MD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7 Posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 20688 times:
Hello all, this is my first trip report on the site. Being Bahamian I decided to head down to The Bahamas for the Christmas season to visit family along with my Dad,brother and Dad's girlfriend. The 2 carriers I used were AA and surprise surprise, UP
AA 262- LAX-FLL
Depart 9:25 pm & arrive 5:15 am
Seat 17A (emergency exit)
I get to the airport about 2 hours prior to my flight. The AA check-in is pretty crowded. It seemed as if it took forever for AA to serve us. That was effected by people trying to bring everything they own with them on their flights to their destinations. We waited a good 30 minutes, after that we went through security where they took my lotion and sunblock
We are walking to our gate, which IIRC was gate 40. To my luck some men are fixing a light on the wall leading to the rest of the gates. So we can't go around, we have to get to the gate with about 200 other people by going through a set of stairs on the nearest jet bridge. This really held us up, because people from the other side of the terminal had to walk through this single jet bridge.
We wait for the plane to come in. To my luck it was delayed! AA offered to put us on the non-stop SJU flight and give us a $300 voucher. Unfortunately I wasn't heading to Puerto Rico and AE doesn't have a SJU-NAS flight. I guess AA was assuming many of the FLL pax would be connecting to SJU.
So we start boarding its a Boeing 757-223 equipped with winglets. Sadly, I didn't bring a flash with me so I couldn't get many night shot. Not much to see anyways, an AA 752 with an antique interior! The F seats looked about 20 years old. The flight was filled primarily with people going on cruise ships departing from FLL. So I get to my seat, 17A which is a window seat. I look around outside and see some AA Mad Dogs and 752s, AM MD-80s, JM A320 and some DL equipment ranging from 767's-CRJ's. The plane went out full.
So after sleeping for 4 or so hours, we arrive in FLL from the west. The flight was good because it had a ton of legroom making it easy for me to sleep (I'm 6'1). After a nice nap
I walk around to take some pics of what was around me, not much because it was still early.
The plane used for the flight to Nassau
The AA flight from FLL-PAP, which I heard was very profitable
Depart 9:10 am & arrive 10:25 am
This flight was an American Eagle ATR-72, today this was a -500 variant. AE runs 8 daily flights on the MIA-NAS route, AA also serves NAS from DFW and previously TPA and MCO. AA also serves FPO,MHH and GGT in the Bahamas. Even though this was a -500 variant the plane was already showing signs of wear and tear, probably from the high frequency, short haul routes they do.
Below is a shot of the interior of N408AT
This was the legroom I had, luckily this flight wasn't as long as the 2.5 hour SJU-SLU/POS flights they are also used on.
This is me disembarking the flight at NAS
One of the UP 732's lugging aroung this particular one is C6-BGK
The former colonial ruler is still represented with flights from BA, VS and First Choice.
JM serves NAS with a mix of Airbus A320 and A321. Air Jamaica Express previously served the NAS-MBJ route with DASH-8s.
After staying in NAS for the night I headed to Long Island for the next week. Long Island is far more rural than NAS, it is 70 miles long with a population of 3,600. Some cool things about Long Island are that it has The Bahama's oldest church and a world top 10 beach. Anothing thing that separates it from the rest of the islands is that the population is mainly descendants of the white European settlers. Anyways I was staying in Salt Pond, my family's ancestral home; So I flew Bahamasair to Deadman's Cay (LGI). It is a very small airport with limited service. The carriers areL Bahamasair x2 NAS flights using DASH-8s, Pineapple Air and Southern Air Charter serve NAS as well with King Air 350s and Piper Aztecs respectively.
Check in at NAS.
Our flight to LGI and another one off to FPO
UP 382- NAS-LGI
Depart 12:30 pm & Arrive 1:45 pm
DASH-8 Series 300 (311)
The flight was a little over 1 hour on a already worn Bahamasair DASH-8. We had a short take-off, and before I knew it we were already heading to the Exumas' for a flight to Long Island. No drinks or snacks were served on the flight, not even water. Instead Bahamasair had a friendly local staff that tried their best to please the passengers. After flying for a while, I took a nap. Taking a nap was kind of hard because this DASH-8 didnt have NVS.
Anyways after napping for about 50 minutes, my uncle woke me up to tell me we where nearing landing. I woke up and we had circle the airport to see which way the wind was blowing . Then we landed, a pretty cool landing showcasing the STOL performance of the DASH-8.
After landing, being curious I asked the staff If I could jump in the cockpit. The staff was more than happy to let me. I even got a few pictures, even though they are not the best I still figured they were worth posting.
Me in the cockpit of C6-BFO
After a couple days or so, my family became aware of my passion for aviation. So they took me to see several of the wrecks (mainly G.A) on the island. The reasons given for the crash vary from "Running out of fuel" to "Crashing to burn drugs or to evade authorities". The planes I saw were mainly Piper Aztecs and similar Cessnas.
MD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7 Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 20656 times:
Here is Cape Santa Maria. Check out the 3 homes on the runway :-0
This is the private runway Seasonal residents built it so they can land their private jets.
Here is a shot of the hangar.
And here is the full length of the runway.
Here is another airport on the island: Stella Maris (STM) . It used to have scheduled service from Bahamasair. It doesnt now because the FAA said "The terminal is too close to the runway". I call bs, Bahamasair for years ran DASH-8s using a NAS-STM-LGI routing. Now its just NAS-LGI, the airport is still served by smaller carriers. Check out the prop-blast[/] sign!
Here is a shot of the ramp at STM, nothing but a Piper Aztec, Seaplane and some Cessna. The Cessna is seized, because the owner was using it to move drugs.
The seaplane on the ramp is N77AQ a Grumman G-21G Turbo Goose, one of 2 built.
After a week in Long Island our flight to NAS arrives to take us home. Coincidental it is C6-BFO
Here is a shot of the plane being loaded for the flight back to NAS.
Last but not least for you vintage fans is a [b]CU IL-62M. CU sent them the whole time I was in NAS.
MD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7 Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 19642 times:
Here are some more of the pictures In case you guys are still interested. Also I would like to add that I met with fellow Bahamian a.net member TransIsland and met with the CEO's of SkyBahamas & Pineapple Air
A388 From Netherlands Antilles, joined May 2001, 9130 posts, RR: 13 Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 19253 times:
Quoting Captaink (Reply 4): Awesome report dude. I agree with the guys. That beach looks amazing, I could hide out there for a while.
You are absolutely right! I wouldn't mind staying there for a while even though I also live in the Caribbean. The Bahamas seems to have quite a few airports, that's nice! MD90fan, do you have terminal overview pictures and pictures of the terminal from the inside in NAS? I have seen photos of NAS and the airport has jetways but I was always wondering how many jetways and how big the terminal ifself is. Is it comparable in size as our new terminal here in CUR? See my photo below:
I noticed the airport has two runways, wow, that's something you don't see a lot in Caribbean Airports. Is NAS so bussy that it needs two runways? One runway looks shorter so I guess this runway is used for turboprop aircraft only? Does any one have a breakdown of all daily flights to/from NAS? I heard it is very bussy, just like AUA but how do NAS and AUA compare when it comes down to aircraft movements/number of flights?
Trintocan From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2000, 3192 posts, RR: 4 Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 19053 times:
Very interesting trip report MD90fan. I have never been to The Bahamas but my parents have been. Given that the country features many islands internal air services are certainly vital. The private airfield and houses nearby are the height of exclusivity - one can fly in, vacation and fly out without any hassle at all!
I loved the pictures, especially the CU IL62. It's been a very long time since I saw one of those in person - I would have to back-track to 1984 at POS when I saw a CU one (the airline served POS at that time).
SLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 3871 posts, RR: 11 Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 18777 times:
Quoting MD90fan (Thread starter): The flight was filled primarily with people going on cruise ships departing from FLL.
Devon: FLL is quite the cruise ship hub nowadays. I rather suspect it along with MIA have taken a great deal of business from SJU. These boats are fast enough now that they could make the run from FLL-POP in only 36 hours or less. Tricky route to get there though since much of your native country has very shallow water, and only a handful of deep enough passages to get one of these near Nimitz class carrier sized monsters through.
I have a friend who builds custom luxury homes who has been on 11 cruises to the Caribbean over the past 14 years. He and his wife (an RN) are now getting certified for scuba since snorkeling has become boring!
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
MD90fan From Bahamas, joined Jul 2005, 2931 posts, RR: 7 Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 18331 times:
Quoting Trintocan (Reply 16): I have never been to The Bahamas but my parents have been. Given that the country features many islands internal air services are certainly vital
What part? Yes, with over 700 islands separated by water air services are vital for moving people between 2 islands quickly. We also have ferries and mail-boat but they are mainly used for cargo and people who cannot afford plane tickets.
Quoting SLCUT2777 (Reply 17): I have a friend who builds custom luxury homes who has been on 11 cruises to the Caribbean over the past 14 years.
Nice, I have a cousin who builds luxury homes and resorts in The Bahamas. Personally I'd rather be right in the middle of the city with the people rather than taking a cruise and being there for 8 hours