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Flying The Cuban Way, CU Yak42 And 7L B-737-200  
User currently offlineAerofelix From France, joined Sep 2009, 5 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 12503 times:

Hello!
this is my first tripreport and my first post on a.net! I'm quite exited to join this great aviation community, after many years of reading !


I spended a month in cuba this summer, and had the great oportunity to fly on some rare birds.


Flight 1:
Date: 07/07/2009
Trip: La Havana - Santiago de Cuba
Flight: CU984
Aircraft: Yakolev 42 (CU-T1255)
Flying time: 01:25

Flight CU984 was leaving Havana airport at 7 in the morning from the domestical terminal of the Jose Marti airport. I got there two hours before flight departure, wich was way enough has chech in was quick and efficient. The domestical airport is small but all right, except that all the windows giving on the apron are covered with plastic which is rather strange. The cuban security doesn't mind at all when you keep taking pictures, so I don't see why they do this.


We got to the aircraft with a short bus ride, passing in front of some nice AN24 and B732.
CU-T1255 is an all white yakolev42, with just the cubana titles .
javascript:file_click('1256574959zDJ8g6.jpeg',%20'full')
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf3910.jpg


Boarding was from the front or by the rear stairs, depending from where you were getting out.
The plane was almost full, but I had exactly the seat I wanted, at the back of the plane, to enjoy the view on the D-36, the first russian by-pass civil engine.
The inside of the plane was not in a very good shape, but it was clean and fairly confortable.
Has i always do, I asked for a cokpit visit when bording, and they told me it wouldn't be a problem when arrived.

Take off was powerful, but the plane was not as noisy has I expected.
Service was only a glass of orange juice or water after take off, but I was made in a friendly way.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf3911.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf3912.jpg
back stairs during flight
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf3913.jpg





After landing, I took my camera and my logbok and got in the cokpit. I had a great chat with the first officer, who spoke with pleasure of his aircraft. He told me it was very realible, and that it suiter very well the cubana routes. He was hoping to get on the IL96 in the future.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4010.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/img_1511.jpg
having a chat with the copilot
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/img_1512.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/img_1510.jpg

http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4012.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4011.jpg
an2 on the apron



All in all, the flight was a pleasure. I was happy to fly on such a rare bird for the first time, and the cokpit visit was great.

Outside the Santiago airport, I took some picturres of an old IL18 converted into a bar.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4013.jpg



Flight2:
Date: 16/07/2009
Trip: Santiago de Cuba - La Havana
Flight: 7L883
Aircraft: Boeing 737-200 (XA-UHZ)
Flying time: 01:10



I booked the return flight in santiago, and I was told the aircraft was a 737, I was just hoping very strongly it would be a classic.
Departure time was in the late afeternon, with arriving just before night time in La Havana.
Again security check was quick. The airport is small but comfy, and this time the view on the apron was open.
I was crossing my fingers when i saw the aircraft ariving and was finaly pleased to see it was a 732. I only flew one before, when I was a child, but I still remember the reverse system at landing.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4210.jpg

The aircraft is leased from a mexican company, and all the crew was from mexico.
The aircraft was in a great condition, and it looked sharp in a grey and blue livery.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4211.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4212.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4213.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4214.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7610.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7611.jpg



Take off was really powerful, and the sound of those old engines was just awesome.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7612.jpg
Service consisted in a sandwich with tea or cofee, and a soft drink. I was fine for such a small flight, but the crew was not as friendly as in the cubana trip.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4215.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4216.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4310.jpg
some shinny metal there


I was hoping for some reverse on landing, but the plane slowed down using all the runway.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7710.jpg
Again I had some great views on the havana traffic, with airfrance 747, aerocarabian il18, cubana IL96 TU204 and yak42, and iberia 346.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf4312.jpg


Before getting out of the plane, i asked for a cokpit visit. The two mexican pilots where friendly, and told me I should have asked for a in flight visit. There was a problem with the bus wich was taking the passengers to the domestic terminal, so I was able to spend plenty time in the cokpit, wich was a pleasure.




Flight 3.
Date: 24/07/2009
Trip: Holguin - La Havana
Flight: 7L
Aircraft: Boeing 737-200 (XA-UKW)
Flying time: 01:00


I was intending to get back to La Havana by bus, but they were all full due to the carnaval and national party in Cuba. Has my return flight to paris was leaving on the next day, I had to do another ride whit aerocarabean. Prices for flights in Cuba are fairly low, so it was ok (90cuc by plane, 60 by bus), and I knew I would fly with a 737-200 again.

Holguin airport is huge and modern for a fairly small city, due to all the chartes coming from Europe and Canada.

Departure time was at 8pm but we left nearly two hours late.
again the 737 was leased from mexico. I seems that cubana and aerocaribbean lease a lot of planes in the summer, has my cubana flight from paris to la havana was already in a 767 leased to euroatlantic.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7810.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7811.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7812.jpg

The flight was fairly uneventful, but it was a pleasure to be a such an historical aircraft. The wing view is just beautiful, and the engine sound is unique.
Before landing, we passed fairly near to some big thunderstorms. It was quite an impressive sight.
Reverse were used on the landing, wich finished my aeronautical travel in a beautiful way.
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7817.jpg
cokpit visit
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7814.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7814.jpg
some nice traffic in havana



My trip in Cuba was great, and flyng in such rare aircrafts was amazing. I wish I could have flown in an AN24 and AN2, but I think I can't complain.
Cuba local service is good and crews and airport check in are friendly and efficient.

Here are some other pictures from some nice planes stored in La Havana airport and from some nice trafic over cuba


http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7915.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7914.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7912.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7916.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7911.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7816.jpg
http://i86.servimg.com/u/f86/11/96/22/00/dscf7910.jpg
active il62, do you know where it may be flying?




Thanks for reading, and sorry for my english.
Feel free to ask questions and to give advises for tripreports
aerofelix

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 12392 times:

Hi Aerofelix,

welcome to a.net! Your first trip report was a pleasure to read - you don't find many reports about Cuba and Cuban carriers here. I also liked your pictures. Good to see spotters are welcome in Cuba.

Quoting Aerofelix (Thread starter):
The domestical airport is small but all right, except that all the windows giving on the apron are covered with plastic which is rather strange.

Could be a kind of sun protection.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineMbe0002 From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 12380 times:

the 737-200 must be ex-UA according to cabin design, or? Funny to see such an aircraft doing business in Cuba Big grin

User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2589 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 12258 times:

Great trip report - very interesting!

Quoting Aerofelix (Thread starter):
Outside the Santiago airport, I took some picturres of an old IL18 converted into a bar.

This is actually an IL-14.

Quoting Aerofelix (Thread starter):
active il62, do you know where it may be flying?

Are you sure it was definately active? I flew this exact aircraft, CU-T1280 in 2007 but I thought it was now retired. Great news if it is not.


User currently offlineAerofelix From France, joined Sep 2009, 5 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12136 times:

It looked active because it was not always there in Havana airport, and when I took my flight back to Paris, there was a lot of activity around it. But I didn't see it moving.
It was also the only il 62 who was not parked in a remote apron, and it looked like it was in a much better condition than the others.


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12110 times:

Hi Aerofelix,

Nice report with exotic aircrafts. It looks like Cuba is one of the last B737-200 heavens. Your plane has a striking interior. It won't surprise if it was a former UA ship.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 12088 times:



Quoting Mbe0002 (Reply 2):
the 737-200 must be ex-UA according to cabin design, or?



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 5):
Your plane has a striking interior. It won't surprise if it was a former UA ship.

XA-UHZ is a former USAir plane. Prior to its delivery to Global Air it was also operated by Royal Aviation, Canada 3000, the US Navy and Magnicharters.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4253 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 11925 times:

Hi Felix!
Welcome to the club here, and thanks for a great start with this post!
Indeed, you're very lucky to catch up some old metal in Cuban skies.
Although personally I would've taken more flights on the Russian planes, which seems more difficult to score, the B732 is for sure interesting enough! I've had multiple experiences on these tiny ones with their smoking cigars under the wing (is that why they're in Cuba now?  Silly)
Picture quality is pretty good too, and it's nice to read that you can openly take the pictures, also on the airport and on board.

But what a pity that you had to cross the Atlantic in that Euroatlantic B763!! The Il-96 is normally doing these routes isn't it?

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1291 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 11879 times:

Thank you Aerofelix for excellent and very interesting trip report, we don't see those birds every day. Those Russian planes are amazing, Cuba seems to be heaven for aviation fan. The pictures are lovely as well.

My last flight on B737-200 was in April 2001, on N320DL, Delta Express MCO-IAD. I hope it won't be the last.



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineAbrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5073 posts, RR: 55
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 11746 times:



Quoting Mbe0002 (Reply 2):
the 737-200 must be ex-UA according to cabin design, or? Funny to see such an aircraft doing business in Cuba

= Thanks for a wonderful report. This is exactly what I was thinking ... and I smiled at the irony of the picture.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineTaichen From Spain, joined Jul 2001, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 11746 times:

Great ! I really enjoyed reading your report !

So which airline is 7L ? aerocaribbean ?


User currently offlineSkyfellow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11545 times:

Awesome reading and pictures! Don't apologize for your English! We all struggle getting it right on this forum!

Thanks for sharing,

Skyfellow


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5131 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 11455 times:

Hey, Felix,

welcome and great stuff.
That´s what I like, something really special to follow here.

So it seems I need to go for a closer look into Cuba the next time!.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8484 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 10921 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Excellent read, really enjoyed!

Thanks for sharing the experience.

Best Wishes

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 438 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10619 times:

Thank you! For taking us to a place that is little reported on and even less seen. Its great to know those in the Cuban aviation community are just like the rest of the world, eager to share their love for flying!


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17051 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 10108 times:

Great TR!

Really love the pics of all these rare aircraft.

Quoting Aerofelix (Thread starter):
I spended a month in cuba this summer, and had the great oportunity to fly on some rare birds.

Indeed you got to fly on some rare birds and see a lot of them!


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineSAAB900 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2007, 487 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10073 times:

Hi Felix & like the others have said welcome! This is a great TR well written with great photo's!

Quoting Aerofelix (Thread starter):
The cuban security doesn't mind at all when you keep taking pictures,

So you had no trouble at all from the authorities/police with taking photo's?
For the photo's of the Ill62/An24 or 26,Dc3 etc at Havana could you get right up to them for the photo's or were they taken from a distance away?
Are the internal flight's in Cuba cheap?
Like Markus(FLIEGER67) said I think a few a.netters will be thinking about Cuba for a holiday next year especially if those B737-200's are still flying(let alone the old Russian stuff!).

Dave(SAAB900).


User currently offlineEC001 From France, joined Jan 2009, 94 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 9593 times:

Bienvenue Aerofelix!! (ah, je ne pouvais m'empêcher d'écrire ça en français, hehe,  Wink )

This is a fine TR you wrote there mate! I love the pictures of all those Soviet flying beauties! I wish that one day I'll be able to fly one of them... But I better hurry up...

I'm also pleasantly surprised to see that you could easily take pictures from the grounds of the Airports.... it's sad to know that a prefectoral decree now prohibits any plane spotter to take photos from CDG  Sad

Again, well done.

Cheers from Paris,

orian


User currently offlineAluminumcity From Canada, joined Aug 2009, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 9143 times:

My last 737-200 flight was on a C6 flight to Toronto in 05.


"Well, if I were flying on an MD-80, I'd be taking those anti-depressants too."
User currently offlineRAFVC10 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 8739 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Aerofelix,

nice trip report!

Just one question: where did you purchased the tickets to fly domestic in Cuba?

Regards,

Gerard



El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 8616 times:

Hi Felix,

great report and pictures, it was a pleasure to read and watch. Flying around in Cuba still seems to offer a lot of rare aircraft.

Regards
Christoph


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