!!!!! 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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A wing is NOT just a wing

Here's a few pics CAT III Approach (an avid blog fan) sent yesterday enroute from work in Alberta to his home on the East coast. He is one of many that does this trek.

A wing is a fuel tank, has spoilers, ground spoilers, flaps, slats, ailerons and changes it's shape according to the task at hand. It doesn't like to be contaminated, has engines mounted to it, bends a little, and has wires, heating tubes, cables with a herculean skeletal make up wrapped in aluminum and composites. It keeps us afloat in the wild blue yonder.

       .....Fly Wing Fly.....!

A "clean wing" on a east to west heading...Lake Ontario is to the South.
An Airbus wing. Not sure if it is an A319, A320 or A321...doesn't matter... they are the exact same wing. I bet Toronto ATC has them slowed to 170 knots until the FAF (Final Approach Fix) :)

The aircraft turns (banks) via the spoilers (as seen) and/or the ailerons located on the outer portion of the wing. There are five separate spoilers. Some of them act in unison on both wings to act reduce speed or descend. They are then called "speed brakes" a.k.a the "boards." You may hear a wallowing sound when near an airport...that's the speed brakes.
I live near the "SETLO" fix where you have to be at 3000 feet or higher at a speed of 200 knots. You'll hear the pilots deploying the speed-brakes overhead.

The Airbus has four flap settings, 1, 2, 3 and full. Pretty simple, eh? The rule of thumb... turning base or about ten miles to five miles out..flap 1, four miles...flap 2, three miles...gear down...two miles...flap 3 and one mile...flap full. On the leading edge are "slats" which also redirect air flow. 

The spoilers act as ground spoilers when the mains are on. Think drag chute on a dragster.


Depiction of the A320 flight controls.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Checked out on Sarasota, Florida

Well I thought my repertoire of Florida airports (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach) included Sarasota. Wrong. Looks like yet another notch is added to my airport list. Apparently we fly there only six months of the year. 

This sign was posted on  SRQ's (Sarasota) bridge prior to exiting to do the walk around.
In a nut shell, it said "Shhhh" please be quiet!


After getting home from Cuba at 2:00 a.m, show time for a three day pairing started at 2:00 p.m the same day. My F/O beat me to flight planning and I saw he was zooming in on the weather radar. Looks like we were going to have  "meet and greet thunderstorms" in the Southern U.S kicked off by the polar front. Our routing took us downwind of these convective creatures. Pilots like to be upwind of anything and that includes me. :) A phone call to dispatch asking whether we could plan a more westerly route was met to the same tune talking to the boss when she is angry....silence! :)
"Earlier flights have been picking around them," I was told. And I'm certain they did... but one factor was not entered into the equation....daytime heating!!! Yes, my meteorological senses were tingling.
Like the boss, I didn't get anywhere with the dispatcher, but once on the flight deck we received an amendment for additional fuel, apparently the "meet and greet thunderbumpers" were intensifying....hmmmmmmm?


Another treat which added to the work load, no APU (device in the tail to condition air, supply electrics and start the engines) That meant an "airstart" at the gate, push back from the gate, disconnect the towbar and do a cross bleed engine start for the other engine. Translation...higher workload, delays and more checklists. Yeah...baby! It also translated into one heck of a hot cabin in Florida with a full load of pacs.

While enroute the F/O did a great job dodging our "meet and greet" party. Yes, we flew upwind of the bubbling ominous atmospheric mass. One company flight flew over Savannah, Georgia where it was thought to be a "hole" but "holes" fill in and they encountered moderate turbulence. 

After departing Sarasota and confirming in my flight log Captain Doug did not have airport Alzheimer (Sarasota was never before on my flight plan) ATC kept us low because the upper airspace was ladened with aircraft dodging thunderstorms. It meant for a bumpy ride. ATC was very apologetic but I made an announcement promising smoother air.

We get back to Toronto and parked at a gate where it had to be the furthest from Canadian customs. 
Actually, furthest from anything. :) After passing through customs, getting a flight plan for Halifax, Nova Scotia and being met with a completely full A320 on the last flight to Halifax we push back 15 minutes late. Yes, I made an announcement explaining things. Two commuting flight attendants were both pleading for the jumpseat and I'm glad to say both of them got seats. The jumpseat went out empty...a rarity for Halifax bound flights. 

Getting late 

At 2:00 a.m we were set up to do the visual approach on runway 32...after all... the ceiling sat at 7000 feet AGL. But a strong Northwest flow prevailed so again my meteorological senses were tingling. (I must get something for that tingle..lol). I used to write the forecast for this airport and it just so happens the forecaster did mention snow showers. Well guess what decided to pay us a visit while being vectored for a visual? Yes, "meet and greet" snow showers. We were IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) at 2000 feet AGL so we had to be vectored to the ILS on 23. The F/O demonstrated a text book crosswind landing!

I made it to the hotel room at 3:10 a.m

The life of an airline pilot.....

Jump seat in the folded position

This is where all my friends sit...notice it's empty. LOL

A picture of the jump seat as requested by an avid fan. Only pilots and flight attendants are allowed. I can't even have the "boss" in the flight deck....she is deemed a "risk." I knew there was something "fishy" about her....LOL (Kidding!!!!!) :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Checked out on Cayo Coco, Cuba

Jardines Del Rey (Gardens of the King)

Got to add another notch to my airport list yesterday. (I was there about four years ago to an all inclusive, but that doesn't count).

We fly to about six or seven Cuban destinations and Cayo Coco is part of an archipelago on the north side. The airport is equipped with an ILS and it worked! Most of these Cuban airports have/had military affiliations so it explains the ILS, however, the runway was a tad rough. In fact, our briefing notes suggested using flap 3 for take off instead of our usual flap 1. Captain D thought we were going to bounce into the air. Actually I've departed on rougher runways. :)

The F/O did a great job manoeuvring visually around the dimly lit island. (He has 15 year old triplets with a one year old child- what a combo!) First time I met him and today we will be off to Sarasota, Florida and back, then to Halifax.

Must have been "earth day" yesterday making for some "full moon" events. Firstly, while waiting for our airplane in the lounge a passenger approached me and chatted me up. She worked for an insurance company, CSI. She jokingly said it stood for "Chicks Selling Insurance." :) I applaud her for approaching the aircrew. Since "that day" almost ten years ago, passengers are hesitant to chat with the pilots. We don't bite! She requested a picture with me. (First time for that request). Then once in the flight deck, another lady poked her head in and asked if she could be my co-pilot (First time for that request). Then a lady approached me in Canadian customs at 1:00 a.m this morning and told me. "that was a deadly landing." (First time I heard a landing described like that. Maybe it's equivalent to "awfully nice" or a "wicked smile?") Again...must have been "earth hour."  :)

Many passengers on these charter flights tend to be "seldom flyers." They tend to imbibe a few drinks (after all they are on vacation) with this flight being the norm (a couple were asked to abstain - I'll stop there). Plus, you will notice many clap when we land. (Not...when they return however...lol)

On my welcome aboard P.A last night I said...."welcome on flight 1815 bound for Toronto...and back to reality...." I heard a captain make this announcement on our Cancun flight and thought it was cute. :)

Off to Florida, but not before I poke my head into a bowling alley where my son's hockey banquet is. I'm certain I'll be getting some weird stares and I hope I don't embarrass my son too much. :)

The life of an airline pilot....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hockey Night in Canada

View from our seat at the Bell Centre last night

Go Habs Go! (Hab- short for "Les Habitants")

Had a rare long layover in Montreal yesterday (After all we do have a pilot base there). The F/O thought it prudent we see an NHL hockey game. But I forewarned him I wouldn’t be giving away my first born for tickets. After dinner and beverages in an eatery on chic St. Catherines street (anyone who knows
Montreal would agree it’s an active street…ahem) our negotiating skills were honed. With my international shopping negotiating skills (I admit they are getting rusty) and my F/O living up to “our reputation” (kidding for those who think I beat up our image) we managed to get “scalper’s tickets” for $50 each instead of the initial $150. We also learned it’s best to show up just at game time. For us two A320 pilots we got section 320 which put us in the centre but third tier up. The F/O knew all the players and made it known who he was cheering for. Sadly the Montreal Canadians lost 2-0 to the Buffalo Sabres.

Winter still clings on

Hi ho...Hi ho...it's off to work we go

Landed in CYYZ this morning in snowy conditions with a CRFI (Canadian Runway Friction Index) of .30 (the smaller the number the worse it is for braking) Captain Doug greased it on (in fact I couldn’t tell if I was on for bit). But before you think Captain Doug is bragging…yet again…a firmer landing should be in the cards to activate the spoilers, brakes and to impart energy. We used autobrake “medium” and it worked out well.

Lined up big time

Guess where we went after push back from the gate requiring an hour and ten minute taxi? The good ole CDF.  Since my vacation, I kind of hoped the deicing checklist would have been tucked way for the season, but winter is not over in Canada. I counted 25 aircraft lined up just to get to the CDF. I made an announcement to that effect and said “sit back and relax.” We touched down in Edmonton Alberta with similar conditions.

As Kermit the frog said.... It's not easy being "Green" (Our competition)

Whales pass wind???

On a side note our Montreal driver this morning (retired from the military) mentioned he has been recruited by Airbus and Air France to find Air France 447. So what does this have to do with whales? Well he is a highly trained sonar technician and he claims he can hear a whale fart 800 feet away. What a talent!  :) (I did not know or thought much about whales farting, however, I guess any mammal with an orifice has the potential) Okay, okay... I’ll get back on track.  :) He mentioned they also recruited the gentleman who found the Titanic.

For you potential freelance writers out there, this is a classic example of listening to people's story.
As in the song by Amanda Marshal (Everybody's Got a Story)...and that taxi driver has got a Ph.D... exemplifies why I try to treat everyone on the same level. You just never know. 

Now in snowy Edmonton for the night.

The life of an airline pilot.....


Chasing our contrail


I took this pic while flying from Newfoundland to Toronto during the wee hours this morning (March 22, 2011). The sun is rising in the east (we are heading west) and the black line is our contrail's shadow. Think about it...the contrail is behind us but the shadow is ahead intersecting a thin veil of cirrus to a perihelia (sun dog). The much mentioned moon during the last few days sits at the top left of the picture.

But for me more "intersections" exist. Below (bottom right) is the southern portion of Newfoundland. We are about to fly over Port Aux Basques where my father worked as a chief engineer on ships traversing to Nova Scotia. Around the corner is the Stephenvillle airport (CYJT) near the town of Robinsons. It's where my grandfather ran the trains of Newfoundland ("Newfie bullet") that no longer exist. This morning I experienced an intersection of three generations.

Another intersection is three dimensional modes of transportation. My grandfather worked a one dimensional mode, my father two and Captain Doug...three. Who knows my son may be employed in the fourth dimension of time.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Taking a look at the "love tap."

Maintenance truck 

Icing at plus 16 C?

This morning saw me back in the saddle after two weeks. It was a "little thing" day. Starting by spilling my treasured coffee on my freshly laundered uniform. Of course there were no napkins in the car. 

The first two legs were warm up "Rapidairs" to Montreal and back launching a four day mission.

Nothing out of the usual...until we receive a call from the "back end" stating some pilot near the wing claims there is ice on the wings while passing through 16,000 feet. WTF? The TAT (Total Air Temperature) displayed +16 C and the ambient temperature confirmed  plus 4 C. I crisply retorted, "is this guy an A.C pilot?" Not that it matters who reports the ice, but heck it was Monday morning.

But it got my meteorological side of the brain grinding its gears. There are about 30 parameters which may cause airframe icing. One of them...skin temperature must be zero Celsius or less. With a TAT (skin temperature) of plus 16 then this wasn't the case. 

When I checked the log book (captain's duty for every aircraft) I assumed it had not flown that day. However, when I checked the brake temperatures they told me someone heated the brakes. Hmmm?

I rechecked the log book. It indeed flew a "red eye" from Vancouver meaning the fuel sat in temperatures at -57 C for at least four hours. Plus it arrived with lots of fuel so the fueler did not add warm fuel for the short trip to Montreal.

Do you see where I'm going? Then Captain "D" checks the fuel temperatures. Minus 5 !!!!
Bingo! With us flying in moist conditions, the cold soaked wing created it's own ice and the low pressure over the wing (think additional cooling) exemplified things. 

I radioed to the "de-ice co-ordinator" to give him a heads up. But all the aircraft were checked.

The pilot from "another airline" met with me after the flight and he sent me some pics later on in the day.

This ice formed well aft of the leading edge and posed little threat because of the area involved and it's location. The ice melted nicely in Montreal. :)

Love tap.

We had the same airplane all day (it is rare) and on the walk around the F/O noticed a small bump on the tail. Maintenance sprung into action. We took a 30 minute delay while paper work was filed and a "bingo" (bump inspected and now a go) sticker applied. With possibly ten vehicles approaching an aircraft during ground stops it's inevitable for some to get a little too close. 

One of the duties a captain has is making an announcement to explain things...and people want to hear the truth...sort of. You know the P.A..."Ladies and Gentleman this is your captain speaking......." (With a deep voice and a pause.... )  I downplayed the bump by calling it a "love tap." :)

Because of the delay, the "push back" crew hightailed it to another airplane. We waited ten minutes with me doing the "beverage math" for our layover in St. John's Newfoundland. Noticed I didn't say beer?

Light snow, -3 C with winds of 20 knots greeted us in Newfoundland. I want my Mexico back. :(

Update on Diesel daughter's cell phone.

Apparently it was stolen the first night we arrived. I had all our valuables in the safety deposit except her phone. Apparently they racked up over $1000 on the phone but we will be charged $150 for roaming charges. Diesel daughter is hard on the bank of Dad. :)

The life of an airline pilot....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back home...

Contemplating shutting down the blog..
Today we made it back home via Montreal...again. We were punted yesterday on the direct flight to Toronto by a senior captain and his party of five. Seats opened a couple of hours later for the Montreal flight. Two "really nice" seats and two "not so nice" seats. I was actually going to give my daughter or son the "J" seat. Then it donned on me, I just bought them a weeks vacation at an all exclusive resort..so you know where they went. :)

Because we missed the last flight to Toronto, it was off to a hotel. But because we stopped  in Montreal, the flight this morning attracted an airport improvement fee of $28 times five. %$!@#&*

Things went pretty well on the trip besides Diesel Daughter walking on a nail and then when we were packing her brand new Blackberry cell phone (which just replaced another) went missing. Hmmmmmm? Never did find it.

But Captain Doug also pulled a "bone head" move by sitting in the water with his digital camera in his pocket. Yup, fried the puppy. Luckily I was able to recuperate the pics.

Every year, I keep saying I will never travel the busiest time (March break) on passes.
Glad to be home, now it's time to go to work early tomorrow on a four day mission to get some rest.

Due to personal matters I was on the verge of keeping the blog in a holding pattern. A couple of people, including the "boss," said it's not necessary, but just ease off on things.

So I will try to wane my addiction....

Monday, March 14, 2011

From Up Here

This resort has 900 rooms sprawled out over acres and acres. It sure is difficult to pace the intake of food and beverages. The caloric intake is though the roof. I may have to request a seat belt extension back to Toronto. lol

Where the gym is...nice...

Okay, okay I busted my hold.....

Update II

Well the diversion to Montreal worked out. Getting gouged at an airport hotel, getting up at 4:30 a.m. (really 3:30 the clocks went ahead), plus pushing through a security line taking 50 minutes, then waiting in Cancun customs for 50 minutes and then another 30 for checking our baggage after the flight seemed worth it. Even watching “diesel daughter” spill her chocolate milk, which she HAD to have 5 minutes prior to boarding is of insignificance. These all proved to be worth it. Plus the nice “J” seats really helped too. lol

I know I’ve lost my negotiating skills from my “international shopping days “to wheel a deal for the cab ride to Playa Del Carmen.

Now I sit in a four star resort and realized this place did not have internet. I’m spending “beaucoup” per day and they wanted to charge me $5/hr for “slow mo” internet.

Well after intense negotiations, Captain D has been upgraded to “Select” with free internet. But like the “boss” said, maybe this is telling me something….

I know another thing…it sure is different traveling as a passenger. Enduring long line ups, dealing with liquids and gels, waiting to board, fighting for overhead bin space, no free internet at the hotel, arranging transportation, etc. What a work out! LOL 

While traveling in “J” I composed these few words. No, I was not under the influence from free business class drinks but a feeling of appreciation struck me. After reading this you may think I was hypoxic. 

From Up Here

Everything looks perfect….the intent from the one above.

Yet many senses are deprived.

The sound of hustle and bustle and the din below is muted.

Smells don’t ascend to flight level… so the flowers emblazoning a backyard go unnoticed.

Our sense of touch….worthless.

The smell of spices, the underground doings of a city or a frigid February wind goes unnoticed.

The sounds of toilets flushing, a ferocious bark of a junkyard watchdog or the scent and heat of romance seem oblivious.

Yet, a town of insignificance on foot looks pristine from up here.

Things seem to stop.

Death is put on hold, the awakening baby’s cry is unheard and misdoings are just thoughts.

Political boundaries go unnoticed. Religion is just a concept and hatred is erased.

But that’s from up here

Aloft from reality…

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Blog goes into a hold...

Traffic "twelve o'clock" One hears that a lot.....

Captain Doug is heading south. During the last two days I worked on a video called
"I'm leaving on a Jet Plane." I went to upload it and it disappeared! It was a beauty but maybe it was meant to be. I did a lot of gloating over the "boss."  :)

It was that kind of day. Our washer went kaput so I had to buy, pick up and install a washer before our trek. "Diesel daughter" had about five loads scattered amongst her bedroom and god forbid if we had to go to a laundromat. :)

The internet is readily available where I'll be and like any "addict" I'll be checking in now and again.

My batteries are low so it's time to rejuvenate. lol

Captain Doug has left on a jet plane......


Toronto to Cancun. Two seats came available. Two groups of three revenue passengers could not go. One mother with two young children from YOW were in tears because they could not go.
(For some reason they reminded me of someone)  :) I felt really bad for them. We were at the top of the pecking order but "no joy." It turns out another pilot with his daughter and friend got on. He took the jump seat. We needed four seats.

Toronto to Cozumel. We decided to give this flight a try an hour later. Three seats opened up. But the captain was leery of taking me in the jump because I was not registered. I won't say much more.

There were only two flights a week  so invariably we would have to take a ferry back to Cancun to get home.

Toronto to Montreal.

We took a fully loaded B767 to Montreal in anticipation of catching a 6:30 flight to Cancun. Right now it's a A321 with 20 open seats. Stay tuned!

I get to check out the brand new Mariott attached to the airport. I got an airline discount. A whopping $20 off the room!

These passes are wearing thin. My batteries will be depleted before I can charge them.  :)

Nothing is free and that includes "free" airline passes.

Just booked a resort. Yes, we were heading there without a hotel confirmation. Looks like it's
Playa Del Carmen.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011



Saturday...prior to "A loooooong Day" I flew an Orlando turn. An interview was arranged as soon as I stepped out of Canadian customs with "Mike." He wanted to write an article on deicing for one of the "larger Chinese newspaper outside of China."

He wanted pictures as well so I took him up to flight planning for the interview and back drop. Some of the pics showed Captain Doug is encountering "wear and tear" especially after a 4:00 a.m wake up and with "things" going on. A vacation is in order! :)

Mike asked some great researched questions. Actually he is pursuing the Cathay pacific pilot cadet program.

Brampton Flight Centre Wings Banquet

That night my "Westjet buddy" (wife) and I sat at the head table at the annual Wings's Banquet. There we listened to a motivational speaker who flies a B737 for Canadian North and is the only Canadian to summit Mount Everest without the aid of oxygen. Funny, I did the speech three years ago but mine paled to this guy's Powerpoint Presentation loaded with great video shots. Having said that, his presentation encountered sound problems and like any pilot tried to trouble shoot. He had a great sense of humour about it and wanted to call "maintenance" several times. Finally he decided to give everyone a break. That's when my Westjet buddy wanted to bolt. I didn't even get to see the awards. Next time I'm flying solo. :)

I emailed Captain Laval St. Germain today and gave him a "thumbs up."
Here's his website....Captain Laval  It sure makes you realize you've done little compared to these "extreme" people. I do realize most out there have their own mountains to climb and for many it's equivalent to an Everest trek. It made me realize I better get going with mine.

.... Ladies be forewarned, this guy has several shots with his shirt off and YES he is ripped! Funny how motivated people like their pictures taken. :)

My Talk
I've been asked to give a talk to the graduates at the University of Western Ontario CAM (Commercial Aviation Management) program. I sure hope I can convince these guys they did the right thing. Although I am somewhat dismayed about the track record regarding hiring with my company. Only 25 percent are making the cut. How devastating to a vocation a person has aspired to all their lives. To take a degree, fly up north in deplorable conditions to build those needed hours only to get a PFO (Please F off ....) saying "thanks but no thanks."

Speaking of motivation...

Here's a pic a "frequent commenter" sent to liven my spirits. She sensed Captain Doug had a long winter....

It sure says spring is around the corner. Having said that...we've always depended on Groundhog day here in North America. We rely on Wiarton "Willie" in Ontario, Shubenacadie "Sam" in Nova Scotia, "Woodstock Wille" in Illinois and "Punxsutawney Phil" in Pennsylvania. 

RRRoll up the Rim

But forget about those pudgy critters! Here in Canada we know spring is around the corner with "Roll Up The Rim." I know most of you folks south of the border don't have the luxury of this coffee, but we Canadians are addicted to it. Yes, I will admit to my craving. 

Roll up the rim "season" means we can win prizes...for those not in the know. :)

Today, Captain Doug won a coffee....things are looking up! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Loooooong Day....


I should have guessed what kind of day it would be after seeing six cars in the ditch because of an overnight freezing rain/snow attack. I get to flight planning and see my F/O already mired in the MELs (Minimum Equipment List) due to an inoperative bleed air. Translation...we are restricted to 31,000 feet. Immediately I check the weather to see if thunderbumpers would be an issue. I see the Eastern seaboard will be littered with them topping at 35,000 to 38,000 feet. It's early Sunday morning with no coffee and I'm grumpy. I call dispatch and insinuate they fix the airplane or get me a new one. The dispatcher knew where I was coming from. She easily handled Captain Grumpy. They found us a new airplane, but it's coming from Halifax. No biggie, we get a new flight plan and make our way to the gate. They posted a 30 minute delay.

My F/O doing a sweep without gloves.
(No, I didn't volunteer him) :)

Change of plans. We are going to get a third airplane. Time for yet another flight plan. This time there is a glitch. We are told the airplane is "in" the hangar. Another glitch, the taxiways are icy and one of the tow vehicles with chains broke down. There are 15 aircraft waiting for a "tow job."

Two hours after scheduled departure, we volunteered to taxi the airplane to the gate. More phone calls to several departments. A manager will meet us at the gate. We get to one of the huge hangars (it's the first time I got to drive around the airport without being in an airplane) and realized the airplane was not "in" the hangar but "at" the hangar. It's covered in snow and ice. Plus the "towbarless" tug (it lifts the nose) is having a hard time. 
Finally, we get a push back and start up. It was an irregular operation and now I know what the JETZ pilots go through. You have to improvise. I turned on the navigation system, but did not initialize things. The airplane started squawking at us. We called maintenance to see if things are okay. We get the green light.

Over to the gate we go in slippery conditions and load up. But wait... our third airplane has supposedly a potable water issue. Call maintenance. It's an indication problem.
I make a welcome aboard announcement and try to explain our over three hour delay.
We push back. We get a "vent" system fault. Apparently ice and snow are affecting our outflow (pressurization) valves. After several C/B resets, it's an RTG (Return To Gate).
But wait, there's no crew to marshal us in. Now we are looking at duty time. 

Finally, we get to the gate and maintenance determines it's snow melting from the bridge flowing directly into the valves. After paperwork, yet another announcement, a 15 minute wait for another push back crew, it's off to the CDF we go. After a heavy deicing we blast off runway 06 Left...4 1/2 hours late. 

I won't tell you what flight directors do when not selected for take off or whether the F/O got a little high on approach or where my brand new Blackberry Torch cell phone ended up under the rudder pedals after landing.

The water issue raised it's ugly head again, but we decided we are heading back to Toronto. A few of the F/As were thinking a Nassau layover, but Captain Doug had new hires to teach the next day.

On the return flight we dodged thunderstorms topped at 36,000 confirming Captain Doug's decision on getting another airplane. One plane encountered severe turbulence at FL 290 where we just got ripples at 39, 000.

Can you say undulation? My "senses" were tingling when we were climbing through this cloud formation out of Nassau at around 30,000 feet. Just got a few bumps.

After 11 hours into our day a sense of calm sets in. We are heading north and the western sky sees night close in.
The life of a "Canadian" airline pilot....

Friday, March 4, 2011

End of a "virtual week"

Turn up the volume for both these clips!!!!

Virtual Air Canada

I had a facebook request yesterday and I asked what airline he flew for after seeing "David" in a pilot uniform. Boy did he open a door!

Welcome to virtual Air Canada!!!

Their website is top notch. Virtual Air Canada

I don't know what to think about the Jazz airplanes but I guess we are one big happy family. (Tim H....looks like your airline has some stiff competition north of the border) LOL

Take a look at their site, who knows some of you may want to join.

This week started off in the virtual sims. Then my interview came along about virtual training. And now "David" introduced me to virtual Air Canada. Plus Captain Doug encountered virtual/real turbulence within his blog.

But tomorrow brings me back to reality with a 5:30 a.m check in. (Anyone going to Florida?) Then I have an interview with a "follower" for a deice article and then it's off to the Wings Parade for the Brampton Flight Centre. Sunday sees me off to Nassau and back and Monday I teach a new hire class. Then Captain Doug has two weeks vacation so I'll be putting my blog into a holding pattern some time next week.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Weather Network Interview with Kelly Noseworthy

Just received this from Kelly Noseworthy at the Weather Network.

They took lots of footage and it was whittled down to this....Hope someone out there appreciates it. :)

Click on the photo and then click on it again once it takes you to the page.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March is Up!

Q: How many flights a day does Air Canada operate?  
Andrew Riedel
We average 600 flights a day, topping out at approximately 700 during the summer. In addition, Jazz, Air Canada’s regional airline, peaks at nearly 800 per day. This translates into a flight every minute around the clock. Flight dispatch operations in Toronto produce Air Canada flight plans. Some 14 to 16 flight dispatch desks handle the various sectors, with one desk dedicated exclusively to the nearly hourly Rapidair® service in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal corridor. Between Toronto and Montreal alone, there are approximately 44 flights per day.  
Q: Why do Canadian airport codes start with the letter “Y”?  
Jeremy Anderson
Essexville, Michigan
Last month, I mentioned that the U.S. National Weather Service initially established airport codes. Canada was allotted a “Y” for all airports associated with a weather office. Codes like YVR for Vancouver and YWG for Winnipeg make sense, but Canada’s busiest airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport, inherited the intriguing YYZ. Some travel companies use the non-standard YTO to identify Toronto, but it’s actually a city code that encompasses not only YYZ but also YKZ (Buttonville Municipal Airport) and YTZ (Toronto City Centre Airport). You may also see the odd “Z,” such as in ZBF for Bathurst, New Brunswick.

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Dear EnRoute,

I recently flew Air Canada from Toronto to San Francisco. The first thing I usually do upon taking my seat on an Air Canada flight is to pick up the latest issue of EnRoute and flip to the back to read the Flight Deck column. Shortly before take-off, our captain introduced himself as Capt. Doug Morris. I knew that name sounded familiar. Sure enough, our pilot for this flight was none other than the author of my favourite feature of EnRoute. It was definitely an honour to be in such knowledgeable hands, and a very smooth flight of course. Thank you!

Jeremy Hoisak
Toronto, ON
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