Blog Profile / Cockpit Conversation

Filed Under:Transportation / Commercial Aviation
Posts on Regator:357
Posts / Week:0.9
Archived Since:April 25, 2008

Blog Post Archive

You Won't Believe What This KLM Flight Attendant Said

I hate those headlines, but I was feeling uninspired. There's a human factors exercise known as the "Five Hazardous Attitudes," where pilots evaluate their tendency towards different safety ways of neglecting the safest route. It occurred to me today that airline passengers suffer from exactly the same tendencies. Show More Summary

I See Fourteen Lights

There might be fog or mist present when I depart tomorrow from an uncontrolled aerodrome. The minimum allowable visibility for my departure is half a statute mile, so I need to be able to determine how far I can see along the runway, without a tower, a flight service specialist or an electronic runway visual range (RVR) measurement. Show More Summary


I finally updated my personal logbook, sitting down with a small stack of journey logs, a calculator and a sunset/sunrise time database, to make entries for about two and a half years worth of flights. I've never got that far behind before. Show More Summary

Why I Love My Director of Maintenance

I'm afraid I have to be much vaguer than I would like to be, due to the company rule forbidding operational information on social media, but I want to share the DoM's awesomeness. The first part of the story is probably familiar to all pilots and aircraft repair personnel. Show More Summary

Delicious Donair

Tower passed me to the centre frequency just in time for me to hear, "We have the delicious donair in sight." I could see the question marks over my non-pilot co-worker's head before she asked, "Is that a restaurant?" While I have been...Show More Summary

That Horrible Moment When ...

... you land at some little GA airport in the afternoon, because it happened to have a runway long enough, and it was equidistant from the various places you thought you might be asked to go the next day, and then you get a phone call at o-dark-hundred, and during flight planning you ask yourself, "Does the aerodrome have lighting?" It did. Show More Summary

Birds on a Schedule

A NOTAM (at some point it stood for NOTice to Airmen, but I think it's just a word now) is a bulletin advising pilots of non-meteorological hazards to aviation: e.g. runway closures, unlighted towers, air traffic control frequency outages, amended procedures, unserviceable navigation equipment or the presence of a nuisance bear at the airport. Show More Summary

Snark Redirect

My airport authority sent out a useless little memo "urging" everyone to play safely while at no point apologizing for or even mentioning the horrendous poorly-documented mess airport construction has made of the movement areas. My fangs...Show More Summary

"My Frequency" Confession

When flying IFR, a pilot "reads back" that is repeats back all the instructions we receive from air traffic control, to demonstrate that we have heard and accept the instruction, and to give the controller a chance to notice if we have heard incorrectly, or if the controller misspoke. Show More Summary

Beating Popular Wisdom

On Saturday, sixteen-year-old Autumn Veatch was on board a Beech Bonanza, a zippy little single engine airplane, with her step-grandparents. Autumn must have been a passenger, as one must be seventeen to pilot an airplane like that in the United States. Show More Summary

Stowaway Cat

Here is one of the many reasons why there is not an exhaustive list of things to check on preflight inspection. You just walk around that airplane and poke bits of it until you're satisfied that it is airworthy. You'd think that would have included spotting a cat in a translucent wing, but apparently not. Show More Summary

Is The Best Part Taking Off?

A friend wrote today to congratulate me and my countrymen on the 106th anniversary of powered flight in Canada, and then he followed up to ask "is the best part taking off? I always imagine that the best part must always be taking off."...Show More Summary

Shutdown Checklist

During an annual training session for flight followers, my ops manager stated that no information on company operations was to be posted on social media. This restriction definitely wasn't targeted at me, and don't think anyone at work knows about this blog, but the ban definitely includes the sort of things I have been posting here. Show More Summary

The Ultimate Flight Bag

My current flight bag is a backpack. It's black, has the brand name Jaguar on it, and is in a traditional tombstone shape: flat on the bottom and curved on the top. There is a main zippered compartment with a smaller zippered compartment on the front of it, and a third, yet smaller, zippered compartment on the front of that. Show More Summary

Wiley Coyote

I thought I would have the day off, but I was called out to the airport for a test flight. The airplane wasn't quite ready when I got there. Actually it wasn't nearly ready, but I had important candies to crush, so didn't mind waiting too much. Show More Summary

Drones and the Grey-Haired Biddy

For reasons that I don't wish to elaborate on, today I was reading Mary Worth, a legacy soap opera cartoon about a self-righteous senior citizen who can't keep her nose out of her neighbours' business. She's cast as the hero of the strip,...Show More Summary

Frozen North

In the cab to the hotel one night last fall, the cab driver was oddly non-responsive to comments. He seemed alert and sober, and friendly, just didn't seem to get much of what we said. It wasn't until we got to the hotel and encountered the same thing that it dawned on me what the issue was. Show More Summary

Where Is That?

An "ordinary" flight plan, filed by a pilot whose goal is to get from point A to point B, has a fairly simple format: a point of origin, a route, and a destination. The origin and destination are typically airports. (Those of you who...Show More Summary

Regional Rivalries

In the course of our operations we operate both VFR and IFR, often switching between the two regimes, sometimes more than once, in the course of a single flight. VFR stands for Visual Flight Rules, and the rules are simple. As long as...Show More Summary

Your Clearance Cancelled Time is Cancelled

I overheard this post title on switching to a frequency. No one has ever said that to me and I'm not certain which of two possible but contradictory meanings it might have. If I received it, I would ask a clarifying question, but the...Show More Summary

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