As a special request from a friend, I took to the skies once again, this time bound for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Amsterdam, Holland (AMS: EHAM) having departed Bournemouth Airport, England, UK (BOH: EGHH). Photos taken in flight order, 1 being departure and 10 being arrival. He made the request as it’s a trip he used to make regularly.
A stickler for realism and accuracy on these things and not a fan of taking to the skies in an odd job fashion, it posed somewhat of a conundrum as there are currently no direct flights to and from either airport on that route (all will require a connection). A little investigation was required on this one and it transpired that, until 2015, the British airline Flybe operated the route using their Bombardier 8Q-400 twin propeller aircraft (known otherwise as the De Havilland Canada Dash Eight). Interestingly, the plane was initially manufactured by de Havilland Canada from 1982 before being bought out by Bombardier Aerospace in 1992 then again by a company called Longview Aviation this year who have now brought back the original Canada branding from De Havilland. The one we are flying today was manufactured under the Bombardier name.
Therefore, a flight plan was then carefully compiled which would see us climbing to an altitude of 23,000 feet (the maximum operating altitude being 25,000 feet for this little regional aircraft). This was the flight plan for the journey in waypoints:
–EGHH GWC 5051N/045W OCK BPK CLN 5154N/126E 5158N/143E REDFA SULUT SUGOL NIRSI EH649 INBAM EH615 R1814 EHAM—
This is the real and proper route that the original flights would have taken along the south east of England, and southern North Sea down into Holland whilst observing aviation procedures and practice in these airspaces. That route can of course be varied according to weather and other variables but on this hot summer day, this is more likely the route it would have taken in these conditions using live and up to date information.
Keeping our navigation plan in place, the climb to altitude commenced. Being powered by 2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW100 engines we had a slightly bumpy departure out of Bournemouth. It’s not a heavy plane by comparison so it does noticeably feel the bumps more than say, for example larger, heavier commercial airliners like the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 so a steady hand at the helm was required to keep this as smooth as possible. It’s worth pointing out that this is still labelled as an airliner. It can be a tricky little thing to fly, sometimes trying to veer off and do its own thing, so you have to be a bit more forceful with the variables to hand and really give it some welly whilst at the same time keeping the ride smooth and everything safe. Being a big manual handling fan, this was actually not too bad but even with the autopilot functions being slowly enabled as the flight progressed, it still felt slightly disobedient but eventually settled once we were into the short cruise. Arrival into Amsterdam was smooth and settled.
Flight time: 61 minutes.