Monday, September 28, 2009

Situational Awareness requires some thinking

Today in Human Factors class, we further discussed Tony Kerns Airmanship model. How discipline, skill and proficiency are the foundation of good airmanship. Along with the pillars of knowledge of our self, our team, our aircraft, our environment and the risks involved create situational awareness for ourselves and therefore gives us good judgment and decision making.

When talking about situational awareness, it was discussed that the definition of SA is
the accurate perception of what is going on with you, your aircraft, and your surrounding in the past and in the future.
Situational awareness is where the understanding of what has happened, what is happening and what might happen overlap.

Now with the video attached below which I've seen awhile ago...it kind of ties into this kind of thinking and how we can keep situational awareness.

Since situational awareness involves thinking of the past, present, and the possible future, I could say that we have to be thinking in the 5th or even 6th dimension in order to keep situational awareness.




4th dimension is time and thinking in this dimension allows us to see things as a line. What has happened and what is happening is connected by the series of decisions, luck/fate, and actions of others.

5th dimension takes this further and says that thinking in this dimension is almost projecting ahead to the possibility of different options in the future. It is in a way some form or step of a decision making process. If we see or think in the 5th dimension which is a split, it allows us to choose the best possible outcome that we want.

However thinking in the 6th dimension is possibly the best way to maintain situational awareness as it allows us to continually assess the past, present and our intended future/outcome. For example, we get ourselves into a situation we don't necessarily like and want to turn the situation into a more suitable one. We can think in the 6th dimension, a fold, and see what our actions, decisions in the past could have been in order to project into the desired outcome that we want to happen now. After that, we can see where we actually are and where that desired outcome is, and how it connect and how we can move ourselves from here to there.

I got confused after the 6th dimension but I can still show the second part of the video.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

One year anniversary

SEE POST ON ENGINE FAILURE A YEAR AGO

One year anniversary since our airplane C-GSCZ a Beechcraft Bonanza (BE36) has had an engine failure and landed on a new york highway while enroute to Burlington, VT.

I personally have done this flight and I must say, there were a lot of trees, and lakes around...not a lot of good fields. Still amazed by their performance that day..

I've also flown the exact same airplane C-GSCZ today enroute to Montreal and well, supersitious or not, ever since that incident, I've paid more close attention to engine and all of its components.


In march actually, another similar type of engine failure occured on another one of our airplanes but was safely and fortunately high enough to land at Billy Bishop Airport near Owen Sound.


This goes to show, your training goes a long way!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Checked out and licence in

So today I finally finished my Bonanza Checkout and so I'm good to go for circuits and then cross countries. The adrenaline that goes with flying with an engine that you don't fully trust due to the engine failures in the past is amazing. It's good in a way that, now I am more watchful and careful with engine management than before...and keep me on my toes with those forced approach practices.
In a way, the past engine failures has helped SOME people become better pilots.

Anyways yesterday I finally received the long awaited blue "aviation document" from Transport Canada after waiting for almost two months when I first submitted it. I like it because the medical and licence/ratings are all in one package. Plus it's harder to lose it because the blue just stands out very easily.

I also have fallen into the temptation of getting a BlackBerry. But it was a good move on my part because my old phone is like a C150 while this BlackBerry is like a PC-12....relative comparison of course...I've got nothing against 150s ..but absolutely loves PC-12s!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

AABI conference

AABI stands for Aviation Accreditation Board International
They have a conference from July 14 -17, 2009 here in Toronto/Markham and Seneca College is helping to host it.

I haven't really read much about them but I know that they have this conference twice a year and there are representatives around the world.

Part of their agenda today was a visit at Seneca College's campus at Buttonville Airport. I helped with the tour of the hangars and simulators around and I got to meet some people. They probably won't remember me but it's a good thing to volunteer for these kinds of things...networking is key!

The very few people in my group that I toured around came from Boston, Missouri, Seoul Korea, umm someone from FRASCA...and so on. Most of them are representatives of other aviation colleges/universities around the world.

I didn't get to take any pictures but it was a good experience overall. A lot of them were amazed at how many hours we get for our four year degree program for the tuition we pay...and that our airplanes are highly maintained, and our simulators are state of the art and available for use 24/7.

I was actually looking through the website of an aviation university in the states and they offer a Masters degree there in which I am currently interested in pursuing after (but maybe not right after) Seneca. However I am also thinking something along the lines of studying Meteorology further, because the weather is just an exciting thing to study.


Just this past weekend, the weather forecast was thunderstorms the whole morning. However, the thunderstorm (which was a good one) passed and was gone in about an hour or so..and after that it was blue skies (with some clouds of course). Which actually allowed our trip to Wasaga Beach near Collingwood with my family to continue and actually enjoy the sun...and just as we were leaving the cold front was approaching and more thunderstorm headed our way.

One thing I learned..weather can either:
get better
get worse
or stay the same--but not for long.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Eventful June

It's been a good month since the last post so there's bound to be something to write about and its about to start now.

The month of June was filled with events and flying for the most part. I have gone to a conference, camping, and an "art and film festival" by my youth group that donated all profits to a charity. It was pretty good, I wish I had printed and brought some of my photos to just showcase like everyone else.

I have also been flying quite a lot for the past few weeks. I was at the airport everyday and each day lasting almost as least 8-12 hours each for the past couple of weeks. It was good because I had finished all my flights and instrument simulator lessons before the Bonanza checkout. Had cross countries to Goderich, almost North Bay, and St. Catharines...some parts of it were uneventful but i'd rather call it relaxing but there were few times where it build some experience and taught me some lessons that for sure I'd carry on with me.

This past Monday was my first flight in the Beechcraft Bonanza airplanes that we have. We currently have 3 out of the 5 on line and it's being fairly shuffled between 2nd, 3rd and some 4th years. One that's in maintenance already has a new engine strapped on and should come online very soon. And they are currently working on another engine to be put in the second one in maintenance.

The Bonanza is quite a beast compare to a C172. It flies faster, I thought it was easier to control because it was a little bit more heavy. It has a constant speed prop and a retractable landing gear and so it is a little bit more complex than the Cessna.
First flight was almost like re-learning how to fly all over again; attitudes and movements, climbs and descents, turns and steep turns. We spent the last 30 minutes in the circuit...trying to get accustomed to new circuit configurations and speeds and how the landing is a little bit different.
I actually liked the landings I made on the first flight because again the controls felt heavier and so when its time to flare..its a good pull of the controls and there's less chance of ballooning because I can feel how much pull I need more than the Cessna.

My next flight should be tomorrow since all of Ontario has been under a Quasistationary Low the whole week which created pop-up and isolated to scattered thunderstorm cells...sometimes low ceilings as well.
The flight is all about the airwork and getting used to flying a constant speed prop plane with a landing gear...during the airwork. After that a couple of more checkout flights to go before I can be fully checked out on the airplane and start flying mutual circuits and then on to the cross countries.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Titanic of the sky

Emirates A380...we were on the move so its not a great shot

June 1st marks the beginning of the month, for obvious reasons, but it also marks another beginning in Toronto in the form of a 13 hours and some minutes long flight from Dubai to Toronto in one of the biggest, well THE biggest, commercial airliner right now...The Airbus 380.

My friends and I were only a few out of the many, at least a couple hundred spectators of the long awaited first arrival of the A380 to YYZ, Pearson International. Emirates sure have a lot of money buying Airbus' vision of world travel in the A380. I heard somewhere that the Emirates A380 only serviced 4 international cities in the world. One of which was New York City in JFK before but now switched it to Toronto's YYZ...one of the best in the world.

The travel to YYZ was hectic, and taking the 401 wasn't the best idea we made that day...if you know Toronto, you would know how the 401 is even early afternoon it's still one of the busiest commute out there. However, after the almost constant 40-60 kph (25-35 mph) on the 401, we end up missing the appropriate exit and it actually rewarded us because it was almost bumper to bumper at that exit. We took a detour to another intersecting freeway, a U-turn and on to another exit which was probably the only reason we got a glimpse of the giant that was about to smack Pearsons recently reinforced tarmac.

There was also the chase and suspense of not knowing which of three parallel runways (06R, 06L or 05) it was going to land on. The winds that day were pretty much a direct crosswind for these three runways but for some reason Tower decided to switch runways from the more usual 24s and 23. A lot of people were upset about that move, but the chase continues. After stopping near the approach path for 06L, a few onlookers with receivers cursed, and yelled, some even wept (maybe not) that Emirates Flight 240 was cleared to land 06R.
So on to my friends car we went, and drove down the street, immediately stopping at a nearby Burger King as we see the SHIP slowly sailing down the approach path of 06R. It was huge, and surprisingly quiet. And I can safely say that the bigger the airplane on approach, the more it seems to be floating in mid-air stationary in its position as it goes short final for the runway.
Air Transat A310
After the whole ordeal, we took pictures and plane spotted a few other airplanes...but none had the same impression as the first A380 in YYZ. Then we met up with another friend who had airside of the whole event because he was part of Airport Watch, a bunch of aviation enthusiasts and pilots alike who volunteer to keep an eye out for Pearson whenever they pass by, and report anything that seem suspicious. To their undivided efforts, they get rewarded to witness the whole spectacle of the A380 landing and water salute from Pearsons finest as it taxi to the gate.

An hour after Tower decided to go back to using runway 24s and 23. They sure had fun teasing those people that waited near the approach path for these runways. O well, we then spotted more airplanes, looking for good spots to SPOT and take some pictures.
After all of it, it was time to go home, and the drive home was well...we drove back on the 401 at evening rush hour...

And so our journey and the whole day's worth of events came to an end. The long awaited ship has come and gone, and even though it may be compared to as the Titanic of the sky, I hope to never hear about an iceberg making it sink to the depths of the Atlantic...which was the unfortunate fate of an A330 in the form of Air France 447.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shotgun


It's been far too long shuffling around these two lesson flights of pre-flight and flight test...around 6 months actually. The reason is too complex or too long to even mention here about the unfortunate unforeseen events that led to the delay of my licencing.

However I am now a private pilot. I can carry passengers which means take some of my friends up. And it means that I can ride shotgun or in mutual flights for school.
Yesterday, I did just that. Riding shotgun with one of my classmates that finished their PPL early and is now close to Commercial Flight Test.
It is quite a different feeling, view, perspective sitting in the right seat when all this time I've been left seat. I sure did not fly the airplane, I was there only to "fly" really, helping out with radios, lookouts and keeping with the lesson plan.

However, yesterdays flight had to be cut short due to TCU's and CB's building up pretty fast at Buttonville and so we had to return earlier than expected. On the way back, monitoring TOWER first, it didn't seem busy at all. And so after calling at the reporting point, we were cleared direct the threshold. It made me think that tower is trying to get us in first before the other guy who called in from the east...we were coming from the north. And so he kept the speed up, direct numbers doing 120kts in C172. Until about 1/2 mile final where we dropped flaps, and started to slow down quickly. It felt like we were going reverse doing 65 after coming in at 120 kts. Runway was wet and winds were picking up and so we had to make sure that we had no drift and properly and assertively compensated for the crosswind.
Touchdown was a miniscule bounce to maybe just a foot and then consequently making a nice full stop landing.

We even got to practice giving PIREPs to other company airplane who were in the practice area or thinking of flying still.
A few hours later, I looked at the radar and saw a pretty good line of thunderstorm due to the Cold Front passing. As my friends and I were driving to a party due east, we were getting chased by the clearing after the thunderstorms. And so it gave us an extravagant view of not ONE but TWO COMPLETE rainbows ahead of us the entire trip.

Unrelated: I'm also in a struggle but like to call it process of making my own electronic logbook using VBAs and Excels...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's finally summer!

One of the many things I remember having from last summer are thunderstorms. Summer is often known for its wicked thunderstorms making flying that much more challenging and fun for pilots. I’ve always been fascinated on how such a simple thing as water can bring the wildest of the west and the hospitality of the south mix ‘em all together and bring weather to the northeast, most of the time.

Today I was probably asleep for only three to four hours so far when something triggers my senses and I wake up, and to my demise a thunderstorm cell is just passing by overhead. Oh it was a quick one, I had probably captured its worst stage even though it wasn’t that crazy of a thunderstorm, I was at the heart of it for a few minutes. video


As you can see from this radar, just above Toronto (where I live) is a tiny spec of red indicating severe thunderstorm in that particular location at that particular time. Can you say lucky? I actually took a video of it and started to see sheet lightning which is lightning cloud to cloud or in cloud and that it reflects off the whiteness of the cloud making a huge part or “sheet” of the cloud above us glow momentarily. Then I started to see some ice pellets or snow pellets, I can’t really tell them apart visually but I know that snow pellets is GS in the METAR which means Graupel Small and Graupel stands for hail, and hail as we all know can be existent in strong thunderstorms such as this one.

I then proceeded to check if the weather observers observed what I had witnessed and checked the latest Meteorological Aviation Routine weather report (METAR) and got this...

Then I thought I wonder how the big time airline pilots are coordinating with ATC to go around this thunderstorm cell and proceeded to listen to Toronto Centre at liveatc.net. At one point, tower even mentioned, “we went from RWY 06 to RWY 33 to RWY 24 in the span of 8 minutes”. I was glad to hear the pilots not being forced to go a certain route and just use their own judgement about which way to deviate for weather as they manage to depart or arrive from/to Pearson.

As the radar picture dictated, the really bad weather wasn’t going to last long because it was moving fairly fast. And so after a maximum of 8-10 minutes, I took a picture outside and it was very bright, still quite low clouds but no rain and light winds.


I could go into more detail about thunderstorms and all of their effects and so on, at least as much as I have learned over the past 2 years, but I’d leave that to another post. I just wanted to note that, SUMMER IS BACK, and one of the many signs is the brewing of wicked, illustrious, lustrous, VERY EVENTFUL thunderstorms.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Finally done exams!

YES! It is true, the good news must be preached, I am finished second year exams. And now I'm left with the sad truth that I still don't have a coop position and the time is rapidly running out!
If I don't get a job and fail to go on my knees and beg to be on the flightline, I may have to stay an extra summer and not graduate with the rest of my class! Now that is sad...however I'm done exams and all I can think of is enjoying every minute of it!

Books to read, parties to go to, and all other shenanigans are all lined up for me...

Speaking of lines, yesterday weirdly enough while studying for Meteorology Exam, I happen to randomly look up in the sky outside my bedroom window and see contrails. There were two at the moment, one seemingly chasing the other.
A few minutes later I happen to look up again (we always look up don't we?) and see four contrails even though the first two were almost unnoticeable, it was still pretty cool as they were all parallel lines which were probably from the same airway/air route.

I learned that contrails are one of the many things that could help you understand how the weather is like aloft, even though it seems clear blue skies, it could help you understand on the ground how the weather will unfold in the next few days or so.

Contrails of the same route, meaning they are parallel to each other can give a good indication of winds aloft. If they break off easily, it means there are some pretty strong winds aloft...if they slowly shift to one side, it could be fairly light (light for that altitude) winds. And the way they move can give you an indication of where it's coming from or if there's some change in wind direction/speed along that route.

Another is when the contrails are long and seem to stay for a long time, that means that it's fairly moist in that atmosphere even though there are no clouds to be seen around. It could tell you that weather should be coming in soon or in a few days.
If the contrails are short and seem to stay just behind the aircraft, it could mean that it's fairly dry and probably very cold in that altitude of the atmosphere.

I think there may be more things that contrails can tell a pilot about weather coming up but I can't think of it or haven't learned it at the moment.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Goneometers, engines failure, and 5 babies!

So I had two exams this week and well one was quite interesting and the other saddening.
Tuesday a bunch of us went to this fairly new library which I always pass through but never noticed before. It was a pretty cool library, it looked so new and high class but I'm sure there are way better ones out there. I was never a library goer before but I'm definitely becoming more interested in them, besides they are free so why not!

Tuesday we studied from 1pm to almost 9pm talking all about Avionics. We had the exam the next day and I thought it was going to be okay. I turned the cover page and read the first question...what the ADF is a Goneometer!?!? Well most of the exam I knew what the question was asking but I don't know if I answered each question fully. Goneometer question...I took a wild swing at it and we'll see what happens in a few days.

From one exam to another, I had my Flight Propulsion or "engines" exam today. We learned all about gas turbine engines and we also had a pretty big project to do throughout the semester. It was a really interesting course and I'm feeling confident about the exam and nervous at the same time seeing as it is an ORAL EXAM. Basically, we go to see our professor (who happens to be a very smart person btw) and we discuss our project and pick one question out of a hat about anything we learned over the course. So I guess luck had something to do with it seeing as my lack of luck resulted in a question in which I did not study fully. I have studied every other topic except for this one. It was about fuel metering with plungers, I had the idea, except I had switched two variables. One variable was the result of the other instead of the other way around which I thought was correct and it wasn't. I also didn't do well on the project as I totally mistaken the whole point of the project and it wasn't specific and detailed enough for my engine.

With that, I'm here stuck with my very first engine failure...safely on the ground.
But hey at least I don't have swine flu ...err H1N1 influenza.

I wonder if raccoons produce a similar effect, because today 5 baby raccoons were extracted from my closed attic that is probably a couple of weeks old. The "exterminator" or "wild animal person" took the babies from the attic and placed them in a box near my backyard so that when MAMA raccoon won't go hiatus when she comes back with her babies gone. Hopefully she finds them in the backyard, relocates them and they become a happy family only to go through our trash in the future.
I love the wild animal guy's facial expression.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Canadians have gone plane crazy!

Gather 'round kids I've got some awesome news!

I'm good to fly for another year! woohoo! Thanks to all the flying gods for making this possible: Chuck Yeager, Alan Sheppard, John Glenn, Ernest Gann, HAM (first ape in space) and all the others I can't think of right now...again Thank you!

Anyways that was just a sidenote...the real story is "Have Canadians gone mad?"

So up to this day in 2009 there have been many incidents, accidents, funny, weird, strange and sometimes unbelievably insane stories related with Aviation and well Canada.

Now that I've been flying for just under a year now, it seems that I notice more things in News about Aviation...or 2009 is just a crazy year and it's not just me that notices these crazy things happening lately.
Just to name ones that I know of:

US Airways 1549
Continental "Colgan" 3407
Turkish Airlines 1951
Montana PC-12 Crash
FedEx MD-11 Crash
Stolen C172 from Confederation College
Man jumping out of King Air 200 at FL230
King Air pilot dies
Our very own Bonanza having engine failure...

That's all the ones I can remember from memory, it's only almost May and it seems quite a lot already.
And some of these accidents have some sort of Canadian content to it, maybe the news people are trying to tell us something; we Canadians have gone haywire.

Maybe the media is trying to portray that Canadians are in some kind of northern drug that you can only get in Canada and it's available for everyone...even geese.

Cactus 1549 puts blame on CANADA GEESE
Colgan 3407 was a Bombardier Dash Q-400 (Canadian eh?)
Canadian man stealing an airplane possibly trying to get shot down by F-16s
Canadian man opening the door of a King Air 200 at FL230 (23 000ft) and jumping out.

Maybe we are a bunch of whackos, but I still don't think we're the biggest maniacs out there. But that's that, I don't really know how else to put it. Maybe we'll see some more Canadian Content in the future of Aviation...hopefully not so much in accidents and crazy mischief of suicidal people.

But as for me, I can safely say that I'm still sane to fly according to my recently renewed CAT I Medical at least.

Friday, April 24, 2009

CAT I Medical

So my Catergory 1 medical expires by the end of April and so today I have scheduled an appointment with the Aviation Medical Examiner that our school recommends.
It is only my third time of getting my medical, second time getting it renewed, but the excitement along with the fear is always there. It's like going to a doctor and he's about to tell you if your days are numbered, in this case if your flying days are numbered.

The reason why our school makes us go get a CAT I medical all the time, even though Private Pilots can fly with only CAT 3, is ...I think...because we are considered a Commercial Operator. I believe it's part of the deal that Transport Canada had made with the school to make it an Integrated ATPL program. With that said, there are approximately 30 people in each class year for this program, but for my year and the year below (for now) we total 140. So a brief arithmetic estimation, if everyone in my program went to this AME every year, he would be earning $20k a year just from the students in our program. I could imagine that a lot more people go to him for a Medical and other issues.

Anyway, the students and some staff at school have kinda made a small joke about all of this and how this AME would give a medical as long as you have $100.

"He takes his stethoscope to listen to your lungs only to hear $100, $100..."
"Checks your blood pressure, and of course it's going to be $100 mmHg"
or the classic "Shouldn't take long, I have my $100 ready..."

Anyways, I'm sure he does a great job and it's all fun joking around about it..
However, the joking around stops when that day comes where $100 still can't give you a valid Medical...I hope that's infinitely far away from now for me.

In other news, one of our Bonanzas are coming back on line. Should be fun to see people fight for it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Avionics class

Today was another reminder why I don't like school that much. Talk about punishment or imprisonment, I (along with 40 others) had to endure 4.5 long, repetitive, monotonous hours of presentations about various navigational aids/systems.

I was one of the four more basic navigation systems that presented last week. They were:
ADF - automatic direction finding
VOR - VHF omnidirectional range
ILS - Instrument Landing System
EGPWS - Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System
MLS - Microwave Landing System

and today:
TCAS - Traffic alert and collision avoidance system
RNAV - Area Navigation
ADS-B - Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast
LORAN-C - LOng RAnge Navigation

it was actually quite a list of topics that we had covered in that class. Unfortunately, the sad undying fact still remains that we have to get examined on these system for Final Exam which is coming in about two weeks time.

I can't wait!

As for the weather, it looks promising at least for the next 7 days starting tomorrow.

With the news about SCV,
It was actually replaced with an engine that was suppose to go on another Bonanza in Maintenance so that they could fly it back here. Both the failed engines are currently being investigated by TSB and I believe, Continental - the maker of the engine.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The only one scheduled

Winter weather yet again!
Today was all about low ceilings, pretty low visibility, ice pellets, snow pellets mixed with snow?, a little bit of rain, and gusty winds...it's quite a nasty mix even on the ground.


Just went through the usual routine of checking our schools scheduling system, weather, email..etc right after class. It was a very long day, but as a pilot I know I would have to get used to unusual day/night, work/rest patterns. I usually do this routine to check if I am scheduled for tomorrow, and if so, if the weather will actually be good enough. Or the opposite of checking if the weather is good enough to fly tomorrow to maybe go to the airport and get a flight in. Either way, it's some sort of uneventful, almost automatic series of actions that I take everyday.

Tomorrow I saw that I was on the schedule. Today's weather was bad, no doubt...tomorrow seems better but still not good enough (or so it forecasts). But the easiest way that I knew that I probably won't be flying the scheduled flight tomorrow is the fact that I am the only person on the schedule in the morning. There's a long ground briefing associated with the flight so it's probably the only reason why I am not taken off the schedule, otherwise I would have been in cheerful joy, filled with happiness that I would have been able to take a rest tonight (or do less than usual). But nope, I have to do a whole lot of planning, and I just can't wait to do that.

On that note, it's time for the second routine...upon which I double, sometimes triple check the weather in all possible charts, forecasts, and websites that offer them...looking for a possible way that I may end up actually flying, and so actually be prepared for it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

People like us (pilots)

Today I was buzzing through the world of interweb, and to my surprise I find my way to the glamorous and of course infamous world of youtube. I usually have subscriptions of different channels that I tend to watch but this time I was looking for something different and something more grandiloquently grotesque.

I then come across a what I would think as a tv series much like How it's made or Extreme Machines., and it's something that it also lies in the genre of satirical comedy. It would seem to me after watching that it is a similar to "Burn After Reading" movie which is categorized as a black comedy film. It is not a film of black people being comedians no, it is actually quite a difficult form of comedy as some people may not appreciate the intended sarcasm and irony involved in such pieces.

Anyways it is a three-part segment, but definitely worth watching...







HOPE YOU ENJOYED IT as much as I did at least!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Crummy weather to fall down the stairs



For my class year, we don't have school on fridays, however there are some, lots, TONS of homework to do. So the weekend won't really be a weekend for anyone especially in the final stretch of the semester. As for today it was forecast to be raining, low ceilings, and strong winds the whole day. Usually the schedule would be cleared off the night before if the weather forecast is this bad, but today for some reason it wasn't. So people were actually "forced" to go wake up early in the morning just to cancel their flights. It is quite sad actually, and I know how it feels because it has happened to me plenty of times.

So with the rainy weather for the whole day, I figured to just stay home and try and get some work done. I was supposed to go on the simulator at the airport to practice but the laziness bug kicked in plus I didn't even want to travel (via Public Transportation) in this wet and windy weather (whoa alliteration). So instead it's me, my laptop, the internet, and lots and lots of typing for today.

I woke up feeling a little bit sick, with a bit of cold so I'm beside the tissue box once again. As I was on my way down the stairs for lunch, I figured I'd bring my laptop down to try and do some multi-tasking. So with me, tissue box, laptop, and wireless mouse. As I was about to take my second step down the stairs I was also trying to click on something with the wireless mouse...and I slip and fall on my back hard down the stairs. I think part of me inside was still trying to prevent damage to my laptop, talk about selflessness eh.
So as I reach the bottom of the stairs, I slowly put my laptop down and lie down in pain and agony of what just happened to me. I think for like a few seconds I couldn't even breathe, and for the next 5 minutes I couldn't move. My brother, who was in the basement heard my screaming and the loud noise of my epic fall (fail too), he comes up and tells me not to move and starts asking me where it hurts (he's gonna be a firefighter). After a while, I'm on my feet, but my neck and back up until now, still aches.

Lesson learned: don't click on anything while travelling down the stairs with laptop.
Back to Aerodynamic project about wingtip attachments/arrangements.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

4 weeks, interviews and forced landing

So starting from today there are approximately four (4) weeks left of school before my second year in this program is over. There are still quite a number of assignments to do and it's going to be quite a nasty April for me and the other 50 some people in my class.
However, there are quite a few things to look forward to however. One is the Pratt & Whitney field trip that our class is having which are based in Missisauga, ON. They were actually quite hesitant about giving us this tour for our class but if you know my professor, you'll know that he is one of those people that it's just so hard to say no to. Did I mention that he is really really smart? Yep he is, I don't know exactly what he has his Doctorate Degree on but I'm sure it's quite a tough one.

So in our four-year degree program, it is required for us to take one of the 3 summers as a co-op work term for 14 consecutive weeks. A lot of people from previous years have gone to airlines and just worked ramp, some people have gone to the depths of Northwestern Canada and worked in small charter/cargo companies. I had two interviews so far out of the many applications I have sent...both jobs declined. One was for a charter company based in Yellowknife, NT. The other is my very own dispatcher position for the summer, which I was very surprised when I found out I didn't get it, because I thought it actually went well. However, none of that is about to phase me, I know that I just have to keep trying and in this industry, it's not uncommon to get turned down by a lot of companies.
If any readers (if there are any, I doubt it...) work for any company willing to "hook" me up with a job, or even an interview, it would be awesome. I have until the end of the semester to get a job or else...I don't even want to think about it...(maybe it won't be that bad)

What was bad and good though, depending on what way you look at it, is the recent engine failure in one of our Be-36 (or F33A) Bonanzas. It actually happened to two of my classmates while they were on a cross country flight, they were near Billy Bishop Airport near Owen Sound, and fortunately the weather was good enough that they were able to go to 9500' for their cruise. However high they were, or close to the airport they were, an engine failure is one of the serious emergencies without a doubt, and so I give them kudos for the great job they did. Here is the local news article about it. I have talked to them, congratulated them and asked them questions, however since it was the second engine failure in our Bonanza in 7 months (this was the first) I'm not really in any position or allowed to say anything to anyone because it's still under investigation. All I've said can be found by anyone who searches for it so it's nothing special, just letting it be known.

And with that, I shall get back to those assignments calling for my attention.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hobbies

By Definition: a hobby is an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.

Everyone has them, whether we know it or not, all of us are bound to have interests and therefore have quite a few, some more than others but nevertheless, interesting hobbies. However I am not really interested in knowing what everyone's hobbies are because it would just be a whole array of activities which I may or may not find interesting. One person's hated activity can be another person's hobby.

I'm more interested in the hobbies that pilots have, and that is of course other than flying. A lot of people fly for the pleasure of flying and that is a hobby but many others fly for a living but that doesn't mean it isn't a pleasure, in actuality pilots should be flying for a living or choose to fly for a living for the main purpose of pleasure and interest...however I know that may change as time passes by.

So other than flying, pilots do have a variety of other pleasurable activities. I (and quite a few of my classmates) for instance enjoy photography. It's our way to express our creative side since we're all bound to the same old, SOPs or Checklists, so I guess it is our way of expressing ourselves in a more artistic way. We learn not only to have a good eye in approaches, flying, or seeing things ahead of an airplane, we also learn to see light, shapes, lines, context, depth of field, all the many things a good photographer uses his/her eye for. Since a camera can't see things exactly the way a complex human eye does, we have to learn to adapt and see how the camera would see it and so on. Just like when people squint one eye and make a small rectangular box with their fingers to see things in a rectangular shape because that's what the camera sees! With that I think its an opportune moment to advertise my flickr account here.


Anyways, that's one of the many popular (I think) hobbies a lot of pilots do on their free time, for fun, for relaxation, for whatever it may be. Others (and some of them I do enjoy as well) also write to express their feelings, some take acting or dancing lessons, sing, watch sci-fi movies, read,...the list just goes on.

There are a number of websites that list the most popular hobbies that people do in the world, one website lists some agreeably top 50 ones here.. However I have yet to find a list of the most popular hobbies that pilots do, and I would guess that a lot of these hobbies would have some kind of similarity to each other, since most pilots already do have one thing they share with each other...enjoy watching or being in...airplanes.

When I find one, or compile one if no one has yet to take the initiative to do so, I shall post it here and see what kind of things would be on the list and possibly be one of my many hobbies as well.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cooperative

So it's been a long (10x) time since I have posted here, and I don't really have a good reason so I'm just going to bluntly say it.

I haven't had ideas, time, or energy to really get my writing up to speed with the work I have been recently being pounded with at school. Many a times especially in my class have I seen people who fall under the smart group go and separate ways from the rest of our class. Many, if not all of them, have legitimate reasons for doing so as well, and sometimes it makes me think if I, as well, am wasting my time here doing this Bachelor Degree program.
However, I am not one about to give up or quit, it's just not in my veins to do such thing. I think that it's not really fair to myself to just give up without giving my very best effort in aviation or anything.

Anyways enough of that talk...
In order to graduate, one of the requirements is to have a Co-op job for one of the summers, either 2nd or 3rd. The coop has to last a minimum of 14 consecutive weeks around May-August, with a minimum 24 hours a week work and usually it should be a paid job as well. This coop term is to introduce or allow us to understand the aviation industry, small or big companies and how they operate and gain experience in it even if it's a ramp job.

I have applied for a ground operations attendant position at a charter company based in Yellowknife, NT. Along with four of my colleagues, we were supposed to be given phone interviews with a live video feed. However, we were spared the live video feed as it was not working at the moment so we just continued with the phone interview. I must say that the interviewer was really monotone and quite uninterested or so it seemed, to have these interviews. The next day, I find out that 3 of my classmates were given the positions available and I'm left here to wonder why I wasn't one of the three. It was all right actually, at first I was really interested of living somewhere far from southern Ontario for once, but started getting cold feet as the interview neared. I still wanted to work there, but getting declined for the job wasn't the end of the world either.

Now I'm here left stranded, waiting to secure a job over the summer or else I would be left alone not even able to fly because of difference in tuition fees and factors unknown to me, so I must get to it quickly. My last resort and very uninviting position is being a dispatcher for our very own summer operations, and even this isn't a 100% gurantee.

With most of the coop positions being some kind of dispatcher or ramp attendant, it reminded me of this funny video about what it would or could but maybe not should be like working on the ramp.