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falstaff
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SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:57 am

It has been a hot summer here in the Midwest and I have spent much of it in St. Louis, Missouri, with a train trip to Montreal and a few days back home, near DTW, to cut the grass and collect my mail. As some of you know I am a high school auto shop teacher and I spend a lot of my summers traveling. I decided to go visit an old high school/college friend who now lives “in” Inman, Kansas, who I had not seen in a few years. I was already in St. Louis, and really wasn’t looking forward to the 8 hour trip to Inman. I decided to drive to Kansas City International (MCI) and Fly on SeaPort Airlines (K5) to Salina (SLN) Kansas on one of their Pilatus PC-12 turboprops. This route is an EAS route (essential air service), which is subsidized by the Federal Government. I do not know what carrier served SLN in the days before deregulation, in 1978.

I began my drive from St. Louis around 8:30am. My flight didn’t leave MCI until 4:30pm and K5 only requires you to arrive 15 minutes ahead of departure., but I figured I would give myself plenty of time to stop and goof off, should the need arise. I did end up stopping at this fine attraction, in Grain Valley, Missouri, off of I-70. I am a huge fan of Smokey & The Bandit, as every good ole’ boy should be.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/SeaportAirlines222.jpg

I arrived at MCI and found my way to 880 Mexico City Avenue, which is the home of Signature Flight Services, the Fixed Base Operator (FBO) that SeaPort uses at MCI. It looked like a nice place and had plenty of free parking, which was the first in a series of great things I found on my trip with SeaPort.

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I used Signature’s lot at to park my car, because MCI was my origin city, but if you needed picked up from the main MCI terminal they had a Ford Econoline van to shuttle passengers back and forth, at no charge.

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The terminal was clean and the SeaPort staff was very friendly. The man and woman at check in were two of the friendliest agents I have met in my travels to date. They weighed my bag and checked me in. I was not issued a boarding pass, but I guess since that the gate agent can see everybody sitting in the terminal and there is only the possibility of nine passengers, it is easy to keep track of everyone.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/SeaportAirlines228.jpg

While waiting for my flight I helped myself to a free coffee and some free cookies. The Wi-Fi was also free, so I checked in on Facebook and looked around on a.net. I sat in the nice leather chairs, which were rather comfortable.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/SeaportAirlines225.jpg

The flight was scheduled to leave at 4:30pm and the bags were loaded at 4:20pm and we boarded at 4:25. This was a nearly full flight to SLN, 8 passengers. The PC 12 only holds 9 so it was a bit tight at 8. We walked out to the ramp together and were greeted by the captain and the first officer (FO). We stepped aboard SeaPort Airlines Pilatus PC12-45, built in 2000, N934SP. I took the seat behind the captain and the FO did the safetly briefing and showed us where the fire extinguishers were, along with the first aid kit.

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I found the leg room to be fairly good. Of course I was next to the door, so I think it was the best seat in the plane, as far as seat pitch goes.

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The passengers were all very nice people and they were a mix of business and pleasure travelers. One couple was headed home from a vacation in Arizona and another woman was going to SLN for her 25th high school reunion. The rest were businessmen headed home. We all got to know each other fairly well in the terminal and continued talking on the plane. If we had beers it would have been a party. Since K5’s PC-12s don’t have toilets it was a good thing that there was no beer.

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After a very short taxi and take off run we were off the ground and over the flooding Missouri River.

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I had a very good seat to watch the FO, which not all SeaPort flights have.

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We climbed to 20,000 feet, the PC-12 has a maximum ceiling of 30,000 feet, or so the captain said.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/SeaportAirlines243.jpg

There was some bad weather on the radar so we climbed to 22,000 feet.

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After an hour of flying it was time to land at SLN, which was once Smokey Hill Army Airfield/Air Force Base (1942-1949) and Schilling Air Force Base (1951-1965)

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There weren’t any other planes on the ramp, or anywhere else to be seen, but ours.

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We unloaded and walked down the long corridor to the terminal.

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Not much was going on in the terminal

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or outside of the terminal

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but my old friend, Gerry, was there to meet me and we headed off to get some food and beer, in nearby Lindsborg, Kansas, at the Swedish Crown & Vasa.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/SeaportAirlines262.jpg

We then headed back to Gerry’s home near Inman, Kansas. For those who are railroad buffs, it is located on the old Rock Island, now Union Pacific.

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I did see a Kansas City Southern powered train on the line too.

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Gerry and his family live a few miles out of town, down a few dirt roads. Gerry used to live in the St. Louis area, but his work has taken him to central Kansas. Which is good because Gerry and his wife aren’t big fans of urban or suburban living.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/CMSU005.jpg

There isn’t much around Gerry’s house,

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine003.jpg

but there is plenty of neat old junk, like this Plymouth Valiant that is slowly being repossessed by the earth.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine004.jpg

We had a few more beers and headed off to bed, we had a busy day on Saturday.

Saturday morning we had a great homemade breakfast of smoked sausage, home fries, eggs, and coffee. We loaded up the minivan with Gerry’s wife and kids and headed to Marquette, Kansas to see the Motorcycle Museum.

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From left to right: Ryan, Camey, Bailey, Gerry, and Sean.

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The Kansas Motorcycle Museum was fantastic and a must see for any cycle buff, coming through this part of the country.

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After the museum we took the kids back home and Gerry and I headed to Yoder Meats to pick up some bacon for Sunday breakfast.

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Yoder Meats was great; I could have spent a ton of money in there buying all the fine meats and other goodies.

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We then headed to Hutchinson, Kansas,

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where we would see our next local attraction.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine036.jpg

The Kansas Underground Salt Museum.

Neither of us was expecting a crowd at the museum, but sure enough all kinds of people were out wanting to tour the mine. We were loaded onto an elevator and taken 650 feet underground. This mine has been in operation since the 1920s, but the part we were in was mined in the 1950s. Salt is still being mined here and much of the played out mine is being used to store original movies, videos, and props, from Hollywood movie makers. Also companies and governments from around the globe send documents to be stored here, where the temperature in 68 degrees and 40% humidity year round.


http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine054.jpg

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine052.jpg

There was an impressive collection of mining equipment, films, and movie props.

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We took a rail and truck tour around the mine. I have been in an Illinois coal mine and this salt mine was much different. The way they get the material out of the ground is about the same, but this mine is dry and free of toxic gas, so it was nothing like a coal mine in that regard. We even stopped and were allowed to collect some salt we could take home as a souvenir.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine057.jpg

After getting back above ground we decided it was time for a beer so we drove over to some sad bars we saw. On the way to the sad bars we checked out what was once the world’s longest grain elevator, which at ½ mile long is still one of the world’s largest.


http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine077-1.jpg

We also spotted a lot of neat old junk and trucks I wanted to take home.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine034.jpg

The first bar we went to was very pitiful looking because it had no windows and no real way to tell it was open. The bar may have been the dumpiest place of business I ever drank beer at, but the beer was cheap and the bar was cold. Take note of the odd upside down race car for a sign.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine079.jpg

It looked like drinking in the parking lot was acceptable.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine080.jpg


We then headed to another bar, which looked super sad too, but it was clean on the inside and the people were nice. Notice the “power chair” parked in front.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/saltmine081.jpg

After a few beers we headed back to Inman and to Gerry’s house to have a few more beers. Sunday Morning we got up and had a great breakfast of pancakes and bacon, which we got at Yoder Meats. We packed the family into the van and headed back to Hutchinson to go to church. We went to mass at the Grace Bible Church, which was very nice and the people were very friendly. I am a very traditional Episcopalian so the service was a lot different than what I am used to, but it is all the same Jesus. After mass we headed back to Gerry’s for lunch and to work on his 69 Buick Electra 225.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/CMSU003.jpg

The radiator was a clogged up so we removed it from the car and flushed it out in the yard. We broke free a lot of debris. The car has an overheat problem at high speed, which is likely caused by poor coolant flow through a restricted radiator or an eroded timing chain cover, which the water pump bolts to. An eroded cover will cause pump cavatation and poor cooling at high rpm. We ruled out everything else.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/CMSU004.jpg

That afternoon Gerry smoked a pork loin and we had that baby for dinner, along with potatoes and fresh asparagus. One of Gerry’s buddies came over and we had some beers and talked about cars and motorcycles, which is always a good topic. That night Gerry, Camey, and I watched one of favorite films, Strange Brew (1983), which we have seen dozens of time, but have never tired of.

The next morning Gerry and I headed back to SLN, which is close to an hour away. We arrived at the airport at 10am and the inbound flight from MCI was just arriving and deplaning its passenger. Gerry and I walked around and looked at the pictures and memorabilia they had on display from Schilling Air Force Base. There was also a luggage claim area that probably has not seen use for a while.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/CMSU007.jpg

I was checked in by a very nice woman who just came and asked to see my Identification, which I showed her. I was going to walk to the desk, but she said it wasn’t necessary. Once again I was not issued a boarding pass and the friendly agent took my bag and tagged them for MCI. I was the only fare paying passenger on today’s flight. There was one other passenger, a woman going to MEM, but she worked for SeaPort. The flight to MCI also did not have a first officer, which is not required.

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The captain gave me the safety briefing and we taxied to the runway, once again there was no other traffic.

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We passed over Topeka.

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By that time we were cruising at 18,000 feet

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We crossed back into Missouri

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and made our approach to MCI. I never flew on a regularly scheduled carrier and had this kind of view before.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/CMSU019.jpg

We landed at MCI and the taxi to Signature Flight was very quick because it is much closer to the runway than the regular terminal. Once at the terminal I deplaned and was greated by a very friendly ramp agent who asked if I had a nice trip and if I needed a ride to the main terminal. The gentleman who was working the ramp and check in counter on Friday remembered me and asked if I had a nice time visiting my friend, he was now unloading my bags. My bags were carried inside the terminal, even though I said I could carry them myself. I was also offered some more free cookies and coffee. I am not sure where the plane was off to next, but there were several passengers in the waiting area.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb309/NWA747/CMSU022.jpg


I thanked everyone for such a great flying experience and I would recommending them to my friends. I then headed out to the parking lot to retrieve my car and drive to Warrensburg, Missouri to visit with some old college buddies of mine.
I really liked SeaPort airlines and I would fly them again. I read about them in Airways and they seem like a good company. I chatted with the captain and he said he started working for them when they started up a few years ago. He used to live in the Portland area and is now based (and lives) in Memphis. He told me that the pay isn’t bad and he likes flying the PC-12. He said the kind of flying he does with SeaPort is his favorite kind and he really enjoys the regular schedule and people he works with. Everyone I met at SeaPort was really friendly and nothing like a “regular” airline. I guess they can be that way when they never fly more than nine people anywhere. I think some of the big airlines can learn some things about good customer service from K5. I can’t say enough good things about my trip with them.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:13 am

Wow, Great report as usual. It is always nice to such a unique experience on A.net
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
CO777/200
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:36 am

Thanks for this very intersting report with an unique airlines and airport. I hope I can fly with Seaport one day.
 
Burj
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:40 am

WOW! Very cool and thanks for sharing! I thought the airports in Upstate, NY were small!

Love the local photos too, especially the salt mine!

So it looks like the seats had three point belts, right?

I noticed you didn't mention security to TSA or anything....is that not required for these really small flights? In a lot of ways this is a far more civilized experience than most domestic U.S. flying!
 
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falstaff
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 1:51 pm

Quoting Burj (Reply 3):
So it looks like the seats had three point belts, right?


That is correct, they were similar to that in a modern car.

Quoting Burj (Reply 3):
I noticed you didn't mention security to TSA or anything....is that not required for these really small flights?

There was no TSA or any other type of security, just like the good ole' days and I bet they never have any trouble either.

Quoting Burj (Reply 3):
In a lot of ways this is a far more civilized experience than most domestic U.S. flying!


Yes, it was. It was one of the best flying experiences I have ever had and the best since 9-11. The SeaPort staff was so friendly, helpful, and professional, it reminded me of a time long gone.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
MSS658
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:45 pm

Wonderfull report, thanks for sharing us this unique excpercience.
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
UprightPosition
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:46 pm

What an excellent report! I had no idea there was such a unique carrier and service out of MCI. Makes me want to book a ticket and visit those sad bars and the salt mine.
My interest is exceeded only by my annoyance.
 
palmjet
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:55 pm

Great report and pics - thanks so much for posting this. I really enjoyed reading about a very niche operation and what a great experience on the way back to MCI! I also really enjoyed the destination pics - glad you had a nice time. Thanks again! Cheers P/jet
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
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falstaff
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:12 pm

Quoting UprightPosition (Reply 6):
I had no idea there was such a unique carrier and service out of MCI.

I didn't know about it either until last year when I flew DTW-APN ( DTW-APN DL (XJ) 10-30/10-31 Saab 340 (by falstaff Nov 1 2010 in Trip Reports) ), which is a EAS route and that got me looking into other EAS routes. I looked into where the EAS routes were and found that the K5 route out of MCI would be a good one to try the next time I went to visit my buddy, Gerry.
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falstaff
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:21 pm

I probably should have included a map of Kansas so people can see where some of these places are.

My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
ba724
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:46 am

Wow Thanks! A great TR on a unique airline..and aircraft.Some interesting tourist attraction(and watering holes),reckon the salt mine would have been a good experience.Was good to have been able to include a few in flight shots of sections of the flightdeck.Glad you had a really good flight and meet up with your buddies...David
 
N202PA
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:33 pm

Thanks for sharing this with us, especially the non-flying parts! It's interesting to see what the SeaPort experience is like outside of their normal service area.
 
sw733
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:48 pm

Awesome report. Love seeing the rare reports that pop up here to/from/through my current home airport, MCI. Curious, though - with an interest in aviation, why not visit the Kansas Cosmopshere in Hutchinson? The salt mine is neat and all, but I'll take the Cosmosphere any day!

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Inman, Kansas

Ah yes, been here before...well, through here on my way to/from said Cosmosphere!

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Notice the “power chair” parked in front.

Epic, man...epic.
 
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falstaff
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:47 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 12):
why not visit the Kansas Cosmopshere in Hutchinson

I'll do that next time.

The salt mine is more facinating to me. I have been in coal, gold, and silver mines before so I wanted to see what the salt mine was like.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
Mexicana757
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:38 pm

Great TR falstaff. Interesting read into an EAS route. Thanks for sharing the pictures and experience.  
 
CaptainRed
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Hi falstaff,

nice report about this unknown little airline. For sure an interesting experience to fly in a Pilatus with a view right into the flight deck.

Also thanks to share your stay in Kansas with us and to show us the attractions there, well done, really enjoyed reading it. And judging from the many beers you had you probably had a great time there  
Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I never flew on a regularly scheduled carrier and had this kind of view before.

Indeed, great view, certainly something you don't see everyday (at least if you are not a pilot).

CaptainRed
 
Superfly
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:37 am

This is a fantastic trip report! Lots of great photos!
I really like the car photos and of course the aerial photos.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Pilatus PC-12 turboprops.

I've never flown on one of those.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Smokey & The Bandit

Awesome!   
I think I had the Hot Wheels set years ago.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Since K5’s PC-12s don’t have toilets it was a good thing that there was no beer.

They can always fly at a lower altitude, open the door and let you tale a whiz.  
Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
We climbed to 20,000 feet, the PC-12 has a maximum ceiling of 30,000 feet, or so the captain said.

Had no idea the PC-12 had such a high ceiling.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
this Plymouth Valiant that is slowly being repossessed by the earth.

There are still plenty of salvageable parts on that Valiant. A hipster would have a fields day picking off parts of that car. The windshield alone is worth at least $200.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Saturday morning we had a great homemade breakfast of smoked sausage, home fries, eggs, and coffee.

Sounds good!

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Marquette, Kansas to see the Motorcycle Museum.

Sounds awesome.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
The Kansas Underground Salt Museum.

Now that's different. A salt museum.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Salt is still being mined here and much of the played out mine is being used to store original movies, videos, and props, from Hollywood movie makers. Also companies and governments from around the globe send documents to be stored here, where the temperature in 68 degrees and 40% humidity year round.

I see rolls of film stored there too. I wonder if all the low-budget B-movies we love so much have their original reels stored down there.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
We even stopped and were allowed to collect some salt we could take home as a souvenir.

Would you like fries with that?  
Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
We then headed to another bar, which looked super sad too, but it was clean on the inside and the people were nice. Notice the “power chair” parked in front.

Why couldn't he roll himself in there?
If he were carried in there, his friends would be too drunk to carry him out?

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
Sunday Morning we got up and had a great breakfast of pancakes and bacon, which we got at Yoder Meats.

Now I am hungry.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
his 69 Buick Electra 225.

I almost bought a 1969 Buick Electra 225 convertible years ago.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
The radiator was a clogged up so we removed it from the car and flushed it out in the yard. We broke free a lot of debris. The car has an overheat problem at high speed, which is likely caused by poor coolant flow through a restricted radiator or an eroded timing chain cover, which the water pump bolts to. An eroded cover will cause pump cavatation and poor cooling at high rpm. We ruled out everything else.

Sounds like the same design my '77 Lincoln Town Car has with the 460cu" engine.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
We passed over Topeka.

Hometown of the band Kansas.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
We landed at MCI and the taxi to Signature Flight

That is the same runway I landed and departed on with Midwest 717 Signature Series flights just before they were sold off.


Great report Falstaff!  
Bring back the Concorde
 
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falstaff
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:30 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
I see rolls of film stored there too

There were a lot of reels of films, hundreds that I actually saw, probably thousands more that are not on display. I heard MGM keeps all their films there.
My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
 
mhkansan
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:36 am

Hey Falstaff - Great TR. Living in Kansas this means a lot to me. I have family near Hutchinson and I love visiting that part of the state. Next time you go to Hutch, be sure to see the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, which is a Grade A+ space museum that you would not expect to find in a small town.

Generally I always drive to my family's place which is a good drive southeast of Hutch, but coming from Manhattan it is always best to go through Salina and McPherson unless you're like me and like to take many senic detours. I've stopped at the terminal at SLN on one such detour before and found it very nice for an airport of its size. SLN has had quite a few problems filling SeaPort's 9-seat planes, but they sure do a better job there than ZK - a fine airline but the equipment was too big. The service is laughed at by many Salina residents who want bigger aircraft (but don't use it when they have it.)

I've always wanted to try and take a jaunt to MCI and fly over to SLN but I don't have $180 lying around as a poor college student  
Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I do not know what carrier served SLN in the days before deregulation, in 1978.

I don't know for sure about this, but Capitol Airways was a small airline HQ'd at MHK that served the area with flights to Salina and Wichita, along with Topeka and Kansas City. They had a fleet of two DHC-6 Twotters and an assortment of Cessna 172 and Caravan eqipment. Locally referred to as "Crash Air" because they tended to run into things on the ground. My mom flew them to Kansas City from MHK in the late '70s and said that she was the only passenger on the 172 service. There was one pilot, and at 6:00 AM he hadn't quite woken up yet. She didn't fly them again.

Our "official" service was the first Frontier. They flew twice daily MCI-FOE-MHK-SLN-DEN service but would avoid stops if no pax were boarding. One was a 737-200 and the other a CV-440. I believe the 737 service did not stop at SLN because my Dad recalls flying the route direct. He said the bird was empty. I am a child of the '90s so I only remember Air Midwest service. Air Midwest picked up the SLN route after deregulation on their own, and then for US Airways Express all the way until the YV closure when ZK took over SLN and MHK. MHK was discontinued by ZK in April 2009 after MQ started DFW service there in August of 2008. MQ has been a huge hit in MHK and many from SLN and FOE take advantage of our free parking and small airport. MHK will have five daily MQ departures in November on the ER4 and one ERD.

ZK discontinued SLN last year after they lost the bid to SeaPort. They won the bid with their cheaper service, and promised to offset the loss of the two TSA jobs at SLN by basing two pilots there. SLN is officially a pilot base for SeaPort!

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
I see rolls of film stored there too. I wonder if all the low-budget B-movies we love so much have their original reels stored down there.

The Salt Mines store very high-budget films and memorabilia. MGM does back up all their reels there, and other Hollywood giants are split between the salt mines and a similar disused mine in north Kansas City. You can spot it on the drive to MCI.

In addition to storage, there is a well-used conference center down in the mines and a fantastic concert series. The acoustics in that place are out of this world.

Be very happy to answer any more questions anyone has about Kansas. I've lived here my entire life, and now I'm going to school here, too. Its a great place.
 
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Coal
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:14 am

Thanks for the report! It's very nice to fly on some of these small airlines out of FBOs because of the lack of TSA / security, thus making it more humane. It reminded me a lot of my flight from Darwin to our mine in Groote Eylandt in Australia with Vincent Aviation. The added bonus is we got a free sandwich and bottle of water.

Vincent Aviation: DRW - GTE NOV/10 Y Class (by Coal Nov 23 2010 in Trip Reports)

Any pics of the sad bars inside? Quite an unusual interest of yours, but I've to some sad bars myself, and you find some of the most colorful people. One I remember was Leon's Pub, in Tallahassee, FL. A sad bar, but then again it had an amazing craft beer selection from the US and Europe!

Cheers
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:13 pm

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 18):
Our "official" service was the first Frontier.


That is what if figured. I flew them out of DEN a few times in the 80s when I was a kid and I loved them. My dad flew them a lot for business and he still says they were his favorite airline.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 18):
In addition to storage, there is a well-used conference center down in the mines and a fantastic concert series. The acoustics in that place are out of this world.


They are also building a dinner theater. They just laid a concrete floor, which now means they can serve food.

Quoting Coal (Reply 19):
Any pics of the sad bars inside?


not this time... Looking back it was odd I didn't take photos, I usually do.
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:44 am

Thank you for a fantastic trip report, Falstaff!

I dug out my copy of "Air Midwest - the first Twenty Years", by I. E. Quastler, which has some more information about air service into Salina.

Salina - Wichita was Air Midwest's very first scheduled route. They began service on the route in 1967, after Frontier I predecessor Central Airlines suspended it. Flights were operated twice a day, with a Cessna 206. Traffic was so light that Air Midwest started making "flag stops" at McPherson and Hutchinson, and extended the route north from Salina to MHK, in hopes of attracting more passengers. The route continued to be uneconomic, and it was suspended in mid-1968.

Air Midwest resumed service to Salina in 1972, as a stop on their Hays - Kansas City route, and also resumed 1x day Salina-Wichita flights. All flights at this time used Beech 99s. Air Midwest pulled out of Salina for the 2nd time in 1976, because they were unable to compete against then-incumbent Frontier I, which continued to serve SLN-Kansas City.

Air Midwest started flights to Salina (for the third time) in June, 1982, when Frontier I began to transition their EAS contracts at SLN and MHK to Air Midwest. Frontier I pulled out of SLN for good in Jan 1983.

Anyone who is interested in the history of airline service in Kansas should definitely get a copy of this book. It is long out of print, but two copies are available at Alibris.
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:00 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
Hometown of the band Kansas.

Topeka: Hometown of the band Kansas...and nothing else that anyone would ever, ever want to brag about.
 
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:04 pm

Quoting sw733 (Reply 22):
Topeka: Hometown of the band Kansas...and nothing else that anyone would ever, ever want to brag about.

Now wait a minute. Topeka is a wonderful city that has a lot to brag about. The downtown area is beautiful, the region is growing economically, and it has one of - if not the most beautiful state government campuses around with the Kansas State capital building.

Everyone in Kansas scorns the Westboro Baptist Church. In Manhattan, I went to school with one Fred Phelps' grand-nieces (who had renounced the church). She called him a douchebag. Don't let the WBC form your view of a state that has an awful lot to brag about but doesn't. I find that the most annoying thing about my fellow Kansans - we don't toot our own horn enough.
 
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:39 pm

Hi falstaff,

Great report, thanks for posting. I really enjoy these types of reports--small airlines, small planes and small airports. Nice to see something off the beaten path!

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
The man and woman at check in were two of the friendliest agents I have met in my travels to date.

Definitely agree with you about the friendliness of the SeaPort staff. I flew with them last summer and had a very similar experience to yours. The people were great. (Trip report here: YVR-PDX-BFI: Horizon + SeaPort's PC-12 (Many Pics) (by BZNPilot Jul 6 2010 in Trip Reports))

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I had a very good seat to watch the FO, which not all SeaPort flights have.

Interesting how some flights have one pilot, some have two. I guess you got one of each version on your two flights. On mine last summer, there were two.

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I was the only fare paying passenger on today’s flight. There was one other passenger, a woman going to MEM, but she worked for SeaPort.

Not a very good load, unfortunately. Good thing the feds are subsidizing it.  
Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
I think some of the big airlines can learn some things about good customer service from K5. I can’t say enough good things about my trip with them.

Glad you had such a good experience with them also. I hope they continue to do well, as they certainly have a nice and unique product.

Thanks again for posting.

BZNPilot
 
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:04 am

I've only driven through Kansas once, and while it was long and mostly boring, there were a few interesting sights to see, like the Cathederal of the Plain in Victoria, near Hays, and while I didn't see it from the freeway, there's an old decaying Army Airfield from Victoria.

Given the state's length, they need air service, but given how (relatively) few people live there, and the driving times to get to a decent airport with commercial service, the state NEEDS service such as Seaport.
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:06 am

Quoting sw733 (Reply 22):
Topeka: Hometown of the band Kansas...and nothing else that anyone would ever, ever want to brag about.

Kansas is one of the best rock goups ever and very under-rated. Listen to the albums 'Leftoverture' and 'Song For America' and get back to us.


Quoting mhkansan (Reply 23):
Now wait a minute. Topeka is a wonderful city that has a lot to brag about. The downtown area is beautiful, the region is growing economically, and it has one of - if not the most beautiful state government campuses around with the Kansas State capital building.

  
Very nice people too!
We had a flat tire there years ago and the local towns folk showed us where the nearest tire shop was in town. It's too bad the state get's a bad wrap.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 18):
The Salt Mines store very high-budget films and memorabilia. MGM does back up all their reels there, and other Hollywood giants are split between the salt mines and a similar disused mine in north Kansas City. You can spot it on the drive to MCI.

How about original master tapes for music albums?
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:40 pm

Well, nothing much to say apart that it was a pure delight, something random like that, that we (A.netters) won't hear very soon, Pilatus looks like a really comfortable aircraft good to be tried

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
so I think it was the best seat in the plane, as far as seat pitch goes.

and what a view towards the cockpit..., i thought a door would separate pax and flight crew.

Does Seaport operate also on main and regional hub?

thank you for this unusual insight

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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 24, 2011 4:07 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 26):
How about original master tapes for music albums?


i don't know. I didn't think to ask, but I would not be surpirsed if they are down there.

Quoting mhkansan (Reply 23):
Don't let the WBC form your view of a state that has an awful lot to brag about but doesn't.

WBC isn't really even a church. It is a political group hiding behind the name of a church.

Quoting eastafspot (Reply 27):
Does Seaport operate also on main and regional hub?


They claim MCI is a focus city, on their website.
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:08 am

Quoting falstaff (Reply 28):
i don't know. I didn't think to ask, but I would not be surpirsed if they are down there.

I guess all of those Beatles albums that get re-released every 10 years must be stored there.
You know all of those 'lost recordings' that are digitally remastered and sold to the public every 10 years or so.


That would have been hilarious of you saw the master tape for the movie Black Shampoo stored down there. 
Would love to see the tour guide explain that one.
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:19 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 29):
That would have been hilarious of you saw the master tape for the movie Black Shampoo stored down there

I bet it is down there someplace... I hear there is also a film storage salt mine near Kansas City too.
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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:43 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 29):
That would have been hilarious of you saw the master tape for the movie Black Shampoo stored down there.

I'd never heard of this movie, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. I'm still laughing!

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RE: SeaPort Airlines MCI-SLN 7/29-8/1

Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:49 am

Quoting falstaff (Thread starter):
There was some bad weather on the radar so we climbed to 22,000 feet.

Notice the joystick on the upper right corner of the display. Looks exactly like the joysticks on the Chrysler Infiniti stereo systems.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 31):
I'd never heard of this movie, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. I'm still laughing!

Me and Falstaff are in to low-budget B-movies. When I showed him that movie when he visited, he rushed out and bought a copy.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 31):
How many guys on ANet would like to say "I'm bad, I'm mean, I'm a lovin' machine"?

I say it all the time.  
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