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The Demise Of The Beech 1900 In The US  
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6416 posts, RR: 3
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9247 times:

What caused the Beech 1900 to disappear from scheduled airline service?

The 1900D addressed the biggest issue the plane had, a lack of headroom when boarding or deplaning...

My guess is the maintenance related accident in Charlotte, which, IIRC, led to many ops which had previously been under Part 135 (scheduled) being moved under Part 121:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Midwest_Flight_5481

For a while, the 1900D was a familiar sight at most US airports!

The EMB-120, which I know is larger, still seems to be holding out for specialty operators, like SkyWest...


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9104 times:

I love the 1900D, great plane for it's niche on flights under 150-200 NM, and the E120 for something over that distance and short of say 350-400 NM, IMHO. The 1900D provides the extra headroom with a nice speed, even though the cabin is a bit loud. The E120, great airplane with speed and a lav for those with tiny bladders!!  
Quoting KELPkid (Thread starter):
My guess is the maintenance related accident in Charlotte, which, IIRC, led to many ops which had previously been under Part 135 (scheduled) being moved under Part 121:

Would be a shame if that is the case, but I don't disagree with you.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlinejetpilot From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9082 times:

By 2003 all B1900D's operated under scheduled service were already under 121 regs. Going way back to 1997.

User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 975 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9001 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 1):
I love the 1900D, great plane for it's niche on flights under 150-200 NM, and the E120 for something over that distance and short of say 350-400 NM, IMHO. The 1900D provides the extra headroom with a nice speed, even though the cabin is a bit loud. The E120, great airplane with speed and a lav for those with tiny bladders!

We still have the 1900D in regular service here with Central Mountain Air and Air Alliance. All of the Central Mountain Air and Air Alliance 1900Ds are 18 pax airplanes with the aft lavatory option.


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LD4



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User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 3790 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 8926 times:

Could it simply be the fact that 19 seat turboprops have completely fallen out of fashion?

It's not like it's been replaced by another competitor.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1574 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8860 times:

Quoting jetpilot (Reply 2):
By 2003 all B1900D's operated under scheduled service were already under 121 regs. Going way back to 1997.

I believe that is what really killed the 1900. The costs of operating the plane went up to the point they couldn't be competitive. Couple that with the RJ killing grounds, and it was the end of most prop planes. But I feel the pendulum will swing back in their favor.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6416 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8801 times:

What is the direct operating cost per hour of a Beech 1900D in today's economy? For kicks and grins, let's assume Raytheon is cranking out new build birds, which should make it a little cheaper to maintain  


Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 3038 posts, RR: 36
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8762 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Quoting francoflier (Reply 4):
It's not like it's been replaced by another competitor.

I don't think there is a pressurized 18-21 seater in production is there, anywhere?

The Twotter 400, Do228NG and the Y-12 are all un-pressurized...



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6416 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 8748 times:

Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 7):
I don't think there is a pressurized 18-21 seater in production is there, anywhere?

The Twotter 400, Do228NG and the Y-12 are all un-pressurized...

Not to mention the EMB-110 Bandierante  

The San Antonio Sewer Pipe (AKA Metroliner) was probably the first of the breed...19 pax twin turboprop pressurized.



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2722 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8721 times:

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):
The San Antonio Sewer Pipe (AKA Metroliner) was probably the first of the breed...19 pax twin turboprop pressurized.

Actually the Jetstream made its first flight in 1967. The Metroliner in 1969. Either way, very few are still in passenger service. The Metro seems to have a second career with smaller cargo operators though.


User currently offlineNorthwest727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8515 times:

The way I was explained why C5 dumped their B1900s for the DHC-8s was that in the in C5's case, the "mother" airline (then Continental) purchases all the seats on the aircraft, and resells them to passengers. The seats are bought at a set price, it is then the regional airline who determines how to use that money to keep itself profitable. In the case of C5, a 37 seat Dash-8 Q200 aircraft has 18 more seats to sell than the B1900D. Despite that the Dash 8 has higher operating costs, in the long run, the airline makes more money by selling those 18 extra seats.

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29805 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 8450 times:

1900's are still going strong up here in Alaska.

Amazingly enough because in many ways the Metro 23 was a better aircraft   

Ok, in fairness they both have their charms



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3141 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7928 times:

Great Lakes Airlines is one of the largest B1900D operators in the world. The 1900 is a great airplane for regional routes, essential air service, and cargo. It has excellent short field performance and does great in the mountains. Airplane age is measured in cycles and some 1900s fly more than 12 flights a day. As the airplane ages its reliability becomes less and less. Despite it's positives, many passengers do not like flying on it. Compared to slightly larger regional turboprops the 1900 lacks a lavatory, inflight service, it is loud, the cabin temperature is rarely comfortable and its lack of an autopilot doesn't always provide the smoothest ride. The economics of operating it is great (roughly $1200/hr). Competitive forces and increasing maintenance costs are driving 1900s away. Raytheon does not support the airplane anymore despite still producing the King Air. The 1900 is becoming more and more popular in Africa and Raytheon who no longer finances 1900s would rather wipe themselves clean of liability and send the airplane overseas. The 1900s that are still in service are true work horses and built like tanks but are becoming long in the tooth. As jet fuel increases in cost, the cost advantage of a 1900 remains but they are becoming more and more rare.

User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1574 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7921 times:

The fact that EAS is trying to be more effective is one thing that is hurting the 1900D as well, IMO. It's to the point that there are many, many more EAS routes being flown by a C208/402 or PC-12 than before, because they are the right size for the market and may cost a significant amount less to operate.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25696 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7914 times:

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 12):
Compared to slightly larger regional turboprops the 1900 lacks a lavatory

Some 1900s have a lavatory including those operated by AC's regional partners.
http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/fleet/beh-1900d.html


User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4288 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7668 times:

The Beech 1900 lives strong. Menards has a fleet of them that they use to move personnel from EAU to various locations that they have stores in. The most amazing thing about them is how quick they can turn an airplane when dropping off or picking up. The Airlines could take some notes on that.

User currently offlineMrChips From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 936 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7656 times:

Here in Alberta, the 1900D is really seeing a resurgence in its popularity with all the workforce charter work going into the various oilsands projects in the northern part of the province. All of the big charter operators at YYC have at least a few 1900Ds in their fleet, and they can't seem to find enough of them fast enough to meet their needs.

The thing about the Beech 1900 is that while it isn't the most popular aircraft in the world, it's really in a class of it's own in terms of cost, size and economics.



Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
User currently offlinewoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1049 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 7579 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 15):
The most amazing thing about them is how quick they can turn an airplane when dropping off or picking up. The Airlines could take some notes on that.

When I flew 1900s for a US Part 121 carrier, the typical scheduled turn times were 10 minutes in the outstation and 20 minutes in the hub. Often, we'd have turn shorter than the 135 cargo flight that landed just in front of us in the outstation.

Once you got a crew that was proficient with a good station, you could on the left side of the a/c, deplane and board pax, unload and load baggage/cargo, while on the right side simultaneously overwing refuel (no single point refueling here), and be off in less than 10 minutes.

Even though EAS contracts in the US guaranteed a set subsidy airlines, the EAS program is a guaranteed way to lose money as your contract (and subsidy reimbursement) is set for a two year term and since the price of fuel goes up more than it goes down, you;'ll find that while the subsidy will/may cover the costs at the beginning of the two year contract, by the middle to end of the contract, it doesn't cover the cost of the increased price of fuel.



Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineSkydrol From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 975 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7514 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 14):
Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 12):
Compared to slightly larger regional turboprops the 1900 lacks a lavatory

Some 1900s have a lavatory including those operated by AC's regional partners.
http://www.aircanada.com/en/about/fl....html

It is amazing how many folks really do not believe this to be true, even with the 18 seat cabin photo I Iinked in reply 3.

Here is the 18 seat B1900D layout from Central Mountain Air:
(the 19th seat is the toilet seat) 




LD4



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User currently offlineiceberg210 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 147 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 15 hours ago) and read 7424 times:

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 12):
The economics of operating it is great (roughly $1200/hr)

Very interesting. I'd love to know what the difference in operating cost is between the 1900, J31, J41, EMB120 S340 sort of thing. I think that's the other thing that has hurt the 1900 is that I bet the economics per seat for a 30 seater is a decent amount better than the economics for a 20 seater, and therefore things have moved that direction some what, and the ones that were 'marginal' at 20 or 30 seats have been dropped.



Erik Berg (Foster's is over but never forgotten)
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1574 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 11 hours ago) and read 7358 times:

Quoting woodreau (Reply 17):

Even though EAS contracts in the US guaranteed a set subsidy airlines, the EAS program is a guaranteed way to lose money as your contract (and subsidy reimbursement) is set for a two year term and since the price of fuel goes up more than it goes down, you;'ll find that while the subsidy will/may cover the costs at the beginning of the two year contract, by the middle to end of the contract, it doesn't cover the cost of the increased price of fuel.

Which again, is why I feel more and more of these EAS routes are going the 9 seat route. It's much, much cheaper to feed a single PT-6 or 2 TSIO-540's than it is to feed a 1900. Heck, how often were the EAS 1900's going out with fewer than 9 people on them anyway? I see the going away of the 1900 a step forward for EAS, in rightsizing for the market. Small markets that never would support a larger aircraft (or a 1900) get something that has a chance of getting off EAS (C402/208, PC-12, etc), and things that can support a bigger aircraft than a 1900 have done so.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineaccess-air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1939 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6846 times:

Actually,
The whole reason for the upgrade in commuter airliners that carry between 10-30 from Part 135 to 121 was because in April of 1997, Great Lakes Airlines was found in violation by the FAA of allowing maintenance by non authorized/certified personnel and/or not complying with certain maintenance procedures on their 30 seat EMB-120 Brasilias. Thus Great Lakes Airlines voluntarily shut itself down to deal with these problems rather than have the FAA shut them down.
In the meantime, the FAA had decided that all commuter airliners that carried between 10 and 30 passengers must now comply with the more stringent Part 121, rules which also in turn required the implementation of FAA certified dispatchers. Part 135 (unless it has changed) does nor require dispatchers..
Great Lakes was operating both 19 seat Beech 1900s and 30 seat Brasilias at that time.
I was also working for Great Lakes at that time....
The Charlotte Air Midwest B1900 crash came a few years after the Great Lakes thing....
The only thing that the Air Midwest crash brought into light is the lack of attention to passenger and baggage weights. It had nothing to do with the part 135 to Part 121 regulations.

From various publications or articles that I have read, they all seem to indicate that the reason a lot of Beech 1900 ( or other 19 seat aircraft) operators are no longer in business is because the upgrade from Part 135 to 121 being a very costly process requiring a whole re-write of procedures and operations. Some of these carriers could not afford to make such upgrades. Hence the demise of a lot of 19 seat airlines, like Big Sky. Just because they couldnt afford did not mean they were unsafe, it just meant that it was a brand new financial burden that had to be absorbed by the carrier.

In my personal opinion, I think that the FAA should have changed the Regs to require 20-30 passenger planes to move to Part 121 and left the 19 passenger planes to Part 135.
After all, it was the improper maintenance procedures of the Great Lakes Brasilias that brought about this problem, not the 1900s.
So, all of these smaller airlines that might have used Beech 1900s or Beech 99s or Twin Otters or Metroliners in Part 135 ops had to upgrade or close up shop....

It is interesting to note that after reading the NTSB report of the September 11, 1991 crash of a Brasilia enroute from Laredo back to Houston operating for then Britt Airways, was operating under Part 135 regulations.
The cause of the crash being the entire leading edge portion of the horizontal stabilizer coming off in-flight therefore causing the whole structure to come off and the plane crashed in a high speed impact dive.
Maintenance had been performed the night before on the aircraft and a shift change occurred and the first shift didnt tell the second shift that the bolts to hold the leading edge in place had NOT been put back in. So the next shift was not aware of this.
Operating under Part 135 as this Brasilia was, did NOT require that ANY notation in the aircraft maintenance log of the "work" performed on the stabilizer. Additionally, nor did it require that the Captain or First Officer be made aware of the work...
The NSTB stated that had the flight been conducted under Part 121 regs, The work would have been documented in the aircraft maintenance logbook and it would have also required an actual visual inspection by one of the flight crew of said work having been done. Had that been the case, the flight crew would have found all the the bolts missing from the leading edge that fastened on the decide boot structure...
As a result of this totally fatal accident, THIS should have been the time that the FAA should have changed the regulations, from Part 135 to 121 for at least 20-30 seaters, not in 1997!!!!!

I think that if a commuter/regional aircraft requires a flight attendant (20 or more passengers) THEN it should fall under Part 121 rules. Leave the 19 or less at Part 135.

Many smaller cities in the United States have all but lost air service because of this "enhancement" of regulations because as I stated above, the cost of running a small airline under 121 is just too expensive....
I know that Cape Air operates a majority of the flights under Part 135 but they also have a Part 121 certificate to do an ATR 42 operation in the South Pacific. Can you imagine the chaos if the FAA decided that ALL commuters even 9 passengers or less (Cessna 402s) must abide by Part 121 regulations?
Bye, bye Cape Air and any other carrier like them, like Seaport, Air Choice One, etc.....

Lastly, I think the stigma of ANY Prop plane crash by a commuter airline these days get much more scrutiny than does a major airline....Look at the Colgan Q400 crash. People have been brainwashed into thinking that commuter prop planes equal death.....Baloney!!!

The biggest problem is that there are no new 19 seaters to take the place of the Beech 1900s....Viking Aircraft has come out with the Dash 400 Twin Otter, but thats still a Twin Otter...Hardly a suitable replacement for a 1900....
Aircraft manufacturers in the US have never been interested in building or developing any 20-50 passenger commuter type aircraft as one can see....It was all 15-19 seaters or full size jets....Now all US manufacturers want to do is build things to compete with Airbus...

Its a shame to see the commuter airlines close up. The market is certainly there, if the airlines know how to market it correctly, but will never be the way it used to be......thanks to E-tickets, code shares and other "supposed" advances in the industry...

Access-Air



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
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