!!!!! 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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Addendum to...stressed pilot post...

I was thinking of this article yesterday during the crazy high winds we had in Ontario. Apparently the wind gauge here at YOW broke.

Also had a nice flight into YVR on the A321 today. Whoever was doing the landing greased it pretty good.

Still pondering a career in aviation, I just don't know what I want to do exactly. Not sure if I can handle the pilot life.

-       Craig M

Craig don’t let my last post scare you. And I hope it didn’t!  Even though we are labelled to have the most stressed profession we are also deemed one of the mot revered, respected, trusted professionals out there. Just the other day I went to get papers translated by a little old Italian lady (my executor work is still on going) and I asked about pre-payment. She said, “oh you are an airline pilot, I trust you. “

Wanting to be a pilot is more than a passion, it’s a disease! Actually, it should be listed in the medical journals as a known mental disorder. LOL

What other profession would people be lined up to fly an airplane for next to nothing and thank the owner for the opportunity?

Starting off is fun. Sure most of us rack up a huge debt, but you are hanging around types doing and loving the same thing. Then you get your first job flying for poverty to build up time, but you are working with cronies doing the same thing. The camaraderie is second to none. You share stories, dreams, and all of you look to an airliner passing overhead and think, “one day!”

You start moving up through the ranks, you get promoted, and your logbook gets thicker. By golly you almost have some respect. Many of your “buddies for life” will move on. All the moving and starting from scratch with yet another new “rinky-dink” company will get you closer to that ultimate airline job.

But then reality sets in. That girlfriend wants to get married. She is putting the claws in you. You are now chief pilot for some corporate operation making about $120,000. You have status, good pay and you are engaged.

Then...the call comes. Here in Canada, that would mean Air Canada. (Okay I fly for them so I’m biased). They want you to start next week, move to Toronto and pay you one third the salary. What do you do? And believe me I’ve flown with many that went through the same thing.

Now comes the stress. You are on line, you are married with one infant and the baby was up all night. Crew sked calls at 5:00 a.m. for a 7:00 a.m. check in. You’ll be gone for four days.  Your new bride looks at you with jealousy and resentment as you will be escaping sleepless nights, staying in a nice hotel and perhaps going out for a nice meal and maybe having fun...maybe. The unpaid bill pile is stacking up, your wife does not know anyone and you are leaving her Christmas Eve.

But if I had a dollar for every grown up that took me aside and said, “Doug, I wish I pursued aviation” I would have a very big bank account which would even make my “boss” happy. LOL

Choices! You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. :))))

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The most stressful job?

This great shot is from "Erik" in Frankfurt this morning. Reminds me when flying for eight hours from Toronto to Frankfurt during the wee hours of the night and getting late landing clearance 300 to 400 feet "off the deck." You are spring loaded to execute a "go-around" and all it takes is one extraneous transmission to miss your landing clearance. Stress...what stress? :)))

So mine is the most stressful job???

The last day or so the media has been airing segments on the most stressful jobs. Looks like my profession is the most stressful white-collar job out there!

Here’s the list:

1. Commercial Airline pilot 

2. Public relations officer
3. Corporate executive 

4. Photojournalist
5. Newscaster
6. Advertising account executive 

7. Architect 

8. Stockbroker
9. Emergency medical technician (EMT) 

10. Real estate agent

But why is being an airline pilot so nerve wracking...let alone being captain?

Most of the time flying an airplane is “moments of sheer terror coupled with hours of boredom.” (I know you have heard this overused cliché hundreds of times) but why then is being airline pilot so stressful?


When you think one of the toughest things about my job is trying to keep it with recurrent training every 6 to 8 months, medicals, annual check rides, "transport" showing up on a whim…it can up the stress level a few notches.

Now throw in the “other” parameters…

Wage freezes, deep salary cuts, pensions potentially vaporizing, downturns, concessions, strikes, mergers, contract renewal, certain groups wanting to make political statements, etc…can add to the grey hair.

Now think about schedules, being away from home, restless sleeps, jet lag, crew meals, eating on the road, dehydration, cosmic radiation (it’s not that bad…an article to come) lack of exercise can all cause wear and tear on the mind and body.
(Luckily, I’m a regular at the gym which helps a little keeping things in check)

Then there’s situations at home: not getting holidays off, missing your kid's birthdays, and being away from home for long periods allowing things to fester imposing marital and family stress.

(On that note, Christer looks like I put too much weight on Halifax layovers and not enough for May 15th. I will be missing your concert!. I arrive from Denver, Colorado late that night) :((((

Then throw in weather…thunderstorms, slippery runways, delays due to deicing, strong winds, poor visibility, snowstorms all of which can cause premature balding…

(Notice air traffic controllers did not make the cut? I guess their offices don’t nudge thunderstorms or don’t slide down the runway at 150 knots? Having said that, you guys do a fantastic job and I fly in the safest airspace in the world because of you…thanks!!!)

Then there are ground holds, holding patterns, maintenance issues and flying from A to B with just “adequate” fuel.

Now throw in the media having their finger on the pulse looking for any “hiccup,” a fully loaded plane of passengers armed with cell phones and computers ready to hit “send” can also add a little paranoia.

Then there is security cameras, cockpit voice recorders, flight data recorders, internal departments scrutinizing flight profiles, ground based amateurs armed with scanners recording everything you say. Plus maintenance monitoring us ensuring we treated those multi million dollar engines with TLC. All of which causes one to ponder whether this job is worth it and should we pursue the "least" stressful white collar career -audiologist?

So is it worth pursuing the most stressful profession out there? You bet your sweet “you know what” it is!!!!

To achieve the goals you have set out for yourself.... that is success. So what if being an airline pilot is stressful? I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. To go through life without any regrets is priceless, but who does that? As one ex-ornery boss of mine once said, if you are not pushing the airplane to “barber pull” (over speeding the airplane) you are not trying hard enough. 

I know one thing…I love my job! 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Hour and Evaporative Cooling?

Evaporative cooling at a local Phoenix emporium during my layover.
So how does two dollar beer tie into meteorology? Well let this pilot/meteorologist explain. :)

Many hot dry states like Arizona, Nevada, Southern California, New Mexico utilize water misters at restaurants. shops and pubs. Why? The process of evaporation requires heat.
Because energy is needed to overcome the molecular forces of attraction between water particles, the process from a parcel of water to a parcel of vapor requires the input of energy causing a drop in temperature in its surroundings. Translation...the air cools.

It's why you feel cool when you get out of a shower or pool even on a hot day. It's why you sweat. The sweat evaporates causing your body to cool. 

So the nearby air is cooled from the mist evaporating into the dry air. It also gets on your body and it causes cooling. As well, it also increases the relative humidity making you feel more comfortable. Remember we are talking near desert air with very low relative humidities. It's why aircraft are stowed in these desserts...it imposes less wear and tear on the aircraft. 

When I taught Weather 101 for new pilots, I asked the question....does rain reduce visibility? (I'd always ask smart ass questions knowing full well they would not get them.
Cruel....I know). Actually, rain refracts but it does not reduce visibility. It's the fog in between the rain droplets formed from evaporation which reduces the visibility. It's called rain induced or frontal fog. 

So while we capitalized on happy hour...meteorology was at play. Actually, I also asked my weather 101 class why a cloud forms in the neck of a freshly opened beer (coke if you don't drink) bottle? It's due to adiabatic expansion. You are releasing a compressed gas, expanding it and thus cooling it. Much like how clouds are formed. 

All of this meteorology talk is making me thirsty. 

So there you have it. Meteorology on my last layover. :))))

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Scoop on Schedules

I needed a picture so I thought this was cute. I am a "block" holder  but many are not as fortunate so the phone may ring a lot from crew sked.   :))))

The scoop on Schedules

Had a question yesterday asking how monthly pilot rosters are determined.

Each month the pairings for the following month become available around the middle of the month on an internet based system. (Just a few years ago we had to physically use designated company computers). For the Airbus 320 based in Toronto there are hundreds to chose from. Then we pilots go to work inputting our requests. And there’s a multitude of factors one can throw in. Yup, it’s based on seniority. So if #1 on the captain list wants weekends off with starts on Tuesday after 10:00 a.m they will get it. I sit at 55 percent on the captain’s list, and for me, I input about 15 variables and let the cards fall where they may. Although I’ve seen some pilot’s wish lists two pages long. We pick what we like to fly (obviously) and add weight to the request. If I want a particular day off and I must have it off or the “boss” will go ballistic... I would give the weight 1000 points. It’s a complicated system and yet it is simple.

On April 20th, the "MAY" blocks closed so here’s what I requested....

May is not a high demand month (“boss” demand is low i.e. don’t need Fridays and Mondays off for my son’s hockey) so I kept it simple. I avoid Deer Lake, Newfoundalnd (taxi drive is too long and the layover tended to be way too long), avoid La Guardia (throw in a bit of weather and it goes off the rails), avoid Edmonton (finally decided it’s way too cold in the winter time plus it’s drive is the second longest in the A320 system), avoid short layovers in Montreal (the hotel is not a crew favourite). I avoided St. John’s (it’s fog season…actually it’s always fog season there, but I thought I would head to some warmer places. It’s actually the first time I bid to avoid that place…sorry Getjets and Chris). I did put weight to award me Halifax layovers over 15 hours to see family, award Barbados layovers (Vitamin D) and San Francisco layovers (love the place). I avoided “red eyes” which is labelled “silent hours,” I avoided deadheads (I hate sitting in the back) avoid four day pairings (I don’t commute anymore so I don’t need to be on the road that long). I avoided check-ins before 8:00 am (not enough time to get my coffee in the morning), stayed away from more than three legs/day (too many checklists to do). 

Heck we even have an option to “avoid” or “award” people you don’t want or want to fly with. I never used that one on the “small bus” put I pulled out that trump card on the “big bus.” I hope my F/Os aren’t inputting my employee to avoid me, but it’s a fact of life. I also avoided to fly May 15th as “follower” Christer will be hosting a concert near my house. (He’s a gifted violinist but still likes his beer). The blocks will be available later today (May 22) but they can be delayed so sometimes we don’t know what we are flying until the last five days of the month.

Wish me luck! LOL
(Keep in mind this is the way my company awards rosters. Other airlines do it differently)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carlton Comes to Canada

Carlton and Captain D

Yesterday, I met up with long time follower, Carlton, from the U.K. He bought my book when it first came out over three years ago and flew across the "pond" to get it signed. (Kidding). Actually he was visiting in-laws with his girlfriend so the "boss" and I met up with them at a restaurant downtown Toronto overlooking the Toronto Island airport.
(May 1 Air Canada will be "marking its turf" with a new Dash 8 Q 400 service there).

Carlton has been with my blog near it's inception, about 2.5 years ago, and always offers well thought out comments. He and Elana were a pleasure to meet and I'm certain our paths will cross again. :)

Too bad the weather wasn't better because we must be having the greyest, wettest Springs on record.

That's five people I have met up from my blog. I know there will be more rendezvous's and if you let me sign "my" book, I will buy you a beverage or too. What a deal! LOL

Monday, April 18, 2011

Re-checked out in Mexico City

We were just about to descend into Mexico City and the full moon off to the east gave a spectacular display. I know one thing.. it's time to get a new camera. My phone camera just isn't cutting it. I should not have christened the camera while sitting in lapping waves on our Mexico vacation. Mybad.  Our routing took us over Nashville, Tennessee, NEW ORLEANS (KMSY) :) and the western portion of the Gulf Of Mexico.

One of the first questions I asked my F/O, "have you been to Mexico City?" He said, "yes, many times" with me saying, "phew!" (I haven't been there in nearly 12 years). Next to Bogota, Colombia, Mexico City sits the highest in elevation requiring special procedures. One is running the air conditioning units from the APU just in case we had to go around. Then there is a higher altitude from where we transition from flight level to feet in altitude. For Canada and the U.S the transition is 18,000 feet (Mexico it's 18,500). Plus it's a mountainous airport so we have to monitor the GPWS (ground proximity warning system), monitor raw data because of possible map shifts and blah, blah, blah.

As well, I had in the back of my mind one blogger's recount (Jet Head's) of landing in Mexico, with thunderstorms, at night, using a Nav display for weather and the other for terrain avoidance.What a minute...that's what we did! Thunderstorms were causing a rare runway change due to wind shifts. Thunderstorms are entitled to do that.

Yes, the F/O flew the first leg and did an excellent job. We did fly through one convective cloud which felt like going through a car wash at 280 knots. Can you said loud?
I don't like those surprises especially when it didn't show on the weather radar. Rrrrr.
He got it "dirty" much sooner than I would and I'm glad he did. With a 100 degree intercept, with higher than normal true airspeed due to high altitude it's always a challenge. The rule of thumb... "get down and get dirty."

I don't know who gets the "sprawled out city" award....Mexico city or Sao Paulo, Brazil? An expanse of lights finally greeted us as we exited the high speed car wash. But black, ominous, luminous void mountains sat dap smack in the middle of the lights. Unlit and uninhabited, they were "black islands of demise" for those who venture too close.
They were so black and so out of place much like the "glass mountains" seen in the simulator.

Showers and wet runways greeted us with the windshield wipers slappin out of tempo....hey isn't there a song about this by Eddie Rabbit?...

Those windshield wipers slappin out a tempo
keepin perfect rhythm with the song on the radio

Yes, the F/O greased it on but we sure did chew up real estate. Another attribute to high density altitude flying.

Tomorrow I will be meeting up with follower "Carlton" from the U.K. We will be discussing aviation over a beverage or two but we must be careful, we are bringing the bosses along. :)))))

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Red Eye Weather

This pic is from frequent flyer CATIII Approach while flying back to work into Fort McMurray, Alberta. The distinct line is low cloud affected by local terrain. It's due to subsidence which is sinking air causing clouds to dissipate. Subsidence is also prevalent with high pressure system which brings clearing skies.

Instead of heading south to Cozumel, Mexico I was asked to fly to Edmonton, Alberta last evening and fly the return "red eye" home. One passenger did not show up so procedure is to sequence their bags. We push back 20 minutes late. While waiting, I had a frequent flyer (Super Elite) ask if I would sign my article in the enRoute magazine. He said after 200 segments he finally met up with me. Great guy, and even better, he bought my book!

I make an announcement filling everyone in. "Our flight plan said we were 5 minutes under sked and our weather charts claimed a smooth flight." All the time there is an inner voice saying..."you are tempting the weather gods ...don't go out on a limb!" And sure enough! Sometimes that P.A pulls stuff out of me and I wonder where it came from? Just like some emails I send. :)

Weather precursors were indicating Toronto would be next on the meteorological list as an easterly wind, falling barometer and "grease around the moon" (cirrostratus cloud) said rain is nearby. Sure enough saturated runways and strong winds from the southeast greeted us at 6:00 a.m on the return leg.

Strong southerly jet streams over the Great Lakes turned Captain D into a meteorological fibber as we encountered light to moderate turbulence. Luckily the remainder of the flight mother nature's moodiness subsided. (Subsidence is everywhere) :)

The F/O flew a text book ILS onto runway 30 last night but we picked up a little ice on the wings on the approach and with minus 5 C surface temperatures it wasn't going away in a hurry. 

Thought we were going to push back early, but a reset of the data link put a kibosh to that idea. I thought I escaped the "deice" checklist for the season but...NO...out it comes again. 

More bumps greeted us over Green Bay (Lake Michigan area) at 3:00 a.m. 

But luckily wet runways make for smooth runways and that held true for captain D during the wee hours this morning. 

Off to Mexico tomorrow where the field elevation is the highest I fly to...7300 feet. 
Can you say density altitude? One good thing, it must bestow easy membership for the "mile high club." LOL

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dreams meet Reality...

So you want to be a pilot? It's a tough go, and is it worth it? Hell, yes!

I have 7000 hours bouncing around in turboprops in the most weather infested parts of Canada...the East Coast...hoping the majors would call pilot Doug to the big leagues. It's not for the faint of heart and here is a video depicting where reality and dreams intersect...
...near midnight after six legs..... :)

But like the video says..."maybe not the glamourous life they had in mind, but the next best thing!"

Captain D will be off to Cozumel this weekend. One leg there and one leg back. :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

That's more than a love tap. :))))

Thought I would start a new post with this video. Can you say....Ouch!

**************  NEW   ***************

Received this from ANON. Thanks Anon. :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

July's captions

Embraer 175

Yeah, Captain Doug is getting lazy. Gotta write some captions for this picture.

You know the rules...I delegate, you "rack your brains," and I get paid for it. LOL

Okay, okay I'll start...

1. The Embraer 175 is the smallest at Air Canada mainline configured with 73 seats.

Okay, here's another one...

2. The Embraer 175 and Embraer 190 are configured at 73 and 93 seats.

I'll right, a couple more....

3. There are 15 Embraer 175s at Air Canada with 45 bigger Embraer 190s.

4. Air Canada flies two models of this made in Brazil Embraer, the E75 and the E90.

5. Not satisfied?

How about? (And this will never be published) But this bird is known as the "tough nut from Brazil, the "jungle jet," the Embraer 180 (one-eighty).... (trying to be funny).
I know, I should never put down a pilot's airplane.

Have fun!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Headquarters....the "nerve centre"...From the Flight Deck Dispatch...

Thought I'd rearrange my office and clean off the pile of papers...and try to start anew. Albert Einstein said... "if a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" I'm in trouble!!! LOL

And speaking of quotes while I was waiting for the mortgage officer yesterday they had a used book sale for charity. I bought a "Friendship Book" with tons of quotes for two dollars. 

"Here is a good thought to keep in mind at the start of a new week (new everything - I added this)...Even more important than a friendly meeting is a friendly parting."

And why was I seeking a mortgage? Nope, I'm not moving, but the day before my wife caught me at weak moment...no, no not that LOL ....but she had me buy a rental property in the amount of time it takes to order fast food and eat it. And no it's not Florida property. I should never let my guard down. LOL

And speaking of lines ups, I had to get "Diesel Daughter's" new cell phone at a store. The salesman immediately recognized me as Captain D. He bought my book. He is 21, just finishing a two year maintenance diploma, finishing his commercial pilot license and is driven. Keep your dream alive, Keith!

And speaking of Diesel Daughter and cleaning my desk, I just realized she was granted a credit card and racked up quite a bill. Looks like the bank of Dad will be paying even more bills. :(

Funning aside, today marks the day my sister succumbed to cancer six years ago. She was my age. 

Here is something for you Barbara Jean.....

Much water under the bridge has passed so everything is different
But it doesn't mean anything has changed.....
Captain Doug April 9th, 2011

And on a lighter note. Having friends over tonight so there will be wine and good conversation had by all. :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April's enRoute is up...

click here

Boeing 777 tail

Q: I noticed cabin ventilation diminishes prior to engine start. Why?  
Alessandro Da Soghe
Jet engines require highly compressed air to set the turbines in motion. This air generally comes from the APU (auxiliary power unit) located in the tail. However, the APU also supplies conditioned air to the cabin during airport stops. During engine start, most of the supplied air goes toward the engines. On rare occasions, a wind blowing on the tail may give a faint smell of exhaust, but it’s very short-lived.
Q: What does it mean when you hear “cabin crew, prepare doors for arrival (or departure) and cross-check” over the PA?  
Sébastien Gauthier-Mercier
During pushback and upon arrival at the gate, the flight service director will use the PA system to remind the cabin crew to either arm the doors (during pushback upon departure) or to disarm them (upon arrival at the gate). All main exits have inflatable emergency slides that must be either armed – allowing the slides to deploy – or disarmed. In the flight deck, the doors are monitored to ensure they are in the armed or disarmed position.  

B777 pushback

Q: How do thrust reversers work? 

Scott Cote 
St. Albans, Vermont

For a jet engine, three basic types of thrust reversers exist to redirect air: bucket, clamshell and bypass. The latter, which deflects air forward, is the most common method for reducing the speed of airliners. Some think engines’ blades spin in reverse to slow aircraft down. Not so. The aircraft I fly, the Airbus A320, has four deflectors angling outward from each engine, giving the appearance of flower petals. The action of the deflectors causes the rumbling noise you hear upon landing. Many of Air Canada’s flights, however, are quieter since, under certain conditions, reverse thrust is not necessary: The brakes and ground spoilers easily handle all the work.

Thrust reversers at work....I miss that bird! (A340)

Max reversing in Ottawa


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Calling all fit and not so fit AC pilots

24 left (on the left) luckily it's the shortest at 9000 feet

Dear fellow Air Canada pilots....

June 18th marks the annual Toronto Pearson runway run on 24 left-06 right. And guess who was asked to recruit a total of ten Air Canada pilots to form a race relay team? Daryl from the GTAA frequents my blog so how can I say no?   :)

Pilots (my plea)

You flexed on it, laid rubber on it, went TOGA on it, demonstrated cross wind landings and take-offs on it, barrelled down on it, skidded a little on it, went around on it, shot the ILS on both ends on it, well....why not run down on it?

Believe me, I don't like to run. True, I've run along the rice fields of Narita, Japan, pounded the pavement along the Rhine in Frankfurt, jogged the beach in Tel Aviv, ran up Victoria's peak in Hong Kong and ascended the stairs on Mount Masada near the Dead Sea, jogged in the scenic parks of London, England, noticed the scenery in Vancouver's Stanley Park while jogging (ahem), but I hate to run. I really do.

I guess this is also a test to see how many of my colleagues visit my site. LOL I know a couple of F/Os do and you guys are both in great shape. What do you figure guys and gals? Don't worry about registration fees...we got airline deals (they were waived). LOL
And if you could...pass it along.

I know it will be a required day off, but look at it as a novelty. How many pilots have actually set foot on a runway?

So, any A.C pilot up for the challenge?

Captain Doug

Runway info

Race details

Running room info

Sunday, April 3, 2011

CAM (Commercial Aviation Management)

The "line up" for the night

University of Western Ontario's CAM (Commercial Aviation Management) degree

Did my 25 minute talk last night in London, Ontario. As soon as I walked into the large elongated rectangular room I knew it would be an issue for a PowerPoint Presentation with the screen nestled at one end. I would only have the first third of the room's attention, the middle third would be tuning in and out and the back third....talking. Well Captain Doug pulled a "speaker's faux pas." I made a gruff comment two thirds of the way through my talk. The chatter proved too distracting. I then tried to back paddle about the comment.

It was about as distracting as a lady who passed out because she had too much to drink in the front row of another talk I did two years ago.

Speakers pick up on the "vib" and for some reason I didn't get it last night. Years ago, I did a "toast to the bride" speech and remember when one gentleman half way through my talk gave me a "thumbs up" signifying "you are on a roll." I always make it a habit to complement the speaker when they return to their table. People don't realize how wound up speakers are. One can never enjoy the meal either because your mind is on the speech. Last night when the other speaker sat down, he said "I'm glad that is over with, now I can relax" and took a large gulp of his rum and coke. Maybe that's what I should have had? LOL

The students as a whole were great and many remembered me when I gave an informal "pep" talk three years ago. I chatted with three and I asked them what they figured their four year degree coupled with flight training cost...about $100,000!

Seems of late, I've been doing some soul searching and after my less than stellar performance last night I've decided to be less "open" in giving talks. Driving for three and half hours (there and back), getting a free meal and a sip of wine and selling one book all for half a tank gas money just isn't cutting it. Plus I had to give up a date with the "boss."

Again, the graduates and the others enrolled in the course were all top notch and if I was doing the hiring, I would hire them all!

Did manage to get a free copy of a book from the professor who recruited me three years ago. She wrote...E-Learning in Aviation

Today...a new day...

After a long night for me, I received a few "pat on the backs today." Actually, one from the student president of the program saying "good job last night." Thanks Grant!

But here's one from a frequent flyer who likes my enRoute stuff:

Hello Captain,

I'm an avid reader of your blog, and a frequent flyer on AC. I don't do any of the crazy transcontinental flying others do, but I usually do 60-70 segments a year on AC metal...mostly in Canada and quite a bit on the YOW-YYZ-YOW commute.  I've been a long time fan of your column in EnRoute and for years I've asked many a SD if you were commanding when I've boarded an A320 hoping for a chance to meet you in person and thank you for sharing some insight to those of us who sit in the back but dreamed at some point in life of sitting up front.  

I'm not sure if you know, but there are quite a few posts on the AC forum at FlyerTalk that list having you as the captain of their flight in the "Canadian Celebrity Sightings" post.  I'm sure you'll be happy to note that many of us frequent flyers, who talk to flight crews about turns and wheels up time, consider you a celebrity. 

Thanks for taking the time in both EnRoute, and your blog, to give propeller heads like me a chance to hear about your experiences and hopefully I'll run into you one of these days.

A New Private pilot:

Hi Doug!  After a year and 3 months of being a weekend warrior, I passed my PPL flight test.  Talk about a stressful day.  You know the drill from forced landings to diverting in bad weather and then of course a real 15kt wind G25 made for fun times.  Just some paperwork for transport and I can take passengers!

My ground brief exam was 2 hrs and the flight test was 2.1.  Very long and thorough, I had a migraine going home.  I was extremely happy, but also hard on myself over some of the errors that I did make (I think I am always too hard on myself).

 Thanks for the kick in the butt a few years ago to get going with the flying!!!!

 Flying has its ups and downs, financial headaches, days where you don't want to fly because you are having difficulty with a maneuver from the last class (pre solo circuit work trying to land!), days when you are worried to fly because you saw a 152  skid off the runway the week before (not me in that plane!), days when you generally feel like you aren't progressing as an aviator, nights studying for the written exam.... The list goes on and on.... Learning to fly is a huge commitment, and staying current is just as important.  Through all these downs in flying, there are way more ups though.  I don't need to go through all of them as you know them.  All I can say is when I am up there, there's nowhere else I want to be.  Learning to fly and sticking with it was the best decision I have ever made.

Book Review

A frequent follower, Bas, did one hell of a write up on my book. Boy, I sure could have used him last night as my P.R guy. I spent an extra 45 dollars to rush books for my talk and sold one. "Oh well" as they say. THANKS BAS

Tomorrow I teach weather to Air Canada's new hires.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sense of humour downunder style :)

One of "our" readers sent me this link. It's Air New Zealand's new safety video. I'm certain this sense of humour won't make it to the United Sates or Canada none too soon.

I can see Transport Canada's and the FAA's faces now. Contorted would be one word to describe their view on this. Funny Air New Zealand is our STAR partner.

But like Richard Simmons says in the video, "the Captain says let's kick butt."


Just working on a talk I'll give tomorrow night to new graduates of the four year University of Western Ontario commercial aviation management program. My big task is to convince they did the right thing and the future is rosy. But like Simmons says, "the captain says to kick butt" so onward and upward.
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