This flight came about when I saw an ad in the newspaper on Wednesday 11 January 2012 advertising there were still some seats available.
Booked the next day for dad and I.
The flight is being organized through legacy, who are an organization who provide support to ex soldiers and their families.
Cost is AU $750 per ticket, which some say is expensive, but never flown on a BAe 146 before, never seen Lake Eyre or been to Woomera which is famous for being a launching site for rockets. All going well one of the highlights of the day will be seeing a rocket launch. I imagine this would only be a small research rocket.
I think it will be worth every cent.
Saturday March 3 2012
Adelaide to Woomera
Another early start for this day.
Had to be at the Cobham terminal for 8:00 AM, but we’re there by 7:30 AM.
Check in was a simple get our names ticked off the list.
Although I have been to the Cobham terminal many times to photograph bizjets, today is the first time I have been into the terminal. Wasn’t very big in the inside, but was comfortable.
Once everyone had arrived it was time to board.
Showed our boarding passes to a staff member at the door out onto the tarmac. Only a short walk to the plane. We also got a name tag type thing with the flight details and itinerary on a lanyard.
Seats in this aircraft are a bit wider than usual and the side we were sat in there is only two seats while on the other side there are three seats. I thought we were on the best side.
Soon got going, crew made an announcement about the noise the flaps make. Captain fluffed his welcome speech by saying we were going to Moomba, as this aircraft is used during the week to fly the workers to and from the Moomba gas fields.
Take off was smooth and weather in Adelaide was clear.
Breakfast was served en route to Woomera, the pack consisted of a muffin, bread roll and orange juice.
There was little turbulence, but it did get cloudy the further north we went.
Magazines were offered, but for me the plane is the IFE, that was one of the reasons I went on this trip was to fly on a BAe 146. also the view out the window was interesting too.
Landing at Woomera was quite smooth and since the BAe 146 does not have thrust reversers it is quieter on landing.
Since the APU wasn’t working the number 4 engine was still running so there was an announcement to keep a tight hold onto things like hats.
Made sure was one of the last off so I could get a photo of the flight deck.
Once inside the terminal building, there was a small talk on the activities planned for the day.
Then it was out to the bus which first took us to the cinema where there was a presentation on the history of woomera and the current activities there.
Starting when it was established in the late 1940s to the British involvement and the decline in the 1980s and to the resurgence in the need for the facility in the last 10-15 years.
More detailed history here.
Then it was on to where there are various aircraft, rockets etc on display in the town.
After that it was lunch at the Eldo Hotel. Then a bus tour of the main rocket range. I will let photo galleries tell the story here.
However a couple of things that were planned such as a rocket launch and a look at a disused launch site were cancelled due to heavy rain in the previous days.
Once that was completed it was back to the airport for the flight home.
The aircraft was late arriving back at Woomera as it had been back to Adelaide so the APU could be fixed.
Saturday March 3 2012
Woomera to Adelaide (via overflight of Lake Eyre)
A short walk across the tarmac to the plane and we sat in the same seats as on the way up.
Took off to the north towards Lake Eyre.
Was served a snack box consisting of cheese and crackers and a piece of cake, drinks were also available so had a lemonade.
Once we reached Lake Eyre, the plane descended to a lower altitude and flew a zig zag pattern over the lake to give everyone a view. Did that for 5-10 minutes then climbed back to cruising altitude for the flight home.
Again the crew handed out magazines to anyone who wanted to read one, but the view out the window was far more interesting, even if it meant facing the sun.
This time as we got closer to Adelaide, the weather got more cloudy, it had even been raining in Adelaide. The approach into Adelaide was a little bumpy but the landing was smooth and the aircraft slowed to taxiing speed before we got to the cross runway.
Taxied back to the Cobham terminal.
Once everyone else got off, took another photo of the flight deck and had a chat to the captain about the reason for running the number 4 engine at Woomera. Turned out the APU was faulty.
Overall was an excellent day, well organised and planned. Definitely worth every cent of $750 each for dad and I.
Was told this Our Airline 737-300 was coming so waited for it.