Small Aircraft in the mid to late 90s

Old Apr 25, 20, 3:51 pm
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Small Aircraft in the mid to late 90s

Like many others it seems I'm using the lockdown to research my personal flight history.

I have a clear recollection of a flight in the US on a small commuter plane in the mid to late 1990s. The reason it stuck in my head was that it was quite a windy landing, and that the lady on my right spontaneously went into the brace position when a couple of alarms sounded from the front. And also that a tray of biscuits was passed round the cabin, starting with the Captain, from a fully open cockpit, i.e. no bulkheads behind the pilots.

From there it gets a lot more sketchy. I've no idea where it was from, but have a vague recollection we were coming into Dulles. I think it was 1-2 seating, with just a few rows. It may or may not have been United Express (we usually used United in the US when I was over there, and I have something in my mind saying it was United).

I've looked at a few possible contenders that United Express definitely used - Jetstream31; this in my experience usually has a closed cockpit, otherwise it would be a good match for my memories, Embraer Brasilia, looks similar but again more closed a cockpit than I recall, with bulkheads. It wasn't a Cessna 402 (too small). Not a Metroliner I think although that's not a bad match.

Any ideas United or otherwise would be welcome.
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Old Apr 25, 20, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
It wasn't a Cessna 402 (too small).
Our definitions of "small" differ. To me, anything with more than 4 seats is large.

Maybe a Beech 1900? Those were popular in some areas and fit your description (except maybe the 1-2 seating). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beechcraft_1900
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Old Apr 25, 20, 6:17 pm
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No flight attendant means less than 20 passengers. I've flown on a Beechcraft 1900D with 1-1 seating many times. It has 18 or 19 seats, depending on whether it has a washroom. There must be other similar small planes.
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Old Apr 25, 20, 7:59 pm
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Sub-20, 1-2 seating, no cockpit door, 1990's used by UX
BA Jetstream 31
Interior Photos
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Apr 25, 20 at 8:27 pm Reason: Interior Photos
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Old Apr 25, 20, 8:10 pm
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The Jetstream 31/32/41 all had 1-2 seating. The 31/32 were 19-seat and had no F/A. The 41 was larger and had one F/A. The 31/32 had a curtain separating the cockpit from the cabin and the boarding door was at the back of the airplane. The 41's boarding door was in the front.

Here are a couple of Jetstream 31s in two different UAX paint schemes.

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Old Apr 25, 20, 8:39 pm
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The 19-seater Jetstreams had miserable 28-inch pitch. I think I only ever took one once; I flew on the Beech 1900 a number of times between LAF and ORD when United Express flew that.
The Wayback Machine has the seating chart for the Jetstream and the others in the fleet at the time...interesting to see them at the advent of E+.
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Old Apr 25, 20, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post

I've looked at a few possible contenders that United Express definitely used - Jetstream31; this in my experience usually has a closed cockpit, otherwise it would be a good match for my memories,
For aircraft without cabin doors (1900D, etc.?) were cabin doors added post 9/11 ? I always thought of the curtains as a channel 9 that couldn't be turned off.
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Old Apr 25, 20, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by GregoryGardner View Post
For aircraft without cabin doors (1900D, etc.?) were cabin doors added post 9/11 ? I always thought of the curtains as a channel 9 that couldn't be turned off.
No, I was on a regularly scheduled ~10-seater Honolulu-Molokai (Island Air?) in 2015 where I could reach the captainís shoulder (and of course didnít.) For UA, never saw anything without cabin door.
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Old Apr 25, 20, 9:14 pm
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UX at Dulles had a number of small Jetstream models in use. I used to fly them occasionally. No FAs, no door to the cockpit, and you had to step over the wingbox to get to the forward seats. US Air had BC 1900s - the flying box. I flew on Dornier 228s as well. None of them had FAs.

I can't recall when they were discontinued. I do know that at at least one airport - Santa Fe - we did no actual security check to get on one, on a flight to Denver. I guess the assumption at the time was, who cares. I vaguely recall something similar going from Omaha to Kansas City on a USAir puddle jumper back when they had a bunch of subsidized flights out of KC to a bunch of small airports in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. No metal detector or anything. I had a flight out of Monterey CA once when the one metal detector was broken so they just made us make our beepers go off.

Pre 9/11, security was pretty reasonable. Nothing like when I was a kid and there were no metal detectors anywhere and you boarded planes like you would a train today. You have a ticket for the flight, that's all they cared about. No ID, no metal detector, no bag search. They didn't care.
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Old Apr 25, 20, 9:32 pm
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I used to fly these a lot in the late 90's and into the early 2000's between ONT/SNA & LAX and between LAX/SFO and SBA. IIRC, the 2 seats at row 9 at the exit door had leg room that rivaled that of the fabled row 15 on the upper deck of the 744.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 1:06 am
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Thanks very much for the guidance, really tremendously useful. I'll scrutinize some internal photos for J31 and 1900 and see if I can fit them to the image I have in my memory.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by 1kBill View Post
I used to fly these a lot in the late 90's and into the early 2000's between ONT/SNA & LAX and between LAX/SFO and SBA. IIRC, the 2 seats at row 9 at the exit door had leg room that rivaled that of the fabled row 15 on the upper deck of the 744.
Are you thinking of the Skywest EMB-120's? Man, how I miss those planes and row 9 vis a vis the CRJ-200's aka Canadian Torture Tubes! I flew these from time to time between SAN & LAX as well as DEN-GJT and they were way better than most other regional aircraft.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 8:12 am
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1900?

IIRC, USAir had this service to/from smaller outposts (ie MLU) to MSY in 1998. Distinctly remember the pilot giving the safety briefing as well as a hump in the floor about mid-cabin which you had to step over. It was either a Beechcraft or a small SAAB.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
Thanks very much for the guidance, really tremendously useful. I'll scrutinize some internal photos for J31 and 1900 and see if I can fit them to the image I have in my memory.
The 1900 had these weird air vents that were like 3 times the radius of a regular air vent and they were right below the window and not overhead. Also, the seats were decently wide. Since it was 1x1 seating, there actually was decent room. Very loud as well.

Here's the current Air Canada seat map.

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ai...eech_1900D.php
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Old Apr 26, 20, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by GregoryGardner View Post
For aircraft without cabin doors (1900D, etc.?) were cabin doors added post 9/11 ? I always thought of the curtains as a channel 9 that couldn't be turned off.
I flew way too many Continental B1900s (Gulfstream) flights 2004-2006 between Florida and Bahamas (twice as the only pax onboard!), not sure if they had doors or just a curtain - and definitely no bathroom.
Doors/curtain howeverr must have been left open many times, I do remember looking out the cockpit window
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