Flight plan

......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! :)))))

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

CFM 56

CFM 56
Looking up the "butt" of my CFM56-5B

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Eye Weather

This pic is from frequent flyer CATIII Approach while flying back to work into Fort McMurray, Alberta. The distinct line is low cloud affected by local terrain. It's due to subsidence which is sinking air causing clouds to dissipate. Subsidence is also prevalent with high pressure system which brings clearing skies.

Instead of heading south to Cozumel, Mexico I was asked to fly to Edmonton, Alberta last evening and fly the return "red eye" home. One passenger did not show up so procedure is to sequence their bags. We push back 20 minutes late. While waiting, I had a frequent flyer (Super Elite) ask if I would sign my article in the enRoute magazine. He said after 200 segments he finally met up with me. Great guy, and even better, he bought my book!

I make an announcement filling everyone in. "Our flight plan said we were 5 minutes under sked and our weather charts claimed a smooth flight." All the time there is an inner voice saying..."you are tempting the weather gods ...don't go out on a limb!" And sure enough! Sometimes that P.A pulls stuff out of me and I wonder where it came from? Just like some emails I send. :)

Weather precursors were indicating Toronto would be next on the meteorological list as an easterly wind, falling barometer and "grease around the moon" (cirrostratus cloud) said rain is nearby. Sure enough saturated runways and strong winds from the southeast greeted us at 6:00 a.m on the return leg.

Strong southerly jet streams over the Great Lakes turned Captain D into a meteorological fibber as we encountered light to moderate turbulence. Luckily the remainder of the flight mother nature's moodiness subsided. (Subsidence is everywhere) :)

The F/O flew a text book ILS onto runway 30 last night but we picked up a little ice on the wings on the approach and with minus 5 C surface temperatures it wasn't going away in a hurry. 

Thought we were going to push back early, but a reset of the data link put a kibosh to that idea. I thought I escaped the "deice" checklist for the season but...NO...out it comes again. 

More bumps greeted us over Green Bay (Lake Michigan area) at 3:00 a.m. 

But luckily wet runways make for smooth runways and that held true for captain D during the wee hours this morning. 

Off to Mexico tomorrow where the field elevation is the highest I fly to...7300 feet. 
Can you say density altitude? One good thing, it must bestow easy membership for the "mile high club." LOL


Cedarglen said...

Damn! My carefully constructed comments of compliment and thanks got kicked out - again. WTF??? Just know that I'm still here and I like what you write. -Craig

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) Why the technical difficulties? Is it on my end?

Thanks for your perseverance! :)


Hello Captain Doug,

Great post, and I too concur about getting "kicked out", just like Craig....it's during the logging in process before the comment is uploaded to the blog...for some reason sometimes it boots you out....Craig, I've now gotten used to the "right click and copy text' before trying to post...saves a lot of hassel trying to remember what was written!!

Thanks for the post Captain! Didn't know if the pic would be clear enough. My trip to O'Hare was on time, no baggage loss, but the bumps are another issue. Flying into YYZ last Monday was a little bit left to be desired over the lake.....I think the turbulence scale is open to interpretation....I'd like a well seasoned pilot to sit beside me and say" this is light" or "moderate" or " what the hell are we doing flying in this stuff" just so I know what is bad and what isn't.....my only clue that I use now is if the engines are pulled back...it's getting close to badness :) Is it sometimes unavoidable in the case of ORD, because of too much air traffic and nowhere else to go?

Our take off out of YYZ to ORD via a Star Alliance partners CRJ 700 was crazy! The jet only had about 30 people on it, if that so VERY lightly loaded. The take off thrust seemed to me at its max, because it was compareable to driving my friends 2011 Corvette, and I swear we used the same amount of runway that a DASH 8 would use and we were airborne!!! The pilots must have been having a blast with available performance like that!!! We were 600 MPH with 82% power most of the way to ORD then ATC slowed us down....the pilot PA'd the cabin all the way much like yourself with neat little tidbits of info. I wish ALL of AC pilots would adopt the same. I don't find it intrusive at all to the cabin, if anything it's quite calming.

Thanks again for the interesting read!

Safe flying,

CAT III Approach


and sitting at the back of the plane on most of the flights, while deplaning I noticed that, I again, was the only passenger to thank the flight deck for the safe flight......

why is that??!! Are people really that ignorant to the amount of knowledge and skill it takes to get them safely to their destination?????????? Or are they ignorant to the fact that they were just floating on air at 35000 ft. in a 600 + mile an hour missle??? Do they think it's a bus ride??????

Really, pilots get no respect and I'm not sure why.

That's my rant......

Safe flying

CAT III Approach

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach. Re: Your rant....I think you and I should teach passenger etiquette. LOL

Boy, we can use you for our contract negots team!!!!

I think people take things for granted. It's human nature. How does that song go,"don"t know what you got, until it's gone?"

I still say goodbye to the folks even this morning after being up all night.

But maybe that's just you and I???

I posted a picture next to this post. We pilots have reputations and here WAS one of them. LOL

From the Flight Deck said...

CAT III Approach.

As far as comments, I do realize the longer comments can be truncated by the blog site but that's all know.

When we fly into turbulence at flight level we usually slow it up to a turbulence manoeuvring speed. For the Airbus fleet it's MACH .76. Last night we were at MACH .79 but then back to .76 when the bumps arrived.

As far as busy airports, yes, your options of changing altitudes, headings, speeds is less. Plus there is a higher risk of running int wake turbulence.

Captain Doug

jack said...

Thanks for the post Captain D.

Quick question for you. I have been looking around at 1 year Aviation Diploma programs. Just wondering if you have heard of the Coastal Pacific Aviation one: http://coastalpacific.com/index.php?fuseaction=cms.cms_article_display_by_name&content_name=courses_1_yr_aviation_diploma


Christer said...

LOL! Love the pic next to this post Doug:)

Fly safe and thanks for the post,


Cedarglen said...

Cat III and Capt. Doug: Yes, that's exactly where I'm getting booted. I say 'post' without having first saved on my end and lose about 50% of notes, short and long. I'm learning...
Doug, not to worry. I still enjoy your material. indirectly, it is a function of the blog software and trying to accommodate too many varied user ID systems. These crashes are survivable. -Craig

From the Flight Deck said...


I have heard of Costal Pacific in Abbotsford, B.C but as far as their reputation...not sure. Maybe someone ready my blog might have some info???? I do know the one year diplomas are becoming more of a hit. And as you know I teach a little at the Brampton Flight Centre. I teach high level meteorology, icing, radar, a class on ETOPS, and take them for a tour of the CDF (Central Deice Centre) and a tour
of Air Canada flight dispatch. In fact, I should promote them on my blog.

Glad to hear you are thinking of pursuing aviation.

Captain Doug soon to be out the door for Mexico City.

I have not been there in over 12 years, plus I never laid over there. Well, I have a short layover, but unfortunately the"cerveza" math is not good. :(

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Christer. I've seen this pic a few times but I thought I would post it in reference to CAT III Approach's comments.

However, I do realize it hits a sore spot for many so I will remove it shortly.

You see, not all of us pilots are bad. :))))))

Gone flying...due south.

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) I like your comment...."these crashes are survivable." :)))))

I'm certain you can overcome those glitches.

Thanks for the feedback!

igloocoder said...

Thanks for the great flight and conversation on the way into Edmonton on Friday. Hopefully it won't be another 200 segments (or about a year) before we bump into each other again.

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi (igloocoder) Don. Pleasure meeting you!!!!
And I will mention to enRoute about a potential question on elite, super elite status.

I guess you will be doing the "red eye" tonight to head East?

I'm off to somewhere warmer.

Ans say "hi" now and again on my blog!

Thanks for buying my book and enjoy the read!

Captain Doug

Anonymous said...

Love the weather talk. :)
Great post.
Hope Mexico City goes well.

Cedarglen said...

Doug: Your humor is always a fun member of this commuity. I guess I was not trying to make a funny when I mentioned survivables, but it sure works . Sometimes - I be slow... After experimenting on other (different subject) blogs, but with ~same bloogist software, I suspect that the errors are related to the LENGTH of the response. I got it! I don;t talk often, but when I do, I talk too much. With curbed verbs, I think it will work. - Craig - and thanks for your patience.

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig) Yes, it must be the "length" doing you in. :))) Now that you have it figured out...fire away!

Doug... just in from Mexico City :)

Lakotahope said...

That is the easiest way to get a "mile high club" membership. Bring a lady friend to the airport in Denver or whichever airport is currently a mile up. Don't even need to start the engines.

Never thought of it this way...ha

Lakotahope said...

my NoScript was set to not allow Blogger.com to run. had to fix that...This so far me getting kicked back and losing my post--I copy them before I click anything any where.

Anonymous said...

LOL (@Lakotahope's suggestion)

From the Flight Deck said...

Lakotahope. Re: the mile high club....I guess it would be "the poor man's version." LOL

Lakotahope said...

It is the poor man's version! Maybe, you could start an engine--just to add ambiance.

From the Flight Deck said...

Lakotahope. I like your thinking! LOL