ONE AIRPORT, TWO 'FRAMES' .... TWENTY-TWO YEARS
published in Air NORTH Vol.49 No.11 November 2009

A recent trip north, an attempt at getting away from it all, and an inevitably fruitless search for a different type of 'monster' (!), took my wife and I past Dundee Airport - possibly one of the UK's most picturesque airports, the small aerodrome on the banks of the River Tay, and overlooked by another passion of mine (the phenomenon that is the 'great bridge'!), is one that I have passed by on a number of occasions over the years, a particularly memorable visit being made courtesy of a colleague in his PA-28 in 1996. Its traffic 'mix' has never leant itself to making entries in my log book however (I only log airliners and executive jets), but as we made our way north on Saturday 19th September 2009, I was unaware of just how this latest visit would lead to an eerie co-incidence. The Canadian product above, Global XRS N616DC had just arrived that morning direct from San Jose, Ca., and when I came to enter it into the database the question arose .... 'so just how many have I made at Dundee before then?'. The answer was only one, the machine below, on Saturday 19th September 1987!

There has obviously always been a good reason to be in the Fife/Angus area on Saturdays in mid-September, and I remember calling in on the way to that year's Leuchars Air Show in order to see this Dash Seven G-BNDC which had been crew training on the airport's short runway in preparation for the commencement of scheduled service operations at the soon to be opened London Docklands Airport - note the feathered inboard props, standard practice to reduce cabin noise during taxying. Eurocity Express had been set up in 1986 by British Midland Airways, and together with Brymon Airways, began serving destinations such as Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris from the new 'STOL-port' on 26th October 1987. The carrier was re-named London City Airways in 1988 so as to identify more closely with its home base, but retained the 'shirt-and-tie' colour-scheme throughout, eventually operating a fleet of five Dash Sevens until its demise, due to sustained financial losses, in 1990, the aircraft being transferred to British Midland.

Two 'executive transports' from Canada, seemingly worlds apart .....

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