P_7878

AirCal and PSA BAe146 - Two supplementary liveries

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Just FYI, here are two additional (historic) BAe-146 Airline liveries that were mentioned elsewhere...standing on the runway, in dawn light....[JF/CLS,QW,REX]

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Edited by P_7878
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Thanks for sharing these memories.  Whenever I flew out of SFO in the 80's I always loved seeing the Smileliners as they rolled by on the tarmac.  And there was something about AirCal's livery too--it was just very expressive to see up close.

John

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>Whenever I flew out of SFO in the 80's I always loved seeing the Smileliners as they rolled by on the tarmac

When I worked for USAir we actually had a specific paint called "Smile Remover" that we were instructed to use to 'wipe the smile off' the former PSA fleet. It was not un common to be walking along the flight line in the morning, and find that one of the mechanics had secretly painted the smile back on. I recall a few times when someone even placed a smile on one of the USAir (non-PSA) birds. Management would throw a fit, but most of us loved it!

 

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Thanks! These are fun and interesting remembrances...those folks who worked on those planes really loved them...had strong affinity for them. It's still true now, sure, I think..., but those planes being of the earlier technology, had their own characteristic (period) appeal...

Yes, in fact, I noticed a hybrid (PSA+USAir) livery...essentially PSA color with "USAir" written in place of "PSA". If not having worked for USAir (or gone through the PSA acquisition of USAir)...🙂... you may search for e.g. "Hybrid PSA BAE 146 Reg N190US" to see this interesting paint (not able to show the Airliners.net image here)...

I also added, here, the other U.S. Operators of BAe-146 (including 2 paint schemes for USAir), that I found readily available in my own livery set (took just a few seconds each to capture here). I didn't know the aircraft was deployed so extensively within U.S. itself. Looks like it was a rather popular aircraft world-wide, anyway, literally from A-to-Z, (Albania to Zimbabwe, per Wiki)...probably due to its strong hot and high capability when the runways were not very long. I also understand that, in spite of 4 engines, it had a remarkably low-level of operational noise (due to the nature of its Turbofan Engines), which must have helped with its popularity.

The list U.S. Operators (rather numerous!), follow the below images (all SIM images from JF/CLS BAe-146):

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U.S. BAe146 Operators:

  1.     AirCal - Former operator.
  2.     AirPac - Former operator (in Alaska).
  3.     Air Spray USA Inc. - Current operator flying converted BAe 146 aircraft as aerial firefighting air tankers.
  4.     Air Wisconsin (operating as United Express) - Former operator. Fleet included BAe 146-100, 146-200 and 146-300 aircraft. Only U.S. operator of BAe 146-300.
  5.     American Airlines - Former operator (ex-AirCal aircraft).
  6.     Aspen Airways - Former BAe 146-100 operator (acquired by Air Wisconsin)
  7.     Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA) (now ExpressJet) (operating as Delta Connection) - Former operator of the BAe 146-200.
  8.     Business Express (operating as Delta Connection and Northwest Jetlink) - Former operator. Fleet included BAe 146-200 and Avro RJ70 aircraft.
  9.     Discovery Airways - Former operator.
  10.     Continental Express (operated by Presidential Airways) - Former operator.
  11.     Mesaba Airlines (operating as Northwest Jetlink) - Former Avro RJ85 operator.
  12.     Minden Air Corporation - Current operator flying converted BAe 146 aircraft as an aerial firefighting air tanker.
  13.     Neptune Aviation - Current operator flying converted BAe 146 aircraft as aerial firefighting air tankers.
  14.     Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) - Former operator. Fleet included aircraft previously ordered by Pacific Express but not delivered.
  15.     Presidential Airways - Former operator.
  16.     Royal West Airlines - Former operator.
  17.     TriStar Airlines - Former operator.
  18.     USAir (became US Airways and was then merged with American Airlines) - Former operator (ex-PSA aircraft).
  19.     WestAir, operating as United Express - Former operator.

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Used to see one flying in every evening, during summer months, into nearby BAe Warton aerodrome. Now no longer seen.

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The aircraft in the second USAir image, N177US, was affectionately known as 'Christine", after a somewhat popular horror movie. She had two distinct incidents when we had her. The first was a maintenance accident that happened while mechanics were "testing the brakes" after the pilot reported a breaking issue. The mechanics tested the brakes by "taxiing" very very fast down the runway at LAX. The pilots were right. They didn't work. Fortunately, the mechanics were able to stop the aircraft through very creative use of a parked L-1011, severing the tail in the process. Bae shipped in a new tail, and she was put back in service. If I recall right, when she re-entered service, it was during the transition from the 3-reds USAir paintjob, to what ultimately became the red and blue USAir paint, but the new final design had not yet been decided on. They used the repair as an excuse to test an experimental paint job, to judge peoples reaction to it. It was horrid! It had five shades of brown, red, and orange intermixed with silver and grey on the tail, and one single skinny orange cheat line down the fuselage that tapered to almost nothing at the back. Fortunately, every one agreed not to choose that as the final design, and they settled on the red and blue, which I really liked.

The second incident happened during one of the LAX/SFO corridor runs, when the number 3 engine disintegrated during cruise, sending shrapnel through the cabin. One particularly lucky businessman had literally just opened his briefcase that he had set on the tray table, when a turbine blade came through the cabin wall and impaled itself in the open briefcase lid, right inline with his chest, if it had not been stopped by the briefcase! She wore the scars of that for the rest of her life as large scab patches on the right side of the cabin next to the engines. 

The engines were notoriously unreliable, and were a modified version of the engine from a Bradley tank, modified for aircraft use with an N1 fan. We used to say that the "Bae" in Bae-146 stood for "Bring Another Engine". I really loved those airplanes, and it was very sad when we parked them. They sat in the dessert at Mojavi Airport for many years, but they all finally found new loving homes. "Christine" went on to fly for Jet Aspen, then to Air France (City Jet), followed by Air Congo, if I am not mistaken. 

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Intricately vivid recollections, Kerry!!

Each of these planes seems to have had an interesting life - full of incidents and (hopefully not major) accidents....until they are finally retired from service....

Yes, indeed, there is a recorded reference to the maintenance incident you've described above:

"LAX collision with EA L-1011 12/4/87, repaired"

So, on 12/4/87, the little BAe was made to tangle with the Eastern Airline giant...Glad it continued on to fruitful service with many other operators...

 

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