West Airlines Shorts 330 N330GW
In 1972 the CAB amended the
rules and allowed Third Level Carriers to operate aircraft of up
30 seats (or 7,500 lbs of payload). This
opened the door for commuter airlines to secure the kind
of machines they required to
meet the growing capacity that their networks were now generating.
loads were rapidly exceeding the capacity of the Twin Otter and in
upgrade to a larger type, ordered a fleet of five
Shorts 330s. "Why?" you may ask. Good question.
In the words of my good friend, the inimitable Art
Scholl "Well, it seemed liked a good idea at the
time!". Anyway, the Shorts
330 had been developed by Short Brothers and Harland Ltd of Belfast,
Northern Ireland, from the smaller, even more box-like Skyvan.
Originally designated the Short
SD3-30, the design was marketed as
the Shorts 330. It was never a roaring commercial success
and only about 180 of them
were built (and that includes a number of C-23s that the USAF decided
to buy - on our money). N330GW was delivered
in the summer of 1977 and is seen above in this
Frank C. Duarte on short finals into Lindbergh Field, San Diego in
December of 1981.
The image below is by Ellis M.
Chernoff and shows a 330 taken at LAX also in 1981 in the final
livery adopted by GWA before they ceased operations
Shorts 330 N335GW