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Azores Trip: BRS-CDG-LIS-PDL-FLW; Sata A310 & ATP  
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 21738 times:

Azores Trip

Part One:

BRS-CDG-LIS-PDL-FLW with Airlinair, Air France, SATA Internacional and SATA Air Acores, flying on the ATR 42-500, A320-200, A310-300 and BAe ATP.

To Follow in Part Two:

FLW-CVU-HOR-TER-PDL-LIS-LHR with SATA Air Acores, TAP Air Portugal[/i] and British Airways, flying on the Dornier 228, BAe ATP, A310-300 and B757-200.


Introduction:

Pretty much the only place to get on the BAe ATP these days is in the Azores; I had tried during a trip to the Philippines in the summer to fly Asian Spirit’s single ATP, but was advised that it was currently out of service, probably for good. However, I hadn’t planned to head down there quite so soon, instead I was aiming to travel to Iran and then carry onwards through the ‘stans’, however the Ministry of Tourism in Tehran turned down my Visa request, so that was the end of that for now… As I hadn’t been anywhere since June and since I had just sold my entire very large collection of model railways for a nice sum, decided it was time to get away for a bit! Still though I needed to consider my University course, which meant I needed to be in attendance for Thursday and Friday of each week, but it still gave me a five day weekend to work with, into which I got quite a lot, as the report below details…


The Route Map:




Saturday 13th October 2007

I wanted to leave from BRS in order to fly the new Air France ATR 42 service to Paris, specifically because it is operated by an airline I had never flown before using a -500 series which I had also not yet been on. However, I was in Birmingham and my flight left at 06:30, leaving me no other option than to travel down by train and coach the previous evening and then spend a very boring night in the airport! In total this BRS-CDG-LIS portion of the journey had set me back 12,500 of my airmiles and €61.04 in airport taxes, so not too bad. Before leaving home I’d checked in for both flights to Lisbon and had managed to fit everything into my hand baggage, so as soon as I saw other passengers moving through the security channel I roused from my oh so comfortable bench and headed into the departure lounge and then into the Servisair Lounge when it opened at 04:30. In 2006 I’d managed to fly enough sectors on Sky Team to gain me Gold status, but this was only going to be my 5th flight on Sky this year, so I welcomed another chance to make the most of my status… namely the free snacks and a most welcome cup of coffee – very reasonable too for machine brew. The lounge was nice and quiet, so I relaxed into a comfortable chair and scanned a newspaper from the day before – it was still early so there was very little movement outside on the tarmac.





The flight was called after a short delay due to the crew being late and then we were bussed out to the aircraft. At least half of the passengers were heading to the England-France quarter final rugby match in Paris, it’s lucky I hadn’t left it later to book or there wouldn’t have been any seats left. Oh, and sorry we beat you France, but congratulations to South Africa  Wink



Another delay was announced once onboard; as a result of the first delay we had now missed our landing slot at CDG and would be waiting for 50 minutes to take off… great I thought, but it certainly wasn’t quite that long before the doors were closed and we made our way towards runway 27.


BRS-CDG
Carrier: Airlinair for Air France
Flight: AF 2073
Aircraft: ATR 42-500
Registration: F-GPYN
Date of First Flight: 12th March 1997
Seat: 12E
Estimated Departure Time: 06:30
Actual Departure Time: 07:21
Estimated Arrival Time: 09:00
Actual Arrival Time: 09:36
Distance Flown: 285 miles
Total Flying Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


After holding for an approaching Air Southwest flight from PLH to touch down, which I’ve taken more times than I care to remember, we lined up in the first murky light of the morning and after a fairly long roll pulled gently back and promptly disappeared a few seconds later into the low cloud.



A long right hand bank ensued, to bring us back into a direction more conducive with flying to Paris instead of Cardiff, puncturing through the cloud as we did so to reveal a beautiful sunny morning. Ahh yes, flying is the guaranteed way to see some sun whilst you’re in the UK! Once straight and level the crew initiated the service, although most of the passengers still seemed entirely preoccupied with the size of the aircraft – amusing to hear just how many of them seemed convinced that Air France should be flying a 747 on the route. Just a snack was served, a sort of fruit croissant/pastry wrap which tasted pretty nice and to wash it down I had a glass of orange juice.



The view outside was a pretty constant blanket of cloud below, whilst the occasional jet would go cruising by high above us, drawing out streamers in the sky. Mercifully for the other passengers the air was perfectly smooth in our cruise at 18,000ft, which is the ceiling height for the aircraft. An hour into the flight and the descent began, skimming the tops of the beautiful candifloss clouds then diving into them to find 09L, settling gently down onto it half an hour or so later than expected. Last time I was at CDG I had learnt not to take any pictures when a stumpy and bad mannered woman walked up to me and smacked my camera against my face, only everybody else seemed to be taking pictures so that their families at home would believe how small the plane was… so once on the bus I felt safe enough from small evil women to take a few.



A undesirably long and jolty bus ride to the terminal followed; whenever I fly into CDG I almost always end up on a bus, even when flying to HKG we left from a remote stand, to be honest it’s a real pain and puts me off flying AF, well, one of the reasons that puts me of flying AF that is. I still had a few hours to kill before the next flight, so again made use of my Flying Blue card once I had found a lounge which was open. I know my lounge experience is not the greatest, but the offering was decisively poor; a wonderful selection of drinks was available, but there was nowhere to get anything to eat, except some minute and individually wrapped biscuits whose taste and texture was only a disappointment after all the hassle of getting into the darn things. Finding a computer which worked was a pain as well – almost all were broken and, shock horror, they were Macs! Now, I don’t have a problem with them, I just think that it’s alienating a large amount of your clientele if they are the only thing available – I don’t have a clue how to operate them and gave up unsuccessfully trying after a while. To me it would make far more sense to have PC’s, if anything, as 99.9% of people who are computer literate know how to use them.



Nevertheless, it was at least somewhere quiet to sit back and relax before I made my way through security and to the gate area of Terminal 2D where my flight would depart from. This was another odd thing – why is the lounge on the wrong side of the security barriers? To me Charles de Gaul is a striking piece of contemporary design as far as the visual impression is concerned, however as a major transport hub it has too many flaws – nothing connects easily, nothing flows and it just lacks the basic integration of say AMS, BCN, ZRH or MUC.

Boarding for the flight to LIS began on time and, surprise surprise, down the stairs everyone descended to a waiting bus, not of the Airbus variety either. Once the dispatcher had ensured we were all packed on like sardines and that there wasn’t an inch of breathing space left the doors shut and off we were driven, to the other side of the terminal, where we were let off and asked to walk up another set of stairs to access the A320 via an air bridge of Terminal 2A. I don’t think I was the only person left wondering why we couldn’t just have been sent to that terminal and gate in the first place – although it probably comes back to the Schengen agreement and regulations on where EU passengers are and are not allowed, which only reiterates my point about the poor design of the airport.


CDG-LIS
Carrier: Air France
Flight: AF 1624
Aircraft: Airbus A320-211
Registration: F-GFKO
Date of First Flight: 28th September 1990
Seat: 22F (IIRC)
Estimated Departure Time: 12:45
Actual Departure Time: 13:10
Estimated Arrival Time: 14:15
Actual Arrival Time: 14:10
Distance Flown: 915 miles
Total Flying Time: 2 hours exactly


Departing traffic was light, with only one aircraft in line before us, so it wasn’t more than a couple of minutes before we steamed down the tarmac of runway 08R and soared elegantly into the sky. The sun had begun to burn the cloud off, but still much of the countryside below was obscured, so I sat back in my seat and read the magazine, taking a few photographs once we had turned south and I didn’t have the sun beaming into my eyes and the camera lens.



I hadn’t flown Air France itself within Europe for a good couple of years, previously being served with Blueline and CityJet aircraft for connections to long haul flights from CDG, and once more I wasn’t impressed. The cabin had a strange and not overly pleasant muskiness to it, combined with the odd waft of stale sweat and, although the seat was comfortable, the general appearance wasn’t that of cleanliness. I’d put it down to a one off, but this was also the exact perception of my last AF flight back in 2005.

Half an hour out of Paris the meal service began, as I hadn’t eaten in the terminal I welcomed my provision and asked for a bottle of white wine for an accompaniment – it was past midday now after all. Peeling back the tinfoil I wasn’t sure what it was and I really regret not taking a picture of it now; there were several large slices of a round ‘substance’, around which a creamy grey sauce covered what I think was sliced mushrooms and potato. Tasting it, I was still none the wiser – whatever the substance was it seemed to resemble a sort of tofu at first bite, which was vaguely mushroom flavored, but once in the mouth took on a sour taste as the texture rapidly disintegrated to that of a fine chalk. I should really congratulate Air France on such a fine achievement; in 21 years of flying on more than 300 flights they have served me the first meal ever which I physically couldn’t eat, I gave it several tries as I was very hungry – but it was so disgusting and cold that I just could not make myself. If anyone has an idea of what it might be, then I’d be interested to know; I have a habit of ordering random things in foreign restaurants in order to experience different cuisine, but I never wish to have this again!

The cabin crew were very attentive throughout the flight, passing through several times to offer more water once the meal service had been cleared away. Below the North coast of Spain appeared under the wing and at some undefined point Spain must have given way to Portugal as we began to descend very slowly back towards Earth. As the landing was to be made on runway 03 the approach to LIS itself was fantastic, providing a beautiful view of the city and the famous ‘25 de Abril Bridge’.







Touchdown was firm, after a flying time from Paris of exactly two hours, arriving at the stand right on block time. In summary, I was not exactly impressed with AF, but there we go, it’s an experience and in future I shall stick to either the LCCs for European flights, or KLM.



Although I have spent several years in total of my life in neighboring Spain I had never visited Portugal before, so debated whether to go into the city, however as time was tight and I needed to make my way a different terminal, so decided against it, but picked up plenty of literature from the tourist office so that I’d be fully informed of how to get in should I have time on my return. Next I had to get a bus to reach the newly constructed Terminal 2, to begin with I wondered where it was, as the building is built in a fairly deep excavation and thus cannot be seen from the main terminal or the road approaching it. Check in wasn’t open yet, but I wandered over to the SATA information desk because I wanted to check that my flight definitely was being operated by the A310, no problems there and the kind assistant offered to check me in right away. The configuration for this flight would be 3-3-3 in economy, apparently they have different configurations on certain aircraft, with some having the regular 2-4-2, but to make it a nicer flight he sat me in one of the emergency exit seats which I was certainly most grateful for, especially once onboard!



There was pretty much nothing to do in the terminal, being in a dip meant that you couldn’t see anything, so after going back and forth on the bus a few times just for the hell of it, I had a good lunch and waited for the flight to board. Apparently it’s built in a new kind of modular style, which presumably means it was much cheaper due to reduced design costs and that it can be added to should needs be. Slowly the seats around the gate filled up as more people waited for the flight, until it was called and everybody filed onto the bus to be driven out to the remote parking area where the A310 was waiting, ready for the flight to PDL. On the next stand one of TAP’s A330 aircraft was parked up, their new livery looks brilliant on this bird;



As expected, the seating was nine abreast, which wasn’t too much of an issue in terms of the seat width, but you certainly felt much more ‘pushed up’ against the wall of the cabin, so it was a blessing to have the extra legroom in which to stretch out and not be sat bolt upright. As the night grew over Lisbon we pushed silently back while the engines whined into life from their afternoon sleep. I’ve flown on the A300 a good few times and loved it each time, but this was my first time on an A310, in a way it feels odd inside, as the cabin is so short, yet it is wide and spacious.


LIS-PDL
Carrier: SATA Internacional
Flight: TP 6559/S4 129
Aircraft: Airbus A310-325
Registration: CS-TKN
Date of First Flight: 6th December 1991
Seat: 22A
Estimated Departure Time: 19:10
Actual Departure Time: 19:28
Estimated Arrival Time: 20:25
Actual Arrival Time: 20:21
Distance Flown: 901 miles
Total Flying Time: 1 hour 53 minutes


Pulling onto the runway there wasn’t even a pause; the engines were thrown straight into action and after a brisk roll of about 20-25 seconds the nose raised and we lifted quickly away from the ground. Watching the suburbs of Lisbon recede below under the last remains of sunset, we banked to the left and headed over the Atlantic towards the comparatively tiny Azores archipelago.



The load onboard was moderate, probably not more than 70%, and the cabin itself was looking a little dated, in fact it reminded me quite a lot about the Northwest DC10 flight I had taken almost exactly a year previously, especially the three overhead projection screens, which throughout the flight didn’t seem to show anything of much interest. From the back of the plane an appealing aroma was beginning to waft through the air, preempting the appearance of the meal service, which arrived in a little cardboard box, drinks and a tub of ice cream being handed out separately by the crew. Presentation wise there wasn’t much to be said, dinner was a hot cheese and ham/pork baguette whose filling had managed to cement itself quite impressively to the foil paper it was wrapped in, but taste wise it was delicious – if a little greasy to handle.



Once the service had been cleared away I took an amble around the cabin with the aim of taking some pictures, which was easier said than done, as half of the other passengers seemed to have the same urge to take a post dinner walk! There was very little room to move in the aisles, I definitely prefer the 2-4-2 seating over this much more high density approach, but on a comparatively short flight of under two hours I can’t see any reason to complain, however long haul would be another thing, something which I shall have to prepare myself for, as I plan to take Air Asia X once they start flying to the UK or Europe from South East Asia.



The seat, apart from being a little tight for my liking, was fairly comfortable – although the tray table mechanism had seen better days; firstly it didn’t want to open, and then it didn’t want to fold back away again. Value for money though, well, prices to the Azores are pretty steep, the return ticket from Lisbon had been £164 at the very cheapest, which for intra-European standards on a two hour trip is pretty high, but there is no other option than to go via LIS, unless you can take the weekly (and still expensive) A320 flights from the UK or other destinations, which I couldn’t do because of my course requirements.

For most of the flight we had traced the dying embers of the days light which had lingered hopefully on the horizon, but by the time our descent towards Ponta Delgada began the night sky had closed in and it was completely dark, except for the pulsating halo of light emanating from the wingtip. The approach was quite an unusual sensation really; normally as you drop lower and lower on the glide path you have lights on the ground to act as a bearing for just where you are, but as I was on the left of the aircraft and this faced directly out to sea, for almost the whole approach I had absolutely no idea where we were or how high the aircraft was – save for the dull rumble which signified that the landing gear had been lowered and that we must be somewhere heading towards a runway. Indeed, a short while later a few lights flickered past the wing and moments later the wheels abruptly met the surface of runway 30, with a combination of reverse thrust and braking slowing us down along it’s entire length. There is no reason to stop any quicker, as the terminal is located at the very far end of the airfield, where we drew up on the small apron alongside an ATP waiting for it’s next flight.



Before leaving the UK I had found an affordable guest house in the centre of Ponta Delgada using the internet and reserved my accommodation, so just as suggested by the host, I caught a taxi from in front of the terminal which whisked me straight to the door in about ten minutes and for only 5 Euros – very convenient and for a highly agreeable price! As it turned out, I was really glad that I stayed where I did; located within just a short stroll of the city centre I had a very comfortable room, or studio flat as it turned out to be really, which provided every amenity I needed; en suite bathroom, kitchen area, ample furnishings, all set in a period ‘Victorian’ townhouse which exuded a fantastic relaxing atmosphere. The owner was most hospitable, brimming with highly useful information about where to go, what to see and what to do – I would recommend it to anyone, and would post a link if I could find the website, which unfortunately seems to have disappeared… the name though is Casa Victoriana.



The only thing I regretted about this trip was that I only had three days in the Azores, before I even booked the trip I realized it would not be enough to see everything, but hoped it would be a ‘taster’ of what the islands had to offer. The following day, on the Sunday, I spent the time walking around the city and botanical gardens – although it’s the capital of the Azores it’s hardly a city by normal standards; feeling more like a large town with a really nice atmosphere and just over 50,000 inhabitants – or approximately one million less than Birmingham!








Monday 15th October 2007


Today I was going to fulfill the purpose of my trip; to fly on the BAe ATP aircraft. In the planning of my trip I’d spent literally hours on the SATA website finding the best itinerary which got me the most flights in one day, on both the ATP and the fairly illusive single D228 in SATA’s fleet. I had contemplated booking it on the day, using the SATA youth standby tickets which are half the regular adult price, but considering that several of the flights I aimed to take ran only three times a week, I figured it was best to avoid getting stranded somewhere remote and missing my flights back home! In the end I chose a PDL-FLW-CVO-HOR-TER-PDL routing, with two flights on the ATP and three on the 228, unfortunately when I looked at the price my stomach did a back flip – but in the end the child in me persuaded the accountant in me that it was worthwhile and I booked it via the SATA website and then confirmed my card details and payment via email; the total cost being 214.22 Euros.

Figuring it best to be a little early, I got to the airport just before 8am and after checking in caught some breakfast at the café before proceeding through to departures. The lady who checked me in seemed quite aghast that someone would do such a routing all in one day, telling me instead to spend more time on each island, which of course I would loved to have done do should time have permitted it.







The glass fronted terminal provided good views of the apron, including the same A310 as I had flown in on the night before departing back to LIS. There were only around 25 passengers on the flight, so boarding was not too much of a rush and, once onboard I found a seat at the very front – on the intra-island flights SATA does not pre-allocate seats, it’s all free seating once you get onboard.


PDL-FLW
Carrier: SATA Air Acores
Flight: SP 500
Aircraft: British Aerospace ATP
Registration: CS-TFJ
Date of First Flight: 18th September 1989
Seat: 1D
Estimated Departure Time: 09:10
Actual Departure Time: 09:16
Estimated Arrival Time: 10:40
Actual Arrival Time: 10:37
Distance Flown: 317 miles
Total Flying Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

It’s always nice to get on rare and unusual aircraft and, in many ways the ATP reminded me of the YS-11 which I’d flown back in the summer, appearance wise there are certainly quite a few similarities. After a short safety briefing the engines powered up and the props began to sidle idly past, until they were spinning in a blur, moving us off stand to backtrack down the entire runway in order to take off to the West, in the direction of Flores, the most Westerly island of the archipelago and along with Corvo the only two islands to be on the North American tectonic plate.







The actual takeoff was not especially powerful, but still the ATP soon lifted into the skies, climbing out shallowly which was nice, as it enabled a much closer view of the countryside below, including a view into the crater of the extinct Cete Cidades volcano. As this is the longest of all passenger flights in the world served by the ATP and longest on SATA Air Acores’s network, I did wonder if any refreshments would be served, but even on a near hour and a half flight it appears there is nothing which was a little disappointing. Still, the view outside was certainly good enough to keep me occupied, on the way we passed over Sao Jorge, providing some wonderful views down onto the island below.





I had asked if it was possible to take a picture down the cabin in flight, however the attendants did not allow it, a shame, but they informed me that it was for identification reasons regarding the other passengers, which is fair enough. As we flew nearer to Flores the skies grew noticeably darker, so that by the time we began the descent it looked as if the heavens were about to open. The approach to the airport is one of the most spectacular that I have ever witnessed; at first it seems as if you are about to fly straight into the towering cliffs which you shadow all the way down until the land appears out of the sea, followed swiftly by the runway – just an amazing experience which sadly pictures do not do justice to!







The moment rubber met tarmac the props were feathered and brakes applied sharply – one of those moments where the seatbelt really helps to stop you from being pushed onto the floor by sudden deceleration! Upon exiting the crew were happy for me to take a few pictures, showing the clean and comfortable cabin. I was impressed by the ATP – inside it was quiet, on a par if not better than the ATR which I had flown a few days previously to Paris, it’s just a real shame that they hardly see any passenger use these days, they are not even that old!



The terminal was small and compact as could be expected, I had several hours though before my next flight so decided not to hang about; I was keen to get out, see a bit of the island, and photograph the ATP taking off again – which meant getting to the other end of the runway ASAP! With about five minutes to spare, including finding a shop to buy lunch, I found somewhere to stand, although I anticipated that it would use much more runway than it actually did, so hence gambled on using the wrong lens.







Once the ATP was just a dot in the sky I had a quick look around the town, and then decided to climb down the cliff and sit by the sea to eat my lunch. Living in Birmingham as I do now means that I miss the sea, sounds odd I know, but I really enjoy going for long walks around the coast paths and many beaches of the South West where I can sit and listen to the waves crashing against the rocks for hours, very peaceful, real chill out time!





There really is no margin for error when landing at either end of FLW’s runway; the drop straight down to the cove where I had just been is literally a hundred meters or so from the Southern end – note the ‘up’ markers on the embankment to warn approaching pilots of the landform.



With plenty of time still, I carried on around the perimeter of the airport, ending up at a convenient point to photograph this Beech Super King Air 200, which was a pleasant surprise to see land!







The North end of the runway has an equally undesirable reason not to overrun – the latter picture showing just how much the land has been built up to accommodate the road and then runway. I was conscious though that time was getting on, so headed back towards the airport - in just over an hour my next flight, this time on the Dornier 228, was due to take off for Corvo, the smallest island in the Azores and clearly visible from Flores:




Continued in Part Two, which I will post once I’ve finished tying up a few lose ends to it. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading the report so far, as usual, please feel free to post any comments or ask questions which you may have.

Thanks,


Dan  Smile


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMhodgson From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2002, 5047 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 21679 times:

Another fantastic report - I really envy your ability to hop around the world to sample all these aircraft; and hope to do so myself in the future.


No trees were harmed by this message. However, several million electrons were terribly inconvenienced
User currently offlineFlyingchoirboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 281 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 21664 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Your trip reports are always great, and this was no different. I wish I could fly as much as you do!

Scott



Flyingchoirboy: He sings, he flies, and sometimes he does both at the same time.
User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 21581 times:

Excellent report so far...am looking forward to the next installment!

Strangely I have been thinking about doing a trip to the Azores for some time now...having read your report I think it's now time for me to do some surfing for fares! And I will certainly check out Casa Victoriana.

Thanks for sharing.

Andy.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 21465 times:

Hi!

Excelent report indeed. Very nice pictures on your landing at LIS, specially that one with the bridge in a "vertical" perspective....I've landed many time in LIS but I've never had that perspective before....amazing indeed!!! Also the trip to PDL in a SATA A310 was quite nice...reminded me my honeymoon trip there but...20 years ago!!! Instead of looking to that SATA A310 I was looking to a good old TAP 727-100...yes time flies in our lives!
I'm looking forward to see the rest of this trip, and of course I really appreciate the way you put all the information of your flight; flight nr., registration, seat, delivery date, etc. etc.
Regards


User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1776 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 21360 times:

A very good report. Im quite envious of your ability to travel the world seeing some great places. They may not all be well known destinations but they are certainly different and off the beaten track

Great stuff, looking forward to part2



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineEurohub From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 236 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 21336 times:



Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
although most of the passengers still seemed entirely preoccupied with the size of the aircraft – amusing to hear just how many of them seemed convinced that Air France should be flying a 747 on the route.

Folks are strange aren't they? My colleague recounted a tale the other day that involved her refusal to fly STN-CGN because the plane was too small (and therefore unsafe, clearly). Her further descriptions confirmed that the dangerously undersized plane clearly unsuitable for the trip was none other than a 4U A319!

Excellent TR BTW

Regards,
Eurohub



Forget A vs B - Give me E or BAe any day of the week!
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1221 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21165 times:

Thanks once again for a great trip report and pics. Looking forward to reading Part II. Hope you've recovered from your injuries suffered during that Yak40 landing in Syria???


Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineManchesterMAN From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 1217 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21142 times:

Excellent report - very interesting.

Can I ask, how did you generate that nice looking route map?



Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26847 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 21142 times:

Excellent TR , I have been waiting for this report. It brought back good memories of the Azores. Id love to go back oneday. I dont like the 3-3-3 config either and the seats look a bit dated also. The shots of the ATP you got were amazing, especially the take off !!!

Looking forward to part 2

OA260


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 21097 times:

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 1):
Another fantastic report - I really envy your ability to hop around the world to sample all these aircraft; and hope to do so myself in the future.

Thank you, it takes a lot of planning, but I love it! I envy your ability to fly - so perhaps we will one day follow each others footsteps.

Quoting Flyingchoirboy (Reply 2):
Your trip reports are always great, and this was no different. I wish I could fly as much as you do!

Thanks - I do everything on a very tight budget which makes for more flights and often I find makes the trip a lot more fun, staying away from flashy hotels and tourist traps to explore the real places.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 3):
Strangely I have been thinking about doing a trip to the Azores for some time now...having read your report I think it's now time for me to do some surfing for fares! And I will certainly check out Casa Victoriana.

All I can say is go for it - certainly I would like to go back as there are some great hikes and walks to be made over the volcanoes. I'll try and locate a website for the guesthouse, my correspondence will be in my inbox somewhere I expect.  

Quoting CV990 (Reply 4):
Excelent report indeed. Very nice pictures on your landing at LIS, specially that one with the bridge in a "vertical" perspective....I've landed many time in LIS but I've never had that perspective before....amazing indeed!!! Also the trip to PDL in a SATA A310 was quite nice...reminded me my honeymoon trip there but...20 years ago!!! Instead of looking to that SATA A310 I was looking to a good old TAP 727-100...yes time flies in our lives!

Well, now that really is a rare aircraft these days! I'm glad that it brought back happy memories, the bridge shot did take a little bit of rotation and a crop to get it perfect, but even straight out of the camera I was quite impressed that I'd got it at the right moment as we flew past. I originally started doing the flight information purely for my own benefit when writing the report, but as I found it made everything so much clearer for the reader, expanded it to add information about the age of the aircraft - adds another layer of interest to the flight.

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 5):
A very good report. Im quite envious of your ability to travel the world seeing some great places. They may not all be well known destinations but they are certainly different and off the beaten track

Thank you, as I always say, it's the off the beaten track ones which are the best, most of the time. Certainly in terms of the experience and enjoyment I get from going away, the more remote and the less frequented the better. Central Asia is somewhere which really appeals to me - so one day soon I will get there, perhaps take the old silk road, catching a few nice old airliners along the way!

Quoting Eurohub (Reply 6):
Folks are strange aren't they? My colleague recounted a tale the other day that involved her refusal to fly STN-CGN because the plane was too small (and therefore unsafe, clearly). Her further descriptions confirmed that the dangerously undersized plane clearly unsuitable for the trip was none other than a 4U A319!

Good grief - normally so long as it has jet engines they are happy, but that's just incredible, how on earth did she get back in the end? I suppose though I am in a situation where I am very much used to flying in smaller props; for two years I was back and forth between university and home, where the aircraft was not only the quickest option, but actually cheaper than the train... until a certain Mr Brown introduced a nice green tax on flying   

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 7):
Thanks once again for a great trip report and pics. Looking forward to reading Part II. Hope you've recovered from your injuries suffered during that Yak40 landing in Syria???

Yes thank you, nice of you to ask; a good month or so on strict rest and utter boredom and I was feeling much better, although it took the best part of two to three months to full clear up. Don't fancy having that situation again that's for sure!

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 8):
Excellent report - very interesting.

Can I ask, how did you generate that nice looking route map?

Thank you, I use the maps from Google Earth for the reports I write; they are so much better than the pale colors of Great Circle Mapper. I draw the routes in using paint normally - simplest graphics program that there is - although I've got to say that the colors and appearance tend to look different when uploaded.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 9):
Excellent TR , I have been waiting for this report. It brought back good memories of the Azores. Id love to go back oneday. I dont like the 3-3-3 config either and the seats look a bit dated also. The shots of the ATP you got were amazing, especially the take off !!!

Thanks, the 3-3-3 config wasn't the best indeed! There was a good deal of neck craning to get as much of the engine in as possible, I should have sat a row or so back really, but they seemed to come out well enough!

I'll finish Part Two as an when I get a slot of spare time, as it is I have rather a lot of coursework for Friday, but it should be done by the early weekend at the very latest - sorry for keeping you waiting!

Thanks again for all the very kind comments, they make it well worth the effort of putting the reports together  


Dan 

[Edited 2008-01-16 13:40:05]


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8488 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 21077 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice stuff Dan, really enjoyed this TR, I guess as it brings back memeries of my ATP fllying which also took place in Portugal, though on a carrier no longer with us.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
however the Ministry of Tourism in Tehran turned down my Visa request,

- Do you get a reason why?

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
To me Charles de Gaul is a striking piece of contemporary design as far as the visual impression is concerned, however as a major transport hub it has too many flaws – nothing connects easily, nothing flows and it just lacks the basic integration of say AMS, BCN, ZRH or MUC.

- Whilst I've not conected through CDG, I can imagine the issues, it's bad enough as a point to point airport!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
I was impressed by the ATP – inside it was quiet, on a par if not better than the ATR which I had flown a few days previously to Paris, it’s just a real shame that they hardly see any passenger use these days, they are not even that old!

- Agreed, from memory it's nicer than the ATR family.

Look forward to part 2.

Rgds

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineRineanna From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 21030 times:

Enthralling TR!

Really enjoyed your commentary on all the different flights and places that you saw; you'd make an excellent travel journalist!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
but I really enjoy going for long walks around the coast paths and many beaches of the South West where I can sit and listen to the waves crashing against the rocks for hours, very peaceful, real chill out time!

Could not agree more, one of my favourite occupations!

Looking forward to part two!

Rineanna.


User currently offlineSAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 20997 times:

Great TR!
The Azores are definately on my to do list! The closest I've got to them so far is Funchal Madeira! The scenery looks fantastic, in some ways very similar to parts of Madeira.
Whats with the reg of the Be200,was whoever applied it drunk?  Big grin
Cant wait for part 2!!

Dave(SAAB900)


User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 20752 times:

Good report! Interesting mix of aircraft on your trip, especially the ATP. It's always nice to read such stories.
I really like the pictures, the Azores islands seems to become a 'to visit' place on my personal list  Wink



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 20669 times:

Great report - colour me exTREMEly envious. Now I have to go there too. Hurry up and post the rest.

Who knew S4's A310's were 3x3x3 - that's terrible ! Are these the same ones they fly to BOS/PVD ? I was thinking about flying them all the way over to the US, thank God I never did.

And did you ever find out what the AF meal actually was - sounds pretty gross.  yuck 


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4304 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 20579 times:

Hi Daniel,
Great and amusing to read, as mentioned in my emails I made almost the same trip last week! So many small details I was already forgotten, my sandwich inside the SATA A-310 was also glued to the aluminium foil, also no meals or drinks on any of my ATP flights, although they were fanatical with handing out newspapers (unfortunately only in Portuguese). I really would have expected they'd do something on your 75 minute flight, I can understand they don't on the 20 minute sectors though. Like Binter Canarias which has similar operations around the Canaries, they hand out glasses of OJ or chocolate bars.
I should have the patience to write more TRs again too...
Biggest difference was that 'my' A-310 CS-TKM had 2+4+2 standard seating, probably because it flew with mainline cariers like Ecuatoriana, LAB and Royal Jordanian while 'your' CS-TKN had a few years with charters like Air Plus Comet and Corsair beyond the belt.



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5133 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 20563 times:

Hey, Dan,

what a great aircraft/routing combination and a great story itself.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
Peeling back the tinfoil I wasn’t sure what it was and I really regret not taking a picture of it now;

I remember also an AF service with a similar situation to me. I´am a bit special around anything to eat, but the french guy seated next to me, cleaned the tray in only some minutes, so I thought, that wasn´t a joke, it was really the meal.

Thanx for posting and best regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineCa2ohHP From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 20451 times:

Great TR. I really miss the ATPs Air Wisconsin and UFS used to operate. Can't say I enjoed them as a baggage handler.

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 20372 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
Nice stuff Dan, really enjoyed this TR, I guess as it brings back memeries of my ATP fllying which also took place in Portugal, though on a carrier no longer with us.

Thank you, which carrier was that out of interest?

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 11):
- Do you get a reason why?

Unfortunately not, just 'denied'. Everything was filled out correctly, but at the time there was quite a lot of animosity from the US/West towards Iran, so I put it down to politics. I'll try again in a few weeks time as I might be able to go during Easter - really want to fly on the 707!

Quoting Rineanna (Reply 12):
Really enjoyed your commentary on all the different flights and places that you saw; you'd make an excellent travel journalist!

Thanks - it was something I used to even more, writing in general that is, but decided not to pursue a career out of it. I sometimes wonder if a waffle on too much; I remember last summer I was writing the reports to my Philippines trip whilst a friend was making progress on writing his book - he asked me how many words I had, and was a little shocked that I'd managed to write 20,000 when his book was only 5,000 in length so far  silly  I always find the words come easier when I'm relaxing by the coast, that and when I'm just about to fall asleep, sadly those are normally long forgotten by morning - so perhaps I should leave a pen and paper beside my bed!

Quoting SAAB900 (Reply 13):
Great TR!
The Azores are definately on my to do list! The closest I've got to them so far is Funchal Madeira! The scenery looks fantastic, in some ways very similar to parts of Madeira.
Whats with the reg of the Be200,was whoever applied it drunk?

The registration on the Beech was a little odd, I think it's a local administration toy, for getting around the islands it makes sense to have their own transport. The ATPs won't be around for much longer I don't think, so perhpas it is time to go!

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 14):
Good report! Interesting mix of aircraft on your trip, especially the ATP. It's always nice to read such stories.
I really like the pictures, the Azores islands seems to become a 'to visit' place on my personal list

I was quite pleased by the outbound sectors to Flores; four flights on four different airlines and four different aircraft, on three 'new' airlines and aircraft to my logbook - perfect! Glad you enjoyed reading it  Smile

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 15):
Great report - colour me exTREMEly envious. Now I have to go there too. Hurry up and post the rest.

Who knew S4's A310's were 3x3x3 - that's terrible ! Are these the same ones they fly to BOS/PVD ? I was thinking about flying them all the way over to the US, thank God I never did.

And did you ever find out what the AF meal actually was - sounds pretty gross.

I still have no idea what it was, certainly I don't have plans on giving AF a chance to show me again for a while. (well, I tell a lie, I still need to fly an A320-100, so that has to mean AF now!) I was going to carry on to Boston as well, the fare looked very tempting, €184 one way from the Azores, but I thought that cramming that into a weekend was a bit much - I presume they use the 3-3-3 configured aircraft on that route, although it wouldn't surprise me if they try and keep them just to domestic routes. Plus I'd also have a one way back from the US/Canada, and that wouldn't have been cheap either.

Glad it's me making YOU envious for once in a while... even if I have to pay for these things myself  Wink

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 16):
Great and amusing to read, as mentioned in my emails I made almost the same trip last week! So many small details I was already forgotten, my sandwich inside the SATA A-310 was also glued to the aluminium foil, also no meals or drinks on any of my ATP flights, although they were fanatical with handing out newspapers (unfortunately only in Portuguese).

Indeed - I did add as much detail as possible, once I get writing I find that I remember the smallest of things, most of which don't make it in as there would be faar to much and the report would become very boring! It's odd, my short term memory is on a par with a goldfish, but long term I can recall the slightest of details from flights and other events which happened years and years ago!

Would be interesting to hear your report too, as you managed to get on three different ATPs!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 17):
what a great aircraft/routing combination and a great story itself.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Thread starter):
Peeling back the tinfoil I wasn’t sure what it was and I really regret not taking a picture of it now;

I remember also an AF service with a similar situation to me. I´am a bit special around anything to eat, but the french guy seated next to me, cleaned the tray in only some minutes, so I thought, that wasn´t a joke, it was really the meal.

Thank you - must have been something that he liked! Perhaps if it wasn't the exact same meal, it was the same 'designer' chef who came up with it - I'd have been much happier if they had just given me a bunch of the bread rolls to munch through and a few packs of butter - if I'd been much hungrier then I may well have asked!

Quoting Ca2ohHP (Reply 18):
Great TR. I really miss the ATPs Air Wisconsin and UFS used to operate. Can't say I enjoed them as a baggage handler.

I'm trying to remember now where they put the baggage on the ATP, I know I watched them loading it as I boarded and thinking it looked a bit odd - but I can't remember why I thought that, shocking, that's one detail which has slipped my mind!

Thanks again to everyone, the weekend's almost here, so I shall get on with the latter part.


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17051 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 20084 times:

Just a question; From where do you get the flying map?? I really like it!!


Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineDavidkunzVIE From Austria, joined Mar 2007, 431 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 19872 times:

Excellent!!!
Love the ATP and I agree that it's a shame it's so rare these days.



DH3 DH4 CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 F70 732 733 734 73G 738 752 762 763 772 742 743 319 320 321 333 343
User currently offlineRebelDJ From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 112 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 19773 times:

Excellent report - well out of the ordinary.

Great pictures as well, keep them coming.


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