-First time flying Scenic Airlines
-First time flying into VGT instead of LAS
-First time on a DHC-8
and of course the biggest one of all...
-First time flying out of PMD!
I've waited for this moment to fly out of here ever since UA Express pulled out in the late 90s so I snapped up the opportunity whenever our next trip to Vegas was. My mom and brother were in Vegas where my mom was attending a seminar. Randomly, I decided to visit the Scenic Airlines website and see how much the fares were the following day...and amazingly enough the $49 fare was avaliable for flight 54. Of course, I didn't pass this opportunity...
Flight 54, PMD-VGT
March 28, 2005
DeHavilland Canada DHC-8-300
Photo © Gary C. Orlando
My dad dropped me off at the Palmdale Air Terminal @ around 4PM and I decided to wander about the terminal. After checking in, I found out that we'd be delayed by one hour or so. I decided to wander a bit and take some shots of the terminal. While waiting and wandering, I sat it out a bit watching some news on the overhead TV and a movie in my VAIO. I decided to also strike a conversation with the check-in staff during the wait.
Here's one of tne of the "Palmdale Regional Airport" signs w/ some of the original Plant 42 hangars and a faint view of the Northrop Grumman plant (where the B-2A Spirit was built) in the background.
The PMD airline list-sign thingy (unfortunately Scenic isn't listed yet...).
A view of the sign and the terminal:
Another view of the terminal:
The check-in area:
I decided to step outside once more to get some fresh air and I noticed the usual touch-and-gos that military a/c usually practice here in PMD. Today I caught the usual F-16...
At around 6:00ish, we began going through airport security (done by airline staff instead of the TSA due to the small amount of passengers in this flight). After another tedious wait, N227SA arrived and once passengers deplaned and the aircraft refueled, we were ready to board. Upon entering the cabin, I realized how small and cozy the Twin Otter really is and of course, I took notice of the extra-large windows that are best utilized during sight seeing tours over the Grand Canyon.
Photo © Serge Bailleul - AirTeamImages
Once all of us 11 passengers finished boarding and all the preflight checks were done, we were good to go. One thing I liked about this flight was the fact that I was literally next door to the flight deck and got to see the crew in action. The best thing though was that I had a perfect view of the GPS so while in flight, I could update myself on our location...the next best thing to Airshow.
Taxing to the runway was somewhat a trip in itself.
After passing the Lockheed plant (home of the final assembly of the L-1011 ) Boeing (Space Shuttle), and Northrop (B-2), the Twin Otter was ready to take off. Immediately I set my camera so I could try to get a shot of my high school which is in the takeoff path of PMD...but unfortunately it was dark and this was the best that I could turn up with...:
A view of the Lancaster Soccer Center, one of the places where my high school's Cross Country team practiced.
I began to settle in for the 1.25 hour flight and donned my headphones. My biggest regret was forgetting my noise cancelling pair since I could barely hear a thing w/ the ones I had thanks to the engine noise. The flight went without a hitch other than some minor turbulence @ approach and we were soon over the Las Vegas Valley.
A (blurry) view of the Strip.
You could barely make out the Stardust Hotel in the right and Circus Circus in the center of this one:
Landing at VGT was also smooth and after taxing off, we were met by Scenic's fleet of Twin Otters.
We deplaned in no time and proceeded to the terminal which was above than what I previously expected it to be...
I, along with some of the other passengers in our flight and a couple from another one, boarded the complimentary shuttle to the Strip and thus ending my trip with Scenic.
Overall, this is the first trip I would consider "average" but then again what more can I expect? These guys fly to PMD...that's good enough for me! I'd fly Scenic again mainly for sightseeing but as for commercial flights...I dunno but as long as they serve PMD, I'm willing to put aside the alternatives...