Tue Apr 10, 2001 1:56 am

Last week I flew to Buffalo NY (BUF) from Boston (BOS) on a US Airways Express (aka Chautauqua Air) Embraer ERJ-145 jet. My return flight 5 days later was on the same carrier and same aircraft.

I had never flown an Embraer before but I must say it is a cute little jet aircraft. I think some people (especially those that may be a bit on the claustrophobic side) would find the plane extremely closed in but as I did when I first boarded, however I will say that I ended up liking it very much.

We departed Boston out over the Atlantic Ocean on Runway 9 and made two 90 degree turns to the the left heading direct to Buffalo at a cruising altitude of 26,000 feet.

There was little or no turbulence throughout the entire flight and upon our decent into Buffalo-Niagara Falls International we had a nice view of Lake Eire (albeit still frozen!)

The flight attendant for our trip was fantastic, as a matter of fact, I faxed a letter of commendation to US Airways recognizing her for her excellent service.

My return flight was a little more interesting. We encountered turbulence throughout the entrie flight as we were passing through a warm front although the pilots did an excellent job of handling the bird as we were "rocking and rolling"! On our approach to Boston we flew north of the airport over the Atlantic and came in from the South directly over my hometown of Quincy! I actually recgnized a church and a shopping plaza right down the street from my apartment.

We were scheduled to land on Runway 4R but at the last moment the pilot made a movement to the other runway that runs parallel to 4R (I do not know what Runway # it is). Then he moved back and we landed on 4R!

During our taxi to the gate, the captain explained that the sudden "back and forth" was necessary due to a plane that had not fully cleared 4R and he was given the option by the Boston Control Tower to land on the other runway instead of completely aborting the landing and doing a go around. At the last moment the plane did in fact clear and he was given the green light to land on 4R. I thought it was totally cool!

Looking forward to taking that trip again soon!

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