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Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion

Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion

Old Jun 8, 12, 10:37 am
  #1111  
 
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Originally Posted by cs57 View Post
It seems like only small charter aircraft are using Virgin Gorda Airport (VIJ) these days due to ongoing dispute with the government of the BVI. Details are quite unclear as to exactly what the problem is.
Yep, I wondered about that myself....

Do you know if they actually paved the airstrip and what the runway length is these days?

I also do not recall what the the original runway length was when it was unpaved but do know that it was rather short....
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Old Jun 8, 12, 12:02 pm
  #1112  
 
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RE: VIJ Airport--Lots of "missing data" except that runway is 3160 feet and unpaved. One airport directory points out the runway is "dirt".
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Old Jun 8, 12, 3:07 pm
  #1113  
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post

Widebodied jets were once scheduled on what today would be unthinkable routes. Some of the more surprising routes once flown by widebodies include DEN-COS, MCI-STL, MIA-FLL, EWR-BDL, BWI-IAD, MCO-TPA, PHX-LAX, MSP-Duluth, LAX-SAN and DEN-SLC. Most of these routes were add ons to longer services, such as ATL-SEA-PDX. While it makes much better sense to utilize a more fuel efficient Jungle Jet or DHC-8 type turboprop on routes like these, it sure was fun (and often very affordable) to fly aboard a 747 on a route like SEA-PDX. A good example was my first 747SP flight aboard Pan Am between SFO and LAX in 1979. I purchased a standby fare for $13.00.
That was slightly before my time, but I really miss those days. It's kind of a bummer to see high-profile routes like ORD-SFO, LAX-BOS, etc being operated by things like 737's and A319/20's these days. Regional jet's everywhere are even worse.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 1:36 am
  #1114  
 
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Originally Posted by Scooter View Post
That was slightly before my time, but I really miss those days. It's kind of a bummer to see high-profile routes like ORD-SFO, LAX-BOS, etc being operated by things like 737's and A319/20's these days. Regional jet's everywhere are even worse.
I totally agree with you. When I used to fly LAX-EWR on a 738, I always get disappointed because I always remember flying an old AQ 737-200 between HNL and LIH, which took almost 20 minutes. So nowadays I think to myself that I'm stuck with the same legacy fuselage but updated cabin between LAX and EWR, not for 20 minutes but for 5 hours.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 9:11 am
  #1115  
 
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Originally Posted by tonywestsider View Post
I totally agree with you. When I used to fly LAX-EWR on a 738, I always get disappointed because I always remember flying an old AQ 737-200 between HNL and LIH, which took almost 20 minutes. So nowadays I think to myself that I'm stuck with the same legacy fuselage but updated cabin between LAX and EWR, not for 20 minutes but for 5 hours.
Indeed! Like you Tony, I traveled numerous times back in the day between the mainland and the islands in the front cabin on AA DC-10s, CO 747s and DC-10s (many times in first or business on aircraft configured with three classes of service), DL L-1011s (usually in first), NW DC-10s or UA 747s and DC-10s. I even non-revved one evening from HNL to LAX in biz class on a QF B747-300.

Those were days! Flying to and from the islands was special.

And now we see Allegiant about to enter the market with all Y configured 757s. Can Southwest be far behind with 737s?
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Old Jun 9, 12, 10:21 am
  #1116  
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I realize I am new and don't have OCG, but anyone answer #1091?
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Old Jun 9, 12, 10:47 am
  #1117  
 
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Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
I realize I am new and don't have OCG, but anyone answer #1091?
Sorry, BeatCal. There is an informal courtesy rule on this thread that the last person who answers questions-hopefully correctly, has their turn to ask the next questions. Also, this thread deals with airline history of all sorts, but so far centered around operations and routing, equipment and service quality in the US. Were you able to answer other questions by other FTers that were posted on this thread? If you did or if you are going to in the future, then perhaps you can repost your questions.

Also, I'll leave this to our illustrious OP, Seat 2A and jlemon to chime in as well.
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Old Jun 9, 12, 11:48 am
  #1118  
 
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Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post
I realize I am new and don't have OCG, but anyone answer #1091?
Hello BeatCal and welcome to the oldtimer's thread!

We are actually rather informal around here so feel free to post any additional questions as you see fit. I think the only unwritten rule here is that we behave like ladies and gentlemen and thus keep negative comments and snarkiness in general out of this thread entirely. But then again, I'm not really in charge so I shall defer to our illustrious leader from the Great Land, Seat 2A!

And as for the questions you posed back in post #1091, I do not have a clue with regard to any of the answers and apparently no one else does, either!

So perhaps it's time for you to provide the answers!
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Old Jun 9, 12, 9:52 pm
  #1119  
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Originally Posted by jlemon View Post
Hello BeatCal and welcome to the oldtimer's thread!

We are actually rather informal around here so feel free to post any additional questions as you see fit. I think the only unwritten rule here is that we behave like ladies and gentlemen and thus keep negative comments and snarkiness in general out of this thread entirely. But then again, I'm not really in charge so I shall defer to our illustrious leader from the Great Land, Seat 2A!
Seat 2A concurs 100% and thanks jlemon for so eloquently describing the terms of participation at this thread.

Honestly, though I may have started the thread, I've never necessarily felt "in charge" of it, especially with my schedule and the intermittent internet access up here in my part of Alaska. Basically, we're all pretty easy going and just enjoy rehashing airline history and tossing about airline trivia. I would like to say though that I've never had any position on when questions can or should be posted. As jlemon stated above, we're all rather informal around here so feel free to post any questions as you see fit.

Originally Posted by jlemon View Post
And as for the questions you posed back in post #1091, I do not have a clue with regard to any of the answers and apparently no one else does, either! So perhaps it's time for you to provide the answers!
+1
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Old Jun 10, 12, 12:22 pm
  #1120  
 
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Originally Posted by BeatCal View Post

3. What airline started the VIT club of free upgrades and airport lounges until they were sued which started the frequrnt flyer program?

5, What is the turtle club? What was one of questions to join?
I'll take a crack at two of them --
3. That would be AAs Very Important Traveler program -- although some argue that TI had a loyalty program earlier.
5. A drinking "fraternity" started by WWII pilots. There were over 20 riddles asked of prospective new members. and although the answers are innocuous the questions are salacious and probably not appropriate for this forum.
4. I was a member of the Eastern FF program from its inception but can't for the life of me remember the upgrade rules.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 12:44 pm
  #1121  
 
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Originally Posted by miniliq View Post
1, Name the only two airports in Europe where the runway crosses a main road. Level crossing barriers are used to stop traffic during takeoffs and landings. I flew through both of these in the 70s. They still have scheduled passenger service. One is very far north, the other almost in Africa (that may be too much of a hint). Name the airlines and equipment used.
It's been a week so I'll close this one out. cs57 correctly identified GIB as one of the airports; the other is LSI (Sumburgh, in the Shetland Islands of Scotland), which has scheduled service (Flybe, operated by Loganair) to several destinations using 34-pax Saab 340s. I was a passenger in Boeing Chinooks flying to offshore platforms from LSI back in the late 70s.
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Old Jun 10, 12, 4:00 pm
  #1122  
 
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Originally Posted by miniliq View Post
It's been a week so I'll close this one out. cs57 correctly identified GIB as one of the airports; the other is LSI (Sumburgh, in the Shetland Islands of Scotland), which has scheduled service (Flybe, operated by Loganair) to several destinations using 34-pax Saab 340s. I was a passenger in Boeing Chinooks flying to offshore platforms from LSI back in the late 70s.
Very interesting with regard to the Boeing Vertol BV-234, the civil version of the CH-47 and MH-47 "Chinook" currently operated by the U.S. Army and other armed forces!

Many years ago, I believe there was a very bad accident involving a BV-234 that was flying a passenger crew change in the North Sea. And after that accident, the big tandem rotor Boeing helicopter was never again used to fly passengers in support of offshore oil and gas operations. The BV-234 was also used to support an offshore oil and gas drilling project somewhere down in the Aleutian chain in Alaska back in the day.

Donald Trump also used a BV-234 to transport passengers in scheduled operations between New York and his casino in Atlantic City at one point. The BV-234 can transport up to 44 passengers in an airline configuration.

BTW, these days, there is exactly one civil operator of the BV-234 worldwide: Columbia Helicopters based in Portland, Oregon. They use their BV-234s strictly for external load lifting work (via an FAA Part 133 certificate) including fire fighting with one heck of a big water bucket. And their small fleet includes the BV-234 previously operated by Trump.

Last edited by jlemon; Jun 10, 12 at 4:08 pm Reason: Additional BV-234 Info
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Old Jun 10, 12, 5:18 pm
  #1123  
 
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One of the runways at Sumburgh crosses the main Shetland road. Here's a shot of the actual crossing point

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ll=59.8808...,36.33,,0,6.42

As you can see, to be precise the road does not actually cross the calibrated runway, but the paved overrun area. Here are the road vehicle lights

http://maps.google.co.uk/?ll=59.8796...10.92,,0,14.86

which are an adaptation of standard UK spec railway crossing signals, although there are hand-worked gates as well and an attendant is sent to each end for aircraft movements.

Sumburgh is very exposed to Atlantic gales, at 60 degrees north it's further north than Helsinki in Finland (I know S2A won't be too impressed, though, but many don't realise the UK gets that far north), and still has multiple directional paved runways used dependent on the wind, so the road crossing is not always in use.

I recall the BV234 accident in late 1986 only too well, being in my house with the radio on when the first news started to be flashed through. They were owned by British Airways and as much in their livery as any of the Heathrow fleet, along with much other helicopter stock. The aircraft was lost because the transmission shaft between the two rotors failed, not the only such occurence to the big Boeing. BA decided that the risk of this was too great and disposed of the remaining fleet, and somewhat later their entire helicopter operation. Sumburgh still sees quite an operation of chartered aircraft, large turboprops and BAe146 jets, shuttling oil crews from Aberdeen to connect with the helicopters out to the rigs, on some days well exceeding the scheduled traffic.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 7:42 am
  #1124  
 
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Thanks to jlemon and WHBM for adding the details on LSI. I suspected WHBM knew the spot when he originally deferred his response.
I too remember the multiple fatality, which occurred long after we moved back to MSY. Traffic was fairly intense even in the late 70s and the waiting areas at LSI were almost surreal with all of the pax suited up in hot uncomfortable full-body survival suits for trips offshore. I had no problem paying attention to safety briefings!
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Old Jun 11, 12, 4:32 pm
  #1125  
 
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I'll just add (I really feel I'm trespassing in a "US airline" thread here) regarding the BV-234 Chinook used out to the North Sea oil rigs, that the way this worked, and actually still does, was that crews got together in Aberdeen, the major commercial airport, and were shuttled by chartered aircraft up to Sumburgh, to connect there to helicopters out to the rigs at sea. The helicopter of choice was the Sikorsky S-61N, holding about 22-25 passengers, while the aircraft most used for many years was the BAe748, known for some reason in Canada as the Hawker, and pretty unknown in the USA, a twin turboprop with 44 seats. These were in use by British Airways on these oil charters, also by BA on their scheduled runs on the same route, by independent carrier Dan-Air, who did a lot of this work, and others. So one 748 connected into two choppers, but there was always a lot of hanging about at Sumburgh putting one planeload into two helicopters (which might be one having to do two trips), or consolidating up a planeload on the return.

The whole advantage of the Chinook was that it was equally sized with the 748, at 44 seats, so was efficient. Aberdeen to Sumburgh was too far for helicopter travel so you always needed the aircraft leg and the helicopter leg, but it fitted efficiently. I know some of you guys are far more knowledgeable about helicopter ops than I am, but this was the nearest to true airliner-sized operations with helicopters that we have ever come in Europe.
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