!!!!! 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.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Anticipation with pending thunderstorms

They say we are our worst enemies. And that goes for a pilot waiting in anticipation for their perpetual flight tests, first company medical, ride conditions with pending thunderstorms, landing in inclement weather and "annual route checks." I found out Monday morning I'd be heading out on Wednesday for a three day route check. I knew 'of' the "check pilot" but never flew nor had been "checked" by him. He turned out to be a great guy and the anticipation soon waned.

The first day proved super long...flying to Vancouver and then dead head to Calgary. (The second leg was subbed to an Embraer) But while deadheading we were drafted to fly back to Toronto. I went with the game plan thinking I would have the needed the requirements to fulfill my route check.

Deemed safe and "running a great show" I thought I would be set free. Nope, the checker stayed another two days, but in theory the route checked was signed off. But you can't let down your hair. And as of late, that is harder and harder to do. :))))

Today saw us flying to Halifax. But as we completed the flight deck checks for Montreal crew sked wanted us to ferry a flight back to Halifax. Once in Montreal we flight planned for Halifax but at the last minute we ferried an empty airplane to Toronto.

Again the three day pairing went very well. Too bad the anticipation in being checked is always there.


Henry said...

Hi Captain Doug,

I hope you get some good rest after the route check.

I'm wondering, why do airline companies ferry an empty flight when they can use it as a charter?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that everything went well. :)

Get some well deserved rest...and a date square, while you're at it.

Captain Doug said...

Thanks Anon. I do love date squares. Then again, I like Pecan pie as well. :)))

Captain Doug said...


We were asking the same thing. We have hourly Rapidair flights from Montreal to Toronto and yet we ferried an empty plane void of passengers, flight attendants and cargo. All they boarded were two snacks for us.

I've given up asking questions. :)))

Anonymous said...

pecan pie is the new date square...

Captain Doug said...


I do have a sweet tooth, however, I now have a pending medical. I hope I don't have to do blood work this time or the triglycerides will be up. In fact, a "motherly" flight attendant handed us two dark chocolate bars each this morning.

Temptation is everywhere...food wise....

Delta Dave said...

Thanks Doug...if you're in LAX on the 19th, I'm buying...as far as the logic of the ferry flight goes, I think the big picture is in the vault with the Coke formula, and you know how many people have seen that...:-/

Captain Doug said...

Delta Dave.

The 19th I am on vacation the company threw at me. I have some to burn off. They also gave me more for November. Never when I need it. :)))

I'm told I get the "big picture" when I retire...or is it a watch? :)))

Yes, it's equivalent to the Cole formula, KFC's secret spice, or how they get the caramel in the Caramilk Bar.

igloocoder said...

Hey Capt.

Good to run into you on the YHZ-YUL leg yesterday. I was wondering why you were paired with a 4 stripes instead of a 3 when I dropped by the cockpit.

carlton said...

Congrats on route check. I know the feeling of not being able to let your hair down - we had inspectors in last week : S -although still not quite the same as being assessed flying an airliner with a hundred people (or cookies) on board - did you manage to work the oven on this empty sector? ; )

Great picture of thunhdrecloud, although they are a challenge to aviation, they are beautiful, I have put it on as my background picture.

Henry said...

I guess it is the opposte of Chinese airlines... They make sure people ride on the flights, and they make sure the flight is completely FULL. I really don't get it, some of the routes with the fewest people are always FULL. I've never been on an empty Chinese plane before. They code share with like a million airlines.

Cedarglen said...

Route Checks: We're happy to hear that they are over and that you are deemed safe for another year. Ha! You can always pull a Captain Doug on them and 'allow' the Check AIrman, flying as FO to fly as many legs as he wishes. Strange, but I don't think that will 'fly.'
Yes, it would be great to see you folks convert to iPad charts etc. If so, would you still carry a few essentials in hard copy?
-Craig (of Cedarglen)

Captain Doug said...


I did pull a "captain" on him and offered an extra leg yesterday. He graciously accepted because he was a little rusty landing in the right seat. (ahem)
Again, checkers are dual qualified, but they are not superhuman.

And he admitted it after a couple of landings. His first in Vancouver was a greaser so I thought... maybe these guys are "superhuman." LOL

The B777 has been operating with a EFB (electronic flight bag) for quite some time. At first everything was backed up. I'm not sure where they are now.
I must ask my good friend who is right seat on the bird.

Captain Doug said...


I'm glad to see enRoute recruited you for the frequent flyer page!

You have a sharp eye... the other guy did have four stripes. He is a "check pilot," "check airman" or "supervisor pilot."

He was there making sure Captain Doug stuck to the script...and apparently I do. :)))

I hope your flights to Frankfurt and Prague, Czech Republic were good.

And enjoy that super elite status!

Captain Doug said...

Carlton. The sector was only an hour so we didn't have time to rummage in the back. :)

Thanks about the pic. I tried to capture the aircraft coming at us. But the new digital cameras don't have view finders so when the target has a closure rate of 1000 mph it tends to be a little difficult. That's my excuse. :)))

Captain Doug said...

Henry. Our load factors are setting records. But sometimes an airplane has to be repositioned immediately. There is no time to fill it and crew it. So I'm told.

The pilot I flew with said he ferried an A340 from New Delhi, India to Toronto, Canada with no passengers and no cargo. It's a 14 to 15 hour flight.

Maybe I should have stood outside the airport and sold some tickets "on the side."

"Psst, Psst, hey buddy...want to fly to Toronto really cheap?"


New Delhi ungloaded....without cargo too?

ok...devil's advocate here.....

what's the fuel burn difference sans about 20,000 lbs plus? does that make the perceived losses easier to justify the ferry?

Bas said...

Heya Captain!

Phew! Must be a little different than usual with a check airman! Would love to see you getting an iPad hehehe... (Talking about Steve Jobs :( )

I also had a huge amount of pageviews on my website! I think it's those search engine bots visiting websites to get updated information & pingbacks. (Or you were attacked lol)

Take care!

Captain Doug said...

CAT III Approach.

It's a funny way of doing business...I agree.

A case in point, I taxied on one engine to the Toronto gate yesterday only to wait five minutes while the "rampies" did their stroll to the airplane. So did I save any fuel? Nope.

It's the games we play.

Henry said...

LOL!!! WOW! New Delhi! I wonder what happened? Aren't flights to Asia go and back flights? What happened to the return flight? ;/

You should sell to me! LOL No food, no food for service, no flight attendants so if emergency happens, own responsibility. 20 dollars! LOL

The other problem about Chinese airlines is because the shortage of aircraft in the airline companies, the aircraft have no time to turn around if they are late. Also, since ground delay is popular in China, you have flights combining with different airline companies, etc.

In China, 50% of the time, you have to worry about getting to your destination on time. But the good thing about Chinese pilots are that they are REALLY GOOD at the touchdown, you almost don't feel anything! Also, their tickets are really cheap... ;P Cheaper than the train I believe.

How are the load factors like for the CYYZ-CYVR route usually?

Captain Doug said...

Bas. Thanks for the "pageview" feedback. Yes, it looks like it's "Google" originated.

They are at it again today. Over 2000 views so far today. That's three days in a row.

Maybe I should monetize the site? LOL

Captain Doug said...

Henry, that was the return flight...from New Delhi.

The load factors on the Toronto-Vancouver flights are very high. In fact, the load factors are up on every sector.

The glitch in the last few days...airport security in Toronto has been playing games causing delays of up to 2 to 3 hours.

Cedarglen said...

Hello again Doug. No clue from here about the increased page hits, but I was about to suggest the possibility of 'feelers' from Google or others. You beat me to it. With your blog site's normal traffic, sure you could monetize it. That might make Number One a bit happier. Sadly, you'd have almost zero control over what ads appeared and I think your leadership might have some issues... Best avoided if possible. You've visited this before and I know that it is a tough choice. I hope t hat you remain 'virgin' as long as possible. Regards,
-Craig (Cedarglen)

Delta Dave said...

Darn..I'll be in Orlando on the 25th...it will work out some day and would be the first time in my career I bought a round for a pilot...LOL
A good day in the air today, off to SFO and back in the morning. Ahhh, the glamor!

Paul [Daniel] Asuncion said...

Picture of the Day [Saturday, October 8, 2011]

Thanks for posting our Hotel photo, Doug. Funny thing. Looking at this picture, it's hard to believe that
I'm 6 ft 5...

Henry said...

By the way, about your previous picture of the day, I have all the charts of Canada and US on my iPad :D Unfortunately, some are outdated;/

I guess Air Canada uses Jeppesen instead of Canada Air Pilot, right?

Captain Doug said...

Henry. A few years ago, Air Canada had their own print shop and printed Air Canada charts. Some companies used them as well.

But we have now gone to Jeppeson. I don't think CAP (Canada Air Pilot) publishes International charts.

Henry said...

Oh, I use CAP just for Canadian. I use GLOBALNAVSOURCE for the US charts.

Printing your own charts! I guess the charts used to have the ACA logo on it? I'd rather have those than Jeppesen... LOL

What happened to the Print Shop then?

Captain Doug said...


Yes, everything had the Maple LeaF stamped on it.

What happened? We went into a recession, the company went into bankruptcy protection and the shop got the axe.

Pure economics. :)

Captain Doug said...


LOL. I remember you asking, "did this picture make me look taller?"

Nice to have met up with ya!

Captain Doug said...

Delta Dave.

And yes, that would be a first about buying the round. But some of us pilots aren't that bad. Really!

Sounds like you like those "productive" transcons.

I'm looking forward to a long layover there (SFO) at the end of the month.

Henry said...

Aw... Man...

I'd love to see a 15-point maple leaf with a circle around it on LESTR7 or GIRAF2. That would be AWESOME!! That is so sad T_T

I finally got my Airbus A320 and A330 to work on my flight simulator without the computer crashing. By the way, what temperature do you usually flex the engines when taking off?

Henry said...

One more question, how come the winds are blowing south at around 70 knots these days in Canada?

Anonymous said...

Daniel! So good to see you!!! :)

I enjoy seeing pics of the blog followers...

Yes, Daniel, Your 6'5" frame can get eclipsed by Doug's larger than life persona. ;) (and that head...)

Captain Doug said...

Henry....flex temps are predicated on weight, runway, winds, MEL restrictions, ambient temperatures, barometric pressure, etc.
They can range from around 30 to 70 degrees C.
The flex temperature can not be the same or less than the outside temperature or you will be reminded of it on the take off roll.

Instead of me monetizing my site I should be charging a dollar for each Airbus question. LOL

Captain Doug said...


Those southerly winds are bringing warmer than seasonal temperatures in my area.
We are having gorgeous weather because of them. :)

Captain Doug said...

Anon. You're right.... my head is disproportionally large....I am amazed there is a hat to to fit. :)))

Sorry Daniel....

I'll remove my "big head" soon....

Anonymous said...

On the pic in yhz .Where is your red acpa landyard Skipper ?

Captain Doug said...

Anon. Good question about my ACPA lanyard!

But I know if I used it I would forget it either at home or in the hotel room. I like my pass clipped to my tunic.

Glad to see someone from ACPA is looking out for me. :)))))

Captain Doug said...


I think people's names are scattered about the internet more than we think. It's part of doing business. I guess you could always post as anon?
We'll figure out who it is in no time flat. :)))))

And it's true, my blog is wide open. I figure when it's start to have filters, passwords, etc it will be time to close up shop. But like you said, the blog has a "mature audience." And the bond is aviation!

As far as fuel, it's the largest expenditure for any airline. Ways of fine tuning things are always being concocted. But safety overalls any
"bean counters" calculations. I am not one to ask for more fuel unless my meteorological senses are tingling. For four years as captain, I have
not had an issue. Sure there's been some tighter than normal situations, but it always worked out. Remember, you could fly with full tanks
but if the airport is below limits or the runway is closed you will end up going to the alternate no matter how much fuel you have.

Thanks for your well written comments.

Henry said...

LOL! I ask too many questions m(_ _)m

By the way, do you know what m(_ _)m means? It's a very Japanese symbol...

Good weather! Awww... I AM HOMESICK!!! Thanksgiving!! ;( Tomorrow is a public holiday in Japan, but I want the Turkey! I want the stuffing!

Someone told me to have Chicken Teriyaki and think that I'm having turkey :/

I am simming in Canada these days because I AM JUST HOMESICK! Haven't been home for almost 2 years!!!

Captain Doug said...

Henry. m(_ _)m ? My apologies?

It's good to be inquisitive but it does take up some time on my end. "Number one" gets upset now and again. :)))

Sorry to hear about your homesickness. Where did you live in Canada?
I won't mention about the turkey aroma making it's way through my house.
I, and most of Canada, will be taking on way too many calories in the next couple of days.

Because of it, and the gorgeous weather we are getting, it's time for a rare jog around the neighbourhood.

Enjoy the public holiday tomorrow and hopefully you will see Canada soon.

Captain D readying for a huge calorie intact. :)))

Henry said...

Hi Captain Doug,
Bingo!! Doesn't that symbol look like a Japanese man bowing down?

I lived in Toronto near Finch and Warden facing North. I used to watch planes using binoculars far away doing the WASIE2 and the MANS3... I wonder what's the difference?

Happy Thanksgiving to you! I sure hope I can spend my next Thanksgiving in my hometown.

Gone simming and listening to Classical 96.3FM

Captain Doug said...

Henry. You'll be back.

Just found out the flight attendants voted down their contract. Should be interesting at work...once again...

Craig said...


I'm like 95% sure I saw this same A320 wit the white nose on your blog one time, but can't find the post. Here it is today at YOW. Nice colours starting to come in.


Craig M


interesting work week indeed......

good news....I fly home Tuesday....

bad news.... supposed to go to US with my wife Friday morn.....

Happy Thanksgiving all!

CAT III Approach

Henry said...

Aw... I hope they don't strike... What will happen if they do so? Managers serving on flights? Non-union workers only? Asking other companies to fly the code share flights ACA flies?

Would love to be in Canada for the next Thanksgiving, but I am anticipating that the next one will be in the States. I found out today is "Sports Day" in Japan but I'm not doing any sports...

Dave W said...

It's certainly true that many traditions of Canada and your cousins in the south have made it across the pond, one that hasn't is Thanksgiving which is a shame because I for one wouldn't mind putting my feet up and stuffing turkey etc....!

That doesn't stop me wishing you all a good 'un!

Regards to all and Happy Thanksgiving.

Dave from the UK

Captain Doug said...

Craig M.

Yes, I think someone asked about having "different" parts on an airplane. I mentioned there are planes with parts painted in the competition's livery. Nice shot near the button of 25. Lots of airplane spotters, along with families and lurkers are seen there. :)))

Captain Doug said...

CAT III aproach. I'm out the door soon for a four day mission so I could potentially be right in the thick of things.

As the saying goes, "we live in interesting times." :)

Captain Doug said...

Dave W. But look at the calories you are not eating.
Overindulgence comes to mind. It's right up there with Christmas. :)))

But thanks for the "Happy Thanksgiving!"

Captain Doug said...


All your questions you already answered. All of the above will happen. But things will still go off the rails.

Sports day? Well go and kick a ball around or throw a baseballl. Just don't put the ball through the neighbour's window. ha ha
You should have brought a hockey stick with you. You would be talk of the town! :)))

Cheer up. I'll post the pic you sent as "pic of the day."

Doug about to head to the "wet" coast via Calgary. :)))

Paul [Daniel] Asuncion said...


Thank you for being glad to see me. [Not everybody is, you know!]

And yes, Capt. Doug's brain is like a muscle in peak condition. His brain knows how to do so many things: fly an A320, build a house, and of course, beer math. [I assume the math is done before the beer]

Captain Doug said...

Daniel. LOL.

The beer math is ALWAYS done before the beer. A case in point, I'm in Vancouver for the night and quick calculations determined "next time" for the beer. Truth be told, the math is really good for the next night. :))))