Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2775 posts, RR: 11 Posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4964 times:
-----Greetings everyone interested in flying a Convair 340
There is a family-owned charter company based in Ensenada, Baja California (about one hour drive south from the California border). They operate one Convair 340s that was built in 1955, but is in excellent flying condition. This family operates this aircraft on a charter basis and picks up quite a lot charter flights for a travel agency based in San Diego that specializes in ecological tours in Baja, particularly dealing with whale watching tours during the California winter (whale migrating season). Please see this trip report (3.1.08) on the link to see the aircraft and a typical service that the charter service provides:
In any case, I've been thinking about contacting the owners in Ensenada to see if I can arrange a trip on this Convair 340 for us A.net enthusiast. We can also arrange something with the Travel Agency that already deals with this company and have them take care of all the reservations, but of course we would probably be paying a commission fee. A typical whale watching 4 day expedition (Bus, Convair 340, whale watching, food, and hotel goes for $2,000 + ) We just wanna get on board the Convair 340 so we have to see how much it would cost to charter it with at least a 90% load factor. Whatever that is on a Convair 340!
I was wondering if anyone is interested, perhaps if we get enough A.nutters to commit we can charter a flight to take us somewhere in Baja and back. Its not that hard to get to Ensenada from San Diego and flying a Convair 340 is definitely a worthwile and once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Here's the beauty I'm talking about:
This is the Convair 340 picking up American whale watchers.
Crownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2246 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4890 times:
Latinplane...Thank you for sharing this. The a/c in question is XA-SQG and is operated by California Aeroservicios. There are several photos in the database. It would be nice to know if they have U.S. authority as there maybe more interest, if you can originate from Brown Field on a private charter. Unfortunately, based on the response to this very interesting opportunity, most people on this forum seem to be more interested in RJ's or the other new crap that we are subjected to fly in. There is nothing like the ride of the Convair. I have been fortunate to fly in the 240, 340, 440 and 580. I never flew on a 540, 600 or 640. Thanks again for this bit of nostalgia..
Latinplane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2775 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4867 times:
I think driving, or Chartering a bus to Ensenada would be the easiest and cheapest option. From the research that I've made they operated to Brown Field at one point, but post Sept 11 things are not that easy anymore. I'm trying to test the waters and see if there's any interest from the A.net community. It would only take about 25 to 30 people to commit and make it work with a reasonable fare is my guess.
Columba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7200 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4855 times:
Oh man, I would love to fly on this one.
This spring I have lost my prop virginity flying on a Dc 3 so the CV 340 would be the next logical step, too bad I can not afford a trip to Baja California right now, but it is good to know that something like this exists, I wish all who travel on this plane a great flying experience,
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
Tozairport From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4844 times:
This is a real bad idea. If you put a bunch of A.NET people on a Convair 340 all you will hear is:
Where's the AVOD!
What, no channel 9?
No, I will not pay for a drink!
The PTV's were not installed on this aircraft!
I'd rather fly on a DC-9!
Did you see the last video of that airline on youtube?
Convair 340 diverting, what's that all about...
etc. etc. etc.....
Seriously, great idea for a trip. I hope it works out.
LatinPlane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2775 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4822 times:
Quoting Tozairport (Reply 4): This is a real bad idea. If you put a bunch of A.NET people on a Convair 340 all you will hear is:
There's a lot of intelligent and serious people on a.net too you know.
I just found this video of the exact same plane I'm talking about landing at San Ignacio air strip off the Sea of Cortez. OMG! Can you imagine a plane full of A.nutters getting off this baby! We'd be little kids all over again!
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4540 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4797 times:
Hi Apollo, What a great initiative. I'll try to be there , a piston Convair is high on my wish list.
But indeed I think 50 people is a lot to find and actually reserve and pay for this.
Even Airevents and other groups like that had to cancel amazing flights because they couldn't find enough people. They tried to get 40 people to fly on a DC-8 and later on an Il-18 in Europe and they just didn't manage, some thought it was too expensive, for others the time was not right etc.
Still it would be a great chance but I'd suggest to plan it at least a year ahead, try to have it advertized at Airevents, they have a mailing list of the typical 200-500 geeks who like stuff like that, also advertize in 'Airline', Propliner and other magazines, at spotter communities in California etc.
By the way, does anyone know what happened to the Convairs of AeroCedros; XA-RYV, XA-TFY, XA-TFZ, none have been seen since around 2000.
[Edited 2008-08-07 01:13:52]
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 7): Hi Apollo, What a great initiative. I'll try to be there , a piston Convair is high on my wish list.
Hi Servaas, I knew you'd be up for it! Thanks for the advise. It seems that if we plan something for six to seven months down the line we can possibly get about 25 folks to participate from various sources. There are a few people that I know that would not hesistate to join once things are defined and all the information is available.