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The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Thu Dec 06, 2001 12:08 pm

My dad was on board a Continental Express ERJ from Buffalo to Newark this afternoon and he said that after they had taken off from BUF the pilot apparently asked for permission to fly low around Niagara Falls. So they did sevaral circles at a relatively low altitude over The Falls before heading out to Newark.

I know that some commercial aircraft have been used for sight seeing flights over The Falls in the past, but I am quite surprised that a commercial and scheduled flight would recieve permission to 'go sightseeing' over Horseshoe Falls.

So, does this happen very often in the area? Are pilots of commercial jets constantly asking for permission to do fly over Niagara Falls? It seems like it would be a pretty interesting experience.
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Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2000 6:00 am

RE: The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Thu Dec 06, 2001 12:37 pm

I've flown a few BUF-EWR segments and that's never happened to me. I guess the pilot was in no hurry?  Big grin
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2001 1:41 am

RE: The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Thu Dec 06, 2001 12:52 pm

It is the Captain's discretion as to whether or not they will do the scenic tour. As long as there is enough time to make it to the destination on time or early, or have left early, but more importantly ATC is not busy, the captain may request it. Its by no means in the companies ops to do such a tour but it is fun for the passengers and the pilots. I have personally never had enough time to do this but am looking forward to doing it soon. The next best thing is the arrival into Toronto form EWR because you can request a low altitude to get a good shot of the falls. Hope this helps.
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RE: The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Thu Dec 06, 2001 12:53 pm

On a flight from dfw-nrt the captain droped our MD-11 below the coulds so we could all take a look at some really cool mountains. If only i could rememeber the name of them, something like kataratas or something.
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Joined: Sat May 20, 2000 10:07 am

RE: The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Thu Dec 06, 2001 10:53 pm

I have flown in an out of BUF for over 30 years and I've never seen or heard of a commercial airline going out of its way to circle the falls for a few minutes. It sounds like fun but I would assume this is very rare. It's not rare to fly past them on the way westbound for a quick glance if you are on the right side of the plane.
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 1:52 am

RE: The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Fri Dec 07, 2001 3:02 am

Although I've never done that in the ERJ yet, when I flew the EMB-120 out of CLE, we would regularly do the BUF-CLE run and tour the falls. In the summer, when the weather was beautiful and we were in a good mood and ahead of schedule, we'd make a few turns around the falls for the passangers then head over Erie to Cleveland at 3,000 feet. We could go tower direct under Cleveland Center's busy airspace and talk with Erie approach then directly to Cleveland approach. It always put is in ahead of schedulea and provided a nice scenic flight for the passangers. Fuel burn was almost the same as cruising up at 18,000 and having to climb, fly the airway, hold etc. I can't wait to do it in the RJ on a perfect day.
Actually flown: EMB-120 EMB-145 B717 B737 B757 B767
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RE: The Scenic Tour... Niagara Falls

Fri Dec 07, 2001 10:20 am

In the summer of 2000, our Reeve Electra captain took us to look for whales on our departure from Sand Point. We banked left and right and did figure eights so that everyone could see. Then we went up to our assigned cruising altitude and flew on to Anchorage.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B

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