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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/02/2010 in all areas

  1. 13 points
    I did my last flight two weeks ago. Here's a short video my son made of that day.
  2. 11 points
    Just finished my LOE (final sim check) at 2230 tonight on the new bird and enjoying a celebratory scotch. Looking forward to seeing how she flies in real air. I'm the Newest 787 Captain in the World!!!!
  3. 10 points
    Disclaimer, I am in a mood for a soap box. Probably not my best post to follow. Here's why. DH today, in uniform, seated next to a rather medicated business fellow armed with a newspaper and a snoot full of ideas about pilots. The fellow held up his paper in front of my face, "What do you think of this - they say he did it on purpose - Eh? what do you think?" I think all I could manage amid the rising streak of red up the back of my neck was to comment that speculation, no matter how well printed, remains that. It's been a difficult week, let's let the process run a bit. "But still, ya gotta admit, pretty messed up, eh?" "It's a tragedy, that is certain. For any other final conclusions, we'll just have to wait. Where are you travelling from?...." and I thank the Gods of alcohol-induced ADD that he went for it. Of course, this got me thinking about what we consider "messed up" to mean. Is a broken leg "messed up"? Maybe alcohol rehab? Depression? Yes, there is certainly a ranking of ailments, some more worthy than others. Break your leg exercising ghastly judgement mountain biking with men half your age - well that's worthy. Deep depression after the loss of a job, marriage, or relative? Hmmm. About a million years ago, I remember being struck with a paragraph in "The Right Stuff". Pilots didn't actually mind dying in an airplane as much as they feared being remembered as having f____ up in the process. Over the years I have often thought of just how true that sentiment is. We re-enforce this notion, heck, we veritably beat it into newcomers. No matter what, suck it up, carry on. Don't screw it up Useful approach, for the most part. But... There was a line we crossed some time back. I didn't notice when, maybe someone more astute can say, when aviation bought into this arrogant notion that pilots could carry off a safe operation irrespective of their personal circumstances. Funny stories about rowdy layovers aside, we arrived at a point where personal life events didn't seem relevant any more, not to company schedules, sick leave policies, or open discussions of personal fitness. For many pilots, and I have worked with a few, (Don has mentioned pilot assistance), the idea of putting up one's hand to tap out in the face of overwhelming life circumstances has been programmed completely off the table. I have personally witnessed an individual cite several recent deaths in the family and a child in hospital, tell me they haven't slept in days and just got off the phone with their spouse weeping on the other end, but then tell me they're fine. Let's go. (No, we did not operate that flight.) Don, you have often spoken of the normalisation of deviance. It is my belief that, as a community, aviation crews have been living this drift for decades. Our schedules (and schedulers) demand it and our pride makes us try to deliver. This young man's full story may ultimately never be told. But as wrenching as his last moments were, he was one of us. I think we owe it to ourselves, our families, our passengers, and perhaps even in a way to him, to drop the veil of secrecy and stigma (to quote above) that surrounds mental, cognitive or emotional fitness. We simply must come to a place where an individual who wonders if they are fit no longer has to find out onboard an aircraft. If we fail or shy away, then I agree with the poster who noted that this problem may prove unsolvable. There, off my soapbox, with thoughts for each of the members of our aviation family. We have work to do, and I hope we can do it. Vs.
  4. 10 points
    Gee Parakeet.... You read funny. What I've read from all WJ contributors in this thread has been an honest and civil exchange of opinion. Which is exactly what the forum is for. I've been quite impressed with the lack of animosity that so often shows it's ugly face in similar circumstances. I think that speaks volumes for WJ and its pilots. Dave has been a contributor here, off and on, since WJ was a baby... and I'm pretty sure he's earned the right to offer his opinion in ANY public forum he chooses. As for you.... Your opinions are as welcome as anyone else's, but if you're going to threaten to hold someone "accountable" for their words as expressed here, in my opinion, you should at least have the balls to uncloak yourself.
  5. 9 points
    Kip, with respect, I am not speculating on the cause of this accident and I doubt I am alone. I have been part of investigative teams, dealt with those left behind. It is hard to accurately describe the experience of being with these people when public chatter like this reaches them. Cruel is such an inadequate word. I would like to think that many who have been down this road would, at most, comment on the process ahead. That, at least, would be factual. And this is not a couple of colleagues in a hangar over coffee wondering aloud about what took down their friend. This is, I believe, a paid speaking engagement with national exposure and absolutely nothing specific to share. It is not helpful, possibly needlessly harmful. Why do it? I would think that any aviator with the level of expertise that draws national coverage would at least cite the TSB's own request, “It is important not to draw any conclusions or speculate as to the causes at this time. There are often many factors that can contribute to an accident.” But everyone is entitled to their opinion, as you note. The above is mine. With thoughts to the families, loved ones, and those now charged with finding answers for them. Vs
  6. 9 points
    Having watched this topic for too many days (21 apparently) I have these pointless comments WJ doesn't owe anyone a detailed explanation, maybe some compensation anytime a pilot quotes their years of service and flying hours I know that they don't really have a point when someone with detailed knowledge of how the industry works makes it a calling to determine why a specific flight was cancelled/delayed because they were personally inconvenienced and then tries to make it a pubic issue shows a distinct lack of class and huge sense of entitlement the initial query was totally legitimate...but the continued search for the "truth" is pointless and demonstrates more about the poster than WJ's service
  7. 9 points
    Come now, this has been said of every immigrant group to Canada since the early 19th century. The Irish came, they were despised by the majority. They were dirt poor, often sick, settled in slums like St. Henri in Montreal, did all the dirty jobs, clung to the Roman Catholic faith. Then came the Lutheran Germans, and they weren't anything like the Scottish elite, and they clung to the language for a long time. They too started off poor. Then came the Ukrainians, Eastern European Jews and the Southern Italians. The invective against them, their strange religious ways, their language, their strange looks, their huddling together in certain parts of cities or provinces, man, they were hated just for being themselves. It was commonly argued that they were "unassimilable". Well, they assimilated. They worked hard. Their children and grand-children moved up the economic ladder and lost most of the foreignness of the immigrants, but also added some badly needed spice to that bland Anglo-Scottish Anglican and Franco-Catholic elite sauce that took it upon themselves, for their own benefit above all, to run Canada through the 1950s. Oh, then came the Boat People, the Hungarian refugees, etc. they were all different at first too, almost remarkably so and lost in a new country. It always starts out the same way. With a measure of Xenophobia and foreboding. But we aren't 21st century Americans, harangued by hate-mongers in the media and political arena, so we get over it.
  8. 9 points
    I find this argument increasingly sterile and meaningless, because the underlying premise is AC vs WS. The question of relevance really boils down to "What am I trying to prove". Well, WS has a more profitable platform, a clearer sheet, so to speak, than AC, and should always be more profitable. Haver we got that out of the way? What is relevant, to each airline's investors (and staff), is where each is going qualitatively. Comparing the two airlines on that score doesn't add any value to each. What matters to investors and the investment community is "upside" and what each is doing to capture its upside, because right now, both are profitable, both are continuing to expand, and both (not just WS) have begun to reward shareholders, only in different ways. With WS, it's mainly via a dividend, with AC its a combination of accelerated share price recovery now enhanced by a Normal Course Issuer bid. With current fuel prices, AC may well become - for the first time in its history - profitable through all four calendar quarters. In its Q1, its rate of improvement in operating profitability exceeded the dollar reduction in fuel cost, suggesting AC is realizing benefits from more than just fuel, but from its other cost cutting measures. There isn't a broker out there now that hasn't got some sort of buy on the stock with a 12 month target of at least $17, and as high as $22. And many analysts have talked about even greater upside for the stock price, but acknowledge that AC's past track record makes a lot of investors hesitant to buy into scenarios that see AC achieve the kind of multiples some US airlines get. Both AC and WS are following their own paths to success, with different products, both are enjoying quite a bit of it, both should continue to prosper and reward investors, both are renewing and expanding their fleets on a sane, sustainable basis, both have access to competitive rates on capital and so should be well-positiioned in the events interest rates start tracking higher. A better question for me is, "When does the increasing profitability of AC and WS cause someone to actually pony up folding money to start one of these phantom, ultra-low-cost-and-no-service carriers we keep reading about." That's when the fun begins. Ultimately, someone with more credibility than the people trying to create new competition is going to be tempted to take a slice out of the pie, even if they ultimately blow it.
  9. 9 points
    RCAF Snowbirds have recently installed a rear facing 4K HD GoPro camera on the smoke fuel pod of Snowbird 1. The following video by Snowbird 6 is probably the coolest inflight video you will ever see...... https://www.youtube.com/embed/tTnTEvKC-sE
  10. 9 points
    Go to full screen and turn on the sound:
  11. 8 points
    Milton did a lot of things I disagree with, but he sized up AC pilots very accurately. My words, not his, but ACPA pilots as a herd are moronic. No matter what the issue is, it seems there is always another faction willing to snakebite the whole for a limited focus or short term gain. The extended retirement fight is a perfect example. Some very wealthy, senior, some might even say pampered individuals did not want the cash flow to change, despite what they signed up for, so wrapped their personal desires in the constitution and, in addition to enriching themselves, ensured that the next generation could not retire at 60 even if they wanted to, (barring a side deal) without taking a ruinous writedown on their pension. Transfer of wealth from junior to senior. Before someone from the flypast100 coalition gets assigned to troll this post, I fully support every right the constitution affords, provided there is accountability to ensure one's rights are not weaponized to injure another, as was done in this case. Age 67? No thanks. I will leave on plan, even if there is a financial cost. My personal view is that life is worth more than seniority and my partners deserve my best effort. If I am very lucky, I will hang up my jersey while still doing a respectable job and not wait for someone to tap me on the shoulder and point it out to me. While there are superhumans among us, the odds of being as capable at 67 as one was at 55 are pretty slim. And, for what it is worth, I rather like being able to look my younger colleagues in the eye knowing I am not going to hog a position that might help them get their kids through school, as it did for me. It has been a good gig, but at some point we have to share the wealth. Flame away. Might be a source of warmth in our first major eastern storm of the season. vs
  12. 8 points
    Daily there are disturbing new articles concerning our latest immigrants. Some people have taken it upon themselves to protest the arrival of our newest (future citizens) with personal verbal attacks, harassment, racist hate filled graffiti etc. This must stop. It isn't the immigrants fault that they were brought to Canada, we (through our Government) invited them and it is our duty as Canadians to treat them no differently than we do our other longer term residents and citizens. If you see the harassment happening, report it or at the very least speak out against it.
  13. 8 points
    Well today marks three milestones......... 1) My birthday, and the best gift I got was that Scuba 02's heart examination came back flawless, (6 years since surgery). 2) It was almost 27 years to this day that I retired from the Military service, (1989), and went Civil Airlines 3) And today, again 27 years later, I received and big official brown envelope from The Department of National Defence and inside was a large, ready for framing certificate signed by the Chief of the Defence staff, along with a small pin, and a letter thanking me for my 28 years of Military service. And life goes on
  14. 8 points
    I was in HNL on a new years day 5-6 years ago -and had just taken over a -800 for the trip back to YVR when I looked out the window of the flight deck and saw a massive fuel spill was taking place. We had yet to board the aircraft but it was obvious this was going to cause a major delay ( cleanup etc) after calling ATC and CFR I advised the FAs of the delay and went up to the boarding lounge to make a PA to the guests ( many had young children and all of them were looking tired and wanted nothing more to board the flight and go home) I explained about the fuel spill and that we would have about two hours to wait before we could board - I advised them on a brighter note that I had a hankering for an ice cream and that it was only fair that they all got one too…. The FAs with my Amex happily led a lineup of guests - to the Ice cream shop in the terminal where we bought about 165 or so desserts - It was the best PR we could have done - it made the local paper there in HNL after one of the contract agents mentioned it to the local airport staff and it was the best 900 or so bucks I ever spent. When I land in HNL even now I am often referred to Capt Ice cream - although I'm not sure whether they are referring to that day or my waist size these days. Its nice when we can go "outside the box" with this stuff somedays without the fear of the legal stuff the lawyer involvement or even management concerns - at the end of the day treat people the way you would like to be treated.
  15. 8 points
    It may be a case of setting up a scenario for failure. It's easy to point fingers here, but what are the core reasons for this occurring? A switch to hyper dense seating without allowances being made for normal per person carry on baggage stowage? Systems and procedures not designed or implemented to deal with the above? Airports greedily collecting AIF's but not providing simple bag chute infrastructure at gates THEY, and NOT the airline, own and control? Turn times not sufficiently adjusted to allow for loading and unloading of the additional 100 people on the high density aircraft? Management demanding OTP regardless of the above issues? It's easy to go after the little guy who's essentially been set up to fail, but what about Poindexter in the head shed who came up with the scheme in the first place without rolling through a comprehensive analysis of what would probably occur in the real world if it were implemented. Too many of those guys have no understanding of what the term "unintended consequences" means. It's easy to calculate the revenue stream of charging for the first bag, it's a little tougher to quantify the direct and indirect costs of the policy. The devil is in the detail. Getting it right might actually mean Poindexter has to head down to the airport, meet, and get input from those on the frontlines who actually have to make the system work day in and day out. That might entail Poindexter having to buy a pair of steel toed work boots and spending a few mornings on the ramp getting his or her hands dirty. They don't teach that at MBA school..... They say management gets the union they deserve. Though you'll rarely see me defend unions, in this case, it may very well be a case where they actually have a pot to wizz in.
  16. 8 points
    Today there was a get together in Ottawa at the Riverside pub to honour Captain Don Cameron. Don has Parkinson's disease and is in a wheelchair. He has been a faithful RAPCAN luncheon attendee but the Gloucester Mess in Ottawa is a challenge for someone in a wheelchair. Through the efforts of retired Capt. Bill Tate it was decided to throw a surprise beer call for Don. What transpired as far as I was concerned was a piece of aviation history related to Air Canada. For those of you who don't know or remember Don was the Captain of the ill fated DC-9 accident in Cincinnati many years ago. That in itself was a part of history but there is more. Air Canada over the years has had an enviable safety record. However there has been a few notable events over the years. Don's was certainly one of them. What made this event special was a few of the attendees. Capt. Bob Pearson of the Gimil glider accident was in attendance, the patrons of the bar were certainly intrigued to see him there once it was pointed out to them who he was. Some of you may remember the B-767 hi-jacking that occurred in SFO with Capt. Dave Robinson in command. Dave is almost 80 years old and was there, healthy and happy. It was nice to speak to him. Other pilots that have given many years of service above and beyond were there. a few names, Capt. Heb Russell, and his daughter who flew with Don in his Aztec which he flew upon retirement. Capt. Steve Crutcher, Capt. Fred Deveau, Capt. Lyle Gainsford, Capt. Jim Strang. just to name a few. As an aside a friend of mine and to borrow an old cliché, an officer and a gentleman, Capt .Don McKay has written a book entitled " My Dream and Beyond, A Pilots Journey" For the ex-military types a few nostalgic moments, for the Air Canada group some great stories about his career. For any of you who have flown with Don you will know that he is a true gentleman. His book is available at major bookstores and is published by General Store Publishing House www.gsph.com An interesting tidbit; Don flew a Piper Aztec for his own company upon retirement carrying small cargo. His first trip back to Cincinnati since his diversion years ago he was flying the aircraft and on descent was handed over to Cincinnati approach control. According to the pilot with him when he checked in with the controller Don had a "deja vu" moment. When the co-pilot asked Don if he was okay and was this a moment in time? it was determined that the controller was the same controller that he spoke with on that night many moons ago. All this to say that this afternoon there was more than 1000 years of aviation experience gathered in one place!
  17. 7 points
    In the past two weeks, as a full revenue passenger, I flew on both Air Canada and WestJet. Both provided quality service. We are very lucky to have two such great airlines here in Canada. I used their APPs. to keep track of my flights and booked online. Just too darn easy.
  18. 7 points
    When compared to wearing blackface and dancing like an ape, or standing under a terrorist flag while mourning one of the most ruthless terrorists of the decade..... I pick cheating at golf; I'd even accept driving a golf cart above the posted limit to see how far you can get through the sand traps. People are now blaming Trump for the fact that a rogue terrorist nation shot down a civilian airliner. And don't be fooled, Iran denied this for 3 days yet knew full well what happened minutes after the missile launch, so don't even try to snow the Snow Queen. Now lets try something closer to home that may be analogous: The Toronto Police Service decides that they won't arrest pistol packing gangbangers because it might anger their gang colleagues. None the less, one of the gang members shoots at police officers during his arrest for drug trafficing and is killed in the engagement. His death results in gang members shooting up the streets of Toronto and killing numerous innocent bystanders..... If I were to suggest that it was the Police Service's fault for trying to arrest him in the first place, how would that play with the citizens of Toronto? Democratic and Liberal hypocrisy, supported by a mindlessly partisan media is fascinating to watch, especially for veterans..... all of these ideas stand as A-OK with them as long as you don't make the OK sign with your thumb and index finger. I will now predict that Bernie will be the nominee, he will maintain the charted course of madness to Crazy Island, the Democrats will lose in Nov and Liberal minded folks will be astounded by the result... as well they should; my neighbour has a blind goat that could beat Bernie in the primaries. I bet Crazy Island has an active volcano and Democrats are selling guided tour passes.....
  19. 7 points
    Thanks...it will be a frosty day in Hell if I am ever told to Not wear a Poppy. Really unfortunate that most Canadians have never had a tour of the battlefields of Europe and seen the rows and rows of men who gave their all in the name of freedom. What was most impressive was the young age that so many were when they met their demise..... FOREVER grateful for those that gave me this life I enjoy... PS...The creeps, and there will be some again this year, that steal the donation boxes should be forced to spend a day looking at actual photos of the horror that so many endured...... for all of us.
  20. 7 points
    The world is gone to hell. Exactly .000002% of the population identifies as neither male or female. What are we doing catering to an extremely small subset of people? Anybody who can't deal with a greeting of "hello ladies and gentlemen" shouldn't be allowed out in public let alone on an aircraft.
  21. 7 points
    Hey Kip, it's been a while. This is going to be a bit of a threadjack but what the hell. It's always amusing for me to read people's take on this stuff and their perception of history, and Johnny's is not even close. I can answer this one definitively for you. When WestJet started, grooming was part of the flight attendant job description. Full stop. There was no pilot or "voluntary" grooming it was just the flight attendants. There certainly was no culture of "we are all equal" in fact back then the pilots were all considered management. None of the original flight attendants, with the exception of the inflight managers had any airline experience. Actually very few people outside of the flight ops and tech ops groups had any airline experience and so the pilots were expected to lead. We didn't wear leather jackets to dress down, we wore them because we were trying to differentiate ourselves from the competition. Plus they are just cool.? There was no "social experiment." The culture at the beginning was simply a culture of survival although having fun was also a big part of it. Everyone was prepared to do whatever was necessary to get the airline up and running and keep it aloft. There was a common goal and everyone was pulling in the same direction, a very rare occurrence in aviation and probably in most any business but it was immensely satisfying. Back then 6 legs a day was common, we often did more and our long haul flight was YEG - YVR at 1:20. I hated that one.? All the rest were 60 minutes or less and it was 25 minute turns all day, if we were on time. It was awesome! But it became apparent to me very early on that the flight attendants were really challenged by the short sectors and short turns. They were rarely off their feet and never even had a chance to eat their lunch or get off the aircraft just to use a real toilet. They were part of my team and if I could help them in any way I would, so I did. It never occurred to me that grooming was beneath me or that I was demeaning my profession. Hell, when I was flying corporate I had to wash the damn dishes after the flight! If me donating 5 minutes of my time to help groom the cabin meant that a flight attendant could go up to the terminal and use the washroom, or sit down and eat a sandwich or just go stand on the bridge to get some un-recycled air or if it might get us out on time, why wouldn't I? It was immediately obvious how much they appreciated the help so it just became routine for me. I never told the FOs I flew with that they should help but they started to anyway and, well, here we are today. So I guess I will take the blame for starting pilot grooming at WestJet. Pilots don't want to groom any more. Cleaning up a 120 seat aircraft after a 60 minute flight is one thing, cleaning up a 170 seat aircraft after a 5 hour flight is something else again and I get that so maybe it's time for a change. One of the arguments trotted out though is that pilots need to spend their time focusing on "safety related" duties, not grooming. That would be hysterically funny if it wasn't so pathetic. Somehow we managed to complete all our safety related duties and help the FAs when we were doing our 25 minute turns and back then we had to do our own weight and balance and performance calculations, on paper no less! All that is spoon fed to us now and our turns are usually 60 minutes. Mind you, back then safety related duties did not include sitting in the flight deck for 20 minutes, feet up, sipping a coffee and staring at a phone. That seems to be priority one for a lot of individuals these days. So there you go Kip. Like many things, pilot grooming at WestJet is an evolutionary thing that has now become a financial issue. Grooming was just one of the things our illustrious union was supposed to take care of but our boys got thoroughly schooled at the negotiating table. That's another story entirely. DR
  22. 7 points
    If members were to 'ignore' everyone that ticks them off, this forum would become a pretty quiet place. I've always regretted going off on Inchman. I thought he added flavour to the forum, but it's not like his comments were always innocent and lamb like either. For instance, I never thought I would have wanted to hang with 'The Bean' , but I did enjoy his contribution to this board. Unfortunately, Inchan couldn't live with Bean's very effective cheerleading on behalf of WJ and responded by brow beating The Bean until he eventually was driven off the forum. And I was looking forward to hearing Bean's trip report on Emirates 'suite class' too ... oh well. Fist fights should be expected between contributors from time to time I think. Aggressive debate can actually stimulate discussion if only people, like me, didn't take it all so personally at times and let it go like water off a duck. Anyway, just a rambling opinion ...
  23. 7 points
    I agree. Let me tell a personal story; one time I was flying into ORD and from several miles back we could see a situation developing on our intended runway - one guy slow to clear and another slow to go to position. We didn't go around at the first indication that it wasn't going to work, we continued down the slope. PF and PM discussed the probability of a G/A but continued the approach until it really, really wasn't possible to land and then we did our G/A - about the same time as the TWR called for it. An outside observer might comment about how "close" we came to disaster or about how we "didn't see" the aircraft sitting on the runway in front of us, while in reality we saw it from miles back. Sometimes situations resolve themselves, sometimes they don't. I've had YYZ TWR give me landing clearance below minimums - several times actually. I can't say for certain what happened in SFO but remember the very first thing that happened was the query by the approaching aircraft about lights on the runway so obviously they were aware that something wasn't right. I think that they were aware something didn't look right but because of the lighting conditions, approach offset, crosswind or some combination of factors couldn't quite reconcile the information so they queried TWR and continued. TWR said, "everything is fine." So now we're supposed to believe that they would just turn off their brains and land on top of four wide-bodies without looking out the window again or any further concerns? Well, maybe, but more likely is that they continued on their approach being ready for either a G/A or landing depending on how the situation resolved itself. These guys may have been completely in the wrong, approaching a taxiway instead of a runway, but the fact that the G/A was done from a low altitude, alone, doesn't prove that they weren't aware that something wasn't right.
  24. 7 points
    It was just a short while ago when we had to listen (again) to the justification for paying excessive salaries and bonuses to senior executives at Bombardier: words to the effect that they have to offer attractive salary packages to attract good people. And it’s not just Bombardier, it’s true of all major corporations. I for one, am getting sick of listening to these rationalizations that are nothing more than a veiled apology. It’s the excess, the lavishness, the extravagance that I, and I suspect many others find difficult to justify, let alone accept: salaries in the many hundreds of thousands, and often millions of dollars per year, in addition to bonuses in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Excessive Defined Benefit pensions, frequently non-contributory, often credited with 2 years service for each year of employment. These Compensation Committees know how to look after their own. But when it comes to the Worker Bee, the concept of attractive salary packages to attract good people is turned on its head. Then it a case of paying as little as they can get away with and with providing as few benefits as possible. Not the best way to attract “good” worker bee employees. I doubt anyone here begrudges paying “attractive” salaries & benefits to any employee group but it seems to me that the gulf between the bottom wage earners and the top has become so extreme as to become ridiculous, with overindulgence and excess the norm at the top and parsimonious penny-pinching the norm for everyone below. In the story referenced above it is quoted “because of low starting wages - salaries less than $12 an hour – and tough working conditions” that there is a high turnover of staff. One can only wonder why the high-priced help at the top are unable to understand the problem. Perhaps when one is wallowing in $50K or $60K or $70K or even 80K+ a month (and that’s still less than a million/year), the high priced help is living in another world where the concept of trying to live (particularly in large cities like YYZ, YVR or YUL) on less than two grand a month is simply outside their sandbox. I understand the concept of responsibility and the requirement to be compensated accordingly, particularly in the aviation industry. But these disproportionately compensated executives at the top apparently fail to grasp the concept that if the worker bees don't do their jobs, and do them properly, then the airline can get into trouble in much the same fashion as might be the case when the pencil pusher fails to put the decimal point in the right place on his ledger. If executives wish to lead by way of example – and I believe that they should - they could start with understanding that by accepting excessive salary and benefits when at the “top”, they could also add value to the company if the same courtesy was extended to those at the bottom. And no, I’m not suggesting that everyone be paid “excessive” wages, just a reasonable living wage for doing their job. Don't ask me what's "reasonable" - everyone will have their own opinion on that. Just wanted to get that off my chest. Flame away. Over and out.
  25. 7 points
    I guess we run in different circles... I don't hear anyone laughing - but I hear a few like you with zero substance complaints and baseless derogatory comments. I like reality. Facts. I'm not a Trudeau fan, I'd prefer a few things run differently, but overall he's getting more done than the Harper Government did... Barely one year in - after being handed a shiit sandwich economically with oil tanking and the US now turning inward and we have 2 pipelines, plus keystone coming, we stood tall against the Belgians and secured CETA, there's a middle class tax cut, firm action on carbon emissions, continued support to our allies in eastern Europe, valuable action in the Middle East, and a leading contribution to the refugee crisis. We have Americans and Europeans who want to move here. We are the last bastion of the progressives, yet still able to close a multimillion dollar weapons deal with the Saudis... I don't have a problem with trashing Trudeau, but might as well get something to take to task because you're offering nothing... Kinda like the Conservative party offers nothing... Rona, Raitt, Leitch, Maxime... now O'Leary... LOL.. Give me Mulroney anyday over these hacks...
  26. 7 points
    I can do one better, I talked to "the kid" the night of July 13th when this whole story went down. YYZ was having another tough night due to thunderstorms all over the US eastern seaboard. I was on the delayed AC145 to YYC, connecting from ATL. The Kid had come from YWG and was trying to get to YHZ. We briefly talked at the FIDS while looking at flight options. Everything was delayed in all directions of travel, but it looked like everything would resolve itself between 10:30 to midnight. The kid is a head taller than me and an octave lower in voice, a good head on his shoulders and this is not his first rodeo flying alone with connections. The kid is an excellent candidate for a Canadian passport, 100L MEC backpack, ISIC and HI/YHA cards in his backpocket. The kid had no signs of distress and was not anxious about the possibility of spending the night in T1. The only part causing anxiety was his mom on the other end of the cellphone. The kids parents are divorced and the trip is arranged through Dad's side of the family so that he can spend 1/2 the summer with his Dad. Mom mostly gets **bleep** because she has to interact with her exhusband, family, and the stepmom. Mom would still have a chip on her shoulder if the flights were on time and everything went perfectly. As to the situation with hotels. In my wallet is an Amex platinum card which gives me access to Amex travel services plus top tier status with Starwood and Fairmont; additionally I have Marriott Platinum status and Club Carlson Concierge status. The top tier hotel cards give me access to any unoccupied room through a dedicated line to their respective corporate offices or online through their apps. With full access to over 2 dozen hotels in the YYZ area, my options were either Hamilton or the Ritz Carlton downtown, The Ritz want $600+ for the room. I am not trying to be the 1% elite travelling blowhard (that is what Flyertalk is for), but AC line of no hotel rooms is backed up and there is no chance for WS to have any further success at getting a hotel room at 9pm on the night of the 13th. It was not an AC employee who told the kid about the rule of not allowing under 21 yr olds to stay alone, that was me. Included in the standard terms and conditions for all Marriott properties is a clause not allowing under 22s. The same clause is the real reason why Marriott properties ask for government picture id at the checkin desk. The kid relayed all this info to mom on his cell phone. Blame for this whole situation lies squarely with grandad, who did not pay for seat selection for his grandson. Given the kids height, it would have also been nice for grandad to spring for preferred seats for the extra legroom. Additionally preferred seats are at the front aircraft and are least likely to have the pax offloaded during tail swap.
  27. 7 points
    Say what you like about Rob Ford, but he was the only mayor of a major Canadian city of the last generation who was willing to call the trendy left on their bullshit rather than pander to them.
  28. 7 points
    ModerateChop: I am not for unlimited immigration with no rules but once we have granted entry then it is up to us to treat them as well as we would like to be treated ourselves.
  29. 7 points
    To say I was initially sceptical of CR’s appointment wouldn’t be an over-statement, but fairness now demands reconsideration and a reversal of that ‘opinion’. During my adult life there have been many CEO’s of AC, but not a one capable of reordering the corporate structure, changing the culture, placing the Company on solid financial footing and delivering record numbers. I know the industry is fickle and presents many unexpected challenges and opportunity, but credit should be given where it’s due and although I still think CEO’s are over-paid, in this case I think CR deserves much respect for his accomplishments.
  30. 7 points
    I do agree that questions should be asked. I am well known for kicking up dirt when big corporations try to roll over people. From the perspective of all employees using passes, I do think that it is unfortunate, but not necessarily unfair. With many of the other airports in Canada charging for pass travel, it seems that the GTAA held off charging for longer than the others. Why are we treating them like the bad guy now? I didn't hear anyone hear lauding them in the past as one of the few that didn't charge. And, after having been on opposite sides of the table from one branch of the GTAA, I am more than convinced that they are not going to budge. I guess the thing that stuck out for me on this thread was the apparent indignance that it was some horrendous burden on commuters, as if they had some special rights and that their travel should be somehow treated differently than when I use my pass. Why should a commuter be treated as business travel? When I come home from a week in the islands, I'm coming back to go to work. Commuting has become somewhat of a right... often demanding the use of negotiating currency during contract negots. If a fight is to be raised on this, commuters should not be the issue. Pass travel should be the only issue and commuters should benefit the same as all others.
  31. 7 points
    It's about time. Now, start taxing churches, mosques, temples, actually anything that now enjoys tax-free status that is even remotely attached to religion.
  32. 7 points
    Sorry, but I wholeheartedly disagree with these changes to the pass policy. The granting of B1 (pilots) and C1 (effays) passes is a slap in the face to all the other employee groups....and to the retirees. Yes, in the past, changes/enhancements to the pass allocations have been granted for “above-and-beyond efforts, IROPS, etc” - usually on a “one-off” basis - and I don’t think anyone begrudges occasional perquisites such as those for specific services rendered. But generally speaking, the pass system used to treat all unionized and retired employees equally, i.e. ‘time in’ dictated your position in the queue. Now we have a system where specific groups are singled out as being more worthy than other groups. Instant elevation to Prima-donna status in effect. Because now, a 35-year maintenance engineer will be left behind at the gate while a six month new-hire pilot/flight attendant gets the last seat(s). Has the mechanic’s contribution to the survival and success of the company been any less than theirs? Does a flight attendant do more for the operation than say, an agent? Or a scheduler? Are pilots more necessary to running an airline business than maintenance, baggage handlers and cleaners? (Belay that last question! We sign a document stating “T’is so!” when they pin on our wings and issue us the expanding hats.) Imho, the company has discovered a gold-mine. After all, standby pass travel is pretty much a no-cost item for them - but it sure makes a nice trinket to toss on the table as it beguiles those on the other side. And in the “I’m thinking of only ME” attitude that’s hereditary in this industry, we marvel at the shiny bauble, scoop it up and proclaim, “SUCCESS!” Meanwhile, the other trib...er, groups, mumble and grumble and scheme how to even the score when their turn comes up. (Those of us adrift on the ice are immune to such machinations as we’re merely along for the ride; we have no voice and anyway, no one listens to noises wafting across the frozen reaches.) FWIW, I've written to the CEO and the VP Human Resources about this issue but I’m afraid that letters from retirees seem to fall on deaf ears. Oh, not that I haven’t had responses - polite ones for sure - but the responses are similar in thought to the letters sent to unsuccessful AC applicants. Yet...in the spirit of Christmas wishes, genies-in-bottles and the Tooth Fairy, my fervent hope is that the other unions can convince those in charge of the divisiveness of this issue. From the ice floes, mic
  33. 7 points
    This is the only aviation industry forum I know of that isn't heavily redacted by moderators who are risk averse to the extreme. As has been said, we don't just talk aviation when we are at work. Please don't change it, we're all capable of separating the wheat from the chaff.
  34. 7 points
    Skooshing and Slooshing One of the most pleasant individuals I ever had the privilege to fly with on the B737 was the late Doug Rogerson. He and I did many flights together and many were during that period of turmoil when CDN was in the throes of furloughing pilots in 1995-96. I was pretty junior back then and Doug, as a member of the Union Executive, kept in constant touch with his peers, no matter where he was over-nighting. Doug, to many, was a quiet and reserved individual, not prone to outbursts of emotion, always ready to sit back, gather information, process the same, and make a decision that was well thought out. His sense of humor was rather reserved and he was not known as one who would laugh uproariously at anything funny. However, during that tumultuous period he was quick to keep me informed of my precarious position and did much to allay my fears of being jobless upon arrival back at home base. Nevertheless, I did receive my lay-off notice at noon one day, and at 6:00 pm the same day I was telephoned and advised that my lay-off was cancelled. In hindsight, I often wonder if Doug was responsible for ensuring that I was informed immediately about the change in my employment status. Doug was killed in a light aircraft accident in June 2005. He is dearly missed. It was a warm summer morning when, at 4:00 am, I left my residence in Smallville and once again eased onto highway 401 for the two-hour drive to Toronto. I was scheduled for a three day pairing with Doug and was looking forward to enjoying his company, both in the pointy end of the T-Rex, and on the ground during our two nights away. I loved the early morning departures as the highway traffic was always light in the pre-dawn hours and the thought that in just a few hours I would be once more in the cockpit of the aircraft I thoroughly enjoyed flying was enticing in itself. With cruise control locked in and the beginning of a beautiful sunrise at my back, little did I realize that my day was about to take a turn that would, upon arrival at the company parking lot, see me in a very awkward situation… a situation of my own making. I was of the opinion that the two hour drive to Toronto played havoc with a freshly washed and pressed uniform shirt as well as newly pressed trousers, particularly in the summer heat, so I always made a point of just wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sandals for the warm drive to the parking lot. In the parking lot it was easy to discreetly change into uniform and start the day in a fresh, clean, and smart looking uniform. I arrived at the parking lot about 90 minutes before flight departure and commenced my quick-change routine. I had accomplished the aim and was about to put on my dress shoes and trek to the terminal when I suddenly realized that I had not seen my shoes in the back seat. “Not a problem”, I said to myself, “I must have put them in the trunk”, because I remembered I had them out at home and did a quick polish job on them and must have inadvertently put them in the trunk instead of on the floor, in the back seat area. With just the slightest feeling of trepidation I popped the trunk and…nothing…….. save for battery booster cables and a small snow shovel. I knew that they were not in my “brain-bag” but in desperation felt it was worth a look…they were not there. I looked under the car seats…., nothing. I was two hours from home, was supposed to go flying in less than 90 minutes, no stores were open, and all I had were a pair of brown beach sandals to go with a dark blue uniform…… a degree of panic set in. I paused and considered my options…. I could “book-off” but that would be the coward’s way out and I was looking forward to the pairing…. I went to Plan “A” …I would sit and wait for one of my fellow airframe drivers to come to the parking lot as someone, anyone, would be doing a “red-eye” inbound and I could explain my problem and borrow their shoes for the outbound flight…it was a good plan. But wait… no one could land until 7:00 am and I was supposed to be departing at 7:00 am …that plan had a flaw. In desperation, I looked throughout the entire car in anticipation that my dress shoes would miraculously show up. They didn't, but I made a discovery that my devious mind felt would probably offset my problem because, by this time, I was becoming desperate. In the deepest recesses of the trunk, in a wheel well area I found a pair of black toe rubbers. I considered all my options of which there were none, and figured I could probably just pull it off, thus I went to Plan “B”. I buffed up the rubber toe caps and slipped them over my black socks…a little big…as the rubbers were meant to go over top of shoes but if I curled my toes a bit, they wouldn't fall off……. as long as I glided on my feet, instead of walking normally. I thought it would help if I pulled my trousers down a bit and I added another slight deception by throwing on my lightweight raincoat, even though it was a sunny warm morning. The raincoat would hide the fact that my pants were riding quite a bit too low. I was set, I had done it, and now all I had to do was get to Flight Ops without someone pointing out that I was not wearing shoes. I did well navigating the parking lot and the side-walk… until I entered Terminal 3 with their glossy, hard, ceramic floors. My gliding technique had worked well on the side-walks but not so well on the glazed floors. Initially I almost lost one of my “temporary shoes” as the slippery floor required more toe curling to keep the rubbers on and then the worst phase of my subterfuge came into play. The only way I could keep the rubbers on was to almost skate across the floor but in doing so I elicited a very weird sound from my temporary “shoes”. With each glide-step the rubbers emitted a rubbery “skooshing - slooshing” sound, akin to dragging a dead body through a garbage strewn alley. People turned and looked, I stared back, jaw firmly set, and made haste for the security door into Flight Ops. Once through the door I was faced with carpet and that floor type posed no problems. Doug arrived about 10 minutes later while I was pre-flighting on one side of the counter, out of sight of most individuals. He walked around the end and we came face to face. I suppose he was wondering why I was wearing the raincoat and as he looked me up and down he stopped and stared at my feet for what seemed like 10 minutes. He never said a word, but a slow grin started to creep across his face as he stuck out his hand and said, “How’s it goin’? ” There was no point in trying to fool Doug so I told him my problem and he started to laugh and I had never seen Doug laugh for so long and so hard. When he calmed down, we did the paperwork and he walked, I glided, out through the carpeted terminal to the aircraft. We had four sectors that day, with an overnight in Ottawa, and Doug said, with a lopsided grin, that I had to do the first external check and he would do the rest and I could stay in the cockpit…out of the public eye. We flew our sectors, (I discovered that one can actually fly the T-Rex with only socks on), and our last sector had us in Ottawa at 4:00 pm. After arriving at the hotel, I quickly skooshed and slooshed to the nearest shoe store and bought a brand new pair of black Oxfords. The remaining two days were as enjoyable as ever and Doug never even mentioned my temporary shoes escapade. I still have those shoes I bought during that pairing, they sit alone, in a corner of the closet, and I often wonder if, at times, Doug is looking down…and laughing.
  35. 7 points
    ISIS can get people into Canada without refugee immigration. As a matter of fact, I think that the current environment provides a heightened level of awareness and that the risk is lower today than it was in the spring. There have been terrorist groups in Canada for many years. Some succeed in their (fortunately, relatively small) efforts to date. I don't think that that will change, but the moment a refugee steps foot on the property, the next attack will no doubt be blamed on the government's immigration policy. The easiest way to get someone on your side is to treat them the way that you would hope to be treated. The opposite is true, as well. I think that the Paris attacks were more of an extension of the riots from a few years ago, with a heightened level of violence... a result of marginalization, poverty and persecution.Clearly, beyond the fact that they obviously were scheduled, they were just a bunch of thug attacks, with no real organization. Even the suicide-murder-bombing was completely botched. If we continue to paint all Muslims with the same brush, and continue to treat these groups with disdain they will do what comes naturally to any human.... they will lash back. ISIS is less about religion and more about power and money. They simply use religion to activate the troops. One interesting line from the article quoted by DEFCON is We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal. The best way to sustain hate is to face it with more hate. Just saw a show on CTV with the former chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board who described the process of bringing refugees to Canada in these circumstances. First, he described the difference between a million refugees pouring across the border and a few hundred at a time arriving in a controlled fashion. First, the UN does a rough security screening to make sure they meet the definition of refugee, then a Canadian screening officer interviews them, then a security review takes place by CBSA, CSIS and the RCMP. Almost all of the people involved in the airlift will be people who have been in refugee camps for 4 years and these people are well documented. Even sleepers don't sleep for 4 years. The majority coming will be single-mother families with their children because Assad killed the men. We won't be taking people that are already in Europe, so it will be very controlled. He described the people coming as being "extremely low risk". It's time to stop the fear mongering. The refugees coming to Canada will not be wearing grenades around their waists and Kalashnikovs strapped to their legs.
  36. 7 points
    Where would one have dropped the bomb to take out the perpetrators of last night's Paris attacks before it began? Downtown Marseille? Don't be surprised if every one of them was a citizen of France. To suggest that these assholes are in any way connected with Syrian refugees is disingenuous at best. Those refugees are desperately trying to get away from these jerks. A good percentage of them are Christians. I'm as angry at this crap as anyone but I am not going to engage in emotional knee jerk reactions that will do nothing to stop them. We've had decades of trying to bomb and sniper them out of existence and like the war on drugs, it's been a dismal failure. If you want to find the cause, you're going to need to look a whole lot deeper than someone's belief system. These people are extremists. If they didn't have a religion to give them commonality, they'd find another cause in about 30 seconds. They're no different than Timothy McVeigh, Paul Bernardo, the FLQ, the IRA and those masked idiots who smash windows and burn cars whenever world leaders gather.
  37. 7 points
    Well they did get the fire hoses out for him so he sorta got the traditional sendoff
  38. 7 points
    My feelings on this thread will come as no surprise to anyone. I believe it is a fundamental professional discourtesy to the operating crew and those close to them to speculate like this. 8 pages now. Was the wind correct, was the approach correct, conclusions drawn on true vs magnetic wind, approach options that no longer exist at this airport, etc. Maybe someone here was on frequency at the time, had the NOTAMS, ATIS, live weather info or has a direct line to the investigators. But it doesn't sound like it to me. Instead what seems to be here are conclusions formed from press releases and personal opinion, some of it flat wrong. I cannot imagine the kind of personal hell the pilots and their families are going through. One can make the argument that some of the press noise comes with the job, along with the cruelty of enduring the vapid jabber of instant experts on TV enjoying their 15 minutes of fame at their brethrens' expense, But here, in a place where presumably those in the industry come, I think we can do better. It is my opinion that, in the absence of an TSB statement, this is a 'there but for the grace" event. This was an experienced crew in a current generation aircraft. We don't know what happened and we will get no closer to the cause with what we have to work with. Canada has some of the best equipped and trained accident investigators in the world. These folks will get to the bottom of what happened. Perhaps it would serve to show some restraint and let the professionals do their job. Since this is a thread chock full of opinion, consider the above my contribution. Vs
  39. 7 points
    Australian comic Jim Jeffries' view of American gun ownership - performed in Boston. Well worth the time to watch - George Carlin-ish, including the language. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP3HJVp3n9c
  40. 7 points
    Though this was part of a different thread discussion, the answer is so good and interesting, I thought I would break this out to its own discussion since it seems to be a question many have wondered about. My daughter is a Speech Pathology/Linguistics student. I asked her why sometimes we might add the S at the end of the word Air Canada, as in the case "Air Canada's 844", and why we don't hear others like US Air and WestJet following suit? Is it an ego thing, or perhaps just poor radio telephony. This is the answer she said without even having to pause for a moment (yep, she's a smart girl). I was so impressed, I asked her to write it out so I could share. I was a bit wowed by it, and if I ever use the wrong term, I can clearly say "Not my fault". I endeavour to make a point of trying to learn at least one new thing everyday, and I've listened with pleasure to the thinkers that frequent this forum, and thought it was worth sharing. So for Bean, Mitch, Don, Inchman, Blues Deville and everyone, here's something for your bag of knowledge. From my daughter "English has 2 kinds of vowels - monophthongs and diphthongs. Monophthongs are made with one sound, for instance : "Beet". Diphthongs however, are made from two vowel combinations. For instance the "I" sound in "bite" is composed of "aw" and "ee". In cases where a word ends with a vowel, such as the word "Canada", and the next word, such as "eight" begins with a vowel, we use mechanisms to help our listeners distinguish between a diphthong inside a long word, or just two words that have vowels side by side (Canada ends with a vowel, and eight begins with a vowel). In English, we usually use an acoustic mechanism called "Creaky Voice". Try saying "Canada - Eight" slowly and you will hear your voice creaking on the first vowel of the second word "eight". Try saying just the word "eight" on its own, versus the slightly raspy (creaky) "eight" when following the word "Canada". Saying "eight" by itself is a cleaner, less raspy sound. We will however, use Epenthesis, which is the addition of a sound, such as adding an "s" between "Canada" and "eight" to make this distinction when "Creaky Voice" is lost or less discernible, such as over intercoms, RADIOS, or when yelling. Epenthesis is not required, obviously, and we can say the two words seperarated by a small pause. The reason we unconsciously choose Epenthesis and not just a small pause between the words is to continue the fluidity of our speech." Like I said, I try to learn something new every day, I guess I'm covered for today.
  41. 7 points
    Hi, Moderate Chop - First, I'd like to re-iterate what I said before: I don't personally believe that there's much point in booting border-line trolls off the forum (based on what I've seen - I don't know if there was something else going on), They will only return (again) under another of the limitless supply of anonymous rocks under which to reside. It is ironic, but the 'threat' of expulsion really only covers those of us who stand behind our postings; I know I would not be able to return, because I don't choose to hide. Contrary to what you say, most of the folks here, anonymous or not, relish the cut-and-thrust of expressing/defending differing opinions, and they're not at all as homogeneous as you and a few others are saying they are (& I really think y'all know better). So, I'll call BS on your suggestion. I simply do not believe that Mizar/alkaid/woxof's "opinions" have anything to do with it. There are, and have been lots of posters from different viewpoints who have come on here, and in some cases been very caustic, without reducing every single thread, in which they found a difference of opinion, to unfounded smears on the character and/or motivations of (as he saw them) his 'opponents'. And, yes, he had crap fed back to him, but unfortunately it is contagious, and his (euphemistically-called) style was way too often the infection. Yet, I really did hope that M/a/w would eventually grow out of his risible, but nonetheless grating and offensive Walter-Mitty crap (sorry, but David had to actually present himself to kill Goliath), and I thought perhaps that process was nascent in a couple of threads. BUT - It is our hosts' prerogative, and I'm not about to tell them how to run their site. Cheers, IFG
  42. 7 points
    If I recall correctly the peanut allergy issue was the first to become widely known and I don't think most parents have a problem with not sending peanuts and peanut butter to school. When my kids were in elementary school and we got the news about the peanut product ban it took us about 3 minutes to come to terms with it and agree that it was appropriate given the life-threatening consequences to the child with the allergy. The issue now however is that every parent with a child that has any food sensitivity at all is demanding the same ban. I won't send peanut butter if it's life-threatening but if the problem is just that some kid might get a rash from a drop of yogurt on the lunch table or an upset stomach from eating one of my kid's crackers then it becomes too much.
  43. 7 points
    Louise As a joke, my brother-in-law used to hang a pair of pantyhose over his fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to fill them. What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because every Christmas morning, although Don’s kids' stockings were filled right up, his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty. One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown. If you've never been in a X-rated store, don't go. You'll only confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, "What does this do?" "You're kidding me!"" Who would buy that?" Finally, I made it to the inflatable doll section. I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the HOV lane during rush hour. Finding what I wanted was difficult. Love dolls come in many different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I settled for "Lovable Louise." She was at the bottom of the price scale. To call Louise a "doll" took a huge leap of imagination. On Christmas Eve, with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to life. My sister was in on the plan and let me in during the wee morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours. The next morning my Don called to say that Santa had been to his house and left a present that had made him VERY happy but had left the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back and bark some more. We all agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional Christmas dinner. My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. "What the hell is that?" she asked. Don quickly explained, "It's a doll. ""Who would play with something like that?" Granny snapped. I had several candidates in mind, but kept my mouth shut. "Where are her clothes?" Granny continued. "Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran," Don said, trying to steer her into the dining room. But Granny was relentless. "Why doesn't she have any teeth?" Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying," Hang on Granny Hang on!" My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to me and said, "Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?" I told him she was Don's friend. A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home. The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died, who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a noise that’ sounded a lot like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched from the panty hose, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began administering mouth to mouth resuscitation. My brother-in-law fell back over his chair and wet his pants and Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car. It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember. Later in my brother-in-law garage, we conducted a thorough examination to decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh. Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her to perfect health. Louise went on to star in several bachelor party movies. I think Grandpa still calls her whenever he can get out of the house.
  44. 7 points
    Dedicated to Frank Crismon (1903-1990) by Capt. G. C. Kehmeier (United Airlines, Ret.) I ought to make you buy a ticket to ride this airline!" The chief pilot's words were scalding. I had just transferred from San Francisco to Denver. Frank Crismon, my new boss, was giving me a route check between Denver and Salt Lake City. "Any man who flies for me will know this route," he continued. "'Fourteen thousand feet will clear Kings Peak' is not adequate. You had better know that Kings Peak is exactly 13,498 feet high. Bitter Creek is not 'about 7,000 feet.' It is exactly 7,185 feet, and the identifying code for the beacon is dash dot dash. "I'm putting you on probation for one month, and then I'll ride with you again. If you want to work for me, you had better start studying!" Wow! He wasn't kidding! For a month, I pored over sectional charts, auto road maps, Jeppesen approach charts, and topographic quadrangle maps. I learned the elevation and code for every airway beacon between the West Coast and Chicago. I learned the frequencies, runway lengths, and approach procedures for every airport. From city road maps, I plotted the streets that would funnel me to the various runways at each city. A month later he was on my trip. "What is the length of the north-south runway at Milford?" "Fifty-one fifty." "How high is Antelope Island?" "Sixty-seven hundred feet." "If your radio fails on an Ogden-Salt Lake approach, what should you do?" "Make a right turn to 290 degrees and climb to 13,000 feet." "What is the elevation of the Upper Red Butte beacon?" "Seventy-three hundred." "How high is the Laramie Field?" "Seventy-two fifty." This lasted for the three hours from Denver to Salt Lake City. "I'm going to turn you loose on your own. Remember what you have learned. I don't want to ever have to scrape you off some hillside with a book on your lap!" Twenty years later, I was the Captain on a Boeing 720 from San Francisco to Chicago. We were cruising in the cold, clear air at 37,000 feet. South of Grand Junction a deep low-pressure area fed moist air upslope into Denver, causing snow, low ceilings, and restricted visibility. The forecast for Chicago's O'Hare Field was 200 feet and one-half mile, barely minimums. Over the Utah-Colorado border, the backbone of the continent showed white in the noonday sun. I switched on the intercom and gave the passengers the word. "We are over Grand Junction at the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. On our right and a little ahead is the Switzerland of America--the rugged San Juan Mountains. In 14 minutes we will cross the Continental Divide west of Denver. We will arrive O'Hare at 3:30 Chicago time." Over Glenwood Springs, the generator overheat light came on. "Number 2 won't stay on the bus," the engineer advised. He placed the essential power selector to number 3. The power failure light went out for a couple of seconds and then came on again, glowing ominously. "Smoke is coming out of the main power shield," the engineer yelled. "Hand me the goggles." The engineer reached behind the observer's seat, unzipped a small container, and handed the copilot and me each a pair of ski goggles. The smoke was getting thick. I slipped the oxygen mask that is stored above the left side of the pilot's seat over my nose and mouth. By pressing a button on the control wheel, I could talk to the copilot and the engineer through the battery-powered intercom. By flipping a switch, either of us could talk to the passengers. "Emergency descent!" I closed the thrust levers. The engines that had been purring quietly like a giant vacuum cleaner since San Francisco spooled down to a quiet rumble. I established a turn to the left and pulled the speed brake lever to extend the flight spoilers. "Gear down. Advise passengers to fasten seat belts and no smoking." I held the nose forward, and the mountains along the Continental Divide came up rapidly. The smoke was thinning. "Bring cabin altitude to 14,000 feet," I ordered. At 14,000 feet over Fraser, we leveled and retracted the gear and speed brakes. The engineer opened the ram air switch and the smoke disappeared. We removed our goggles and masks. Fuel is vital to the life of a big jet, and electricity is almost as vital. The artificial horizon and other electronic instruments, with which I navigated and made approaches through the clouds, were now so much tin and brass. All I had left was the altimeter, the airspeed, and the magnetic compass--simple instruments that guided airplanes 35 years earlier. "Advise passengers we are making a Denver stop." "The last Denver weather was 300 feet with visibility one-half mile in heavy snow. Wind was northeast at 15 knots with gusts to 20," the copilot volunteered. "I know. I heard it." The clouds merged against the mountains above Golden. Boulder was in the clear. To the northeast, the stratus clouds were thick like the wool on the back of a Rambouillet buck before shearing. I dropped the nose and we moved over the red sandstone buildings of the University of Colorado. We headed southeast and picked up the Denver-Boulder turnpike. "We will fly the turnpike to the Broomfield turnoff, then east on Broomfield Road to Colorado Boulevard, then south to 26th Avenue, then east to Runway 8." The copilot, a San Francisco reserve, gave me a doubtful look. One doesn't scud-run to the end of the runway under a 300-foot ceiling in a big jet. Coming south on Colorado Boulevard, we were down to 100 feet above the highway. Lose it and I would have to pull up into the clouds and fly the gauges when I had no gauges. Hang onto it and I would get into Stapleton Field. I picked up the golf course and started a turn to the left. "Gear down and 30 degrees." The copilot moved a lever with a little wheel on it. He placed the flap lever in the 30-degree slot. I shoved the thrust levers forward. "Don't let me get less than 150 knots. I'm outside." I counted the avenues as they slid underneath. . .30th, 29th, and 28th. I remembered that there was neither a 31st nor a 27th. I picked up 26th. The snow was slanting out of the northeast. The poplar trees and power lines showed starkly through the storm. With electrical power gone, we had no windshield heat. Fortunately, the snow was not sticking. "Let me know when you see a school on your side and hack my time at five-second intervals from the east side of the school yard." Ten seconds. "There it is. The yard is full of kids. Starting time now!" Good boy. Smiley faced Holly. From the east side of the school yard, I counted Kearney, then Krameria, Leydon, Locust. Remember the double lane for Monaco Parkway. Then Magnolia, Niagara, Newport. Time the speed at 130 knots. Only eight blocks to the end of the runway. Oneida, Olive, Pontiac, Poplar. From Quebec to Syracuse, the cross streets disappear; figure eight seconds. Keep 26th Avenue under the right side of the nose. "Full flaps." Dead ahead, glowing dimly in the swirling snow, were the three green lights marking the east end of Runway 8. We crossed 20 feet above the center green light and touched down in a crab to the left. I aligned the nose to the runway with the right rudder, dropped the nose wheel, popped the speed brakes, and brought in reverse thrust. It took us 10 minutes to find the terminal in the swirling whiteout. We saw the dim, flashing red light atop the building indicating the field was closed to all traffic. A mechanic materialized out of the snow carrying two wands. He waved me into the gate. I set the parking brake. "We have ground power," the engineer advised. "Cut the engines." The bagpipe skirl of sound spiraled down to silence. "My hat is off to you, skipper. I don't know how you ever found this airport." "I used to fly for an ornery old chief pilot who made me learn the route," I replied as I hung up my headset and scratched the top of my head where it itched. Frank Crismon passed away at his home in Denver on 25 Jan 1990. Editor's note: Professionalism, readiness, and knowledge can never be replaced by all the electronic gadgets in the world. Whether you drive a truck or a C-17, nothing beats knowing your capabilities and those of your machine, and knowing where you are at all times. It's hard to come up with options if you don't know what's going on. Frank M. Crismon CAHS Honored in 1991 Click to view the LAUREATES album Frank Crismon was born in Alberta, Canada on June 8, 1903. Frank had his first flight in a Curtiss Oriole with an airmail pilot in 1919. Later he sold tickets for a barnstormer who flew an Eaglerock in Utah. While attending the University of Utah in the 1920's, he was a member of the ROTC, which led him to aviation cadet training at March Field, California, from which he graduated as an Army pilot in 1930. He soloed was in April 1929 in a Consolidated PT-3 trainer. Shortly thereafter he became a bomber pilot, flying under the direction of Major "Tooey" Spaatz. In 1933, after his military service, he was hired by Boeing Air Transport (BAT), a predecessor of United Airlines. He was assigned as the first instrument flying instructor at the Salt Lake City base. The approach to Salt Lake City, over the dangerous Wasatch Mountains, was a matter of considerable concern. As a remedy, Frank helped design and implement a new radio range monitoring procedure. By 1932, he had become rated as an ATR, and he had obtained a FAA examiner's license. In 1942, Frank was made chief pilot of the Rocky Mountain Division of United Airlines, a position he held until his retirement in 1963. He had under his direction, over 200 flying officers, all of whom were to be exposed to his high standards of training and operations. During his tenure, there were no accidents involving an instrument procedure or terrain. Frank was instrumental in United Airlines adopting the Jeppesen Airway Manual Services. During a particularly bad snowstorm, he used Christmas trees to outline a runway at Stapleton Airport. Realizing that something had to be done about snow removal, he led the fight for new and better snow removal equipment. After an aircraft accident, Frank helped bring state-of-the-art crash equipment to Stapleton. United Airlines named a DC-8 airliner for him at the end of his active service, a very rare occurrence. He was a strong supporter of the Colorado Air National Guard and the United pilots flying for that organization. For this support, he was made an honorary Colonel in the CANG and an honorary member of the Minutemen flight demonstration team. This pioneer airman flew every aircraft type used by United Airlines, from Boeing 40-Bs to Boeing 720s, without mishaps or accidents. At the time of his retirement, he had amassed over 20,000 flying hours and had flown Will Rogers, Presidents Hoover and Eisenhower, Mrs. Roosevelt, General MacArthur, and many others. In later years, he and Mrs. Crismon established a memorial scholarship fund at Western State College to honor their Navy pilot son, Scot, who was killed during a night carrier landing off the coast of Viet Nam. By 1981, more than 250 students had benefited from this fund. They also aided the funding of the "F. Scott Crismon Memorial Field" at Western State College, to aid the sports programs at this school.
  45. 6 points
    Interesting read. Perhaps time for an informed debate about unions, the need for them and the facts about being in one. A few thoughts from someone who has sat on both sides of the table over the short while I've been in this circus - er - profession. IMO the best working environment is one where everyone in the enterprise has significant skin in the game and recognises that no one succeeds unless everyone does. Putting a union into that setting is a mistake, as everyone is doing their best already. I would say that Westjet would have fit that model in their early years. As soon as a company stratifies and elite management starts to appear, priorities are vulnerable to division. As an operation expands and individuals enter at or above the invisible mercator between worker and manager, the personal links, and associated empathy with the bottom level erodes. The CEO may get the need to stay connected, but they also have to delegate. The increasingly invisible middle layers, increasingly disconnected, begin the erosion. Not irreversible at the start, but also hard to spot. Eventually the company faces some sort of fork in the road that tests their self awareness. Who are we now? Who do we want to be? This, in my view, is the moment of birth for many union movements. If the workers feel the next steps will be on their backs, they begin to think, perhaps we need protection. Very hard to turn back from that point. The company has made its promises and the workers' sentiment is like a stain on the relationship. From that point on, it is largely a 'when', not 'if' equation, barring a wholesale purge of either the executive suite or the front line. I am not at Westjet, indeed looking at it from way too far away. That said, just from the news articles, I wonder if any of the above fits. FWIW Vs
  46. 6 points
    Just my 2 cents worth, but I am now a very happily retired AME who is younger than 60. Due to sensible retirement planning, I am financially secure for the rest of my life, and am free to pursue my dreams and desires for whatever time I have left on this rock. If I could accomplish this on a Maintenance guy's wages, there is no reason why others who earn considerable amounts more cannot do the same.
  47. 6 points
    First, you are simply fear mongering. There is no reason why reasonable checks cannot be carried out on refugees. It's not like we don't have professionals in the CBSA and CSIS. Second, last time I looked we (and the US) had lots of crime and terrorism from within the country. Immigrants don't have the monopoly on terrorism. Let's not forget that the country is given direction by parliament, but was, and will continue to be, run by the same civil servants that were there under the Conservatives. Despite our often negative comments about them, the vast majority of them are dedicated and competent and will continue to serve and protect the country and our borders.
  48. 6 points
    I think that the use of PAN-PAN is now rarely used because sim procedures/instructors have whittled it away. The usual phrase usually goes something like "If things aren't normal, it's better to call a MAYDAY and be overdoing it than to screw around with a PAN [sic]." usually followed by "If you only declare a PAN, you don't get any special handling". Really? While there is no requirement for special handling from ATC, I would suggest that it would be forthcoming unless it was creating a more dangerous situation. After all, ATC gives preferential treatment to Medivac flights without any indication of the severity of the patient's condition. They're not even operating under PAN-PAN. And it is acceptable to ask for the trucks to be standing by even if you have not declared a MAYDAY. The problem, of course is that, as soon as you call a MAYDAY, somebody hits that big RED BUTTON and not only do airport fire services get the call, but external fire departments and ambulances are dispatched and hospitals are put on alert... who knows what happens there?.... do they cancel elective surgeries or call in doctors and nurses so that operating rooms are free and staffed? Are we reducing external emergency response capability when we call a MAYDAY? Is somebody going to get an ambulance 3 minutes later for their heart attack because we've called a MAYDAY because the normally-closest one for them is now sitting in the airport standby area with 50 others? I don't know. Does anyone here know for sure? There is some value to the "less than normal" position. In modern training operandi, we aren't taught enough about the aircraft to make an initial assessment of the gravity of some situations. We are taught to "use the checklists". Sure, we know enough that if we lose just on hydraulic system or a generator that it's probably not going to be all that bad. And we know if we have an engine insisting on its right to be on fire, it's probably not going to be all that good. But stuff in between, especially flight controls that are controlled primarily by computers, it's probably not going to be all that good, either. Getting into direct law in an Airbus once the gear is down is not a good time to be worried if you're going to have to go around. Declaring a MAYDAY helps to ensure, but doesn't guarantee, that a go-around won't happen due to somebody else's decision or choice, as our severe-turbulence-over-the-rockies crew found out when they approached Calgary and almost had to do a go-around when ATC cleared a Transat aircraft to position. And breaking off an approach in a busy terminal area with a flight control problem is probably not one of those "good times", either. So, with as much information as I have about the situation, I think a MAYDAY was the right call in this case. Not that they needed my approval. Neither situation really calls for the textbook "Grave and imminent danger", implying that someone is probably going to die or a crash is imminent, such as in Sully's landing, but "this could be a grave-and-imminent-danger situation if things get any worse" probably qualifies for a MAYDAY, too, IMO. What about an engine shutdown? My aircraft is certified for some carriers to fly 5 1/2 hours on one engine with very very very low odds that the other will fail. If it's not a fuel problem, flying around for 20 minutes shouldn't be considered an emergency. If I don't have 100 tonnes of fuel on board, the climb and go-around performance of the aircraft will beat almost every other aircraft out there. And landing with an engine out is no worse than a medium crosswind in almost any airliner. But we always call a MAYDAY for this. I saw WestJet's single engine landing on TV tonight with an engine out and I'd say that landing was one any of us would be proud of. Certainly not what the movies would show as an aircraft in distress. Where was all of the ground-looping and screeching of tires and parts falling off the aircraft? I do think we are led into a MAYDAY mentality in the sim, though, where we seem to be encouraged to call one with the smallest malfunction. And why wouldn't you call one in the sim?... you can't be second guessed if you take the most conservative path. But that also trains us to call a MAYDAY at the proverbial drop of a hat. Fortunately, MAYDAYs don't get called all that often. If they did, it might lead to a "Cry Wolf" mentality with ATC or external emergency services. So, while I'm not personally spring loaded to call one, I wouldn't hesitate to do so if it's a toss-up or if things stop going my way. I just don't think it is as simple as the "things are less than normal, so call a MAYDAY".
  49. 6 points
  50. 6 points
    This is a piece of literature that was passed to me by a friend. I don't know who was the original author but hopefully she/he doesn't take issue with the fact that I have taken the liberty to modify the document to fit 'our forum' ...as I believe a lot of the content to be applicable to many of us that frequent AEF. No matter what forum, blog, or website you enter - anytime there is an invitation for commentary you are going to encounter the many comments that you may agree or disagree with. What baffles me is when posters allow comments from people they do not agree with to really hit them on a personal level. Personal enough to enter defensive mode where they begin to form circular arguments, throw petty attacks and insults that are really not related to the original discussion and that make no sense to anyone. Whether it is a discussion on suicide, religion, race, aircraft, the government, the environment, aircraft performance, airlines….. whether they be Canadian or global,..... plus a myriad of other subjects that we see posted here, at one point someone is bound to take a non-personal comment personally and begin with character assassinations that are completely arbitrary and unfounded. At times we see that……………. If you voice your opinions based on fact - you're just wrong, ignorant and don’t understand the real issue (aka saying what they want to hear) If you ask for evidence behind a serious discussion/argument - how dare you ask such a thing? Why are you trying to probe such a matter, when everyone else blindly agrees with me?! If you suggest an alternative idea - you're disgusting and should be pitied about your existence. If you support only what your airline is doing, you are a lemming, and have no regard for other ideas, even if they are valid and/or informative. If you don't agree with a member who seems to be more conversant and perhaps better with prose, then you are clearly ignorant, shouldn't be allowed to post, and most likely are uneducated and most certainly uninformed. If you don't feel empathy towards anyone committing suicide - than you are a sociopath that needs education on the matter. The list continues. When we read such comments from an overly sensitive poster one thing still remains ………… their inability, or lack of interest, in discovering the truth behind an issue or idea. It seems they feel that........“ If you aren't with them than you must be against them”. If you, as a poster, show any sign of questioning their experience this equates to you minimizing their experience which results in their justified verbal attack against you as an individual. We all understand that trolls do exist online, and they take pleasure in orchestrating such a mess however that reason alone doesn't answer the question…………….. Why are there many people online that are overly sensitive to the fact that there just might be someone out there that doesn’t agree with them? Why can't they accept that not everyone shares the same experiences, or views as they do and that fact is perfectly okay? Ok, then should you engage with people who trigger you to behave, shall we say, "erratically"? Shouldn’t people be allowed to voice their opinions and ideas online through, this forum without being attacked, whether it be by ‘discrete?’ verbal innuendos or unwritten tangential lashes. Perhaps it is time to really consider what you are about to post, under the cloak of anonymity, and ask yourself…..would I really say this in front of all these people who do frequent this forum if they knew who I was? If nothing else…how about we all play fair??