!!!!! 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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Just "plane" people

I've been getting lots of links to this WAR (World Air Route) "Just planes" video on Air Canada's A320 fleet.

So why wasn't I in this video....is the question asked???? Just because I write for enRoute, have a book, (sold two last night at FL 380), give presentations and talks on behalf of AC, answer to the PR department, teach weather to the new hires, and command their A320 on average 75 to 85 hours a month....I am NOT management nor a supervisor.

I'm just seniority number 1171 bidding 194 out of 382 Toronto based A320 captains. A nobody with a blog. :(((

But keep in mind these guys and one girl did a GREAT JOB!!!! Really!!! And yes all of them are supervisors and management (except maybe the female F/O) who are all junior to me. No I am not sore. Again, I approached this production company, but they stipulated the fleet manager picks the pilots. That's fair.

Everyone loves talking about their job and this unequivocally pertains to pilots. There would have been a line up to do that video. And besides, these guys were better looking and articulated very well! lol

Sometimes I wonder why I do what I do. Tomorrow I will be teaching a class of new hires weather for five hours on a holiday! (I had to bid the day off) No one else is teaching except for me. I am not really impressed, especially when I am host to visiting relatives.

As a lark, I checked the schedules of these junior supervisors. Either they are on vacation or have the long weekend off.

My Toronto bound flight is scheduled in near Midnight meaning I walk in the door at 1:00 a.m and my course starts 9: 00 a.m. But wait, crew sked just called me here in San Francisco and my flight is now 45 minutes delayed. That's 45 airline minutes. Translation...I won't be waking up my visiting relatives until 2:30 a.m or so.

Yes, sometimes I wonder why I do what I do. And "number one" repetitively asks the same question. Big time! LOL


Anonymous said...

You do what you do...because you love it. Because you are generous with your time, your knowledge, your passion. Because you know that through giving, you receive a greater satisfaction.

I don't think you should change who you are...and I'm sure others feel the same. :)

Captain Doug said...

Anon. I think you are on to something!

Now if I can just convince someone I live with the same thing. :)

Many believe giving should come with remuneration. Tell Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Mandela, and the "volunteer" world that one! LOL

Captain Doug delayed in SFO

P.S Thanks for the pep talk. :)

Bas said...

You do what you do...and you're doing it good! You are THE inspirational source for someone like me and I bet there are tons of more people who appreciate what YOU do! Running this blog is, as seen in your post, just one of the things you do. You are reaching loads of people and I think you deserve a big THANK YOU for that!

Too bad you weren't chosen to be part of the film, would've been so cool :(

I hope you're out of SFO now,


Jim said...

Captain Doug, We had a writer for the Atlanta Journal named Lewis Grizzard who wrote a daily column as well as several books that were well sold. Unfortunately he passed in his late fourties of heart trouble.
I was amazed that he only realized in his last days how many people cared about him.
I personally feel that you are a lot more lucky than him because you have your family and many readers of this blog who appreciate your daily efforts.
Being in the WAR DVD would be have been a nice feather in your cap but I suspect you are leaving your own legacy as you go through your life.
And as a P.S. you are right that the pilots who particapated in the DVD did a nice job.

Cedarglen said...

Captain Doug: Ouch! In the end, we do not always get what we believe is a fair return on our investments of time and energy. We manage to maintain our passions and contributions and simply do without. Even wehn the return is not quite perfect, know that you have friends and, as a smaller set, a group of student pilots who look up to you and your experience. The blog and your other efforts are really to support them, not to entertain the rest of us. In my view, you are on the right track and excatly where you need to be. (I suspect that Number One knows it as well.) Keep on keeping on, knowing that your efforts are appreciated, but you owe us nothing. Regards, -Craig

PeterC said...

Well Capt. Doug I see your flight plan is using those 50K-70K winds so you will probably wake the guests before 2:30. Long time follower but first commenter.


Hello Captain tail wind!

LOL...just checking out flight aware....513 KTS and I believe that's you? I'm sure it is...the flight plan line hasn't had much deviation! BTB :)

Well sir....there's two arguments here or schools of thought....

I for one appreciate your blog effort as do all here....we have learned and we have been inspired. This is a hobby you yourself clearly enjoy and it shows in your posts and your responses. Getting paid for it would be nice, I'm sure easier to justify to #1 the time it takes to post if you were, but for yourself, certainly hasn't been your motivation from day one, which speaks entirely to your character and love for mentoring aviation nuts! In addition, there is no other website that promotes AC more....even their own website doesn't do the company justice as much as this website DOES! hmmmmm....I let the powers that be read that statement and form their own opinion of what I'm getting at....

As for the weather teaching, I'm going to go out on a limb and say I hope you're getting paid EXTRA for that given your meteorology and flight experience...if not, you absolutely should be! I'm certain your teaching is second to none, with experienced examples to back up each subject, and for AC, that means they get top notch pilots who can make safe decisions because they are better informed, instructed, trained and prepared because of yourself. One correct decision in the flight deck from experienced instruction pays for itself in droves compared to making the wrong one. That, my friend, is worth something. Your job is to keep thousands of people safe in the air by imparting knowledge....there's a reason why AC is voted world wide as one of the top safety....why passengers like me fly AC exclusively ( up to $26,000 a year from just myself in revenue alone ) why others on this blog do the same.....THE PILOTS ARE THE BEST BECAUSE THE INSTRUCTORS ARE THE BEST...PERIOD.

That's my rant Captain Doug.

Safe flight....

CAT III Approach

Captain Doug said...

Peter! Welcome.

It's 1:45 a.m and i just walked in the door after dodging thunderstorms across the United States. In fact, we just snuck in Toromto.
I drove home in some good showers...the ones I dodged.

I better get some rest...7:30 a.m comes early. Funny, the amount of money I make teaching for five hours I can make in less than an hour and a half
flying and I can eat cookies and ice cream at FL 390 while doing it. LOL

I have some great pics of thunderstorms and weather radar to show them. My Powerpoint will be hot off the press. How cool is that?

Captain Doug the thunderstorm dodger and soon to be thunderstorm teacher.

Brett.Wingerter said...

Wait so air Canada gives out ice cream now? Anyways Doug if your looking for something different you can always take a shift for me at Tim hortons and I can fly your airbus LOL.

Craig said...


You should open up a Flickr account to show your images.

Craig M


Good yaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn morning Captain sleepy......lol

Just looking at Pete's pic....hmmmm...maybe an Enrouter....have you ever had this one??

What are the "little shark fins" on the roof of the airplanes?? I see the Boeing and the Airbus both have them. I could guess but that wouldn't be any fun :)

CAT III Approach



GREAT shot by the way!

Captain Doug said...

CAT III approach. Good morning.
The "little shark fins" are antennas. I bet there are at least ten or more scattered over the airplane but not all of them are "fins."

Grumpy Captain Doug

P.S Just posted some of the "Cumulus Buggers" I dodged last night for "picture of the day."

I would have taken a better second picture but my camera's battery died. :((((


COOL CB pic!!!!!!!...probably literally cool at the top! lol......

doesn't look nearly as scary on the radar.....well....maybe it does...awfully red in the center :P


should have plugged it into the 12 V Power Point in your dash.....LOL....

did you order that option for your Airbus... :)

Go get a coffee....and if I ever run into you in YYZ I'll buy a Timmies for you!

Tired from night shift CAT III Approach


ps....tonight on the simulator, I have made over 1100 inputs in the DCS....how about you last night??

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach. Good observation. Let's just say, "red your dead" comes to mind. Thank gawd for weather radar.

We were about 21 miles off course.


the "mushroom head" on that storm is very wide and flat.....neat stuff.

how close could you get to that if you had to?

red you're dead....nuff said ..... instead of red your radar should light up a skull and cross bones.

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach. The mushroom head is due to the thunderstorm penetrating the tropopuase into the stratosphere. Our flight plan stated the "trop"
was 44,000 feet meaning that baby was pushing 48,000 to 50,000 feet. Can you say hail?

You would learn all this stuff if you sat in my class this morning. LOL

We must stay 20 miles away from these "monsters." And yes, Air France 447 frequently comes to mind when I dodge these "convective graveyards."


well, if you have an extra seat, I'll gladly sit in and listen! Hail .... at that height I'm sure large ice cubes could be made! mmmmmmm cold ice equals cold beer........sorry....off track

I'm sure AF447 does sit at the forefront of your thoughts while staring that thing down....

too bad your bus couldn't push 60,000 ft.

Dave W said...

Hi Capt Doug,

I love my job - its not the best job in the world or the best paid (by a long chalk) and I guess a high proportion of those reading your great blog would rather be flying for a living.

I took redundancy in 2009 (I think you call it furlough)and spent 3 months working as a postman - that's another great job, if only it paid a decent sum as I was on garden leave.

Anyhow, my old firm rehired me when they realised the error of their ways last year with my having had a wonderfully mixed year out of the business I had been in since my teens (I'm now in my forties)

Now I am back I find it quite funny when my colleagues who were not brave enough to rely on their skills out there in the big wild world gripe about not getting this allowance or that type of company car etc, etc.

So I guess what I am trying to say is - we all have off days, we wouldn't be human otherwise, I'm sure today that smile we all recognise is back on your face as you look back on your post and think "did I really feel like that?" so you're allowed a bitch.

And if it gives us an opportunity to remind you of all the pleasure you provide to a great number with your tales of work (and back yard!) then I am happy to oblige - keep up the great work Captain.

I do have a question, didn't you mention something about an opportunity to move over to the Boeings in an earlier post or am I wide of the mark?

All the best to you and your contributers,

Dave from the UK

Andy said...

I noticed they didn't show any of the touchdowns when management was flying. Maybe they didn't want to show the rust getting shaken loose?

Foggy said...

Bl**dy H*ll Doug, that TS looks like a brute of a thing. I wouldn't want to get anywhere near that, especially underneath! I wonder how much rain it was kicking out?

On the video, they're probably saving the best for the "new, upcoming" Air Canada B787 - we can all dream and hope for best, can't we? ;)

Some interesting comments on AF447 - some UK papers are "blaming the pilots"! FlightGlobal and Aviation Week are, however, reporting that there was/is a gap in the training regime in that manual handling at altitude is not covered in the initial type convert or further sim training! If that's the case, the "pilot's" would not at blame and, there is a huge gap in the Training Needs Analysis - TNA!

Dave W - congrats on getting your job back; I know how you feel!!

Regards / Foggy

PS Thanks for your kind words over on my blog - debrief to follow...

Cedarglen said...

Nice Pic of the day, Capt. Doug. A handsome thing to be sure, but I like to execute a wide go-around. I hope today's class goes well.


so I'll bite.....why was the coffin corner so wide? Dense air at FL 370?

Does the tailwind have an effect on the widening of the corner?

CAT III Approach

Captain Doug said...


Yes, cookies and ice cream is part of the service in "J" class on the transcon flights.
That's my toughest decision, "cookies or no cookies."

Brett. You want me to give up my job which pays zillions of dollars (so says the public), which comes with a "chick magnet" uniform (so says the public)
and give up having a "friend" in every port (so says the public) to work for Tim Hortons that comes with unlimited coffee???? DEAL!!!!! LOL

Captain Doug said...

Craig M. That's a great idea! A flicker account.

I'll put that on my "to do" list.


Captain Flickr lol

Captain Doug said...

Dave W (from the UK)

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I will eventually move over to the Boeing fleet. As of now, the bigger the airplane the bigger the pay cheque. Sometime this August I will hit "10,000 hours" on the Airbus and i joke I am getting "Airbus Alzheimers" meaning it's time to move on.

Rumour has it there will be an equipment bid coming out this month so I have my fingers crossed. But realistically it won't happen until the B787 appears on the radar (last quarter of 2013).

Again, thanks for your insight.

Captain Doug

Captain Doug said...

Andy. LOL. I guess it is easy to be critical. I noticed there was a lot of "stirring the pot" with the joystick on the Bermuda approach.

"Stirring the pot" is an Airbus term meaning over controlling. We are taught to treat the joystick gingerly. Actually, there are a few jokes as to how
we should treat the "joystick" but I'll stop there...they are dirty.....

Captain Doug said...

Foggy. I flew around a few "brutes" that night. They are "airway bullies." They rule and the only way to deal with these bullies is to avoid them...at all costs.
I know...easier said than done....

There is a lot of "stuff" stemming from AF447. Another is these guys have to come off their "high horse." A few have alluded to the fact they thought they stood above the rest.
Funny...I didn't think pilots thought that way....LOL...LOL

There are new stall recoveries because of this. It's no longer "getting the nose down" and setting "balls to the wall power" but now it's think.... "attitude."

There was a lot going on in that flight deck...my heart goes out to those guys...

Captain Doug said...

Cedarglen (Craig)

Finished the class and what a great bunch. When I walk into the class (the largest yet...20 bright pilots) for some reason I envy them.
For one thing they sure are looking younger. LOL

Rumour has it the next class will be another 20 pilots. Most of them will be flying the Embraer out of Toronto with a handful "cruising" on the B767.

After four hours of sleep it started catching up after hour four of teaching.

I came home to a post "50" birthday party with visiting relatives. The beverages sure hit their mark. lol

I'm glad I'm part of the "new hire" process. They are all going to do well.


P.S I have to come up with a quick replacement question/answer for enRoute. They ditched one at the last minute so I will be using a modified "fuel" question from you.

Captain Doug said...

Hi Bas. I see you got a new camera. Nice!

Yes, SFO is done. Teaching is done. And my post birthday party is done.

I might be taking a class of student pilots to Air Canada's flight dispatch centre, but I have visiting relatives so I have to juggle things.
I owe them a tour but time is zooming by.

Rumour has it you are getting a nice post "birthday gift." (Don't ask how I know) LOL

You'll have to take a picture of it with that new camera of yours...and I'll post it.

Captain Doug said...

Jim. Well put! Well put indeed!

I won't say anything further...but... "thanks for your kind words."

Captain Doug

Dave W said...

Just had a chance to watch the video - I love it at 2.47 where, presumably over the Landing Zone the automated callout says "Retard, Retard, Retard" can't help thinking sparky's giving an assessment of the pilot's flying abilities! I'm sure if Capt Doug were flying we would hear "Good Job, Good Job, Good Job"! That's how your brain works when you've been brought up on a diet of Monty Python I guess.

CAT III, apologies for my ignorance but what does the acronym DCS stand for?

Kind Retards to one and all (oops, I mean Regards!)

Dave from the UK


Good morning DaveW...No apologies at all! We're here to learn!

DCS stands for Distributed Control System in Honeywell terms.....I'm a Process Operations Controls trainer...think "Homer Simpson" LOL

and I thought the same about the flare call...you're not alone!! :)
Maybe it was because of all of side stick moves?!?! LOLOL....

CAT III Approach

Captain Doug said...

Dave W. I too used to joke with that phrase "retard" when I gave aviation talks. Maybe I watched too much Monty Python as well? LOL

Thanks for asking what DCS stood for. :)

Looks like CAT III explained it. :)

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach.

The coffin corner is "wide" because the aircraft was getting lighter as we burned fuel.

When we departed from San Fran we had to get over the "tops" about 45 minutes out. The airplane said it could do FL 370 but barely.
I had to decide whether bouncing on the tops at FL 350 was worth it or try to lumber up to FL 370.

Finally, we had enough of the light chop and slowly climbed to 370.

Wind does not really have much effect although everything is predicated on the angle of attack. Generally we sit at 2.5 degrees nose up.

Brett.Wingerter said...

Hey Doug, like your picture that was taken in Sidney, did you get your multi ifr at the Victoria flying club? That's where I'm taking my flying lessons, also, they have a great restaurant!

Cedarglen said...

Hi Doug. AC is fortunate to have you as part of the new hire faculty! Best of luck trimming my fuel question to fit your enRoute space, but I know you are up to it. -Craig

Captain Doug said...

Brett. I took my Multi-IFR with the competition, Juan Air. Not sure if they exist or not?