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United Express - Colgan Air Saab 340B  
User currently offlineN8911E From United States of America, joined May 2012, 48 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6460 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?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinenorthstardc4m From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3012 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6456 times:
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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?



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22923 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6409 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.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineYflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1022 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6351 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.


User currently offlinen515cr From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6228 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.


User currently offlinesoftrally From Canada, joined Mar 2012, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6002 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)


Flown on: 738, 744, 762/763, 772, 77W, 788, A306, A318/319/320/321, A332/333, E145, E190, CRJ700
User currently offlineatct From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2287 posts, RR: 38
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5910 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



"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
User currently offlineN8911E From United States of America, joined May 2012, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 5807 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.


User currently offlineatsiang From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5713 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

User currently offlinemdtrunner From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 43 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5684 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.

User currently offlinejporterfi From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5672 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.

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5595 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.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinekcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3813 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5279 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.


User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5177 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


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5104 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 13):

Air Midwest was the first operator in the US



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5000 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]


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlinerikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1628 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4943 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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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.



AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4749 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.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8232 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4721 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.



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User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4593 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.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineN8911E From United States of America, joined May 2012, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4461 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."


User currently offlinefutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

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


Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlinerjm777ual From UK - England, joined Nov 2011, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4064 times:

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


Greetings from Dulles!
User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3104 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4024 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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