Flight plan

To wish you were up there...then to achieve it...trumps everything...
Captain D

......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! :)))))

If for any reason you have an issue found within, send an email and I will rectify it. [email protected]

Again, this blog is for aviation enthusiasts so welcome aboard!!!

My style...

My Style

Even though my writing comes off as lighthearted and carefree when dealing with aviation issues, one can rest assured the "T"s are crossed and the "I"s dotted when it comes to weather, safety and maintenance issues. If I wrote in a stoic style my blog would turn into an aviation manual. And who would read that?
.... gone flying..........

YYZ 05

YYZ 05
"Pic of the day" sent in by Craig R landing on runway 05 (Toronto)

Runway 05

Like Craig R, I landed on runway 05 at 10:00 p.m last night during a route check. I was suppose to stay in Calgary for the night. Even though I work in the most regulated industry I know, it sure is dynamic.
Yesterday, one of my flights was subbed to an Embraer, so I deadheaded and then once deadheading we were drafted to fly to Toronto.

Can anyone guess what that yellow hook like device on the wing is?

Gone flying again....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October's enRoute is up....

B777 Wing

I should be studying for my pending three day annual "route check" tomorrow. But what I am doing? Blogging.... :) 
And as discussed, keen eyed Bas from the Netherlands noticed I wrote "racked" instead of "raked" regarding the B777's wings. OOPS on my part. 

Why aren’t there winglets on the Boeing 777?
Leon Lau, Calgary, Alberta
The Boeing 777 has the largest wingspan in our fleet at 212 feet. But manoeuvring on the ground requires close attention because an aircraft’s winglets bend out a little, and engineers have noted other inherent issues with large winglets. So, Boeing decided to build a wing with a larger surface area and give it a unique twist near the end (this is called a “racked raked wing”), which performs the same function as winglets.
At what speed is your A320 aircraft travelling when its wheels touch the ground?
Angie Martin, Montréal, Québec
Airspeed varies according to parameters such as aircraft type, flap setting, weight (the heavier the faster), temperature, atmospheric pressure, icing conditions, etc. For many aircraft types, a pilot consults tables to determine the ideal approach speed, but on the airliner I fly – and as with most modern airliners – the airplane does the calculating. For my Airbus A320, typical speeds at touchdown are 120 to 140 knots (nautical miles per hour), about twice as fast as driving on a major highway.
How is the amount of fuel determined for a flight?
Craig Carlton, Deadwood, Oregon
Flight dispatch’s sophisticated flight-planning software calculates fuel burns to within 100 kilograms by considering such factors as weight, winds, altitudes, routing and weather. Even the cost of flying through a country’s airspace is considered. Fuel amount is then calculated to fly to a specific destination with a planned alternate airport. Sometimes this Plan B airport is dropped, but very stringent rules apply. Extra fuel needed for potential air traffic control delays, deicing, taxiing, avoidance of thunderstorms and turbulence, plus reserve fuel and extra contingency fuel, all enter the equation.


Foggy said...

Good morning Doug,

Three days of Route Check? I'll e-mail you :O)

Some good questions again. Two supplementary questions, if I may:

What is your normal descent rate just at the point of tire contact with the ground?

Also, do you still get "Captain's discretionary fuel" for particularly challenging circumstances? Your recent "hop, skip, jump" to KLGA comes to mind.

Cheers for now / Foggy

Henry said...

Hi Captain Doug,

It is 12 o'clock at night here... LOL

I have a question. For the V1, VR and V2, do you refer to tables or does the FMC/MCDU calculate for you? I saw a video of ANA pilots referring to this small booklet for the A320. How about you?

One more thing I saw about jumpseating. What are the requirements for jumpseating? I always thought if I were to actually go out there and get a commercial pilot's license, do you think I can jumpseat on a flight if it is overbooked or something? I read something like that on airliners.net

Captain Doug said...

Foggy. Good morning.

I'm not quite sure what the descent rate is right at touchdown. I imagine one or two feet per few seconds...if that.
As you know we are both looking out by then and not paying much attention to the instruments inside.
Sometimes I do look at the radar altimeter to see where "touch down" occurs for the F/O but that varies a little as well.

It also depends if we float a little or if it's a "get on, get off" landing like those in LaGuardia.

Yup, three days for a route check and seven legs.
I feel loved. :))))))

And yes, there is most definitely captain's discretionary fuel. But you better be armed with a good reason. :)))))

Bas said...

Interesting! That pic of that Triple Seven wing...looks like fully extended flaps way too early or is that just me? :P

Grammar B!tch over and out :)

Captain Doug said...

Henry. We used to carry charts but now we receive take off data via datalink.

The jumpseat rules have changed immensely. But it also varies from airline to airline.
Only our pilots and flight attendants (and JAZZ) are allowed.

The good ole days are gone for having guests in the flight deck.

What are you doing up so late? Surely my blog is not that important! LOL

Captain Doug said...

Bas. I was thinking the same thing about the flap extension. Then again, that's "back seat" driving. :)))

Foggy said...

Thanks Doug, I'd better not disclose what my average touchdown descent rate on a "simBus" is! OOOps ;)

B77? wing flaps? Could be on a development/test flight. Some of my JP5 trips were with the Unit Test Pilot - UTP - at "Cranditz" and full flap extension was part of the requirement after any Airframe trade work on control surfaces before the aircraft was "released" back to the line for solo "studes" to fly.


Dave W said...

Hey Capt. D et al....

With reference to your previous post I too am impressed with your programing of a displaced hold - I appreciate it is part of your job to know but one suspects you don't have to execute to often?

When you program said racetrack do you switch the display to map mode to view the revised route before activating? Presumably your F/O double checks?

I recently programmed a DME Arc approach to MLE complete with a missed approach route to holding pattern - it was a thing of beauty!!

@Henry, when programming the FMC prior to flight on my virtual 767, it automatically calculates the ref speeds based on the entries I have made regarding weight, Centre of gravity and flap setting etc. I believe the actual calculation involves many more parameters and I believe computer programs now calculate it(?) And no I am not a member of Vatsim although I did meet several of the team recently at the Flight 1 open day at Shoreham - they had virtual ATC set up on several PCs - very interesting but not for me!

@Bas, great spot on the flaps! Wish I'd noticed!

Regards to all

Dave from the UK

getjets said...

Captain Doug, hiya....

ok...your going about 120-140 knots when wheels touch down...also isn't that close to take-off speed, in case of aborted landing etc....???????

"Captain's discretionary fuel"....Of course the Captain has descretion on how many double shots he can have....ha ha
ooooook and yes, the Captain better have a damn good reason....Whats wrong with I'm an alcoholic....lol...thats a joke...

Captain, these next few days, will be over sooner than you think....I've got a trip to plan......


Those are some Beautiful pics of the Day....!!!!!!!!...I am talking about the wings.....with the flaps.....those are good!!!!!!!

Bas, for a grammar b!tch...you sure are smart moonpie as well....setting all of us straight....LOL

Dave W.....no offense, buy a new razor....all that hair is hiding your good looks....:)

Captain Doug said...

Getjets. Good to see you are "out and about" keeping everyone on their toes. :)))

Right now I'm making sure all my "T"s are crossed and my "I"s are dotted for the next three days.

Gone flying early tomorrow on a "cookies and ice cream run."

Captain Doug said...

Dave W.

It was the first time in 15 years of Airbus that I programmed a displaced hold. All I did was make a pseudo waypoint and entered the hold.

Whenever we build a hold we check the inbound track, whether they are left or right turns and whether they are timed legs or distance.

After it is confirmed by the other pilot, we enter it and then determine how long we can hold before we have to "punch out."

A datalink is sent to dispatch to give them a heads up. Plus I will talk to the in-charge and make a P.A.
Passengers will wonder why we are turning away from the airport from their T.V screens.

At one time holds were always a concern for me on "rides." But not on the Airbus, we don't even have to state the type of hold entry...direct, parallel or offset.

getjets said...

Captain...yes and lets not forget the chocolate syrup.....this time you eat that nasty fake azz strawberry napoleon ...and spitting those nasty little pink thingie's for days after....lol....

cross the I's, and dot those T's quick like....blind them...as I know you will!!!!

I will have an eye out....

getjets said...

Thank you Captain.....how dreams are seeded....even today!!!

miss(who put the G in Guru)twa

lovely of you to share this.......

getjets said...

Dave W......I just love your new Avatar...!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you clean up very nicely...ha ha..

Henry said...

Hi Captain Doug,

I usually check your blog once I get home from school and once before I sleep, It IS important! :D

Aw... I really want to jumpseat a flight, especially for takeoff and landing. Is there a possibility the rules may move AWAY from being so stringent?

Datalink! Everything is datalink these days, ATIS, etc. Will IFR Clearance be datalink?

Captain Doug said...

Henry. Yes, we get our clearance through the data link as well. It's called a PDC (Pre-Departure Clearance)

As far as the jump seat, I will be retired by the time that changes. :))))

Dave W said...

@Getjets, thank you for your kind words re: the avatar, I love your variety so I thought I'd post a couple of different ones, but I can in no way compete with your wonderful selection!

Capt. D, I'm won't wish you luck in the checkride because you shouldn't need it, similarly, don't believe you need to study, if you don't know it by now, you shouldn't be sat in that comfy seat on the left eating cookies and ice cream!!

Having followed your comments and posts of late and now reading you back-catalogue, I have absolute confidence in your ability to perform.

@Henry, you do need to study (and sleep!) - keep to that mantra and the world is your oyster!!

Regards to all!

Dave from the UK

getjets said...

Dave W....did I mention I have a sale going on....for the cost of a 50 OZ cup of coffee, you can purchase "formly used Avatars"...and as a bonus...if you call within the next year or so....I throw in a couple that'll makie the hair stand up on the back of your neck.....lawyer fees are not included.....LOL

I've been up for 3 hours...and it's 6 am.... and since it's early afternoon where you live.....I am also offering the once in several lifetimes chance at reliving your earlier 8 am hour....

just tell me what you want changed...and POOF.....I'll see to it you get it right the second go around(YES PUN)...at 8 am...my time....
I am delerious...and way too sober.....

Captain Doug,I will keep watch...over....SCARRRRRRYYYY!!!
I hope I brought a smile to anywho:)))))))


Henry said...

Hi Captain Doug,

I'm checking in while I'm studying now ;P

When I was taking my radio scanner to airports such as Hiroshima, Shanghai-Pudong, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shenzhen, I heard the pilots doing an IFR clearance with voice. Is PDC unavailable at those airports?

Awww... I REALLY want to jumpseat on a flight, even if you put handcuffs on me or something to prevent me from touching anything I'm not supposed to touch :/ ESPECIALLY an Airbus because I've never seen a good video of a person flying a humongous plane like playing a video game (that's what I saw in a documentary). The videos on YouTube never show the joystick maneuvering on the Airbus...

That was why I was thinking of pursuing a commercial pilot's license even though I won't take it as a career (my dad won't let me, I wanted to be a pilot, pianist, conductor, MANY THINGS) By the way, I am looking at your blog and simming because I just can't relax from the stress I'm having now with university applications. Those Ivy Leagues need millions of essays!!!!

@Dave W I usually sleep after 1 o'clock but yesterday, i slept at half past 12 and had a good day today, so I'll do the same today xD

Henry said...

@ Dave W

I guess you use the Level-D 767, right? That's a WONDERFUL plane! Also, I love flying the PMDG 747 and PSS 777 POSKY merge I've been flying these days.

Yes, all of them calculate, even the Airbus on Flightsim! However, there is no realistic Airbus addon on flight sim... How sad ;(

Craig R said...

The picture of the 777 wing with the flaps fully extended at altitude sure is interesting (apart from being just a great shot).

I like to see the flaps a little differently - fully extended, and floating 10 feet above the piano keys at the end of a runway at YYZ.

Home sweet home.

Craig said...

I like all this sim talk in the comments, lol. I've tried learning the A320 again and it just doesn't make any sense to me. The CDU in particular is much too different than the Boeings I usually fly.

Henry, if you're ever looking for someone to fly with on VATSIM, I regularly fly the Level-D on there. Working on becoming a controller in Oakland, too.

Craig M

Henry said...


Hi, I used to control for CYYZ but I didn't continue my training due to the time zone difference I have and I cannot communicate with the rest of the VATCAN crew. I also controlled ZBAA, ZSSS, ZGSZ, ZSPD and ZSAM airports in China.

The Airbus A320 FMC/MCDU is actually not that hard to use. The main things are entering BLOCK as fuel and ZFW instead of GW, and also right clicking for the V1, VR and V2 speeds. If there was a model that could simulate the Airbus better, I would prefer the Airbus FMC/MCDU more than the Boeing!

I usually fly the 777 or 747, sometimes the 767 if I feel like it and A320 for small hops around Asia.