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My First Turboprop Flight With FlyBE  
User currently offlineamsspot From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 79 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 23763 times:

Sorry, this topic should be moved to the flight review section.



Do you know the feeling that you've just got to book a flight somewhere? Well, I surely have this feeling once in a while. At the end of April I was in the booking-mood again so I booked two "cheap tickets": Eindhoven to London Stansted with Ryanair and back from Birmingham to Amsterdam with BMIbaby. This, however, is not what this trip report is about.

It was just a few days prior to my flight from Eindhoven to London and I was in the middle of my examination week for my study. I felt rather miserable with the idea that I would probably not be flying any new aircraft types this time. I just had to fly something new… So what else could I have done than search for some nice deals out of Birmingham (yes I know I should have learned for my examinations instead of spending time looking for flights)?

Since I could only book the flights just a few days in advance I didn't expect to get any reasonable priced tickets. Still you never know and I tried to find some good FlyBE-deals on the evening on which I was supposed to be learning. The British low cost carrier flies to a lot of cities from Birmingham but Edinburgh immediately caught my attention. I had never been to Scotland before but I had seen some interesting photos of the city on the web. Before long I had filled in the departure date and arrival destination and clicked on the search button…

I was more than happily surprised when I saw the ticket price: 0,02 GBP!! After taxes and everything was counted up to the ticket price I ended up to be able to get a return ticket from Birmingham to Edinburgh for just under 60 pound (no luggage, no pre-assigned seats). Not at all bad when you are used to not getting anywhere for anything bellow 90 GBP which is the case at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (my hometown airport). I was even more excited when I found out that the return flight was scheduled to be operated with the beautiful Embraer 195.

No time was to be lost. I got my Amex card and booked the flights. When my parents came back from shopping I said: "Hey, I'm up to Edinburgh the day after tomorrow". You should have seen my mother's face…

The day before departure to Edinburgh I checked in online. I hoped that I would have been able to select a seat at this point. Unfortunately this was not possible and I got seat 14A on both the inbound and the outbound flight. The only thing I could do was hope that the flight was half empty so that I could switch seats.

The alarm went off at 7AM the day of departure. After a quick breakfast we (James Ralph, a fellow plane spotter and myself) were off to the airport. It was only a short drive to the airport and we were at the airport at around eight o'clock. There was next to nobody at the security that morning. In no time we were airside.

1. I passed this Embraer 195 when walking to the terminal.

2. Arriving at Terminal 2.

3. Since it was a bank holiday the airport was very quiet that morning.

Terminal 2 is a nice little terminal with (at least) one good spotting location. At the right far end of the terminal there are some huge windows. Until our flight was ready for boarding I stayed there and looked at all planes arriving and departing. One of the planes that was on stand that morning was the Dash with the "environmental livery". Would that be the aircraft that would fly us to Edinburgh?

4. The unofficial spotting area in Terminal 2./5. Departure information on airport monitor.

Since the boarding gate is not announced until boarding actually starts, I constantly looked on the TV monitors. At around 8:45AM flight BE847 was ready for boarding. Unfortunately I cannot remember from which gate my flight departed .

Only one FlyBE employee was at the gate. After my passport and boarding pass were checked by the lady I walked on and found myself with all other passengers in a small waiting area. The area soon became pretty full and I got a bit worried that I would not be able to get a different seat. Luckily all passengers had soon arrived in this waiting area and we were allowed to go on to the aircraft.


Airline: FlyBE
Flight: BE847
Route: BHX-EDI
Aircraft: DHC-8 402
Registration number: G-JECK
Delivery to FlyBE: 15/01/2006
Previously in service with: FlyBE is the first operator of this aircraft

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Photo © Mark McEwan
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Photo © Ton de Haan

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Photo © Szabo Gabor
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Photo © Gerry Hill - WorldAirImages

After going downstairs and outside I first saw our aircraft. Unfortunately it was not the Environmental plane which was parked right in front of me. That day the morning flight to Edinburgh was operated with G-JEC, a four year old Dash-8.

6. The aircraft that would take us to Scotland.

7. This was my first flight on a turbo prop so I had to take a photo of those engines.

8. Just five steps up and you're in the aircraft.

After taking some photos of the aircraft I climbed the stairs and entered the plane where I was welcomed by one of the two female flight attendants on the flight. I walked around halfway into the plane when I got to my seat: 14A. Guess what? It's probably the worse seat in the plane for taking photos out of the window. To be more exact, it had no window. Luckily a very nice gentlemen who was seated behind me was willing to change place with me. Although the window at 15A was very, very dirty, at least it had a window.

Soon all people were onboard and the front door got closed. The crew welcomed us over the intercom and soon started the safety briefing. FlyBE's safety demonstration is prerecorded and a bit informal which was nice for a change. It took another five to ten minutes before we got pushed back from the parking position and the captain started those enormous propellers.

Birmingham has only got one runway and this morning they used runway 33 for both take offs and landings. The terminal where all FlyBE flights depart from is very close to the beginning of that runway so taxi time was only a few short minutes. Only once we reached the runway I realized that the flaps had been extended. They seemed to have extended very quietly… What a shame, I love noisy flaps. However I do also like noisy engines and those two PW150A surely are.

We taxied on to the runway and were pushed back into our seats. Rotation…. and air born. What I liked about flying the Dash-8 is that the wing is above you and you can see the landing gear go in. The landing gear was hidden in the engine in a matter of seconds. After a few unstable turns through the clouds we were heading north and climbed to our cruising altitude.

9. My seat for the short hop to Edinburgh.

10. I couldn't see very much out of the window because most of the view was blocked by the engine.

11. Landing gear folding away.

12. Quite a cloudy day at Birmingham today.

Once the seat belt signs had been switched off the two flight attendants started the inflight service. FlyBE does not offer anything for free but you can purchase warm drinks, beverages and snacks if you want to. I had a good but very expensive cup of tea. Not many people ordered anything.

13. The menu.

14. Good old PG tips.

The two cabin crew members were both friendly and jolly. They did a very good job calming down the small child next to me who was crying at take off. It was his first flight ever and I guess he was a little scared. "Don't worry honey, we are in the air now, the most scary part has well passed. You can watch out of the window now and see all the clouds….. " I heard one of them say while drinking my tea.

15. Climbing to cruising altitude.

16. The cabin of this 4 year old aircraft. Flight load was pretty high as you can see.

After I finished my tea I got out of my seat to walk around the small cabin. The seat configuration is 2-2 but eyed pretty spacious. The seats were all leather but looked very worn for a just four year old aircraft. I've flown in much older airplanes which were in a much better shape than this Dash-8.
When I walked to the front of the plane the engines got louder and louder. In the first few rows it is very noisy. Try to avoid seats here if you want to get a sleep on board. Apart from being noisy, the floor trembles like hell in the front. After taking some photos out of the windows at the front I got back to my own seat for the remainder of the flight. The legroom was sufficient for such a short flight as this one.

17. From the front of the plane I had a much better view of the engine.

18. Legroom. Note that I am only 1,70 meters tall

The flight from Birmingham to Edinburgh took a little under one hour. Once we got closer to Edinburgh and started our descend, the weather turned from scattered clouds to overcast. With some bumps we descended into the Edinburgh area. We flew over the city of Edinburgh and made a couple of left hand turns before we touched down on runway 24.

19. Descending into the Edinburgh area.

20. The outskirts of cloudy Edinburgh.

21. Landing gear down.

22. Scotland as I expected it would be: green.

23. Short final.

It was just a short taxi to the gate and within ten minutes the doors were opened and we were free to unfasten our seatbelt. Before I left the plane I asked one of the flight attendants if she could take a photo of me in the cabin. She was happy to do so.

I left the plane through the door at the rear of the plane and slowly headed to the terminal building, taking some photos of the aircraft while walking over the tarmac. "Could you please stop taking photos, sir", I was asked. At the time they asked me this I luckily had already taken a couple of photos.

24. That's me after landing.

25. Walking to the terminal building.

The terminal of Edinburgh somehow reminded me a little of the terminal of Copenhagen Airport. It has huge windows with lovely views of all arriving traffic. And until late in the afternoon you have the sun behind you. That is, if you are there on a sunny day, which I wasn't.

Because of the poor weather and the rather boring air traffic I went into the city for a couple of hours. It's a beautiful city built around a couple of high hills. The view you get up one of those hills is absolutely worth the climb up. I've included some pictures of the city center bellow.






Thank you for taking your time to read/view this trip report. I hope you've enjoyed it. All comments are very welcome,

Miles Copping

Former flight reviews:

Blasting away to CPH on a SAS MD-82
Goodbye to KLM’s F50, or not?
Great flight with Baboo

Planned flight reviews
A rollercoaster ride on a FlyBE E-95

[Edited 2010-06-20 12:24:42]

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 903 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 23379 times:

Very cool! Thanks for sharing!

So were there adverts on the bottom of the trays? I'm surprised they didn't have any on the top surface to, so that way either tray down or tray up you would be bombarded with advertising!

User currently offlineChrisCruise From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 23373 times:

Hello Miles,

Very nice report! EUR 60 for a return EDI is a great deal.

The airplane looks nice but I agree with you the seats look a little worn.

How was the return on the E195?



Flown:319, 320, 321, 343, 388, 733, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 764, 772, 77W, CR7, CR9, DC9-31, E70, E90, F70, F100, MD11
User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1658 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 23264 times:

Good read.

The Dash 8 400 is still a bit on the noisy side, but is quieter than older generation aircraft like the Fokker 50, SAAB 340 etc.

South Australian Spotter
User currently offlineplanedudea380 From Puerto Rico, joined May 2007, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 23041 times:

Very Nice!!

I have to say those tray tables looked like PTV's for a moment there   

User currently offlineJMA777 From UK - England, joined Jun 2010, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22542 times:

Great to see another trip report out of BHX.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your day. Thanks for sharing the well written report and pictures.

User currently offlinevandenheuvel From Netherlands, joined Dec 2008, 516 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22510 times:

Hi Miles,

This is a nice report of the BE service. Your prop flight flight looks nice and is well covered. With your flight leaving just two days after booking, can I conclude that you were studying on the evening before your exams? I remember those nights.


User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4402 posts, RR: 48
Reply 7, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 22496 times:

Hi Miles,

congrats with some more flights and the Q400 to your log. Good pics throughout the report.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Not at all bad when you are used to not getting anywhere for anything bellow 90 GBP which is the case at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (my hometown airport).

Sorry? Then you should re-check again. You will find several options to fly out of AMS for (quite a bit) below the 90 GBP

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Although the window at 15A was very, very dirty, at least it had a window.

My advise; always bring some tissues to clean at least the inside of the window. Dirt outside, or scratches are a problem though.

Quoting amsspot (Thread starter):
Legroom. Note that I am only 1,70 meters tall

That's not tall, but small   (sorry)

So, are you also reporting the flights ex EIN? Just flew from there last week, but won't report on my FR flight. So it would be interesting to read your experience.


"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineamsspot From Netherlands, joined Jun 2005, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 22408 times:

Thanks for all the comments. It's nice to know that you seem to like my trip report.

Quoting ChrisCruise (Reply 2):
How was the return on the E195?

I'm currently writing the flight review covering my return flight. It should be up in the next week.

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 3):
The Dash 8 400 is still a bit on the noisy side, but is quieter than older generation aircraft like the Fokker 50, SAAB 340 etc.

Unfortunately I have not flown the Fokker 50 or Saab 340. I was supposed to fly the KLM Fokker 50 last December but it got substituted by a Fokker 70.

Quoting vandenheuvel (Reply 6):
can I conclude that you were studying on the evening before your exams?

Indeed, I was.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
You will find several options to fly out of AMS for (quite a bit) below the 90 GBP

Yes, I know there are flights bellow 90GBP. But overall Amsterdam is an expensive airport when you compare it to Birmingham.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
That's not tall, but small

Hehe, true. Especially for a Dutch guy.

User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 600 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 11 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 21909 times:

I'm glad you enjoyed your first flight on the Q400. I use BE often for the short hop from BHD to GLA and simply love the performance of that a/c. Much more entertaining and much "closer" to the fun of flying than an A320 or B737.

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