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mats
Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:20 pm

GP Express

Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:32 pm

I just wondered about the history of GP Express. I was reading last night about the crash of a Beech 99 in Anniston, Alabama. The investigation discussed poor management and poor pilot training as factors in the crash. Where were they based? Where did they fly? Was this a codeshare? What equipment did they fly (other than the 99)?
 
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knope2001
Posts: 2599
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:54 am

RE: GP Express

Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:02 pm

Without resource material handy, here's was I recall about GP Express:

Based in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Flew as an independent regional for a few years, mostly connecting small Nebraska airports like Grand Island, Kearny, McCook, North Platte, etc with Denver and perhaps Omaha.

Signed on as Continental Connection feeder in Denver in the late 80's or early 90's. Routes were expanded out of Denver, although primarily they were among the smallest, sometimes EAS subsidy, markets.

Did for a fairly brief period fly some point-to-point markets in the upper Midwest kind of like Great Lakes did for a time, including routes such as Omaha-Minneapolis, Des Moines-Minneapolis and Madison-Minneapolis, filling the cracks between Northwest flights.

Picked up some subsidized EAS flying in the southeast out of Atlanta around 1992.

Shut down roughly the same time that Continental shut down their Denver hub, although I believe they flew for a time without the CO* designation. I think they shut down around 1994.

Flew primarily Beech 99's, although I think they also acquired some Beech 1900C's.

Again, without reference material handy I'm not 100% sure of every date and ever route, but this should give you a pretty basic idea of what GP Express was about.
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:33 am

As I recall, GP Express started with Cessna 402s and grew fairly slowly, initially, serving primarily underserved Nebraska markets. There was a fatal 402 accident at Chadron with a couple of years.
Beech 99s followed. There was a fatal training accident near Grand Island when the two Captains intentionally rolled their 99.
As Continental pulled down the DEN hub (summer 1994), Continental Express had already decided that the Beech 1900s were too expensive and those very same aircraft later reappeared at GP flying as Continental Connection.
As stated above, GP tried several other markets. I don't remember when they shut down.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
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mats
Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:20 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:59 am

That's quite interesting. Not the greatest safety record given the Anniston crash and the training accident that FlyHoss mentioned.

I am curious about Southern routes like Atlanta-Anniston. How could they have filled those aircraft without a Delta or Eastern codeshare?
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7800
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:03 am

The one GP Express BE1900 I saw in MYR back in 1991-1992 I was scared to walk next too. The de-ice boots where falling off and oil soaked, the panels hard dozon of missing and rusty screws, the paint was falling off and the 'GP' logo was painted on with 'rattle can' flat black. Nasty..!!
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
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knope2001
Posts: 2599
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:54 am

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:28 am

>>I am curious about Southern routes like Atlanta-Anniston. How could they have filled those aircraft without a Delta or Eastern codeshare?<<

While having a code-share deal at the hub is a factor -- and seemingly an important one now -- it's not the only factor. By the time GP Express got the southern EAS markets, I don't think any of the Delta code-share carriers flew 19-seat aircraft. (I think Eastern was out of the picture at that point.)

Depending on who bids, there may not even have been a Delta Connection carrier who applied for these EAS markets.
 
sllevin
Posts: 3314
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:45 am

Quoting FlyHoss (Reply 2):
There was a fatal training accident near Grand Island when the two Captains intentionally rolled their 99.

FWIW, I believe they were actually doing lazy 8's and got the nose low.

But yes, it was sad.

Steve
 
Cody
Posts: 2183
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:56 am

I think they fed Continental at GSO and even a little in EWR as well. I recall GSO-IAD-EWR.
 
FlyHoss
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:20 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:54 am

Sllevin,
The NTSB Probable Cause found the accident to be "apparently a barrel roll." The NTSB accident/case number is CHI93MA143 in case you want to look it up. See:

http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp#query_start

[Edited 2005-06-16 04:54:48]
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
User avatar
mats
Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:20 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 8:33 pm

Cody,

Wow. I totally forgot about the Greensboro hub for "CAL Lite." That was pretty short-lived. I didn't realize that they even had commuter service there.
 
Cody
Posts: 2183
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

RE: GP Express

Thu Jun 16, 2005 11:20 pm

Mats,

They sure did! The only reason I remembered is because I bumped into an Air Wisconsin pilot who used to fly for GPExpress. He told me they operated commuter flights as Continental Connection out of GSO.

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