Wednesday, 29 June 2011

BHX-EDI-BHX Trip report [Part 1]

Each year for the last 3 I've gone on a daytrip, from BHX, to European capitals for my birthday.  First in 2009 was Dublin, flying on Aer Lingus A320's both ways. Next in 2010 was Belfast City, out on G-FBEK and back on -FBEG, both Flybe Embraer 195's. Working my way clockwise, the next destination was bound to be Edinburgh! This trip report will be in 3 sections: outbound, the day in Edinburgh, and return.

Birmingham (BHX/EGBB) to Edinburgh (EDI/EGPH)
Flybe Bombardier Dash 8Q-400 G-FLBD

The 10th April 2011 was a warm and sunny day. Me and my 2 mates arrived in the now combined terminal building after a little pre-spotting in the long stay car park, and used the the quick and easy self-service check in. We then proceeded to the new, single, security area. I personally like the change: passing through here was also quick and easy. It does however mean that you come out into the terminal 1 departure lounge, which forces you to walk all the way back along the "mellenium link" to terminal 2. I'm not complaining,  you get great apron views, but I doubt everyone would think that way. After the trek (and some hilarious comments from staff about buying certain drinks...a-hem...)  we made it to the T2 building. It was time to go to Scotland!

Our Dash8Q-400 trundled up to the gate looking brandnew. Turns out that G-FLBD  was leased to Olympic Airlines of Greece in 2009 before returning to its original owner earlier in 2011. That explains the shiny paint job! We proceeded to board on time. We did not, however, depart on time. No fault of Flybe's may I add: after some commotion on the tarmac with bags being loaded and offloaded twice (which everyone on the left side could see), it was revealed that 2 bags had the same code leading to the "wrong" number of bags being put on. Eventually, 45 minutes late, the doors were closed and the 2 PW150A turboprops were started. 
Runway 15 was in use so it was long taxi from stand 8L via delta and alpha. There's nothing quite like a Dash 8 on take off: the sound is epic. We rocketed up and got spectacular views of the terminal, with the whole airfield coming into a view a few moments later as we followed the Trent 4E departure. 

  The climbout was a tinsy bit choppy due to thermals, but as we climbed the turbulence stopped altogether. The flight to EDI is only about an hour, and the cabin crew were out straight away. I can never fault service on Flybe, and we were kept updated with information from up front.  Our cruise was at FL240, giving hazy but nevertheless good views, including Manchester airport:
  So after a very pleasant cruise, we began our descent! This was also calm, until around FL80 when some broken cumulus caused the odd bump. We descended through the cloud and were positioned on base leg for runway 24, turning to intercept the ILS just off the coast. Landing at EDI was around half an hour late but this was of little concern to me! 
  G-FLBD on stand, ready for the quick turnaround
  The futuristic-looking tower at Edinburgh   

  And so that concludes BHX-EDI, my 3rd time on a Dash, 5th time with Flybe, and 37th sector. As always Flybe are great, the only thing is that the seats could be comfier. The leg room is fine, but the seats themselves aren't the best, although on short flights like this it really isn't an issue. 

Here's a video! 

Coming very soon, part 2 of this TR, which includes hunting haggis, buses and bagpipes! 

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