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
This article raises some issues of huge significance for airline safety: https://medium.com/@markzee/why-pilots-are-reading-a-reel-of-telegrams-in-the-cockpit-5ff6efd93db3 Air Canada 759 missed the one telling them that 28R was closed in San Fransisco, so they tried to land on the taxiway. Only an alert United crew prevented the worst crash in American history, and then only by 14 feet, or 1 second.… Continue reading Information Blizzard?
I noticed one day how my F/O was carrying his wheel-equipped suitcase like a regular bag instead of pulling it. I looked at him and said with concern in my voice, "You do know there are wheels on that thing, don't you?" He laughed, ensured me he did and went on to explain he was… Continue reading Wheely Good
Here's a quick sketch of how an airline pilot's day begins at our imaginary airline, GooseAir: Departure Time: -03H:15M The alarm clock sounds… As I stumble to the bathroom, my few functional brain cells discover that I already know what city I'm in -- without having to read the cover on the phone book. Home.… Continue reading Airline Pilot: A Day in the Life (a short excerpt from my latest book)