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HGL
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City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:49 am

City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

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When planning a visit to Hamburg to visit Airbus I had allowed extra time to arrange an excursion to London. Outbound would be with KLM to Amsterdam where I would connect with CityJet to London City Airport. The ticket was booked with the flight from Hamburg through KLM and has a codeshare flight number KL2410. The flight to Amsterdam can be viewed at viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1340209 This report covers the sector flown by CityJet's British Aerospace Avro RJ85.

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Map courtesy of gcmap.com. Copyright: Karl L Swartz.

After holding for about twenty minutes, the inbound KLM 737 finally arrives at a gate and the passengers can deplane. I make my way through the huge shopping centre, finding my way to the D Gates from where my connection will leave. But first I must leave the Schengen Zone. I arrive at the automated passport control where there is a queue but a helpful member of the staff directs me to the priority lane so it only takes a minute and I am through.

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My flight doesn't leave for some time and as I am not a shopaholic I decide to wander along the piers seeing what aircraft are around. The first is G-EUPC, an A319-131 with BA since 12 November 1999, having first flown with registration D-AVYU on 2 November of that year. Between May and November 2012 it flew with a special livery for the London 2012 Olympics Torch Relay.

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There are quite a few Delta tails to be seen. This one looks like 1504 - N154DL, a 767-3P6(ER) with Delta Airlines since 30 April, 1997. Prior to that was with Gulf Air as A4O-GO.

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Named Hlöðufell and flying with Icelandair TF-ISO is a Boeing 767-319(ER)(WL) with two GE CF6-80C2B6F engines. Starting service with Air New Zealand, before going to Icelandair it had flown with Air India, Garuda, Gabon Airlines, Air Austral, Nas Air and Transaero.

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Machu Picchu is a Boeing 777-206(ER) flying under the banner of KLM Asia. Registered as PH-BQM and delivered on 11 April, 2006 it first flew on 30 March as N5017Q.

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Powered by 4 RR Trent 970 engines, this Airbus A380-841 flies for China Southern.

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Originally ordered by KLM but not taken up is PH-HSJ, a Boeing 737-8K2(WL) with two CFMI CFM56-7B24E engines, now flying for Transavia. It was ferried BFI-KEF-AMS on the 3 & 4 March, 2014 on delivery.

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Achill Island, a British Aerospace Avro RJ85 with CityJet, first flew for Mesaba Airlines as N515XJ in August 1998 before retruning to BAe Systems on 2 March, 2007. Since 6 December, 2007 it has been flying for CityJet. In the background we can see PH-BGB, another Boeing 737-8K2(WL), this one being named Regenwulp/ Whimbrel.

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I had thought it might be the plane that was going to carry me to London but it pulls up at another gate. It is now the advertised boarding time but my flight hasn't arrived and there is no-one at the gate.

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Some ground staff appear to set up the computers and shortly after the incoming aircraft arrives. My flight is aboard another British Aerospace Avro RJ85 that started out with Mesaba Airlines (as N532XJ) and also joined CityJet in 2007. It bears the name Inishbofin and sports the newer livery.

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The jet bridge threatens to swallow the whole aircraft.

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Boarding is announced, with SkyTeam Priority members and Premium passengers being invited to be the first. Tickets and passports are checked by two friendly gate staff before passengers make their way down the jet bridge.

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Flight: CityJet WX192 (KL2410) Amsterdam-London City
Aircraft ID: EI-RJT Inishbofin
Type: British Aerospace Avro RJ85 Seat 8B
STD/ ATD: 16:20 / 16:27
STA/ ATA: 16:30 / 16:35

Although booked through KLM the website wouldn't allow me to select a seat in advance, stating that check-in was required. By the time I am able to check-in for the flight most seats are taken and I select 8B. A cheerful welcome aboard and I make my way to the middle of three seats on the left side of the aisle. I manage to snap a picture of the hair dryers before I am joined by a young woman in the window seat, who promptly falls asleep. To my right a mature Japanese woman, overburdened with carry-ons that are a bit large for the diminutive hat racks. As there is nothing under my seat, I help her place one of her bags there.

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As usual I take a look at my surroundings, checking out the seat-back pocket for the safety card and in-flight magazine. The latter is called Velocity, not to be confused with a frequent flyer scheme of the same name. The general appearance of the cabin is clean and tidy.

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As boarding continues, there seems to be a discussion over whether someone is in the wrong seat. This appears to be resolved when a young man moves to the rear of the aircraft, allowing the man in the suit to sit down.

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By now the captain has welcomed everyone on board and apologised for the delay. This is due to a flight crew being taken ill just prior to departure, causing her to be taken to hospital. A relief aircraft was sent and it is expected to leave shortly with about ten minutes delay. The mention of the word delay invokes a mild panic in my window-seat companion but once assured it will only be ten minutes she drops off again.

It seems as if everyone is boarded bar a couple of no-shows so I ask a passing cabin crew if it would be in order for me to move a row forward. "Sure, as no-one else is coming, make yourself comfortable."

I manage to squeeze past the woman in the aisle seat and the man in the aisle seat in the row in front lets me through to my new seat 7A. There's no mistaking who these seats were meant for when they were made.

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From my new position I take a few more shots, noting the instruction regarding placement of the cabin divider and the open flight-deck door.

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Eventually the door is closed, the jet bridge is withdrawn, a safety demonstration is given and the aircraft moves back.

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Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
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HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:52 am

Once the aircraft begins to move forward it seems to proceed at a brisk pace. Perhaps this is an illusion caused by being lower to the ground. In a blur we pass EI-DEE, an Airbus A320-214 with Aer Lingus and named St Ultan/ Ultan, a Flybe Bombardier 402Q in the old livery bearing the registration G-ECOA and, a Qatar Boeing 777-3DZ(ER) the registration of which I can't make out.

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An easyJet Airbus A319-111 is ahead of us. G-EZDC first flew as D-AVYU on 2 September, 2003 before being delivered on 30 September. It is currently leased from Apollo Aviation Group. Taking the scenic route, we follow it through half the Netherlands on our way to Runway 36L - the infamous Polderbaan with a length of 3,800 metres, width of 60 metres. This is clearly packsaddle and water bag country.

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As we enter the runway I realise why there is a block time of one hour and ten minutes for a forty minute flight. Almost as much time is spent on the ground as in the air!

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The Avro hurtles along the runway, its hairdryers working furiously to provide sufficient thrust for take off. As we rise above the verdant fields and pass over an intersection, the cabin is pervaded by an aroma most foul. Have all the passengers had eggs, baked beans, fried onions and three pints of Guinness before boarding? Or is it that known problem of contaminated bleed air?

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Fortunately the fragrant Eau d'Avro doesn't hand around too long and after crossing the coast the cabin crew commences the snack run. This consists of a packet of two biscuits and some fruit juice. The biscuits are tasty enough, if somewhat crumbly.

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The flight continues smoothly, alternating between cloud and bright sunshine. Soon we are nearing the English coast.

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Descending through grey cloud, the Thames Estuary comes into view. We cross on the Essex side, passing north of Southend with its pier stretching out over the tidal flats.

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London itself is no longer suitable as a port, but along the Thames are a number of docks. We pass what appears to be oil tanks near Thorney Bay, Canvey Island and a container port at Thames Haven.

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Looking more like a traditional port is Tilbury Docks, now the principal port for London. The port handles a variety of bulk cargo, timber, cars and container traffic and is the main port for importing paper and newsprint.

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The earth is rising up to meet the plane as it passes to the north of Abbey Wood and lines up for approach into the runway that was once a wharf between the Royal Albert and King George V docks. The landing is smooth and the aircraft slows before turning onto the apron in front of the terminal.

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On the ground in British Airways colours and flying for BA CityFlyer are a couple of Embraers ERJ-170STD. The closer of the two, G-LCYI, was ferried SJK-REC-SID-TFS-EXT 29 January 2010 on delivery.

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The captain thanks us for choosing CityJet and hopes to see us on-board again soon. Well I will be on-board soon but on another aircraft.

One final look at Inishbofin as I walk to the terminal building. It has been a pleasant, albeit briefly malodorous, flight. The crew was friendly and the captain kept us informed.

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Hearing a distinct sound I turn around to see an aircraft that has been with Crossair, Swiss and OLT before coming to Eastern. It is a Saab 2000 built in Linköping (LPI) in 1993 and has been flying with Eastern since 21 September, 2007 and is registered as G-CERY.

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Inside the terminal I follow the signs to transfers and arrivals but they all end up in the same place. A staff member directs me to the first available scanner for the passport check and I emerge into the main entry of the airport. I am officially in the UK for the first time in ten years.

But I won't be here long. I have a plane to catch. The next report covers the final sector: London City - Hamburg on a Dornier 328. Stay tuned.
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
Eurohub
Posts: 243
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:11 pm

Re: City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:23 pm

HGL wrote:
The Avro hurtles along the runway, its hairdryers working furiously to provide sufficient thrust for take off. As we rise above the verdant fields and pass over an intersection, the cabin is pervaded by an aroma most foul. Have all the passengers had eggs, baked beans, fried onions and three pints of Guinness before boarding? Or is it that known problem of contaminated bleed air?


I've flown on countless of these aircraft and I can't say that I've ever noticed the smell but it is something that is known about and has been reported on in the past. IIRC several pilots got sick and blamed the contaminated bleed air, there might even have been legal action but I don't know what happened.
Forget A vs B - Give me E or BAe any day of the week!
 
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HGL
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Posts: 330
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Re: City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

Sat Aug 13, 2016 2:01 am

Eurohub wrote:
I've flown on countless of these aircraft and I can't say that I've ever noticed the smell.


On this flight you could not help but notice it. It was fairly powerful with passengers looking around wondering where it was coming from.

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.
 
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aerdingus
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Re: City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:45 pm

I flew on -RJH "Sherkin Island" two years ago DUB - CDG. Was fun flying the RJ but it was so squashed! I enjoyed WX's service and the crew were nice. And another nice report from you :) thanks
A306 A313 A319 A320 A321 A333 A346 A359 ATR42 ATR72 B734 B737 B738 B744 B772 B789 C152 MD80 RJ85 S340
 
User avatar
HGL
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Posts: 330
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 3:25 am

Re: City Triangle 2: CityJet Avro RJ85 Amsterdam - London City

Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:25 am

aerdingus wrote:
I flew on -RJH "Sherkin Island" two years ago DUB - CDG. Was fun flying the RJ but it was so squashed! I enjoyed WX's service and the crew were nice. And another nice report from you :) thanks


Hi aerdingus. Thanks for the positive vote. Yes, the crew on this flight were good too, especially letting me swap seats to get a window.
Qui omnes despicit, omnibus displicit.

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