Manchester-Belfast-Isle of Man-Manchester

Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 4,209

This weekend I combined a regular Belfast business trip with the Dublin meet, and added a more interesting flight combination to usual as well! First off was bmi Baby from Manchester to Aldergrove. I'd never flown baby before, and after hearing awful reports of punctuality was pleasntly surprised that the flight ran about 15 minutes ahead of schedule. The leg room on the flights was average, although the seats were much shorter than average I found. The top of the seat came nowhere near the bottom of my neck! At least the seats were assigned at check in though. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/GBVKB01.jpg We passed over Liverpool, then the Irish sea, before passing over Newtownards and then Belfast City before touching down in Aldergrove. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/EGAC01.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/EGAN01.jpg http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/EGGP01.jpg The flight was very short, and supposedly due to a problem with the caterers there was no bar service offered at all, not that I would have bought anything anyway! The sun set during the flight, and I really quite like this view looking back towards England: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/GBVKB04.jpg Whilst sitting in the cafe at Manchester on Friday afternoon I was surprised to see G-ELNX, a CRJ which is based at Farnborough waiting on the usual bmi/VLM stand. I was even more surprised when the entire Manchester United football team walked out form underneath me in full view of everyone having their lunch! http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/GELNX01.jpg The chap at the top of the stairs looks to be Alex Ferguson, I have another pic of almost recognisable people if anyone is interested. :p
Original post
Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 4,209

After a nice few days in Belfast and a very enjoyable day down in Dublin I woke up this morning for my most interesting day of flying in some time. After waking up at 0720, leaving AndrewM's house at 0730, and checking in at Belfast City at 0740 I had only a short wait before walking the short distance to the gate at just before 0800 for the 0805 flight. I love BHD :D I was pleasantly surprised to see an Emerald BAe ATP sitting on stand 1, not least because the type was meant to be a D328 according to the check in agent! This was not the usual Emerald ATP that Euromanx have in the "fleet" for Liverpool operations, but an additional one due to one of the Dash 8s being in maintenance. It was almost exactly 2 years to the day that I last flew on an ATP, and this one was much the same as before, an ageing interior and pretty poor legroom. Nevertheless I was rather pleased to be flying on the old bird again, and it was great to feel that pulsating movement that the props have on the aircraft, straining to pull the aircraft skywards! The flight was about a 3rd full, however curiously we were all made to sit in the back behind row 7, which looked and felt rather strange. I guess it was for trim purposes, or just to make the flight feel busier! We spent about 30 minutes in the air, landing at the IOM in some rather dark conditions: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/GJEMC06.jpg After disembarking the ATP Euromanx let me check in for my next flight to Manchester despite being over 4 hours away. I was told this was to be a D328,, but after last time was slightly scepticle. I spent about 4 hours in the IOM, of which you can read about elsewhere in the forum. After returning to the airport I sat in the lounge for about an hour or so. I watched another EMX arrive, this time a Dash 8, and was relieved to see them close up the doors. I really wanted that 328 and not a Dash 8, the Dash being my most flown aircraft type! I was very please when I saw a crew walking out to the D328 parked on the far side of the airfield, even more so when I saw my bag getting loaded on! About 10 minutes before departure we were called to gate 1, and all 10 of us were bussed out to the stand and boarded the Dornier 328 D-CPRW. The 328 is in a 1+2 configuration much like the Embraer 145 series, and with only 10 of us onboard there was lots and lots of space. There was just one member of cabin crew onboard, and she was fantastic. She managed to do the safety demo all on her own just as quickly and proficiently as 2 or 3 crew usually manage to do, and even did all the announcments in Gaelic as well as English! The take off roll was the most powerful I think I've ever experienced, certainly in a prop, and it was no time before we were back up at 9000ft again. There was once again no service, however we were all offered a drink of water if we wanted one. Sadly the window was an odd shape and rather dirty, which meant for poor photographs, but a strangley excellent view, particularly as due to the thinness of the cabin you could clearly see left and right: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v641/regionaljetfleet/EGCC%20EGNS/DCPRW01.jpg During our descent to Manchester we had some moderate turbulence, but given the size of the 328 this was throwing us around quite badly, and once again the flight attendant was exemplary in sitting with a rather scared old lady until the last possible opportunity for taking her seat for landing. Also, about 5 minutes before landing a tray of mints was offered to us, something which I've never experienced before despite reading reports of it in days gone by. To be perfectly honest this and a glass of water was all you really needed on such a short flight. After a choppy, but eventually smooth touchdown at Manchester we parked on a remote stand somewhere between T1 and NEA, stand 101 I think. which felt rather like just parking randomly in the middle of the airfield! A short bus journey to T3 and a loooong wait for my bag ensued, before getting the train back to Leeds. All in all an excellent trip, getting the ATP was an added bonus from what I expected, and obtaining a flight in the 328, which had been my goal in taking these flights was realised. Both Euromanx and bmi Baby gave me perfectly adequate services, and I couldnt fault either of them. Euromanx will certainly be recieving a letter from me this week praising their stewardess as she was undoubtedley the best I've ever had on a flight.
Profile picture for user Future Pilot

Member for

16 years 3 months

Posts: 3,394

A very interesting report Mark, glad to see you got those aircraft types you wanted too. :)
Profile picture for user PMN

Member for

14 years 2 months

Posts: 5,530

Excellent, well written report there Mark. There are a few routes and aircraft there I need to try out at some point! Paul
Profile picture for user Craigston_Tom

Member for

15 years 5 months

Posts: 624

Very interesting and detailed report.
Profile picture for user LBARULES

Member for

16 years 6 months

Posts: 9,401

Excellent report and photos :).
Profile picture for user Manston Airport

Member for

14 years 3 months

Posts: 4,721

Brilliant report there mate and pictures. James
Profile picture for user bmi-star

Member for

15 years 8 months

Posts: 4,255

ATP!! And we thought you'd flown your last one 2 years ago :D Fantastic mate
Profile picture for user BFS

Member for

15 years 2 months

Posts: 433

Great report. Love the pics of Newtownards and the city.

Member for

13 years 10 months

Posts: 32

Mark, Was it the Russian (or of similar nationality) stewardess? I flew to Liverpool on the Dash 8 300, and there was one lonely stewardess on her own, but as you said above she did a sterling service, very impressed was I! Martyn.
Profile picture for user Mark L

Member for

16 years 7 months

Posts: 4,209

Mark, Was it the Russian (or of similar nationality) stewardess? I flew to Liverpool on the Dash 8 300, and there was one lonely stewardess on her own, but as you said above she did a sterling service, very impressed was I! Martyn.
I think it may well have been. She wasnt English but her accent was incredibly good and it took me a while to work out where I thought she might be from.