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 peek 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! :)))))

Monday, May 30, 2011

Stay Senior on Junior Equipment

Erik's shot of a B767

It's been the saying to abide by for most pilot's careers...."Stay Senior on Junior Equipment." Don't go for the next bigger airplane, but chose lifestyle instead. Except, some of us are impatient and that includes moi.

Yesterday, an equipment bid closed. We are hiring. In fact, I''ll be teaching a class of 12 mid June. The equipment bid was not huge, but we need 17 B777 captains, 2 A330 captains and 5 B767 captains plus 13 Airbus 320 captains based in Toronto. But it's the heavier equipment I'm looking at...translating to at least 24 slots.

My standing bid has me requesting B767 captain "zero from the bottom." Yes, you can qualify your bid. You can even move bases. But there is another saying, "be careful what you bid for."

Well the last bid saw me 345 numbers away from saying "heavy" again. I started at AC saying "heavy" (over 300,000 pounds i.e A340) as a cruise pilot, I also got to say it as a A340/A330 F/O but the wallet really thickens when I say it as a captain. LOL

Had my medical today which was two days away from me turning into a pumpkin.
I get to keep my job another six months!!!


Andrew said...

From "Cessna 172" to "Air Canada Heavy" - what a long journey. For a lot of us we can just imagine... one day...

Cheesecake C-CAKE said...

Andrew its amazing when you think of it...

Captain Doug, will it be a big transition from flying an Airbus to a Boeing with a simple difference to the change in the pilots input (stick-control column).

Foggy said...

Good morning Doug,

B763 LHS payslip $ question, which you may decline to answer, what chance do you have?

1. Haha
2. So-so
3. Definite maybe!
4. Captain boarding.

I'm off to breezy Bristol tomorrow - 1230Z check-in. Chances? See 3, above.

Regards / Foggy

Regarding the Airbus v. Boeing question, retired UAL "heavy" captain Mike Ray has written a series of articles aimed at "heavy simmers". These were on offer for free on a limited number of "sim-sites" but now cost $1 US direct from the author. The Airbus v. Boeing article is here and makes for interesting reading.

whywhyzed said...

Doug, if you bid the bottom, won't you be on reserve? Maybe you're hoping summer loads will be good and they'll need you?
How long is the course and line indoc, route check, etc?

Captain Doug said...

Andrew, you speak words of wisdom. To borrow from another adage... "An aviation journey, begins with a single flight hour." Captain Doug

Bas said...

Another 6 months of epic blogging from you, =D
/me would love to see you flying a Boeing :))))) (Yes, I can't help it but I'm more of a Boeing fan). I know, don't talk about the other aviator's equipment but yeah, I just like Boeing better... There's quite some difference between them!

Hope to hear you saying 'Heavy' sooner than thought!

You'll be Heavy HandyMan Doug :P

Captain Doug said...


The transition will be huge. It will be like going from French to English, right side of the road to the left side of the road, playing hockey to figure skating. The control column is the least of my worries. That "thing" will be stuck there for hours on end whereas we Airbus pilots pull out a tray table. How civilized. LOL

I'm certain I will be getting comments from the Boeing camp. :))))

Captain Doug said...


Good way of putting it. Unfortunately, it's still in the dream phase so it's door #1 (ha ha).

When the B787s are on the horizon then it will be "Captain boarding." Training will start about a year in advance for some.

Until then Captain Doug will be saying "LAND GREEN" (Airbus talk).

I'll take a look at your link later today...number one has me doing "heavy" landscaping in the backyard.


P.S I haven't forgotten about your last email either.

Captain Doug said...


Yes, I will be at the bottom wrung. Crew sked will be calling all the time and at odd hours. As a few pilots put it, "I will be crew scheduling's whore." lol

Having said that, I will also land some senior flying as some of the senior guys book off a little more.

Right now we are short pilots. In fact, the equipment bid stated to expect summer training....a rarity.

The course and line indoc will be about two months. So in two months you go from not knowing how to spell Boeing to "I have control." Bring it on...baby.... :)))))

Captain Doug said...


Being from Europe and having an A330 picture on your blog I thought for sure you were Airbus.
You must be looking at KLM's B747s too much. Kidding!

As a handyman for "number one" means I don't frequent the gym. So yes, I could end up being
"heavy" handyman Doug.

Thanks for stopping by Bas. I see you picked up a "heavy" commenter on your blogger. Good for you!

Edwin said...

I got my medical yesterday as well! Only a Class II though, but it lasts for 5 years, hopefully by then I will have got my Class I. A week from now I will have my student permit (hopefully) and be on my way for my first "real" lesson in a PA-28.

Do you suspect any 777 skippers jumping down to the 787?


Good day Captain Doug!

Heavy landscaping in 40°C humidex I hear! ugh....

Further to your post, from start to now, what planes have you flown?

Besides the thick wallet, which one did you enjoy the most?

Why can't airline pilots cross contaminate?? ie fly more than one model? Is this a safety/mind on task thing ( one task/airplane ) so as to minimize possible error?

The good thing about being #1's heavy landscaper, you can quickly transform into "Captain A320 thirsty" because at home the beer math almost always adds up!!!

Happy Landscaping!

CAT III Approach

Bas said...

Hehe, thank you Captain! :)
Yeah, I can't help it. I bet it's because I fly a 'somewhat professional' 747 in FSX. I just know things better in a Boeing :P Must be KLM haha :P Anyways, flying is flying and if I might be a pilot one day moaning about the type I will be flying on will be the last thing for sure!

Eating a lot of calorie rich crew meals will certainly get you to say 'heavy' sooner than thought! :P

getjets said...

Captain Doug, just like your path started from Cessna to A340 began with a "single flight hour".....

Captain (AIR CANADA HEAVY) Doug of a Boeing 767-whatever the #....starts with a "single request"!!

just one more thing about the "Ghosts of October Past"...what is it about...the blackness of the night, the fall season and it's notorious wicked weather,a giant airship,fear of the unknown, vastness of the most Northern territory...makes that story so compelling!!!
because I think it leaves you with a feeling of such WONDER and ADMIRATION!!!!

so now your on the record for upgrade...right??I may have read wrong, I believe a couple of the dreamliner's are slated for delivery(Europe?) later this year...
so maybe those 787's aren't "urban myths" ha ha

Captain,if your going to be a 'crew scheduling WHORE(isn't that a ooops word) ha....spell it right....a crew scheduling """"HO""""!!!!
now you see, you have forced me to make this comment much longer with all these citations...I gotta lotta nerve....

passed your medicals....good, thanks for the warning...LOL
what about mental./...kidding

well, when your done with your backyard/amusement park/pool&resort/museum....I got a few honey do's for ya....thank God for work, or you wouldn't get any rest.....:))))))))))(Captain Doug with huge smile...)


oh and yes,

Craig R said...

Hiya Captain Doug,

Forget the thicker wallet - move to the '67 and you'll stand a better chance of receiving a post-flight beverage invite from some bleary-eyed FF camped out in the back! I'm always good for the cool bevvie, but don't spend much time on the small bus these days.

Craig R

Cedarglen said...

Hi Doug, Congrats on the new medical. You are young and it is routine. My crystal ball says that the B762(3?) is in your future and closer than you may think. The wallet factor is important, but so is staying at home. The transition should be easy since you HAVE flown it before. It will come... I will come. While you wait, life could be worse; the A320 series is not a bad way to earn a living . As always, the best.

Bas said...

Quote Julie": passed your medicals....good, thanks for the warning...LOL
what about mental./...kidding

Your dry sense of humor made me ROFL quite a while xD!

getjets said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Captain Doug, whats with the "HEAVY" commenter...reply for BAS???? SURELY YOU WEREN'T REFFERING TO ME.....

woman and the word HEAVY....not good....LOL LOL
please don't reply.....i don't want to know the truth....:))))))))))))))

but for history's sake............
I am not "Heavy" or am I that insecure!!!!
just love giving a hard time...

hope I didn't run your people off!!!!

Captain Doug said...

CAT III approach.

I dug and loaded 7 cubic yards of heavily water ladened clay today. All the time I'm thinking, I'm getting way too old for this. I enjoyed the sun and the heat because it was our first nice day this spring.
There were probably others but I was away.

Yeah, we pilots can only fly one aircraft at a time for safety reasons and competency.

Funny, some airlines allow their management to fly more than one type and I won't say anymore about that. Ahem.

My favourite airplane was the A340-500 because it was the heaviest (almost B747 range), but the sexy sports car is the Airbus 330 hands down!

Airplanes I've flown. Deep breath...navajo, merlin, Dash 8, Bae 146, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340-300 and the A340-500. Plus a whole bunch of "bug smashers."

And yes, the beer math added up tonight...big time! LOL

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach.

Turbulence does bother me. I know passengers don't like, F/As don't like it and we pilots don't like it because we want smooth rides and it ups out work load.

Passengers are more spring loaded and armed with cell phones and laptops so the word gets out FAST!

Nope, never did a roll. I'm a straight and level type aviator. I know it sounds boring but sometimes boring is a good thing!

Captain Doug said...

Bas. I do notice a trend when pilots fly overseas. They tend to develop "spare tires."

Sometimes I haven't seen a pilot in awhile and I have to do a second take when they set course overseas.

I better watch myself. LOL

Captain Doug said...

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

Good question about the B777 skippers. We are in the midst of working on a new contract, however, it was turned down.
Part of it included the implementation of status pay...wide body and narrow body.
So that's an excellent question about B777 skippers wanting to try out the B787. I suspect many will.

Captain Doug said...

Craig R. Sounds like a plan. Where are you flying on the 767?

Captain Doug said...


Those B787s are the cruelest carrots I've seen. But you are right, they just aren't urban myths anymore.

I knew when I wrote that word..."ho" you were going to give me grief. And sure enough!
But sometimes I like stirring the pot. :)
I suppose I should change it. :(

That "to do list" today was a work out!

The brunt of the project is over for now....

As far as a mental medical, I already posted about that..."stable or unstable?" LOL

Captain Doug said...


I knew that comment would get a reaction out of you!

I should have said, "Bas, glad your blog has been graced with a person who always has their finger
on the aviation pulse!"

Captain Doug said...

Cedarglen. My apology as I may have lead you astray in my post. I never flew a Boeing, strictly Airbus.
In fact, sometime this summer I will hit 10,000 hours of Airbus.

And great point, the A320 life is not a bad way to earn a living.

I like your optimism. :) All we have left are the B767-300s. You'll find the 200s in the dessert or flying under a different registration. :)

Anonymous said...

"careful what you ask for"...so true in this business.
Great blog. Well written, and indeed, an inside peek at the industry.
Kudo's, and all the best to you and your family!

Christopher said...

I knew a pilot on the Viscount V807 who considered that a barrel roll would be possible - remember it was a single spar wing.......

Wasn't there something on here about AF447 and was it removed?

Captain Doug said...

Anon G

Thanks for dropping by again.

How is your site doing?


Maybe you can shed some light on you/it's background?

Just by the graphics, you sure know how to get around on a computer. :)

If you want, I can add your site to my blog list.

Captain Doug said...

Christopher. I had a few commenters post links to some great articles on AF 447. One guy commented three times and I answered him. But I see he removed his comments. Not sure why.

getjets said...


Captain Doug....Airbus-Boeing "101"

class will start soon, for those who wish to attend, be seated and get out your #2 pencils, and I don't want to hear a peep....lol


getjets said...

For You Captain Doug, and follower Christopher.....I hope they go through for ya'll
the 3rd report writtin by the pilot who also wrote ""GHOST OF OCTOBER PAST"




misstwa(APU)don't forget the U,Captain for UNIVERSE....HA HA

over and out...misstwa gotta get some work done...

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


Bryan said...

Just an FYI doug, the title on your blog seems to have disappeared! it's no longer right above your header picture.

Bas said...

Spare tires haha, that's one for the quote board!

Craig R said...

Hiya Captain Doug,

Lately it seems I get 763's regardless of where I go. I often wind up on one when I travel to or from Vancouver. Had one each way to/from Munich recently. I even had one substituted for a scheduled A321 on a recent trip to Montreal.

Going to Seoul on Monday for a few days. Take three guesses on my ride?

What can I say, I like the pods on the A side .... much quieter, and more private for working.

Interested in your reply to Cat III Approach, where you listed the aircraft you've flown and described A330 as "the the sexy sports car ... hands down!" Is there a specific reason you feel this way? Great looking bird, for sure, but between it and the A340 I would have thought four engines would be more of a rush than two. Or is that just my inner Tim Allen grunting about 'more power' and missing something?

getjets said...

Craig R....PA...Lease!!!!!.......it's the curves...of the A330-A340...should have known that...she is beautiful.....esspecially from the pilot's point...but how could you know......

my 2 cents plus interest...
safe trip Craig R


Craig R said...


Both the A330 and A340 are beautiful aircraft, no question. But right enough, my view is from the cheap seats .... and since my chances of ever snagging a ride in the jump are basically zero, I guess that won't soon change.

What can I say, it's an airplane. They ALL make me smile, and no matter how many times I do that take-off run, it never gets old.

I travel a lot in my work. Some people hate that, but it's the part I most enjoy.

Lots of great seafood in Korea - right up there with fresh Gulf shrimp and oysters. Mmmmm!

Craig R

Captain Doug said...

Getjets. Thanks for the great link differentiating Boeing and Airbus. It truly was a "101"intro.
I see they also included some Air Canada pics. :)

Thanks Teach!


Captain Doug said...


You sure are busy with the links. Just read the article from the same author of Ghosts of October Past.
To be honest, I liked that article instead of this one. Too much speculation but I guess this is where we are with this accident.

There were more than just "ghosts" present on that on horrific night...more like the Grim Reaper.

Enough of this talk.....

I'd rather think of the Airbus 330 as a "sexy sports car" not a resting place for the dead..... :(

Captain Doug said...

Bryan. Thanks for the heads up! I fixed it plus tweaked a few things. Again, thanks for mentioning it.

Captain Doug said...

Hi Craig R.

So you like the "lie flat" J seats? I've heard mixed reviews, but overall they are liked.

You sure fly lots.

The Trent engines on the A330 gave me the "Tim Allen Grunt." She can get up to altitude with ease and was a pleasure to fly.
I miss her. :((((

The four engines of the A340-300 were a tad underpowered (think hairdryers) but the A340-500...oh.oh, oh (Tim Allen grunt)
but it had a guzzle rate of 10,000 litres (8000 kg)/hour. It's why we don't have them anymore. :))))

Captain Doug said...

Getjets. I concur! It's all about curves and big...and big....wing tips! :))))))

Captain Doug said...

Bas. Lot's of spare ties on the overseas guys. Good thing our policy is to have a buttoned tunic, unlike most of my American counterparts
where many leave everything hanging.... LOL

Spare ties, equatorial bulges and love handles...some of the side effects of flying.... :)))))

getjets said...

You are welcome Captain(Dirt),

Airbus/Boeing: cool tidbits

like the association way of
remembering all 777's (THREE SEVENS HAVE THREE WHEELS)....sets

A-340 longest longest jet....that must be Asia Air....sometimes when they are taking off from LAX, I can actually see the sand blow up from the beach at rotation....at the end of runway

the 'sawed off' end or the circular back ends of jets....

sidenote: everytime I see the sawed off end of a jet...I always think.....

"that must have been one GIANT pair of "Pliers" to crimp that metal together"

....OK YOU HAD TO OF BEEN THERE!!!!!JEEZ!!!!!!!!!!!

I been dying to say that for years....guess the machinists background in me....

a pair of pliers, screwdriver and a big black rubber mallot...need when trying to fix something....most of the time all ya have to do is BRANDISH the big black rubber mallot...usually will take care of the problem....
not to mention, is great for "Tenderizing the head", not mine of course....LOL

I hope the Hammer Police don't come after me.....

like I asked earlier...
when are you going to stop making Mudpie's and get back to flying....????

gotta go....
running from a subpoena...KIDDING


getjets said...

Craig R....forgive me...
even I don't know, or have seen with my one good eye(joke)actually 4(glassses)what a fully loaded A-340 looks like....from the backside....

if she's anything like me, the mmmmmmmmmmmmm is always too big....OMG


Anonymous said...

Regular reader, first-time commenter Cap'n. Love the blog, hate to make first post a criticism, but please edit the May 30th post. "...some of us our impatient". Our?

Captain Doug said...

Anon. Done! Thanks for taking the time to comment and pointing out a typo. Believe me when I say this, I do not mind if you or anyone points out an error.
With my frequency of blogs, it's bound to happen!:)


Captain Doug said...

Craig R.

Well said. Even when I travel in the back, I make sure I'm not talking during the take off roll, watching TV or doing a crossword. If anything.. it's out of respect. Respect for the pilots, respect for the engineers that figured this stuff out and
respect someone/something allowed me to do this for a living.

I miss my Korean BBQs.