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 16, 2011

Structures....working with my hands....

Built pergola in first residence in Oakville

Backyard and front yard included a built-in sprinkler system installed by moi.

Built mirror from scratch with wainscotting 

Building from a blank canvas in Halifax

It sat about 10 feet above the ground but it
wasn't commuting for

Re-did the kitchen including the hood, back splash, island, light fixtures, valence and lighting in one Oakville home

Trying to keep "number one" happy  by putting in a pool. Built the deck, retainer wall for pool, all landscaping and fencing (Previous house i.e no more pool)

"Diesel daughter" modelling my installed french doors with transom in present home


Last Spring's project including widening of steps, all masonry work, building hand rails and posts, re-doing garage doors with new hardware, interlocking around driveway, flower box, lots of landscaping and painting

My last project last week. We are in yet another rain delay. Funny, "number one" had me working with electric tools in the rain...Yes, I was wondering if she had an ulterior motive. :)

And I'm pretty good with the joystick...other "drivers" will never know....

That's it...working with my hands. Some may think my pen in my hand may be a bit dubious, but no one can deny I can't put in a hard day's work with my hands....


Christer said...

Wow Doug! You are quite the talented guy no doubt. If you ever needed another career, you could make a killing in home renovations:)! Where the heck did/do you find the time for all these projects?! You must also be incredibly efficient, flying as much as you do. Excellent work!


From the Flight Deck said...


That's one perk of being an airline pilot...days off.

It's been constantly raining here and it's driving "number one" nuts because she can't get her
worker out to build a deck.

So finding time is not the issue....but funding can be.
Heck, I do that too. :))))

And speaking of hands...do you have insurance for your "tools of the trade?"

You mentioned your projects...one cut or bad splinter could affect your play.

I guess it's like actors/models insuring their assets....ahem... :)

Christer said...

Yeah, I hear you as for funding being an issue- ideas and wants are ofter bigger than the pocket book eh?! :)

As for hands- I don't have mine insured, although it may be a good idea. My instrument sure is though. I'm always careful when doing other projects, but in the end, there is no sense in being paranoid. I just remind myself not to get too comfortable or lazy with what I'm doing and it works out alright. A little patience and foresight goes a long way. It's when you get a little too comfortable, or overly cautious that accidents happen:) Like most things in life, you've gotta find the right balance.

I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty though- I like a good project every now and then.

You're right about the weather- the wife and I were up in your neck of the woods this weekend and were treated to a non-stop texture-less sky and drizzle. The cold was also not very welcoming. Sure hope it clears up for you soon!

Craig R said...

Nice work, Capt. Doug! Christer is right, if you ever tire of flying I guess you can go do home renovations. You could even exercise your TV persona and give Mike Holmes a run for his money.

On that last picture of the joystick .... is that the tiller beside it? You've written about the Airbus being steered on the ground by a small tiller mechanism and I've always had a hard time picturing it in my mind. Would that be it?


Craig R

From the Flight Deck said...

Craig R. That's indeed the tiller! The F/O has one as well, but it's policy the captain taxis the airplane. If I hit something, it's my neck they will be after. :))))

And speaking of Craig Holmes, "diesel daughter" has a picture with him sitting on the tail gate of a pick up truck. I'll stop there.....

Now there's an idea for a DIY show....airline pilot does renos on days off. Will jet lag get in the way?
Can he measure twice and cut once accurately enough? Will he tell the owner "to pound sand" due to lack of sleep or will he exercise CRM?"

When I did overseas I had a policy of not running saws until a day later. But "number one" thought differently....:)))))

Craig R said...

Very cool. And the red button on the joystick? Is that the guns?


Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, the red button disengages the A/P?

I must say you are truly a man of all trades! Great work there Captain!

If I make it into your profession, I probably would not give up on writing. It is always fun to enjoy two favorite jobs together.

Wannabe Mike ~

From the Flight Deck said...

Craig R

The red button WAS used to pretend we had guns when we had young visitors pre 9/11.

But like "Mike" says, it's one way to disconnect the autopilot.

Craig R said...

So no guns then? That's too bad. Could be a great way to prevent damage from bird strikes.

Sorry ... in a silly mood today.

Craig R

Daniel said...

If you didn't become a pilot ( I know it was inevitable but I put a big IF ), would you have become a carpenter? You seem to do a very good job at things like that.

My brother is a certified carpenter and is going back to school in September to start electrical/plumbing. I can see it now... I'll be relaxing by the pool and he'll be inside renovating my house doing the hard work :)

Chris Gardner said...

Good jobs with the renos both my father and my brother are quite handy with the tools one been a retired math prof and the other is a CMA. My self I can't draw a straight line with a ruler,lol. Anyways I will be flying this saturday to visit my sister in Calgary for a week. I,ll be flying AC of course you can spot me wearing a retro TCA baseball cap. Take care and happy flying, Chris.

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. Thanks for flying AC! I'll be in YHZ. :)

From the Flight Deck said...


I probably would have stayed in meteorology. Didn't think I could handle being a doctor but after
bringing three kids up and the sights you see and the things you experience makes you realize..."I could do that."

Always did like building things. When I was 10 or 12 I built my first "fort." At age 13 I had my first job helping build a house from the foundation up. At age 15 I started my painting career. What is legal working age in Canada? :)

Carpentry would be fun. Though I must watch myself. One A340 skipper lost half his thumb on a table saw and another
pilot lost his eye with a nail.

I always thought in this stage in my life, I would be yelling "fore."

But "number one" likes to see paintbrushes, shovels, hammers and saws in my hand instead of golf clubs. :)

Anonymous said...

Captain Doug,

Great looking projects, you certainly have many talents, including adding plenty of value to your beautiful home.

I recently read both the article that Aviatrix wrote, as well as your response on your own blog. It is unfortunate that someone would critically comment on someone who has every right to blog about what she wanted. I'll admit that I skipped over some of her 'non-aviation' topics, but she certainly has every right to blog about what she wants. She is also a very talented writer, like yourself, and I'm sure is a fine pilot.

If you and Aviatrix both leave the blogging world, we'll all lose two of the best writers on the internet...and all for a comment that was made in poor taste.

YYC Dispatcher

From the Flight Deck said...

YYC Dispatcher.

I think most people have MANY talents. Problem is...many don't realize it. LOL

As far as Aviatrix, both her and I figure she is #1 here in Canada as far as readership.

She sent me a glowing response today and I almost started to cry. I was in the grocery store and
had to stop reading my blackberry.

I was so upset no one from A.C is acknowledging her resume, that I emailed a "heavy hitter" pilot manager.

He said all he could do was confirm she is in the system.

I did respond...VERY DIPLOMATICALLY..."it's a pity AC gives me the keys to a $60 million airplane, but we can't have any say who we fly with. :))))
But I realize you must get this same complaint all the time."

Thanks for your kind words!

For that....I owe you another beer. LOL

And thanks for checking in.

Captain Doug with the keys to a $60 million machine.

P.S For those wondering, there are no keys to an airliner. :)

Mark said...

Doug, those are amazing pics. You are definitely a superstar in the air and the backyard! I need to do some renos at our place; you interested in giving me a quote...lol.. all cash :)

From the Flight Deck said...

HI Mark. My neighbour asked the same thing. :)

Actually, the way the weather is, I should be building an ark! L

Bas said...

Whaow Captain, you are a handy man! It's really looking good!

From the Flight Deck said...

Bas. We had a comedy T.V show here in Canada called the "Red Green show."

He would mock the handyman to the nth degree! He brought to the forefront, the many uses
of duct tape. :)

One of his lines was...."if the women don't find you handsome..they should at least find you handy."

Yes, I've overused that line quite a bit. :)

But thanks for the kind words, Bas.

Chris Gardner said...

Hey Capt Doug at lest you will not be on Canada's Worst Handy Man.

From the Flight Deck said...

Chris. You haven't seen ALL my projects. LOL

Foggy said...

Hey Doug, please don't knock the many and varied uses of "Duck Tape". That, except ours was black and we call(ed) it bogde-tape, held many an RAF aircraft together. Oh, and "alloooominum" speed tape, with a little bit of "double-bond" thrown in for good measure. Who needs fasteners, rivets and autoclaves? A half roll of "black bodge" - it'll do a trip. When I was selected for a very specialist training course the joining instructions included at the end of the long list of stuff we had to take:

Tape, waterproof, adhesive, heavy duty - "Black-Bodge" - 2 off rolls. If we didn't have them we didn't pass the course.

BTW, do you use Binford Tools - More Power than a CFM-56 in overdrive - as endorsed by Tim "the Toolman" Taylor?

From the Flight Deck said...


We can now get duct tape in black instead of the standard grey. So you call it "bodge-tape?" Interesting. :)

And yes, we have our "speed tape" over here. We pilots chuckle when we read it was fixed with "speed tape."

Funny you should mention tools...I was doing the "Tim the Toolman" grunt when I bought a 12 inch 15 amp mitre saw.
(My other one, that's been on a ton of projects had an angle issue. Funny I thought it was just my cuts).

Anyway, you could hear the "oh, oh, oh" through the neighbourhood when I flashed that puppy up.

D said...

So that's Diesel Daughter.
[gorgeous; absolutely]

As I look at the photos, what's remarkable to me is that you are able to build these things, even though you have not had the opportunity to train as a general contractor. A Mike Holmes. A natural ability, for sure.

How important was mechanical aptitude when you were learning to fly? The small planes, and then the big ones?

Daniel Asuncion said...

Oops. Did it again. "D" is me.

From the Flight Deck said...

"D" (Daniel) Yes, we tried to get her into modelling, and yes I spent the money, with promises, promises, promises. Maybe one day?

Thanks for the kind words. I do like building things....well at least "number one" likes me building things.

Mechanical aptitude? Well, at least a small dosage of it is required. The smaller the airplanes, the more is needed.

The bigger the airplane the more the "big picture" is needed.

Thanks for dropping by. :)))

Captain "D"

Daniel Asuncion said...

Fascinating. That the smaller the aircraft [less complex ones; not military jets, I assume], the more vital it is to possess a mechanical aptitude.

Michael said...

well, i didnt see anyone else say it! your daughter is very good looking!

im gonna admit i didnt pay a huge amount of attention to the other projects :p

hope all is well, and if you havent been following, i got the job, flying the canadian super trooper.


From the Flight Deck said...


I'm surprised no one else mentioned my daughter either. Luckily you are in Australia. LOL

I took a look at your blog. Looks like that is a DASH 8 from the photo although I didn't see it written anywhere.

Never heard the Dash 8 referenced as the "super trooper" but it sure is.

You'll enjoy it! Seems like your career is coming along nicely!

Thanks for checking in from "down under."