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What'Saab Minnesota? DL's Farewell To BRD?  
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6082 times:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/4784987800_fb0e655e94_b.jpg

BACKGROUND

In late September my wife and I had to travel to northern Minnesota to visit her uncle at his cabin located on Little Thunder Lake near Remer, MN. Initially we thought of flying to MSP and then getting a car from there but that would have probably required a very long drive of 4 hours or so. Then I realized that this would be an excellent opportunity for us to fly to one of the small regional airports in northern Minnesota instead. DL offered flights from MSP to HIB, BJI, DLH, INL and BRD, which were (roughly speaking) more or less equidistant from our destination town of Remer, MN. Finally, we decided that the best option would be to fly to BRD (Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport) since the flying times were more convenient and the distance from Remer was a mere 50-ish miles. What was even more exciting (from an aviation-point of view) was that the aircraft type typically used for the MSP-BRD route is the Saab 340, an aircraft type that I had never flown with.

Only a few weeks after we booked our tickets, DL announced that they will be discontinuing a number of services to regional airports in Minnesota (and elsewhere) including the one to BRD (Brainerd). However this was not to happen until the end of the year or until a replacement service was found by another airline (two early candidates were Great Lakes Airlines and Airmax Airlines). So for the time being our reservations were safe. Along the termination of all those routes DL also announced the upcoming retirement of all its Saab fleet. This was therefore one of the last opportunities for me to try and fly on one of them.

DISCLAIMER + ITINERARY

Normally I put the 'bonus' material at the end of my TRs but this time it will be slightly different given that I would like to keep everything in chronological order. I'll start the TR with a brief description of events prior to our flights to Minnesota. The starting point of our trip was the Quad Cities. I have been to the Q.C. many times before but I never had the chance to fly out of the local airport, the Quad Cities Intl Airport (MLI). Alas, this time it was no different. I was determined however to at least have a look at the airport before I left town. So before heading out to Chicago (from where we would fly to Minnesota), we stopped by MLI to check it out. From there we were to drive east and spend a day at the Starved Rock State Park before continuing to Chicago to catch our flight to the Land of 10000 Lakes. From Chicago (ORD) we were to fly out to MSP and then BRD (Brainerd) before returning to ORD again via MSP.

So our itinerary was as follows (anti-clockwise, red represents flights and green represents car travel):
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/Graphic1.jpg



I understand that a TR involving DL will not excite many here, however there are a few interesting things about this TR. First, to my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) this is the first TR on A.net that features BRD (Brainerd) and the first to host images from MLI (Quad Cities). In addition this trip is responsible for many personal "firsts": My first time to the state of Minnesota and thus my first time at MSP and BRD (Brainerd), my first flight on a Saab, my first face-to-face encounter with wild deer, first time fishing (and catching fish) and my first time getting sick on a plane. Finally, as you should know by now, I tend to include tons of photos from my destinations and this TR is no exception. So if you like (mediocre) travel photography, stick around.

Once more, I used 3 different cameras, hence the difference in the size and quality of the images below.



LEAVING THE QUAD CITIES

So we start our trip on the Iowa side of the Mississippi River. For those not familiar with the Quad Cities, it's a cluster of towns (officially it's 4 of them, hence the name, but in reality they are 5) along the Mississippi River on the Iowa-Illinois border. Davenport is the largest settlement and together with Bettendorf they are on the Iowa side, while Illinois is home to Rock Island, East Moline and Moline. MLI is located in the latter (hence the letters chosen for the code). I won't tire you too much about our time at the Q.C. so I will let the photos do the talking.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0077.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_3234.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_3263.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_3271.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6885.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6890.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_3283.jpg



VISITING MLI

MLI looks like a very nice, tidy and pleasant airport. It's the 3rd busiest airport in Illinois behind Chicago's ORD and MDW. Due to its long main runway (1,002ft), and other related features, it is allegedly capable of handling large aircraft including the A380 (not that it ever will, but in theory...). My wife and her family have flown many times from/to MLI and they love its easygoingness. I would love to use it at some point but the fares to/from Chicago are typically way too expensive. We drove around the airport and shot some distant photos of the terminal building and the runway but we also went inside the airport. Unfortunately we did not see any flights departing or arriving in the 30 minutes that we were there. Factoid: Moline is home to Deere & Company (aka John Deere), the leading manufacturing company of agricultural equipment in the world. John Deere has a hangar at MLI where they house their corp jets.



Photos of MLI:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8884.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8880.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8887.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8890.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8888.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8879.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_8882.jpg



STOP AT STARVED ROCK - MEETING SOME DEER

From the Q.C. we drove 1.5 hours east to the Starved Rock State Park, a lovely area along the Illinois River, full of small canyons and waterfalls hidden in the thick forest. The location takes its name from a sandstone rock formation next to the river bank (sometimes referred to as the "Gibraltar of America") where a group of Illini Indians found shelter while being chased by bands of Potawatomi and Ottawa warriors. The Illini got trapped on the rock for days and starved to their death.

We set base at the Starved Rock Lodge and spent most of our time hiking the trails. At one point while walking deep in the forest I looked to my left and saw two deer less than 50 feet away looking at us. Initially I thought they were fake because they were completely frozen in place but then one of them flicked its ear so I knew they were real. I took out my camera and shot a couple of photos but my wife warned me not to use the flash as it may panic them and send them charging. After about 2 or 3 minutes, they grew somewhat more comfortable with us and continued grazing. What a lovely experience. After spending the night at the SR Lodge (not a bad place) we drove back to Chicago to catch our flights to Minnesota.

Photos of Starved Rock:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6883.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6846.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6828.jpg

...and here are my 2 deer friends:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6793.jpg



Driving back to Chicago:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_0318.jpg



(TR continued below with the actual flights)


Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6078 times:

GETTING TO MINNESOTA

We checked in online the day before our departure and to my slight disappointment I noticed that the aircraft for the return flight from BRD to MSP was switched from a Saab 340 to a CRJ-200. Bummer. Nonetheless, the outbound flight from MSP to BRD was still supposed to be on the Saab so I would still have the chance to ride the swedish-prop before it got retired from DL's fleet (the Saabs were scheduleed to be retired from the MSP-BRD-MSP routes on Oct 31).


.
ORD-MSP
Carrier: Delta
Operated by: Shuttle America
Aircraft: Embraer 175
Reg: N209JQ



The flight was to depart early in the morning so to save ourselves a few extra minutes of sleep we decided to not use public transportation (as we normally do) but catch a cab to the airport instead. Security was uneventful so a mere 3-4 minutes after our arrival at ORD we were already airside. I wish every flight out of ORD was like that. We grabbed some breakfast and admired the sunrise, which always looks great at ORD. Our aircraft was a bit late to arrive at the gate but once it showed up at the gate it took no more than 15 minutes for everyone to be aboard. Once I got on the aircraft I could not believe my eyes. Yet again (!!) I was given a window seat with no window (or more precisely a seat smack bang between two windows, with pretty much no access to either of them). What have I done to deserve this? I just sat there and stared at the wall. I spent the next 90 minutes reading DL's magazine, which had a couple of long articles on the Bahamas (which I had visited the month before - see the end of this report for a link to that TR) and sipping my beverage that the somewhat rude flight attendant had given me. The Embraer was in pretty good condition overall but the legroom was pretty tight. The flight was pretty smooth and on approach we were treated to some great views of the Twin Cities (or so I could tell afterwards looking at the photos I shot in a near-blind manner: I just extended my arms to allow my camera access to the windows behind and in front of my seat). No pain, no gain.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0281.jpg
Sunrise over ORD

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0291.jpg
Our bird

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6978.jpg
Boarding

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6979.jpg
Pushback

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6981.jpg
Legroom

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6985.jpg
Cabin View

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6992.jpg
Taxiing to the runway

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6995.jpg
Takeoff

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_6996.jpg
Over Lake Michigan

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7003.jpg
In-flight entertainment and snacks

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7007.jpg
Arriving at the Twin Cities

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7011.jpg
A glimpse of St.Paul




CONTINUING NORTH



.
MSP-BRD (Brainerd)
Carrier: Delta
Operated by: Mesaba Airlines
Aircraft: Saab 340
Reg: N452XJ



We arrived at a fairly busy Concourse C at MSP. I immediately fell in love with the airport. What a delightful place. It is spacious, clean and full of cute shops and restaurants, a far cry from ORD I am willing to admit. For the first time in a long time I wished I had a longer layover. After buying some gifts we set off for concourse B which is reachable through a tunnel under one of the taxiways. One of the reasons that DL is terminating some of its regional services is the low ticket sales, but on this occasion the flight to BRD was full. The Saab was connected to the gate with a jetway (how cute) and it looked very pretty under the morning sun. It is a somewhat interesting coincidence that my first flight on this Swedish bird was to take place at the most Scandinavian state in North America. On a different note, after my recent visit to Salt Lake City, I thought SLC was the most "heavily DL-exclusive" airport I've seen (even more so than ATL or DTW) but during my stay at MSP I did not see a single non-DL aircraft (whereas at SLC I had seen one or two). I'm sure this was an artifact of the concourses I got to visit but still quite impressive. But why am I telling you this? As a true Minnesotan would say: "MSP is a Delta stronghold, don't ya know?"


A few shots from within MSP:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7016.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7017.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7032.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7031.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0298.jpg
View of Concourse B (also known as "Total CRJ/Saab Heaven")

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7026.jpg
Our gate

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0295.jpg
Our little beauty at the gate

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0300.jpg
Looking at the prop

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0299.jpg
No room really

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0301.jpg
Cabin view

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0303.jpg
Looking out the window


Boarding was delayed by several minutes (more about that below) but eventually we were called in. We were in the last zone of boarding so by the time we got inside the aircraft there was absolutely no space in the overhead compartments (not that they can handle more than a folded newspaper anyway) so our bags had to go under the seat in front of us. This left no room for our legs which we had to hold close to our chests for the duration of the flight. Almost comical. The pilot announced that the ride to BRD was going to be very bumpy because of the strong winds in the area. And boy was he right... The entire 45 minute ride could be described as a continuous turbulence frenzy. Normally turbulence doesn't bother me, but on this occasion, the combination of turbulence and extremely uncomfortable seating made me feel very sick. My head started spinning and my stomach was tied in a knot. It took me almost half a day to recover from it. No drink or snacks were served on this flight. The one crew member spent the whole flight seated next to the cockpit. Despite the winds, the pilot did a great job landing us smoothly at BRD. After an unusually long taxiing we got to the tiny terminal building. The terminal at BRD is under heavy renovation/expansion work (more about that later on) so when we got off the plane we were greeted by more or less a construction site.

A few shots from our short flight and our arrival at BRD:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0310.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0317.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0324.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0327.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0330.jpg

At the airport we were to be picked up by a shuttle bus from our hotel, "The Lodge at Brainerd Lakes". Coincidentally, the only other people that were to be picked up by the shuttle were the pilot and crew of our flight, who were to overnight at Brainerd. I congratulated the pilots on their smooth landing and the K1 joked that it is only during bad weather that he lands so well. He also told us that the reason our flight was delayed was because he and the copilot had a bird strike that morning, when a goose hit their aircraft on a flight from ATY (Watertown, SD) to MSP. They had a great deal of trouble removing all the feathers from the engines so they were severely delayed.

The Brainerd Lodge was a very pleasant place to spent the day: very clean, quiet and with its own indoors waterpark (I almost broke my thump trying to use one of the slides...). Brainerd itself is pretty small, 14.000 people in total. Despite its small size, we saw a great deal of shops and restaurants there. It is quite a lively place for its size and location.


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0378.jpg
Our hotel


The next day we were picked up by my wife's uncle and drove further north toward the Little Thunder Lake area where we were to stay for the next 3 days. We spent the majority of our time taking walks in the woods and by the lake, fishing on a pontoon boat (we caught some northern pikes, some bluegills and some sunfish - which were all subsequently released back to the lake), driving in the countryside (we saw 3 more deer) and eating. The people there were extremely friendly and we overall had a great time. Highly recommended.


A bunch of photos from our stay at Little Thunder Lake:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_2725.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_2696.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_2620.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7113.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7061.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7081.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/IMG_2648.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0518.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0632.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0658.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0429.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0446.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0610.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0491.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0469x.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0426.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0498.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0397.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7063.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0461.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0395.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0541.jpg
.
.
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7067.jpg
If you look closely on the photo above you will notice a deer swimming across the lake (which is several hundred feet deep). What a unique sight!
.
.


RETURNING HOME


.
BRD (Brainerd)-MSP
Carrier: Delta
Operated by: Mesaba Airlines
Aircraft: CRJ-200
Reg: N601XJ
.


On the day of our departure we drove down to Brainerd and arrived at BRD about 3 hours prior to our flight, which was probably 3 hours too early. The place was completely deserted. I walked around the terminal and shot a few photos but due to the ongoing construction there wasn't anything pretty to shoot. The renovation/expansion will be completed in 2012 and it will turn BRD into one pretty little airport. We checked-in at the self-service kiosks (there were 3 of them in total) and then sat and tried to relax. We were the only flight leaving for the next 18 hours and therefore not much happened for the remaining 2 hours or so. Slowly other passengers started to show up but no-one could go through security since the TSA staff hadn't arrived yet. Eventually 20mins prior to departure, we were allowed through security and almost immediately onto the aircraft, which had just arrived from MSP.

A few photos from in and around BRD:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0711.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0384.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0715.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0716.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0721.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0720.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0723.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0718.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0719.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0728.jpg
Not smart to shoot photos near the ladies' restrooms but I just couldn't help it

The flight was about 80% full this time, which isn't bad at all. Taxiing to the runway lasted surprisingly long given the size of the airport. The take off was fairly smooth (see video link below). Unfortunately the sun was very bright on my side of the aircraft so I could not shoot any decent photos. A shame really, given all the lakes and Fall colors around the area. The CRJ was in a fairly good state and the crew somewhat more pleasant than in the previous 2 flights. Unlike the inbound leg, this time we were offered snacks (just peanuts, no other choice) and also cups of water. The flight lasted a bit over 30 mins and we arrived at MSP ahead of schedule. Due to the early arrival we had no available gate to anchor so we just waited on the taxiway for about 10 mins.


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0733.jpg
Our bird freshly arrived from MSP and ready to get back there

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0736.jpg
Legroom

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0739.jpg
Cabin view

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0740.jpg
Getting ready to take off

TAKE-OFF VIDEO
For those who want to see how it feels to take-off from BRD click here


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0742.jpg
Waiting for our gate to become available at MSP



FLYING BACK TO THE WINDY CITY + THE MISSED PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES


.
MSP-ORD
Carrier: Delta
Operated by: Atlantic Southeast Airlines
Aircraft: CRJ-700
Reg: N798EV
.

.

Our layover at MSP was meant to be no more than 45 minutes so once we got off the plane we quickly ran to grab some food (we picked sushi) and then headed for the gate. Our aircraft was hidden behind the jetway so I could not see clearly its registration (eventually after some detective work I managed to figure it out), but I noticed that it carried the Deltaflot livery.


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0745.jpg
Our bird at the gate

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0747.jpg
Legroom

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0748.jpg
Cabin view

The flight was bout 85% full but, unlike the previous 3 flights on this trip, most people behaved when it came to carry-on luggage and as a result there was plenty of room in the overhead bins for everyone's bags. You don't see that very often in US domestic flights anymore. At the gate I had noticed a young Asian lady with an infant and to my surprise I saw her assigned 2 exit row seats, despite the fact that she spoke no English and obviously had an infant with her. That was somewhat weird, especially given that the head flight attendant seemed to be fairly authoritarian regarding other issues, such as shooting photos, using other electronic devises and the position of armrests. She mentioned at least 3 times (and with great emphasis) that it was in fact illegal to use electronic devices during landing and she was determined to enforce that on her flight. At times I felt like she was the teacher in a kindergarten class. Perhaps she was on a powertrip, who knows. I keep coming across this more and more each day.

The flight was fairly smooth and comfortable. The weather was very cloudy until we reached Chicago, at which point I was presented with absolutely amazing and almost panoramic views of ORD with all of its runways, and also a very clear view of downtown Chicago. Under normal circumstances my camera was going to be on fire but on this occasion, because of the overzealous flight attendant I couldn't take any photos. So no photos for me. What can you do? She was doing her job after all. We arrived in Chicago on time and my wife and I got onto the train to return home.

A few more shots from Chicago:

.
.
CONCLUSION

Unlike my recent flights with DL (to/from ATL, NAS and SLC) this time the crews on our flights to/from Minnesota were somewhat unpleasant or at best very indifferent. With the exception of our flight to BRD all the other flights were on time which is great given that both ORD and MSP are fairly busy airports. Minnesota is a lovely place and I would love to go back there one day. I'd love to return to BRD one day and see how the new terminal building looks like when completed. I am glad that flights will continue to there, as the surrounding communities seem to need it. Also I am curious to see what the new airlines to fly there have to offer. As for the Saab... I am very glad to have flown on one but unfortunately I did not get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked it. Now it is time to find a way to fly the Saab 2000...

Thank you all for reading. Comments are always greatly appreciated.

WideBodyroga



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BONUS PHOTO

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0043-1.jpg
Rabbit babies in their hole (Davenport, IA)



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offline717Flyer From Finland, joined Jun 2011, 303 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5944 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,
What a wonderful report! For me DL is something exotic, so only interesting to read about your flights with them.
Your photos from Little Thunder Lake could very well have been shot somewhere in Finland. Lapland is most beautiful this time of the year.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
My first time to the state of Minnesota and thus my first time at MSP and BRD (Brainerd), my first flight on a Saab, my first face-to-face encounter with wild deer, first time fishing (and catching fish) and my first time getting sick on a plane

Congratulations! (although the last fact mentioned isn't anything to congratulate for...)  
Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
At one point while walking deep in the forest I looked to my left and saw two deer less than 50 feet away looking at us.

Hah, nice! I remember this summer as I was biking in Lapland and I took a small break near a lake. As I suddenly looked to my right a reindeer was standing, well, two meters away?  
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
Embraer 175

Nice, at least here in Europe the E175 is very rare. Sure LO operates some of them, but it isn't all too easy to catch it here.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
Our bird

What a weird nose!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
If you look closely on the photo above you will notice a deer swimming across the lake (which is several hundred feet deep). What a unique sight!

That's Mother Nature at her best!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
because of the overzealous flight attendant I couldn't take any photos. So no photos for me. What can you do? She was doing her job after all

Sure it's good she's doing her job, but perhaps she could have done her job in a more friendly manner?
We're paying customers after all.

Regards,
717Flyer


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6902 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5903 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,

great report with amazing pictures! Congratulations on getting the Saab 340, too bad you couldn't enjoy that flight. I had a very smooth flight on a REX SF3 last year.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I understand that a TR involving DL will not excite many here, however there are a few interesting things about this TR. First, to my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) this is the first TR on A.net that features BRD (Brainerd) and the first to host images from MLI (Quad Cities). In addition this trip is responsible for many personal "firsts": My first time to the state of Minnesota and thus my first time at MSP and BRD (Brainerd), my first flight on a Saab, my first face-to-face encounter with wild deer, first time fishing (and catching fish) and my first time getting sick on a plane. Finally, as you should know by now, I tend to include tons of photos from my destinations and this TR is no exception. So if you like (mediocre) travel photography, stick around.

Many good reasons for a TR, I would say.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
We checked in online the day before our departure and to my slight disappointment I noticed that the aircraft for the return flight from BRD to MSP was switched from a Saab 340 to a CRJ-200.

Terrible!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The Saab was connected to the gate with a jetway (how cute) and it looked very pretty under the morning sun.

No doubt about that.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The pilot announced that the ride to BRD was going to be very bumpy because of the strong winds in the area. And boy was he right... The entire 45 minute ride could be described as a continuous turbulence frenzy. Normally turbulence doesn't bother me, but on this occasion, the combination of turbulence and extremely uncomfortable seating made me feel very sick. My head started spinning and my stomach was tied in a knot. It took me almost half a day to recover from it.

Sounds really bad!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Now it is time to find a way to fly the Saab 2000...

Same here!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineplanejamie From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 576 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5881 times:

Brilliant trip report! Loved the pics, looks like a nice little airport once the construction work has finished. Shame about DL retiring the Saab 340s and cutting back on some of the routes.

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3331 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5794 times:

Nice report, and great photos! I've been to MN twice, but once in Dec and once in March - lots of snow, and not much else! Was great to see photos in the autumn.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
It is a somewhat interesting coincidence that my first flight on this Swedish bird was to take place at the most Scandinavian state in North America.

My first flight into Sweden was on a Saab 340, which I thought was nice!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5741 times:

Hi WideBodyroga!

Interesting tripreport containing a Swedish little bird so far away from home!
The pictures from Minnesota is nice, seems like you had a pleasant stay!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Our little beauty at the gate

I love those short jetways, and as you said, how cute the Saab looked when connected to one!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Now it is time to find a way to fly the Saab 2000...

Just come to Scandinavia, we have plenty flying around!  

Martin


User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1770 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5694 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Stojan!

Man, what a wonderful report. You chose the right picks for the right season, beautiful. I guess you must've been glad to escape the hustle and bustle of Chicago and got some peace and quiet there in rural Minnesota. Congrats on all your 'firsts' in this TR, although getting sick on a plane is not an achievement that calls for some 'hurray's'  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
the aircraft type typically used for the MSP-BRD route is the Saab 340

Hey, that's great. I'll be catching that type in a few months hopefully!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
my first face-to-face encounter with wild deer, first time fishing (and catching fish) and my first time getting sick on a plane.

Good on you except for the getting sick part.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Factoid: Moline is home to Deere & Company (aka John Deere), the leading manufacturing company of agricultural equipment in the world. John Deere has a hangar at MLI where they house their corp jets.

That's an interesting fact. I have a friend who's a farmer but he swears with another brand, not John Deere.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Photos of Starved Rock:

That portal reminds me more of 'Bedrock'   

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
...and here are my 2 deer friends:

Very cute.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Yet again (!!) I was given a window seat with no window

How on earth is that possible? Maybe you should carefully study the seatmap in advance and ask for a seat number iso just a window seat?

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
the combination of turbulence and extremely uncomfortable seating made me feel very sick. My head started spinning and my stomach was tied in a knot.

I know the feeling, I had the same problem last year on a SAS flight coming back from CPH in stormy weather. I was glad to be on the ground and feeling stable again.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
They had a great deal of trouble removing all the feathers from the engines so they were severely delayed.

Can you imagine the pilot and f/o plucking feathers from the props? Quite a sight.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
At times I felt like she was the teacher in a kindergarten class

If safety was the number 1 priority then I think she should've given that Asian passenger with her kid another seat!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
As for the Saab... I am very glad to have flown on one but unfortunately I did not get to enjoy it as much as I would have liked it

I hope I will not have the same problem as you had...

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1692 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5682 times:

What a great TR, esp. your included pictures !!!

You visited MN right at the right time with the Fall foleage at it's best: just beautiful all these colors...

Good to see you managed to fly the Saab340; it's a nice little regional prop - used to fly them a lot myself when KLM cityhopper still operated them (even flew AMS-HEL-AMS once on them  )

Can you confirm the radome on your E-175 ? it looks like a US airways one to me...

Thanks, again, for sharing this 'rare' TR, route-wise...

MH017



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1891 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5667 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hi WiBoRoga, thanks for sharing! A very enjoyable read. All the pictures really make me want to go there. Nice job logging the Saab too.

Regards,

Martijn



Nothing's worse then flying the same registration twice, except flying it 4 times..
User currently offlineAC_A340 From Canada, joined Sep 1999, 2251 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5587 times:

Great report. The Saab isn'tsuper comfortable at the best of times either. Glad to hear the fishing was good.Northern pike aren't very good to eat anyways. The other terminals at MSP are a bit more chaotic, so I love the RJ terminal.

User currently offlinejamesontheroad From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 554 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

A great report, and somewhat nostalgic for me, because next year I'm going to marry my Minnesotan girlfriend. I first visited MN in the late summer when the lakes and the forests were just so beautiful. I've also had the pleasure of flying a Mesaba operated Saab in and out of BJI for a Christmas trip a couple of years ago. That time the colours of MN were, shall we say, a little more monochromatic 

I didn't write that trip, but this summer I got another chance to try the 340B on the other side of the Atlantic, and that trip report is here:

Loganair (FlyBe) Saab 340B: GLA - LSI (pics) (by jamesontheroad Sep 5 2011 in Trip Reports)

  


User currently offlinetaloush From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2001, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 5317 times:

Breath-taking pictures and a fun read...Thanks for the report!


Your attention, please.
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1960 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5252 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Really good report!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I immediately fell in love with the airport. What a delightful place. It is spacious, clean and full of cute shops and restaurants, a far cry from ORD I am willing to admit.

Glad you fell in love with our airport! It's my favorite in the US for sure ...

Never been able to get on a SAAB for a flight, but nice to see that you had a good flight on one. Too bad it was so bumpy!

Great photos of Northern MN - reminded me of being on the North Shore a bit.

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4954 times:

Hi

Amazing trip report, getting a saab isn't that regular anymore. I am astonished by the Landscaping pictures as well.


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4780 times:

Thanks for all your comments so far guys.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2):
Hi Widebodyroga,
What a wonderful report! For me DL is something exotic, so only interesting to read about your flights with them.
Your photos from Little Thunder Lake could very well have been shot somewhere in Finland. Lapland is most beautiful this time of the year.

Thanks 717Flyer! I'm glad you enjoyed the TR. I wanted to see the turning of the leaves for years so I was glad I got the timing right. The one time I've been to Finland (Ahvenanmaa) it was in early winter so clearly way too late for that.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2):
Hah, nice! I remember this summer as I was biking in Lapland and I took a small break near a lake. As I suddenly looked to my right a reindeer was standing, well, two meters away?  

Oh boy, I never expected to feel such an adrenalin rush by just seeing a deer. I guess you know how it feels  
Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 2):
What a weird nose!

That's exactly what I thought too. As pointed out by MH017, it looks like our aircraft had a US Airways randome for some reason.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
great report with amazing pictures! Congratulations on getting the Saab 340, too bad you couldn't enjoy that flight. I had a very smooth flight on a REX SF3 last year.

Thanks PH! Apparently the Saabs are not the smoothiest rides but the weather was pretty nasty. I'm glad I got to fly the Saab anyway though!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
Same here!

Yeah, My plan is to perhaps use Darwin Airline's Saabs for that purpose.

Quoting planejamie (Reply 4):
Brilliant trip report! Loved the pics, looks like a nice little airport once the construction work has finished. Shame about DL retiring the Saab 340s and cutting back on some of the routes.

Thanks planejamie! BRD will sure look good when the construction is done.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 5):
Nice report, and great photos! I've been to MN twice, but once in Dec and once in March - lots of snow, and not much else! Was great to see photos in the autumn.

Thanks Gabriel! Yeah, winter or early spring is definitely not the time to visit Minnesota (or anywhere in the north Midwest really).

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Interesting tripreport containing a Swedish little bird so far away from home!
The pictures from Minnesota is nice, seems like you had a pleasant stay!

Thanks deltamartin. I loved the place. Highly recommended for anyone.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
I love those short jetways, and as you said, how cute the Saab looked when connected to one!

It's somewhat ironic that there are major airports out there that don't have jetways even for widebodies and yet here's a Saab with its own jetway.  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Just come to Scandinavia, we have plenty flying around!  

Hehe, you are right, I should. You know, my very first flight was to Sweden some 14 years ago. I went back there 2 years later and have not returned since. It's definitely time to find an excuse to return.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
Man, what a wonderful report. You chose the right picks for the right season, beautiful. I guess you must've been glad to escape the hustle and bustle of Chicago and got some peace and quiet there in rural Minnesota. Congrats on all your 'firsts' in this TR, although getting sick on a plane is not an achievement that calls for some 'hurray's'  

Thanks Nils! My timing was definitely spot on! The initial plan was to go there in mid September but I'm glad we pushed it back by a few weeks.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
That's an interesting fact. I have a friend who's a farmer but he swears with another brand, not John Deere.

You see John Deere logos everywhere in the Quad Cities. People there love the company like they love their football and baseball teams. You'll see people with John Deere shorts and hats everywhere. I'm wearing a John Deere shirt as we speak 
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
That portal reminds me more of 'Bedrock'   

Haha, I didn't think of that. It sure does! 
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
How on earth is that possible? Maybe you should carefully study the seatmap in advance and ask for a seat number iso just a window seat?

You know, I normally do that but this time I slacked off. I thought, it will be very unlikely to get a window-less seat on such small aircrafts. Well, lesson learned.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
If safety was the number 1 priority then I think she should've given that Asian passenger with her kid another seat!

Agreed 100%. I have never seen something like that before. And it's not like they didn't see the girl with the baby. They spent some time "teasing" the little baby before take-off.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 7):
I hope I will not have the same problem as you had...

I'm sure you'll be fine. The wind in our case was just plane insane. For a moment I was worried that we will not be given clearance to depart.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
What a great TR, esp. your included pictures !!!

Thanks MH017! I appreciate this.

Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
You visited MN right at the right time with the Fall foleage at it's best: just beautiful all these colors...

Yes indeed MH017. The timing could not have been better. Not just for the turning of the leaves but also because the weather warmed up a lot while we were there (the week prior to our arrival as bitterly cold we were told).

Quoting MH017 (Reply 8):
Can you confirm the radome on your E-175 ? it looks like a US airways one to me...

I think you are right MH017, it does look like a US Airways radome. No idea how it ended up on our aircraft.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 9):
Hi WiBoRoga, thanks for sharing! A very enjoyable read. All the pictures really make me want to go there. Nice job logging the Saab too.

Thanks Matijn! I'm glad you enjoyed the TR.

Quoting AC_A340 (Reply 10):
Great report. The Saab isn'tsuper comfortable at the best of times either. Glad to hear the fishing was good.Northern pike aren't very good to eat anyways. The other terminals at MSP are a bit more chaotic, so I love the RJ terminal.

Thanks AC_A340. I am not used to eating freshwater fish so I have no idea how all these lake fish would taste. Besides, the northerns that we caught were kinda small so we wouldn't get much out of them. We did try some Walleye at a restaurant though (see photo above) and it was pretty good.

Quoting jamesontheroad (Reply 11):
A great report, and somewhat nostalgic for me, because next year I'm going to marry my Minnesotan girlfriend. I first visited MN in the late summer when the lakes and the forests were just so beautiful. I've also had the pleasure of flying a Mesaba operated Saab in and out of BJI for a Christmas trip a couple of years ago. That time the colours of MN were, shall we say, a little more monochromatic 

I didn't write that trip, but this summer I got another chance to try the 340B on the other side of the Atlantic, and that trip report is here:

Loganair (FlyBe) Saab 340B: GLA - LSI (pics)

Thanks James. And congrats on your upcoming wedding. BJI was, after BRD, our choice of preference and they seem to have a very nice airport too (from what I read). Maybe next time we intend to visit Little Thunder Lake we could fly there instead.

I remember your Shetland TR. That was one great trip, and one I should have done myself back in the years I used to live in Scotland.

Quoting taloush (Reply 12):
Breath-taking pictures and a fun read...Thanks for the report!

Thanks Taloush!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 13):
Glad you fell in love with our airport! It's my favorite in the US for sure ...

Never been able to get on a SAAB for a flight, but nice to see that you had a good flight on one. Too bad it was so bumpy!

Great photos of Northern MN - reminded me of being on the North Shore a bit.

Thanks Matthew! I did not know what to expect from MSP to be honest, but it won me over right away. My only complaint is that some of the gates had way too few seats around them, but I guess no-one is perfect  

I've heard good things about North Shore. Gotta check out Duluth at some point.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 14):
Amazing trip report, getting a saab isn't that regular anymore. I am astonished by the Landscaping pictures as well.

Thanks Marc. Glad you liked the photos   



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 618 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4642 times:

What great photos! Looks like a great trip all around! Thanks for posting!

-ATLFlyer323



Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
User currently offlineStabilator From United States of America, joined Nov 2010, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4564 times:

Viewing your TR reminded me of why I love my home state so much. I've visited the Brainerd lakes area every summer since I was a little boy. Its a feast for the eyes when you visit in the fall, and your photos captured northern Minnesota's beauty. Your walleye made my mouth water. Perhaps I'll take one of UND's planes over to BRD to bring some childhood memories back.

As to the nose of your Shuttle America bird, it very well could be from a different airline, as Shuttle America provides regional service for a few major airlines. Sorry to hear about the poor Flight Attendants. The FAs aboard mainline DL (especially former NW) flights have always been great. I've found the attitudes aboard regional partner flights to be iffy.

Great report, thanks for sharing!



So we beat on against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4507 times:

Hi Roga,

Wow, what a stunning report. Loved every single photo in it - you certainly managed to capture very nice autumn vistas everywhere. I like your idea of adding some bonus material to your reports as well, makes me feel like a happy consumer who has just struck an excellent bargain  

Isn't Brainerd featured in the movie Fargo?

Good for you to catch a ride on the Saab, not that rare type for me (have logged over 30 flights with the -340 model) though. It is a nice little turboprop, although the -2000 is a much more impressive, performance and comfortwise.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I won't tire you too much about our time at the Q.C. so I will let the photos do the talking.

Hey, nice to see that Kone logo on top of the tower, always good to see Finnish companies abroad.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Factoid: Moline is home to Deere & Company (aka John Deere), the leading manufacturing company of agricultural equipment in the world. John Deere has a hangar at MLI where they house their corp jets.

Ok, I seemed to remember it from something, this must be it!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Over Lake Michigan

Nice lighting conditions, love it!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Our little beauty at the gate

Wow, boarding a Saab via a jetway, never seen that before! What is it with the American's love of jetways - even the tiniest airport there (just look at the photos of the plans for the Brainerd expansion you posted further down) seem to insist on having at least one. What's wrong with good old bus rides or even *shock horror* WALKING across the apron?

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The entire 45 minute ride could be described as a continuous turbulence frenzy.

Heh yeah, rides on those tiny Saabs can get quite bumpy when the weather acts up.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The one crew member spent the whole flight seated next to the cockpit. Despite the winds, the pilot did a great job landing us smoothly at BRD.

These Saabs are fun, when there is a lot of side wind and uneven air the only way to get to the ground is to come in as fast as possible and then cut the engines violently when the wheels make contact with the runway - sounds and feels great aboard, although the uneasy fliers might wet their pants... I remember one particularly fast landing at LPP aboard a Central Connect Airlines Saab 340 with a very high sidewind component.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
A bunch of photos from our stay at Little Thunder Lake:

Wonderful photos - looks just like Finland! Well maybe apart from some of the fauna...  


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4501 times:

Oh yeah, forgot to mention: love your nifty title for this TR  

User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2185 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
At the gate I had noticed a young Asian lady with an infant and to my surprise I saw her assigned 2 exit row seats, despite the fact that she spoke no English and obviously had an infant with her. T

This doesn't seem right, in the airline I work for this is an absolute definate no no, having infants in an exit row!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Under normal circumstances my camera was going to be on fire but on this occasion, because of the overzealous flight attendant I couldn't take any photos.

Maybe we had the same FA   I flew YUL-ATL on a deltaflot CRJ700 and was told "do not take any photographs until we are above 10,000 feet okay sir?"



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

Quoting ATLFlyer323 (Reply 16):
What great photos! Looks like a great trip all around! Thanks for posting!

Thanks ATLFlyer.  
Quoting Stabilator (Reply 17):

Viewing your TR reminded me of why I love my home state so much. I've visited the Brainerd lakes area every summer since I was a little boy. Its a feast for the eyes when you visit in the fall, and your photos captured northern Minnesota's beauty. Your walleye made my mouth water. Perhaps I'll take one of UND's planes over to BRD to bring some childhood memories back.

As to the nose of your Shuttle America bird, it very well could be from a different airline, as Shuttle America provides regional service for a few major airlines. Sorry to hear about the poor Flight Attendants. The FAs aboard mainline DL (especially former NW) flights have always been great. I've found the attitudes aboard regional partner flights to be iffy.

Great report, thanks for sharing!

Thanks for your kind words Stavilator. In this trip I realized why Minnesotans are so proud of their state. It sure is unique in many ways. And the food was pretty good too.

As for the flight attendants: I've been flying a lot with DL lately (both mainline and partners) and they seem to be a hit or a miss. I sometimes get really lovely ones and some others not so much so. But I guess this is the case with most airlines.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Wow, what a stunning report. Loved every single photo in it - you certainly managed to capture very nice autumn vistas everywhere. I like your idea of adding some bonus material to your reports as well, makes me feel like a happy consumer who has just struck an excellent bargain

Thanks Petteri! It's nice to hear such nice words from an expert of the field like you.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Isn't Brainerd featured in the movie Fargo?

Yup, you got it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Good for you to catch a ride on the Saab, not that rare type for me (have logged over 30 flights with the -340 model) though. It is a nice little turboprop, although the -2000 is a much more impressive, performance and comfortwise.

Yeah, those babies are kinda rare on our side of the pond. I'm just happy that I got to try them before they got retired. I normally don't do many regional flights in Europe so it would have been difficult to catch one there.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Hey, nice to see that Kone logo on top of the tower, always good to see Finnish companies abroad.

Apparently Kone has their North American Headquarters in Moline and this tower is part of the HQ complex. I have to confess though that I had no idea Kone was Finnish...   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Wow, boarding a Saab via a jetway, never seen that before! What is it with the American's love of jetways - even the tiniest airport there (just look at the photos of the plans for the Brainerd expansion you posted further down) seem to insist on having at least one. What's wrong with good old bus rides or even *shock horror* WALKING across the apron?

Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever been on a flight in the US for which boarding did not take place through a jetway. Yes, we are kinda spoiled I guess 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18):
Wonderful photos - looks just like Finland! Well maybe apart from some of the fauna...  

No chipmunks in Finland right? Those devils are cute as hell. Especially when they stuff their faces with food and then run to hide. I was stalking the one on the photo above for about half an hour before I could get a good shot of him (or her)...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 19):
Oh yeah, forgot to mention: love your nifty title for this TR  

Hehe, thanks man.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 20):
This doesn't seem right, in the airline I work for this is an absolute definate no no, having infants in an exit row!

Unacceptable, I agree.

Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 20):
Maybe we had the same FA   I flew YUL-ATL on a deltaflot CRJ700 and was told "do not take any photographs until we are above 10,000 feet okay sir?"

If she was in her mid/late-40s and somewhat overly tanned then it could have been her.  

PS: I love your signature, TupolevTu154



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
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