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A Chopper To A Fokker: HEN-CHE/TLL-ARN  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 6483 times:

Introduction

While passing through TLL the other day (see here: Landing At ARN Thrice A Day (+ BMA, TLL And GOT) (by FlyingFinn76 Nov 29 2011 in Trip Reports) ) I noticed a Carpatair Fokker 70 parked there, at a gate which was showing an Estonian Air flight to ARN. That managed to arouse my curiosity and I had to investigate. Thanks to some friendly OV gate agents I learned that it is indeed providing some additional capacity for them until the end of the year. I have flown Carpatair quite a few times, both on their own flights to and from their home base of Timisoara, Romania and when they operated quite extensively for airBaltic during the “Crazy Baltic Summer of 2010”. But I had never flown with their ex-MA Fokker 70s, so that was a good excuse to fix up an itinerary.

Of course things started by booking the main course, the plane appeared most frequently on the evening flight to ARN so I booked that for 40 EUR. Then to get to Tallinn I was thinking about taking the FlyBE Nordic TMP-TLL flight as I potentially had to be in Tampere for business reasons during that day, but getting confirmation whether I really had to be there or not was a bit slow (turned out I had to, meaning a hurried drive back to Helsinki!) and I didn’t really want to leave my car there either so I decided to look for other options.

Luckily there was another interesting option taking just 18 minutes - flying to Tallinn with a helicopter. This service between Helsinki Hernesaari Heliport (will be designated as HEN by IATA at some point) and Tallinn Linnahall Heliport (CHE, again not official) was operated between 2002 and 2006 by the Finnish company Copterline, but their business started going downhill after one of their Sikorsky S-76 helicopters crashed into the sea in front of Tallinn in August 2005, unfortunately with the loss of everyone onboard. Afterwards they focused on doing charter work, but eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2010. I did have a chance to fly this service once back in 2002 and it was certainly a very nice experience (the pilot even apologized for the flight taking 19 minutes instead of the advertised 18 as they had to go around some storm clouds!).

The helicopter service was quite popular with business travelers as it was much faster than even the fast catamarans crossing the gulf and of course more convenient than flying with a fixed wing aircraft as the formalities at the terminals are extremely fast and minimal, plus at Helsinki the terminal is much closer to the city centre than HEL airport (a little less so in Tallinn as TLL is only six kilometers from the centre). As there was a clear demand for this service it was not a surprise this autumn it got resurrected, this time branded as “Fast Class by Copterline” and operated by an AgustaWestland 139 helicopter with 13 seats. Tickets for this service were originally quite expensive, but soon to lure additional passengers they introduced a “Joker” ticket which costs just 89 EUR one way (less than half the price of the cheapest one way fares before) and comes with the usual “no changes, no refunds” rules. That was too sweet a deal for me so I booked a ticket for the 17.00 departure (the OV flight was leaving at 19.00 so I had plenty of time to make my way to TLL).

Finally to get back it was a choice between DY for around 50 EUR and a nicer schedule or the Sleepy SAS Midnight Boeing for a bit over 60 EUR and of course a bad schedule with a 4 hour wait at ARN. Well, let’s just say FFPs do work so I of course ended up on the latter!

Not quite the correct route as HEN/EFHE is unknown by the otherwise fab Great Circle Mapper:

.

Thursday 15.12.2011

So this report starts at Tampere (where the ground is white!), where I sneak out from my meeting a bit early, fire up the trusty Ford and hit the motorway to our capital, cursing the lowly 100 km/h speed limit they have during the so-called winter season. Oh well, I’ve never cared much for speed limits anyway, just trusted my stellar luck and boyish charms to get me out of potential trouble and once again it works fine, so I make good time and finally pull off to a local train station somewhere in the midskirts (as opposed to real outskirts) of Helsinki (where the ground most definitely is not white!). This station just happens to lie on the line I use for commuting to and from work, so will be handy for retrieving my car the next day.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_1.jpg

I catch a local train to the main station at Helsinki and admire the beautiful Christmas lights around (working and living in the suburbs means that I frequent Arlanda and various other airports much more than the center of Helsinki!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_3.jpg

It is rush hour, so the timetables for the buses are very optimistic, but eventually my ride pulls up some ten minutes late:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_4.jpg

The bus is full of hipsters - well this line takes one through the trendy parts of Helsinki so nothing less is expected. The timetable is far too optimistic here as well, the ride to the terminus at Hernesaari is listed as taking a mere ten minutes but takes actually more than twice that. The last stop on the line just happens to lie conveniently right next door to the helicopter terminal, so that is nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_6.jpg

They use these vans to drive passengers to Tallinn in the case of a flight cancellation:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_5.jpg

Inside there’s nobody but the reception girl and a young guy who turns out to be the combined security officer/ramp agent/general purpose customer service agent. Check in takes around ten seconds, I ask “To Stockholm, right?”, the answer is “Well maybe in the future.” so I just have to say “But I think St. Petersburg will come first.”.

My hand luggage is weighted as well and I’m asked to proceed through security to “the lounge”.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_7.jpg

Security is far easier than at airports, no need to take off my belt or any silliness like that. The guy asks if I want to use my computer while waiting - I say yes so he advices me that then I need to surrender my bag just before boarding the helicopter as “we just don’t have that kind of overhead bins as aeroplanes do.”. Fair enough.

Hmm, did someone mention a lounge earlier? Oh yes, since there’s no inflight service on the flights Copterline has a fully featured lounge for waiting passengers including some small snacks, juices, soft drinks and of course coffee/tea:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_8.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_18.jpg

Due to the season there’s some Glögg, or the Nordic version of Glühwein available, although this one is juice based and thus non alcoholic:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_9.jpg

Oh, and obviously there’s a free wifi here, which I take full advantage off. A funny sign advertising it (and a nice tree with some shiny thingamajics as well):



Some Christmasy drinks and cookies:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_11.jpg

On the table there’s not only a jar of candy but a jar of earplugs as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_12.jpg

There’s an Estonian guy already here, he looks and acts like a young gangster (well, “entrepreneur” would probably be the proper term here - after all those two things are vaguely separated by a thin red line in these countries...). He keeps giving me the bad eye for taking photographs.

Working areas:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_14.jpg

Reading material - the spread here confirms that this is a service aimed for the business travelers (and that they have struck a nice exclusive deal with the leading Finnish business daily):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_17.jpg

Safety cards are available on the desk:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_16.jpg

It’s only me and the guy for quite some time - I read my emails and do some other stuff with the laptop, among them a final shot at OLCI for the next flight (for some reason my numerous attempts today and last night never worked) - and voila - this time it works fine and I check myself in, although am obviously not able to print a boarding pass (and don’t bother trying the provided computer & printer, I can always sort it out at TLL).

The boarding pass for this flight is a laminated, reusable one with a seat map:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_19.jpg

That seat map only shows 12 seats but the check in agent clearly said 13 was the maximum capacity so I’m a bit confused by that, as I don’t think there’s a jumpseat in the cockpit either.

I hear the inbound landing at 16.50, just ten minutes before the SDT of our flight. At the same time a bunch of other passengers emerge through the security check (and stupid me was worrying about the check in times listed at their website which stated that one should be there half an hour before departure...).

There are two business traveler types, I think one of them is Estonian and the other one a Finn, although I don’t ever hear either of them saying anything. Then there are two guys who definitely are Finns, both drunk but the other one much more so, he is unable to even walk straight. I’m really surprised that he was allowed to check in. A bit later the check in girl comes and hands the more drunk guy his passport and boarding pass, apparently he forgot them at the check in desk...

Boarding is called three minutes before SDT. They announce that the boarding passes are actually color coded (didn’t realize that) and having a seat on the middle row I will actually board as part of the last group.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_15.jpg

Outside it is rather noisy, but I didn’t bother with the earplugs as I want the full experience here too. A ramp agent signals to me that he wants my back bag so I surrender it to him.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_20.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_21.jpg

Sorry for the bad pictures throughout this flight - it was too dark to get any good pictures.

HEN - CHE
CPE7160
AW139 OH-HCR
Seat 4D
17.04 - 17.25

The first two rows are facing each other, with the last row being a separate one. The safety belt is not your usual hip belt found in commercial airliners but a four way harness instead with this interesting latch:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_22.jpg

Controls on the ceiling resemble their counterparts in modern planes.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_23.jpg

The drunk guys are on the back row (and too drunk to even fasten their harnesses properly, the ground staff does that for them, again I’m wondering why were they allowed onboard) and the four of us here on the facing rows. It is not the roomiest of cabins, but okay for this load of six passengers. With a full cabin it could get quite cramped, however.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_24.jpg

The captain is Finnish and the FO Estonian, so they take turns to make announcements in both languages. Our flight time to Tallinn today will be 19 minutes (wow, a major delay, stop the press!) and we will be flying at a height of just 40 meters (now that sounds far too low for me!) and the weather is cloudy and rainy along the way.

The doors are closed and we taxi out four minutes late. Yes, indeed we taxi a short way to the actual pad before lifting off. It definitely feels a bit weird going straight up like in a glass windowed elevator for a bit before the nose is pointed downwards and we head out over the sea towards Tallinn - Hernesaari is at the extreme southern end of Helsinki, on a peninsula that once upon a time was an island, hence the name (saari = island) so there’s no overflying of any built up areas or even land from here.

Lifting off in the rain:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_25.jpg

It is quite noisy in the cabin - it doesn’t hurt my ears (unlike outside) but it is not really possible to have a chat either.

Now I don’t consider myself to be a nervous flier - having flown over 1200 commercial flights during my life (if you count the ones before I started systematically logging them) but I have to admit that this flight did give me a very uneasy feeling. I think it is a combination of the memory of what happened to that unfortunate Copterline flight back in 2005, the fact that it is so dark that after leaving the lights of Helsinki and the outlying islands behind there’s not really anything but darkness out there, our low cruising altitude and the fact that there are lots of clouds around so from time to time there’s nothing to be seen even from the cockpit window (which we have a clear view out of the cabin). Oh and the drunk guy blabbing something about “crashing” doesn’t exactly help either - I’m almost ready to tell him to shut up but he handily passes out.

The lights of Helsinki fading fast behind us:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Helsinki_Departure_26.jpg

Well, after all it is a quick flight and soon the lights of Tallinn are visible over the horizon.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_1.jpg

These two shots are from the cockpit window - you can see the lights of the flight instruments there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_2.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_3.jpg

Entering Tallinn harbour - that thing in the foreground is an old crane that seems to have been decorated just for the season:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_5.jpg

The pilots announce landing in four minutes and thank us for flying with Copterline.

At this point the drunk guys wake up and the first line is a classic one - “Where are we???” followed by another classic “I need to pee!”.

The skyscrapers of the CBD:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_6.jpg

Approach is definitely very fast and interesting - just out of the blue the land suddenly appears, a few seconds later I see the landing lights and five seconds later we touch down, just like that. According to my watch the flight took a total of 21 minutes, maybe I should ask for a refund as they broke their promise? Just kidding, just kidding.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_8.jpg

A Brief Journey Through Tallinn

View of the seatbelts:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_10.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_11.jpg

Well, I am actually quite happy to walk out of the helicopter this time and pick up my bag from a cart outside.

Now I manage to spot the registration as well, OH-HCR:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_12.jpg

The drunken mates:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_13.jpg

Linnahall also doubles as the terminal for the fast boats of Linda Line, as they can’t operate in the winter weather both of their boats are now anchored here waiting for the spring:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_14.jpg

At check in they asked whether I wanted a taxi waiting for me at Tallinn. That was my original plan but I decided to be cheap and take the bus instead. Luckily the Linnahall heliport is just a few hundred meters away from the harbour, where the bus number 2 takes one through the city to the airport. Not so luckily the road there is in complete darkness and full of potholes filled with water, so my walk is rather interesting and a bit hazardous.

Two last shots of OH-HCR:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_15.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Approach_16.jpg

Eventually I get to he port:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_1.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_2.jpg

While waiting for the bus I hear the helicopter taking off again for its return flight to Finland.

The next bus leaves in just five minutes, lucky me, the ticket costing a very reasonable 1 EUR. Too bad traffic in Tallinn can be rather bad and it definitely is rush hour, so the 7 kilometer ride takes around half an hour, but eventually I get off at the airport in front of the terminal.

Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport

Inside the whole airport is pretty much deserted. I pick up my boarding pass from the OV business class desk, proceed through the equally deserted security which is probably the only time at TLL when this process has been smooth for me - normally there’s all kinds of hassle there making it one frustrating endeavour.

Airside I conduct a quick shopping spree at the Travel Value before shooting a few photos of my ride, YR-KMB:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_3.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_5.jpg

Obviously a new entry for my log and one of the very few Fokker 70 examples I’ve flown - I only have 4 Tyrolean Airways examples plus one KLM Cityhopper bird in my log. This is an ex-Malev bird which spent 14 years with Malev before being transferred to Carpatair back in 2010.

I head to the lounge for a quick beer - my nerves are still a bit shaky from that uneasy chopper ride. All the other customers are Swedes. I really these vegetable dip things (I think the “little finger up” term is “crudités” but I’m too much of a meat and potatoes type of guy to use that) they have here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_7.jpg

I promised Hannah a picture of the nice blue Estonian livery - here’s one of their 737s departing for OSL (notice the Christmas lights at the old terminal building on the background):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_6.jpg

Not many passengers here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_8.jpg

That’s Linda, a character from the Estonian mythology, who this lounge (“Linda Lounge” is the official name) is named after:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_9.jpg

Christmas decorations here as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_10.jpg

Boarding is called some 25 minutes before SDT, so I wish the lounge staff a merry Christmas and head to the gate, directly opposite the lounge.

TLL - ARN
OV124 Operated by Carpatair
Fokker 70 YR-KMB
Seat 11F
18.52 - 18.52

This woman ahead of me was in the lounge drinking red wine (turns out she is traveling in Premium class) and has serious problems keeping her rollaboard straight - I say “Is your bag a bit drunk?” - she laughs and answers “Maybe too much wine!”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_11.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_12.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_13.jpg

Two nice young Romanian girls are the cabin crew for this flight - or so I thought, more on this later.

Well the headrest covers say “Business Class” but it is actually OV’s Premium class:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_14.jpg

Anyway I think these seats are the original Malev ones as the V3 Fokker 100s have blue leather seats instead of these cloth ones.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_15.jpg

I picked a seat on the exit row - plenty of legroom here (unlike on the F100, at least the Blue Line one I remember had pretty much the same legroom on exit and normal rows):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_16.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_17.jpg

Overhead panels:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_18.jpg

Exit door sealed “for your benefit”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_19.jpg

The load in economy is around 80% (with an empty middle seat next to me), three rows of Premium have two or three passengers.

The classic Fokker wing, easy to recognize:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_20.jpg

A special instruction card for exit row (which the FA asks us to read):



And the actual safety card itself:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_22.jpg

There’s no word from the cockpit all throughout the flight. But I’m quite surprised to hear an Estonian announcement, it doesn’t sound like it’s coming from a tape and I’m pretty positive the two girls can’t speak the language. An English announcement follows, the flight is introduced as “Estonian Air flight operated by Carpatair”, with a flight time of 50 minutes. Oh and they also mention the plane type, something like “Welcome onboard this Fokker 70 “.

Push back is a nice eight minutes early, but since take offs are from 26 today it takes exactly eight minutes to taxi there and we thunder down the runway right at our SDT:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_24.jpg

Bye, Tallinn, see you in January with a bunch of a.netters:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Tallinn_Departure_25.jpg

After the seat belt sign is switched off I decide to sacrifice myself in the interests of this board (and a friend of mine who requested lots of pictures for a certain reason) and head to check out the toilet:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_26.jpg

Lots of Hungarian remaining:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_27.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_28.jpg

If you get stuck to the toilet seat:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_29.jpg

On the way to the toilet I was surprised to notice a third FA in Estonian Air uniform in the back galley, basically doing nothing (well, she opened the lavatory door for me!). After I get out of the loo I ask her that is she here just for doing the announcements (the two V3 FAs are just starting the cabin service) and she confirms that yes, that is indeed the case. I say “Well, sometimes it is nice to have an easy job for a change, enjoy it!” which she definitely grees with.

Cabin shot:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_30.jpg

I get back to my seat just in time for the service - it is the standard Estonian Air one with free coffee/tea or water plus a chocolate praline (although on OV they hand you the chocolate when boarding the aircraft):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_31.jpg

These seats are showing some wear & tear:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_32.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_33.jpg

Carpatair motif:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_34.jpg

Estonian Air inflight magazine’s winter issue is out and features a very interesting article about the history of the airline after Estonia’s independence - both of them are celebrating 20 years this year:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_37.jpg

After leaving Tallinn there are no views to be had. During our final approach it becomes apparent that it is also raining heavily at Arlanda. Our landing lights:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_35.jpg

Landing is on 26, after a bit over 50 minutes of flight time (interestingly we both left and landed on runway 26 and pushed back and landed at the very same minute, thanks to the 1 hour time difference, a bit of a deja vu situation here!).

Must have a 717 in a report, parked at the next gate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_36.jpg

I wait until most of the pax have deboarded and shoot a couple of photos. This is the exit row legroom:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_38.jpg

...and a normal row:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_39.jpg

Another cabin view:

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 6491 times:

Another cabin view:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_40.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_41.jpg

I guess Contact Air would call this plane a “Fokker 70 with integrated airstairs”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Stockholm_Approach_42.jpg

Stockholm Arlanda Airport

Well I have a four hour layover and where else to spend it than in the Scandinavian lounge, where I have a gig as a Santa as well. So after getting admitted in I hand the receptionist (your usual SAS grandmother) some nice Estonian chocolate I bought back in TLL just for this purpose, wishing the whole lounge staff merry Christmas. She is quite taken by this gesture, has a hard time coming up with any words so I say “After all I think I spend more time here than at home”, after which she says “Well, I hope we have been nice to you?” - “Certainly, you always are. Although you could change the menu, it is always the same!”.

Well, shiver me timbers they actually have changed the menu a bit - in addition to this chicken curry pasta thing (tasty, but appears here quite often) there’s now some very tasty potato-leek soup as well. It definitely is a new thing as they don’t have any soup plates - instead Finnish Arabia coffee cups and teaspoons are offered:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_60.jpg

They also have some Christmas beer, very good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_61.jpg

The wifi is down, but for once I think that is actually a good thing as I manage to finish a lot of reading I had to do.

Not much to say about the flight home - my 50th flight on the ARN-HEL route, 3rd flight with the 737-600 carrying the dirty registration of LN-RRR (curiously all my flights with “Torbjörn Viking” have been on this very same route), slept through it and ended up with an apron parking position at HEL, way to go Finavia!

A couple of shots:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_62.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_63.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_64.jpg

10A/F are my favorite seats on the 736s:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_65.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_66.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_67.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Tallinn_Arlanda_12_2011/Final_68.jpg

Conclusions

Another quick trip with two interesting flights. First of all the helicopter ride was of course very interesting but my timing was far from perfect. I don’t think I’ll be doing any heli rides in the darkness anymore (unless they introduce the “Midnight chopper” from RIX or something), the whole experience was just a bit too much for my nerves. I’m pretty sure if the ride had been during the daylight hours I’d been far more at ease with it, right now you just felt so alone there in the middle of the darkness, knowing that there’s only 40 meters of air between you and the near freezing sea water and and tens of kilometers to the nearest point where you could land in the case of an emergency. Anyway I certainly wish this second attempt by Copterline will succeed, there definitely is demand for a service like this, hopefully it is enough to keep the company afloat. They have been trying to get permission to fly to St. Petersburg and to couple that with a special permission for visa free stays (like some ferry companies offer), but it remains to be seen how far that proceeds in the byzantine labyrinth of Russian politics.

Coming back to a more familiar territory (for me at least), the Carpatair flight was fine. Standard decent enough OV service for the short hop, a very good fare and an interesting, a bit rarer plane, no complaints from me!


Even this trip wasn’t my final one for 2011, there’s still one more to come, this time a domestic hop up to not-exactly-Lapland, a train ride to Lapland proper and then the final flight of the year back with an interesting plane: HEL-OUL/RVN-HEL. Happy contrails!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3200 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6413 times:

Nice report Petteri, nice to see the helicopters flying once again between Tallinn and Helsinki.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The drunk guys are on the back row (and too drunk to even fasten their harnesses properly, the ground staff does that for them, again I’m wondering why were they allowed onboard) and the four of us here on the facing rows. It is not the roomiest of cabins, but okay for this load of six passengers. With a full cabin it could get quite cramped, however.

Maybe they were frequently well paying drunks. And if they're stuck in the back row, they can't get out to be disruptive (other than making you paranoid!)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This woman ahead of me was in the lounge drinking red wine (turns out she is traveling in Premium class) and has serious problems keeping her rollaboard straight - I say “Is your bag a bit drunk?” - she laughs and answers “Maybe too much wine!”:

Ha, hopefully she enjoyed her flight!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
On the way to the toilet I was surprised to notice a third FA in Estonian Air uniform in the back galley, basically doing nothing (well, she opened the lavatory door for me!). After I get out of the loo I ask her that is she here just for doing the announcements (the two V3 FAs are just starting the cabin service) and she confirms that yes, that is indeed the case. I say “Well, sometimes it is nice to have an easy job for a change, enjoy it!” which she definitely grees with.

I guess it's nice for a while, but after a few weeks of sitting at the back opening the toilet door, I bet it'd get pretty boring.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-GVA-LHR-TXL-LHR-VE-PRN,SPU-OSL-LHR, LGW-DXB-BKK-DXB-LHR
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From France, joined Sep 2003, 5131 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6343 times:

Hi, P.,

now that´s what I call something special. Not that much Heli experiences here on offer.
And count me in, daylight please, the next time.
Sure an interesting story and a good catch, these Carpat F70, well done.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

I guess Contact Air would call this plane a “Fokker 70 with integrated airstairs”:

Sure the way with KI.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Even this trip wasn’t my final one for 2011, there’s still one more to come, this time a domestic hop up to not-exactly-Lapland, a train ride to Lapland proper and then the final flight of the year back with an interesting plane: HEL-OUL/RVN-HEL. Happy contrails!

Looking forward to this example.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: How to deliver a present in style!.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1710 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6325 times:

Hello there Petteri Finn Finn, merry christmas to you! Great report  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Tickets for this service were originally quite expensive, but soon to lure additional passengers they introduced a “Joker” ticket which costs just 89 EUR one way (less than half the price of the cheapest one way fares before) and comes with the usual “no changes, no refunds” rules.

I kind of like this name "joker", sounds both laid back and incredibly silly at the same time.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally to get back it was a choice between DY for around 50 EUR and a nicer schedule or the Sleepy SAS Midnight Boeing for a bit over 60 EUR and of course a bad schedule with a 4 hour wait at ARN. Well, let’s just say FFPs do work so I of course ended up on the latter!

There you go, getting the best bang for the buck is always the best!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So this report starts at Tampere (where the ground is white!), where I sneak out from my meeting a bit early,

Seriously, you always do that. Surely your boss must be pissed at you!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
fire up the trusty Ford and hit the motorway to our capital, cursing the lowly 100 km/h speed limit they have during the so-called winter season.

Never pictured you being the driving kind of guy. Do you wear a hat when you drive? 
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I catch a local train to the main station at Helsinki and admire the beautiful Christmas lights around

See Finland isn't so dark and dull, you have lovely X-mas lights too. Any you said "it's just a Swedish thing"...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
It is rush hour, so the timetables for the buses are very optimistic, but eventually my ride pulls up some ten minutes late:

Those busses look exactly like the ones they have in New York!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The bus is full of hipsters - well this line takes one through the trendy parts of Helsinki so nothing less is expected.

Ah, so that's what they call them. Hipsters. I've always referred to them as café latte people, i,e people who overemphasize the meaning of café latte. Making it not just a drink, but more of a lifestyle  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
They use these vans to drive passengers to Tallinn in the case of a flight cancellation:

Really, you must be kidding? That ride must take at least 10 hours.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, did someone mention a lounge earlier? Oh yes, since there’s no inflight service on the flights Copterline has a fully featured lounge for waiting passengers including some small snacks, juices, soft drinks and of course coffee/tea:

That's a very nice initiative, of course offering the pax some bang for the buck. Tickets are sure expensive!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(and too drunk to even fasten their harnesses properly, the ground staff does that for them, again I’m wondering why were they allowed onboard)

Hehe, well why not? Suppose they'd have to refund them their ticket money if they get rejected. Also that raises the question, do they allow people to fly naked. Perhaps something to try in the future  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
it is the standard Estonian Air one with free coffee/tea or water plus a chocolate praline (although on OV they hand you the chocolate when boarding the aircraft):

That service looks very nice and generous. The fine line between proper and faux is as fine as the line between gangster and entrepreneur.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Well, shiver me timbers they actually have changed the menu a bit - in addition to this chicken curry pasta thing (tasty, but appears here quite often)

Interesting, still it's the same dull pasta. My guess is that it arrives in big 15kg plastic jars, and they've just spiced it up a bit by sprinkling some curry powder on.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
there’s now some very tasty potato-leek soup as well. It definitely is a new thing as they don’t have any soup plates

That's a very welcome improvement. Hope they'll keep the soup, and not just offer it now as a seasonal dish.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
10A/F are my favorite seats on the 736s:

Nice new shoes you got there! 

Thanks for sharing!
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6256 times:

Hello FlyingFinn76

Thanks for this unusual report. The EUR 89 price tag is really nice for a helicopter flight.

I can understand how you felt a bit uneasy, I wonder how they are allowed at such a low altitude. They appear to be flying visually. I don't think the can be under ATC control at such a low altitude.

Anyway, glad all is ok.

The Carpatair F70 is a nice catch - well done!

Cheers,
LXM83


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6192 times:

Hi FF!

Nice tripreport once again!
How nice to catch a helicopter ride, something I have yet to try. I'm sure I will do it some day though.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I noticed a Carpatair Fokker 70 parked there, at a gate which was showing an Estonian Air flight to ARN. That managed to arouse my curiosity and I had to investigate. Thanks to some friendly OV gate agents I learned that it is indeed providing some additional capacity for them until the end of the year.

Seems like Carpatair have more planes than they need to, aren't they often leasing out their aircrafts? It's this time for OV, you also mentioned BT last summer, and when i flew JZ on ARN-BGO this summer it was operated by a Carpatair Saab.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
But I’m quite surprised to hear an Estonian announcement, it doesn’t sound like it’s coming from a tape and I’m pretty positive the two girls can’t speak the language. An English announcement follows, the flight is introduced as “Estonian Air flight operated by Carpatair”,

For my Saab flight it was only English announcements made by the Romanian crew.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
3rd flight with the 737-600 carrying the dirty registration of LN-RRR (curiously all my flights with “Torbjörn Viking” have been on this very same route)

If I could choose one of the SAS 736's to have my next 736 flight on it would be on that one. Interesting registration for sure.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
10A/F are my favorite seats on the 736s:

I often go for 11A/F, as those lack a seat in front on the other configuration, which is the most common one to KRN.

Looking forward to read about your flight from Santas hometown!  

Martin


User currently offlinecrosswinds21 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 698 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6115 times:

Haha, that's great. I love the part about the cruising altitude of 40 metres.

User currently offlineROGERBCN From Andorra, joined Sep 2006, 1197 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 5952 times:

Hola FlyingFinn76!

That is for sure one of those interesting Trip Reports I did not want to miss reading.

Great to see that you changed the usual ride to TLL and you flew a helicopter, a great way to keep us motivated to reading your always excellent reports. They can be seen here as well around BCN for touristic purposes, they fly in fornt of my window all the time when going back to the heliport. I remember the first time I flew one, I was about ten and it was a scenic flight around the city. I have to look for the photos now.

Nice to see that you got a Fokker70 which is always a great addition. I have flown thses Fokker planes as well, ZRH-MXP-ZRH and ZRH-BUD-ZRG on Helvetic, very nice rides, great take offs.

Really looking forward to reading your visit to Santa's land.

Hyvää Joulua!   

Salut!

Roger



"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
User currently offlineeco From Bulgaria, joined Nov 2010, 84 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 5939 times:

Great report FlyingFinn76,
It's really good that this route is reopened, I wanted to try it since I had read trip report here but at our meeting in Frankfurt Makeree has told me that they stopped because of that accident.
Are there any routes in Europe operated by helicopters?

Thanks for sharing!
eco


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8484 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5877 times:
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Hi P,

Nice read, and another reason to go out flying, a helicopter ride and a rare F70.

I've only been in 1 copter, that was tourist flight around NYC, really enjoyed it, though the surroundings were in daylight. Much nice than being pretty much pitch black and over the dark cold sea at around 40m, yep, I can see where your coming from - I don't think the drunk guy was helping for sure, surprised they even let him on in that state.

The F70 ride is a nice catch, especially this machine/airline, not an everday catch for sure.

Cheers

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 offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5827 times:

Hi Petteri

Nice trip report, enjoyed the read! Nice to see you caught the Heliride and the F70 as well! Very rare catch


Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6714 posts, RR: 78
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 5763 times:

Hi P.,

once again I enjoyed your daily column here! Nice to read about Copterline and the Carpatair Fokker 70. I have had an eye at Carpatair's Saab 2000 service between Munich and Timisoara for a while - I really need to go next year.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At this point the drunk guys wake up and the first line is a classic one - “Where are we???” followed by another classic “I need to pee!”.

Ah, drunk people should be allowed to board anywhere, period!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineburj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 901 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5747 times:

As always...AWESOME trip report! You are very brave to do a helicopter flight in that weather! I'm also quite surprised they let the drunk guys on the helicopter...if nothing else...I would be worried that the motion would induce vomiting!

One thing about your trip report TOTALLY cracked me up:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Due to the season there’s some Glögg, or the Nordic version of Glühwein available, although this one is juice based and thus non alcoholic:

As I read my first question was...what the heck is Glögg?

And then my second thought was...OH...it is the Nordic version of Glühwein

But then I thought....WHAT THE HECK IS Glühwein?!

I don't even know how to PRONOUNCE those words!!
 


User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 774 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5718 times:

Hi P. !

Really enjoyed your report (as well as previous ones - encourages me to start TR´s as well ...)
The "uneasy" feeling was probably due to the weather conditions combined with literally no fixpoint outside to focus on during the major part of the flight and knowing the low cruise altitude at the same time.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 5):
I can understand how you felt a bit uneasy, I wonder how they are allowed at such a low altitude. They appear to be flying visually. I don't think the can be under ATC control at such a low altitude.

I´m pretty sure they do not fly "pure" VFR at night. AW-139´s (as well as the previous S-76´s) are IFR certified.
There exists something called CVFR (Controlled VFR) in between regular VFR and pure IFR. But I wouldn´t preclude a solid IFR flight between HEN and CHE. Just 40m altitude would probably not be enough for IFR.
I´m sure Copterline´s AW-139 pilots use the autopilot during cruise so low flying at 40m/280kph is possible.
If weather conditions get worse they would increase cruise altitude for sure.
Normally minimum safe altitude is 100m (and higher - don´t know exactly how much - over built-up areas) but over water there are exemptions from that ...



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2438 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5610 times:

Hi P.,

I always thought that a helicopter ride could be a costly affair. Good to know that you can book it at less than 100 EUR including complimentary lounge visit.


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
They use these vans to drive passengers to Tallinn in the case of a flight cancellation

Wow, would the vans really make it to Tallinn in eighteen minutes?  Wow!


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
He keeps giving me the bad eye for taking photographs.

Probably he was thinking, 'Hey, what about me? I want to be on one of your photos!' 


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A bit later the check in girl comes and hands the more drunk guy his passport and boarding pass, apparently he forgot them at the check in desk...
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The drunk guys are on the back row (and too drunk to even fasten their harnesses properly, the ground staff does that for them, again I’m wondering why were they allowed onboard)
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh and the drunk guy blabbing something about “crashing” doesn’t exactly help either

A fellow passenger everyone could wish for.   


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The drunken mates

I hope they did not pee at the heliport.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This woman ahead of me was in the lounge drinking red wine (turns out she is traveling in Premium class) and has serious problems keeping her rollaboard straight - I say “Is your bag a bit drunk?” - she laughs and answers “Maybe too much wine!”:

That is the spirit!  


Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
So after getting admitted in I hand the receptionist (your usual SAS grandmother) some nice Estonian chocolate I bought back in TLL just for this purpose, wishing the whole lounge staff merry Christmas

That is very sweet of you.    Were you inspired by our fellow Burj?


Thanks for sharing.

Best regards,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 684 posts, RR: 21
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

Hi P.

very interesting report here. That heli ride was something special for sure, I can understand that you felt a bit uneasy there. Cruising at 40 meters over the water in the middle of the night in bad weather is certainly unnerving, even (or maybe especially) for a seasoned flyer (although I am sure the guys up front knew what their were doing so it was perfectly safe). Also great to catch the Carpatair F-70, very nice.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
They use these vans to drive passengers to Tallinn in the case of a flight cancellation:

So I suppose they take you to the ferry then? Now that would have been quite annoying, I mean after all most of the passengers take that flight because they want to avoid a ferry ride in the first place.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At this point the drunk guys wake up and the first line is a classic one - %u201CWhere are we???%u201D followed by another classic %u201CI need to pee!%u201D.

Oh dear, some people. I don't understand either why they were allowed to fly.

Quoting MHG (Reply 14):
There exists something called CVFR (Controlled VFR) in between regular VFR and pure IFR. But I wouldn´t preclude a solid IFR flight between HEN and CHE. Just 40m altitude would probably not be enough for IFR.

I think that CFVR is a specialty in Germany, I don't think it exists in other countries (correct me if I am wrong). I agree that 40m are too low for an instrument flight so it was most likely a flight under visual rules. The visibility wasn't that bad actually judging from the pictures. And flying VFR doesn't mean that the pilots cannot use all the navigational aids they have like GPS, radio beacons, etc. So certainly no problem here, even though I agree it might look scary from a passenger point of view.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 774 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5536 times:

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 16):
I think that CFVR is a specialty in Germany, I don't think it exists in other countries (correct me if I am wrong). I agree that 40m are too low for an instrument flight so it was most likely a flight under visual rules. The visibility wasn't that bad actually judging from the pictures. And flying VFR doesn't mean that the pilots cannot use all the navigational aids they have like GPS, radio beacons, etc. So certainly no problem here, even though I agree it might look scary from a passenger point of view.

You may be right regarding CVFR flight rules. I´m not 100% sure if that exists outside Germany (never checked that).
Surely they will use all navigation aids availlable anyway.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 16):
Oh dear, some people. I don't understand either why they were allowed to fly.

Really can´t understand why such people are allowed to board - even if their behavior does not constitute a thread to flight safety at the time of check-in/boarding. You never know how things develop later on - even if it´s just an 18 mins flight ! In the Helicopter there´s no cabin crew to do something about it if the situation goes out of control. And over water you just can´t stop without taking other (potentially dangerous) risks.

[Edited 2011-12-18 05:54:32]


I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently offlinevio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 5480 times:

Great Report my friend... I have had the pleasure to fly Carpatair's Fokker 70 from Cluj to Timisoara, an internal Romanian flight during the summer of 2010. I found their service to be quite good, especially the F/As that seem to genuinely like their job.

Thanks again for an interesting read... and by the way, I would love to do the chopper hop from Helsinki to Tallinn.


Vio



Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 5348 times:

Hi all, good to see lots of comments.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
now that´s what I call something special. Not that much Heli experiences here on offer.

Yeah, you did a report on your Malta - Gozo hop all those years ago I think, but that was before the time with photos in reports, right?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Seriously, you always do that. Surely your boss must be pissed at you!

Well no, not really. Personal commitments are well and widely understood. Plus people in Tampere are the relaxed kind.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Never pictured you being the driving kind of guy. Do you wear a hat when you drive?

Of course I wear a hat. Well, I prefer flying, but sometimes you just have to drive.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
See Finland isn't so dark and dull, you have lovely X-mas lights too. Any you said "it's just a Swedish thing"...

Well, comparing Sweden and Finland in this respect you guys definitely have way more of them!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Ah, so that's what they call them. Hipsters. I've always referred to them as café latte people, i,e people who overemphasize the meaning of café latte. Making it not just a drink, but more of a lifestyle

Hey, considering you are a hipster yourself that's a bit harsh.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Really, you must be kidding? That ride must take at least 10 hours.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Wow, would the vans really make it to Tallinn in eighteen minutes? Wow!
Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 16):
So I suppose they take you to the ferry then? Now that would have been quite annoying, I mean after all most of the passengers take that flight because they want to avoid a ferry ride in the first place.

Never believe everything I say - that's just me talking bollocks. They offer some kind of pick up/van service with these vehicles for passengers willing to pay extra for it.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
That's a very nice initiative, of course offering the pax some bang for the buck. Tickets are sure expensive!

I think the 89 EUR price point is quite a sweet deal for this, after all it is a very special thing. Wouldn't call it expensive.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Hehe, well why not? Suppose they'd have to refund them their ticket money if they get rejected. Also that raises the question, do they allow people to fly naked. Perhaps something to try in the future

Well,

Flying naked reminds me of a colleague I had who was once kicked out of a Finnair plane at OUL airport for walking through the aisle butt naked. He had to plea and argue with the AY station manager to be given a seat on the next flight. Yes, alcohol did have a stake in this incident.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 4):
Nice new shoes you got there!

Not really new, but these are my business shoes and yes, quite nice actually.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 5):
I can understand how you felt a bit uneasy, I wonder how they are allowed at such a low altitude. They appear to be flying visually. I don't think the can be under ATC control at such a low altitude.

Yes, that's pretty much it. Plus knowing about that Sikorsky crash.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
Seems like Carpatair have more planes than they need to, aren't they often leasing out their aircrafts? It's this time for OV, you also mentioned BT last summer, and when i flew JZ on ARN-BGO this summer it was operated by a Carpatair Saab.

Interesting to know that they operated also for Skyways. A nice catch that Saab, I've flown with a V3 example from TSR to LWO.

I don't think they have "more planes than they need to" as such, providing ACMI contracts is part of their business plan and thus they have more planes that what their route network calls for.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
For my Saab flight it was only English announcements made by the Romanian crew.

It would cost too much to have a Swedish FA onboard, I'm sure. Plus all the Norwegians and Swedes speak English anyway. BTW did your flight have one or two FAs, on my flight there were two?

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
I often go for 11A/F, as those lack a seat in front on the other configuration, which is the most common one to KRN.

That already shows how tight the seating is, they've managed to fit an extra row in the front half of the plane.

Quoting crosswinds21 (Reply 7):
Haha, that's great. I love the part about the cruising altitude of 40 metres.

Yes, it definitely caught my attention. I thought I misheard and maybe he said "140" or something but I think it was real, we seemed to be awfully low.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 8):
Great to see that you changed the usual ride to TLL and you flew a helicopter, a great way to keep us motivated to reading your always excellent reports.

You need to keep trying out new things to keep 'em interesting.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 8):
all the time when going back to the heliport.

Where's the heliport at Barcelona? Somewhere in the new port?

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 8):
Nice to see that you got a Fokker70 which is always a great addition. I have flown thses Fokker planes as well, ZRH-MXP-ZRH and ZRH-BUD-ZRG on Helvetic, very nice rides, great take offs.

Yes, those are Fokkers 100s, though. The 70 is quite cute as it is so short and stubby.

Quoting eco (Reply 9):
Frankfurt Makeree has told me that they stopped because of that accident.

That's basically it, their business started going downhill ever since. I think eventually Sikorsky admitted there being a design flaw in the copter and paid some reparations but of course that was already way too late.

Quoting eco (Reply 9):
Are there any routes in Europe operated by helicopters?

Heliair Monaco does NCE - Monaco heliport. I think there are a few more. Once upon a time there was a helicopter service Helsingborg - CPH, SAS codeshared on those flights and thus you could even earn miles on those. I think 11/9 made an end to that service.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 10):
The F70 ride is a nice catch, especially this machine/airline, not an everday catch for sure.

Yep, pretty happy with it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
once again I enjoyed your daily column here!

Haha, more like biweekly.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
I have had an eye at Carpatair's Saab 2000 service between Munich and Timisoara for a while - I really need to go next year.

You should, it is an interesting carrier and of course a nice plane. Plus Timisoara is quite nice, definitely much nicer than Bucharest which is a grim city if I ever saw one.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 12):
Ah, drunk people should be allowed to board anywhere, period!

Well, I think there should be a bit leeway in that rule, after all I'd be left out of quite a few flights  . But I don't behave bad.

Quoting burj (Reply 13):
But then I thought....WHAT THE HECK IS Glühwein?!

Ahh yes. Mulled Wine, drank hot with spices around the Christmas season in Europe.

Quoting MHG (Reply 14):
Really enjoyed your report (as well as previous ones - encourages me to start TR´s as well ...)

Yes please!

Quoting MHG (Reply 14):
The "uneasy" feeling was probably due to the weather conditions combined with literally no fixpoint outside to focus on during the major part of the flight and knowing the low cruise altitude at the same time.

Yes, that's pretty much it. It is kinda weird staring out but not really at anything, just into general darkness with some clouds and occasional lights in there.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
I always thought that a helicopter ride could be a costly affair. Good to know that you can book it at less than 100 EUR including complimentary lounge visit.

That is indeed quite a sweet deal.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
I hope they did not pee at the heliport.

Or if they did they did in the loo!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
That is very sweet of you. Were you inspired by our fellow Burj?

No, not really. Actually I wasn't aware he was doing something like this at all? I decided to do this on that day which acted as an inspiration for this whole trip (see link on top of report) as the staff went above and beyond to help me get my notebook back!

Quoting MHG (Reply 17):
Really can´t understand why such people are allowed to board - even if their behavior does not constitute a thread to flight safety at the time of check-in/boarding. You never know how things develop later on - even if it´s just an 18 mins flight ! In the Helicopter there´s no cabin crew to do something about it if the situation goes out of control. And over water you just can´t stop without taking other (potentially dangerous) risks.

Yes, that's exactly what I was worried about. Luckily they were on the back seat (maybe deliberately put there?) which is kinda enclosed so they wouldn't have direct access to the cockpit like us in the facing seats. Plus me and the Estonian gangster guy were two large men and the businessmen a bit smaller but I think the four of us could easily kick some skinny drunken ass should things come to that, although I'm of course happy they didn't!

Quoting vio (Reply 18):
I found their service to be quite good, especially the F/As that seem to genuinely like their job.

Yes, it is a nice carrier, in my books much nicer than Tarom.

Quoting vio (Reply 18):
Thanks again for an interesting read... and by the way, I would love to do the chopper hop from Helsinki to Tallinn.

So here's an excuse for you to come here! I'll join you for a beer of five if not the heli ride!  


User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1651 posts, RR: 30
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4947 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Petteri,

An interesting story off the beaten path (the heli!) and an all in the dark report this time. For your nerves it would have been definitely better to have taken the heli flight in broad daylight. And the freaks come out at night you know: all these drunk people around... I'd hate it. But it's their own business as long as they don't bother you...
I've never been in a helicopter before and I really wonder how that is like: steady? shaky? noisy? (yes). But I don't think I will come all the way to Helsinki to experience this one  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
(the pilot even apologized for the flight taking 19 minutes instead of the advertised 18 as they had to go around some storm clouds!

That's a good one! Do they detect these storm clouds then by radar when flying this low?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
which costs just 89 EUR one way

Hmm, that's € 4,68/min (yes I have a calculator) and pretty expensive if you ask me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
just trusted my stellar luck and boyish charms to get me out of potential trouble and once again it works fine

Do you have speed cameras in Finland as well (stupid question maybe...)?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
They use these vans to drive passengers to Tallinn in the case of a flight cancellation:

No seriously, do they? So the van goes on the ferry then?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
but a jar of earplugs as well

That's very appropriate.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
At this point the drunk guys wake up and the first line is a classic one - “Where are we???” followed by another classic “I need to pee!”.

Drunk people can sometimes be funny as well   

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
as they can’t operate in the winter weather both of their boats are now anchored here waiting for the spring:

Why can't they operate in winter? Is the sea frozen then  Wow!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This woman ahead of me was in the lounge drinking red wine (turns out she is traveling in Premium class) and has serious problems keeping her rollaboard straight - I say “Is your bag a bit drunk?” - she laughs and answers “Maybe too much wine!”:

Another drunk tssk...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Bye, Tallinn, see you in January with a bunch of a.netters:

A weird bunch that will be, including me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
...and a normal row:

That's doesn't look like the best of legroom to me.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
unless they introduce the “Midnight chopper” from RIX or something

Maybe TLL would me more convenient since this airline is becoming your new BT, no?

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3499 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4819 times:

Hey FF!

As always, an excellent TR! I don't think I've ever seen Copterline covered before, but I definitely remember seeing their inbound/outbound flights frequently during my visits to Helsinki. It's unfortunate that I have an irrational distrust of helicopters--the Helsinki-Tallinn run would be a great addition to the flight log. TLL was under pretty extensive renovation when I flew in there a few years ago--did everything come together nicely? It's definitely one of the smaller airports I've flown through...

Anyway, great report. Loved the pics of central Helsinki at Christmas time. I've only visited in the summer, but someday I'm going to muster up the iron will to come in the winter. Given the price of airfares between Seattle and Europe in the winter, I'll probably end up spending more money on a suitable coat...

Hauskaa Joulua!



Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1447 posts, RR: 33
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4640 times:

Hi P,

Ok, after reading this one I have decided that Estonia is now firmly on my "to-do" list. The lounge at TLL looks great, love the cool stripey chairs and the "crudités".

I admire your spirit - see a Carpatair F70 one day, find out some more about a it, book a flight & combine it with a heli....only you would do that!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
catch a local train to the main station at Helsinki and admire the beautiful Christmas lights around

Very classy as I would expect from Finland.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The safety belt is not your usual hip belt found in commercial airliners but a four way harness instead with this interesting latch:

Looks like the one I had to contend with on the jumpseat.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Now I don’t consider myself to be a nervous flier - having flown over 1200 commercial flights during my life (if you count the ones before I started systematically logging them) but I have to admit that this flight did give me a very uneasy feeling. I think it is a combination of the memory of what happened to that unfortunate Copterline flight back in 2005

I can completely understand your sentiments. I've never been particularly at ease flying over large stretches of water, but in a helicopter in the dark? I'd probably pass.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I promised Hannah a picture of the nice blue Estonian livery - here’s one of their 737s departing for OSL

I'm getting a bit demanding aren't I? First M&S, now this.......

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
it is the standard Estonian Air one with free coffee/tea or water plus a chocolate praline (although on OV they hand you the chocolate when boarding the aircraft):

Such beautiful paper cups too!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
So after getting admitted in I hand the receptionist (your usual SAS grandmother) some nice Estonian chocolate I bought back in TLL just for this purpose, wishing the whole lounge staff merry Christmas. She is quite taken by this gesture, has a hard time coming up with any words so I say “After all I think I spend more time here than at home”, after which she says “Well, I hope we have been nice to you?”

Aww, that's really nice of you, I'm sure I'd have been taken by surprise in such a situation too!

Looking forward to your Arctic trip,

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 31
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4611 times:

Hi all, thanks for more comments!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 20):
I've never been in a helicopter before and I really wonder how that is like: steady? shaky? noisy? (yes). But I don't think I will come all the way to Helsinki to experience this one

Well, you are coming to TLL so maybe they cancel your return flight and reroute you on this one  

Noisy it is, not really shaky and rather steady. It just has a weird feeling, very distinct from flying with a fixed wing aircraft.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 20):
That's a good one! Do they detect these storm clouds then by radar when flying this low?

I guess so, plus the weather data.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 20):
Do you have speed cameras in Finland as well (stupid question maybe...)?

Yes we do, but not on the motorways. Plus my stellar luck has helped me here - last summer one of the cameras did go off when I was (slightly) over the limit but luckily I never received the fine in the mail, maybe the picture cam out bad or it wasn't sufficiently over the limit.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 20):
No seriously, do they? So the van goes on the ferry then?

No, just kidding.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 20):
Why can't they operate in winter? Is the sea frozen then Wow!

It is frozen, but they do have open sea lanes. But these small boats can't really face the big waves and winds that are common during the autumn storms and the winter season, plus floating ice can pose a danger to them. Last October I was supposed to take one of these to Tallinn, it ended up being cancelled a couple of days in advance due to heavy winds so I had to rebook myself on the bigger (and 25% slower) Tallink boats.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 20):
Maybe TLL would me more convenient since this airline is becoming your new BT, no?

Well, OV is introducing their own "Midnight Saab" in late March when they reopen the HEL route so who knows. I've already seen some tempting connections on that...

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 21):
TLL was under pretty extensive renovation when I flew in there a few years ago--did everything come together nicely? It's definitely one of the smaller airports I've flown through...

Yes, the new terminal extension is rather nice, although they did get skimpy with money towards the end and the inside of the pier features some really cheap looking unfinished concrete. But definitely an improvement over the old one.

It's not that small, try ENF for a real small airport experience, there's not even any airside there, you walk directly to the apron through the metal detector!

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 21):
I've only visited in the summer, but someday I'm going to muster up the iron will to come in the winter. Given the price of airfares between Seattle and Europe in the winter, I'll probably end up spending more money on a suitable coat...

Well, considering the way this winter is shaping up I think you need to spend your money on a raincoat, but living in the Pacific Northwest that's nothing new for you anyway!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
Ok, after reading this one I have decided that Estonia is now firmly on my "to-do" list.

Very nice. Feel free to join us there 14-15th of January!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
I admire your spirit - see a Carpatair F70 one day, find out some more about a it, book a flight & combine it with a heli....only you would do that!

I need inspiration. Especially since I try to come up with something new for most of my trips, otherwise they get boring!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
I'm getting a bit demanding aren't I? First M&S, now this.......

What next, a reindeer (hmm, didn't I do that already)?

Quoting infodesk (Reply 22):
Looking forward to your Arctic trip,

Let's see, it is under a bit of jeopardy right now due to some complicated issues. Hope I manage to sort them out tomorrow, othewise it will become a mission aborted!


User currently offlineAlwaysOnAPlane From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2010, 305 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4513 times:

Hi P.

Wow, I could feel the tension on that chopper ride. I think that is something to try one day for me, but not in the dark. I can understand your feelings of only being at 40 meters in the dark and rain over the sea. It had to be done though ay? Maybe getting drunk is the way to go like your friends on the back row.

Nice to see the F70. Nothing for me with this type in the log. The old style seats look comfy.
Also some more nice lounging action. Check you out mate, getting all friendly with the grandmothers. Nice..

One of the SK 736 will be bringing me back to MAN after the ARN 'do' so looking forward to that.

ps. I hope you didn't get out of the chopper singing the A-Team theme tune while doing an army roll across the tarmac.

Cheers for this interesting report, Lee.


25 The777Man : Hi FlyingFinn! Hyvaa Joula! Finally my computer is working again so I can leave a comment; Thanks for a different and nice report ! Nice to try a heli
26 Post contains images airbuseric : Hey P., great report, definitely a good option to decide on taking the chopper. Great fare too, although a bit pricy /per minute. I would love to take
27 CrimsonNL : Hi P, thanks for sharing! A great opportunity, this helicopter flight! I love the vase with the earplugs. The Carpat Air F70 looks pretty decent, good
28 signol : Nice report, FF, especially of the helicopter! I think I'd agree with you that flying at 40m in the dark would certainly be trying on the nerves! sign
29 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi all, good to see more comments, thank you! My sentiments exactly. None of the other sober passengers looked very relaxed. Well maybe the Estonian m
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