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Topic: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: N8911E
Posted 2012-05-04 10:31:46 and read 6400 times.

About a year and a half ago, I had the opportunity to fly from Washington Dulles to Charleston, WV. This was my very first time on a SAAB, as I have been on other turboprops.

Are SAAB 340s normally very bumpy and loud? Honestly, some of the turbulence we went through, and the bumps made me feel like I was on the TOWER OF TERROR at Universal Studios. UP and down and UP AND down and UP. and then on approach to CRW, it was even worse.

Is this a SAAB deal, or what? I liked the flight, and the flight back from CRW to IAD was smooth enough for me to sleep on, (same aircraft). Could these have been a couple of cowboy renegade pilots up front, or maybe a moving front?

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: northstardc4m
Posted 2012-05-04 10:35:29 and read 6396 times.

I've never noticed much of a difference between my SF3 flights and other "modern" similar sized commuter props (Dash 8-100/-300, ATR42).

Noisier than a Q400 for sure... but almost any prop is.

I would guess it was a turbulent front or just unfortunate altitude with nothing else available?

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2012-05-04 10:42:38 and read 6349 times.

Quoting northstardc4m (Reply 1):
I would guess it was a turbulent front or just unfortunate altitude with nothing else available?

For whatever reason, the trip in and out of CRW can be pretty bumpy, particularly on smaller airplanes. It's not an SF3 issue.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: Yflyer
Posted 2012-05-04 10:51:37 and read 6291 times.

Quoting northstardc4m (Reply 1):
I've never noticed much of a difference between my SF3 flights and other "modern" similar sized commuter props (Dash 8-100/-300, ATR42).

I've never flown on any of the examples you mention, but my one and only experience on a SAAB (MSP-LSE on Mesaba a few years ago) did seem a lot louder than the EMB-120s Skywest flies around California. Is the EMB-120 noticably quieter than other similar torboprops? That's the only compaeable plane I flown to compare it to, and the SAAB did seem to produce significantly more noise and vibration.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: n515cr
Posted 2012-05-04 11:32:01 and read 6168 times.

I haven't noticed much difference between the 340/ATR/Brasilia (never flown a Dash) in terms of turbulence.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
For whatever reason, the trip in and out of CRW can be pretty bumpy, particularly on smaller airplanes. It's not an SF3 issue.

+1 based on my own experience up there in a King Air.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: softrally
Posted 2012-05-04 14:35:52 and read 5942 times.

I chuckled when you described the ride as the Tower of Terror   Some of my friends say that the EMB 120 was bumpy and noisy-are all turboprops that loud and bumpy? I have never been on one, so I do not know. Can anybody compare the noise and vibration of turboprops compared to jets of a similar size? (for example, comparing the Q400 with E170, ATR 42 with CRJ 200)

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: atct
Posted 2012-05-04 15:21:30 and read 5850 times.

Quoting N8911E (Thread starter):
TOWER OF TERROR at Universal Studios

The ride is at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's California Adventure not Universal...


Anywho I speat a year as a flight attendant on Saab 340's and the ride is no better or worse than any other aircraft ive ridden or flown. If its turbulent, its turbulent. Regarding noise its on par with the Brasilia, older ATR's, and a little louder than the Do328. Its definitely louder than any RJ but not by much. I speat 7-8 hours a day riding around on the saab 5-6 days a week and never had any major issues. Ive felt severe turbulence once on the Saab and a few other times on other aircraft and its no better or worse. In regards to renegade pilots...not much I can do up front to make it a smooth ride if its a bumpy day other than maybe try to find another altitude where it is smoother. Pilots dont "go renegade" and make it bumpy.

ATCT

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: N8911E
Posted 2012-05-04 16:25:51 and read 5747 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
For whatever reason, the trip in and out of CRW can be pretty bumpy, particularly on smaller airplanes. It's not an SF3 issue.

That confirms my suspicion

Quoting n515cr (Reply 4):
+1 based on my own experience up there in a King Air.

+2 then =)

Quoting atct (Reply 6):
The ride is at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's California Adventure not Universal...

It's been years, so I got them mixed up. I was in my single digits when I went on that thing. NEWho, I didn't mean to offend you about "renegade pilots". I happen to know of a few ADMITTED pilots that have personally told me, they like to "have fun up there" These pilots have been off duty, but still, what's said is said.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: atsiang
Posted 2012-05-04 17:25:17 and read 5653 times.

End of March I flew from IAD to CHO (Charlottesville) on a Saab 340, which in fact was the first time I flew on a turboprop. Surprisingly, it was not as noisy or bumpy as I thought. Certainly the cabin was quite cramped and the interior furniture was quite worn. Here's my little video I did of the trip from CHO to IAD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taF2fpr3tQc

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: mdtrunner
Posted 2012-05-04 17:35:17 and read 5624 times.

I flew IAD-SCE in January and it was a blast on the Saa. Very nice ride and very smooth. Not issues and not that loud. I think the EMB-120 is much louder.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: jporterfi
Posted 2012-05-04 17:40:31 and read 5612 times.

The ATR-72 is LOUD on takeoff but then in cruise subsides to about the same noise level as a CRJ. CRJs are a lot more pleasant during takeoff in my opinion because they are quieter, and the sound of a jet at full throttle is less annoying than the sound of a prop at full throttle, especially when one fo the props is right outside your window! I don't remember the Dash 8 being that loud on takeoff: it may be even quieter than a 737.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: EMBQA
Posted 2012-05-04 18:20:38 and read 5535 times.

If it was a United Express flight I'm guessing it was on an ex-American Eagle aircraft....? Those have Ham Standard props which I've always felt are louder in the cabin. All aircraft with wing mounted engines also have a sound envelope in the cabin. Depending on where you sit it can be louder or quieter.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: kcrwflyer
Posted 2012-05-05 05:27:03 and read 5219 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
For whatever reason, the trip in and out of CRW can be pretty bumpy, particularly on smaller airplanes. It's not an SF3 issue.

Our terrain is a big contributor to that.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: mcdu
Posted 2012-05-05 06:56:43 and read 5117 times.

Quoting atsiang (Reply 8):
End of March I flew from IAD to CHO (Charlottesville) on a Saab 340, which in fact was the first time I flew on a turboprop.

Thanks for the video. Have not ridden a SF340 in many years. I remember when they were brand new in the airline industry. IIRC Comair was the first US customer to fly them. They were a big step up from the EMB110's, Metroliners and Jetstream 31's that were ruling the commuter skies at the time. The first on I saw in person was an Airmidwest SF340 and I thought it was the coolest airplane. I was flying a 19 seat turboprop and the SF340 was looked gigantic to me at the time. Heck, they even had a Flight Attendant!

Your video as you exited the airplane brought back some really good memories. Thank you very much for sharing and allowing an old guy to remember some fun times in the industry

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: EMBQA
Posted 2012-05-05 07:53:59 and read 5044 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 13):

Air Midwest was the first operator in the US

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: futureualpilot
Posted 2012-05-05 09:41:02 and read 4940 times.

It is a function of the weather and the route. IAD-CRW takes you across anything but flat terrain. If the winds are right, generally perpendicular to the mountains and strong enough, you'll have a rough ride all the way up into the low flight levels. If there are thunderstorms even giving them a wide birth still can make for a rough ride. This goes for a lot of the Saab destinations out of IAD. SHD, CHO, UNV, ABE, MGW/CKB, AOO/JST all are less than an hour and go over a fair amount of terrain, so there is a better chance tour flight will be bumpy. Short length and terrain mean lower altitudes and an increased chance of bumps.

I can assure you, your crew likely worked to try to find a smooth ride but unfortunately this isn't always possible. They likely had already fliwn several legs in those conditions or would fly several more that day in them, they don't want to do it any more than you. Fortunately, the Saab is an absolute tank and will outlast even the most seasoned passengers! In my thousands of hours flying the Saab it isn't any inherently bumpier or smoother than any other turboprop I've flown on. I'm glad to have had the opportunity to be a Saab driver, it's a blast to fly and you learn to love and hate it, often at the same time, but you also learn very quickly that it'll always bring you home. It's sort of a badge of honor among a world of automated RJs. I'm going to miss it.

As far as noise levels, the ham stands have different tips than the dowty props, with the ham stands being rounded and the dowtys being squared off. Perhaps this makes a difference at lower RPM or during beta, when the mighty Saab is taxiing around but in cruise I've found if you close your eyes you won't notice a difference. If you sit aft of row 7 or so the airplane is about as quiet as an RJ.

[Edited 2012-05-05 09:54:25]

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: rikkus67
Posted 2012-05-05 10:16:33 and read 4883 times.

Some of the smaller turboprops can be fairly noisy, but all will act similar whether in smooth or turbulent air.
I have flown on quite a few turboprops, including the 340B (LAX-SAN). The 340B flight was smooth, but it was a bit noisier than other craft I have been on.


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Photo © Tony Zeljeznjak



One of the most enjoyable flights I have ever been on was a Time Air Dash 7 from YQL (Lethbridge, Alberta) to YLW (Kelowna, British Columbia) and on to YVR (Vancouver, B.C.). The noise was moderate, but not intollerable, considering it's 4 engines. The flight was glass smooth over the Rocky Mountains (rare, especially when you are at 20-25,000 feet), and the only unstable portion was a surprise last minute cross wind gust on landing in YLW.


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My WORST experience in turbulence was on an American West 757 from PHX to LAS. Trying to avoid bad thunderstorms enroute, we hit some serious airpockets, and did 2 or 3 hard drops. The wing flex was quite amazing, and I wouldn't be surprised if the wings "flapped" at least 5 feet in both directions.


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If the opportunity ever arises to hop on another 340B, I wouldn't even hesitate.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: mcdu
Posted 2012-05-05 14:53:21 and read 4689 times.

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 14):
Air Midwest was the first operator in the US

Where did ComAir fit in the delivery of the airplanes? I totally forgot about American Eagle operating them. I also remember I liked the BizEx, Delta Connection paint scheme. Thought the black nose looked good on those planes.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: N766UA
Posted 2012-05-05 15:02:07 and read 4661 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
For whatever reason, the trip in and out of CRW can be pretty bumpy, particularly on smaller airplanes. It's not an SF3 issue.

IIRC the area around CRW is pretty hilly. Hills and valleys tend to create turbulance as air rises, falls, and swirls around the elevated terrain.

I've flown nearly every twin engine prop in the US, and the Saab is no worse in turbulance, I've found. It's maybe a tad noisier than the 120, but nothing to write home about.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: EMBQA
Posted 2012-05-05 17:08:57 and read 4533 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 17):

I'm pretty sure Comair was a close second in delivery. Air Midwest gets missed becouse it was small and quickly merged. Eagle was by far the largest at its peak with over 100.

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: N8911E
Posted 2012-05-05 18:50:07 and read 4401 times.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 15):
I can assure you, your crew likely worked to try to find a smooth ride but unfortunately this isn't always possible.

I believe you... The crew WAS pretty awesome. Very nice and informative. I never did blame them for the bumps though. As a matter of fact, I thought they did a hell of a job flying through all that crap I even shook the captain's hand and told him that was some "great flying."

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: futureualpilot
Posted 2012-05-06 16:50:54 and read 4054 times.

We always appreciate a kind word, while never expected it is genuinely appreciated when we receive compliments from passengers!

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: rjm777ual
Posted 2012-05-06 17:21:04 and read 4004 times.

UA's S-340's are indeed aging, but have done a lot for UA (colgan)

Topic: RE: United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B
Username: KarlB737
Posted 2012-05-06 17:44:45 and read 3964 times.

Quoting N766UA (Reply 18):
the area around CRW is pretty hilly. Hills and valleys tend to create turbulance as air rises, falls, and swirls around the elevated terrain.

Many times in the mid 1970s I flew on a Piedmont YS-11 from CVG to BKW with a stop at CRW. That is a mountain region and I can recall even in that larger turbo-prop some interesting turbulance at times.


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