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Blog Profile / Cockpit Conversation

Filed Under:Transportation / Commercial Aviation
Posts on Regator:1179
Posts / Week:3.6
Archived Since:April 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Bad Technology Day

I've been struggling with my phone lately, not getting text messages, not having it ring when I'm called. An update to the OS did the trick, even though the OS update notes were all for apps I don't use. I heard someone in the air having an equally frustrating time with technology. "We're struggling with the FMS right now. Show More Summary

Technology Ups and Downs

My ideas file is much longer than the time I am spending using it, so I've pulled out several news stories that I'd better comment on before they expire. No headline writer could resist the fact that the captain's arm came off during landing, but if you read to the end you realize that the prosthetic stayed attached to the body. Show More Summary

Paper or Plastic?

So we're about to evaluate the electronic cockpit. That is have all the charts on an iPad. Eliminate the two boxes of maps in the cockpit, the express ordering of charts for regions we suddenly have to venture, the hunt for a vendorShow More Summary

Tell Me Something I Need to Know

when I was a student pilot I bought a trifold kneeboard. It consisted of a small metal clipboard inside a sturdy nylon array of pockets that could open out to cover slightly more than my lap, with a velcro strap to hold it on my leg....Show More Summary

Guilty Little Pleasure

I love conspiracy theories. I love the idea that the facts as presented could be explained in a way that fits the just as well as the accepted explanation, especially when it conveniently explains some other facts that are conventionally held to be unrelated, but mysterious. Show More Summary

Mysteries of the Universe

My report time this morning was 5:20 am. I got to work at 5:15. Take off eventually happened at 9:29. Most of that delay was weather. But while we were waiting for the weather other excitement occurred. Mystery One occurred when we couldn't...Show More Summary

We Just Don't Always Use It

A fueller once told me that he loved watching me take off because the shallow climb angle is different from the way the other aircraft at that airport behave. He thinks it looks cool. Interesting. Almost all the traffic there besides me are training aircraft, light singles flown by students. Show More Summary

Drawing From Both Bags

When I get to the airport company sent me to in the previous post, there is a NOTAM on the ATIS for fire fighting operations on the edge of the control zone. There's a forest fire. I should have checked NOTAMs during the diversion. I did tell Centre were were headed here, and I hope they would have mentioned it had the airport been actually closed. Show More Summary

Dead Reckoning

As usual I have flight-planned for one task and the onboard satellite communications link to base brings us instructions to do something else. We're to fly direct to a particular airport, and get a maintenance extension from an approved maintenance organization there. Show More Summary

Summer One-Liners

I always scribble notes on my OFPs, but I don't always get time to transform them into blog entries. Here are a few. This is an oldie that has come back. Many types of flight require a flight plan, a notification to air traffic control of where and when you want to fly your airplane. Show More Summary

Human Factors

My Human Factors training is not yet up for renewal, but I'm looking at notes on the training materials we used last time. They were aimed at the maintainer, not the pilot. The main benefit of this is realizing how many shortcuts and errors maintenance personnel make. Show More Summary

Day Trip

I and a fairly new coworker are assigned to go to a site about an hour away and do some work. It's expected to be a single flight: zip up there, do the work and come back to base without landing. I say, "Just in case the work takes longer...Show More Summary

It Did Not, However, Contain a Live Bobcat

I'm picking an airplane up from a routine maintenance inspection and service. It's early in the morning, before anyone from the maintenance unit is in. This is not unusual. It's a little unusual for us to have scheduled maintenance performed...Show More Summary

Hazards on the Taxi

I'm taxiing into the ramp of a familiar FBO. There's a local airline/charter outfit that flies out of here and I have to run the gauntlet between their ranks of parked airplanes to get to where I'm going. Today there's an additional obstacle. Show More Summary

Premature Ditching & Last Minute Go Around

A train carrying Boeing fuselages to assembly plants in Washington state derailed in Montana, dumping the aircraft parts into a river. No one was injured, but I'm guessing someone's airplane deliveries might be late. The video is taken...Show More Summary

Photo Finish

I checked with maintenance regarding my recent post about the fire protection system. Our fire detector is photocell activated. The photocell is sensitive to a particular wavelength of light, supposedly characteristic of fire. I didn't...Show More Summary


One of our aircraft has an optional engine fire extinguishing system installed. The extinguishing system is optional. Engine fires are an option we don't want to exercise. The system is fairly simple, a halon bottle installed in theShow More Summary

GFA Challenge

The GFA is a series of aviation weather maps showing what weather is forecast to affect aviation in a given region in the next twelve hours or so. It shows the centres of high and low pressure regions, the fronts, low visibility, clouds and precipitation, and dangerous weather, including icing and turbulence on a separate page. Show More Summary

Taxiiway Closures

I'm arriving at an airport with no control tower, and no flight services on the field, but it's a mandatory frequency, and this time of day the radio is answered by a flight services specialist at another airport. It's not an uncommon situation in Canada. Show More Summary

Late Spring

An airplane in Canada is legally required to be equipped with a working oil pressure gauge for each engine. When you start a piston engine, your eyes go to the oil pressure gauge. You're waiting for the pressure to come up. Given that it's the first thing you do on starting an engine, it's one of the first things I learned as a student. Show More Summary

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