Sunday, February 10, 2008

All aboard the Brindabella!

A few days ago I found myself in a little speck of an airport near Newcastle, NSW. I was to catch a flight to Canberra. "Why?!?!", I hear you incredulously ask. "Work" is my answer... and probably the only plausible one in the circumstances.

I was booked a seat aboard some random 'Brindabella' airlines. If having to travel from Newcastle to Canberra wasn't enough of a joke already, this arrangement certainly sealed the deal.

The lady that validated our boarding passes asked us to gather outside on the tarmac but not walk to the plane just yet. My first look at the "plane" had me worried. It was only about 20 feet from where we'd gathered and looked... inadequate. A nervous glance around confirmed what I logically knew must be true: not more than 20 people could fit into this thing. The lady soon came out to lead our little family to the Brindabella. She doubled as the flight attendant and handed over our snack packs (sized in proportion to the aircraft itself), before letting us hop on. It was like walking inside a pencil! I had to bend over double to get to my seat and once there, I had to take a minute to figure out a manoeuvre to squeeze into my seat.

Among its advantages was the fact that everyone's seat was both - an aisle and a window. Unnecessary frills were done away with. Like, oh, the minor matter of a door between the main cabin and the cockpit! But our biggest surprise was when our gate-attendant-cum-stewardess took off the fluorescent vest she was wearing... and calmly slid into the co-pilot's seat!!! Quite impressive, this omnipresent WonderWoman. (Later, stepping aboard the airport bus, I would peer hesitantly at the driver... astonishingly, it wasn't her.)

The flight itself was smooth by small aircraft standards but I was still glad to be on terra firma.

The Metro III aircraft that plies Newcastle-Canberra...

Inside the Brindabella... a backseat driver's delight...


Neil said...

now *that* is hilarious, can i propose a competition to see if we can find a smaller vehicle (cars don't count) to take us across the country.

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Ahhh I once went on a similar plane like this in India about oh 16 years ago. This airline was called Vayadoot or something & was to fly us from Bombay to (geez I don't even remember). My mom freaked when she saw it and she didn't think we'd survive. As you can see we did!

Gareth said...

That woman you speak about was actually the First Officer. Aircraft with less than 19 seat do not carry flight attendants.

Your ignorance, or attempt at humour, is offensive to the remarkable women of Australian aviation.

Dylan said...

Gareth, I'm sure she was the First Officer and I'm here to tell you that she did a fine job of it. This blog doesn't claim to be the best informed and it doesn't ask to be taken seriously... regular readers (both of them) know that... it's just my take on things as I see them.

Finally, if there's anyone directly offended by the post, I can assure you that no offense was meant.