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Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion.

Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion.

Old Jan 26, 21, 11:20 am
  #21496  
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Originally Posted by Bluehen1 View Post
Isn't Timisoara's airport code TSR not TIS? I have it in my records as having been TSR when I went there in 2011.
yes, my mistake in not rechecking (somehow the original Word file with the correct code in the text of the questions vanished :/ ) ... corrected in responses below and in original

first of all, I'll say that both of these are very reasonable guesses ... while in all honesty I can't state that either wouldn't have been an option for such a trip, the lead-in story for these questions states that my source data is a timetable, not an OAG; further, they both overlook a detail in the text of the question (as highlighted in responses)

Originally Posted by Spongthrush View Post
S99B: ...Wild guesses to start with. I'll use 'PEK' as not sure what the 3 letter was in 1999

PEK-OTP via Ulaan Bataar, CAAC B707?
OTP-TISTSR Tarom IL-62?

Logic for OTP-TISTSR is that I think Tarom used to fly OTP-TISTSR-JFK with a B707 so IL62 is an educated guess. Much less educated is the PEK-OTP sector, but if China didn't get on with the Soviet Union in those days, perhaps the flight went over Mongolia anyway?
the question states "You have an online connection"

Originally Posted by Bluehen1 View Post
S99B. I'm going to go with Lufthansa on this one. Let's try PEK-FRA on a B747 connecting to FRA-MUC-TIS (TSR?) on an A319.
the question states that the jet on the second flight is "what appears to be the last commercial services of its type on this airline (if not anywhere in the world)"
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Old Jan 26, 21, 8:21 pm
  #21497  
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S99B.

Since TAROM wasn't ruled out, I'll guess it was TAROM PEK-OTP on a A310 and OTP-SBZ-TSR on a Il-18
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Old Jan 26, 21, 8:35 pm
  #21498  
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Originally Posted by YVR Cockroach View Post
S99B.Since TAROM wasn't ruled out, I'll guess it was TAROM PEK-OTP on a A310 and OTP-SBZ-TSR on a Il-18
RO A310-300 PEK-OTP is correct; SBZ and the IL-18 are incorrect
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Old Jan 27, 21, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
RO A310-300 PEK-OTP is correct; SBZ and the IL-18 are incorrect
OTP-CLJ-TSR TAROM An-24? Although if memory serves, the majority of the An-24s used to operate from the domestic Bucharest airport at Baneasa BBU
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Old Jan 27, 21, 8:36 am
  #21500  
 
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TAP also flew A310s on transatlantic routes.

My only A310 flights were EWR-LIS and LIS-LHR in the fall of 2006.

There were only 30 people on my EWR-LIS flight, so we got much more individualized service. At the end of the flight, two of the flight attendants discreetly gave me a TAP bag, with a bottle of Portuguese red wine inside; there was lots of leftover wine due to the light passenger load.

The wine came in very handy for soothing my sore muscles after long days walking up and down Lisbon's hills, but I've kept the bag as a reminder of the flight attendants' kindness.
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Old Jan 27, 21, 11:21 am
  #21501  
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Originally Posted by Spongthrush View Post
OTP-CLJ-TSR TAROM An-24? Although if memory serves, the majority of the An-24s used to operate from the domestic Bucharest airport at Baneasa BBU
CLJ is correct, Antonov is not
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Old Jan 27, 21, 6:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
CLJ is correct, Antonov is not
Not sure whether TAROM had any but how about YK40?
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Old Jan 27, 21, 8:08 pm
  #21503  
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Yak-40 is also incorrect ... paging WHBM?
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Old Jan 27, 21, 9:37 pm
  #21504  
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Seems too obvious but BAC 1-11, either the domestically-assembled version or the genuine U.K. version.
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Old Jan 27, 21, 9:51 pm
  #21505  
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the timetable says “B15” which is indeed the BAC One-Eleven Series 500, but doesn’t distinguish whether it was the U.K.-built model (two in the RO fleet) or the “organic” Rombac variant (nine)
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Old Jan 28, 21, 5:22 pm
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Romania did have a longstanding relationship with China, as a sort of outpost in Europe, which followed the latter's split with the Soviet Union - although this didn't seem to affect aircraft sales, as Soviet models continued to be supplied to both countries. Curiously, when in the early 1970s they started regular flights to China, they bought both Boeing 707s and Ilyushin 62s at the same time, a few of each. The A310 came in the early 1990s, took over the China flights, and lasted for a long while, only being disposed a few years ago. The 707s likewise were all still in the fleet in 1999. There was a Tarom charter subsidiary, Romavia, which to all intents and purposes was the same operation, fleet, crews, etc, but presented as something different, and aircraft would turn up with the titles suddenly changed.

There was a longstanding small series of summer holiday flights, from the 1970s to the 1990s, to the Romanian resort of Constanta from London Gatwick and Manchester, always on Saturdays, for which the aircraft appeared to ferry out from Bucharest to Constanta, then do the two round trips. Although "advertised" as a Boeing 707 it had an amazing variety of aircraft as each season rose and fell - they just seemed to send out whichever aircraft fitted the bookings. So in August high season it would equally be either a 707 or Il-62, falling away to Tu154s, BAC One-Elevens, and maybe on the last run of the year, well into the 1990s, an Ilyushin 18. Fascinating for enthusiasts, on that last outward trip of the year the passengers found themselves arriving at Constanta on the thundering turboprop well after midnight. Apparently the hotel arrangements were equally a shambles.

The "Romanian" One-Elevens. Where does one start ? There ought to be a book written about them. Like all the rest of the Tarom fleet, far too many for their schedule requirements. There were still eight in the fleet in 1999, mostly British-built ones, the "Romanian-built", the newer ones, having mostly gone somewhat earlier. In Romanian production, they turned out about one a year. The fuselages were built on the One-Eleven line in Bournemouth, UK, and trucked over. On communist-era roads over the Carpathian mountains one at least ended way down in the ditch and was just recovered and on they went ... they also had a substantial fleet of Antonov 24s, which must have been shared with the military, no other reason for so many, but by 1999 they were getting a new fleet of ATR-42s. These were actually being delivered through that year, so I guess actual aircraft assignments would again be in flux.

In the 1980s-90s, just as the revolution happened in Romania, longstanding "communist" (not really) dictator Ceausescu was deposed, and things were economically grim all round, Ryanair, seeking some cheap supplementary capacity, leased several of the Tarom One-Elevens, painted into Ryanair colours, based in Dublin. There was huge competition for who was going to crew them, it was found that the bulk of the pilots who came were actually the test pilots from the One-Eleven manufacturing programme, who had come out on top in the bunfight. Unfortunately their English was notably poor. Ryanair banned them from making any cabin PAs, which had to be done by the Irish cabin crew, except if an emergency arose, but ATC across Ireland and the UK raised multiple times how they just weren't communicating efficiently. I believe that their actual aircraft piloting and flying skills were top notch.
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Last edited by WHBM; Jan 28, 21 at 5:31 pm
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Old Jan 29, 21, 8:55 am
  #21507  
 
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For the summer season in 1987, Tarom began using IL-18s on the weekly holiday flights from London-Gatwick to Constanta.
At the time I saw it as a once in a lifetime chance to fly on the IL-18, so with enthusiasm and time available I headed to the local travel agent to see what the deal was.
The result was a 7 night all inclusive trip to the Black Sea resort town of Mamaia, just north of Constanta.

Flights that season were during daytime - 6 a.m. departure from CND, 9 a.m. for the return to Romania.
Flight times were 3h 36m LGW-CND and just under 4 hours for the return.
Apart from the beach, I don't recall the town of Mamaia having much else to offer. I remember one food shop completely empty apart from one brand of (not very good) biscuits.

The holiday company offered a few excursions during the week - I took a day trip to Bucharest by air - AN-24 to Baneasa airport (BBU) and back in a TU-154 from Otopeni (OTP).
A coach trip to Varna in Bulgaria took up another day.

**
Also during 1987, British Island Airways had rented in a Tarom BAC One-Eleven and crew to operate some of their flights
After a short time, the arrangement came to a halt (see WHBM's account above). The replacement was a Middle East Airlines Boeing 707-300C.
A short discussion with the tour operators rep at the check-in desk at LGW got me a ticket for a return trip to Naples, Italy for the following week.
That turned out to be the only 707 I got to fly on
**

Boarding pass for RO761 CND-LGW, 20 June 1987. YR-IMJ IL18

Advert on reverse of boarding pass
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Last edited by KT550; Jan 29, 21 at 12:11 pm
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Old Jan 29, 21, 1:12 pm
  #21508  
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you should contribute some (more?) Quiz questions from your own logbooks
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Old Jan 29, 21, 1:39 pm
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Goodness, I never thought from my little mention of those oddball Tarom holiday flights to Britain, including periodic use of the IL-18, that one of our fellow regulars here actually rode on it - well done ! Have to say I would have been tempted to go out on it on a Saturday morning and then return with it directly to Manchester on its afternoon operation, rather than subjecting myself to a week of a 1980s Romanian resort. I'm sure their handling agent at Gatwick could have sorted something (maybe even directly with the crew). At this time the standard Eastern European "currency" for all sorts of things was (western) packs of 200 Marlboro cigarettes. I always took them when I went to Poland at the time.

Tarom (and Balkan Bulgaria) holiday flights were renowned for late departures from Gatwick and Manchester as the entire crew had descended on the duty-free shop and loaded up with some very specific purchases for all at home.

KT550, did you get any of the uniquely Romanian catering on the flights, such as whole trayfuls of peaches in local cognac, that they used to use to get all sorts of favours out of the handling agent's crew on the turnaround in Britain ?

There were also holiday flights there from major West German cities (more foreign exchange) and also East Germany (fellow socialists). Divided German families used to book holidays there together. Bulgarian resorts likewise. There wasn't as much security over this as the authorities might have liked - the West Germans would be returning say on Sunday, but would hide that day, while their East German brother and wife, having spent the week adapting their hairstyles, took their passports and tickets, and flew to Dusseldorf. Once there the West Germans would report to their local consulate in Constanta - "got drunk, robbed of tickets and passports, need to get home please".

Last edited by WHBM; Jan 29, 21 at 2:20 pm
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Old Jan 29, 21, 6:21 pm
  #21510  
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
.....did you get any of the uniquely Romanian catering on the flights, such as whole trayfuls of peaches in local cognac....
I don't remember much about the catering - certainly nothing as luxurious as you mention. I recall a dodgy looking cut of cold meat (so yes, uniquely Romanian!) but don't remember if it was lunch or breakfast.
Meals were almost certainly loaded in CND for the return and my outbound flight was about three hours late judging by the time on the ticket, so it could well have been lunch that was past its best.
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