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Perth-Karratha Day Trip On Virgin Blue's E-190  
User currently offlineStevePER From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8653 times:

Virgin Blue started their new services to Karratha and Newman on October 21, and to celebrate they had an "ORE-SOME $9" sale fare to both destinations. The price was too good not to go! There is only a single flight to Newman every day, so Karratha was the obvious choice for a day trip, and my wife was willing to give it a go as well! It was to be my first time to Karratha, my first time on an Embraer aircraft, and my first day trip!

I checked in online the day before our trip and accepted the allocated seats as everything else was further back. I was pleasantly surprised to be allowed to check-in for the return flight at the same time, well over 24 hours in advance.


Monday November 24, 2008
Virgin Blue DJ1721
Perth (PER/YPPH) - Karratha (KTA/YPKA)

Scheduled: 05:45/07:45 (2h00)
Actual: 05:48/07:45
Aircraft: Embraer E190 VH-ZPH "Hastings Highness"
Seats: 8D/F

Our early wake-up wasn't quite early enough, and we left home slightly late. We parked in the long term car park ($17 per day), went the long way trying to get out (it's surrounded by fencing), considered getting the bus, but then ended up walking to the terminal. Within seconds of entering the terminal we were being paged, going through security we were paged for a second time, but we made it. Waking up 55 minutes before our flight was due to depart was a great effort, but in hindsight a bit more time would have been a good idea.

At the gate the Virgin Blue person didn't seem too fussed by our lateness, and even commented that we should take our time getting on to the plane. At the time I thought perhaps he was being sarcastic, but in hindsight I'm sure he was being genuine. We had to walk across the tarmac to board; the two aerobridges were being used by Virgin Blue's flights to Sydney and Melbourne. Once on-board we asked the person in 8F to move, and took our seats. It was about 15 minutes before we pushed back, the delay due to refueling.

Take-off was on runway 21, then we turned right, climbed through the clouds, and headed north.

Sunrise north of Perth


Settling in I found the Embraer 190 comfortable, with plenty of legroom (probably more than on Virgin's 737s). It's nice flying on an aircraft that's only a couple of months old.

There was just one food and drinks service on this flight, with the usual Virgin Blue selection minus the hot food that's available on longer flights. I had a blueberry muffin and an orange juice.

As we approached Karratha we flew past the town, made a series of turns, flew past the town again and then landed on runway 08. On the ground it looked pretty busy, with a Qantas 737-800, Skywest F-100, and another Virgin Blue Embraer 190. Leaving via the front steps, we walked across the tarmac and then into the small but modern Karratha terminal. With no checked-in luggage, we were quick to pick up our hire car and drive off for a day of sightseeing.

We started with a trip out to Millstream (a really nice area to visit, and the highlight of the day) before driving back to the coast via the Roebourne-Wittenoom Road. We drove through Roebourne, stopped in Cossack (a ghost town that was once a major port), then went through Point Sampson (nice fishing town that seemed to be full of retirees) and Wickham (not so appealing) and back to Karratha. We only spent about half an hour in Karratha, and that was at the shopping centre.

Chinderwarriner Pool at Millstream


Lizard


Fortescue River


More photos of our trip


Monday November 24, 2008
Virgin Blue DJ1728
Karratha (KTA/YPKA) - Perth (PER/YPPH)

Scheduled: 17:35/19:30
Actual: 17:50/19:35
Aircraft: Embraer E190 VH-ZPI "Allie Albury"
Seats: 7A/C

We arrived back at the airport at around 16:45 and dropped off the car without any hassles (though later we were charged $95 for excess kilometres, even though the booking had unlimited kilometres - this was eventually refunded). Outside security there is just a single coffee shop so we went straight through the gate area.

It was pretty busy in the departures area, with a Qantas 737-800 due to leave not long before us. The screens were showing a 20 minute delay on our flight. When the Qantas flight boarded there were only four people left, I was hoping for an extremely light load but eventually lots more people drifted through (they must have been at the coffee shop).

Our aircraft, VH-ZPI


We boarded a little late via the front stairs, and this time we were the first to board rather than the last. The Virgin crew were all smiles. The load ended up being quite light, probably about 40%.

Blurry cabin shot


Outside the second Virgin E190 was still there, I wonder how long it sat there.

The other E190, VH-ZPA


The whole flight was uneventful, there was a single food and beverage service with the same offerings as the morning flight. On the menu it said that the seats were extra wide so you can eat lots. I hadn't noticed this earlier, but it's true - the seats are slightly wider than normal. I still didn't eat lots though - I just had a Crown Lager served in the new metal bottles.

River about 15 minutes south of Karratha


Further south


Back in Perth some notable aircraft were an Ozjet 737-200, Australian Air Express 727, and Tiger Airways A320. We disembarked via the aerobridge (lucky, because it had started to rain), walked straight out of the terminal, and arrived home before 8pm. Not a bad effort!

So overall an enjoyable day out, I liked the Embraer aircraft, especially the spacious 2-2 configuration. For $9 these flights were an absolute bargain.


"You're like Icarus - always wanting to fly."
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJrfspa320 From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 244 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 8220 times:

I have flown PER-BME a few times, never on the 190 sadly.
Was it mainly miners on board?
Good to see the 190s in WA anyhow.
Whats Karratha like?


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8539 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8022 times:
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Quoting StevePER (Thread starter):
For $9 these flights were an absolute bargain.

- Too right!

Good read, thanks.

The 170-190 series are real nice planes to travel on, 2-2 seating, nice and roomy, large windows - just great, take one over a CRJ 700/900 anyday!

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26974 posts, RR: 57
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8018 times:

Nice pics and really different. Love the Lizard pic. The E jets are great to fly on . I wish I could fly on them alot more.

Great fares also.

Thanks for the report

OA260


User currently offlineStevePER From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7752 times:



Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 1):
I have flown PER-BME a few times, never on the 190 sadly.
Was it mainly miners on board?
Good to see the 190s in WA anyhow.
Whats Karratha like?

I think there were quite a lot of miners, but there weren't many in uniform so it's hard to tell. Karratha itself doesn't seem like anything special, it's a relatively new town without much history. It's also not big enough to house the number of people who need to live there, so there are lots of temporary accommodation villages around the outskirts.

The surrounding area is big and rugged, lots of red dirt. You can drive for half an hour and still be on the same property. Millstream is like an oasis in the middle of the desert, and is a really nice place to visit.



"You're like Icarus - always wanting to fly."
User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 7612 times:

 Smile

Always good to see Ktown getting featured!

Pretty sure the other E190 there was the one that hit the flock of Birds, as it was there for a day or so.

Millstream is a nice little spot, and the Millstream Link road had made it even easier to access, shame they didn't seal right out to Millstream though, it is happening eventually........

Did you stop off at Python pool on the Wittenoom-Roebourne Rd? That's a nice little spot as well though hasn't been much water there for a while.

Roebourne would of been a bit of an eye opener!, did you drive around the town or just through it?

Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 1):
Whats Karratha like?

Karratha isn't too bad but as StevePer said it's not big enough, house prices are insane and rent is insane, though we are finally getting some infrastructure built and we have a pretty good shopping centre with plenty of shops and takeaways etc this is why the slowdown is going to be good, allows the town to catch up. Just cant build houses and release land quick enough.

Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 1):
Was it mainly miners on board?

If you fly QF you will see plenty of people on board as most people fly QF

XR (Skywest) has a contract with a major company which is building a new port etc south of Karratha.

DJ as far as i know doesnt have any contracts or any deals with companys, however the fares are a hell of alot cheaper than Qantas who charge through the roof for a 2hr flight.

Sorry stolen the thread a bit :P



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offline747m8te From Australia, joined Aug 2008, 441 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 7525 times:

Nice report,
You did squeeze quite a bit in your day trip up there...actually you probably saw most that there is to see in the region   Did you happen to go out to Dampier and the Burrup Peninsular? (mainly for Hearson Cove to check out the rocks...yes there are some special rocks there and a nice beach!)

Love flying on the E-Jets, the only thing I miss is the Live2Air,

You didn't get to see one of the local goannas at the airport did you? Or snakes, one of the airport staff were telling me that last summer they had to remove 14 snakes off the apron...

Quoting StevePER (Thread starter):
It was pretty busy in the departures area, with a Qantas 737-800 due to leave not long before us. The screens were showing a 20 minute delay on our flight. When the Qantas flight boarded there were only four people left, I was hoping for an extremely light load but eventually lots more people drifted through (they must have been at the coffee shop).

The departures area gets extremely busy at times, especially when you have QF, XR, and DJ flights all in close proximity...yet there seems to be a huge amount of wasted space in the arrivals lounge and hall. Because the departure lounge is so small, you quite often have to wait till only 30min prior to departure before they let people into the lounge...causing even more congestion around the cafe area.

Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 1):
Was it mainly miners on board?

Actually, DJ should do quite well out of other pax who are non miners, rather the other locals in the town who can't afford to fly QF to PER (not everyone up there is earning the big bucks in the mines...well alot of the people I met up there weren't). The buzz around town in KTA is that everyone is pleased to see DJ there to give QF some competition, as fares from KTA-PER are quite often more costly then PER-MEL/SYD...and lets not talk about their fares from KTA-BNE...

Quoting Jrfspa320 (Reply 1):
Whats Karratha like?

Um...its got a pretty good shopping center...well the best for the region that is  
Well its a low lying stretched out town between two main roads (with annoying 60km speed zones...), with growing suburbs and relatively new houses...and not much else...oh and lovely red dust.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 5):
Roebourne would of been a bit of an eye opener!, did you drive around the town or just through it?

Ahhh Roebourn...after taking a drive around that town an eye opener it is!

Then go on your merry way out to Point Samson to eat fish and chips  

[Edited 2008-12-07 04:15:35]


Flown on:DHC8Q200,DHC8Q400,EMB145,E170,E190,A320,A332,A333,A343,A380,MD80,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763
User currently offlinePerthGloryFan From Australia, joined Oct 2000, 751 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7489 times:

Hey, that was something different - good report. Nice pics - I could almost smell the pindan dust.

My brother is the FuelFix/Shell refueller at Karratha (I see you caught the opposition AirBP tanker in the background) and has plenty of stories  Smile Especially about the temporary runway (aka parallel taxiway) while the main strip is being up graded.

Last time I was in Roebourne was about 1967 and I believe that it was in better shape back then than it is now, and I tell you, it wasn't much then!

Cossack was always a neat place - I don't think that it was ever a "major" port though - mainly pearling (which moved to Broome after the mid-1860s) - how they built those buildings back in the 1860s to 1880s always amazed me.

Keep 'em coming

PGF


User currently offlineOzTech From Australia, joined Feb 2007, 161 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 7462 times:



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 5):
Pretty sure the other E190 there was the one that hit the flock of Birds, as it was there for a day or so.

That's correct... It got a permit to fly with some minor compressor damage and the engine was changed in BNE 3 days after the ingestion...

First engine change on the EJet for VB..

Glad you had a great trip on the EJet and a good experience flying with the best domestic carrier in Oz...  Big grin ( Note.. Extreme bias toward my employer )



No defect too big, no defect too small, nothing in the log --- No defect at all !!
User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 7431 times:



Quoting 747m8te (Reply 6):

You living up here as well??  Smile

Quoting OzTech (Reply 8):

Thnx for the extra info, all i knew was it hit the birds never heard what happened to the A/C afterward.

Do you know if it was cockatoos it hit?



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offlineStevePER From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 7269 times:



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 5):

Did you stop off at Python pool on the Wittenoom-Roebourne Rd? That's a nice little spot as well though hasn't been much water there for a while.

We did, I agree it's a nice little spot but would be nicer with some fresh water after a bit of rain. When we were there the water was quite low (compared with the levels it gets to sometimes). We had the whole place to ourselves though which was good.

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 5):
Roebourne would of been a bit of an eye opener!, did you drive around the town or just through it?

Drove straight through! I can understand what you mean.

Quoting 747m8te (Reply 6):
Did you happen to go out to Dampier and the Burrup Peninsular? (mainly for Hearson Cove to check out the rocks...yes there are some special rocks there and a nice beach!)

No, it was next on our list of things to do but we ran out of time. My sister recommended it as well, she was in Karratha a couple of months ago for work.

Quoting 747m8te (Reply 6):


[quote=PerthGloryFan,reply=7]Especially about the temporary runway (aka parallel taxiway) while the main strip is being up graded.

I wondered what was going on there, thanks for the info.



"You're like Icarus - always wanting to fly."
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7207 times:

Thanks for the TR!
Virgin E-190 is a great looking plane, I'm a big fan of Embraers myself though flown only E190 once, HEL-MAN on AY, they have both E170s and E190s.

Quoting StevePER (Thread starter):
There was just one food and drinks service on this flight,

Was it free or BOB?


User currently offline747m8te From Australia, joined Aug 2008, 441 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7131 times:



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 9):
You living up here as well?? Smile

Did for about 8 weeks, untill I left just last week  Wink

...back to the cold now...but away from the flies  Smile

Not a bad place, completely different scenery to what i'm used to back over east, and the town is improving, but I don't know if I could live there for too long at a time (unless I had a boat to go fishing).

But the region should benefit now by being more accessible to tourists, as prior to Virgin coming in, it was really only the miners who could afford to fly there (or should I say through their company of employment). Its prompted XR to offer specials to the region too...it be good to see how QF respond...JQ anyone???? (I had heard a rumour while I was up that way...but prob just small town talk  Wink )

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 5):
Always good to see Ktown getting featured!

How do you find it living up there???

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 9):
Do you know if it was cockatoos it hit?

I heard it was a flock of Galahs  Wink



Flown on:DHC8Q200,DHC8Q400,EMB145,E170,E190,A320,A332,A333,A343,A380,MD80,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763
User currently offlineStevePER From Australia, joined May 2004, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7012 times:



Quoting Andaman (Reply 11):
Was it free or BOB?

Virgin Blue is always BOB, with the menu available here. Example prices are $2.50 for a soft drink, $6 or $7 for a beer, $3 for a muffin.



"You're like Icarus - always wanting to fly."
User currently offlinePilotdude09 From Australia, joined May 2005, 1777 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7011 times:



Quoting 747m8te (Reply 12):
How do you find it living up there???

To be honest in my old job i hated it and wanted out, was lucky to get 1 day off a week, however now i do the 4 days on 4 days off on the Railway and i love it up here. Theres so much to see, do and explore!

Always going 4x4ing and fishing, get used to the lifestyle really.

Though i must say i do miss the rush of a city and the ability to buy what you want when you want, not having to order it online and wait weeks. But been up here 5 years now so just used to it, but it's extremely expensive to live up here though hopefully 12 months time the ass will fall out of the property market which will allow me to buy as it's beyond my reach at the moment and ridiculous.

Amazing the amount of changes in 5 years though! Just the infrastructure alone in the last couple of years has improved greatly, though $100 for a Doctors visit it a bit crazy!!. Finally got KFC  Smile lol and alot of much needed housing in the last couple years. Prob be here for the next few years i think.

Some people hate it, but fly's you get used to, no rain....easy to get used to (why we all get excited to see rain/cyclones!)

See XR is offering $148 KTA-PER fares now too, which is even cheaper than DJ and your luggage is included in that!

Crist i waffle on hahaha



Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
User currently offline747m8te From Australia, joined Aug 2008, 441 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6978 times:



Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 14):
Finally got KFC Smile lol

LOL did you see the big line up of people wanting KFC on open day...  Wink

Quoting Pilotdude09 (Reply 14):
See XR is offering $148 KTA-PER fares now too, which is even cheaper than DJ and your luggage is included in that!

Noticed that, when I was up there I was so tempted to take a quick trip to PER with XR so I could get on a F100, didn't get round to it in the end.

Quoting StevePER (Thread starter):
Settling in I found the Embraer 190 comfortable, with plenty of legroom (probably more than on Virgin's 737s). It's nice flying on an aircraft that's only a couple of months old.

I don't know if there is more legroom (my legs still get jammed up into the seat infront of me like they do on the 737s...downside of being tall  sigh  ) but I find the seats themselves to be much more comfortable, and with the seats a bit wider it certainly gives you more room to move.

Quoting StevePER (Reply 4):
The surrounding area is big and rugged, lots of red dirt. You can drive for half an hour and still be on the same property. Millstream is like an oasis in the middle of the desert, and is a really nice place to visit.

Everyone talked about Millstream (and the former tavern that lies there) but I didn't get there in the end, you have some nice photo's of the area though  Wink



Flown on:DHC8Q200,DHC8Q400,EMB145,E170,E190,A320,A332,A333,A343,A380,MD80,B733,B734,B737,B738,B743,B744,B744ER,B762,B763
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