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Topic: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-01 01:48:37 and read 32767 times.

I had the chance to visit the island of Saint-Pierre lately. For the use of one of my picture in their 2007 agenda, Mr Loïc Detcheverry, one of Air St-Pierre general managers, offered me a return trip to Saint-Pierre, which I accepted of course.

I haven’t been to Langlade or Miquelon, part of the St-Pierre-et-Miquelon archipelago, as I stayed in Saint-Pierre for only two days. Over there I walked around the small island, which is a great place for photography. The rocky shores, the colorful houses and the beautiful scenery make it a nice place to visit. Over there I also met with a friend of mine, Mathieu Pouliot, whom is also an aviation photographer on the website.

September 23rd 2006
Montreal CYUL – Saint-Pierre Pointe-Blanche LFPV, PJ1124
Air Saint-Pierre
ATR-42-320 F-OHGL
Seat 11A

Once at the airport, I parked my car at Dorval’s Econoparc and took the shuttle bus to the arrival level of the terminal building. I went to the Air Saint-Pierre check-in desk, which was opening at 2 o’clock. As I arrived early and that the desk wasn’t opened yet, I decided to have a walk around the terminal, and took a few pics.

Some stores near the Wesjtet counters


MB Co La Boulangerie de Montreal


CYUL “food court”


Airlines check-in desks information panel


Later on I came back to the check-in desk, then went to get some Euro currency and went straight to security. It was a good move to get there earlier as the queue (mainly Air Transat flight to Holguin pax, which was operated by an A332) started to get a lot longer just after I got into it. They checked my camera bag at security, as usual, and I was set to go.

I had plenty of time to kill before boarding, which was to be at around 4 pm. So again I had a walk around, took a few pics of the international jetty and watched the apron activity. The usual visitors were there: AFR 772, LX 332, TS 332, CRL 332 and WS 737, as well as some ACA 767s.

View of the Intl jetty


Seating area in the Intl jetty


Café in the Intl jetty


FIDS screen, with my flight on top


As 4 pm was approaching quickly, I grabbed a few things to eat and went to gate 53, the PTV gate. It has been a long time since I boarded a plane via a passengers transfer vehicle. It recalled me about the good old days at Montreal Mirabel when we used them regularly to board the aircrafts.

Air Saint-Pierre ATR F-OHGL and the PTV

Inside the PTV


The boarding process was smooth and we boarded the little ATR by the rear door, the cargo being put in the forward part of the aircraft. The aircraft was clean and the seat pitch surprisingly good (33 inches). Our flight would be 2 hours and 35 minutes long, at an altitude of only 19 000 feet. The pilots started the engines right on time, at 4h40 pm. We had only a quick taxi run as we departed on the crosswind runway, runway 28. The acceleration was good and quite smooth, and we climbed into Montreal dark and rainy skies. One thing is that it was pretty loud in the cabin, as my seat was behind the engines. I recently flew on an ATR72 and sat in front of the cabin, and there was a huge difference.

Wing view, in-flight


Cabin view


The flight was bumpy from time to time as we flew for most of the flight into some low clouds. We had a complete meal service, which surprised me in a good way. First the flight attendant served beverages. I had a gin tonic. The meals were served and it was really fine. We had chicken and veggies with a salad, bread, butter, cheese, some chocolate cake , a Coffee Crisp and tea or coffee, along with some wine. The flight went by quickly as I chatted a lot with my seatmate, whom is an Air Saint-Pierre pilot, flying the Cessna F406 between Saint-Pierre and Miquelon most of the time. He was accumulating flight hours and thought about flying some biz jets in the future. I wish him the best!

In-flight meal


Soon enough we started our descent into Saint-Pierre and some lights were visible in the distance. We had a smooth landing on LFPV runway 08, and we backtracked a bit to reach the apron. It was 9h25 pm at that time, with a 2 hours difference with Montreal. Given we were the only flight and that the airport is rather small, we got our bags quickly and I went to customs. I felt it was funny to be in a France territory, and being so close to Canada (Newfoundland and Nova Scotia).

Baggage claim area at Pointe-Blanche airport


I went outside, smelt the ocean breeze and ended up waiting for a cab that never arrived, but two kind ladies accepted to give me a ride. The city of Saint-Pierre is so small that we were all going to the same location. I met the B&B owner, Pierrick, whom was a really nice and helpful guy, and went to bed. Of course I couldn’t sleep because it was only 8pm Montreal time, so I decided to walk around. There was absolutely nothing going on so I went back to my room and watched a bit of the Habs-Maple Leafs pre-season hockey game on TV, before going to bed….felt asleep at 4 am local time….hmmmmm.

I spent the next two days walking around and taking pictures. It’s a really nice island, with some fine scenery. The locals over there are great, helpful and won’t hesitate to talk with you even if you’re a stranger. As it is a small island community, everyone is warm and says hello to you, which is great. I also met with Mathieu. We planned to fly on the Cessna F406 to Miquelon (approx. 30 Euros return) on Monday morning, but it was so foggy when we woke up at 6h30 that we forgot about the idea.

Tuesday came quickly and it was already time to go back home. I woke up early that morning, at 6h30 to watch the sun rise over the island. It was a nice sight, but as there was nothing else to do I went back to bed at 7h30. I woke up again at 9h30, had breakfast (those croissants and croissants au chocolat, fresh from the bakery each mornings were awesome!), played a bit with the owner’s dog (a giant boxer), had a quick shower, packed my things and called a taxi. Meanwhile I noticed a piece of paper on the table, to my attention, my dad had written me an e-mail late the previous evening, telling me that my brother and his girlfriend just had their first baby! Wouhou, a little girl named Marianne! What a news and a good way to start the day! The cab ride was short and cost 3,80 euros. I thought it would be more expensive than that.

September 26th 2006
Saint-Pierre Pointe-Blanche LFPV - Montreal CYUL, PJ1123
Air Saint-Pierre
ATR-42-320 F-OHGL
Seat 9D

I checked in at around 11h30 in the morning and had a walk around the airport, to take a few more pictures of Saint-Pierre beautiful scenery. I came back to the terminal, sat in the upstairs waiting area and met with Mathieu. He told me he had arranged an apron visit that morning with Mr Detcheverry. I was happy because that would give me the opportunity to meet Mr Detcheverry in person, so I could thank him for the opportunity he gave me.

SPM terminal


SPM terminal (airside view)


Inside the small, but modern terminal


I finally met him some 45 minutes before my departure. He offered me to go on a ramp tour as well, which I accepted. I took a few pictures of Air Saint-Pierre ATR and Cessna F406, as well as a few pictures inside the F406. Meanwhile Mr Detcheverry gave me some precious and interesting information about Air Saint-Pierre history and fleet. After a few minutes walking around the small apron we went back into the terminal, where I said good bye to him and Mathieu. Both went back to the apron so Mat could take picture of the aircrafts and my departure.

ATR-42-320 F-OHGL


Reims Cessna F406 F-OSPJ


Cabin of F-OSPJ


Flightdeck of F-OSPJ


F-OHGL tail and terminal


I went throught security and the boarding process began immediately. I walked to the rear stairs of the aircraft, took a few final pictures of the airport and went onboard. I settled in my seat, only to see Mathieu laying down on the apron asphalt trying to get different perspectives of the ATR. Luckily for me the flight that time was only about 70% full, so I had two seats to myself.

As soon as the boarding process was completed, we start taxiing to the end of runway 26, being today’s departure runway. After a quick take-off roll we lifted up and flew past the terminal area, being closer to the other end or the runway. We made a smooth turn and went straight west. Our flight plan today would bring us over Sydney (NS), Moncton (NB), Ulton in the USofA and Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, to finally arrive in the Montreal area. Our altitude today would be 16 000 feet only, and the flight would be longer, 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Lining-up…

As we lifted, Saint-Pierre installations are visible


Climbing away…


No meals on that flight, only an “éclair au chocolat” and a drink. I was a bit disappointed given the meal we got on the flight to Saint-Pierre, but nevertheless, the pastry was really good. I had, again, a tomato juice. For some reasons I always end up taking that juice while I’m flying. Anyway…

Delicious “éclair au chocolat”


Later on that flight the flight attendant came to my seat and asked if I wanted to say hello to the pilots. Of course I accepted the invitation and went into the cockpit for a while, while we were flying over Ulton. Marcel, the captain, was a Saint-Pierre native and has been flying for the airline for many years. First officer Bertrand was a new comer into Air Saint-Pierre, as he moved from Reunion Island about 6 months ago to fly here, and earn flight hours as a copilot. Both pilots were really cool and answered my questions, we chatted about aviation photography and stuff like that.

F-OHGL flightdeck


Overhead panel


Again…


Again...


The rest of the flight was rather uneventful, we made the usual approach from the east, flying over Montréal-Est, where for the first time it became bumpy. You could feel the little ATR being pushed from side to side, and I could see some scary looks on other passengers’ faces. Well, I thought it was fun! We landed on runway 24L, and taxied to our remote stand, where a PTV would pick us and bring us to Gate 53 at the international jetty. Some interesting traffic was moving around when I was on the PTV, such as a Z4 763, an ACA 762 and a TS A313.

Flying over Montréal-Est


Final runway 24L, with the Place-Vertu shopping mall visible


I went to customs and joined the queue, again just in time, as many passengers were arriving from an Air Canada flight and an Air Transat flight, both from Paris CDG. Althought I had nothing to declare, the custom officer sent me to the “something to declare room” so I had to wait an additional 15 minutes before the officer check my bags. I then exited the terminal, took the shuttle back to the Econoparc parking lot…. and got stuck in traffic for almost two hours.

The baggage claim area at CYUL


I’d like to end my report by saying thank you to all the persons who made this trip possible. If you guys have any questions or comments, do not hesitate and I'll be glad to reply.

Alex G.-Denicourt
www.contrailsphotography.com

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many P
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2006-10-01 02:08:12 and read 32767 times.

Yes! I have always wanted to see a Trip Rep for Air St Pierre out of YUL! Amazing! How much English was used in the city/the flight/airport

[Edited 2006-10-01 02:13:02]

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: BMIFlyer
Posted 2006-10-01 03:35:52 and read 32767 times.

Excellent Report, and very different Big grin



Lee

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2006-10-01 03:51:26 and read 32767 times.

Doesn't flight 1123 go St-Pierre to Montreal with a stop in Moncton?

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-01 03:52:24 and read 32767 times.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 1):
How much English was used in the city/the flight/airport

Well, almost none... only the automated security briefing we had while on-board the aircraft was in both french and english. Most of the passengers were Air France passengers transfering in Montreal to go to Paris and beyond.

In the city it was all french, same for the airport.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-01 03:53:20 and read 32767 times.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 3):

Hum, our flight was a direct one, I don't think they fly to Moncton neither.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: San747
Posted 2006-10-01 04:31:24 and read 32767 times.

Pretty cool, that is a unique airline/flight to travel on... Not the everyday experience!

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2006-10-01 04:59:53 and read 32767 times.

Quoting AGD (Reply 4):

Do pax also fly CDG-YUL-St Pierre? I think they sync up their time to allow pax to get on from CDG or get on to CDG. As well they do luggage interline.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-01 05:26:36 and read 32767 times.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 7):
Do pax also fly CDG-YUL-St Pierre? I think they sync up their time to allow pax to get on from CDG or get on to CDG. As well they do luggage interline.

Yes they do. French people mostly go to St.Pierre for the job or to visit relatives. And I think both AFR an ASP use Handlex at CYUL, so it's not a problem.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: DILF
Posted 2006-10-01 17:01:19 and read 32767 times.

What a fascinating report - pictures as well.

3.30 hrs - - i didnt think the ATR had that kind of range!

Thats a big difference in flight time from your flight to St Pierre - only 2:30,but 3:30 on the way back!

Just curious - is Montreal their only route with the ATR?

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-01 18:11:37 and read 32767 times.

Quoting DILF (Reply 9):
Just curious - is Montreal their only route with the ATR?

They also fly the ATR to Halifax and to St.John, Newfoundland.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Cgnnrw
Posted 2006-10-02 13:42:22 and read 32767 times.

Very nice report. A nice change to the usual trip reports that are often posted here.

I've always wondered what the deal is with St. Pierre and Miquelon regarding their status with France and Canada. I know they are French but how come? I mean why didn't the French give them up with the rest of Quebec way back then? A very brief summary would suffice.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-02 18:39:21 and read 32767 times.

Quoting Cgnnrw (Reply 11):
I've always wondered what the deal is with St. Pierre and Miquelon regarding their status with France and Canada. I know they are French but how come? I mean why didn't the French give them up with the rest of Quebec way back then? A very brief summary would suffice.

St.Pierre and Miquelon is a Territorial Collectivity, I think like, for instance, French Polynesia, Martinique or Guadeloupe. It's represented in the French National Assembly by a deputy and in the French Senate by a senator. SPM prefect is appointed by the French government.

I invite you to read about it if you're interested:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Pierre_and_Miquelon

Alex

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Malmoaviation
Posted 2006-10-02 18:55:25 and read 32767 times.

Nice pictures. And great that you made a visit to cockpit  Smile


Regards

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: YULtoPEI
Posted 2006-10-08 04:14:42 and read 32767 times.

really nice pic Alex !!!

Continu shooting

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: SB
Posted 2006-10-08 09:32:55 and read 32767 times.

Nice report, and you were very lucky to get a visit to the flight deck. It's downright illegal on Canadian registered aircraft since 9/11.

Question: how did you get from the PTV to the aircraft door? Those busses are designed to get you directly to the door with no walking on the pavement possible, yet there are integrated stairs in the door of the ATR. Does the bus lower enough to be able to walk off onto the apron (doesn't look like it) or do they install a second set of stairs?

S.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Flyyul
Posted 2006-10-08 15:48:23 and read 32767 times.

Alex,

As always many thanks for taking the time to give us excellent trip reports like this.

I always wondered what it was like to visit SPM. Keep up the good work@!

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2006-10-08 16:00:45 and read 32767 times.

Quoting SB (Reply 15):
Nice report, and you were very lucky to get a visit to the flight deck. It's downright illegal on Canadian registered aircraft since 9/11.

The aircraft ins't registered in Canada. Although, where I work (YKZ) we have a Piper (Meridian i think) parked with the fleet planes with the St. Pierre logo on the tail. I have no idea why its got the STP logo on it.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many P
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-08 19:03:37 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for the kind words guys. It's a pleasure to share my travel experiences and my pictures with you.

Quoting SB (Reply 15):
Question: how did you get from the PTV to the aircraft door? Those busses are designed to get you directly to the door with no walking on the pavement possible, yet there are integrated stairs in the door of the ATR. Does the bus lower enough to be able to walk off onto the apron (doesn't look like it) or do they install a second set of stairs?

I don't know the exact terminology, but you get go down on the apron directly from the PTV, via stairs at the rear door of the bus. Then you walk and get on the ATR. As simple as that.

Cheers,

Alex

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Semsem
Posted 2006-10-09 19:05:45 and read 32767 times.

Fantastic. I always wanted to visit these islands. Did you mention the fare? Thanks.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2006-10-09 21:00:40 and read 32767 times.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 19):

The OP said that the president of the airline offered him a free round trip flight from YUL to St. Pierre in exchange for use of a photogaph of his in the St. Pierre airline's magazine.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-10 01:58:59 and read 32767 times.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 19):

JAGfler is almost right. They use a photograph of mine for their 2007 agenda, not magazine hehe.

I think the return fare from Montreal is about 950 $CAD + taxes.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: JAGflyer
Posted 2006-10-10 03:52:03 and read 32767 times.

Quoting AGD (Reply 21):

How many checkin desks did they have @ YUL. I know Air Lab/Creebec only keep 1 desk open when they have a flight due to the same plane size. I would think most pax on STP are pre-checked-in front AF. Weren't all the pax except you coming from Air France?

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many P
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-10 05:07:15 and read 32767 times.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 22):
How many checkin desks did they have @ YUL. I know Air Lab/Creebec only keep 1 desk open when they have a flight due to the same plane size. I would think most pax on STP are pre-checked-in front AF. Weren't all the pax except you coming from Air France?

The check-in area is really small, only one counter.

When I got into the Q, we were four passengers. One of them was a company pilot going back home after a short stay in Montreal. Most of the passengers arrived earlier that day on an Air France flight and were on a connection. Couldn't tell an exact % but most of the passengers came from CDG.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Redngold
Posted 2006-10-10 22:44:14 and read 32767 times.

Very nice report. I am fascinated by "little places" so forgive me if I live vicariously through you for a moment. Ahhh. Thanks.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Jakeflyer
Posted 2006-10-11 05:19:12 and read 32767 times.

Nice report. I especially enjoyed the pics. I used to live on Prince Edward Island and would watch the ferry leaving for Saint-Pierre and wished I could go there someday.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: Vio
Posted 2006-10-12 00:05:10 and read 32767 times.

Great report and photos Alex. I would love to fly to Saint-Pierre. By the way, do they speak Parisian French there or Quebec French? (I'd have to guess the first).

Cheers,

Vio

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-10-12 06:09:00 and read 32767 times.

Quoting Vio (Reply 26):
Great report and photos Alex. I would love to fly to Saint-Pierre. By the way, do they speak Parisian French there or Quebec French? (I'd have to guess the first).

Cheers,

Vio

C'est le français de France. They speak french as in France.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: TriStar500
Posted 2006-10-12 12:54:06 and read 32767 times.

Thanks for a very enjoyable trip report about a rather exotic destination, Alex!  Smile I sort of have a weak spot for enclaves and exlaves, so SPM is on my long-term agenda, too. Thanks to your report, I can now imagine very well, what travelling to these islands is like.

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many P
Username: AGD
Posted 2006-11-09 03:38:15 and read 32767 times.

Some minor corrections...

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 3):
Doesn't flight 1123 go St-Pierre to Montreal with a stop in Moncton?

I've been told they stop from time to time into Moncton, on a tech stop. Of course passengers can't deplane in Moncton because Air Saint-Pierre has an International Transport licence, not a domestic one.

Another correction, the OACI airport code in Saint-Pierre isn't LFPV, but LFVP.

Quoting JAGflyer (Reply 17):
The aircraft ins't registered in Canada. Although, where I work (YKZ) we have a Piper (Meridian i think) parked with the fleet planes with the St. Pierre logo on the tail. I have no idea why its got the STP logo on it.

It is a Navajo Chieftain, F-OBYN. It was sold to a canadian reseller last year and was in the Air Saint-Pierre fleet from 1981 to 2005. The Cessna F406 is now doing its job.

Special thanks to Mr Detcheverry for his updates.

Alex

Topic: RE: A Quick Trip To St.Pierre And Miquelon (Many Pics)
Username: SB
Posted 2006-11-09 05:09:44 and read 32767 times.

Quoting Vio (Reply 26):
Nice report. I especially enjoyed the pics. I used to live on Prince Edward Island and would watch the ferry leaving for Saint-Pierre and wished I could go there someday.

You sure that wasn't the Iles-de-la-Madeleine ferry from Souris? I lived on PEI for nearly 10 years and have never heard about a ferry to Saint Pierre... Most islanders don't even know where it is!

S.


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