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

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lots of talent out there

Here's a small sample from Christer, a talented violinist, a blog follower, frequent flyer and big time aviation enthusiast. He travels the world spreading his love of music...sometimes with his dad (piano).The "boss" (she just told me she doesn't like getting called that) and I were asked to attend a concert of Christer's and of course my schedule has me flying that day.

So how does a violin and flying tie together? Well listen to this one.... :)))))

Years and years ago (we are talking eons) flight deck visitations were more than just a dream, but a given if you asked nicely and showed a keen interest. Sure many of the parents at wits end would take their kids to the flight deck as a last resort to calm their little rascals. Usually it would stop them dead in their tracks.

One day a rather mature "to the point" young lad got the "tour." The pilots should him the buttons, handles, bright lights and the great view. The pilots were very relaxed and it kind of threw the young lad off kilter. Finally the "not so well behaved" boy said, "gee, anyone can fly an airplane!" But the wise ole senior captain (who never missed a beat) turns around and looks down on the boy with his bifocals and asks...."Son, can you play the violin?"

"No sir, I can not," says the boy knowing full well he met his match.

"Why not?" asks the captain. "It only has four strings!"

End of story!


Here's a link to Christer's website


Cedarglen said...

Thanks Doug and a Special Thanks to brother follower Christer for sharing the his audio clip of hora staccato. Give his business, I'll bet he spends far too many hours with a Small Bus strapped to his behind. If I may, Christer: I'm sure that you don't send your instrument as checked luggage. How do you manage the instrument case in addition to your own bags? What is the secret? I can understant Mrs. Captain Doug's annoyance with the 'boss' term. In time you will find something a bit more flattering and that she might enjoy. We'll figure it out. Lastly, I loved the little story about the snotty kid and four strings. Priceless. Someday I'll explain my unmitigated attraction to busy flightdecks. Hint: Flight decks have a lot in common with the 'control station' of the King of Instruments. Great post and best wishes to Christer! (At first glance I thought I was looking at a younger Doug. No. If you played the violin, we would know it by now.)

Christer said...

That's a funny story! I guess that's one thing our professions have in common: making difficult things seem easy and effortless;). It's something that takes countless hours of practice and experience, which is something money alone can't buy. This is another reason why I choose to fly AC and other reputable carriers; they don't play games with experience. Thanks for putting my name in the spotlight here, Doug:)

Craig (Cedarglen)- thanks for the comments. To answer your question- there's not really a secret to managing the instrument and my bags, it's more just a pain in the butt! A vacation to me is boarding an aircraft with no carry on baggage:) I suppose the first trick though is staying with one alliance as much as possible. I stick with Star Alliance, so I get priority baggage. Yes, I am one of those people who checks their bags, and to date I haven't lost one in hundreds of thousands of miles traveled. Maybe the priority tags and avoiding tight connections whenever possible helps?

The other thing I make sure of is to take advantage of priority boarding offered to Star Golds, even when seated in the front cabin. The violin fits perfectly in the overhead bin, and still allows rollaboards to fit in front of it. Smaller regional aircraft actually have an advantage here; large carry ons must be gate checked, freeing up much more space in the cabin. Dealing with gate lice is becoming all the more stressful though, as certain carriers are increasing bag fees and the gate area is becoming a circus....

In the end, if my violin doesn't get on, I don't get on. As it's worth more than a home in many places, I can't afford to allow it to run the gauntlet of the checked baggage system and be thrown to pieces. Reputable airlines almost always have provisions for instruments of this size in their policies though. I make sure to carry a copy of them just in case I run into an employee that thinks otherwise. I've only had this misfortune twice, and with the same airline, so the papers came in handy (hint, this was in the days of CP, so my allegiance to AC as my preferred Canadian carrier was cemented rather quickly after the second incident!)

Thanks again Doug, and hope I didn't hijack your post too much- I tried to keep it aviation related:) Have a safe trip out east!


From the Flight Deck said...

Christer. As far as hijacking the post...far from it!

You mentioned some great stuff. Lucky for you, you don't play the base. :) I've seen some musicians buy an extra seat and strap it down with special netting.
At least you know your seat neighbour, won't snore. LOL

Looking forward to heading out East. It officially ends all my vacation. Not only is the "boss" (I have to use another term..I know) looking forward to my departure, but now my kids are. Do I feel welcomed or what?

The only glitch is the weather is just as miserable out East as it is here. Instead of me building a trellis maybe I should be thinking "ark?" :)))

Captain D

Christer said...

Yes, I am glad I do not have to pay for extra seats and deal with that kind of bulk! As for snoring aboard a plane, you're right. A double bass already does plenty of snoring while being played, at least that's what it can often sound like:) On that note, I've had the (mis)fortune of sitting beside some passengers that could pass for a bass, and sleep was hard to get...I'll leave it at that...

Hope your weather clears up- it's just been horrible up your way this year! In reference to "the boss", maybe she'd prefer "my other half" or to be really diplomatic, "my better half":)?! I guess that may run the risk of being patronizing- I need to be careful how I word these things in my house depending on the desired results:) Good luck with your ark and enjoy your view from above- no matter how lousy the weather is down here you've still got the best view from any office around. Sun's always shining somewhere!


From the Flight Deck said...


Funny about the snoring thing...I remember deadheading in J class and one passenger was letting it "rip" in the snoring department. One passenger in the seat ahead took on a unique initiative to stop the offending snorer.
She threw sprinkles of water on the passenger's face. But he continued "bellowing out the base" thinking it was a fly and just swatted in thin air.
Quite the entertainment. :))))

Yes, can't wait to get up to flight level today. I'm tired of these grey, overcast, rainy dreary days.
Boy does it remind me on the Maritimes in the spring. I used to call them the RDF days....(rain, drizzle, fog). :)

"Better half?" I like it.

Or I could call her "number one" just like many captains call the F/O.


From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig).

Thanks for checking in! Are you saying I am an open book? LOL "Number one" (how's that for a pseudonym?) says I am "way too open."
So yes, you would know if I played the violin. I did take guitar about 18 years ago, but it had six strings. I should have taken the violin because it
only has four strings. :))))) Kidding Christer!!!!

Thanks guys. I must ready for a three day mission.

carlton said...

Christer, perhaps one day you could combine your two passions - Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden (bit different to violin I know)has done just that and is currently on world tour using his very own 757-200, and yes he pilots it everywhere - lucky man!

Bas said...

Whaow, I always loved the violin. A couple of weeks ago we had a violinist playing in our church, I was amazed by the sound and movements the man made.

In fact, I don't really know what he looked like because his expressions were changing every second lol!
Nice story about having it as baggage, luckily there are some airlines out there that don't hassle you with it =)

Christer said...

Now you've got me thinking Carlton! That would be sweet. At the moment, I'm pretty sure the chasm between what I and Bruce Dickinson earn is quite large:) Always something to shoot for though!

Take care,


Chris Gardner said...

first of all I will like to congrats Christer for such nice playing on your violin. It was a pleasure to listen. On the subject of carry on on your violin a while back I was listening to CBC Radio2 where Yo YO Ma was been interviewed. When the interviewer ask Ma how he travels with his chello he said that he carrys it with him on board by booking two seats in first class one for him and the other for the chello. Once again good job maybe one day I mayu see you playing a violin concerto by Beethoven.

Christer said...

Thanks Chris- I've played the Beethoven violin concerto, but have not recorded it as of yet. It is my favorite work for violin and orchestra, so if I'm ever playing it in your neck of the woods I'll be sure to let you know:)

No worries Doug- 4 strings will keep you busy enough:) Being so preoccupied with a measly four strings can also be a convenient excuse for not doing other things around the house: "exactly how do think I could do that; after all these years I'm still sawing away at these four strings and haven't made it through yet..." :)))

Bas- yeah, some people like to move around a whole lot. I quit bothering when I realized I couldn't grow my hair out any longer. To pull that off you at least need to have enough hair to fly around a bit:) And yes, any decent international airline has the common sense to allow an expensive piece of (small!) furniture in the cabin!


Cedarglen said...

@Christer: Thanks for your wonderful answer. You nailed it, perfectly. In some cases, checked bags are necessary and Oh how I hear you with "violin flies in the cabin or I don't," as well as the lines that fussed at you. As another mentioned, at least for travel expenses, be glad that you don't play the cello as that could get seriously spendy. Glad that you are with us and I'm hoping that Doug will privately guide us to your catalog. A well-played violin is comfort to my ears and thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
Doug: "My Number One," has been an inside joke around here for years. The simple term covers a lot of ground and conveys honor, at least around here. Thank you for allowing Christer to 7500 for a bit. THe space was well spent. -Craig

Cedarglen said...

Thanks for posting the LINK to Christer's site, Doug. I would encourage all music lover to visit his site and explore the MUSIC button. I guess the blog does not need commercial pitches (excepting your book) but links to Christer's recordings are worthy of mention. The blog's followers have a variety of gifts and talents and I've just become a fan of Christer's music. Wow!
-"Number One" is a great choice. I hope that she is duly honored.

From the Flight Deck said...

Cedarglen (Craig). Sounds like you are a "classical" type of guy. :)

Glad you capitalized on Christer's link.

I'll let "number one" know of her new pseudonym when I get back tomorrow. :)))

JetAviator7 said...

Loved the short piece - quite a talented fella there!