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KruegerFlaps
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Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:41 am

Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

While in Sydney I made use of the opportunity to do some more regional flying. A day trip to Tamworth offered the ability to fly one way with QantasLink and return with Virgin Australia Regional. This report covers the outbound flight on a Dash-8-300.

I checked in using my mobile phone. The process was very simple and soon I had a mobile boarding pass. For this sector I would be sitting in an aisle seat, one row back from the front.

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There was a bit of a queue at security but a new lane opened up so things moved fairly quickly. Meanwhile, a couple of young women with angle wings entertained passengers by singing Christmas carols in front of a large Christmas Tree. Once through the scanner, I checked the destination board to see from where the aeroplane would depart.

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There was still plenty of time before boarding, so I walked around to see what aircraft were on the ground.

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Flight Details:
Qantas Airways QF2002
Sydney to Tamworth
Aircraft ID: VH-TQY
Type: Bombardier Dash-8 315Q
Seat: 2B
STD: 08:45 ATD: 08:41
STA: 10:00 ATA: 10:02

Boarding was from Gate 1B. A cheerful greeting as I presented my phone for scanning. Then down some stairs to reach a bus to take us to the awaiting aeroplane. VH-TQY first flew as C-FDHP before coming to Eastern Australia Airlines and now part of the QantasLink fleet.

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It seemed appropriate that today's flight to Tamworth would be operated by Eastern Australia Airlines, an airline founded in 1949. It started out under the name of Tamworth Air Taxi Service (eventually shortened to Tamair) with a single one-pilot aircraft that plied routes to farming communities in New South Wales and Queensland. After considerable expansion and mergers with other small commuter air operators, the airline was renamed Eastern Australia Airlines.

In 1992 Qantas Airways bought Australian Airlines, which had a 26% stake in Eastern Australia Airlines, so the airline automatically became a Qantas Airways subsidiary. In 2002 a common brand was launched covering AirLink (a franchise, operated at the time by National Jet), Sunstate Airlines, Eastern Australia Airlines, and Southern Australia Airlines. Qantas merged its Mildura-based subsidiary Southern Australia Airlines with Eastern, the resulting operation using the Eastern Australia Airlines name.

Eastern Australia Airlines (today flying as QantasLink) currently flies to Albury, Armidale, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lord Howe Island, Moree, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga from Sydney; Adelaide, Devonport, Launceston and Mildura from Melbourne; Port Lincoln from Adelaide, and Lord Howe Island from Port Macquarie.

It was Natalie who was at the door, greeting passengers as they boarded. She helped people to their seats and made sure that those seated at the front near the emergency exit were willing and able to assist in the event of an evacuation. She conducted the safety briefing and reminded passengers to read the safety card.


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As passengers were boarding, I thought that one of them looked familiar. He was to be my seat neighbour and I stood to let him into his window seat. As the aircraft commenced taxi, he turned to introduce himself.

"My name is Barnaby," he said and we started a conversation. Australian readers may have already guessed that Barnaby was none other than the Federal Member for New England and the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. He was kind enough to point out some interesting aircraft as the Dash 8 made its way to the runway, including a Boeing bearing the title, "United States Of America".

Once in the air, I checked out the in-flight magazine and looked about the cabin.

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Natalie commenced the refreshment service, which on this flight consisted of some Pecan, Orange and Carrot cake and a choice of tea, coffee, fruit or juice. Passengers were also offered a small bottle of water.

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The flight was pleasant enough with barely any turbulence. As we approached Tamworth I could see that the surrounding countryside was attractive with farmlands spreading over rolling hills. Barnaby mentioned that QantasLink had upgraded its heavy maintenance facility at the airport and told me that all maintenance of the Bombardier Q400, Q300 and Q200 aircraft in its fleet is carried out there.

Before long the seat-belt sign was illuminated and we were preparing for landing. A little later we were on the ground and taxied to the terminal where once the engines were turned off and the door was opened, we could deplane and walk into the terminal.


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Once I had picked up the keys to the hire care, I made my way to the Powerhouse Motorcycle Museum. A must see for any bike enthusiast, the museum houses a private collection of over 50 motorcycles in pristine working order from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. The collection of bikes includes Ducati, Triumph, Honda, Velocette, Laverda and an extremely rare limited edition F4 MV Agusta Series ORO.

All motorcycles have been immaculately restored to concourse condition, plus there are some limited edition current models. It was worth coming to see one of the most unique and highest quality displays of motorcycles in Australia.

How about gunning down the highway on this Harley Davidson Fatboy with magnum pistol pedals?

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Included is an immaculate collection of BSA Gold Stars and Shooting Stars from 1955.


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From 1959 a Velocette Viper 350.

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For those who like Japanese bikes, some grunt from Kawasaki and Honda.

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Visitors are offered a cup of tea or coffee, which is included in the admission price. While enjoying it they can reflect on the efforts of the "Men's Shed" who built a replica of the earliest motorcycle from Daimler Benz. Exquisitely crafted from wood, it is a marvel to compare the early steps in motorised transport with the sheer power and lines of later bikes.

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Did you know that Tamworth, NSW was the first municipality in Australia to use electricity to light it’s streets in 1888 (15 years before Sydney)? I discovered this and more during a visit to the Power Station Museum.

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I was fortunate to meet Albert, a volunteer in his mid eighties and a man who is highly knowledgeable about matters electrical. He gave me a guided tour of the museum, pointing out many artefacts and the original Crompton generators and steam turbines, all the while providing a thorough explanation of the development of the science of electricity and its use.

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Soon it was time to return to the airport for the return flight to Sydney. This would be with Virgin Australia Regional on an ATR 72-600. But that is the subject of my next report.
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
 
baje427
Posts: 820
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:31 pm

Qantas have done well to keep the Q300 cabins looking so fresh after such a long time in service. Very nice report its nice to get a turboprop report these aircraft often are overlooked.
 
zkncj
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:57 pm

Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:40 am

KruegerFlaps wrote:
Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth
Eastern Australia Airlines (today flying as QantasLink) currently flies to Albury, Armidale, Canberra, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lord Howe Island, Moree, Port Macquarie, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga from Sydney; Adelaide, Devonport, Launceston and Mildura from Melbourne; Port Lincoln from Adelaide, and Lord Howe Island from Port Macquarie.


Eastern Australian Airlines now also fly the Q300 as "Jetstar" too Auckland, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Napier.
 
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Ryan h
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Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:51 am

Nice report and photos.

Shame you didn't get a window seat.
South Australian Spotter
 
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CollegeAviator
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Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Sat Dec 31, 2016 5:41 am

Nice report, thanks very much for sharing!

The Q300 looks so cute! Lovely pics of the bikes as well :)

CollegeAviator
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:17 am

Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:08 am

It's good to see some comments. Thanks to all for reading and providing a reply.

baje427 wrote:
its nice to get a turboprop report these aircraft often are overlooked.


I enjoy flying turboprops and have a couple of more reports coming up, featuring a Dash-8-100 and an Embraer 120 Brasilia with Western Australian airline Skippers Aviation.

zkncj wrote:
Eastern Australian Airlines now also fly the Q300 as "Jetstar" too Auckland, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Napier.


Thanks for the additional information. Always good to learn more.

Ryan h wrote:
Nice report and photos. Shame you didn't get a window seat.

Yes, a window seat would have been my choice but I left checking in a bit longer than I should have.

CollegeAviator wrote:
Nice report, thanks very much for sharing!

Thank you. I'm glad that you enjoyed reading it and I appreciate the feedback.
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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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2001 7:11 pm

Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:01 am

KruegerFlaps wrote:
I enjoy flying turboprops and have a couple of more reports coming up, featuring a Dash-8-100 and an Embraer 120 Brasilia with Western Australian airline Skippers Aviation.


Me too. You see more of the countryside as they fly lower and slower than the jets, and you get to visit out of way airports too. Also, I think the regional airline crews a re a bit friendlier than the main airline crews as well.
Looking forward to reading your reports on the EMB-120 and Dash8-100 with Skippers.

I have a trip on a Skytrans Dash8-100 booked for mid year.
South Australian Spotter
 
PanzerPowner
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Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:49 pm

Mr. Flaps is at it again! Nice report.
Well uh, I obviously decided to refine this but i dont know how.
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth

Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:57 am

Ryan h wrote:
Also, I think the regional airline crews a re a bit friendlier than the main airline crews as well.

They sure can be friendly but do have the advantage of having far fewer passengers to interact with. That helps.

Looking forward to see your trip report on Skytrans when it's published. They're an airline I have yet to fly with.

PanzerPowner wrote:
Nice report.

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.
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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