This recent news item won't bring any joy to the hearts of travellers: More Frequent Weather-Related Flight Diversions "Weather delays in the U.S. have been trending higher the past four years, upending historical patterns and jumping to an 11-year high for this year’s summer storm season, according to government data for the 30 biggest airports."… Continue reading Diversions – meh!
“It’s the tower calling for you.” Mabel, our receptionist, bookkeeper, and general manager of all things administrative around the flight school, held the phone in an outstretched hand toward me. “Your student is stuck on top of the clouds. They want to talk to you.” I was nervously aware already that one of my most… Continue reading Clouds From Both Sides Now…
"How's the ride?" That's a question airline pilots often ask of one another and of ATC. We are referring to turbulence that affects the smoothness of our flights. According to this video (linked below) a new Delta Airlines “app,” crowd sources turbulence information from all Delta flights and helps pilots find the smooth air. If… Continue reading “Ride” Sharing
I was flying a fully loaded, C-177 Cardinal in a trio of aircraft rented from the Edmonton Flying Club on a tour of the foothills southbound from Edmonton to Rocky Mountain House, then south to Calgary. My bladder began making me seriously regret my morning coffee. As we neared Calgary, the “pain” became urgent and… Continue reading Bathroom Breaks – part 4 – conclusion
Previously in this story: "Attention, this is the captain. Please hold your pee." ============ We suddenly got very busy on the company radio and our Datalink printer, in a discussion with the various company departments concerning our options. Someone suggested we cancel the rest of the trip and rebook passengers later in the day on… Continue reading Bathroom Breaks – part 3
Anyway - back to our story. That’s when I learned how the flushing system on the Airbus A320 works. Of course, a computer is involved. At lower altitudes flushing is a function of some sort of electro-mechanical, vacuum-producing pumps, but as we climb higher another system takes over that uses differential pressure between the inside… Continue reading Bathroom Breaks – part 2
"We're ‘go’ for toilet testing," I informed our purser. I used my best, fake NASA rocket launcher voice as I spoke into the A320’s crew inter-phone system, and watched our altitude ascend through the required level. This was funny — but not funny. This fault could have a real impact on our ability to continue… Continue reading Bathroom Breaks – part 1