Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 13703 times:
The Dornier 228 is a type of aircraft that was still missing in my log. But as I found it an interesting aircraft to fly on and there are three daily flights from my home airport Stuttgart (STR) to Dortmund (DTM) operated by the regional airline LGW (Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter) with Dornier 228 aircraft, I decided to book a day-trip in order to finally log this bird.
LGW with home-base at Dortmund operates a fleet consisting of six Do 228-aircraft. In 2007 the company was taken over by Air Berlin, and since then all LGW-flights are sold via Air Berlin, but still with LGW flight number. If you visit the web-page www.lgw.de , you are re-directed to the Air Berlin site. So I visited the Air Berlin web page and booked a day-trip STR-DTM-STR for 22 May. I booked the morning flight out of STR, leaving at 8:05, and the return flight from DTM at 16:40. But as 22 May was a public holiday in most parts of Germany (“Fronleichnam”, The Feast of Corpus Christi), LGW /Air Berlin reduced the flights on this date from three to two in each direction. So one month before my trip I received an E-Mail from Air Berlin saying that my flight times had changed. The outbound flight would operate three hours later while the time of the return flight would stay the same. So my time at DTM was reduced from 7.5 hours to 4.5 hours. No big deal for me, as the flight was the most important reason for this trip for me, but maybe not the best solution for someone who had really intended to spend the day in Dortmund.
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Stuttgart (STR) – Dortmund (DTM)
Airline: LGW Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter
Flight number: LGW-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Germany)">HE 6101
Scheduled departure time: 11:00
Scheduled arrival time: 12:05
Type of aircraft: Dornier 228-200
This aircraft is the second ever built Dornier 228, construction number 8002. It was built in 1982 and delivered to Malaysia Air Charter as 9M-AXB. In 1989, Malaysia Air Charter ceased operations and the aircraft was stored for six years. In 1994 it was bought back by Dornier and delivered to APS Vinther Aircraft Sales in Denmark with the registration OY-CHJ. Only one year later, in 1995, it was returned to Dornier and sold to LGW with the registration D-ILWS. Since then the aircraft is flying on the domestic network of LGW.
I arrived at Stuttgart Airport by train. Check-in for Air Berlin is done in Terminal 3:
Air Berlin offers a separate check-in counter for “hand luggage only” at STR. There was no waiting time at all; no passengers in front of me, so I decided to check in at the counter rather than use a check-in machine. A friendly male agent from our local handling company Stuttgart Ground Service checked me in. He asked me if I would like to check in for the return flight as well, and I said yes. Then he asked me if I had any seating preferences. I replied that I always prefer window seats but as there are only window seats on the Do 228, I didn’t care. So I got seat number 7A for STR-DTM and seat number 3A for the return flight:
The boarding time printed on the boarding pass was 10:15 which was 45 minutes before departure, but the agent told me that boarding would start a bit later. 45 minutes seem to be Air Berlin standard at STR, but for a Do 228 it is definitely not necessary.
After spending some time on the viewing gallery, I passed security control and proceeded to gate number 115, a bus gate in Terminal 1. 20 minutes before departure time I watched the LGW aircraft landing; it arrived from DTM. Boarding started only 10 minutes later and a bus took all passengers to the aircraft. As it was a holiday, passengers weren’t business travellers who are probably typical for that route, but rather leisure travellers. Some of them were really surprised about the small aircraft – most people probably don’t expect that when booking Air Berlin.
The first officer was standing at the door, greeting the passengers and loading heavy hand luggage into the luggage compartment, as there are no flight attendants on these flights:
The cabin is quite comfortable for such a small plane, equipped with grey leather seats and direct view into the cockpit (picture was taken at DTM later that day):
Bags with bread rolls and two baskets with coffee and water were placed near the door for self-service catering:
Besides, two different newspapers were available, the “Westfälische Rundschau” and the “Ruhr Nachrichten”. Both are local newspapers from Dortmund, so LGW still has kept some local patriotism, despite the take-over by Air Berlin.
There were 9 passengers on board of this flight which was a load factor of 47%. The captain made a short welcome announcement (in German language only). There was no safety demonstration, which is probably not needed on these small aircraft. As the Do 228 doesn’t have a pressurised cabin, there are no oxygen masks. Live vests were available under every seat, but they are definitely not needed on that route, so no need to demonstrate their use.
At around 11:00 we were ready to depart. However, the captain put his head into the cabin, saying “Wir kommen hier nicht vom Hof, der Anlasser fehlt. Tut und leid” (translation: We can’t get off here as the ramp agent is still missing. Sorry for that). 11:00 am is a busy time at STR, so I guess the ramp agents have several flights to handle at the same time. About five minutes later, the ramp agent arrived and we were able to leave. We taxied to runway 07. After a Delta B 767 to Atlanta it was our turn to take off in eastern direction.
Condor B 757-300:
End of the taxiways leading to the runway:
The town of Ostfildern:
Unfortunately, it was clouded in Southern Germany on that day, so although the Do 228 can’t go higher than 9,000 feet (3,000 metres) due to the missing pressurised cabin, as the captain explained, there wasn’t much to see outside. So I decided to eat my lunch consisting of two bagels, one with cheese, and one with cold meats:
Catering was quite good for such a short flight, nothing to complain about. An in-flight cabin picture:
Luckily the clouds disappeared when we came further north, so looking out of the large windows and watching the landscape below passing by was quite enjoyable:
A water reservoir:
A small airfield:
A cargo train station:
After a flight time of about one hour, we were reaching Dortmund.
“Signal Iduna Park”, the stadium of the local soccer team “Borussia Dortmund”:
An old mine:
We touched down on runway 06 and taxied to a parking position in front of the terminal. We were on-block at 12:25 which was 20 minutes behind schedule. This resulted from our late departure from STR due to the missing ramp agent and from the fact that the flight time was a bit longer due to the weather. The first officer walked through the cabin to the back and opened the door, and then the passengers were able to leave the aircraft as well and collect their hand luggage:
When all passengers had left, the first officer was doing a propeller check:
Passengers walked the short distance to the terminal building. Our aircraft soon drove off to the LGW hangar as its next flight would be the flight to Stuttgart in the afternoon.
The weather at Dortmund was nice. I decided to spend the time until the departure of my return flight at and around the airport, for example on the nice viewing gallery.
Dortmund Airport: the departure area:
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Dortmund (DTM) – Stuttgart (STR)
Airline: LGW Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter
Flight number: LGW-Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter (Germany)">HE 6102
Scheduled departure time: 16:40
Scheduled arrival time: 17:45
Type of aircraft: Dornier 228-200
About one hour before my return flight I passed security control and entered the gate area. The different sectors are painted in the colours of the airlines that are handled there. Guess who is using this area:
As there isn’t an “LGW-area”, the flight to STR departed from the “Germanwings-area”, gate number 7. At DTM, all aircraft are parked with their back facing the terminal building, that’s why the pushback-trucks are used to push the aircraft into the parking positions instead of out:
About 20 minutes before scheduled departure time, our Do 228 was pulled by a truck to a parking position in front of the terminal building. It was the same aircraft as on STR-DTM in the morning:
Boarding started shortly after, and passengers walked the short distance to the aircraft. Boarding D-ILWS again:
The same flight crew as on the outbound flight in the morning greeted us. This time I was sitting further in the front, on seat number 3A, with a good view to the cockpit. Catering was the same as in the morning. This time there were 7 passengers on board which was a load factor of 37%.
Only five minutes after boarding we were off-block, taxied to runway 06 and took off without any waiting time:
Some impressions from the flight route:
During flight, the captain turned around into the cabin and asked passengers to pass the coffee basket to the cockpit. It was handed through the cabin from the back to the front.
A stone pit:
Back in the Southwest of Germany: the town of Leonberg near Stuttgart:
Motorway service area “Sindelfinger Wald”:
As the Dornier 228 is much slower than other aircraft, we didn’t use the usual routing into STR. Instead, we entered the normal approach route as late as possible in order to avoid slowing down other traffic. So the views were a bit different from other flights. I enjoyed the slow approach that offered various options for photographs.
The “Seven Mills Village” (“Siebenmühlental”):
The town of Echterdingen:
Reaching Stuttgart Airport again, with the exhibition centre:
We touched down on runway 07 and taxied to a parking position on the apron. The first officer opened the door and all passengers left the aircraft:
A bus took everybody to the arrivals facilities of Terminal 3. I climbed up to the viewing deck where I could watch D-ILWS being prepared for its flight back to DTM:
Only 15 minutes after arrival, the Do 228 was on its way to the runway again:
I guess only Ryanair can perform better turn-around times
Conclusion: Flying the Dornier 228 was a really pleasant experience and much different from travelling on a Boeing or Airbus aircraft. It is still much more “real flying”, with direct views to the cockpit and the slow travelling in low altitudes. The atmosphere on these small planes is relaxed. For me it was really something special.
Thanks for reading this report. Questions and comments are always appreciated.
Jamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 534 posts, RR: 1 Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 13619 times:
Thanks for sharing a great little trip report, with good pictures too ... it was particularly enjoyable for me, since my first every commercial flight was on a Do228 of Suckling Airways, now ScotAirways, flying CBG-AMS-CBG when I was little 'un... flying's a lot more fun when you're that close to the action
DALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1631 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 13459 times:
Nice to see you having the DO-228 covered! A plane which is quite rare to catch nowadays.
It really must have been a nice day to spend! Great!
Thank you for letting us enjoy your experiences once again! Very complete with some very nice pics.
I also liked your info about the aircraft being parked with the tail to the gate at DTM, something I did not know.
Thanks for sharing!
Joost ( D-ALCE )
flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
Gjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 13331 times:
Wonderful TR about a rather unusual domestic service, very different from LH/AB/X3 flights on Boeing or Airbus aircraft. I would love to fly the Do228 one day. Just window seats, low cruising altitudes and a friendly service by the pilots...a great combination.
FLIEGER67 From Ethiopia, joined Sep 2003, 4758 posts, RR: 56 Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 13138 times:
great story and pix, an enjoyable sunday morning read!.
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter): It is still much more “real flying”, with direct views to the cockpit and the slow travelling in low altitudes. The atmosphere on these small planes is relaxed. For me it was really something special.
A 100% agreement, if nothing goes wrong I will catch the 228 next month on a LGW hop from SCN to DUS.
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 12950 times:
Thanks to all of you for your replies!
Quoting Jamesontheroad (Reply 1): my first every commercial flight was on a Do228 of Suckling Airways, now ScotAirways, flying CBG-AMS-CBG when I was little 'un... flying's a lot more fun when you're that close to the action
Yes, those were the days...
Quoting DALCE (Reply 2): A plane which is quite rare to catch nowadays.
Yes, it is hard to find carriers that still use the Do 228 in Europe. Most have "upgraded" their equipment, like Scot Airways to the Do 328.
Quoting DALCE (Reply 2): I also liked your info about the aircraft being parked with the tail to the gate at DTM, something I did not know.
According to my knowledge, the reason for this is the very small apron. With a traditional parking system, the tails of the parked aircraft would be too close to the active runway.
Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 3): I would love to fly the Do228 one day. Just window seats, low cruising altitudes and a friendly service by the pilots...a great combination.
It is indeed fantastic. I guess LGW is the only option left with scheduled Do 228 services here in Germany - and probably also in most parts of Europe.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 4): A 100% agreement, if nothing goes wrong I will catch the 228 next month on a LGW hop from SCN to DUS.
I wish you a very pleasant trip. And I'm looking forward to a trip report.
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4125 posts, RR: 51 Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 12813 times:
nice to read this report, for sure! You catched already this interesting aircraft now, and I understand that it's worth it, to give it a try myself too Do you know; are these Dorniers being replaced by Dash 8-Q400 which were ordered by AB lately?
The pics are very clear, another big plus when you fly at this low altitudes
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter): During flight, the captain turned around into the cabin and asked passengers to pass the coffee basket to the cockpit. It was handed through the cabin from the back to the front.
And also that is probably something which I think, don't find anywhere else Nice!
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 12666 times:
Thanks for your comments Mark, Eric and Comfortzone!
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6): It was the same aircraft as on STR-DTM in the morning
- Shame, but these things happen.
Yes, actually I had expected this in advance: LGW has two aircraft based at DTM. One is serving TXL, the other STR. The TXL-aircraft stays at TXL during day from 11:05 until 15:40, so there is no exchange possible between the two aircraft on the same day. The STR-aircraft normally has a similar schedule, only due to the holiday it was changed (there was no holiday in Berlin, so these flights were operated regularly).
Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 7): Do you know; are these Dorniers being replaced by Dash 8-Q400 which were ordered by AB lately?
Yes, that's what I have red as well. According to my knowledge, one of the first routes served by Dash 8-Q400 will be STR-DUS; that route is normally served with A 319 and F100 at the moment. I have no idea what will happen with the Do 228 in the long-term. After all, these birds are getting really old.
Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 7): The pics are very clear, another big plus when you fly at this low altitudes
It's definately a great impression - a bit like a sightseeing flight.
If you choose row 02, you get those windows that bulge outwards enabling to shoot pictures downwards.
I flew on a LGW Do228 late in April shortly before the route HAJ - DUS was cut. We were 4 pax on that flight (return was by train), but weather was too bad to make decent shots
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
Ndebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2897 posts, RR: 24 Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12352 times:
very nice report about a flight on a special aircraft - wow, Do228 line number 2. Also some very nice pics, flying low-altitude is always nice. As you know, I did the same trip two years ago, and those pics brought back nice memories.
CO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2848 posts, RR: 2 Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 12264 times:
I was surprised to see no door existed between the flight-deck and the cabin... i understand it's a tiny plane with no flight attendants, but what about security? Aren't they concerned about some sick person trying to do something stupid?
Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 14): I was surprised to see no door existed between the flight-deck and the cabin... i understand it's a tiny plane with no flight attendants, but what about security? Aren't they concerned about some sick person trying to do something stupid?
I think the rules about locked cockpit doors are only valid for bigger planes. These small aircraft can't do that much damage on the ground. But of course, the theoretical risk that someone is doing something stupid is there.
TriStar500 From Germany, joined Nov 1999, 4690 posts, RR: 45 Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 12069 times:
Nice report as usual, Christoph!
BTW - the brownfield close to Dortmund, which you identified as a former coal mine is actually the site of a former steel mill, which is currently being developed into a upscale housing project complete with the largest artificial innercity lake in Germany.
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 11782 times:
Hello Jens and thank you for your comment!
Quoting TriStar500 (Reply 16): BTW - the brownfield close to Dortmund, which you identified as a former coal mine is actually the site of a former steel mill, which is currently being developed into a upscale housing project complete with the largest artificial innercity lake in Germany.
Interesting - here it shows that I'm from Southern Germany as I didn't realize the difference between a former coal mine and a former steel mill. Here in the South, we have none of the two. The project itself doesn't sound bad - a chance to create something completely new.
Sabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 11690 times:
This is a fantastic report with a bunch of great inflight pictures, especially I like the shot of the Westfalenstadion Signal-Iduna Park. The football field next to it is called "Rote Erde", the amateur team of the BVB is playing there.
Now I remember one of your trip reports about a flight to (or from) the UK, you posted a stadium picture as well... definitely keep them coming, I really like to watch football stadiums from a bird's perspective!
The breakfast looks pretty good, bagels like those are also available in our employee cafeteria and I buy them almost every morning.
Contact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14 Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 11543 times:
Hi Patrick and thanks for your reply!
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 18): especially I like the shot of the Westfalenstadion Signal-Iduna Park.
To be honest, I had to look up the new name; I still know the place as Westfalenstadion as well.
Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 18): Now I remember one of your trip reports about a flight to (or from) the UK, you posted a stadium picture as well... definitely keep them coming, I really like to watch football stadiums from a bird's perspective!
Yes, this was Griffin Park in London. No Problem to take further stadium pics, as long as the stadiums are located close to an airport...