers!

My ground brief exam was 2 hrs and the flight test was 2.1.  Very long and thorough, I had a migraine going home.  I was extremely happy, but also hard on myself over some of the errors that I did make (I think I am always too hard on myself).

 Thanks for the kick in the butt a few years ago to get going with the flying!!!!

 Flying has its ups and downs, financial headaches, days where you don't want to fly because you are having difficulty with a maneuver from the last class (pre solo circuit work trying to land!), days when you are worried to fly because you saw a 152  skid off the runway the week before (not me in that plane!), days when you generally feel like you aren't progressing as an aviator, nights studying for the written exam.... The list goes on and on.... Learning to fly is a huge commitment, and staying current is just as important.  Through all these downs in flying, there are way more ups though.  I don't need to go through all of them as you know them.  All I can say is when I am up there, there's nowhere else I want to be.  Learning to fly and sticking with it was the best decision I have ever made.

Book Review

A frequent follower, Bas, did one hell of a write up on my book. Boy, I sure could have used him last night as my P.R guy. I spent an extra 45 dollars to rush books for my talk and sold one. "Oh well" as they say. THANKS BAS

Tomorrow I teach weather to Air Canada's new hires.


Daniel Asuncion said...

The Speech. No big deal, Doug. You can't hit it out of the park every time...

Besides, you were really addressing the students. They worked hard the last few years. Your being there made it nice for them.

Cedarglen said...

I suspect that your speech was a lot better that you believe it was. Still, the reimbursement sucks. Being a bit tighter with your time sounds like a smart move, espically for the 'Boss.' Best wishes, -Craig.

Bas said...

Thank you! I hope others like the review too :) Good luck!

Your PR guy,


From the Flight Deck said...

Getjets. I removed your comment to allow the sitaution to blow over.

Thanks for your understanding.

Ken said...

Thanks for making a speech for us. I think part of the interruption are because some of the guys aren't really realizing (first years) what they're about to go through...

Personally, as a third year student, I thought your speech was great! And inspiring. Made a lot of us wonder about what we're aspiring to become.

Also noticed your efforts for marketing your book!! haha its a great read! But because of how keen I am to pack light I'm not able to carry it along with me to reread. (It would've been nice to grab another copy again that night)

All in all, thanks again for coming! It was a great speech!

JetAviator7 said...

With the decline in student starts and impending retirements anything that helps encourage more participation in aviation is important, so tip of the hat to you for doing this!


All Things Aviation

From the Flight Deck said...

Daniel A.

Always like your well thought out and well said words.

And it's true, "you can't hit out of the park every time..."

Thanks again Daniel

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) That's exactly what the boss said! lol


From the Flight Deck said...

Bas. Thanks my Netherlands P.R guy! Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Ken. I remember talking to you Saturday. You're the one that sent in the "speed brake" joke for my blog. :)

Thanks for going out of your way to email. Much appreciated.

Yes, we'll blame it on the rowdy first years. LOL

All the best with your flying endeavors!

Captain Doug

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi JetAviator. Good point about enrollment being down. Could be a double whammy setting up - people leaving one end and others not coming in the other end.

Just finished teaching weather to Air Canada's new hires. There were only six. Things have been put in a holding pattern until our tentative agreement is ratified.

Captain Doug

P.S I added your blog to my "other great blogs" list.

Craig Ritchie said...

Doug, it sounds like you've done enough public speaking you know that you'll never reach every person in an audience at any given time. Those who are seriously interested will make a point of paying close attention. Those who don't ... well, your words will likely go in one ear and out the other regardless of the shape of the room or size of the hall. And a number of them will weed out by he end of the year anyway. What matters is that you are reaching those who are serious about learning, and that's what's important. Give yourself a pat on the back, man.

Being fairly compensated for your out-of-pocket expenses and your time, as well as scheduling considerations with the boss, are different matters entirely.

From the Flight Deck said...

Craig. I like your "straight to the point" comments!

Much appreciated!

Captain Doug - ready for the next mission.... :)

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Good look with your continuing challenges in better managing your time, perhaps your book agent can give you some professional advice about the speaking circuit. Don't sell yourself short, your time is valuable to both yourself, and your family.

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher. You speak volumes of wisdom At first, one's publisher does set up speaking engagements, but after that it's all up to the author.

I did the talk as a favour. Sure if I sold some books it would be a bonus.

I sure wouldn't want to make a living in writing books. To be honest I think the concept of a book is waning.

Just yesterday, I taught the fifth Air Canada new hire class. As of yesterday, not one new hire bought my book. Throughout my five hours of teaching I jokingly referenced my book. No nibbles.

I do realize my book has seen its peak so maybe it's telling me to honker down and write Canadian Aviation Weather!

I see you guys are seeing some interesting spring weather. :)

Captain Doug

Bas said...

Weather book, Weather book, Weather book.

I'm up for it! LOL

From the Flight Deck said...

Bas. I know, I know actions speak louder than words.... :)


I agree with Cedarglen Doug...I bet it was better than you think....could be that some were nervous to provide feedback to a peer?

Yes...keep Mrs. Doug happy!

p.s. does Mrs. Doug like aviation as much as you??

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Mrs. D likes the pay cheques. :)))))

Captain D

P.S I am no longer sleeping with the enemy. Her WJ stint has landed.


hahahaha....I'm sure she does :):):)

Now you both can go back to talking without worrying about confidentiality rules :):):):):) lol....

"Hi honey, how was work?"

"Sorry, I can't tell you!"

CAT III Approach