What if all goes wrong? Egress training

For those of you who are frequent flyers, have you ever wondered how it would feel if you had to use one of those life-vests stored under your seat around your neck, what happens when you pull that red tag? How do you get onto that life-boat anyway? For those who are private pilots (especially on floats), ever wondered how to get out of that thin layer of aluminum / plastic in case of a water landing gone bad? And is that window on the side big enough anyway to get through?

Shortly after getting my float plane endorsement,  I had the opportunity to attend a one-day Egress training session hosted by Bryan Webster near Ottawa to answer these questions and more.

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I had a vague idea of what to expect before attending this training. But after going through the day, I can only recommend this to any private pilot (even if you don’t fly on a float plane) as well as for those who fly a lot in GA airplanes and are sometimes over water.

Continue reading What if all goes wrong? Egress training

Getting my wings wet

It will soon be two years since I passed my private pilot license (PPL) and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. I’ve since then discovered a few people around me who share the same childhood dream, and all I can say is that while it requires some time and money, it is absolutely worth it.

Since earning my wings, I’ve continued with additional ratings such as the Night rating and VFR OTT one. But the one I recently finished certainly was the one that opened my aeronautical knowledge to a whole new topic: floatplane endorsement!

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Continue reading Getting my wings wet

Ashtrays on planes…

Anyone who has taken a plane in the last 10 years around the world had a nice little message telling you that you are not allowed to smoke on board. And for those traveling on a US airline will have had the extra little bonus about the federal offense and that you will get sentenced to death in case you tamper with the detection device.

On a recent plane from Asia back to Canada, on board of a very recent 777 that had a completely updated interior, I got this message again. So can someone tell me why there is actually an ashtray in the lavatory, especially if it is placed just below the big “No Smoking in Lavatory” sign:

I can understand an ashtray in very old planes (those that are over 10 years old and that didn’t go through a complete overhaul since). But on a very modern one, I have to say that this evades me completely! Perhaps they are expecting the regulation to change, just as this is becoming the case with cell phones and wireless devices for Internet access.

Update 10 March 2011: I finally got an answer from the team at the AirplaneGeeks Podcast – here is the link to the episode with the answer: http://www.airplanegeeks.com/2011/03/08/episode-138-the-radial-rocket/