xpfg
Posts: 570
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:17 pm

Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:55 am

A little synopsis:

I live in the central valley of California, and am employed by SkyWest Airlines. There's an airport and city not too far away by the name of Merced, and Scenic Airlines operates a triangle operation out of Merced with service to North Las Vegas airport. The routes are as shown below:

Vegas-Merced-Visalia-Vegas
Vegas-Visalia-Merced-Vegas

The schedules for these flights work out perfect for a day trip to Visalia, as I have some family there and rather than an over 2 hr. drive, I may as well just have driven to Merced and take the short 20 min. flight to Visalia...aside from this, it's Scenic Airlines, and they're just shy of closing all their regional contracts out. I needed to fly them before it was all said and done!

On to the trip...

SCE Flight #72
MCE-VIS
Depart: 11:10
Arrive: 11:40
Date: November 9th, 2006
Aircraft:

I called up the Merced station and informed them that I was wishing to list as a SkyWest employee for the flight to Visalia. They informed me that it shouldn't be a problem loads wise, but from VIS-LVS would be plenty full...okay for me! I listed and made my way to Merced...

Upon arriving at the terminal I looked out in the distance and saw the aircraft touchdown and begin it's taxi up to the terminal. Much to my surprise, the aircraft was a 1900C and not a D (which I was expecting). Scenic had leased 2-3 1900D's from Great Lakes over the last couple of years for their regional service.

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I went inside and approached the ticket counter to find a nice gal asking what she can do to help me. I explained to her that I am an OO employee travelling to VIS. With nothing more said, and my ID shown, she handed me over my boarding pass...or what was an attempt at one...haha!

Pics of boarding pass:
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Boarding began about 15 min. later, and it was interesting at that. No boarding passes are to be handed over, but just seen. They highlight your name off of a printed passenger name list, and there is no security at all for these regional flights, as they fly to non-connecting cities. As I approached the aircraft I talked a few with the pilot, and asked him about the C series 1900. He informed me that this particular aircraft was the ONLY Beech left for Scenic, and all the others had been returned to Great Lakes....explains why I was surprised to have a C rather than the scheduled D! In anycase, I was okay with it, as I don't know if I'll ever get an opportunity to fly a C again!

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As I stepped into the plane, I could tell already this was gonna be a feat for the masses. I'd have to battle a very small aisle with my massive camera backpack, while also trying to bend over just to "walk" down the cabin...I would have been better off doing an army crawl! Just to let you all know, I fly the EMB-120 with SkyWest 4 out of the 7 days of the week, and I'm saying this 1900C is SMALL!

Once settled in I looked around and made a few observations. Although it's a scrunch to actually get seated, once you ARE seated, it's a comfortable and cozy aircraft. The seats recline (something our EMB-120's don't even do), and the leg room is quite ample. The air vents are on the side of the aircraft rather than the upper ceiling like traditional airliners, and there is no flight attendant nor cockpit door to boot. With that said, guess who gets to make the safety announcements? Yep, you guessed it...the scrunched down 6 foot tall First Officer!

Pic of FO during safety announcement:

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After the safety announcement we were ready to go, the door was closed, and the engines started up. Soon after we were taxiing out and on our way to Visalia, CA!


A few pics along the way:


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After a short flight and high altitude, we come back down to earth in Visalia.

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Off to Vegas from Visalia:

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I'd be taking the night flight back, but it's not worth reporting, as it's just the same as this trip pretty much...only dark outside!

Overall, I'd say Scenic made a decent attempt over the years to provide reliable regional service. Even for what I saw, it's better than what I COULD do on my own. If I had to, I would definitely choose Scenic again. The aircraft are no more louder than the 120's I fly in, and they are quick as well.

Whatever happens with Scenic in the future, I hope they do well, and to Mesa/US Air Express, Good Luck in Visalia and Merced in the coming weeks!

Hope you enjoyed the short report!
 
User avatar
Fiveholer
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:04 am

Haha, thats crazy. Nice pics and report!

Danny
Bring back Bethune!
 
QantasA332
Posts: 1473
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 5:47 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:15 am

Ah, the memories! I flew one of Scenic's 1900Cs from North Las Vegas to Merced, on my way to Yosemite a few years ago. In fact, I think I recognise that f/o... Also had the pleasure of taking their awesome Twotters to and from the Grand Canyon. They're a great little operation!  Smile

Excellent report!
 
flyboy7974
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 4:35 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:12 pm

how many pax were on the flight total if you remember?
 
xpfg
Posts: 570
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:17 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sun Nov 12, 2006 1:25 am

There were 9 from MCE-VIS, and 18 from VIS-LVS.
 
LatinPlane
Posts: 2480
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 1999 11:05 am

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:28 am

Wow, thanks for sharing your experience on Scenic's Beech 1900C. I really wanted to fly with Scenic out of Palmdale during the year that they were operating, but I never got the chance.

Its a shame they are shutting down their scheduled operations, but I guess that they learned the hard way that it is no piece of cake operating scheduled airline service. At its height, Scenic offered pretty decent scheduled service to:

Palmdale
Visalia
Merced
Elko
Ely
Reno

  LatinPlane

[Edited 2006-11-11 20:30:02]
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
flyboy7974
Posts: 1210
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 4:35 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:13 am

and I did forget to say, but thanks again. Always great to get trip reports on here from airlines and routes that we don't get to see too often. Enjoyed it
 
AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:45 am

I'm not really sure the the pilots are required to do a pax safety message in the 1900. I know that they have automated safety messages but I guess they still do it at Scenic.
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:49 pm

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 7):
I'm not really sure the the pilots are required to do a pax safety message in the 1900. I know that they have automated safety messages but I guess they still do it at Scenic.

It depends on the SOP's for the airline. We do it because the automated recording is so long, by the time you hit the seatbelts part its about a minute in. Its a lot nicer to be taxiing at that point.

Checko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
Corsair1107
Posts: 114
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:29 pm

RE: Scenic Airlines Merced To Visalia

Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:06 am

Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 8):
Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 7):
I'm not really sure the the pilots are required to do a pax safety message in the 1900. I know that they have automated safety messages but I guess they still do it at Scenic.

It depends on the SOP's for the airline. We do it because the automated recording is so long, by the time you hit the seatbelts part its about a minute in. Its a lot nicer to be taxiing at that point.

Checko

I've flown on one of Scenic's Twin Otters and their 1900C and I got a safety message both times. Gotta say the 1900 was the more comfortable flight but the DHC was a lot more fun.
Flown on: DHC-6/8, F100, B1900C, 717, 727, 737, 757, 767, 777, 319, 320, C152/172, E135/145, DC-9, MD-83/88 CL600

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