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Aller-Retour To Decatur, With 3E. Wait, Who?  
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 611 posts, RR: 16
Posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 16924 times:

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7574_cropped.jpg

BACKGROUND

After a really bad day (in fact week) at work, I was looking for ways to cheer myself up. And what a better way to cheer oneself up other than a flight to somewhere new, on a new airline or a new aircraft type. I don't recall my exact thought process, but I do remember looking up ORD's wikipedia page to see what airlines may appeal to me. My eye fell on a name I had never heard before: "Air Choice One". I decided to visit their website and learned that they are a St.Louis-based airline that fly out of STL and ORD to both DEC (Decatur, Illinois) and BRL (Burlington, Iowa); routes that are funded by the federal government's Essential Air Service program (EAS), a program that aims to help small communities in maintaining links to the national air transportation network. What made Air Choice One even more interesting was that they use a fleet of Cessna 208 Grand Caravans for the above routes. These single-prop Caravans are configured to fit 8 passengers (9 if there is no co-pilot), on plush leather seats with extra leg room. The airline markets itself as a commercial airline with regular scheduled flights but with aircraft that give you the feel of a private plane. I pretended to make a booking and realized that their prices were fixed and extremely affordable. Now I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to fly to DEC or BRL. After a more careful look at their schedule it became apparent that the minimum amount of time I could spend at BRL before flying back to ORD was 8:30 hours, way more than I was willing to do. On the other hand I could fly to DEC early in the morning, have brunch at the aviation-themed restaurant located at the airport, and then fly back, all in about 3 or so hours. I went ahead and booked.

I was a bit worried about the weather (February is notoriously bad in the Midwest, with snowstorms and bitter cold) and sure enough the forecast for the day of the flight predicted snow in Chicago and dense fog in Decatur. About a week ago, under similar weather conditions, one of the ORD-DEC flights had to be diverted to STL, while the previous day one of the flights was cancelled altogether. I wouldn't mind a diversion (I have never been to STL) but a cancellation would be very disappointing.

Now I have to confess something, no matter how reluctant I am to do so. Despite being an avid aviation enthusiast and a strong believer in aviation safety, I was a bit nervous about these flights. I found myself having internal dialogues about it.

- I wonder how safe those Cessnas are. I've heard of so many Cessna incidents in the past...
- Don't be silly, they are perfectly safe
- Yeah, but after all they do only have one engine
- True. At least Illinois has no mountains. Worse case scenario, we land on a highway or an empty corn field.
- I suppose so, but...



DEPARTING CHICAGO


.

Route: ORD-DEC (Decatur, Illinois)
Carrier: Air Choice One (IATA: 3E. ICAO: WBR)
Aircraft Type: Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Reg: N1258B
Duration: 57mins


Air Choice One does not offer online check in, so I had to do it the old fashioned way at the airport. My flight was at 7:55am, so I woke up early and headed to ORD while still being fairly sleepy. I made it to T3 just as the check-in counter was opening. The friendly lady at the counter asked me whether I was flying to DEC or BRL and inspected my ID. She then gave me a receipt-like boarding pass and informed me that I was one of only two passengers for today's flight. Awesome! I asked her whether I could also check in for my return flight but she told me that I would have to do that at DEC.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0004.jpg
Air Choice One's check-in counter at ORD

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7492_sp.jpg
My boarding pass

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7495.jpg
Some information about the airline that came with my boarding pass sleeve

Security was a bit of a drag. Long, slow-moving, lines, and lots of inexperienced travelers slowing things further. Eventually I made it through and found my way to gate L10 which serves as the gate for all of Air Choice One's flights. The gate area was fairly quiet, as you would expect, save for some Spirit Airlines (NK) passengers, waiting for flights departing from nearby gates.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0006.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0008.jpg
Gate L10

Gate L10 has in fact a jetway. For a moment I thought that we were actually going to board the Cessna via the jetway (silly me). In fact we were taken down the stairway through a nearby door and we walked to our relatively remotely-parked aircraft.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7504.jpg
Our aircraft waiting

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7513.jpg
Some beautiful giants (compared to us at least) taxiing next to us

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7509.jpg
Getting ready to leave

Despite being given seat 1A, I decided to sit at the very back of the plane so that I could shoot photos and videos undisturbed. However, the ceiling at the back was fairly low and as a result there was hardly any vertical room for my head. After some prompting from the pilots I moved to the middle of the aircraft, next to the only other passenger. As you can see from the photos, leg space was ample while the seats were as comfortable as they looked. The seats came with seat-belts that wrapped around the waist but also around one shoulder, which was somewhat uncomfortable for a tall person. Overall the cabin looked fairly luxurious, even though I am not convinced that my photos convey that very well. It felt very weird to be so close to the ground while taxiing or on the runway but it was exciting all the while. Being so relatively light, it didn't take us long to get off the ground as you can see in the take-off video below:

TAKE-OFF VIDEO - ORD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rc-S_hTsNN0&feature=player_embedded

The ride was fairly bumpy during our ascent but as soon as we cleared all the low-lying clouds and settled at our cruising altitude of 9.000ft everything got much smoother. I was still a bit nervous about -us tiny minnows- ascending in thick clouds in an airspace as busy as that of ORD. To make things worse, I've been reading a book called Air Crashes and Miracle Landings by Christopher Bartlett and just a couple of days ago I was at the chapter describing collisions between commercial airliners and small general aviation aircraft. I am convinced that I am a bit of a masochist.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7506.jpg
Tons of legroom

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7508.jpg
Plush leather seats

Some photos from take-off and the cabin
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7521.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7518.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7528.jpg
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http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7555.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7536.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7551.jpg

And for all of you that have a safety card fetish here's the ones from the Grand Caravan:


My hopes for aerial photos of the central Illinois countryside were shattered by the clouds that spread left and right as far as the eye could see. I decided to pull out my Kindle and started reading (I made sure I avoided the abovementioned book - I settled for something much more uplifting). At no point during our cruising did I feel unsafe until, that is, we started our descent through the thick clouds to DEC. Suddenly it got really bumpy once more and because of the zero visibility it made you feel that the aircraft could stall and crash at any moment. Once on land, we taxied for much longer than I would have expected and reached the tiny terminal building.

VIDEO OF LANDING AT DEC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoi9y-8SAQg&feature=player_embedded

Below you can find a map of the planned (dashed line) and actual (solid white line) routes as generated by FlightAware. I'm not sure why the "actual" route stops abruptly several miles before DEC.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/MAP_179.jpg

Some post-landing photos:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7564.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7568.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7570.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7574.jpg

Due to the fog and overcast sky the airport felt like a very eerie place. For some reason it felt like I was in KEF (or how I would have imagined KEF to feel like since I have never been there). The building was pretty old fashioned (in a 70's-80's kind of way) but fairly quiet, cozy and clean. It came complete with a baggage reclaim area, car rental desk, tourist information desk, (very clean) restrooms, check-in counters and an aviation-themed restaurant (more on that later).

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7576.jpg
The landscape around DEC

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7581.jpg
In case you forgot where you are

Having 3 whole hours to kill I decided to take a short walk around the terminal and look for anything that could be of interest. That took a total of about 5 minutes (and I'm probably exaggerating). As I mentioned above the cloudy weather, and the resultant absence of any colors, made my mission for nice photos utterly helpless.


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0021-1.jpg
The Control Tower as seen from the parking lot

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0023.jpg
Welcoming sign by the main road

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0030.jpg
The fence that separates the parking lot from the taxiways and runway

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0025.jpg
My aircraft departing for STL

I had no intention on leaving the airport to visit downtown Decatur, mainly because there is no public transportation between the town and the airport. Or so I thought until I saw an "Airport Bus" arriving from what appeared to be the direction of Decatur and heading back there after a brief stop. Why did I not know about this? Oh well, I had other things in mind anyway, namely to have breakfast/brunch at the quite cutesy "Main Hangar" restaurant, located within the airport building. I chose a table next to the huge windows overlooking the taxiway and had a look at the very appetizing breakfast menu on which every item had an aviation-related name: Spirit of St.Louis, Thunderbird, Boeing, Main Hangar, Seven-Fifty-Seven, Crosswind, Final Approach and Taxiway. Fancy names, but everything was more-or-less a variation of eggs, potatoes, toast and pork (not that there is anything wrong with that). I ordered a Thunderbird and an OJ. Despite of what you may think, the restaurant was not empty as it appears that local Decaturians (especially older ones) like to hang out and have social brunches there.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0034.jpg
Main Hangar Restaurant sign

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0036.jpg
With this kind of menu how can you possibly choose?

Some aviation-related decoration inside the restaurant:
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0038.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0039.jpg

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0037.jpg
The view from my table. Too bad there is hardly any traffic at DEC.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0042.jpg
How cute

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0044.jpg
My breakfast complete with ketchup and possibly the smallest glass of orange-juice I have been served outside an aircraft. Maybe they wanted to remain faithful to the theme of the restaurant.

After a very satisfying (and somewhat overpriced) breakfast I went back to the "departure" area to check in. The very nice lady at the check-in desk asked me how I found out about them (to which there was no simple answer) so I explained that I simply stumbled upon them online. She told me that security would open about 20mins prior to departure and that I should keep my ears open for an announcement. I had another hour or so before departure so I went to the waiting area and took out my Kindle once more. It was all nice and quiet until the other passengers of my flight showed up. These consisted of a middle-aged couple and a pair of frat-style guys in their late 20s. Now, I am not an easily irritable person (ok, that's only partially true), but these guys were obnoxious. The lady turned on her laptop and proceeded to talk really loudly (in Russian) on Skype, while her husband kept talking to her in a very loud voice about something that had upset him at check in. The other two guys kept talking equally loudly about all sorts of random things including the small size of the aircraft. "I've never been on a plane the size of a pack of gum" one of them would say making the other guy laugh. All in all, the waiting area with these 4 guys was as loud as a kindergarten, which made me impatient for departure. During the flight, I thought, the engine noise would cover their voices should they choose to continue talking, which was very likely.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/DSC_0051.jpg
Waiting area with a view. Sort of.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7582.jpg
Aerial view of DEC as seen on a photo inside the terminal

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7584.jpg
A map of Decatur. The airport can be seen on the right.


THE RETURN


.

Route: DEC (Decatur, Illinois) - ORD
Carrier: Air Choice One (IATA: 3E. ICAO: WBR)
Aircraft Type: Cessna 208B Grand Caravan
Reg: N1258B
Duration:1h 03mins


Security was fairly thorough (like a complete amateur, I forgot to remove my belt before going through the detector...) but given that there were only 5 of us it didn't last long. Soon, I could see our aircraft arriving from STL and parking in front of the terminal. After every passenger (and their luggage) was off we were invited to board. Once more I was given seat 1A and this time I decided to take it.

At the door I was greeted by one of the pilots:
-"Welcome. Please take a seat".
-"Don't tell him to take a seat. We need the seats. If everyone took a seat, we'd run out of seats pretty quickly
the other pilot (the captain) joked from within the Cessna. "Why does the English language have to have so many weird phrases?" he continued. "'Take a seat', 'Bring to a halt', 'Take a crap'. They make no sense".

I chatted with him for a moment, until the rest of the passengers showed up and -naturally- hijacked the conversation, which somehow switched to be about the movie "Gray" (a 2012 movie about some guys whose small plane crashes in the mountains and the survivors have to deal with some aggressive wolfs). The captain assured us that we will not suffer the same fate as the characters in that movie, as there are no wolfs in Illinois, which meant that in case we crash-landed we only ran the danger of being chased by raccoons. He then continued by saying that his favorite movie involving an air crash is "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins. He then interrupted himself, saying: "Hm... Let's stop talking about crashes, shall we?". Funny guy.



http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7599.jpg
Our aircraft freshly arrived from STL

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7604.jpg
Cabin/Cockpit view from my seat

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7607.jpg
The legroom was somewhat compromised by one of the pilot's lunch bag.

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7608.jpg
Looking outside the window while taxiing



TAKE-OFF VIDEO - DEC
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myN74EtMj-8&feature=player_embedded

The flight was fairly exciting mainly because I could see everything that the pilots were doing. The clouds were still covering everything so there wasn't much to see out of the windows anyway. The "gang" behind me never stopped yelling at each other just like I had predicted. Once we descended below the clouds to approach ORD, visibility improved considerably which allowed me to shoot the video below:


VIDEO OF OUR DESCENT TO ORD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SRJRkPml_Q&feature=player_embedded


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7615.jpg
The Grand Caravan has fairly big windows

A few photos from our descent over West Chicago
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7626.jpg
http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7625.jpg


Being able to look outside from the windshield was pretty sweet, especially as we were approaching the runway. It gives you such a good perspective of the amazing job that pilots do. I was torn as to whether I should shoot a video of the landing or just leave my camera down and absorb the whole experience. I decided to do a bit of both (see video further below).


VIDEO OF LANDING AT ORD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bb9kdva7Xsc&feature=player_embedded

The crazy Russian lady however was not done yet. Literally 2 seconds after our wheels touched down, and while still on the runway, she decided to move from her seat at the very back of the plane and sit right next to me at the front so that she can take a photo of the pilots. The pilots were too focused on their task to notice her, or they would have definitely yelled at her (or so I want to believe). After a lengthy taxiing we arrived at the remote-ish parking location that we had left from earlier that morning. From there we walked back into the terminal.


http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7629.jpg
Back at ORD

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/SAM_7634.jpg
Walking back to the terminal

http://i409.photobucket.com/albums/pp176/JCNadal_x/MAP_156.jpg
The FlightAware map of our planned and actual routes for the return flight.


CONCLUSION

Flying with Air Choice One was a great experience. The staff was very friendly, the aircraft comfortable and the flights were on time. Plus, I added a new airline, a new aircraft type and a new airport to my log. What I'm planning to do next is fly with them to BRL and then on to STL, perhaps sometime this summer (schedule permitting). Over the last year or so I have been to a few "unusual" or otherwise unknown airports (Dead Man's Cay - LGI, Stella Maris - SML, Brainerd - BRD, and now DEC) and I'm hungry for more. I'm glad I got to visit DEC, even though next time I'd like to visit the town and nearby lake too. Apparently Decatur is the first place that Abraham Lincoln lived in Illinois, before moving more-permanently to Springfield, so there must be something there for a history-buff like myself.

I hope you enjoyed this report. Comments are always appreciated. Thanks for reading.

By the way, for those unfamiliar with how Decatur is supposed to be pronounced, don't let my pathetic attempt for a rhyme in the title of this TR fool you. Decatur sounds more like "Dee-Cater" rather than "Deh-Cateur". Finally, for the record, Air Choice One is adding another destination to its network, namely JBR (Jonesboro, AR) starting February 13.

WideBodyroga


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You may also visit my Trip Report and Civil Aviation blog: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/


Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineQuokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 16861 times:

Great trip report about a relatively unheard of airline and even more obscure places.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I made it to T3 just as the check-in counter was opening.

Nice simple logo at the counter.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Eventually I made it through and found my way to gate L10 which serves as the gate for all of Air Choice One's flights.

What? No premium lounge?  Wow!  
Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I've been reading a book called Air Crashes and Miracle Landings

Just to psyche yourself up...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
With this kind of menu how can you possibly choose?

It's funny that the Seven Fifty Seven is priced at Seven Ninety Nine.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
like a complete amateur, I forgot to remove my belt before going through the detector..

Distracted no doubt by the noisy crowd behind you.  

All in all it looks as if Air Choice One offer a very capable service with friendly and helpful staff. The Cessna Grand Caravans look comfortable to travel, with plenty of space.

Glad you enjoyed the trip and thanks for sharing.
Roy.


User currently offlineMHTripple7 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1100 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 16733 times:

I've actually heard of this airline! I go to school in STL, and I fly WN in and out of STL very often. Air Choice One uses the Southwest terminal here in STL, and I often see "Decatur" listed on the departure boards.

Cool trip report that gives insight into this very odd airline. Doesn't seem like there's much to do in Decatur, however.

Thank you for sharing!


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1576 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 16638 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Stojan,

I’m glad you finally got rid of that nasty flight deprivation   and boy you’re almost as fast as me in putting reports up! Great one, I enjoyed it very much. You literally found this niche in the large ORD market and got yourself a excellent addition to your log. Flying on this small business like plane to the middle of nowhere (so it seems), it almost looks like a surreal experience.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
on plush leather seats with extra leg room.

Seats look comfy and man, what a legroom! Was there any form of inflight service?

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
- I wonder how safe those Cessnas are. I've heard of so many Cessna incidents in the past...
- Don't be silly, they are perfectly safe
- Yeah, but after all they do only have one engine
- True. At least Illinois has no mountains. Worse case scenario, we land on a highway or an empty corn field.
- I suppose so, but...

I wasn’t aware of you being the superstitious type  Wow!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Our aircraft waiting

Nice little flying machine although the color scheme is rather let’s say... mediocre.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
leg space was ample while the seats were as comfortable as they looked.

I’m amazed.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I am convinced that I am a bit of a masochist.

I think you rahter are by the fact that you had to tolerate those obnoxious pax on the return leg...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The legroom was somewhat compromised by one of the pilot's lunch bag.

Hey, these guy have to eat as well 

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently onlinepowercube From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 16514 times:

I would always see these guys at the edge of T3 on my Embraer to CMI and wish that they would extend a bit further south. I would have loved to give them a try before my business in that part of the world was over.

By reading your TR, I can see I missed out on something really cool. Glad I could live vicariously through you.


User currently offlinepalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1194 posts, RR: 17
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 16403 times:

Hi Widebodyroga

What a super report! Thanks for posting this one. Definitely unique.

It's funny how similar we a.netters are in many respects..... after having a bad day or week or worse, it's always one of my first thoughts as well "where can i book somewhere to fly?". Very impressed that you managed to find something off the beaten track.

Thanks also for the pronunciation tip for Decatur! I would have been saying it the other way for sure.

I am sure that many years ago when I was reading a great article about Ozark Airlines, that they once flew into Decatur. I imagine it was with props though although I guess the DC9 may have visited? Is the runway long enough for jet service?

I really love these small airport reports - thanks for publishing this one. The trip to STL sounds good too. I have an AA voucher which I need to redeem before Sept 2012 so I need to get to the US somehow to use it. Feel like someone tagging along for your STL adventure on the Cessna?

Cheers Palmjet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 901 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 16191 times:

Hey Stojan...great report and hopefully that made up for the bad week! I loved the little counter at ORD as it even said First Class! Actually the seats on board look great! We have a small carrier in ATL that provides EAS flights called Georgia Skiies (its parent is Pacific Wings of Hawaii) and it also flies the Caravan so I get to see these at, of all places, the International Concourse in ATL. Too bad there was a co-pilot or else you may have had the chance to fly in his seat! Great pictures and thanks for sharing! Cheers, William


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3037 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 16059 times:

Nice report WBR! Thanks for posting!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
On the other hand I could fly to DEC early in the morning, have brunch at the aviation-themed restaurant located at the airport, and then fly back, all in about 3 or so hours. I went ahead and booked.

Soiunds like a plan!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Plush leather seats

Very nice - much more spacious than my Crarvan fliught in Mexico

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Oh well, I had other things in mind anyway, namely to have breakfast/brunch at the quite cutesy "Main Hangar" restaurant, located within the airport building. I chose a table next to the huge windows overlooking the taxiway and had a look at the very appetizing breakfast menu on which every item had an aviation-related name: Spirit of St.Louis, Thunderbird, Boeing, Main Hangar, Seven-Fifty-Seven, Crosswind, Final Approach and Taxiway. Fancy names, but everything was more-or-less a variation of eggs, potatoes, toast and pork (not that there is anything wrong with that). I ordered a Thunderbird and an OJ. Despite of what you may think, the restaurant was not empty as it appears that local Decaturians (especially older ones) like to hang out and have social brunches there.

Sounds like a nice place - shame there wasn't any more traffic

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):

At the door I was greeted by one of the pilots:
-"Welcome. Please take a seat".
-"Don't tell him to take a seat. We need the seats. If everyone took a seat, we'd run out of seats pretty quickly the other pilot (the captain) joked from within the Cessna. "Why does the English language have to have so many weird phrases?" he continued. "'Take a seat', 'Bring to a halt', 'Take a crap'. They make no sense".
Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The captain assured us that we will not suffer the same fate as the characters in that movie, as there are no wolfs in Illinois, which meant that in case we crash-landed we only ran the danger of being chased by raccoons. He then continued by saying that his favorite movie involving an air crash is "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins. He then interrupted himself, saying: "Hm... Let's stop talking about crashes, shall we?". Funny guy.

Funny indeed!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
User currently offlineTupolevtu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2174 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 16014 times:

Is Air Choice One a play on Air Force One? 

Nice report and love the look of that cabin. I also love those smaller municipal airports you have out there, I was lucky enough to go airside at Grand Junction, Moab (Utah), Gunnison and Montrose in Colorado a couple of years back just to take some photos of the stuff parked up. No chance of that at larger airports!



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 909 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 16009 times:

Cool read Stojan, nice to hear about such an unknow airline.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I decided to visit their website and learned that they are a St.Louis-based airline that fly out of STL and ORD to both DEC (Decatur, Illinois) and BRL (Burlington, Iowa); routes that are funded by the federal government's Essential Air Service program (EAS)

Now I remember where I heard the name before. I was looking at flights from STL to ORD in Amadeus, and Air Choice actually showed up, with a connection in DEC. I even went to their website to check them out. In the end I didn't fly them though.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
She then gave me a receipt-like boarding pass and informed me that I was one of only two passengers for today's flight. Awesome!

That must have made it feel like a private flight even more.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Some beautiful giants (compared to us at least) taxiing next to us

That's cool, taxing past all those huge birds in such a tiny plane.


User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 611 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 15730 times:

Thanks for all your replies so far guys!

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 1):
Great trip report about a relatively unheard of airline and even more obscure places.

Thanks Roy! I knew that you guys would be interested in such a little known airline/airport.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 1):
Just to psyche yourself up...

Hehe, indeed. It's a very interesting book by the way, albeit poorly written; it contains quite a few typos. It's as if no one bothered to proof read it. It contains tons of information though.

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 1):
It's funny that the Seven Fifty Seven is priced at Seven Ninety Nine.

My thought exactly!

Quoting MHTripple7 (Reply 2):
Cool trip report that gives insight into this very odd airline. Doesn't seem like there's much to do in Decatur, however.

Thank you MH777! Indeed, Decatur isn't known to be a popular destination and, in fact, it has a relatively high crime rate. I wonder however how nice the areas by the lake are.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
I’m glad you finally got rid of that nasty flight deprivation   and boy you’re almost as fast as me in putting reports up!

Hey Nils, yeah it felt good to end my non-flying stretch. As for how quickly I put the TR together, there is no comparison with some of you here. :p

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
Seats look comfy and man, what a legroom! Was there any form of inflight service?

No in-flight service. It would be amusing to see someone trying to serve us drinks in that turbulence, hehe. As for the legroom: There was tons of it but what I do not understand is why the middle seats had to face each other. If anything this configuration reduces the legroom. Unless you want to tangle your legs with the person in front of you, it is not very practical.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
I wasn’t aware of you being the superstitious type  

If anything that internal dialogue suggests that I am schizophrenic more than anything else 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 3):
Nice little flying machine although the color scheme is rather let’s say... mediocre.

Agreed. Kinda ugly. 3E used to fly a Caravan that had the flag of Maryland on its tail, which even though it's colorful and pretty, made the aircraft look like a toy.

Quoting powercube (Reply 4):
I would always see these guys at the edge of T3 on my Embraer to CMI and wish that they would extend a bit further south.

I'd love to see a TR about CMI! Ever thought of putting one together?

Quoting palmjet (Reply 5):
What a super report! Thanks for posting this one. Definitely unique.

Thanks Palmjet. Nice to hear that from you.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 5):
Thanks also for the pronunciation tip for Decatur!

Hehe, I got it wrong the first time too. I had heard of Decatur before and always assumed it was pronounced Deh-Catoor. So after I booked my flights I said to my wife "Guess where I'm going to fly, Honey? DeeCatoor, Illinois". She looked back at me without saying anything for a moment and then said "I think you mean Dee-Cater". I'm sure in her mind she was thinking "Bloody Europeans, they butcher every word". I know that at that very moment I was thinking the same about the Americans 
Quoting palmjet (Reply 5):
It's funny how similar we a.netters are in many respects..... after having a bad day or week or worse, it's always one of my first thoughts as well "where can i book somewhere to fly?". Very impressed that you managed to find something off the beaten track.

It's true, we are a very homogeneous bunch in some ways   People turn to hobbies to alleviate stress and a.netters do just that as well.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 5):
I really love these small airport reports - thanks for publishing this one. The trip to STL sounds good too. I have an AA voucher which I need to redeem before Sept 2012 so I need to get to the US somehow to use it. Feel like someone tagging along for your STL adventure on the Cessna?

I adore small airports, hence my little "collection" of them over the past 6 months or so. Hey, I'd love to fly with a fellow a.netter! I'm thinking of flying ORD-BRL-STL with 3E, spend the day at St.Louis to check out the Gateway Arch and then fly back STL-MDW with WN. Wanna join?

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 6):
Hey Stojan...great report and hopefully that made up for the bad week! I loved the little counter at ORD as it even said First Class! Actually the seats on board look great! We have a small carrier in ATL that provides EAS flights called Georgia Skiies (its parent is Pacific Wings of Hawaii) and it also flies the Caravan so I get to see these at, of all places, the International Concourse in ATL. Too bad there was a co-pilot or else you may have had the chance to fly in his seat! Great pictures and thanks for sharing! Cheers, William

Thanks William! I did notice the "First Class" sign above the counter. This is probably the first time I ever checked-in at a "First Class" check-in desk 

Georgia Skies? Hm... don't you start giving me ideas now...  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 7):
Funny indeed!

The pilots on the first leg were pretty quiet but the guys on the return leg were quite the characters...

Quoting Tupolevtu154 (Reply 8):

Is Air Choice One a play on Air Force One? 

That's exactly what my wife said 
Quoting Tupolevtu154 (Reply 8):

Nice report and love the look of that cabin. I also love those smaller municipal airports you have out there, I was lucky enough to go airside at Grand Junction, Moab (Utah), Gunnison and Montrose in Colorado a couple of years back just to take some photos of the stuff parked up. No chance of that at larger airports!

Thanks Tu-154,

Most definitely. That's why I love small airports too. The one I really want to visit at some point is FMN (Four Corners, NM). What kind of aircraft did you spot in the abovementioned airports?

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 9):
Cool read Stojan, nice to hear about such an unknow airline.

Thanks Robert! Glad you liked it.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 9):
That must have made it feel like a private flight even more.

Absolutely. I almost felt uncomfortable knowing that there was only one more passenger. I didn't want all eyes on me when I was shooting all those photos.   However, I'd take that over a full flight any day  



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently onlinepowercube From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15640 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 10):
I'd love to see a TR about CMI! Ever thought of putting one together?

If you can wait until the end of the year, I should be heading back there then. I always thought about doing one before, but never had any other reason to take my camera. It's a shame, too, as I have had some really crazy flights down there or up to ORD. I think the most memorable was when the flight was struck by lightning.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6403 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 15636 times:

Hi Stojan!

Nice report on something very different !

Interesting to see that they got a slot at ORD.

Seats looks very comfortable.

Looking forward to the next report from you!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5014 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 15625 times:

Haha. I saw this exact boarding area a few months ago when passing though ORD and wondered if I could sneak one in. I am glad you did - as it inspired me to go to their website and find those incredible deals. Might just take one the next time I am in ORD. Thanks a ton for the report.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineONT2CGI From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15568 times:

Well, If you're going to STL, you might want to check out Cape Air (9K), They're an EAS operator using Cessna 402's (Although that Grand Caravan looks a lot more comfy) They fly to CGI, MWA, Kirksville, Quincy, Owensboro, and Ft Leonard wood)
Here's my TR:
"the Best $50 I Ever Spent" LAX-STL-CGI W/ CapeAir (by
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26504 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 15561 times:

Great report always nice to see something rare and different . Without these insights we wouldnt know they exist so thanks for sharing it .

Regards

OA260  



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 15468 times:

Hi Roga,

Great stuff, a trip report certainly out of the beaten path. I've never heard of this airline before (I guess not many people have), but looks like a nice chance to catch a flight to a rare destination on a rare (at least on commercial service) plane.

Hope you get around fulfilling your plans for more flights with them, I guess even with the government underwriting their cheques they need your support.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
After a really bad day (in fact week) at work, I was looking for ways to cheer myself up. And what a better way to cheer oneself up other than a flight to somewhere new, on a new airline or a new aircraft type

Now you're talking! Couldn't agree more with you. And I bet those three hours at Decatur were very relaxing indeed - simply because not much was going on in there!  
Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Air Choice One's check-in counter at ORD

"First class" - cool.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Some beautiful giants (compared to us at least) taxiing next to us

Hey, nice to see an Alaska bird at ORD. My only 737-900 flight so far was onboard AS, ORD-SEA!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Plush leather seats

Wow, those look very nice and comfortable. There seem to be some back facing seats as well - grab one of those and you can imagine you are flying in Club with BA  . Just bring your own champers and you are golden.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
And for all of you that have a safety card fetish here's the ones from the Grand Caravan:

Interesting that they have printed "Final assembly of this aircraft was completed in the United States of America" on the bottom.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
For some reason it felt like I was in KEF (or how I would have imagined KEF to feel like since I have never been there).

Are you a clairvoyant? Or do you just dream about different airports and build up mental images how they would be?  
Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The fence that separates the parking lot from the taxiways and runway

Nice that they put that bench in there. Not so nice that there's not much to look at!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
had a look at the very appetizing breakfast menu on which every item had an aviation-related name:

Heh, reminds me of that restaurant opposite Mannheim airport where I was a a couple of years ago - their breakfast menus were named after various airlines. Yep, you guessed it, "Ryanair" was the cheapest and most basic one, whereas on the other end of the spectrum you had "Singapore Airlines" (or was it "Cathay Pacific" - my memory isn't what it used to be?)

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
smallest glass of orange-juice I have been served outside an aircraft. Maybe they wanted to remain faithful to the theme of the restaurant.

Try Finland one day, that kind of glasses at rip off prices are normal here.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
All in all, the waiting area with these 4 guys was as loud as a kindergarten, which made me impatient for departure.

Some people...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
"Why does the English language have to have so many weird phrases?" he continued. "'Take a seat', 'Bring to a halt', 'Take a crap'. They make no sense".

Hah, what a funny captain. I guess there weren't any inflight announcements (I don't think there's even possibility for that on the Cessna?) - he'd make a killing on those.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
The legroom was somewhat compromised by one of the pilot's lunch bag.

Now that's something you don't hear everyday on most commercial airlines!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
namely JBR (Jonesboro, AR)

Whoa, the destinations keep getting more exciting! How about a weekend break there?  


User currently onlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 675 posts, RR: 21
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 15372 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,

what a nice trip report. That brings back a lot of fond memories for me since during my flight training I actually have been to Decatur as well a couple of times. Went there with Cessna airplanes as well, although in an even smaller ones, C-150 and C-172. Great you have done that flight with Air Choice One, for sure an interesting experience and a somewhat special little airline.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
- True. At least Illinois has no mountains. Worse case scenario, we land on a highway or an empty corn field.
- I suppose so, but...

Reminds me on my training, when we did train engine failures and looked out for possible landing spot it was always very easy, as there are just thousands of suitable fields available. Kind of frustrating for the flight instructor who wants to challenge you somehow   ...

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
Our aircraft waiting

Hmm, not exactly the most beautiful airplane out there. But looked great and comfortable from the inside.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
VIDEO OF LANDING AT DEC

Nice video. You can even hear the stall buzzer right before touchdown, nice landing. Looks like you have landed at runway 6 which explains the long taxi. That airport is actually quite large for the amount of traffic they have.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
After a very satisfying (and somewhat overpriced) breakfast

Hey, I have been to that restaurant as well. As I remember the food was indeed very good. Don't remember that prices were too high, but then it is now more that 15 years ago since I have been there (... oh how time passes   )

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
He then continued by saying that his favorite movie involving an air crash is "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins. He then interrupted himself, saying: "Hm... Let's stop talking about crashes, shall we?". Funny guy.

Funny indeed, that's pilot humor  

CaptainRed


User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 611 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15289 times:

Thanks for all your responses guys.

Quoting powercube (Reply 11):
If you can wait until the end of the year, I should be heading back there then. I always thought about doing one before, but never had any other reason to take my camera. It's a shame, too, as I have had some really crazy flights down there or up to ORD. I think the most memorable was when the flight was struck by lightning.

I'm looking forward to it. I've always been curious about CMI. I have some friends/former colleagues at the U of I so I would like to combine a trip there with a visit to see them.

And I totally know what you mean by missed opportunities for some cool TRs. I have been to a few flights that I wish I had a camera with me to documents some interesting incidents.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Nice report on something very different !

Interesting to see that they got a slot at ORD.

Seats looks very comfortable.

Looking forward to the next report from you!

Thanks for your kind words, 777. I was also surprised that they have such a big area for themselves at ORD. And if they are not using gate L10 (which has their logo all over it) then who does?

By the way, my next report may be on a 777, even though I have a very short layover prior to it and it is likely I'll miss it.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 13):
Haha. I saw this exact boarding area a few months ago when passing though ORD and wondered if I could sneak one in. I am glad you did - as it inspired me to go to their website and find those incredible deals. Might just take one the next time I am in ORD. Thanks a ton for the report.

Their prices are unreal, which is an extra incentive to fly them again to one of their other (unexplored as yet) destinations. I'm sure you'll enjoy them if you gave them a try.

Quoting Reply 14):
Well, If you're going to STL, you might want to check out Cape Air (9K), They're an EAS operator using Cessna 402's (Although that Grand Caravan looks a lot more comfy) They fly to CGI, MWA, Kirksville, Quincy, Owensboro, and Ft Leonard wood)
Here's my TR:

I've heard of Cape Air and I'd love to give them a try. I was considering flying them from HYA to MVY or ACK, but eventually opted for the ferry instead. Nice TR by the way, the 402 sure looks like an interesting aircraft. Definitely a great way to spend $50.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Great report always nice to see something rare and different . Without these insights we wouldnt know they exist so thanks for sharing it .

Thanks, P! I'm keeping my eye out for more of this kind of flights. They are a great way to do daytrips. It's just too bad that we don't have that many of those out of ORD or MDW.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):
Hi Roga,
Great stuff, a trip report certainly out of the beaten path. I've never heard of this airline before (I guess not many people have), but looks like a nice chance to catch a flight to a rare destination on a rare (at least on commercial service) plane.

Hope you get around fulfilling your plans for more flights with them, I guess even with the government underwriting their cheques they need your support.

Thanks P! As far as I know, the EAS funding for the DEC and BRL routes expired Jan 31 so right now they are on their own (at least for the time being; I'm guessing they will re-acquire the funding pretty soon) so I'm glad I contributed to their income, albeit only $79.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Now you're talking! Couldn't agree more with you. And I bet those three hours at Decatur were very relaxing indeed - simply because not much was going on in there!  

It was very relaxing indeed. I wish I could do this more often.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Hey, nice to see an Alaska bird at ORD. My only 737-900 flight so far was onboard AS, ORD-SEA!

Interesting. My only ride on a 737-800 was on that same route with that same airline.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Wow, those look very nice and comfortable. There seem to be some back facing seats as well - grab one of those and you can imagine you are flying in Club with BA  . Just bring your own champers and you are golden.

Yeah, the other passenger (on the outbound) had a good time with those seats. She put her feet up on top of the seat in front of her, reclined her own seat and had the nap of a lifetime.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Are you a clairvoyant? Or do you just dream about different airports and build up mental images how they would be?  

No, not quite. Hm, at least I don't think so. In fact I am notorious for my lack of imagination.

KEF is one of those airports I really wanna go to someday so after having looked at tons of photos from there I feel like I know the place. For some reason the gloomy weather, lack of trees and the fog at DEC made me think of KEF.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Nice that they put that bench in there. Not so nice that there's not much to look at!

That's what I thought too...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Try Finland one day, that kind of glasses at rip off prices are normal here.

Sad. I love my big jugs of juice. Or jugs of any kind for that matter.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Hah, what a funny captain. I guess there weren't any inflight announcements (I don't think there's even possibility for that on the Cessna?) - he'd make a killing on those.

He did make a typical-style announcement, but after having chatted with us for quite some time he realized he was running out of time and thus kept it simple and free of witty comments. The Grand Caravan does have a PR system but out of 4 announcements 3 of them were made without using it (the pilot just turned around and talked to us).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Now that's something you don't hear everyday on most commercial airlines!



I found it quite amusing and I was not bothered by it at all  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 16):

Whoa, the destinations keep getting more exciting! How about a weekend break there?

Oh, I'm temped no doubt. I have so many new destinations in mind that it's hard to choose.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
Hi Widebodyroga,

what a nice trip report. That brings back a lot of fond memories for me since during my flight training I actually have been to Decatur as well a couple of times. Went there with Cessna airplanes as well, although in an even smaller ones, C-150 and C-172. Great you have done that flight with Air Choice One, for sure an interesting experience and a somewhat special little airline.

Hey, thanks CaptainRed! For some reason I thought that you may have flown to DEC given that part of your training took place in Illinois. I remember this from your comments on my Meigs Field (CGX) report a few months back.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):

Reminds me on my training, when we did train engine failures and looked out for possible landing spot it was always very easy, as there are just thousands of suitable fields available. Kind of frustrating for the flight instructor who wants to challenge you somehow   ...

Hehe, interesting. I was hoping to get a better view of the landscape and all the fields but it was too cloudy. Can you think of any place in Illinois with terrain that is challenging enough for engine failure training?

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):

Nice video. You can even hear the stall buzzer right before touchdown, nice landing. Looks like you have landed at runway 6 which explains the long taxi. That airport is actually quite large for the amount of traffic they have.

Yeah, I was wondering what that sound was and I figured it must be that. And I agree, DEC is indeed fairly large for the market that it serves.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):

Hey, I have been to that restaurant as well. As I remember the food was indeed very good. Don't remember that prices were too high, but then it is now more that 15 years ago since I have been there (... oh how time passes   )

It's a nice little restaurant, I quite liked it. And perhaps I exaggerated about it being overpriced. I think that in my excitement about the flight I simply left too big of a tip and it now looks like I got charged a lot 



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlineeastafspot From France, joined Jan 2008, 660 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 15140 times:

a first class cabin on the Cessna! thank you for sharing a unique report


Fly with Air Burundi, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Kenya Airways and Rwandair...Jumuiya ya Afrika mashariki
User currently offlineTupolevtu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2174 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15115 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 10):
What kind of aircraft did you spot in the abovementioned airports?

Grand Junction was a probably the best. Amazing backdrop with FedEx 727's, several Twin Otters and Turbine Beavers (there was a service facility there), Metroliners, bizjets, a CRJ and a couple of Dash 8's. Luckily I just happened to be airside in rush hour! Gunnison had a Hawker 800, Beechjet 400 and a king air 350, Montrose had a brand new Seneca and a Netjets Gulfstream V, and Moab had a Citation CJ3, Cessna Conquest and a great lakes B1900 that did a pretty impressive departure! I also went to Telluride but unfortunately it was closed for works. Looked absolutely amazing and I'd love to fly into there!

I've got a few photos from Grand Junction, one from Gunnison and a couple from Moab in the database. I won't plug them  



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2430 posts, RR: 53
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 15111 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,

Who ever thought that Wikipedia would serve purpose of us, trip reporters to find interesting airlines to fly with? Thank you for sharing your trip with luxurious Air Choice One’s Cessna.

I must say the whole experience reminds me of good ol’day of flying where passengers can get up close and personal with flight deck crew members. With only two of you on the outbound flight, it must have been a real joy and a real treat for us to read!   


Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
I found myself having internal dialogues about it.

Haha, I used to have such conversations with my conscience Ariel a while ago.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Thread starter):
With this kind of menu how can you possibly choose?

In that case, you might have to order all of them.  


Thanks again.

Best wishes,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 15080 times:

Hi Roga.
Not so much Widebody on this trip report...

Really interesting report here and what a great way to find it by using Wiki. Cool.

I love the 208. Never flown on one but it was always my weapon of choice on FS2004. More hands on than the usual jet stuff and great for a bit of bush flying.

I can't believe how plush that interior looks. Real private jet feel going on.
May your quest for obscure airlines and small airports continue for a long while yet, and keep us posted on any further trips.

Cheers, Lee.


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 14917 times:

Hi Widebodyroga,

interesting report, well written and great photos! Not something you see everyday, small airline like this, and a Cessna inbetween the 737s etc of the main airlines at a big airport! The seats look very nice, especially with only 1 other passenger. Thinking about it, a nice variation on the "$100 hamburger" idea!

Thanks again

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 611 posts, RR: 16
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 14866 times:

Thanks for all the additional responses guys!

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 19):
a first class cabin on the Cessna! thank you for sharing a unique report

Thanks eastafspot!  
Quoting Tupolevtu154 (Reply 20):
Grand Junction was a probably the best. Amazing backdrop with FedEx 727's, several Twin Otters and Turbine Beavers (there was a service facility there), Metroliners, bizjets, a CRJ and a couple of Dash 8's. Luckily I just happened to be airside in rush hour! Gunnison had a Hawker 800, Beechjet 400 and a king air 350, Montrose had a brand new Seneca and a Netjets Gulfstream V, and Moab had a Citation CJ3, Cessna Conquest and a great lakes B1900 that did a pretty impressive departure! I also went to Telluride but unfortunately it was closed for works. Looked absolutely amazing and I'd love to fly into there!

I've got a few photos from Grand Junction, one from Gunnison and a couple from Moab in the database. I won't plug them  

That's pretty sweet. Small aircraft were never my thing but as you can see this is starting to change. This is a pretty impressive variety of small aircraft you saw out there and you are right in saying that it is next to impossible to spot them in bigger airports. Now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder if there is anything interesting for me to spot at GYY... It's only a stone's throw away from where I work.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
Who ever thought that Wikipedia would serve purpose of us, trip reporters to find interesting airlines to fly with? Thank you for sharing your trip with luxurious Air Choice One’s Cessna.

Wikipedia is such an amazing tool  Often inaccurate, but pretty handy nonetheless. Thanks for your kind words, Suryo  .

Quoting akhmad (Reply 21):
I must say the whole experience reminds me of good ol’day of flying where passengers can get up close and personal with flight deck crew members. With only two of you on the outbound flight, it must have been a real joy and a real treat for us to read!   

It was pretty special and it did feel like the good old days. I'm glad you enjoyed it  
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 22):
Hi Roga.
Not so much Widebody on this trip report...

Really interesting report here and what a great way to find it by using Wiki. Cool.

I love the 208. Never flown on one but it was always my weapon of choice on FS2004. More hands on than the usual jet stuff and great for a bit of bush flying.

I can't believe how plush that interior looks. Real private jet feel going on.
May your quest for obscure airlines and small airports continue for a long while yet, and keep us posted on any further trips.

Cheers, Lee.

Hey Lee! Yeah, with so many small aircraft I've been flying with I should consider a name change. How does TurbopropRoga sound like?  

Thank you for your kind words. I will no doubt continue my search for daytrips like that. As you can see from the other comments, I have been given plenty of ideas 
Quoting signol (Reply 23):
Hi Widebodyroga,

interesting report, well written and great photos! Not something you see everyday, small airline like this, and a Cessna inbetween the 737s etc of the main airlines at a big airport! The seats look very nice, especially with only 1 other passenger. Thinking about it, a nice variation on the "$100 hamburger" idea!

Thanks again

signol

Thanks, signol, I appreciate it.

Haha, in fact, I was not familiar with the "$100 Hamburger" concept until you mentioned it and I looked it up. I totally pulled a variation of it! I'm a "$100 hamburger passenger", no doubt.



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
25 MSS658 : Hi Interesting report you've got there! I was wondering how 3E would look like.. Nice to see some rare aircraft flying around the US! Actually there w
26 Post contains images Widebodyroga : Thanks Marc, As William mentioned above, there are still some interesting flights of this kind of out ATL so that's pretty good for all of us that wa
27 Tupolevtu154 : If anything, I prefer smaller aircraft. Everything's alot less formal compared to being around large aircraft, there's more fun to be had, more oppor
28 steex : Glad to see this trip report pop up! I've used 3E on DEC-ORD-DEC previously and really enjoyed it. Was headed to Chicago for a last minute trip and di
29 Post contains images Widebodyroga : You're absolutely right Tu-154. I should do just that. Wow, that's pretty sweet. You should have written a TR about it. The booking cancellation/free
30 Type-Rated : Thank you for another excellent trip report. It was a very interesting read about some very uninteresting places. I loved the way you interspersed you
31 Post contains images Widebodyroga : Thanks Type-Rated. I've started a habit of shooting videos during take-offs and landings, especially when on small aircraft. I'm glad you enjoyed the
32 Post contains images britjap : Hi WBRoga, This report was fantastic. Small airlines to small airports is right up my street. Thanks for sharing. So nice to be somewhere where people
33 Post contains links and images Widebodyroga : Thank you very much britjap! Having read a couple of your trip reports I was guessing that you must also be into small aircraft/carriers/airports. I
34 WA707atMSP : Thank you for a great trip report. I'm planning to log 3E this spring, so this gives me a sense of what to expect. I hope my trip goes as well as your
35 Widebodyroga : How nice. I think you are gonna enjoy your experience with 3E. I'm glad you found my report informative. I wanna fly with them to BRL this time and g
36 irelayer : I was wondering what this was. It's right next to JetBlue's gates isn't it? I did a ORD-JFK run and on the way back one of the passengers went into d
37 Widebodyroga : Hey IR, To be honest I don't remember if there was a JetBlue gate nearby (the gates immediately next or across ours were occupied by Spirit Airlines)
38 irelayer : I'm not quite sure if they do that given how hard it seems to be to get gate space at ORD. I don't get why Air Choice One has to take up an entire je
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