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KruegerFlaps
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Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:43 am

Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

"Dubbo." It has a kind of ring to it. Perhaps not as euphonic as Wyalkatchem, Gnowangerup or Gabbyquoiquoi but easier to remember and easier to pronounce. It has an airport and Regional Express (Rex) serve it. "Yes, that'll do me." A booking for the flights and car hire was made through the Rex website. For the outbound flight I chose an early departure that would see me travel with AirLink.

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Air Link is a wholly-owned part of the Regional Express group. Established in 1971 as a charter operator, it is based in Dubbo. By 1991 Air Link was linking towns such as Bourke, Cobar, Coonamble, Walgett and Lightning Ridge to Dubbo and Sydney plus regular services between Mudgee and Sydney. In December 2008 regular services were discontinued and the company focused on charter operations, aircraft engineering and maintenance services.

In 2014 Air Link was in a position to resume regular airline services between its base in Dubbo to Sydney using a Beech 1900D aircraft and on 31 August, 2015 commenced regular airline services between Cobar to Sydney via Dubbo.

I had tried to check in for the flight on line. Unfortunately I was unable to do so, receiving only an alert that the flight was not available for check-in:

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Oh well: check-in at the airport instead. No need to worry about being able to get a window seat on this flight as all the seats have a window and direct aisle access.

At the check-in desk, John greeted me in a friendly fashion and was able to confirm that check-in was unavailable online due to the flight being operated by a different aircraft type to the usual Saabs. Providing me with a manual boarding pass, he asked whether I would like a voucher for coffee? Is the Pope Catholic?

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I made my way through security, being selected for the secondary explosives test, before proceeding to Gate 49 and Veloce Café, which is located not too far from Gate 2 from where Rex flights board.

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The Gate Lounge features external walls displaying the history of Rex, going back through the years of Kendall and Hazelton and including photos of some of the early aircraft types: Heron, Auster, Swearingen Metro II, Piper Aztec, Shorts 360 and the Embraer 110 Bandeirante.

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Boarding was called and passengers were directed down some stairs and through to an awaiting bus to take us out to the aeroplane.

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On boarding, I paused to take a couple of shots of the air intake and the tidy flight deck, before moving through to my seat.

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Flight Details:
Regional Express ZL1822
Sydney to Dubbo
Aircraft ID: VH-RUE
Type: Beechcraft 1900D
Seat: 7B
STD: 07:25 ATD: 07:25
STA: 08:35 ATA: 08:35

The Beech 1900D is a turbo-prop pressurised regional airliner with 19 passenger seats. With two crew, it travels at a cruising altitude of 25,000 ft at 520 km/hr. The walk-in cabin features individual lambs wool/leather seats, air-conditioning, seat trays and individual reading lamps.

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VH-RUE (c/n UE-53) was built in 1993 and was first registered in Australia on 27 March, 2002. Prior to coming to Air Link it was with Hawker Pacific after having flown with Eagle Air as ZK-JNG.

The Captain, who today was sitting in the right hand seat and allowing his colleague to pilot the aeroplane, welcomed everyone aboard and demonstrated how to put on the life vest in case of need. He also requested that everyone read the safety cards found in each seat pocket.

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While the pilot carried out his final checks and started the engines, the Captain walked through the cabin offering first a small container of water and then a packet of ginger biscuits. Yummy.

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All set and the Beech 1900D commenced taxi to the runway. Here we held for a while as a Virgin touched down ...

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an Emirates 777 Freighter took off ...

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and Hainan Airlines also came in, with flaps deployed to assist breaking.

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Then clearance was given for ZL1822 to depart. The aeroplane entered the runway and I could feel the the increase in power as my back was pushed into the seat. Very shortly after, we were rising into the air and views over the Terminal opened up.

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Once in the air, Sydney could be seen as could a visiting cruise liner from Princess Cruises. The Beech set course over the western suburbs towards the Blue Mountains.

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The flight was generally smooth but the were some local patches of slight turbulence. The cabin was comfortable enough though a larger person mighth have felt cramped. I whiled away some time reading the inflight magazine, the cover of which reported on a destination that was recently the subject of a report by fellow Anetter RyanH.

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The flight continued in its north-westerly course, passing over rolling mountains and areas cleared for agriculture. Through the patchy sky and heat haze, I could just make out Lake Burrendong.

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The country opened up as we flew over the Western Plains, Wongarbon coming into view. A few minutes later we were over the city of Dubbo, passing over the western part of town and to the north.

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The aeroplane banked in a wide arc that saw it approach from the south west and align with Runway 05. We crossed Mitchell Highway and the airport perimeter, landing smoothly. From the flight deck a welcome to Dubbo an a reminder to remain seated with belts fastened until the aircraft had come to a full stop and the engines turned off. I was impressed that throughout the flight, the flight crew had pointed out where we were and areas of scenic interest. Kudos.

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The aeroplane continued to the end of the runway and then followed the taxiway to the terminal, passing the Royal Flying Doctor Service base along the way.

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Turning onto the apron and aiming for the man with the lollipops, we came to a stop at stand 2. As I approached the terminal, with the permission of the ground crew I was able to take a photo of VH-RUE.

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The terminal building is of a reasonable size for the number of flights it receives. There are murals depicting neighbouring localities and a simple but spacious baggage claim area.

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On picking up the hired car (which had been upgraded from a Toyota Corolla to a Kluger) I went straight to Gaol, did not pass GO and didn't get $200. Dubbo has had a gaol since 1847 when it was a courthouse lock-up. The main gate and walls were erected in 1887 and the gaol had separate men's and women's sections. During its period as a gaol eight executions were conducted by hanging from the gallows. The stories of the condemned and of the life of other prisoners and those who looked over them are told through a mix of animated models and holographic displays.

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A visit to the Western Plains Cultural Centre proved worthwhile. It includes a well laid out museum covering the Aboriginal and post-settlement history of the town as well as an art gallery. In the latter was a haunting exhibition, Unfinished Business by Belinda Mason revealing the impact of disability &emdash; both physical and mental &emdash; in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Another provocative display was by Rod McRae: Wunderkammer & After-Life. Running until 26 February, 2017 it explores the relationship between animals and humans in real life and in imagination, drawing on themes of mythology, biodiversity, pollution, climate change and stewardship. If you haven't seen it, I can highly recommend the trip to Dubbo. There is also a restaurant/ café in the centre that serves a delicious falafel and Moroccan cauliflower salad.

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After the enjoyable meal it was time to make my way back to the airport. There I would visit the Royal Flying Doctor base before joining a flight back to Sydney by Saab 340. But that's the subject of the next review.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783
 
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Ryan h
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Wed Dec 21, 2016 11:44 am

Great report and photos. Don't think I've seen any Air Link reports on here before. And thanks for the mention of my dash to Whyalla.
South Australian Spotter
 
SaschaYHZ
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:23 am

Great report...I always love flying a Beech 1900! I generally fly them a few times a year on some short hops here and there to visit friends....thanks for posting!
 
PanzerPowner
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:41 am

Last name of Flaps? Boy you were born to love planes.
Well uh, I obviously decided to refine this but i dont know how.
 
AR385
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:50 pm

Great report and fantastic pictures. It took me back. I flew the 1900D at least 10 times between the US East Coast and Central Virginia with Colgan. It is surprisingly a very comfortable aircraft. I was always glad to get that plane vs the Bandeirante or the Brasilia I sometimes got with COEX.
 
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Vio
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:25 am

Nice report. For a brief period of time (about 8 months) I flew the B1900C, flying charters / cargo in Southern / Northern Canada. It was a lot of fun. The C version is a little different than the D, but more or less the same aircraft. I would imagine the D is a bit more comfortable to fly on. Thanks for sharing this awesome trip report. I think we need more turbo-prop / small charters / operators report. On that note, I'm thinking of doing one that I've been meaning to write for about a year
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:29 am

Hi All and thank you for reading and leaving a comment. The feedback is very much appreciated.

Ryan h wrote:
And thanks for the mention of my dash to Whyalla.

You're welcome. I always enjoy reading your reports and thought of you as soon as I saw the in-flight magazine.

PanzerPowner wrote:
Boy you were born to love planes.

Sure was.

AR385 wrote:
It is surprisingly a very comfortable aircraft. I was always glad to get that plane vs the Bandeirante or the Brasilia
The higher (straighter) cabin wall makes a difference compared to some of aircraft of similar size, that's for sure. Mentioning the Brasilia, I unexpectedly got to fly one today on a trip back from visiting my family over Christmas.

Vio wrote:
I think we need more turbo-prop / small charters / operators report. On that note, I'm thinking of doing one that I've been meaning to write for about a year

I very much enjoy flying turbo-prop and piston-engine aircraft. There's just something about them that I like: maybe because my first flight ever was on a Canadair C4 Argonaut. I look forward to seeing your own report uploaded.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783
 
sumantra
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:14 am

A flight to an exotic destination on an exotic small airline. You have a witty writing style, and the funny parts had me in splits.
Thank you for sharing a lovely trip report with us!
Cheers, Sumantra.
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:04 am

sumantra wrote:
You have a witty writing style, and the funny parts had me in splits.
Thank you for sharing a lovely trip report with us!


I'm happy that you enjoyed it. Thank you for leaving a comment.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783
 
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capicua
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:30 pm

Moin, moin KruegerFlaps!

A very nice series of reports on your pre-holiday flying spree! This one reminded me of the only flight I took on a Beech 1900D, a domestic hop with Avior Airlines some 15 years ago.

Thanks for sharing with us these trips on smaller turboprops to unheard of destinations. Dubbo? Dunno!

Cheers
C.
"The greatest sight to see is the world - look at it!" (Kurt Tucholsky),
and getting there is half the fun!
 
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11725Flyer
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:21 am

What a cool trip report! I especially enjoyed the pictures of departing flights while you were on the tarmac.
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:33 am

capicua wrote:
Moin, moin KruegerFlaps!

Moin, moin Capicua! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

capicua wrote:
a domestic hop with Avior Airlines some 15 years ago

(Dat is al lang her.) Did you ever get to fly their Dornier Do 28?

11725Flyer wrote:
I especially enjoyed the pictures of departing flights while you were on the tarmac.

Pleased to see that. Thanks for reading and writing a reply.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783
 
VapourTrails
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Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:29 am

Hi KF,

Another great trip report here. I like to see what the regionals are doing. It is amazing the places they fly to. I was recently pleasantly suprised when I noticed on FlightRadar24 that Rex fly to KNS! Yay. Was thinking I may have to go to MEB or something to go there! Broken Hill is another one of their destinations. I think flying would be a better option, you get the air view as well on your trip.

Have never been to Dubbo, and again, it is good that you got to see it from the air too, rather than what most of us end up doing, the road trip. Looks like you had good weather, bonus.

Thank you also for showing us an aircraft and airline (AirLink - never heard of them and they are on my side of the country this time too!) that does not feature all that regularly in trip reports. I like the way the pilots have the extra duties! No FA. I do think the Beech 1900D looks a funny shape though, but the tail-lets - awesome!

Cheers. =
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:05 am

VapourTrails wrote:
Another great trip report here. I like to see what the regionals are doing. It is amazing the places they fly to. I was recently pleasantly surprised when I noticed on FlightRadar24 that Rex fly to KNS!


Hi VapourTrails!

Thanks for your kind words. If you like regional airlines, have you come across King Island Air? As the name suggests, they fly to KNS from Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport (MBW ) with a fleet that includes the Piper PA-31 Chieftain and an Embraer EMB110 Bandeirante. There aren't many of the latter about in Australia, these days.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:28 pm

KruegerFlaps wrote:
VapourTrails wrote:
Another great trip report here. I like to see what the regionals are doing. It is amazing the places they fly to. I was recently pleasantly surprised when I noticed on FlightRadar24 that Rex fly to KNS!


Hi VapourTrails!

Thanks for your kind words. If you like regional airlines, have you come across King Island Air? As the name suggests, they fly to KNS from Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport (MBW ) with a fleet that includes the Piper PA-31 Chieftain and an Embraer EMB110 Bandeirante. There aren't many of the latter about in Australia, these days.


Oh, no I haven't! http://www.kingislandair.com.au/ :thumbsup:

I will have a look at them also when the time comes. Thanks! :wave:
 
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Ryan h
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:21 am

VapourTrails wrote:
KruegerFlaps wrote:
VapourTrails wrote:
Another great trip report here. I like to see what the regionals are doing. It is amazing the places they fly to. I was recently pleasantly surprised when I noticed on FlightRadar24 that Rex fly to KNS!


Hi VapourTrails!

Thanks for your kind words. If you like regional airlines, have you come across King Island Air? As the name suggests, they fly to KNS from Melbourne's Moorabbin Airport (MBW ) with a fleet that includes the Piper PA-31 Chieftain and an Embraer EMB110 Bandeirante. There aren't many of the latter about in Australia, these days.


Oh, no I haven't! http://www.kingislandair.com.au/ :thumbsup:

I will have a look at them also when the time comes. Thanks! :wave:


Thanks for pointing them out, another idea to think about. EMB-110 sounds interesting...
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Kent350787
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:36 pm

Thanks for posting a nice NSW regional report, with some great photos setting the mood for the trip.

And one that missed my house by a block, but gave a nice view of the resurfacing of Ewen Park next to the Cooks River.
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WorldOyster
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:40 pm

Nice report! Dubbo seems like a pretty interesting place. Thanks for telling us about some of the local attractions! Seems like AirLink's a rather charming little airline, what with the exhibit in the terminal and the captain serving snacks. Great pictures too!
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RohanDXB
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:02 pm

It was funny to see EK's name on the FIDS at Dubbo. Who knows, maybe you'll see an EK 77W there some day. :lol:

Ro
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:06 am

RohanDXB wrote:
It was funny to see EK's name on the FIDS at Dubbo. Who knows, maybe you'll see an EK 77W there some day. :lol:


Hi Rohan. Thanks for reading my report. It sure would be fun to see a 77W land at Dubbo.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783

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