And welcome to another TR
of a day trip I made last September. This TR
covers flights with airBaltic and my first flight with Estonian Air CRJ-900.
After following the Flightradar daily, especially in summer time, I saw some Estonian Air flights arriving from ARN
and that gave me an idea of trying OV
. Estonian Air would be very new for me even there is just about 63 miles (101km) between HEL
airports and city of Tallinn is a very popular destination for a cruise ship passengers.
I was looking for a simple day trip where OV
flight would be the main reason to do the whole thing and BT
was the airline to get me to TLL
and back home from ARN
After playing with Skyscanner, I found a good fare, 50€ for a one-way TLL
on a Saturday afternoon with their new CRJ-900. To get to TLL
I booked HEL
with airBaltic for 76€ (it was around 60€ the day earlier so next time no waiting when booking something!) and to get back home from ARN
, I booked another BT
So, it was going to be 5 flights on a beautiful Saturday, 4 BT
ones and 1 OV
one. Shortest flight time would be 40 mins. and longest 50 mins., not bad.
Here is the map showing the route:
Wake-up was at 5 in the morning, a cup of coffee to feel like a human and then getting ready for a short walk to the railway station nearby my home. Grabbing my backpack, quick check for the boarding passes (OLCI done the day before), wallet, mobile phone and keys, time to go !
This time I am using a “Plan C” to get to the airport, meaning I am taking a 5:54am regional train to Pasila railway station, switching to 6:24am regional train to Tikkurila station and finally taking 6:50am bus to the airport. Arriving at airport 7:05 in the morning, 1h 25mins before departure time.
Regional train to Pasila
Blurry pic of a train I took to Tikkurila, arriving at Pasila
Better seat colour than the previous one
Tikkurila railway station
Famous hotel located next to Tikkurila station, famous for its party people.
Bus to the airport
Getting off the bus and I was on my way to the security checking, there was just few passengers before me queuing and 7:11 I was on airside. Pretty quick, someone would say.
I was having something called breakfast (coffee and a cheese sub) and then it was time to do some spotting.
Terminal 1 departure hall
My flight from gate 13A (buss boarding)
Finnair Embraer ERJ-190-100LR 190LR (OH-LKL)
Flight n:o 1
) - Riga (RIX
Boeing 737-500 (YL-BBQ)
Seat 21A, economy
Takeoff rwy 22R
Scheduled flight time: 08:30 - 09:35
Take-off: 08:42 / Landing: 09:22
Flight duration (airborne) 00:40 hrs
Delivery date for airBaltic: 11/04/2007
Boarding for the bus started around 7:50am and I was the second in line, after I got downstairs with the first passenger, we needed to wait couple of mins. until the bus arrived and the door would open and let us step into the bus. I sat down and waited the others arrive.
Funny detail was when two Finnish girls (age about 17-18) were sitting behind me and I heard them talking about spending a weekend in Riga, suddenly the other girl needed to borrow her friend’s mobile phone and made a call to her mom, it was something like this:
- “Hi Mom, this is me. My phone doesn’t work so you need to call my friend’s number if you need to talk to me during our trip etc. I dropped my phone into a toilet seat this morning, my SIM card is working but phone is dead so call her if there is something......bye”.
After she finished the call, she told her fried:
- “Can you believe, it was the 3rd mobile phone I dropped into a toilet seat within a short time” !
I was speechless.
A moment later the bus started a short journey to a remote stand n:o 205 where YL-BBQ was waiting for us, it was my first flight with her.
Couple of BBQ pics.
Plane to Riga (Boeing 737-500 YL-BBQ)
Note the Globemaster on the background, diverted from Tampere-Pirkkala airport (TMP
/EFTP) due to a bad weather.
There was nothing special during the boarding, I moved little by little to the end of the plane after people got their seat and get settled down.
I had the seat 21A which turned out to be a mistake. Very, very cramped to sit, hardly no legroom, cramped on sideways. Only good thing is the short flight time and that I can take pics....Oh yeah, no seatmate.
Row 21 all for me.
My cramped seat
Pushback was at 8:23 and because of having a seat on A-side, I couldn’t take any pics of the Globemaster on our way to the runway 22R.
Foggy morning at HEL
Crossing the runway 22L, cannot see the other end.
Takeoff from 22R
It looks very grey outside when starting the climbing....
….but started looking better after climbing through the clouds
District of Lauttasaari in Helsinki
District of Tapiola in city of Espoo
Centre of Helsinki and Lauttasaari
A cruise ship, possibly on its way to Tallinn, Estonia
Perfect weather for a day trip
City of Tallinn, Estonia and Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport (TLL
City of Pärnu, Estonia and Pärnu airport (EPU/EEPU)
Descent started at 9:04 after about 25 mins. flight, looks like runway 18 for landing this time.
Some shots during the descent.
River Daugava, Latvia
A10 highway to Jurmala
Landing at Riga Airport, runway 18
After landing, we taxied to a remote stand where a bus took us to the terminal.
Parked at remote stand
I had about an hour to spend in the terminal so after getting off the bus, first thing to do was check the departure gate from FIDS and this time it was B11. And then...just killing some time.
Departures as it clearly says
Some plane spotting. airBaltic Boeing 737-33V (YL-BBK)
airBaltic Boeing 757-256 (YL-BDC)
The tails of Dashes
Boarding for bus started at 9:55 and I was the first ones to get on the bus. The bus took us to a remote stand where the Fokker 50 was waiting, YL-BAV this time and my first flight with her.
Flight n:o 2
) - Tallinn (TLL
Fokker 50 (YL-BAV)
Seat 12D, economy
Takeoff rwy 18
Scheduled flight time: 10:25 - 11:20
Take-off: 10:32 / Landing: 11:19
Flight duration (airborne) 00:47 hrs
Delivery date for airBaltic: 01/04/2010 (as YL-BAV)
Boarding was ok and I took my seat, a bit later a not-so-small-guy was sitting next to me and there was hardly any space on sideways or a good legroom. I was keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it won’t be a full flight...and finally came the long-awaited announcement “boarding completed” !
On the other side of the aisle was two free seats so I was asking if my seatmate would like to have more room, he answered he had already an eye for those seats and quickly took the aisle seat. Needless to say I was happy, a bit more room for myself for this short hop to TLL
At 10:26 we made a 90 degrees turn and started taxiing to the beginning of runway 18. After reaching the runway, the plane started the acceleration and 10:32 we were airborne.
One advantage of taking-off at rwy 18 is that the plane will make a 180 degrees turn to the left and the city of Riga is fully visible (on a clear day, of course).
City of Riga (some scratches on a window, sorry)
Port of Milgravis
After passing the city of Riga, we were heading more or less to north. This time the sun was shining on the right hand side which made taking pics a little bit difficult but on the other hand, there was nothing much going on outside the plane.
My seat was bit cramped and I didn’t know where to put my legs but somehow I made it to Tallinn while enjoying the sunny weather.
Cramped seat (12D)
Descent started at 11:06 and since we made a wider turn to left, I was expecting rwy 26 for landing, which was correct.
Cannot see the city yet (approaching)
I was able to take a pic of landing gears going down position on F50, I was very happy of that because the whole procedure takes only seconds.
Windows on F50 are little bit lower than my eye level
My seat 12D
YL-BAV at TLL
No jet-bridges for F50, we were disembarking on a tarmac, took few steps and then getting in to a gate at tarmac level. Several stairs up and we arrived inside the terminal.
First thing to do again is check the departure gate for my ARN
flight and it seems to be gate n:o 6.
Then it was time to walk around, not very big airport but I had couple of hours to spent and I later knew where to spend it...
Vana Tallinn Cafe
Routes from Tallinn
Somekind of a Finnair PR
FinnComm ATR to HEL
Some lunch from a sushi bar, together with some Asahi beer.
And I knew where to spend the rest of the time when I saw this.
I took a seat by the window and bought a pint of local Saku beer which tastes really good. And cashier girls were nice
I immediately felt good with the pint and a view to the tarmac/runway area even TLL
is not a busy airport so not much activity to be expected but a nice way to spend some time. I can recommend this Pub if you are not staying in a lounge, a pint was 3,80€.
It was bit rainy at TLL
, showers every now and then.
Then something caught my attention, the plane to ARN
was arriving from its previous flight in front of my eyes. I was more than happy I decided to choose this seat and it was time to take few pics for this memorable moment. It was the expected CRJ-900 (ES
-ACB) and with the livery, she looked good.
Then it was time to get ready for my flight, I took last pics of the Pub which has some sort of lounge atmosphere.
A new airline ? Just an ad of “Viru Valge” local liquor brand but cool one.
Note the pics on the wall, I think they are about the aviation history in Estonia.
The Aviation Pub is located next to the gate 6 so I could see & hear when the boarding will be called but after having some beer you know where I went first....
Then I was just hanging around the gate, couple of mins. until boarding.
Linda Business Lounge
Looks like my plane is almost ready to go.
Flight n:o 3
) - Arlanda, Stockholm (ARN
Estonian Air OV123
-600-2D24 Regional Jet CRJ-900 NextGen (ES
Seat 4F, economy
Takeoff rwy 26
Scheduled flight time: 13:50 - 13:50
Take-off: 13:53 / Landing: 13:33
Flight duration (airborne) 00:40 hrs
Delivery date for Estonian Air: 24/01/2011
Boarding was called at 13:30 and I was the first ones to board the plane. The plane was docked to the jetbridge with a small “walking bridge” or what you might call it, otherwise it would have been impossible to use the jetbridge for boarding because of the CRJ’s own door/stairs being open.
“Boarding” as it says on display
I was greeted “Tere” by a female F/A and it means “Welcome” in Estonian language.
Official way it would be “Tere tulemast” but they mostly use just “Tere” in Estonia. For comparison, “Terve!” is “Hello or Hi” in Finnish and “Tervetuloa” is “Welcome”. Back to TR
My seat was 4F, it was bit cramped on sideways but ok for a short flight. Then it was time to wait the other passengers to arrive with their bags and stuff.
I think we had a full flight on this Saturday except in business class, just few seats were taken out of 2 rows.
My seat 4F
Front of the cabin
Pushback was at 13:46 and during that I saw something interesting:
It is the Finnish DC-Association / Airveteran Douglas C-53C (DC-3A-453) (OH
) and they made a trip to TLL
this same Saturday, what a nice coincidence. (Sorry, I had to make a strong crop to the pic)
All flight operations and maintenance are completely based on unpaid voluntary work and every now and then this association offers flights to the members to aviation shows etc.
More information about can be found here: http://www.dc-ry.fi/screen.htm
Here is a better picture of OH
from Helsinki International AirShow 2009
We started our taxiing towards the runway 26 and at the same time the sun came out from the clouds to give some warmth and maybe some good light for my takeoff pics.
Takeoff was at 13:53 and it felt very powerful together with steep climbing. I was ready with my camera and got some nice shots of the city.
Airveteran DC-3 in the middle
Lake Ülemiste, Ülemiste shopping centre at right, next to Hotel Ülemiste (just 5-10mins from airport by foot)
Tallinn (Tallinn passenger port can be seen upper left)
Tallinn passenger port
Old part of Tallinn
Island of Naissaar
Soon after the “fasten seatbelt”-sign was switched off, the coffee / tea service started, also a confection was offered.
After a very enjoyable and stable flight, it was time to start the landing preparations. Descent started
approx. 15 mins. before landing while I was ready with my camera again.
Coast of Sweden
Ferryport of Kapellskär
European route 18, Stockholm - Kapellskär
Chasing the shadow
Landing was on runway 26 followed by very heavy braking so that all the bags and stuff on overhead compartment moved forward, luckily nothing more happened. After short taxiing we arrived at gate 4, gate 4B to be exact which means no jetbridge. airBaltic uses this same gate for flights to Riga, 4A for 737’s and 4B for F50’s and Dash 8’s.
After the usual hassle when people are trying to get their bags and things, it was time to disembark the plane. Few steps down to the tarmac and a short walk to the door which leads you up to the terminal with several stairs and you have reached the gate 4A-B.
One pic more of the beauty
A thing to do first before anything else. My flight to Riga from gate 4B.
After arriving at terminal, I headed downstars and exited to landside. Then I had walk to Sky City which is a nice place for eating & spotting & having a beer or two.
This time I only went for McD for having a burger, on my way there I saw this:
Anyone for a McBengt or McLeif burger ?
(Bengt and Leif are male first names in Sweden)
I did some spotting but since it was very sunny day, some pics came out dark and some had reflections. And I didn’t have my DSLR camera with me so actually one pic came out good:
TAP Portugal Airbus A320-214 (CS-TNM)
I ended up to Terminal 2 on my “spotting walk” and decided to go outside to enjoy the sunny weather.
Was really nice to hear the roaring engines of planes taking off at 19R and see some of them making a left hand turn heading east. Nearby was also the construction area of a new Clarion hotel Arlanda, supposed to be completed November 2012.
It was time to get ready for my next flight and I had an other walk back to Terminal 5, I decided to use the security check point next to Sky City to avoid the shopping area where you arrive after using the northern security check point. No problemos at this time and there I was again at airside heading to Starbucks for having my favourite Mocha Frappuchino.
I still had some time before the departure time so I then went to buy some candies as a souvenir for myself from a taxfree shop located opposite of the gate 4A-B.
Since it was over 4pm, I went to a coffee shop Ritazza where you have an excellent view of the aircraft arriving at gate 4 and I was expecting my ride arriving soon....but it was delayed, not too much but enough so I went back to gate to check out for possible information. Nothing new appeared on the screen at gate so back to the coffee shop - and my ride had arrived ! I was glad to see it even I missed the taxiing pics but a good side-shot was available.
airBaltic De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 (YL-BAF
was an other new reg for me and I have to admit, she looks nice on that pic.
Once again back to the gate where the display shows “Boarding”, good timing.
Boarding started around 16:35 which was about 10 mins. late than scheduled one but was not really worried about a possible delay. I have a tight connecting schedule at RIX
but this was not the first time and usually airBaltic gives an announcement about the departure gates when approaching RIX
so you can just walk straight to the gate after arriving the terminal, this flight was not exception.
We made the boarding opposite way than with OV
, stairs down to tarmac and short walk to the aircraft, no jetbridge was used.
Flight n:o 4
Arlanda, Stockholm (ARN
) - Riga (RIX
De Havilland Canada DHC-8-402Q Dash 8 (YL-BAF
Takeoff rwy 19R
Scheduled flight time: 16:55 - 19:10
Take-off: 17:00 / Landing: 18:50
Flight duration (airborne) 00:50 hrs
Delivery date for airBaltic: 27/07/2010
Boarding. Code-share with Skyways
My seat was 6A
and once again I was keeping my fingers crossed for not having a seatmate, it seems someone was on my side since 6B
stayed empty after the long awaited “boarding completed!” announcement. I was happy to get some extra space for myself.
Once again I was the first ones to board the plane so I had a good chance to take some cabin pics.
We were getting ready for pushback and I noticed the 2 rows of business class were empty - no Optiontown upgrades this time ?
Pushback was at 16:53 and we started our taxiing towards runway 19R, where we took off immediately without any waiting at 17:00. We also made the left hand turn which gave me a view of the ARN
airport, so called “Kodak moment”.
Runway 01R / 19L
Some kind of a race track ?
Runway 01R / 19L
Arlanda airport (ARN
). Runways 08/26 and 01R/19L visible and rwy 01L/19R partly visible. Jumbo Hostel and Radisson Blu Hotel Arlandia (red building) also visible.
Viking Line passenger ferry on its way to Stockholm from Finland.
One can say the flight was regular one without any surprises, I was napping few times since I had an early wake-up but was not really sleeping.
BOB service started about 10 mins. after takeoff and this time I decided to have some water, not any water but airBaltic water.
Necessary legroom shot
Landing preparations started approx. 15 mins. before landing and it looked good for my connecting
flight, no need to hurry anywhere, departure gate was B15 for HEL
Port of Mersrags, Latvia
Fishing village of Engure, Latvia
Sloka, Latvia. Residential area and neighbourhood of the city of Jūrmala.
Landing on runway 36
Landing was at 18:50 on runway 36, after slowing down we taxied to a remote stand for a bus ride to terminal.
During our taxiing, we were passing a RAF-Avia Antonov aircraft that operates cargo services for TNT, DHL and others, as well as transport for the military and the United Nations and passenger charters.
RAF-Avia Airlines Antonov An-74TK-100 (YL-RAF)
We needed to wait a bit until the plane was ready for disembark, of course it was ok for me as the
following pics shows.
Sunny evening was waiting when I made my way out of the plane, for a moment I was planning to relax a bit but then I had a bus to catch to the terminal....not forgetting the last pics of YL-BAF
Once again a bus ride to terminal and a quick walk to the gate B15 which was located downstairs of the terminal, meaning a bus gate. I had time to visit the restroom and then joining the others for bus boarding.
Bus took us to a remote stand where YL-BBD was getting ready for a short hop to HEL
Also first time to fly with her.
Flight n:o 5
) - Helsinki (HEL
Boeing 737-500 (YL-BBD)
Seat 4A, economy
Takeoff rwy 36R
Scheduled flight time: 19:35 - 20:40
Take-off: 19:37 / Landing: 20:19
Flight duration (airborne) 00:42 hrs
Delivery date for airBaltic: 04/04/2004
airBaltic Boeing 737-500 (YL-BBD)