With a day off and an itch to explore a new city, a friend and I decided to take a day trip to Philadelphia. We intended to leave very early and spend the entire day visiting various museums, eateries, and historic sites. After a night out, we had to make the best of our remaining half-day. It wasn’t the Concorde to Paris, but I was still elated to add a new city, airline and aircraft to the lineup.
Flight: US 4389 (Piedmont Airlines) Actual Departure: 10:50 Actual Arrival: 11:34 Flight Duration: 44m Aircraft: De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash-8 Registration: N907HA/HSB
Arrived at LGA an hour before and made our way through a short security line. There were only six passengers, including my friend and I. There was really nothing special about the flight. The f/a was friendly and offered us water even though it was a “no service“ flight. Cruise was at 8,000 feet and before we knew it we were descending into PHL. This aircraft was the 9th built and one of the oldest still operating, delivered in 1985.
First Dash-8 ride
Row 9, five seats across the back wall.
Overlooking New York City (wrong side of the airplane)
First view of Philadelphia
Our bird with the city in background
Convenient and fast way into the city, SEPTA
Congress Hall, capital of the United States (1790-1800)
Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were debated and adopted
The table where the Declaration of Independence was signed
Original home of the Liberty Bell, partially hidden by scaffolding for repairs
Liberty Bell, much smaller than I thought it would be, with her former home in the background
Cosmi’s Deli, twice voted best in Philly for a Cheesesteak.
Yum indeed, not overdone with ‘extras’ - just perfect.
Picked up some amazing “Primadonna” cheese and candied nuts at this shop
Cheese lovers paradise
I need this in my house.
Around the neighborhood
Thought this was a cool sight
Christ Church Burial Ground, final resting place of Benjamin Franklin
Final treat, Capogiro Gelato Artisa. Sorry we ate it so fast I didn’t get it in the photo
Flight: US 4624 (Piedmont Airlines) Actual Departure: 20:28 Actual Arrival: 21:00 Flight Duration: 32m Aircraft: De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash-8 Registration: N938HA/HRC
After our short but awesome time, we made our way back to PHL. This flight was packed but it was great thanks to the comedy of the f/a. The big guy stuck between us kept us laughing as well - his first time on a “puddle-jumper”. From the last row we saw a few sparks from the wheels on takeoff but we were reassured everything was fine. Interesting.
A packed Dash-8
NYC view (wrong side, again )
Perhaps those wheels need to be checked out …
Philadelphia is an amazing city. Not what I expected it to be, it was better! We crammed much into our half day there but there was still a lot we missed. Piedmont Airlines (USAirways Express) was punctual and we had a very nice experience with them. The Dash-8 was a delight to fly on. Along with the Shorts 360, one of my favorite props! Sorry there wasn’t much to report on as far as the flights went. I can’t wait to get back to Philadelphia to explore, a city rich with history. Hope you enjoyed the TR, all comments welcome!
Quokka From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 16 hours ago) and read 9370 times:
Reading your post was enjoyable, SAHSA.
The plane is showing its age, but how comfy were the seats?
Thanks for the pics of where the Declaration of Independence was signed. As a cheese-lover, I liked the one of the cheese shop too.
noelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 9221 times:
Great trip report, thanks for sharing. Not very often we see short commuter reports from the US on here. Love the DHC-8 and would love to get a ride on the -100 / -200, but expensive to get on one over here (BE operates only the -400).
Loubert From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 8655 times:
Great trip report! I have always wondered about these commuter flights between PHL-New York. As you know, they compete with Amtrak and Bolt/Mega/Chinatown Bus services. My brother used to live in Swarthmore, PA and would swear by BoltBus when going to Manhattan, though I guess the convenience really depends on where you're coming from and going to on both the PHL and NYC ends of the trip. Also, you don't get that lovely view of downtown PHL on the bus!
Quoting SAHSA (Thread starter): This aircraft was the 9th built and one of the oldest still operating, delivered in 1985.
sahsa From Honduras, joined Jan 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7993 times:
Quoting Quokka (Reply 1): Reading your post was enjoyable, SAHSA.
The plane is showing its age, but how comfy were the seats?
Glad you enjoyed it. The seats were not bad, all leather but very flat, not very "cushiony". I didn't get pics of it but the side paneling appeared to be coming apart in some areas. Perhaps some duct tape was needed.
Quoting noelg (Reply 2): Regarding the sparks, I found this article:
that indicates sparking on the wheels is common for the DHC-8, something to do with the brake pads behind the wheels being so visible from the cabin compared to other types.
Well that explains it. Never heard of it before so you can imagine how alarming it can be, especially seeing the sparks in the darkness.
Quoting Loubert (Reply 3): Great trip report! I have always wondered about these commuter flights between PHL-New York. As you know, they compete with Amtrak and Bolt/Mega/Chinatown Bus services
I have also wondered how these flights perform. My first sight downtown was of one of those buses from New York, it was a double decker. I looked up some fares online, super cheap, I think $10 one way but the times were horrible! None of the flights on that day were full at all, except for that last flight into LGA.
Quoting Loubert (Reply 3): -A little US history and Aviation history in the same day!
Love it! Now if I could only get on a 727-200, L1011, DC10, MD11, and 707... ha!
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1051 posts, RR: 16 Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 7976 times:
Sahasa, i also enjoyed your report and pics. thanks for posting this. I spent a little time in PHL about 3 years ago but it was the middle of winter, and gosh, it was freezing. I really enjoyed it though and would love to spend some more time there. Not often we get US Dash 8 reports either. I also had the pleasure of flying on a vintage aircraft about the same age - an ATR42 that was delivered in 1986! Thanks again. P/j
sahsa From Honduras, joined Jan 2010, 60 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7209 times:
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 5): Sahsa, i also enjoyed your report and pics. thanks for posting this. I spent a little time in PHL about 3 years ago but it was the middle of winter, and gosh, it was freezing.
Thanks for the comments. I think the next stop will be Chicago (first time) later this month.