Aerofelix From France, joined Sep 2009, 6 posts, RR: 0 Posted (6 years 3 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 15659 times:
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.
Trip: La Havana - Santiago de Cuba
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 .
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.
back stairs during flight
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.
having a chat with the copilot
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.
Trip: Santiago de Cuba - La Havana
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.
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.
Take off was really powerful, and the sound of those old engines was just awesome.
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.
some shinny metal there
I was hoping for some reverse on landing, but the plane slowed down using all the runway.
Again I had some great views on the havana traffic, with airfrance 747, aerocarabian il18, cubana IL96 TU204 and yak42, and iberia 346.
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.
Trip: Holguin - La Havana
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.
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.
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
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 From France, joined Sep 2009, 6 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 15292 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.
Airbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4401 posts, RR: 49
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15081 times:
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? )
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?
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
EL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1514 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 15035 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.
HOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 483 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 13775 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!
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!).
EC001 From France, joined Jan 2009, 94 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12749 times:
Bienvenue Aerofelix!! (ah, je ne pouvais m'empêcher d'écrire ça en français, hehe, )
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