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  • Adelaide Port Lincoln return qantaslink Dash 8

    I could feel the flying bug starting to bite and was thinking about flying Adelaide Port Augusta return on a Metro operated by Sharp airlines. I have not flown on a metro yet.

    However those plans changed when Qantaslink announced they were going to resume Adelaide Port Lincoln flights. They tried back in 2006 with Dash 8 200s but did not last even 1 year. This time around the Dash 8 400 will be used. The flights start on February 15 2010.

    This will be my first flight on a Dash 8 aircraft. This time around I am getting in early, in case the flights don't last long.

    I was also asked by someone I know in the Australian Air Mail Society to carry some commemorative air mail on the flight.

    Adelaide 15 February 2010
    QF 2267
    Dash 8 402 VH-QOM
    Seat 18A

    Check in was painless. Despite being the first flight, there was not much in the way of pomp and ceremony at Adelaide Airport.

    Still too dark to see what is happening outside. The airport is fairly quiet at 0530 0600 in the morning.

    Friend arrived and gave me the commemorative air mail, also at that time the crew were getting ready to go out to the aircraft, and we asked them to take it with them. There will be more on what what went on with the mail later on.

    Boarding was called and it was a full flight, from what I saw there were no spare seats.


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    First impressions of the Dash 8 400 is that the interior looks more like a newer model 737 or A320 and not a tired old regional airliner like say a SAAB 340 or Fokker 50. However, seats are a bit on the small side and those sat by the window have trouble putting both feet flat on the floor if the seat next to them is occupied, however if it is empty it is a different story.

    However, there was a delay of about 20 minutes as when the ground crew tried to print out the load sheet for the flight crew, from my impression the printer broke down. Once the paperwork was sorted out we got going 20 minutes late.


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    There was light turbulence as we took off from Adelaide. Once the seat belt signs were turned off, the crew got going with the food.

    A breakfast box was handed out with a muffin inside, followed by juice, water or tea and coffee.


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    A bit bumpy coming into Port Lincoln and we landed with a thump.

    Taxiing in I saw a couple of air tractor crop dusters and a couple of cessnas. Parked out the front of the terminal was the main rival to Qantaslink. Regional Express REX.


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    Got off headed into the terminal where unlike Adelaide there was more fanfare with balloons hung up around the Qantaslink part of the terminal and a reporter from the local Port Lincoln Times newspaper was there.


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    Since we arrived late the plane would be late leaving Port Lincoln and a couple of elderly passengers I was talking to were worried that they would miss their doctors appointments in Adelaide.

    Port Lincoln 15 February 2010
    QF 2268
    Dash 8 402 VH-QOM
    Seat 18A

    Headed out to the aircraft and I took the same seat I had on the way up. Again there was a delay caused by paperwork (remember this is the first day, so it takes time to sort things out).


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    We got going and again there was a little turbulence on take off.


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    This time around aircraft was only 75 to 80% full and the seat next to me was vacant, which allowed me to spread out a bit more.

    On the way back a small cake was handed out and I found this to be a bit sticky which left me with sticky fingers and the little towel thingy didnít help much.

    Same choice of drinks as on the way up.

    Since the flight times are short the crew are kept busy.


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    Again landing was not the smoothest.

    This time around the aircraft parked at one of the gates used by the bigger jets, but cannot attach to the aerobridge.

    Had a chat to the crew and took a couple of photos of the flight deck. Since the flight times were short they did not have time to sign the air mail so they said meet them at the Qantas customer service desk in the terminal.


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    Also since we had arrived from a regional airport that does not have security screening so we could not simply go back into the terminal, but had to walk along a maximum security jail like walkway that is bloody long. If you have an onward flight there is a security checkpoint you can go through to get back into the terminal, without having to go all the way out and back in through the main checkpoint in the terminal. Since I was not continuing on another flight I had to go the long way round to get back into the terminal. By the time I got there I was stuffed.

    Eventually made it to the customer service desk where the captain was waiting to give the signed air mail back to me.

    So things turned out well on the first day for the Adelaide to Port Lincoln flights.
    Qantaslink crew were friendly and willing to accommodate my needs.

    Also the Dash 8-400 still roars, rumbles and vibrates like any other turboprop, so I donít think it is any quieter than older generation turboprops.

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