The day started very hot after a stay in a hostel room which felt like a furnace - a medium sized slow running fan and no air-con in night time temperatures of the high 30's! I walked to catch the 37 bus to the domestic airport as it is far cheaper then the Connect Shuttle Bus. I decided to take all my luggage with me with a plan of storing some luggage using the airpot lockers. This turned out to be a bad idea as the machine would not accept my Mastercard and ate my 10 dollars for breakfast without returning it!
I checked in at the Skywest desk 1.5 hours before the flight (the checkin staff were extremely friendly and very helpful - I asked if it was okay to take museli with me - they confirmed it was okay as I was staying in the same state). The flight boarded slightly late and involved leaving the cool air-con departure area into the baking hot mid 30's temperature on the apron towards the Fokker 50. Onboard the passengers were sweating and baking as the Fokker had been sitting on the ramp probably all morning - the crew apologised and said that it should cool down once airbourne. The flight was probably just over half full and took off about 15 minutes late, overflying Perth and turning right to follow the beaches and coastline all the way to Monkey Mia. The complimentary food was not brilliant - two sandwiches - one of which seemed vegetarian and two small biscuits plus a cold drink and a small coffee or tea.
We approached Monkey Mia/Shark Bay Airport and joined downwind left hand with a tight(very interesting) approach before backtracking to the small airport terminal. The locals were talking with the crew about it being the last day of service. There was already a Skippers ticket desk in the 'outdoor terminal.' I boarded the Monkey Mia resort bus with one other passenger along a deserted 16km road to the resort. The resort were keen to check that my return flight had been booked with Sklippers(Skywest had refunded the return leg very swiftly).
The rest of the day was spent on the wonderful beach and the sunset with the distant lightning was amazing to see......
As I arrived at the small outside Shark Bay Airport terminal building, the smart Skippers Embraer Brasilia was just arriving. I proceeded to the Skippers desk and was greeted as being the first ever passenger going to Perth on a Skippers aircraft - the lady didn't know what the aircraft layout was so couldn't promise me a window seat. As it turned out the flight was about half full and I had two emergency exit seats to myself - a huge space larger than I'd ever seen on an airliner! I was shown the evacuation proceedings by a very nice stewardess.......The aircraft noise seemed quite quiet though earplugs were handed out to some elderly passengers - I've never seen earplugs been handed out before on a turpoprop flight. The only annoying noise was after takeoff and just before landing when there was a whisteling noise which I presume was something to do with the undercarriage or it could have been the flaps.
Overall it was a great trip and both the F50 and Skywest and E120 and Skippers were great friendly airlines to fly with. Being smaller I found the E120 more enjoyable but only slightly: it was also great to be the first passenger on the Skippers service!
A selection of photos are shown below - one is either similar or a duplicate. I have many more to post but it's a bit difficult as I'm still travelling at the moment.