Yesterday I was due to fly Edinburgh-Exeter-Edinburgh on Flybe flights
212 and 215. Both were scheduled as dash 8's and I checked in on-line
the night before. An inside contact at EDI managed to switch me to the
emergency exit seat for the outbound journey. So things were looking
My alarm went off at 0520 and I began my preparations for the drive
through to Edinburgh. I knew the roads would be busier than usual due
to it being a Friday; hence the rather early start for a 0855
I left the house at about 0615 and off I went to join the dual
carriageway at Johnstone (about 10mins away). Traffic through Glasgow
was fine but I hit the inevitable bottle neck of traffic at
Eurocentral. This slow moving mass of traffic lasted until about
junction 3A at Livingston. Nevertheless, I arrived at EDI between 0730
and 0800 and parked up in the short stay car park.
Once inside I grabbed a quick coffee and a bite to eat before passing
through security (which was no hassle at all) and into the departure
Now for the fun:
Conditions on my drive to Edinburgh were quite bad. Foggy patches at
GLA, Harthill (as usual) and then as I approached EDI. The airfield
was rather ghostly as aircraft appeared and disappeared through the
thick ground hugging cloud. Not once did it cross my mind however that
this would be a problem.
As the time approached 0820, a new message appeared on the screen -
'BE212 EXETER - NEXT INFORMATION 1000' - Just superb...Now the worry
began to set in. I was due to be at my meeting for 1215
and the thought began to creep into my head that I could be late.
I swiftly approached the two beautiful Menzies girls and their
gentleman colleague to ask what the situation was. Just as I was
asking, the man began to announce the situation over the tannoy;
Exeter was caked in fog and nothing was moving. It was time to phone
ahead and give notice that I may be later than planned. However as
things stood, if we were to fly before 1100, I would still make my
appointment on time. This hope didn't last long though.
Soon the screens updated and I was presented with - 'BE212 EXETER -
NEXT INFORMATION 1115' - No!! Exactly what I didn't need to see!
Another phone call was required to confirm that I would be late
arriving but as yet I couldn't give a time.
As the time reached 1030, it was announced that our aircraft was
airborne from EXT and on its way to pick us up.
The aircraft - De Havilland Dash 8 Q400 G-ECOZ - arrived on stand
just before 1100 and the ground crew and BE staff did an excellent job
of preparing the aircraft for ourselves. Infact we were boarding by
1115. The taxi to runway 24 was fast, although we were number 3 in
line for take-off. The engines were powered up and the brakes
released. Now those dash 8 PW150A's sure do make one hell of a noise,
although I personally quite enjoy it. We were in the air by 1130.
The cruise was comfortable enough and we landed in Exeter at 1245. De-
boarding was swift and I made a dash from the airport to make my appointment.
I completed everything I had to do by 1815. Boarding was due to
commence at 1825. Talk about cutting it fine!
Exeter airport is small and it just feels like you are walking through
a series of portacabins instead of an airport. There is not much else
I can really say about EXT
When I reached the lounge the screens displayed a delay on BE215.
Instead of departing at 1855, we would now be leaving at 1930. Not too
bad; gave me a chance to buy some crisps and to grab a magazine to
The Newcastle flight was delayed aswell but was re-scheduled for 5
minutes before our flight. However both the EDI and NCL pax were
herded into the departure area and made to wait for another short
I think we boarded at 1925 and were on our way to Edinburgh by 1940.
My aircraft was again G-ECOZ and the delay was ofcourse a knock-on
from the morning's delays. As you roll down Exeter's runway, you
notice what appears to be a graveyard of aircraft. I'm pretty sure
most are still airworthy, however it certainly doesn't seem that way
on first glance. 737's, 146's, jungle jets and a few others.
There were no sights to report on the flight back (seat 4A) as the
country was covered in thick cloud and it was dusk.
As we approached Edinburgh, the captain made an announcement - It was
foggy in Edinburgh.
10 minutes later I could see a couple of aircraft within relatively
close proximity and immediately knew we were in a holding pattern.
Sure enough another announcement was made at 2100. This time the pilot
said that we were indeed in a hold over Edinburgh and should the
weather fail to clear then we would be diverting to Glasgow.
15 minutes moved by very slowly, the monotony broken by the third
announcement from the flight deck. The weather at Edinburgh had
worsened and we were diverting to Glasgow.
Now usually I'd be delighted to be arriving at GLA, not on this
occasion though as I knew I would have to get bussed back through to
Edinburgh to get my car and to drive back to the west, past GLA and
onwards to my house. Just what I needed at the end of a long day!
We landed on 23 at 2135 with no fog in sight and parked on stand 10 on
the easyjet pier. After 25 minutes or so of waiting for people to
collect their bags, we were sent outside to bus stance B5 where we
expected a bus to be waiting. Sadly, if was a 15/20 minute wait in
rather cold conditions before the bus arrived. Atleast it was a double-
decker and everyone would get on it!
The bus arrived in Edinburgh at 2330 and I went to pay my parking fees
and collect my car. I was tired by this point so I wasn't intending on
going slowly home. The quicker the better.
Distance: 58.1 miles
Time: 1 hr 18 min
Those are the details according to the AA. I managed it in about 45
minutes. Or to put it another way, half way through track 13 of Alter
Bridge's Blackbird album.
Home sweet home!
p.s. Sorry about there being no pictures but there wasn't really time!