!!!!! 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.
Showing newest 7 of 9 posts from August 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 7 of 9 posts from August 2011. Show older posts

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hello Irene.....

Looks like Irene has made landfall in the Carolinas and she will be wreaking havoc along the Eastern U.S tonight and tomorrow where she will decide to visit the Maritimes (Northern New Brunswick). As I speak there is a hurricane reconnaissance aircraft flying in and around her to get an exact fix. How would you like that job? No thanks!

Here is what they are forecasting for JFK at 14 Zulu (10:00 a.m local on Sunday).

FM281400 05060G75KT 1SM +RA BR OVC005

That wind 60 gusting to 75 is in knots, not km/h nor mph. So it's 86 mph or 140 km/h.
She is going to blow. Yeah, baby! Batten down the hatches!!!

Here's the forecast track from the Canadian Hurricane Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I say Halifax but really it is across the harbour in Dartmouth. I worked at the Hurricane Centre and I miss the "Buzz" associated with a good storm. 
So what is Captain D doing Irene's visit? I'm getting out of Dodge and heading west to Victoria, B.C this afternoon. The only glitch is when I arrive back in Toronto tomorrow I have to do a Rapidair to Montreal and back (I hate that when they tack on a Rapidair segment after a beautiful pairing). I could see some wind from the "old girl." 

It won't be til midnight where I can say..."GOODNIGHT IRENE!!!!"

Thursday, August 25, 2011


An equipment bid closes tomorrow and there is some hiring involved. We need 15 B777 captains, 6 A330 captains, 2 767 skippers and 5 A320 captains based in Toronto plus 10 B777 F/Os. Translation...I'll be moving up the ranks slowly, but surely.
(Actually there are other positions needed to be filled and also at different bases, but I'm just talking about how it relates to selfish Captain D) :)))

This is mainly due to retirements i.e no expansion...yet!

I teach another 20 new hires on the 29th. There's also a class in September and October.

Here's one forecast on retirements in the next several years. It basically means 10 to 12 pilots will be flying their last flight every month. Note the peak in 2015. This is one list of many so I am unsure of it's accuracy. I am seniority #1171 and I hit the road in 2021. Translation....get your pilot license! Again, this is just retirements. Wait until the B787 shows up on the ramp. :))

2007                                    120
2008                                    102
2009                                    116
2010                                    119
2011                                    130
2012                                    139
2013                                    131 
2014                                    150  
2015                                    168
2016                                    142
2017                                    125
2018                                    110
2019                                    132
2020                                    111
2021                                    117 
2022                                    139
2023                                    120
2024                                    138
2025                                    127
2026                                    129
2027                                    108
2028                                    107
2029                                    76
2030                                    82
2031                                    53

Out of the blue I received this email two days ago recruiting pilots in China. Rumour has it, this gentleman was walking the airport asking pilots   to come fly in China. I asked if I could post his email and he was more than willing. Too bad my company is not offering leaves- presently. I'd like to take up the challenge for a couple of years. So, for you new aspiring pilots, just don't think legacy carriers, look at the world as your oyster. I mentored one pilot with Jazz and AC is not responding. What's he doing about it? He has an interview with United Arab Emirates, another company looking for pilots....BIG TIME.

Dear Captain Doug Morris

I got your contact from your book. - From the Flight Deck, I am impressed that you are an Air Canada Airbus 320 captain and a certified meteorologist. You write  a monthly aviation column for enRoute, Air Canada's in-flight magazine, as well as for newspapers and other aviation and weather publications.

Pioneer Aviation Services is a professional pilot recruiter for the Airlines in China. I am from Toronto office of Pioneer Aviation Services.
We are recruiting A320 Captains for Juneyao Airlines. Hopefully, we can get 30-50 Captains by the end of this year. Juneyao Airlines is planning to hire 100 Captains from overseas.  Now Juneyao Airlines has 24 A320 aircraft, however, there are only 210 pilots in total 210 including Captains and FOs.  They do have new aircrafts orders from the portion of the 150 aircraft transaction agreed between Airbus and China Aviation Supplies Import and Export Corporation ("CASC") in 2006.

I attached the package of Captains job from Juneyao Airlines. Please visit our website for more information about us. www.pioneeraviationservices.com

Could you please advise whether you are interested in this opportunity or please forward it to your friends who might be interested in it? I am looking forward to receiving your response.
Bin Du | Pioneer Aviation Services

China Juneyao Airlines Pilot Recruitment Notice

Presented by Pioneer Aviation Services (Toronto) 2011-Aug-12

1.Be a national whose home country shall maintain diplomatic relation with the People’s Republic of China; 
2. Be a valid license holder as pilot in air transportation. Has a valid class I medical certificate;
3. Be a national of a contracting party to ICAO
4 Age between 30 and 60 years old
5. 3,000 hours and above in flying hours and 600 hours and above in PIC hours as captain of large aircraft 
6. English proficiency level ICAO IV and above 
7 Qualified for CAT I landing standard
8 No flight accident record 
9 No criminal record 
10 Has ano flight accidentcertificate issued by the former employer
11 Experience-losing period of type rating is no more than 12 calendar months
12 Can accept other large aircraft captains besides A320 series.

Base: Shanghai China

1 before hired as a captain (1)For foreign pilot who has yet to hold a Chinese flight license: 6,000USD/month after passing background check by CAAC 8,000USD/month after commencing flight assignment (75 hours per month)
Salary (after tax):
(2)For foreign pilot who holds Chinese flight license when accepted by Juneyao: 8,000USD/month after transfer of flight license 10,000USD/month after commencing flight assignment.( 75 hours per month) 2. After officially hired as captain: 17000USD/month, ( 75 hours per month) If fly less than 75 hours, salary calculated according to actual flight hours times 226USD/hour.
If fly more than 75 hours, the exceeding hours will be rewarded as 226USD/hour. If flight hours exceed 900 hours per contract year, the exceeding hours will be rewarded as 340USD/hour.

Contract Period:
3 year for A320 series captains 4 years for other large aircraft captains.

2 round international tickets and 2 round domestic tickets per contract year..
7 days in the hotel when first settling in Shanghai
40 days. Can be divided into several times

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doug's Pub Crawl and more (sober!)

Okay. The weather gods were lined up in Halifax this weekend. Even the beer math was really, really good, however, I lost my F/O due to a CARs (Canadian Aviation Regulations) limitation. One can't fly 40 hours in seven days, but did you know you can't fly three 12 hour shifts in a row? Well neither did he or I. So we flew to Calgary from Toronto, then to Halifax and he deadheaded home. I went to the hotel all by my lonesome. :(((((

Translation I spent a very quiet Saturday night in the town I grew up in. So it was an hour before pick up and I decided to walk through Halifax to show you some of the places I used to visit. Where I spent thousands...enough to become mayor of the city with lots of bribe money. ha ha

So here it goes. There's 25 pics... (Click on the photo if you want details...no not those details) But I do have the time imprinted to show you I was moving....

The Public Gardens a typical British Garden nestled in the heart of the city.

A Gazebo where classical bands played throughout the day. 

This reminded me of the many parks I walked though in London, England

A unique name. A few days prior my F/O and I sat in the sun on the top deck and solved many of the world's problems. 

This store (getting a facelift) owned by a British entrepreneur sells unique food from all over the world.
If you are British you can get Hob Nobs and things.(I love those cookies)  Another reminder of shopping in London. 

Citadel Hill. This drumlin is home to an old fortress overlooking the city. 

Halifax Alehouse...one of many

In commemoration of the "Tall ships" in 2000. A bunch of pilots
own a local pub around the corner and it thrives. Yes, we get airline discounts. :)))
An old bank turned into..you guessed it...a pub...The Elephant and Castle.
Last year I visited this spot...I'll stop right there....

The Split Crow. If only I bought RESPs and investments instead of....ahem...
So how many navigation devices are named after pubs? Well take a look at the approach plate to runway 23 in Halifax. Yup, the Split Crow NDB. Used to be called the "G" (Golf) beacon, but how boring. And yes, this is the runway I soloed on 31 years ago. And yes, I mention it to all my F/Os. Hey, I'm captain now, they have to listen to all "my" stories."

Not sure if the "Bluenose" fix to runway 23 was named after this restaurant directly across from the Split Crow beacon. Maybe it was named after the schooner found on the Canadian dime? Or after the term "blue nose" for Nova Scotians when bitter weather prevails and their nose turns blue?

"I'm a broken man on a Halifax pier, the last of the Barrett's Privateers."
CAT III approach you'll know who sang that. Yup, Stan Rogers a huge folk singer who died in the DC-9
Cincinnati fire. I looked for his CD to buy...but no joy.  

The Lower Deck...thousands.... (I'll stop)

Theodore the Tug Boat was out and about. They did a kid's TV series on this guy. 

What would my blog be without a picture of ME. Captain Moosehead.
I had to ask one of the "female natives" to take this picture. I wonder what
she thought when I asked her, "can you do me a favour?" LOL
The "Bluenose" wind vane

The Harbour Hopper. This amphibious vehicle takes "out of towners" for a ride.
Overheard when it drove by me...."how many here are from Ontario? I guess you came to escape the heat."

I'm running late. Time to head back to the hotel. The Halifax Citadel clock is in sight. 

Note the numeral for the number "four." No, it's not a mistake. Apparently that's how
the four was suppose to be written.

Look at the top right pane. Do you see the impression of a head?
Folklore states this guy left an imprint during the famous Halifax Explosion in 1917.  

The "head" is in the third window to the right. This church is located
in an area of tons of pubs. 

Another row of eateries and pubs. Note the lady hanging out the window.

As we drove to the airport an hour later this was seen on a billboard for Coors light beer.
"Two things men love...cold beer and something else..." I thought it was funny.

We Canadians love our moose. No wonder it's on our quarter. Well not this guy. :)

Yup, been there...

Almost home. I remember this being a pizza joint during my university days . Looks
like you can get "other" things in there...passion, intimacy, love and pleasure.
Never knew you could buy that stuff. Who knew? Looks like I spent thousands on the wrong stuff.
I hope you enjoyed my lighthearted tour one hour before crew pick up. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Kick the tires and light the fires"

Right inner main tire...it didn't look this bad at first, but with the weight of fuel and passengers ..it's ego got deflated in a hurry. :)
The "outer" bearing the weight of its deflated partner.

"Kick the Tires," an idiom for the walk-around and as usual I offer the first leg and to "kick the tires." (Apparently a low percentage of captains offer to do the first walk around).

During my "stroll" I noticed the right main tires sitting a little "sloppy". Luckily, I had my "Timmies" coffee so my stroll was NOT coupled with grogginess. :)
I've done hundreds upon hundreds in my career (perhaps a thousand) walk arounds and I can count on one hand (okay maybe both hands) in which I found something.

I kicked the tire, not quite like a "bend it like Beckham" but still gave it a solid 50 year old love tap. (I learned later an aircraft tire will still feel solid because of the tire walls, so kicking a tire is only going to break a toe).

"Yup, the tire is flat with only 5 psi in the right inner," says maintenance called out at the end of his midnight shift to check the tire to appease this pilot.

Two new tires cuddled up to the "left mains" waiting for maintenance.

Another enRoute question..."Are aircraft tires filled with air and at what pressure?"

Twenty five minutes before departure and I smell a delay. The tires arrive slightly after departure time. I make a P.A of what I found during the walk around. I thought I'd have some fun and mention my column and tell them I'm always recruiting questions. ( I rarely do this- I mean mention my column...not have fun lol). "For example," I suggested, "You can ask me how long does it take to change a tire (about 25 to 30 minutes), who makes the tires (Goodyear or Michelin) or how much do they cost (about $2000)?" I think I heard a few chuckles with the flight deck door open.

The maintenance guy needed another helper. Then he had a hard time hand cranking the jack. (I made frequent visits to check on the progress). I felt sorry for the guy. He was about 110 pounds wet and I really wanted to give him a hand. In fact, because we had a full load of passengers and sixteen metric tons of fuel he suggested we may have to deplane the passengers. I resisted the urge to help as I visualized the airplane coming off the jack...How I do I explain that to my boss....whoever he is).

The device to actually manoeuvre the tires...they are heavy. How heavy?
That's another good enRoute question!

The "jack" of all trades

My thirty "airline minutes" had come and gone so time for another announcement, but this time explaining it takes two to change a tire (yes another enRoute question) so we are waiting for back up.

After a two hour delay we push back with two new Michelins and $4000 of new rubber. (Because one of the tires was completely flat, both tires must be replaced because the other may be damaged carrying all the weight). Time to lay some rubber in Vancouver.
But our duty day was 12 hours so this delay pushed us over 14 hours. We were to deadhead home. That's two pairings in a row where captain D has not flown. Oh well, I'm still commander and I'll take it.

While all this transpired we had an avionics guy trouble shooting a SDCU (smoke detection control unit). Luckily the tire change delay was ample time to swap a SDCU unit. Then I hear the F/As go into their chatter. This happens when a delay pushes into the max duty day. It's always proves interesting....

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

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Two days and six legs....


On duty 05:45 (Next month I'm avoiding early morning check-ins) 

YYZ-YUL  0700/0810....delayed 50 minutes. A "rampie" gave us a "love tap" to the cargo section with the bin loader. FIN 404 An "ex-Canadian A320" with two jumpseats!

YUL-YYZ 0900/1015...trying to recuperate lost time. 

YHZ-YYT 1145/1607 FIN 207. Means an aircraft swap. Flight was late inbound. About to de-plane unruly passenger. Captain D has chat with the passenger. We were already running 20 minutes late and it would mean a further 15 to 20 minute delay. Our layover was short. To make matters worse, a "certain math" was being infringed upon. He said he would behave and went back to his seat. 

The F/O and I paid George Street a visit for dinner...  :)))

George Street enshrouded with stratus and cold temperatures. Apparently they cancelled summer. :) 


YYT-YHZ 0620/0727 Wake up call 04:00 (2:30 Toronto time) FIN 275
Low visibility take off. RVR 1600 feet. Needed a take off alternate. We were to go to Stephenville, Newfoundland if we "lost a fan". Debating to do CAT II approach into Halifax. Decided on the Category one. Got the "lights" at 50 feet above minimums.

YHZ-YUL 0835/0909 FIN 218 (another aircraft switch and a "first flight of the day checks")

YUL-YYZ 1000/1115 FIN 263 (yet another aircraft switch)
An aircraft in Toronto experienced a bird strike on the take off roll. Things slowed up as they switched runways.

In-charge informed us passenger in economy cut her foot. (She cut her foot on the side wall...didn't anyone tell her not to put her feet on the furniture? lol) Still bleeding. Had to call EMS and had all passengers remain on board while we catered to gaping wound. ahem   Being sarcastic here, but we errored on the side of safety. 

Here's a little humour.....(I think?)

While flying into Halifax the female controller with a rather "nice voice" read out the latest altimeter setting. "two niner six niner." I jokingly asked my F/O to... "get her to repeat the altimeter setting." He did! We both laughed when he said, "say again the altimeter setting." Boys will be boys. Pilots will be pilots. We shot a perfect approach to near minimums with Captain D thinking he was floating down runway 23 when he actually landed. Sometimes they surprise you...even the super duper ones. :)))

From my hotel room. You can barely see Signal Hill (Think Marconi and the first radio reception) Picture taken for a "frequent visitor to my blog." :)

On ramp about to taxi early this morning

Holding short of 11 on runway 34 

Glad we held short...can you see what just landed?

While enroute to Montreal..can you see the B747 coming at me 1000 feet below? 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weather Gallery at CYYZ (Toronto's Pearson)

Nestled on the departure/arrival floor exists a little enclave called the "Malton Airport Gallery" at Toronto's International Airport. Who says this airport has no culture? LOL The previous exhibit had nothing but typewriters from the teletype days. I guess it had some relevance to aviation?

While exiting the doors from the secure side in Terminal One you will walk by this exhibit if you don't proceed downstairs to collect baggage. Anyone can visit. So being an ex-mat man I had to go in and take a few pics. I was never taught the intricacies of these instruments (weather observers, weather briefers and flight service personnel deal with this stuff). We meteorologists sat in the ivory tower miles away from the weather and forecasted from the data collected. It took lots of science and post secondary education to "screw up the forecast." :)

Before or after a flight take a "look see." It sure brought back memories for me. 

An example of various rain and snow gauges. 

 This is a display of the latex weather balloon which soars to 100,000 feet before bursting.
Weathermen have big "prophylactics" LOL

Devices to measure temperature and humidity. The one in the bottom left corner is a "Sling Psychrometer."A psychrometer consists of two thermometers, one which is dry and one which is kept moist with distilled water on a sock or wick. The two thermometers are thus called the dry-bulb and the wet-bulb. You swing this around like a noise maker on New Year’s eve for a couple of minutes. Then consult charts to get the dewpoint temperature.

The dewpoint temperature is the temperature in which you must cool air to acheive saturation at a constant pressure. Every pilot knows (or so I thought) when the temperature and dewpoint spread is TWO degrees or less...expect FOG. I asked the last new hire class this very question and no one knew. Proving a weather book is desperately needed. :)

This is a radiosonde package which transmits altitude, temperature and humidity as it ascends attached to the weather balloon. As the balloon is tracked winds can be determined. Apparently the American Weather Service want these things back when they return to earth. Environment Canada gives a small explanation of what it does on the package but doesn't want it back. They also remind you it has a corrosive battery...don't eat the battery!

Campbell-Stokes Sunshine recorder

The official instrument used in Canada since 1881 for recording bright sunshine (sunshine intense enough to burn a a mark on the recording paper). It consists of a glass sphere 10 cm in diameter that is mounted in part of a spherical bowl to which a cardboard is affixed. The card is scorched by the sun’s rays and simple measurement of the length of the scorch marks gives the number of hours of bright sunshine for the day. 

This sunshine recorder has been sitting idle on Canada's east coast this summer. I think they cancelled summer.

Many think it's the weatherman's crystal ball.....not so...we throw darts instead. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The "Flying Beaver"

For those who thought Captain D was heading to a dubious spot...here's some pics to prove otherwise. I do realize "beaver' may have other connotations and when you throw the word "flying' in front of it....well some thought...."pole dancing."

This iconic float plane base/bar and grill is nestled on the south side of the Vancouver airport. One can have a beverage, sit in the sun, watch float airplanes, have a great meal (I had the bi-plane burger) and have some great conversation. Actually, many retirement parties happen here. For some, their career started by flying floats and ends here with an Air Canada retirement party. 

Yesterday's layover was fun. First the F/O and I went for a jog (separately...we weren't that close. lol) Walked to the "Beaver" (30 minutes) and then imbibed a few local beverages on sale. A pilot's haven. LOL

We spent a couple of hours in the summer sun enjoying Vancouver's hospitality. No wonder it just won (again) "World's best city to live!"

Tomorrow (really, really early) I get to fly to Canada's (perhaps the world's) windiest, wettest, cloudiest, foggiest city...St John's, Newfoundland. Chris...we'll see ya on George Street. Here's the latest weather...and yes..it's living up to its meteorological reputation.
But as I averred before, the place is loaded with friendly people. Maybe this place has another connotation for the word..."beaver?" LOL

METAR CYYT 070000Z 04024G32KT 1/2SM R11/P6000FT/U R16/P6000FT/U
-DZ FG VV002 10/08 A2971 RMK FG8 SLP065

Translation...it's blowing a gale from the northeast with a half a mile visibility in fog and drizzle and only 10 C (50F). This is what will be greeting me early tomorrow morning...yeah baby!

******************************* NEW ****************************************
Now in St. John's and the above METAR pretty well was the exact same stuff we met 12 hours later. Translation...the crappy weather didn't leave. LOL Foggy pointed out on his blog I did not capture one beaver (yes they were there but many have been modified with turbine engines) so here's a pic "borrowed" from his site. Off to get some DBBs (De-Briefing Beverages). :)

***************************** NEW ******************************************

Check this out...notice there is no "back end" to the truck.

This is how the floatplanes are transferred from the Vancouver airport to the water. 

Someone should tell him he is missing his "dairy air"

The F/O knew his airplane types. I didn't. 
Things get pretty busy at the "Flying Beaver." 

One getting airborne

Newer Posts Older Posts Home