Seeking Jetstream Info

kintz

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Posts
7
Total Time
240
I'm a student at the University of North Dakota and am conducting research on the J31/32/41. I would like to obtain some first-hand info from someone who flies or has flown any of the models. If anyone Jetstream pilots are out there and willing to answer a few questions, please respond to this message or via email.

Thanks for any assistance you could provide!
 

kintz

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Posts
7
Total Time
240
Like I said, I'm essentially looking for some basic info on the airplane from a pilot's perspective, as well as a contrast with other similar regional aircraft:

1. How long did you fly/have you flown the airplane, and for whom?
2. What model(s) of the Jetstream did/do you fly?
3. What did you like about the airplane (feel free to get technical if need be)?
4. What didn’t you like about the airplane?
5. Regarding physically controlling the airplane, what do you think was the most demanding or challenging task?
6. How does it compare to other airplanes you have flown?
7. In your estimation, was there anything unusual about the way your operator wanted the airplane flown, relative to other operators’ SOPs?

Feel free to expand or elaborate as you would like.

Thanks,
Chad
 

DC10

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Posts
145
Total Time
11000
Chad,

I have almost 2000 hours in Jetstreams, so I may be able to answer some of your questions. I flew both the Jetstream 32 and 41 models for ACA a few years ago, as FO on the -41 and as Captain on both the -32 and -41.

The Jetstream 32 is a beast. It's very unpopular with passengers, as it's old, dirty, noisy, uncomfortable and generally smells bad. There is no toilet (although some airlines have this), so most pilots can give you some pretty gruesome 'bodily fluid stories'. It's freezing cold in the winter and unbearably hot in the Summer. I remember flying a short IAD-RIC flight one August when the cabin temp gauge never made it below 100 degrees F (the Air con was on full the whole way). Also there is no flight attendant.

From a pilot's point of view, things aren't much better. The cockpit is small and there's no space to put your flight bags. The passenger sitting in seat 1B is no further than 2 feet away from you and is practically in the cockpit. I never quite got used to someone looking over my shoulder every time that seat was occupied. The geniuses who ordered the plane for the airline I worked for clearly thought that the pilots who were going to fly it were so good that they didn't need an autopilot. This sounds fine if you come from a flying background where you never had an one, but when you are flying 8 legs a day in the NE, in some of the worst Wx you can imagine, with no autopilot, getting paid less than every other pilot you meet, you have a lot to complain about. Add this to the fact that you have to fight with pax to put their carry ons in the closet (which has doubled as a toilet on more than one occasion) and hear them complain that it's all your fault that they are not on a 757 (The best one I heard was "I guess you pilots aren't good enough to fly the big planes") and you begin to get the picture. The plane flies like a pig. There's no yaw damper, so the smallest bump will leave you juggling the controls for the next couple of minutes while you fight to get things stable again. Even the smallest power change requires you to re-trim all 3 axes. The engines (TPE331-12) rarely make the required torque on take off and are noisy as hell (I used to wear ear plugs under my David Calrks). Having said that, its a really solid plane, handles icing well and can take the abuse of numerous bad landings every day, which is just as well because its's one of the hardest planes I have ever known to land well.

The -41 is in another class altogether. It's a lot faster and light years ahead of the -32 in every respect. It has a nice 4 tube EFIS, which works very well with a FMS. The autopilot works beautifully and the yaw damper keeps things stable. There's a lav (well, a potty really, but it works) at the back of the plane and a flight attendant to take care of the rowdy passengers. It's also considerably quieter than the -32. The plane is very stable and lands well. (Like most planes, you touchdown in the -41 with idle power - try that in a J32 and you'll crash).

That's about it. From an airline management point of view, the -32 is great as it's very cheap to run and to acquire, but it's far more suited to island hopping in the Bahamas than flying some of United's most valued frequent fliers from IAD to JFK.
 

throttlejockey

A serious CRM problem!
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Posts
143
Total Time
OY!
The J32 is a beast!

It is a very demanding aircraft from the handling perspective, due to its relative instability, and the fact that you have no autopilot, or yaw damper.

Further more, the aircraft is usually flown with one hand on the yoke, and the other hand on the trim wheels since it aircraft requires constant retrimming of all three axes every time the power is adjusted and/or the configuration of the aircraft is changed.

Additionally, you will find that each aircraft is different from one to the other so the amount of trim you need for one, could be dramatically different from the other.

There is no flight attendant, and the passenger in 1B is basically in the cockpit. And often passengers will get out of their seats and interrupt you right when your getting really busy.

The J32 can be taxied with one engine, and often a passenger will come up to the cockpit to let us know that only one engine is working. I simply tell them that we are going to fly with only one engine to save gas.

The J32 has very bad runway performance especially in the summer. Even long runways can be a problem for the J32.

Anyone with experience on the J32 should be considered good stick and rudder types. I heard recently from a friend that got hired by AirTran that on the first day of Indoc, the instructor went around the class asking what everybody was flying before they got hired. My buddy was on the J32, and everyone else was RJ. The instructor singled him out of the group by saying that everyone in the class was going to have trouble except him :)

The J32 systems are real simple and the DOC's on the J32 are the lowest of all the 19 seaters. So it is possible to make money with them if you don't scare all your passengers away.
 

-9Capt

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
1,046
Total Time
48.3yr
The J32 is a P.O.S.

Sorry I can't be more helpful, I've been trying for years to forget all I can about that airplane.
 

scudrunner

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Posts
63
Total Time
15,500
you lads beat me to the answers. what you said is right on the dot. we call them Junkstream around here.
 

Beer&Brauts

This is Oklahoma Football
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Posts
202
Total Time
Enough
Oh man, thanks for the terrible flashbacks!!! I was trying to forget all about that thing.

The above posts pretty much hit things accurately. From what I've heard, the 31/32 was never intended to be an airliner (and it never really was). It was originally designed to be a troop transport. Then the Limeys decided that it would fill a nice nitch for a 19 seat aircraft.

It's only competition is from the Beech 1900, which I understand is a much better aircraft (although I've never been in one).

The one good thing about the J32 is it makes you appreciate every other aircraft you will fly. The J32 is like the Yugo of the airplane world!
 

XJAVRO

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
132
Total Time
7000
Kinda off topic, but you guys should see the J32 graveyard at the BAE factory in Woodford, UK. I have pictures off it.
 

Beantown

Ex Chicken
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
564
Total Time
5000+
Hey everyone. I fly the JS 32 for a small commuter in the Southeast. I just got back from a trip an hour ago as a matter of fact. Everything that has been said above is right on. Especially the part about landing. The short little wing just does not create much lift.

There is one thing that I would like to say. I was reading the thread "Would you do it again" and it got me thinking. Many people that wrote "unhappy" posts seemed board with flying. All auto pilot and not much skill. My company is returning all of our j32's in the next few months. I will be joining the autopilot/flight attendent world. One side of me say's thank god, the other worries that I will one day be one of these "unhappy fliers". Because the jetstream is such a handful, when it is your leg, you do nothing but fly. (Come on now, we all know many of you guys spend your time as "Flying Pilot" reading the sports section in the USA Today you got from the hotel) I mean on a fall day with 50 miles vis, your eyes don't leave the six pack. Look away for a few seconds and I promise you will be off 100 feet in a 10 degree bank. I have flown with captions that have 13,000 hrs IN the j32 and it is no different. My point is that the plane challenges you every time you hear "Your controls". And when you listen to the ATIS and it is 24 RVR and 100 overcast the adrenalin starts pumping good. I love that!!! When you know the auto pilot is going to fly to 100 ft (with the rabbit in sight of course) for you, its just another approach. I can't wait to get into bigger and faster airplanes (better pay, more respect and less nonflying work) but I will always have good memories of the jetstream. It's a sports car flying among 18 wheelers. -Beantown:)
 

Beantown

Ex Chicken
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
564
Total Time
5000+
XJARVO,

I understand the jetstream graveyard in Kingman Arizona has a couple hundred and growing. I may get a chance to see it in the next month or so. -Beantown
 

JetProp

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 30, 2001
Posts
170
Total Time
10000+
I have about 1000 hours in the '32 and everything said here is true.

On the plus side, after flying the Jetstream, your scan and hand-flying skills will be second to none.

Those days really make me appreciate having an autopilot and FA in the back. Although the Dash is bigger, I don't think we get any more respect!

Regards, JetProp
 

Jetscream32

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
171
Total Time
6K
Everyone is right on about the old turbo gnat. One thing I have failed to see is the reason why we go through more airsick bags than any other type of aircraft. As mentioned above the J32 has no autopilot or yaw damper and is hot as hell in the summer time. Now add to the fact that we fly pretty short hops at relatively low altitudes and well you get the picture. CLT to HKY in July: 4000 feet, full throttle to beat the record of just under seven minutes takeoff to touchdown, 98 degrees OAT (99 inside), and no yaw damper. Who ever is sitting in the last row of seats has a 50% chance of using the nice little white bag in front of them. I have never been airsick/carsick/seasick in my life but have come the closest deadheading in the back of the old 'stream.
Bean, maybe they will let us fly the first three out to kingman Conway stlye: FORMATION BABY!!!
ATC: Jetstream 957AE flight say final altitude to IGM.
US: Uh, how's 9500 over the Canyon so we can get some pix?
ATC: Roger maintain VFR let us know when you are done
 

B-J-J Fighter

Royce Gracie in Action
Joined
Dec 1, 2001
Posts
1,118
Total Time
>4000
JS 31

I bet Beantown flies for Corporate Aircraft Partners at VPC.
 

Beantown

Ex Chicken
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
564
Total Time
5000+
Hey guys, I fly for CCAir (US Airways Express) out of CLT. We are returning all the J32's and will only be flying Dash 8-100's for the near term. We were bought by Mesa a couple years ago and J.O is threatening to shut down the company if we do not agree to a major pay and quality of like cuts. We are furloughing 68% of your pilots by April 15 b/c of the return of the jetstreams. You got to love aviation!! -Bean
 

TriStar_drvr

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
427
Total Time
12000+
Does that mean you're dropping service to HKY? That's my hometown and I catch a ride on you guys a few times a year to go visit my mom.

By the way, a good Jetstream pilot flies with slight pressure on one of the rudder pedals in turbulence. Sure, the airplane is in a slight slip, but it keeps the tail from swinging around so much. And that's a lot better than smelling the result of a bunch of sick pax.

All pilots should have at least one job where they have to clean up the airplane if the pax get sick. It will make you become very sensitive to the ride, and encourage you to try very hard to find a smooth one...
 

TSA Pilot

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
81
Total Time
5000
Sounds to me like those are INTERVIEW questions.... Are you planning on going to an interview saying that you have time in the Jetstream??? Trying to be prepared for any questions they might ask?? DARN! sure wish I had thought of that :D

TSA Pilot
 

kintz

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Posts
7
Total Time
240
TSA Pilot said:
Sounds to me like those are INTERVIEW questions....
Hmmm....Maybe that's because I am interviewing pilots. :D
 

jball2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
371
Total Time
nuff
Same Story

I'll come in and say what everyone else has said is all true. I have 2000 hrs in the Sweatstream and looking back on it I see that I really loved flying that thing. There was nothing like taxiing around JFK, with 19 scared to death pax, knowing that everytime we passed a heavy, the crew was saying " Now those guys are working for a living." Now they just say " Those RJ guys are threatening our career." I learned a lot about flying, and myself as a pilot, flying the JBALL, hence my screen name.

I flew the J41 as well. BAe fixed a lot of the problems from the 31/32 but they created new ones. Whenever it rains or snows the gremlins come out.

I think the best thing about flying a Jetstream is the comraderie(sp?) that exists between the pilots. It doesn't matter who you fly for or where. You can always start a hilarious conversation on Jetstream follies. What a life we live!

:D
 
Top