As Close to a Private Plane as I Can Get Right Now

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by ConsultingChris, Oct 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    I had another meeting in Florence, AL this week (see hotel review from previous trip here). When trying to coordinate travel with the other members of our team, I found that it didn't make sense to get a second rental car, so for around the same price I booked a ticket on Silver Airways (operating as Island Air) from ATL to MSL.

    Arriving at check-in, I was told that there were only two of us booked on the flight and when they put us on the shuttle to the plane (a Saab 340), I was the only one on the bus.

    When boarding, I was told to sit in the back due to weight balancing and was treated to this sight:
    IslandAirtoMSL.jpg

    Just me, the FA, and the pilots.

    Overall it was an uneventful flight. Limited number of beverages (no soda water or sprite zero), but it was cool to be the only person on the plane.

    What was neat about the back of the plane was that there were 4 seats that with the armrests up made a bench of sorts. Not enough room for me to lay down flat, but there was a lot of room for me to kick back and enjoy the hour long flight.
     
  2. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

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    Awesome experience, thanks for sharing!:)
     
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  3. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I'm amazed that one person affected the plane's weight balance, one !!??
     
  4. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    While waiting, I remember they had issues finding enough ballast. Talking to my clients the next morning, they mentioned having to do the same thing when they were on with 4 people.

    Don't know if they really needed to do it or if the FA didn't want to interact with us.
     
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  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    the latter is where my sometimes cynical mind went:)
     
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  6. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    A couple hundred of pounds can make a difference in center of gravity (COG). Load bags are frequently used as counter balance from luggage, as I'm sure a few of you are aware of, but they are only 50-75 pounds each. So I think it is totally plausible that balance is why you were asked to sit in the back.
     
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  7. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I guess they really, REALLY needed the plane back, because flying a single passenger seems rather inefficient.

    And I suppose it's better than the United way and using buses. :)
     
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  8. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    Fortunately there were 3 people coming back that they had to pick up. :)
     
  9. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    I'd agree. Perhaps the destination was one of the subsidized routes so the airline gets paid to fly it anyways?
     
  10. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    It does look like MSL is part of the Essential Air Service program.
     
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  11. ConsultingChris

    ConsultingChris Silver Member

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    You are correct!

    It was serviced by a DL Connection flight, but they gave it up. Silver Airways started running it October 1st. The strange thing is that they operate it as Island Air. I think it has something to do with the companies they have bought and their FAA operating authority.
     

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