Friday, May 07, 2010






The pics are part of a trip I just did, showing us on approach back into Pearson a couple of hours ago.

We just got back from Montreal, taking some nice folks to watch a hockey game. I flew with Pepper, and we figured we'd mix it up a little bit by taking one of his planes instead of my baby. On the return leg the air was smooth, the skies were clear, and the iphone was actually able to capture a nice night ILS down runway 05 at Pearson on the return leg. Pepper was flying, I was recording. I'm quite pleased with how the video turned out - you'll want to set the resolution to 480p for a little more detail. You'll hear a horn near the beginning, it's the "remember to put the landing gear down" horn. We remembered, so I guess it did a good job :)



Things look quite pretty at night, if you can keep your eyes open :) Thank jebus for Red Bull, it really comes in handy on flights like these - I find it's like 2 cups of coffee without the gut-rot. Near the end of the video one of the pax says "Hey, let's go to Mexico now", and I reply "We need to get a bit of gas first", just to put it in the proper context in case you heard me saying that and were like "wtf!"

9 comments:

Blake said...

(flying at night) > *

I love flying at night, smooth air, quiet radios, all alone in the deep deep blackness...

Anonymous said...

Do you guys not have the sterile cockpit thingy below whatever altitude?

Sulako said...

We have guidelines about non-essential talk below ten thousand feet while on approach, yes. Note the word 'guidelines'. Because we aren't robots and we make decisions based on a variety of factors (experience, circumstances, weather, etc) rather than following a hard-set rule in this case, it's up to us to determine what's acceptable and what isn't, depending on the circumstances.

Now let's take another look at the actual scenario we flew the other night - clear weather, smooth air, and I'm in the right seat while Pepper flies the autopilot-coupled ILS.

In our airplane, we don't have a barricaded cockpit door, and our passengers can see up front to the cockpit. Hell, they can sit about 2 feet behind us in a forward seat should they choose to do so. Sometimes they choose to do so, and sometimes they engage us in conversation.

A good chunk of our job is customer service, and if a paying customer asks a question and it's safe to answer, I'm gonna reply. It was safe to answer, so I replied - It took 2 seconds, I wasn't flying the airplane and it made the customer happy. If the weather was bad, and we were both concentrating on landing the airplane on the runway, I wouldn't have replied. For those of you who have flown multi-crew hard IFR, you'll know that the cockpit is pretty quiet during the approach - that tends to happen on its own.

If you can hear the rest of the audio, you'll see that all of our other speaking was checklist-related and flight-related.

whywhyzed said...

I'd like to know who charters a jet to zip up to YUL just for a hockey game!

Sulako said...

There's a lot of wealth in the world, especially in large cities like Toronto.

Mogg said...

Seemed a long time between the 'ten feet' call and touchdown. Or am I being picky?

Sulako said...

The approach is flown at 170 knots until a couple of miles final, at which point we slow down to Vapp, usually around 120 knots. This will give us a descent rate of 600 feet per minute, about 10 feet per second. This is great for an ILS approach, but not so great for actual touchdown - imagine an elevator taking you from the second floor to the first floor in one second, and how much you wouldn't like that. So, at 10 feet, Pepper flares the airplane, lifting the nose a bit which arrests the normal rate of descent and allowing the bird to settle on the runway in a smooth fashion so as not to cause the pax to spill their wine all over the expensive interior.

Jeanne said...

I always wondered why the flare at the end - for a softer landing - makes sense.

Thanks for the glimpse into the world of corporate aviation. I do not do or belong to anything remotely related to corporate so will always be to the rear of that locked cockpit door, but it is interesting to see into this world!

Brian said...

I'm just happy for you guys that the pax weren't looting the cabin. (Or perhaps such untidy tasks are left to the great unwashed.)