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Blog Profile / Cockpit Conversation


URL :http://airplanepilot.blogspot.com/
Filed Under:Transportation / Commercial Aviation
Posts on Regator:1199
Posts / Week:3.4
Archived Since:April 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

No Room at the (Good) Inns

The next day the clouds are still towering above the mountains. Their fluffy-seeming shapes are pregnant with supercooled water, yearning for something to freeze on, especially something thin and sharp like my propeller blades or the leading edges of my wings and stabilizers. Show More Summary

The Days I Don't

I'm sitting in a hotel room in British Columbia while an airplane my company wants in Alberta sits on the ramp at the local airport. It's a nice airplane, but some of the equipment that required for dispatch into "known ice" has been...Show More Summary

Information Asynchrony

As anyone who has tried to contact me through my blog e-mail knows, I'm not amazingly responsive there. It's not by accident, and I'm not ashamed of it. While I love you guys, my blog is a hobby, and the e-mail account attached to it is like a sub-hobby of my hobby. Show More Summary

Out of My Nose

Six hours ago I was woken for work. Five hours ago I arrived at the airport. Four and a half hours ago I had completed a preflight inspection, towed an airplane out of the hangar, and was supervising fuelling. Three and a half hoursShow More Summary

Risk

“There is a risk involved — anything flying, there is risk.” The above quote is from a drone operator. The drone was part of a restaurant promotion in which helicopters bearing mistletoe and cameras swoop over patrons, trying to get them to kiss for the audience. Show More Summary

Geo Referencing

You have at some point probably seen a movie or a television show, usually for children, that uses a gimmick where a story in a book comes to life, or morph into the action of the show. Usually the pages of a book are shown on screen, with text introducing the story, and then a picture. Show More Summary

Highway 63

I've been to this airport before. I remember that you can't buy fuel on Sundays, but today is Saturday, and it turns out we've landed at the same time as another pilot who has a key to the pump, so she can fuel any time she likes. When...Show More Summary

Solar-Powered Coke Bottles

I don't know what these things are. We see them on mountaintops. We saw one at an airport, just outside the perimeter fence, but obviously not installed. We thought it might have come down for maintenance or be waiting for transport to its mountaintop. They are made of fibreglass. Show More Summary

Post Mortem

Well what a clusterfailure that was. Imagine if that vacuum and indication failure had all happened over the course of once turbulent flight in night IMC across the mountains. Suction failures are extremely dangerous. The suction-driven...Show More Summary

Are there one or two Ns in "Brokenness"?

I start the engines the next day to do some VFR work. As the engines fire up, the engine start checklist directs my eyes to the tachometer, then the oil pressure, and to the suction gauge. The suction gauge indicates that the right vacuum pump has died. Show More Summary

Death Rates

I'm IFR in the flight levels on a clear VMC day. The IFR part means I'm following a set of rules and procedures ("Instrument Flight Rules") designed for pilots of aircraft in weather conditions that don't allow them to navigate by looking out the window. Show More Summary

Peer Pressure

As I fly from one airport to another I speak to numerous air traffic controllers. Let's say I depart Grande Prairie (I think they're almost finished the runway upgrade) for Calgary. I would call Grand Prairie Radio, who would ask me to monitor the clearance delivery frequency. Show More Summary

Migratory Birds

I learned to use a GPS receiver for air navigation when I was working in the north. Many of the airplanes in the fleet had three line text GPS units. Some had none, but even that nascent technology was so useful, compared to the NDBShow More Summary

Future So Bright

It's a rainy, miserable fall day with the freezing level a little lower than the minimum en route IFR altitude. I study the GFA showing the cloud levels and types in the area I'll be flying through, and decide that yes, we can do the flight in this airplane. Show More Summary

I Would Have Gone With Stephen Hawking

Before making an approach to an airport, every pilot wants to know the wind strength and direction, what clouds they will encounter, the altimeter setting, and what runway is in use. At some airports the pilot figures out this information herself by flying over the field. Show More Summary

People

My eye just fell on a story from a month ago, of a Cirrus that flew into restricted airspace over Washington, DC. Intercepting jets noted that the pilot appeared unconscious, and followed the airplane until it crashed into the sea, I'm presuming because it ran out of fuel. Show More Summary

Female Problems

Don't worry, this post isn't about instrument air filters or the lack thereof. But for the "problems men don't have" category I submit: Attend aviation conference before work. Bring flight clothes to change into. Forget shoes. Do six hour flight wearing really cute little ankle boots, colour coordinated with your camisole. Could have been worse. Show More Summary

Child Prodigy Inspiration

You know the kind. The kid who built a nuclear power plant in his parents' garage. The seventeen year old wunderkind who is flying an airplane she built herself across the continent. The teenager who is not yet old enough to vote, but...Show More Summary

Cold, Hypoxia and Spiders

From time to time a person stows away in the wheel well of an airliner. There's a big space up there, with room for all the hydraulics, a retracted wheel, and a person. Doors close over the opening to provide streamlining, but I don't know that they close tightly enough to prevent draughts. Show More Summary

Who Knew September Was Such a Busy Month

I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth. I've been flying, amassing comments on the iPad, assessing the proposed new duty time regulations for pilots and how they will affect my company's operations, and mostly stuck in hotels with terrible Internet. Show More Summary

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