!!!!! GONE FLYING !!!!!

If you need to contact me... email: [email protected]


"Pic of the day" sent in by Craig M from Ottawa. He watched flight tracker for days until he got the shot of all shots. It's beautiful.

Monday, July 11, 2011

EnRoute's July is up!

I want to thank Christer Tepper, Julie Theriot, and Mark Wolpert for submitting these "July" questions and you all just so happen to be readers of my blog. You may think you do not know Julie, but she has many guises. I will give you a hint...her initials are  ^J^. :))) She's the most frequent, vivacious, and prolific commenter this blog sees.

For Julie's question I referenced runway 23 in Halifax. I landed on that exact runway last night at dusk with a beautiful Maritime evening making for a perfect "time frame" to file in the noggin. I told both the F/O and pilot in the jumpseat (there is always a commuter in the jump to/fro Halifax)... "I soloed on this same runway 31 years ago." They were in shock I was THAT old. lol
My mind sure went into the reminisce mode... but muscle memory, timing and a quick snap back to reality allowed a "greaser." LOL

My F/O landing back in Toronto at midnight after a 12:30 duty day must have had a muscle twitch with his muscle memory. I'm certain he wished he had that landing back. :))) Yes, we have all been there!!!

Christer mentioned enRoute is recruiting a "frequent flyer" to write for them. It's posted on the Flyertalk forum. There are lots of "elites" and "super elites" on my blog. What about it, guys? And before you ask if this is writing on the wall for me...I say bring it on. :)))))

P.S Want your name up in lights? I need two more questions for October. The question, "Why doesn't the B777 have winglets?" made the cut. 




Captain Doug Morris answers your questions about aviation.

Q: How does your flying stack up to an Air Canada Elite® or Super Elite® passenger?  
Christer Tepper
Charlotte, North Carolina
Air Canada’s Top Tier program requires 35,000 Status Miles or 50 flight segments for Elite status and 100,000 Status Miles or 95 segments for Super Elite status. In the past year, I flew 775 hours or 268 segments, equalling some 300,000 Miles. I’ve met a number of Super Elite members who fly nearly 150 segments per year, many of whom enjoy the inside information from my column.  
Q: How are runways numbered? 
Julie Theriot
New Orleans, Louisiana
Runways are numbered from 1 to 36, according to their heading on the magnetic compass rose, consisting of 360 degrees and displayed in 10-degree increments. Runway 25 in Ottawa, for example, has a heading of 251 degrees. Large airports with parallel runways add a left and right designation, like runways 26L and 26R in Vancouver, both oriented 261 degrees. Because magnetic north shifts, runway numbers change over time. The runway I soloed on 31 years ago, runway 24 in Halifax, is now runway 23.
Q: How are pilots assigned their flights?  
Mark Wolpert
Thornhill, Ontario
Monthly rosters are computer generated. Near the middle of the month, flight pairings become available for the following month and we get to work bidding on our “blocks,” based on seniority. In my own case, I try to avoid red-eyes and early-morning flights. Many pilots avoid flying on weekends, while others pick warm destinations during the winter months. Certain airports can be specially selected or avoided, and we can choose by length of layovers as well. The wish list can be long, and by the third week of the month, the blocks are awarded. And, yes, we hold our breath…  

Doug Morris is an Air Canada pilot and captain on the Airbus A320.

Got an aviation question? Send it to 


Cedarglen said...

Another great post, Doug. Thanks. Great enRoute questions from Christer, Jule and Mark and of course regular readers know them. Good Stuff!!
Sorry to hear about the FO's landing, but s/he knows that it is about walking away without damaging the walking carge or the plane, not the grease. I guess we'd all like a few "Do-Overs" in life, but a bumpy landing is probably at the bottom of the FO's list. God made strong airplanes and seatbelts to accommodate First Officers with muscle twitches. Regards to all. -Craig

Craig R said...

Excellent - I look forward to seeing a copy on Friday, on my way to Sarasota. :-)

Bas said...

Oh man... They should add the EnRoute magazine to KLM flights too, then I'll get to read them lol! Lufthansa has got something like that I remember, I once read about artificial back-up horizons and how pilots land an aircraft in their magazine. Really cool stuff and a lot of people grab that magazine infront of them!

So do you announce that you're the guy in that magazine infront of your passengers while on a flight Captain? :P


Captain Doug said...

Cedarglen (Craig).

I hear ya about the "do-overs." Funny we were talking about one of the best things about our job while flying to Toronto... it's
the fact you can leave your job at work when the park brake is set. So many jobs out there, people bring their jobs home, worry about them and
put in tons of extra hours. Once we do our "parking" checklist. It's done! Except when your ego was bruised from a snug landing. But I'm certain he forgot about it

Captain Doug said...

Craig R. Off to Sarasota? Must be on an Embraer?

I thought we discontinued our flights there in the summer?

No matter, haul out that enRoute and think about question to send my way. :))))

Captain Doug said...

Bas. I'm certain KLM has a great in-flight magazine although enRoute received "world's best in-flight" title several times.

You are very inquisitive and the fact you have your own blog, you should be able to come with some questions for Captain D.

Believe it or not (and this is going to come as a complete shock to some) but I remain very humble about writing for enRoute.

I wait for the F/O or flight attendants to ask, "hey, are you the Doug Morris who writes for enRoute?"

Sometimes I think I have an evil twin. :)))

Curious why you switched to WordPress to host your blog? I see your readership is 100 precent female. Must be that Dutch magnetism you have. LOL

Captain Doug "the enRoute guy"

Cedarglen said...

Doug: Yup! I'm with you. Never take it home and, in your case, the parking brake rules. In my former gig, it was 'reporting' for the benefit of those replacing me. Once done, walk (or run?) to the exit and never a thought until the next shifts or legs. While perhaps an imperfect solution, it does keep us balanced and profesionally isolated from the grind. If the mentioned FO was a smart one, he left his 'thump' on the runway and went home to his family as a happy camper and a great provider. As intersting as some of the details might be, sometimes, your filtering standards seem to work. Keep it going, please. -Craig (Cedarglen)

Captain Doug said...

Cedarglen (Craig). My f/o laughed it off. For me, it would eat at me a lot longer.

As I said before, landings are like golf shots, sometimes you wish you could do it again.

Craig R said...

Hiya Captain Doug,

Unfortunately you're quite right - passenger volumes being what they are, it doesn't make sense for AC to offer a direct flight from Toronto to Sarasota in the summer months. So, I hop a CRJ to Charlotte and connect with a Star Alliance partner. It's a little longer trip, but not too bad. Besides, the break will give me time to think up some good questions and hit a Starbucks on the way down.

AC really should work out a deal with Tim Hortons to upgrade the in-flight coffee. Especially on morning flights, it would be a real hit.

Captain Doug said...

Craig R.

I hear ya about Tim Horton coffee however as you know we use Second Cup.

Enjoy Sarasota

Christopher said...

A brass monkey was the brass plate on sailing ships of the line (Navy) on which the cannonballs were stacked. In cold weather the brass contracted and twisted out of shape so that the cannonballs ran off it. Hence "freeze the balls of a brass monkey".

Bas said...

Hey Captain D!
LOL! I'll think about some good questions, I have them every day (That's what you get when the aviation bug strikes) :) Who knows you might become famous one day! I switched to WordPress because it has a lot more to offer (for me) and I could install my own template. It's indeed almost 100% female so far, but I've added a register button and it's working :)

Love your blog :) (Maybe they can add the link in the EnRoute Magazine? lol!)


Hello Captain!

Nice pic!

The new Camera is working great I see! I won't ruin your trivia by commenting on "freeze the balls off a brass monkey" but thermal expansion, plus Barrett's Privateers is a clue!!! LOLOL....

Read the Enroute while I was " enroute " last week!

Great stuff.....

CAT III Approach in a Thunderstorm in YSJ......

Captain Doug said...

Christopher. You are "spot on!" Good for you.

Now do you know the one, "it's raining cats and dogs?"

Doug the weather guy

Captain Doug said...

Bas. I see you are posting almost daily. Don't burn yourself out and I hope your family is okay with things.

A register button? Is that similar to "blog followers?"

Keep up the great work!

Captain Doug said...


"Barrett's Privateers" brought a smile to my face. lol


LOL....I just saw that Christopher had already answered it :(

How about an aviation one?!

"Balls to the wall! "

Bet you know it.

CAT III Approach

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach. "Balls to the wall?"

Sorry, I don't know its origin, but this one sure brings up a joke I know.

But I better stop there. :)))



world war 1 I believe, when planes instruments were pretty primitive...so pilots knew what was level and straight, they hung metal balls off the yoke of the airplane...heavy metal ones...

when they went into a dive, the metal balls would hit the firewall...hence "balls to the wall!"

CAT III Approach


at least that's what someone told me once...made sense...

I've also heard it referenced to throttle levers, when pushed all the way forward....I guess the handles were round like balls?? not sure ....

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach. That's what I'm finding out, there tends to be more than "origin" to these idioms.

I'm a little confused when you said the balls would go to the firewall in a dive... if I pushed forward on the yoke to go in a dive...everything would move up and away from the firewall (i.e stick to the ceiling)...but
if I pulled back...the balls would move down and inward...

Your take?

Craig R said...

I had always thought "balls to the wall" referred to the knobs on the throttle levers being pushed far forward, right up to the firewall.

Raining cats and dogs has me stumped though. Gotta ponder that one some more.

Captain Doug said...

Craig. Think leaky roofs with cats and dogs in the rafters...slipping and falling....


that's why they pay you the big bucks....I didn't think about it too much but now that you point it out, that gravity thing would get in the way now, wouldn't it! :):) push forward, and the balls would go back for sure...hmmmmmmm.....the throttle thing makes the most sense now!

getjets said...

Well now, that your in Full Blown Senility......LOL....

Captain Doug,
You are WELCOME and I am honored to have a question in July's EnRoute!!!!!!
just takes too long to get it in my 'grimy little paws' but always worth the wait....

so where are the pics from the Birthday bash?????? you didn't drop your camera in the toilet...did ya...LOL

love the pic on this post...runway one!!
makes for a great desktop background...but I don't know if I am coming or going when I look at it....so what else is new.........ha ha

you are sounding good, and upbeat....see.... a few days without me....kidding...(i think)...love the "cloud nine" "balls to the walls", talk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

here's something....

the meaning of each letter in the word..... SHIT????????

so it's not REALLY a cuss word after all......APOLOGY PLEASE....LOL



Captain Doug said...

Getjets. The birthday bash was tame. Too tame!
My brother took me out for a few (actually more than a few) and "open book Doug"
got in trouble with "number one." I'll stop right there! LOL

The runway pic is the Air Canada's photographer. He does a fantastic job. Although it looks like the competition is landing.

S.H.I.T? Either it's "ship high in transit" or "smart handsome intelligent and talented?" LOL

I guess it's on the same playing field as who invented the toilet? (John Crapper).

But enough of this "potty" talk.

This blog is "G" rated.

Christer said...

Thanks again for putting my name in enRoute's lights this month Doug! Also glad to read at FlyerTalk that your column is not being replaced:)

Getjets (Elite commenter:))- thought of you as I passed over your head in and out of IAH on CO this weekend. Couldn't spot any bloomers though, will have to get a window seat and look harder next time:)

getjets said...

Captain Doug, this was a response from you, to CAT III Approach........maybe you should read it again...but SLOWER...................

Captain Doug said...

"CAT III Approach. That's what I'm finding out, there tends to be more than "origin" to these idioms.
(who you calling an IDIOT....)

I'm a little confused when you said the balls would go to the firewall in a dive... if I pushed forward on the yoke to go in a dive...everything would move up and away from the firewall (i.e stick to the ceiling)...but
if I pulled back...the balls would move down and inward..."

Your take?"

ok here's
my(getjets).....TAKE....THAT HAD TO HURT......
i hope your laughing.....

ps.... "flyertalk forum"....awesome reads.....

getjets said...

I am NOT Potty talking...............!!!!!
and you are right....SHIP HIGH IN TRANSPORT.....S.H.I.T.....THAT WAS EDUCATIONAL....

Thank you Christer....at least your still my friend....lol

back to aviation...
you old Fuddy Duddy....anyone see's my halo....rolling down the street...yea it's pretty banged up.....let it go...:))))))))))))))))

Captain Doug said...

Christer. Speaking of FlyerTalk, they invited anyone in the Toronto area July 21st to attend.


I'll be there with number one.

And yes, enRoute treated me very well over the years. Glad they still like me. :)))

Cedarglen said...

Doug and others: Somewhere in the very old neurons I knew the history of the "Freeze the balls..." thing. Sort of. The "Raining cats and dogs" has got be completly stumped. Since it happens 9.5 months of the year where I live, I cannot wait to learn the origin. I guess I've failed in the realm of 'simple' questions for enRoute, 'cause mine are often too complicated. I did try! I sent Doug a better one on the private chnl and he says that he will consider it. Thanks Captain Doug! Again, congrats to the enRoute question folks for July - it is FUN to note that ALL of the came via Doug's blog. Ya!! This is a fun little space. I'd also like to mention that BAS's and Foggy's blogs are fun stops as well. Safe and happy flying to all!

Captain Doug said...


I need you as my proofreader. LOL Actually, I did wonder what you were getting at but when you step back and think about it....yes, you have me laughing.

Well since we are in the gutter....

Here's that joke I held off posting on this "G" rated blog. :))))

STL approach: "United 283 best forward speed to the marker, you're number one."

United 283 (male): "Roger, balls to the wall."

STL approach: "American 132, you're number two behind a 737, follow him, cleared visual, best forward speed."

American 132 (female): "Well I can't do 'balls to the wall' but I can go 'wide open'."

-Radio silence-

Unknown Pilot (male): "Is American hiring?"

Captain Doug said...

Getjets. You and I have something in common.

This ole Fuddy Duddy also misplaced his halo.....


Captain Doug said...

Cedarglen. (Craig)

Thanks for putting BAS's and Foggy's blogs on the pedestal. They are both great people and love aviation.

I've seen your name on a few other blogs as well. You certainly make your rounds.

You obviously have the "bug" and I'm certain you keep all bloggers on their toes. :)

And yes, you sent some great questions about fuel on the "private channel."

getjets said...


An old sailor's myth that cats have sway over the weather. Feline meteorological magic,Ah...Captain(Met Man)...is that your secret weapon....LOL.....

coupled with a symbolic association of storms(My secret weapon).... with dogs, may be the genesis for the phrase.....gotta be some truth with this

IAH on the CO.....wish I had known...:))))))))))

remember the first rule here...OK the fifth rule)first 5 already broke( me(

here on Captain Doug's blog....

no reply please....just too frightening...besides keep it simple....already know what it might be like without you.....so forgive me for the zillioneth time....SERIOUS...^j^

time to be quiet...and just listen....ME...

getjets said...

Captain, first of all this is not a brand new comment.....lol
this is the an extension of my first 400 comments today.....OK...

I wish, I wish I had know that balls to the walls joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!first
Is that really true??????

and while we at the 'hellbound PG-13' rating.....

did you or did you not have a complete POST aimed at(ok, bad word) the toilet....and how much it cost to replace all 10 potty's in your house...????? don't make me go back in the archives.....

If I make you smile...and your people thats all that matters....

besides winning the lottery

Bas said...

Hey Cedarglen, Thank You :) Glad you're enjoying!


Craig said...


Just your ordered your book for some reading material next week en route to NYC. Between that and two Just Places AC DVD's, I should have plenty to do on that long car ride (yes, car ride...how lame).

- Craig M

Captain Doug said...

Craig M. Enjoy the read! It's true a plane ride would be more fun, but hey, you are off to New York, New York. :)))

Captain Doug

P.S Thanks for buying my book!