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KruegerFlaps
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Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:46 am

Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

It was time to return to the airport so I drove back and dropped off the keys to the car. Tamworth Airport is located about 10 km from town and is owned and operated by Tamworth Regional Council. Tenants include BAE Systems, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and a number of flying schools. During my visit the Christmas decorations were up and there was a reminder that Tamworth hosts an annual music festival.

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Airlines serving Tamworth include QantasLink (op by Eastern Australia Airlines) to Sydney; JetGo Australia to Brisbane; Fly Corporate also to Sydney; and Virgin Australia to Sydney.

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One of several daily QantasLink flights had arrived from Sydney and was disgorging its passengers. It wasn't long before the Bombardier 400Q was reloaded and taxiing away for take-off.

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While waiting for the arrival of my flight I managed to see a few light aircraft movements. With a US registration N465DG an Eclipse EA500 very light jet. It is powered by two fuselage mounted Pratt and Whitney Canada PW610F turbofan engines, each with 900 lbs of thrust.

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I made my way through security to the spacious departure lounge. There were none of the shops or restaurants that seem to make up airports these days, just a couple of snack and drinks dispensers and seating.

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A truck moved back and forth towing a mat, while there were a number of movements by light aircraft, including VH-TAZ, a Cessna 441 Conquest registered operator Edwards Coaches Pty Limited of Armidale, NSW.

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Another QantasLink Dash arrived and VH-CMU, a Beech 76 registered to Professional Pilot Training, Coffs Harbour NSW passed on its way to the runway.

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In the distance lay the remains of what looks like an old Fokker Friendship but I couldn't clearly make it out.

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An announcement was made that the arrival of Virgin Australia would be delayed by about ten minutes and it eventually VH-FVR could be seen approaching 30R.

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This aircraft was previously with Western Australian airline Skywest, though it didn't fly in WA. It operated routes in the eastern states on behalf of Virgin Australia Regional until Skywest was taken over completely by Virgin Australia. It was out of commission for a while as a result of a bird strike but is back flying and appeared to be in immaculate condition.

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A flurry of activity on the apron as chocks and cones were put in place; the fresh crew walked to the aircraft; a visual inspection was made; passengers deplaned (including one wheel-chair assisted by hoist); and baggage handlers unloaded one lot of bags and loaded a fresh set.

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Boarding was called through Gate 2 and I walked to the rear of the aircraft and up the steps.

Flight Details:
Virgin Australia VA1092
Tamworth to Sydney
Aircraft ID: VH-FVR Yallingup Beach
Type: ATR 72-600 Seat: 07F
STD: 15:30 ATD: 15:50
STA: 16:35 ATA: 16:47

The cabin interior appeared bright, clean and tidy. The seat proved to be reasonably comfortable with sufficient leg room.

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The usual announcements were made from the flight deck, together with an introduction from the CSM. A manual safety demonstration was carried out, with a reminder to read the safety card and observe the seat-belt signs.

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While the crew made their final preparations for departure I had a quick look out of the window and checked out the in-flight magazine.

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Yallingup Beach began moving, making its way to the threshold of 30R, passing the Qantas maintenance hangars and turning into the wind, lining up for take-off.

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It moved forward, picking up speed before lifting into the air.

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The town disappeared from view and we passed over farming country with small streams and views towards the hills. In the distance, the smoke of a bush fire could be seen. The sky became unclear, a mixture of heat haze, smoke and low clouds.

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Shortly after take-off an announcement that a cabin service would be offered, including a light snack and a choice of tea, coffee, fruit juice or water. Passengers were advised that additional items could be purchased. A few moments later, an apology that tea and coffee would not be available.

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K approached and asked, "Djawannasnack?" in a curt fashion, followed by an equally brusque, "Joosawarda?"

I accepted the offered packet containing two cheap biscuits and small tub of orange juice.

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The flight was smooth with just the occasional movement caused by updraughts from the mountain range below. Visibility was not that great but I could make out a number of water catchments, and mine sites.

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The seat-belt sign came on and passengers were told that descent was commencing. Tables should be stowed; large electronic devices should be placed in the overhead locker. As the aircraft descended through the cloud, Sydney's western suburbs came into view.

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The flight passed over leafy areas with waterside residences. Many boats were moored upon the sheltered waters.

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The approach was from the west so that no lengthy flight over water was required. But it did mean having to taxi all the way back to reach the terminal.

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Soon we were passing the terminals with first Qantas, then Virgin Australia and Rex tails coming into view.

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At remote stands I could just make out 10015 and what appeared to be a visitor from Japanese airline, ANA.

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Then we were on the runway, decelerating before turning about to follow the path to Terminal 2. The usual "Welcome to Sydney" announcement was made and the hope was expressed that we had a pleasant flight.

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As Yallingup Beach taxied to its stand, it passed the USAF Boeing that Barnaby had kindly pointed out to me on the outbound flight that morning.

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Virgin Australia surprised me by having a clean aircraft. My previous experiences with them had lead me to conclude that this isn't something they worry too much about. In contrast, my previous flights had been with friendly and pleasant crew but on today's flight the cabin crew appeared to be having a bad hair day, exhibited by shortness in interaction with passengers.

Otherwise, I had enjoyed my trip to Tamworth and I enjoyed this flight in the ATR 72-600. Next up is the return to Perth, also with Virgin Australia but on an Airbus A330-200.

Previous Trip Reports:
Getting into the Spirit: Qantas A332 Perth to Sydney

Your Personal Airline: AirLink Beech 1900D to Dubbo

Our Heart is in the Country: Regional Express Saab 340B

Motorcycles Galore: QantasLink Dash-8 300Q to Tamworth
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: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:02 am

Nice report and photos.

Good you got a window seat this time.

Haven't flown on the ATR-72 yet.
South Australian Spotter
 
Milesdependent
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 5:27 pm

Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:05 pm

Nice report. Thanks for posting.
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Tue Jan 03, 2017 1:13 am

Milesdependent wrote:
Nice report. Thanks for posting.


Thank you for reading a leaving a comment. Much appreciated.

Ryan h wrote:
Nice report and photos. Good you got a window seat this time.


Thanks Ryan. Yes, I was a bit quicker off the mark checking in for this flight.

Ryan h wrote:
Haven't flown on the ATR-72 yet.


Are there any convenient routes that you can fly the ATR from Adelaide? It would be good if you could organise something.
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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UnitedIsBae
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:46 am

How does that 737G make a trans-pacific flight? Lots of stops?
If it ain't Boeing I ain't going PERIOD
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:14 am

UnitedIsBae wrote:
How does that 737G make a trans-pacific flight? Lots of stops?


The tech sheet from Boeing Defense, Space & Security states that the C-40B (737-7DM(BBJ)) has a range of 4,600 nm, so it should be able to do it one-stop via PPG if it came to SYD directly from the US. But it may also have been here as part of a wider journey that took in additional points.
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: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:08 am

KruegerFlaps wrote:
Ryan h wrote:
Haven't flown on the ATR-72 yet.



Are there any convenient routes that you can fly the ATR from Adelaide? It would be good if you could organise something.


No ATR-72 flights here in Adelaide. Will have to go interstate for those.
South Australian Spotter
 
baje427
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:10 pm

Nice report the Q400 is one sleek looking bird, the ATR cabin is very nice and modern one which do you prefer the Q or the ATR?
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:41 pm

Ryan h wrote:
No ATR-72 flights here in Adelaide. Will have to go interstate for those.
Pity, as that makes it a bit more expensive.

baje427 wrote:
which do you prefer the Q or the ATR?
Thanks for your comment. On this particular trip, I found the ATR to be more comfortable but then, it is 12 years younger than the Dash that I flew to TMW and was overall, fresher.
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: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:52 pm

Nice report and pictures, KruegerFlaps.

K approached and asked, "Djawannasnack?" in a curt fashion, followed by an equally brusque, "Joosawarda?"


Simply hilarious! I had to speak out the last one loud several times to get what she meant.

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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CollegeAviator
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:44 am

Another nice report, thanks so much for sharing!

Great pictures of the aircraft, spotting and landscape.

VA's ATR72 looks nice and shiny on the inside :)

CollegeAviator
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:39 am

capicua wrote:
Simply hilarious! I had to speak out the last one loud several times to get what she meant.


Perhaps I should have transcribed it as "Djoosawarda?" :wink2: While I knew what she meant, I also knew that she wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible and not just because of the flight time.

Thanks for commenting.

CollegeAviator wrote:
Another nice report, thanks so much for sharing!


Hi CollegeAviator. I'm pleased to see that you enjoyed it.

CollegeAviator wrote:
VA's ATR72 looks nice and shiny on the inside


I must admit, it surprised me too.
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: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:40 am

Hi KF,

Thanks for this TR.

KruegerFlaps wrote:
A truck moved back and forth towing a mat,


Towing a mat?! Thank for the photo, interesting. I haven't seen those at many airports. Are they region specific?

I've flown on the ATR72-600 twice and I really enjoyed it. I will say this about VA, they have interesting aircraft types in their fleet.

I've also got very used to seeing and hearing this type at or on final approach to CBR, they clock up some hours on that CBR-SYD route.

Great views of SYD on your way down. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

KruegerFlaps wrote:
Perhaps I should have transcribed it as "Djoosawarda?" While I knew what she meant, I also knew that she wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible and not just because of the flight time.


OMG I just figured out what this (all) meant! LOL. Funny!

Disappointing to hear about the bad-hair day experience LOL. They were probably worried about their future and job security.

I found similar in my experiences back in 2015 but on that occasion I had a lot to distract me from the short flight and new type to fly on, new route etc.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences. :bigthumbsup:
 
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Vio
Posts: 1602
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2004 5:23 am

Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:10 pm

Great report. I love reading these TRs from "Down Under". Australia has been a dream of mine for a long time, not just to visit, but actually move there. Unfortunately it has never materialized. With that being said, my little sister has been living there for quite a while. It's a shame that I haven't had the chance to visit there yet. Hopefully soon though.

I looked at the route you flew on Google Maps. Those open pit mines must be around "Liddell". It's unreal how "similar" Australia and Canada are. They are almost like "mirror images" of each other. I speak from a cultural point of view and also aviation wise. I flew a lot on ATRs (42 / 72), mostly commuting to the Canadian Arctic aboard Calm Air, but I also flew it a few times in Romania (Tarom) and in Finland (Aero Airlines) many years ago.

Thanks for this great report. I really enjoyed it.
Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
 
sumantra
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:37 pm

Thanks for a lovely TR starting at an exotic regional airport, and some funny descriptions, and lovely pictures!
Cheers, Sumantra.
 
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KruegerFlaps
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Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:44 am

sumantra wrote:
Thanks for a lovely TR starting at an exotic regional airport, and some funny descriptions, and lovely pictures!


Thank you, Sumantra. I appreciate your 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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KruegerFlaps
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:17 am

Re: Djawannasnack: Virgin Australia ATR 72 to Sydney

Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:53 am

Vio wrote:
Australia has been a dream of mine for a long time, not just to visit, but actually move there. Unfortunately it has never materialized.


Hi Vio! Thanks for reading and leaving a reply. From Canadians that I have met, and from literature, I would agree that our two counties have much in common. Hopefully, after you've settled into your new job and have some leave, you'll be able to make the trip "down under".

VapourTrails wrote:
I've flown on the ATR72-600 twice and I really enjoyed it. I will say this about VA, they have interesting aircraft types in their fleet.

Hi VapourTrails!

Yes, VA have collected a variety of aircraft but I believe they plan on changing that. They have already got rid of the old Skywest Fokker 50s and the Embraer 190s are (if I'm not mistaken) on the way out.

VapourTrails wrote:
Disappointing to hear about the bad-hair day experience LOL. They were probably worried about their future and job security.

Could be, but I was surprised because in the past the crew have been welcoming. Thanks for reading and your comments.
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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