Flight plan

My flight plan....

This blog is to inspire and motivate those pining for the skies. I will also virtually open the flight deck door and allow a peak behind the scenes.

If for any reason you have an issue found within, send an email and I will ratify it!

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

And please help make this blog interactive by sending in comments. Don't be shy! :)))))

Not my license plate but "follower" Mark from my hometown captured this shot.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Busted Bridge (Jetway)

Looking from the outside in.... and no I was not cleaning the windows. I should  have because there were a lot of bug smears on it. :)

The pairing seemed to be going way too smooth. The landings were great, there were little to no snags and my "partner in crime" fitted with the majority of them- a great person to fly with.

The last leg had us arrive in Toronto 10 minutes early. The park brake was set and the engines spooled down. I gave the lead "brakes set, engines one and two are off" signal and waited for the bridge to move. And waited for the bridge to move....

I knew things were amok when the "rampies" threw their arms up in disgust. I asked number one to call STOC (Station Operations Control) to give them a heads up. More hand-waving emanated form the bridge and we're told the electricians were on their way.

I started the clock to see how long the delay would be. I also made several announcements with my first one pointing out that AC does not own the gates, but the airport authority!
Because I knew the cussing would begin and the in-chrage gave me a smile and a thumbs up for mentioning it.

The electricians confirmed the gate to be kaput. Dead in the water. Tango uniform.

A TBL (tow barless) tractor came to the rescue and picked our nose up and moved us to the next gate. Total time....25 minutes...but we were 10 minutes early.

The above picture was taken by my F/O when we were setting out for the Ottawa turn.
It was not me trying to get out when the bridge went belly up. But maybe it was some foreshadowing???

He was young and for some reason...reminded me of a younger Captain Doug.
Now 33 and still below the new hire age of 34-35, the lucky guy was hired to the left of the bell curve at a ripe age of 28. He resides in Ontario but will be moving to Halifax to commute. Of course, I tried to talk him out of it!!! Funny...the flight to Halifax two days before was full with 20 "cons" waiting to get on. One pilot made it in the jumpseat. But this didn't deter him.

It proves one thing, people can offer advice until they are blue in the face, but until you actually live your decision you will never know.

************* NEW********************

Just received this from the passenger on flight 272 from Winnipeg to Toronto tonight...

Thought I’d write you a note since it’s fresh in my mind. I was aboard flight 272 from YWG-YYZ tonight, just wanted to say thanks for signing the book, it was a pleasure meeting you. I never thought I’d run into you on a flight so soon, I just bought your book last week and am thoroughly enjoying it.  As I mentioned I’m a private pilot myself, your blog is a great read, keep the posts coming! As a frequent AC customer, it’s always a pleasure putting a face to voice! Keep up the great work, you guys aren’t shown enough appreciation for the job you do


Christer said...

Wow- definitely a new look here! I really like the Airbus at the top.

Seems like broken bridges are somewhat common- at least in my experience. Although, watching some of the operators try to position them, I think experience or lack thereof is also a problem at times:)

Glad to hear the flights went well for the most part, and you had a cool FO to fly with.

Thanks for the post,


From the Flight Deck said...


Good point about the bridge operators. In Canada they are operated by "rampies" but in the States an "agent" usually works the gate. Not saying who is better, but I do notice a trend.... :))))

Yeah, the F/O was a kite surfing good looking fit guy. He turned a few heads.

But like one F/O told me last week. "My last captain told me I get really good looking when I get my fourth stripe."

I laughed!!!!!

Chris Gardner said...

Nice job with the new look. Anyways I did made to Calgary only problem was when the flight the Halifax run had abort landing and we had to fly to another runway with better visibility. We did make to Halifax ok and I did thank the captain for a good job flying the jungle jet., take care and happy flying, Chris.

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hey Captain Doug,
I really like the new look! It really caught my eye!
Safe Flying,

The WInnipeger,

From the Flight Deck said...

Adam the YWGer

I haven't heard from you in awhile....

Thanks the feedback!

Captain Doug

Craig R said...

Like the new look :-)

From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Craig...

Change is always good....I think...

Daniel said...

I am surprised you couldn't talk him out of it. Maybe we should get everyone that has had trouble commuting out of YHZ to email him? So let me see here.... he'll probably have 500 - 600 emails? Even with a 33 year seniority its hard to get out of here, let alone his seniority.

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Ya its been a while!
I have had a lot of things going on especially this past week. A family member pased away. For every bad there's a good and I have a new cousin!! I can't wait to meet her!

The WInnipeger,

Bas said...

Wow! This is looking really good! Congratulations Captain! :)
Isn't it possible to hook up some 'air stairs' ?

Love the new look :)

Tim said...

New look is awesome!


From the Flight Deck said...

Thanks Bas about the "new" From the Flight Deck.

As far as stairs, that would have been plan B. :)

From the Flight Deck said...

Hi Tim. Thanks! You are up early this morning. Are you flying?

I'm off to Winnipeg, Manitoba and back this afternoon.


Captain Doug said...


I find many commuters have short memories. They see what they want to see and they say it's for the way of life. I chuckle when I hear that one, but to each his own!!!

I know one thing, people don't commute from Halifax because the weather is better. From what I've seen on my recent layovers, the word dismal is a "kind" word to describe your Spring. :))))

Having said that, I'm certain new records for the "crappiest" spring in Ontario is being set this year. :))))))

ace_flyboy said...

Yes Capt. Doug the new look is a good look. I've been reading the your past few blogs and found it very interesting.

It amazed me how you find time after all that flying to get work done around the house. Looking at those pictures it looks professionally done. Have you ever sat in on one of those 'do it yourself' sessions at Home hardware stores.


Captain Doug said...

Keith (Ace Flyboy)

Again, sometimes I work as many days as people have off in a month...but not always.

A case in point, I don't start today until this afternoon where I fly to Winnipeg and back.

"Number one" wanted me to don my carpenter's belt, but I gave her a "that's not gonna happen" look.

I ran on the treadmill instead. :)

Captain D

Cedarglen said...

Hi Doug, Great post. I'm liking the new look and it works well on a very large monitor. The second pic, that of the *Taxiway Delta Sign* is superb! Too bad about the Jetway, but 25 minutes is not too bad. As always, the best blog on the 'net. Regards,
-Craig (Yes, there are a LOT uf us here. I guess we have good taste!)

Bryan said...



Captain Doug said...

Cedarglen (Craig)

You've been away. I thought you were on sabbatical. LOL

I agree, 25 minutes is not that long. I was surprised the TBL (Towbarless) vehicle arrived so quickly.

I agree, the Beech 1900 and the B777 pic is a great one. But it says so much more as far as pilot aspirations, careers and the long road to get there.

Best blog on the net? You're a charmer!

Captain Doug off to the wild west in a couple of hours.

getjets said...

Well Captain Doug,I believe I just may have my "mojo" back, and to let time do what it does........Heal ;))))))))

First on the agenda.....If EVER I wanted to see your kindergarten school picture...just gotta look at you hanging out of your office....lol
you have that "little boy" sassafrass look...'about to get in trouble' smile, that I will bet is everybit the school picture stashed from oh....bout half century ago.....LOL

I can say that, I am older....

Your revamped blog and intro pic....very nice!!!! agreed,.... you are quite the handy man.
your house is beautiful....
yea....your a keeper, number one is very lucky indeed....

now go flying, so you can pay for all that...ha ha


JB in KTPA said...

Great look Capt. - your pic reminds me of the scene in "Airplane" when the rampie was cleaning the windshield and then lifted the nose to check the oil!!!

Captain Doug said...


Welcome back and judging from your comments...you DO have your "mojo" back!

Actually, Captain Doug was a good boy in school. "Conscientious" was an overused word to describe me. I realize that's boring, but at least I wasn't contentious. :))))

Funny, I keep telling "number one" she won the lottery but she comes back with a contentious (there's that word again) "yeah, right!" LOL

Today's mission, a turn to Winnipeg, Manitoba proved to be "uneventful"....just the way I like them.

Two full flights of satisfied customers. In fact, one "elite" frequent flyer stopped in to say "hi" while deplaning in Toronto and I signed my book
he bought in Winnipeg.

Again, glad to see your "mojo" has once again blessed this blog.

Captain Doug

Captain Doug said...


Speaking of Airplane, I have a pic farther down in my blog with a B747 getting its windows clean.

That picture also reminds of the movie. :)))

Anonymous said...

Love the new layout Captain! Much more easier to read and absolutely makes all the nice photos stood out!

Wonder if YYZ would contemplate on installing two bridges on one gate.

Wannabe Mike ~

Captain Doug said...

Wannabe Mike

Actually, that particular gate had two bridges. And I'm not sure why.

I was looking at the other thinking why isn't anyone considering it?

That's as far as it went.

Anonymous said...

Capt. Doug,

The San Fransisco picture is pretty cool! Those light trails look pretty steep though - are they airplanes taking off or landing?
Just curious - What's the average decent rate on the Airbus? As a passenger I can't really tell from the back.
The new look is cool by the way!

Captain Doug said...


Good point whether they are take off or landings in the pic. Looks like they are take offs.
Take offs have a deck angle of 15 to 20 degrees.
Whereas most landings we approach at a constant 3 degrees.

You know, I like this question. I needed another question for August's enRoute.
Do you feel like sending your credentials or do you still want to remain Anon?

[email protected]

I'll use this question anyways and perhaps use a different name.

Thanks for dropping by.

Gone flying!

Daniel said...

Judging that it's the 1's in the picture I would go with departures to. I have heard them using the 1's for arrivals a few times but it is very very rare.

getjets said...

» http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0093009/photos/exxonvaldez/3734764542/

Captain Doug, This link will take ya to the information on the "SFO CRUNCH" picture...I hope it goes through for your fans.
Thank you for the posting of it
will look for ya on the tracker Thursday to the SFO...

getjets said...
This post has been removed by the author.
getjets said...


maybe now, this link will work....just proves how little you can do when you have all day not to do it....lol


ps..must type "link address" in the top most bar on web page