The purpose of this trip was to go to Ottawa to apply for a visa to enter China, as I hope to go there sometime in October. So I went for a daytrip.
Winnipeg-Toronto Air Canada Jetz A320 C-GQCA
Toronto-Ottawa Air Canada EMB-190 C-FGLX
Ottawa-Toronto Air Canada 767-200 C-FUCL
Toronto-Winnipeg Air Canada EMB-190
Routing/Flight No: Winnipeg-Toronto AC252 Seat 15F
Aircraft: AIR CANADA JETZ A320 C-GQCA (hybrid colours)
Load Factor: 95 Percent
Cruise Level: FL370
Flight Duration: 2hours 6mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 07:00 / 07:09 / 10:15
I was planning on taking the nonstop Winnipeg-Ottawa Jazz CRJ-705, but when I pulled up the loads, they looked tight, so I looked at the connection through Toronto. One of the flights was showing Y64 and the availability, so I immediately knew it was a Jetz aircraft (normally flown for NHL hockey teams), but I guess this was repositioning out East off of a seat re-configuration, or maintenance check. The load for the flight was 64 booked, so it was a tough call as to whether or not I would actually make it on the flight (travelling as staff). But I tried, and was the 63rd (and last) passenger to board the aircraft. Seat 15F was the 2nd last row on this 2-2 all business-class A320. The seats were really comfortable, and offered more room (and seat pitch) than domestic Business Class on Air Canada, but still less than International Business Class. Maybe the seats were ex Club Empress seats off of Canadian 767-300s.
We pushed back late because maintenance had to inspect one of the cockpit instruments, and were airborne off RWY 36, with a beautiful morning sunrise in view. Service was standard Economy Class service (buy-on-board). I wanted to buy a breakfast sandwich, but they had sold out, so I bought a chicken sandwich.
All the passengers were very pleased to have the extra room of the A320 in JETZ configuration. There were even passengers seated in the club-style seating area (1 row of rear-facing seats).
We landed on RWY 05 at Pearson a few mins behind schedule, and pulled up to the gate. The aircraft was doing an extra segment Toronto-Montreal flight at 11:15, flight 2408 or something. Overall a very good flight.
Routing/Flight No: Toronto-Ottawa AC448 Seat 22F
Aircraft: AIR CANADA EMB-190 C-FGLX
Load Factor: 75 Percent
Cruise Level: FL270
Flight Duration: 38mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 11:09 / 11:21 / 11:59
This flight was originally planned as an A319 then downsized to an EMB-175, then upsized to an EMB-190. Air Canada does a lot of last minute plane changes to suit the booked load, in order to save money. We pushed early, and were airborne off RWY 06L shortly thereafter. I took a few shots of a China Yunan 737-300 that was positioning through Toronto (and had actually overnighted in Winnipeg, and followed me to YYZ
). It was parked on the de-ice facility at Pearson, and spent the night at YYZ
The short flight to Ottawa meant the inflight service was reduced to water and apple/orange juice, which is standard for the Rapidair flights to and from Ottawa. The personal TVs were not activated either. Most passengers read the newspaper the entire flight. We landed on RWY 25 in Ottawa, which seems to be the primary arrival runway there.
Routing/Flight No: Ottawa-Toronto AC465 Seat 13K
Aircraft: AIR CANADA 767-200ER C-FUCL (old colours)
Load Factor: 60 Percent
Cruise Level: FL280
Flight Duration: 43mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 19:30 / 20:00 / 20:43
It seems that on certain days of the week, Air Canada routes a 762 or 763 to Ottawa for heavy loads during the rush-hour period, so I was lucky to get a 767-200. The airplane had been routed Manchester-Toronto-Ottawa then back to Toronto for an overnight stay. We boarded ontime, and were ready to go, but ramp was having a tough time fitting all the baggage containers in the front hold, so they had to go to the rear hold to place one that wouldn't fit in the front. This delayed us by 30 minutes, aggravating me, because I had planned a tight 25 minute (illegal) connection to Winnipeg. After pushback, we had to wait another 20 minutes because the load office in Toronto had to be evacuated because of a fire alarm or something, so the pilots had to wait for their final load/weight numbers before we could depart.
Eventually, we did find ourselves airborne off RWY 25, climbing extremely fast (prob around 4000 feet per minute), and climbing to FL280 where the water/juice service began.
We landed on RWY 23 at Pearson, where it had been raining for a while.
I had missed the tight connection to Winnipeg, so I went to the gate for the last flight, a 22:30 EMB-190 flight where there were plenty of open seats.
Routing/Flight No: Toronto-Winnipeg AC269 Seat 16A
Aircraft: AIR CANADA EMB-190 C-FGLY
Load Factor: 80 Percent
Cruise Level: FL380
Flight Duration: 2hours 9mins
Pushback/Rotation/Touchdown: 23:29 / 23:44 / 00:53
We loaded ontime, but had to wait 1 hour for our pilots who arrived from Houston late. It was a long wait, but at least inflight turned on the personal TVs so people could watch movies and stuff.
We finally, and were airborne off RWY 24R at Pearson, climbing to FL380. The flight was extremely turbulent, one of those flights where you had to hold on to the armrest it so unstable. About 30 mins into the flight I realized I left my laptop in the family/handicap restroom next to gate 133. I asked inflight if they could send an ACARS msg to Toronto ops and try to have it located, but there was no response to the message.
So when we landed at Winnipeg I went into my office and called Toronto, they tried to find it, but there was no luck. They gave me the GTAA's lost and found number, I left a message on that line, slept in my office for a few hours, and returned to Toronto on the 5:30am flight (same EMB-190 C-FGLY) to get the laptop. Thankfully a cleaner had found it, and gave it to lost and found. So I then turned around and caught the 10:00 Toronto-Winnipeg flight (A320 C-FNNA), and the trip was over.