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airbuseric
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Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:41 pm

Dear readers and fellow tripreporters,

Let me present part 2 of the trip to Indonesia. After bringing you the story about the current Economy Class product on Malaysian Airlines in Economy Class:

Malaysia Airlines Longhaul In Y: AMS-KUL-DPS (by airbuseric Feb 29 2012 in Trip Reports)

I would like to show you some pictures which I took during our stay on Bali. In addition to these pictures which won’t fit this website without a flight, we make a jump aside and fly to the island of Lombok on for me very interesting equipment, the Chinese build Xian MA-60.

Bali Scenes & the AVIC Xian MA-60 to Lombok


Anyway, let’s start on Bali. We decide to enjoy the island in several ways. First the relaxed mode of course, sunbathing and poolside, 4* luxury and fantastic Indonesian cuisine. We do some walking in the evening and visit the small shops where we purchase souvenirs to bring home.


.
Traditional Bali boat (Junkung) posing for my camera


Many Balinese people come from far on their motorbikes, just to work in the tourist areas. And late at night they make the whole tour back to their villages further away. I spoke with a local female, she told me that the had a hard time driving her motorbike to reach the small beachclub she is working for. 90 minutes oneway, and back around midnight, on scary roads which are in bad condition and no light of course. Dogs walk around everywhere in search for food (they often eat the offers brought by the people), but also in front of her motorbike so she felt already 3 times that week. Life is good for their standards, but hard to my standards. She has to feed 2 childs also. It’s good that this island can rely on the tourists. It’s their life!

Outside our resort in Sanur we get in touch with a local driver. He works for a small agency which operates a couple of minivans. After discussing the price for a full day we agree that he can be our driver and guidance for a day. We propose that he drives to the areas of our interest.
The next morning at 9am he’s in front of the lobby and waves. Let’s go! We tell him what to do and he acknowledged. We are on our way…

During the day it becomes clear that the driver is going the ‘touristic route’ and we visit some places after his recommendation, but all places which are visited by other tourists also. Aside from that, the lunch in Kintamani with a view on Gunung Batur is done in a touristic buffet-restaurant. Good food, but a ‘European price’. Still it’s not a problem for us to pay this amount, but on the other side, this is not truly Indonesia. Our driver gets his lunch for free in a room out of our sight, he never told us but of course we know. That’s how things work on Bali (and elsewhere).


.
Gunung Batur seen from Kintamani


After our lunch we go to see some panorama’s and taste Balinese coffee at the coffee farm. It’s interesting to see how Kopi (Coffee) Luwak is produced out of poop of the Civet. The civet eats the coffee berries but leaves those undigested in their droppings. After collecting the poop the coffee seeds are taken out and cleaned, before they are roasted for coffee production. It’s an expensive coffee, said to be most expensive in this world, and produced in small quantities.

We bought some coffee for my parents in law, both Indonesian but living in the Netherlands for a long time already.




Well, we continue our way down South again and end up in Sanur again around dinnertime. A first tour has been completed, mostly interesting and beautiful. But on the other side, also a bit touristic. We tell the driver and have a good conversation. We explain our feelings and how we think of it… But he wants to take us again also. We promise a higher tip after the next trip, but then he follows our route, found after reading the best travelbooks (Roughguides, imho). Less touristic, more quiet, less explored landscapes and eating in local places. He agrees, we go again on tour for 2 more times and enjoy the beauty of Bali more then ever before. Serene quietness, the green colours, the beautiful roads leading through the landscape. Our driver also enjoyed our ideas. He drove at places he never was before and had to ask the way several times also. A bit off the beaten track never hurts it seems.


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Bali has beautiful birds



.
And Bali has even more beautiful landscapes! Gorgeous colours all around!



.
So genuine Bali!



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Small roads to less explored places as we read in our book



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Would you go inside at first sight? Well, the food was delicious here!



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A view on Gunung Agung (3,142m), highest peak on Bali



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Semarapura (Klungkung)



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The beauty of flowers, like this Lotus.



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Or maybe you like orchids more? You’ll find them here also!



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Ploughing the rice fields. The birds are watching from a distance…



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Lazy Monkey


After a week in Sanur we change from 4 start to 5 with a luxury suite in a Nusa Dua property. Life is good once there. More expensive though, but our residence suite is an apartment which many of us can live in for our daily life. Cleaned by 3 men every morning during our time at the impressive breakfast buffet.
Nusa Dua is not an area to meet the locals. It’s a –by wall surrounded and secured– area with only 5 star luxury properties. To locals come here to work and serve. A real treat! But real life is just at the other side… that’s where we go to eat and drink and prefer to spend the money.

***


From the luxury time on Bali to a relatively poor island nearby: Lombok. It’s situated about 45 minutes apart from eachother by plane. The island tries to gain tourists also but does not succeed yet. Several resorts are located on the main island of Lombok, but all in quiet areas. People going there mostly depend on the offering by these resorts. In the surrounding areas is basically ‘nothing’ to do but surfing.
Lombok is known as a hotspot for windsurfing. Great waves and beautiful beaches can be found at this island. So the different type of tourist comes here, in much smaller quantities then those going to Bali. It’s more relaxed easy going, surf boys and girls, mostly Australian, but seemingly also popular by the French public.
Sengigi on the westcoast is where you find most touristic restaurants and shops, far away from the surfspots which are mostly located in the South. Also famous are the Gili Islands close to Lombok. It’s paradise there, ‘they’ say. Well, I haven’t visited those but seen them from a distance. Very small islands, maybe paradise, but what to do on such a small island?


***


We book tickets online at a travelagency known online as ‘ticketindonesia’, they have an office located in Jakarta. But e-tickets are issued and communication is very fine and efficient. Against a small fee they are able to book you on basically any Indonesian carrier, and you can use Western creditcards (often not the case on the Indonesian airline websites except for Lion Air, and some countries on GA).
My good friend Suryo (akhmad) used this website also after my advise as far as I know, and also had a good impression about them, so I can only highly recommend it.

It’s Tuesday October 18th when we are going to Lombok. I was looking forward to this trip, especially the flight on Merpati Nusantara. Not recommended by the aforementioned website, and known for their schedule changes or cancellations on short notice. Aside from that, Merpati Nusantara is also known from several air incidents/accidents in recent years.

To make a small summary:

2009: a small Twin Otter was flown into a mountain side when they flew in haze under VFR conditions

2009: A Fokker 100 was involved with a runway excursion, bringing substantial damage to the frame

2010: quite some injured pax when a 737-300 had a runway excursion and received substantial damage

2011: one of their CASA aircraft went off the runway after continuing an unstabilized approach

2011: one of the Xian MA60 aircraft crashed into the sea during approach in bad weather condition. All passengers and crew died, 25 in total. The aircraft was destroyed.


But especially the Xian MA60 was which made me decide to book on Merpati Nusantara. It’s a very rare aircraft type and flown in some obscure countries. 5 accidents are known since 2008, which is a high amount since 66 aircraft were said to be delivered till October 2011, of which 2 full losses.
I wasn’t completely sure if this type was operating the flight. According stories also the Fokker 100 or 737’s are operating this small route, but I thought my chances were good enough to give this a go, especially keeping in mind that my other choices were basically a Fokker 50 of IAT or the Wings Air ATR-72’s. Also small operator Travira does fly the Cessna 208 Caravan but I didn’t find a way to book ourselves on this. GA does operate a single evening flight on the Boeing 737, more on that later.

We ordered a taxi at 630am for the drive from Nusa Dua to DPS domestic terminal. The driver was waiting for us, bang on time, and drove us to the airport for just 60,000 Rupiah. Traffic was non excisting that morning, resulting in this cheap ride.

The domestic terminal offers several small shops aka minimarkets, a Starbucks facility even. Who would’ve thought!


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Starbucks at DPS



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Domestic Terminal


Our flight is on the departure board, destination LOP. This is the new airport code for the brandnew airport. It became operational on 01 October 2011 at 2am. We visit just 2 weeks later…


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MZ6600 is on the screen. Notice airport code LOP is not recognized yet.


We check-in at the desk, some Australian surfers in front have to pay for bringing on their surfboards and equipment. It was not a big deal for them, and I guess the fare they got quoted was low anyway.
A friendly lady is assisting us, handluggage only, and seat at row 2 requested and granted. She advises to take the emergency row which offers more legroom, but I still insisted that row 2 is the preferred place to be on this flight.


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Check-In Desk


When we finished the check-in we decided to have a further walk in this terminal. We see a small McDonalds and Dunkin’Donuts shop as well, plus a small selection of souvenir shops selling the usual Bali offering.


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More food here…



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Souvenirs Shops all around


Before going through security check we have to pay the usual departure tax in cash, which is 40,000 Rupiah per person on domestic flights out of DPS. A sticker is placed on the backside of the boarding pass and we proceed to security. Bringing 1 liter of water is not any problem here and the staff is very friendly to us. They wish us a good trip   .

The departure lounge is in the same old fashioned style we got to see before. Heavily used seating, a low ceiling. Some cafe’s around which sell against low prices, quite a few small souvenir shops also here. There were a few windows and I can see a Lion Air and Air Asia here.


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Seating and Cafe in the departure lounge



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Air Asia A320 and Lion Air taxiing out with the B737-900ER


Boarding is from gate 15, and it’s ontime. We’re handed a carton (meal)box before we walk down the stairs to the small minibus. Inside the bus, it’s hot! And crowded, since all passengers are put in this bus before we go on our short drive onto the apron.


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Boarding Gate No. 15


On the apron I notice a Germany registered VIP Airbus A319 and a USA Navy C-9b Skytrain II, registered ‘1266’. It’s far away from home! A rare sight indeed!


.
Some interesting US Navy metal here


More excited I was about the plane to take us to Lombok. It’s the Avic Xian MA-60 where I hoped for. Not in the standard Merpati colourscheme, and spotting PK-MZM as registration.


.
Yes! The MA-60 is here for me…


Boarding is with a door in the back, steps are placed on the apron to use. We are friendly greeted at doorside by a female flight attendant. Good first impression, the aircraft looks in good condition! Making photo’s on the apron is not a problem at all here.


.
Boarding

























Flight MZ6600
Date 18.10.2011
Route DPS-LOP
Aircraft AVIC Xian MA-60
Registration PK-MZM
Scheduled Departure Time // Actual Departure Time 08:00 // 07:58
Scheduled Arrival Time // Actual Arrival Time 08:45 // 08:37
Class of Service Economy Class
Seat No. 02A/C



The cabin looks in impeccable condition. Dark blue, leather look, seats. A cloth headrestcover spotting a commercial for some telecom operator. Legroom is little but fine for the shorter hops.
I place my bag in front of me, place the mealbox on it and fasten my seatbelt. Double check for the lifevest: yes it’s indeed under my seat. Interesting to read that also the seat cushion can be used as floating device. Together with the lifevest, this makes it ‘extra safe’  
Also above me, the overhead panel, is offering a modern selection. But no oxygen masks apparently.


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Legroom – ok for shorter flights



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This mealbox was given at the gate



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Inside: water and a creamy breadroll



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Fairly modern overhead panel



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Behind the bulkhead is the cargo hold, and the way to the cockpit


Behind the door in front of row one, which leads to the cockpit, is the cargo hold. I didn’t get the chance to have a look in that area, unfortunately.

With a load of estimated 95% we manage to pushback a bit early. During startup, which some ‘strange noises from the engines’ where heard (not negative, but noises I never heard on other props), also the manual safety demo was given. There was also a quick check for hangluggage etc but nothing ‘serious’ it seems. The crew seems to take things easy on this flight.


.
Ready to go


We taxi out for a runway 09 departure, and can line up without wait. The engines spooled up and we go! I notice SQ around with a B777-300 in Star Alliance livery, and also Merpati just arrived with a Fokker 100.


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Lining up for a runway 09 departure



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Merpati Fokker 100 is taxiing in after arrival



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And we’re airborne. A view on in direction of Sanur/Denpasar



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It does climb pretty well


We climb till just above the clouds for a rather smooth flight. Service wise nothing was delivered. The 2 cabin crew came around with inflight shopping sales, and where busy with 2 ladies in front of us buying both a Quran book. Interesting to see this book on sale on a flight, isn’t it?


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Cruising level



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Cabin View. The 2 crew are doing the inflight sales


Soon we overfly the island of Lombok. It’s green at first, later changing to a rather dry looking landschape below. Our speed is reduced and we quickly descend. Landing is on the very new asphalt runway 13, a smooth touchdown and a succesful flight came already to and end so quickly again.


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Overflying Lombok island prior landing



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We landed at new Lombok International Airport (LOP)


We taxi onto the large but yet quiet apron, where nothing else then another MA-60 is parked. That example was PK-MZO and in the regular Merpati livery. In addition to that, a Wings Air ATR-72 (PK-WFM) is also arriving when we disembark.


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Another MA-60 is in when we arrive



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Seating on the MA-60 (picture taken after landing)



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Cabin view (picture taken after landing)


Upon deplaning I ask to take the safety card, which was first denied. But I ask once more and explain that this was a very special aircraft to fly on for me, and my request is granted. I obtain a safety card but have to hide it in my bag.


.
Wings Air ATR-72 is seen taxiing in


Lombok International Airport; brandnew. It seems in a relaxed mode. I was able to walk at my own liking towards the terminal building. No guiding at all, plus, more time to make a few more pictures.


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It has the ‘Antonov An-24 looks’



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A closer look on PK-MZO, parked next door



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Welcome to Lombok sign


Inside the terminal there is a baggage hall with several belts to retrieve the bags. Everything looked and was very new, but just ‘not finished’. Indonesia style! No time to have furhter looks now, because our personal driver was waiting in front of the exit with a large sign and looking for Mr. Eric haha… we meet up and together we walk outside the crowded area. What’s going on with all these people here at this airport… Well, I’ll explain that to you in the next episode. Also then, the pictures from Lombok and the flight back on GA, and further home to AMS.


For now I hope that you have enjoyed my view of Bali, and that you like the pictures I showed to you. The flight on Merpati was very fine and on time, the MA60 seems to be a modern aircraft but feels ‘strange’ compared to the aircraft we use in Europe. Merpati crew were very friendly to us but I can’t say that how they are on longer flights. The catering provided is a nice extra but just a drink would be fine on this short flight too.

Lombok would become a total different experience then we saw on Bali, with different landscapes and people, far less touristic but very interesting.

Thanks for your reading and it’s always appreciated when you leave a small comment.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
gabrielchew
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:16 am

Thanks for another interesting look at Indonesian aerospace! The photos you took in Bali were wonderful!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
you can use Western creditcards (often not the case on the Indonesian airline websites except for Lion Air, and some countries on GA).

I was quite happy that I was able to buy a ticket on Sriwijaya Air this evening with no problems at all on their website

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Double check for the lifevest: yes it’s indeed under my seat. Interesting to read that also the seat cushion can be used as floating device. Together with the lifevest, this makes it ‘extra safe’

Haha. Unfortunately a necessity in Indonesia

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Upon deplaning I ask to take the safety card, which was first denied. But I ask once more and explain that this was a very special aircraft to fly on for me, and my request is granted. I obtain a safety card but have to hide it in my bag.

Nice of them to let you take one. Glad you had a nice flight on the MA60 similar to my experience in China last summer.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-CDG,LHR-BKK-AKL-TBU,EUA-TBU-NAN-WLG,WHK-AKL-BKK-LHR
 
adamspotter
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:22 am

Hi Eric,
Nice trip report with quite a 'rare' aircraft. Nice pictures of Bali, sure want to visit there some time. Looking forward to your next part!

cheers,
adamspotter // Brendan
 
dc9northwest
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Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 am

RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:49 am

Hi Eric,

Thanks for writing up this TR. It's good to see such rare aircraft and routes covered.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
The cabin looks in impeccable condition. Dark blue, leather look, seats.

Yes. Much better than I expected... then again, when I think of the MA-60 I think of the An-24 and Abrelosojos' recent report.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Small roads to less explored places as we read in our book

That's a very nice picture. Looks like a good place to visit. Reminds me of the time my mother and I were sitting next to an Indonesian official on a flight to OTP (I think) and he said we must visit Bali. Never got around to it, but I probably will, eventually. The pics are great... The Indonesian domestic aviation scene is very interesting.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
We climb till just above the clouds for a rather smooth flight. Service wise nothing was delivered. The 2 cabin crew came around with inflight shopping sales, and where busy with 2 ladies in front of us buying both a Quran book. Interesting to see this book on sale on a flight, isn’t it?

It is, it is... The idiosyncrasies of this Earth are what makes travelling worthwhile.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
It has the ‘Antonov An-24 looks’

Yes it does... Quite a good-looking aircraft, actually.

Thanks again!

-Alex
 
bps3458
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:06 am

Hi Eric,

your trip report hit the right spot during my lunch break and makes me count the days until we leave for Bali and Lombok end of March. Looking forward to my first trip in Jetstar's Star Class from SYD to DPS return and have booked the evening flights on GA DPS-LOP return.

First 4 days of relaxation in a 5 star resort in Ubud and in Lombok we will be staying in the Jeeva Klui resort for the wedding of my best friend.

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:11 am

Eric,

Pretty cool. I wish I could take pictures like you! Actually, can you please tell me what camera you used? Awesome shots! And, getting the MA-60 (which is rarely covered here) was a total delight. Looking forward to the Lombok pictures ... I absolutely adore Indonesia.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
yapple
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:55 am

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the wonderful report and pictures! Great to see a report covering Merpati and MA-60, both of which I have always wanted to try. It's not too expensive either (was contemplating either Merpati or Lao Airlines) Glad to see that the service wasn't too bad and they even granted you the safety card!

Thanks for the website too, it looks like a good website to find flights.

Yap
 
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airbuseric
Topic Author
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:07 am

Hi, thanks so much for your reading and comments guys,

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
I was quite happy that I was able to buy a ticket on Sriwijaya Air this evening with no problems at all on their website

Good to know Gabriel! It seems the airlines are really improving step by step. I had an interesting happening after I purchased by GA tickets, more on that in a few days.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
Unfortunately a necessity in Indonesia

Haha indeed, then I thought about it. But luckily not on my flight.

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 2):
Nice pictures of Bali, sure want to visit there some time.

Thanks Brendan and for sure something to do for you!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
Much better than I expected... then again, when I think of the MA-60 I think of the An-24 and Abrelosojos' recent report.

I love Abrelosojos' reports! This flight is 'so standard' compared to his experiences  
Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
Looks like a good place to visit. Reminds me of the time my mother and I were sitting next to an Indonesian official on a flight to OTP (I think) and he said we must visit Bali. Never got around to it, but I probably will, eventually.

I hope you can go there and visit this beautiful island. That official was right and a good ambassador for his country

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
It is, it is... The idiosyncrasies of this Earth are what makes travelling worthwhile.

It's great to see this kind of details which makes travelling to interesting  
Quoting bps3458 (Reply 4):
your trip report hit the right spot during my lunch break and makes me count the days until we leave for Bali and Lombok end of March.

Good to know! And the GA flight will be covered in the next part, including a good view on LOP.

Quoting bps3458 (Reply 4):
we will be staying in the Jeeva Klui resort

I heard about Jeeva Klui. Seems a pretty good place. Good friends of me stayed there. You must get a great time there, especially with all the celebrations.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 5):
Pretty cool. I wish I could take pictures like you!

Haha thanks Alex  
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 5):
Actually, can you please tell me what camera you used?

It's a Nikon D7000 DSLR, with several lenses I use. A lovely camera. In case you get it, make sure to use the correct settings to get the best results of course.

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
debonair
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:15 am

Great pictures of Bali...

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Our flight is on the departure board, destination LOP. This is the new airport code for the brandnew airport.



Is the "old" airport Mataram still open for use?! Where did you stayed on Lombok? I have heard that the beach resorts like Senggigi are now suffering from the new airport, long transfers and bad roads. Last time I was in Lombok, I was told that EK will start flights to DXB as soon as the new airport is open- any sign?!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Aside from that, Merpati Nusantara is also known from several air incidents/accidents in recent years.



At the time I was on Bali Merpati was using the B737 and I flew the scary PK-MDH. On return I choosed TRIGANA AIR SERVICE with their ATR42- only 2 weeks after my vacation this ATR42 crashed. I think Indonesian aviation is in general more dangerous...
 
LH4116
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:52 am

Hoi Eric, fantastic report! Really love the pictures you took in Indonesia, they looked really stunning. It must really've been a special trip for you and the other half  
Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Good food, but a ‘European price’. Still it’s not a problem for us to pay this amount, but on the other side, this is not truly Indonesia.

Hmm, I wouldn't be happy to pay European prices in Asia it's really a ripoff. Remember going to a bar in Shanghai where they charged me €5 for a shot of Bailey's, made me really upset.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
After our lunch we go to see some panorama’s and taste Balinese coffee at the coffee farm. It’s interesting to see how Kopi (Coffee) Luwak is produced out of poop of the Civet.

I've always wanted to try out Kopi Luwak, I'm guessing it's not available for Nespresso yet   Also you could've used the word feces instead of poop, since it would suit your formal writing style more well I think.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
The domestic terminal offers several small shops aka minimarkets, a Starbucks facility even. Who would’ve thought!

Did you go for your usual Caramel Macchiato? Or did you skip it, since you were on holiday after all  
Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Some cafe’s around which sell against low prices,

So they weren't priced at outrageously high airport prices? I've still to take that with a pinch of salt since clearly we've different opinions about that.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Also above me, the overhead panel, is offering a modern selection. But no oxygen masks apparently.

Well then the plane is not so safe anymore. A decompression at high altitude would mean the end, which is very serious I'd say.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Interesting to see this book on sale on a flight, isn’t it?

Yes, the plane is a deathtrap! (sorry, couldn't resist  
Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
a smooth touchdown and a succesful flight came already to and end so quickly again.

Thank God you made it back alive!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
I obtain a safety card but have to hide it in my bag.

I'm very well familiar with your trick Eric, the card was clearly liberated. Laptop pocket comes in very handy I must say 

Thanks again for sharing, and I'm much looking forward to the next part!
//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:23 pm

Hi Eric,

excellent report with stunning pictures from Bali! I went there for a few days in 1997, had a great time at the Sheraton Laguna Nusa Dua.

I really enjoyed reading your MA-60 experience, but both the carrier and the type are on my no-fly list.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
We book tickets online at a travelagency known online as ‘ticketindonesia’, they have an office located in Jakarta. But e-tickets are issued and communication is very fine and efficient. Against a small fee they are able to book you on basically any Indonesian carrier, and you can use Western creditcards (often not the case on the Indonesian airline websites except for Lion Air, and some countries on GA).

I used that great agency after Lion Air rejected both my MasterCard and Visa Card. The booking process on Sriwijaya's website was quick and easy, though.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Starbucks at DPS

Ah, these overpriced cafes are everywhere...

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
On the apron I notice a Germany registered VIP Airbus A319 and a USA Navy C-9b Skytrain II, registered ‘1266’. It’s far away from home! A rare sight indeed!

Very interesting visitors!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Making photo’s on the apron is not a problem at all here.

   Other countries could learn a lesson.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Inside: water and a creamy breadroll

Nice, I got similar stuff on SJ.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Also then, the pictures from Lombok and the flight back on GA,

I can't wait to read about your GA experience. I got a new 738 with PTVs and a hot breakfast between CGK and SIN.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
I was quite happy that I was able to buy a ticket on Sriwijaya Air this evening with no problems at all on their website

Well, it's "your flying partner"!  


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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OA260
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:33 pm

Hey Eric another great report from you. Really good quality pics as expected  

Starbucks gets everywhere !

Nice insight into an aircraft I dont know much about .

Look forward to the next installment .

Regards

Philip  
 
The777Man
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:19 pm

Hi Eric !

Thanks for another great report wth fantastic pictures of Bali! It brings back nice memories from my visit there in 1999.

The MA-60 is indeed a very rare aircaft and good that you flew it in good weather on such a short flight; more safe that way.

@Jonas; Are you sure you are not from Smaland ? People will always try to make the most of people from "rich" countries so just be prepared and deal with it.

@Eric: Very much looking forward to the report from Lombok and the return back home.

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
MH017
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:16 pm

Stunning photography of Bali, Eric !!!

MA-60 looks quite good inside: nice bulkhead, desent legroom and also overhead panel quite modern...should also take a flight on one of these soon, but most probably it will be on Lao Airlines (saw this fine MA-60 @ SGN)

Hope you can also share some Lombok pictures with us...terima kasih  
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
stipica
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:17 pm

Hi Eric !
beautiful pictures after a busy day ...I've never been to Indonesia so one more reason to enjoy ...
MA-60 is not something that I will fly soon or better to say never heheh interesting modernization ...
Lombok with new airport is obviously well prepared for future tourist hordes ...
looking for a new spa treatment ...stipica  
Open your eyes and think
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:36 pm

Hoi, Eric,

that´s for sure a special story.
Aircraft wise and also the destination pictures, really good to follow.
It seems there are definitely not that much people around with the MA60 in the books, congrats.
Looking for the next part now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
mcogator
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:47 pm

Very nice trip report. The wife and I are headed to Bali the second week of May and are trying to plan a day trip to Lombok. We were turned off by the accident history of Merpati Nusantara, but the departure time from DPS works best for us. Unfortunately I couldn't book using their website, but now I can using ticketindonesia. Thank you so much! How were the resorts you stayed at on Bali? We are booked at the W Semenyak and are very much looking forward to the trip.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
 
MSS658
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi Eric

Great report! I really love the quality of the pictures you used in this report. Indonesia looks very colorful indeed  .
I'm quite surprised how modern the MA-60 as well! was expecting an older veteran  .

Greetings
Marc
Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
 
SuperCaravelle
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:23 pm

Hello Eric,

Thanks a lot for the trip report and the stunning pictures! You were right when you asked the guide for unknown routes and unspoiled sights, it's absolutely breathtaking.

Makes this all the more worrying:

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
The domestic terminal offers several small shops aka minimarkets, a Starbucks facility even. Who would’ve thought!

A Starbucks and a McDonalds. To be honest that's not the kind of brands I would like to see in a place far away...

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Also above me, the overhead panel, is offering a modern selection. But no oxygen masks apparently.

Is the MA-60 pressurized? You would think it wasn't, judging by the lack of an oxygen mask. Or maybe Merpati doesn't use this feature   Thanks for the coverage on an interesting airline and probably the most obscure and unknown commercial plane currently in production.
 
eastern747
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:46 am

OK can I scream now! All the way to Bali and meet Starbucks and McD... ARRRRGH! God, is there anywhere I can go and not see this stuff> BTW.. Selling the Koran on board. Not a big destination for gay folks...lololololol and no booze.
 
bps3458
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:56 am

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 7):
Good to know! And the GA flight will be covered in the next part, including a good view on LOP.

Hi Eric,

can't wait to read the next segment. What is the actual flying time between DPS and LOP ? Around 25 minutes ?

Cheers from Brisbane,

Peter
 
Quokkas
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:44 am

Hi Eric,
Some very professional looking photos there confirming the beauty of Indonesia.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
That’s how things work on Bali (and elsewhere).

And everywhere.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Heavily used seating,

An understatement.   A serious need of refurbishment there.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
But no oxygen masks apparently.

But with it being used to hop between islands, at what average maximum altitude would they be flying? Would they actually need masks?

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
buying both a Quran

Were they not confident of getting to their destination? In a world more used to expensive "cheap" perfumes, gadgets and alcohol seeing the Qur'an on the price list would seem strange.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
What’s going on with all these people here at this airport… Well, I’ll explain that to you in the next episode.

A brilliant ending: dangle the carrot just like in a TV episode.  

Thanks for sharing.
“Not to laugh, not to cry, not to hate, but understand.” Spinoza
 
signol
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:55 am

Hi Eric,

some nice photos there of Bali. I wan't impressed with the place myself, when I visited in 2002 - too much hassling and touts, it put me off (we stayed in Kuta and Ubud. Candidasa was much quieter and more pleasant).

Nice ride on an unusual plane, not very common here in Europe (if any exist at all!) The snack box looks to be rather small, understandable for a short flight but I don't know why they didn't hand out the water and bread without the box?

Despite being brand new, the Lombok terminal looks quite a lot older. Strange that!

Thanks again

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:30 pm

Hi Eric,

Wow, didn't expect you to get your second part up so quick! But I'm sure glad you did. Very beautiful and high quality pictures from Bali, but nothing less expected from you of course.

That MA-60 sure is a nice catch (I don't know why but I keep associating that designation with the US Blackhawk helicopter...), certainly not a very common plane. I saw a bunch of them at the Xian Airport many years ago and thought about how it would be to fly with one some day. So far haven't succeeded, although I did manage to catch the AN-24 in Ukraine. Were there any balance issues while boarding the plane via the back door? The Antonov is quite prone to tip over and hit the ground with its tail while boarding so the crew (well the captain actually) were supervising the boarding procedure and very strict about only one person climbing onboard at a time.

That snackbox is a nice gesture but not very substantial.
 
volvair
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:39 pm

Hi Eric,

thanks for the awesome report with stunning high quality pictures. It was great to be able to follow you on your MA-60 flight, a plane I sadly missed out on while I was in Bolivia.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:33 am

Hi guys,
thanks for your replies!

Quoting debonair (Reply 8):
Is the "old" airport Mataram still open for use?!

I think it is, for the military. But also Travira seems to operate the Cessna 208's into AMI

Quoting debonair (Reply 8):
Where did you stayed on Lombok? I have heard that the beach resorts like Senggigi are now suffering from the new airport, long transfers and bad roads.

We stayed just that day, more on that in the next report. But I can imagine, indeed the road is long and not the best condition. But, Indonesia has no speed limitation and there are not too many cars on Lombok. They created a nice 'highway' 4 lane road to the airport though, but not all the way from Senggigi.

Quoting debonair (Reply 8):
Last time I was in Lombok, I was told that EK will start flights to DXB as soon as the new airport is open- any sign?!

No sign at all, SQ (Silk Air) does operate from SIN, and most tourists seem to use that service.
But the island itself has a lot to do before they can be attractive to the general public.

Quoting debonair (Reply 8):
At the time I was on Bali Merpati was using the B737 and I flew the scary PK-MDH. On return I choosed TRIGANA AIR SERVICE with their ATR42- only 2 weeks after my vacation this ATR42 crashed.

What a story haha... Typical!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Really love the pictures you took in Indonesia, they looked really stunning. It must really've been a special trip for you and the other half

Thanks Jonas. Most of the trips we take together are special of course  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
I wouldn't be happy to pay European prices in Asia it's really a ripoff. Remember going to a bar in Shanghai where they charged me €5 for a shot of Bailey's, made me really upset.

Nothing to become upset about is it? You decide to get in yourself and then you should've informed yourself about the pricelevel of that property. I never have problems and when I don't like the price, I won't go inside.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Also you could've used the word feces instead of poop, since it would suit your formal writing style more well I think.

Yours you mean?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Did you go for your usual Caramel Macchiato? Or did you skip it, since you were on holiday after all

We skipped... We were not into coffee, more drinking water in Indonesia

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
So they weren't priced at outrageously high airport prices? I've still to take that with a pinch of salt since clearly we've different opinions about that.

They were low prices for airport level. Compared to ours. Probably you would still judge they are too expensive 'for Indonesian standards' but that's life Jonas. Your prices at ARN are also more expensive then in downtown Stockholm.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Well then the plane is not so safe anymore. A decompression at high altitude would mean the end, which is very serious I'd say.

It's certified, so safe. We cannot judge different. I guess the ceiling of this aircraft is quite low and does not require oxygen masks.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
I'm very well familiar with your trick Eric, the card was clearly liberated. Laptop pocket comes in very handy I must say

I asked for the card before I took it. There are several warnings when you take airline belongings with you, and I don't want to make a trouble in these countries.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
really enjoyed reading your MA-60 experience, but both the carrier and the type are on my no-fly list.

I can imagine your feeling PH! The B732 you flew is a good choice as well  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
I used that great agency after Lion Air rejected both my MasterCard and Visa Card. The booking process on Sriwijaya's website was quick and easy, though.

Never heard about this problem on Lion Air, but kudos to Sriwijaya! Good improvement.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 10):
I can't wait to read about your GA experience. I got a new 738 with PTVs and a hot breakfast between CGK and SIN.

I had a different experience... Soon to read!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Starbucks gets everywhere !

Starbucks or Costa's these days

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
The MA-60 is indeed a very rare aircaft and good that you flew it in good weather on such a short flight; more safe that way.

Also my opinion. This one is in the books and I'm ok with it.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
People will always try to make the most of people from "rich" countries so just be prepared and deal with it.

  

Quoting MH017 (Reply 13):
MA-60 looks quite good inside: nice bulkhead, desent legroom and also overhead panel quite modern...should also take a flight on one of these soon, but most probably it will be on Lao Airlines

Lao Airlines... sounds tempting! Go for it and share your story Pieter!

Quoting MH017 (Reply 13):
Hope you can also share some Lombok pictures with us...terima kasih

Tentu saja! Stay tuned!

Quoting stipica (Reply 14):
Lombok with new airport is obviously well prepared for future tourist hordes ...
looking for a new spa treatment

Just the airport is not enough. And, is the airport really prepared? You can see in the next part!
Lombok can definitely bring a good spa experience for you though

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 15):
Aircraft wise and also the destination pictures, really good to follow.
It seems there are definitely not that much people around with the MA60 in the books, congrats.

Thanks Markus. The reason to take this chance indeed

Quoting mcogator (Reply 16):
Unfortunately I couldn't book using their website, but now I can using ticketindonesia. Thank you so much!

You're welcome. There must be a Dutch person behind this website. I was able to pay with a Dutch bank transfer also, to a Dutch account and person.

Quoting mcogator (Reply 16):
How were the resorts you stayed at on Bali? We are booked at the W Semenyak and are very much looking forward to the trip.

All fine experience in the resorts. Taxes on food are +21% though, better eat 'on the street' and pay no tax or a reduced amount of 15%. But all 4/5* resorts should be fine!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 17):
I'm quite surprised how modern the MA-60 as well! was expecting an older veteran

Same expected here, so all fine in the end  

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:46 am

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 25):
The B732 you flew is a good choice as well

I'm not sure how to interpret that. Sriwijaya Air hasn't had a crash yet. I have been told by insiders that the carrier is reliable and safe.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:47 am

...

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 18):
You were right when you asked the guide for unknown routes and unspoiled sights, it's absolutely breathtaking.

I like it more that way.

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 18):
A Starbucks and a McDonalds. To be honest that's not the kind of brands I would like to see in a place far away...

Same opinion. But tourists from everywhere, bring in these brands unfortunately

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 18):
Is the MA-60 pressurized?

I think it's non pressurized, so operating at a lower ceiling

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 19):
All the way to Bali and meet Starbucks and McD... ARRRRGH! God, is there anywhere I can go and not see this stuff>

Hahaha

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 19):
Selling the Koran on board. Not a big destination for gay folks...

Well,... we did not at all encounter any trouble, also not at Lombok. Nothing to worry about, just behave yourself.

Quoting bps3458 (Reply 20):
What is the actual flying time between DPS and LOP ? Around 25 minutes ?

40 minutes about... the prop used a bit longer compared to my ride back on the 737

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 21):
But with it being used to hop between islands, at what average maximum altitude would they be flying? Would they actually need masks?

I guess we flew at about 15,000 feet, not sure. We did not get information about this during the flight.

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
I wan't impressed with the place myself, when I visited in 2002 - too much hassling and touts,

But the island offers so many quiet areas. You can get away from it easily and relax. But also the busy life is here... that's what makes Bali so interesting for 'everybody' maybe.

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
Nice ride on an unusual plane, not very common here in Europe (if any exist at all!)

It's definitely not around in Europe. Is it allowed to operate in the EU? Not sure about that.

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
The snack box looks to be rather small, understandable for a short flight but I don't know why they didn't hand out the water and bread without the box?

It's good looking hehe... a big surprise to see it's contents  
Quoting signol (Reply 22):
Despite being brand new, the Lombok terminal looks quite a lot older. Strange that!

Check the next report also for a detailed report on this new airport.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 23):
Wow, didn't expect you to get your second part up so quick!

I'm full of surprises P.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 23):
I saw a bunch of them at the Xian Airport many years ago and thought about how it would be to fly with one some day. So far haven't succeeded, although I did manage to catch the AN-24 in Ukraine.

Wow, recently during your visit? Sounds cool! Only so far twice on the An-12 here... I promised to bring up a report here, although it's some years ago since I took the flights.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 23):
Were there any balance issues while boarding the plane via the back door?

Nothing noticed, maybe they don't care about it. Dunno  
Quoting volvair (Reply 24):
It was great to be able to follow you on your MA-60 flight, a plane I sadly missed out on while I was in Bolivia.

Oh, that would've been so great and special to fly too! Sorry to hear. Well, compensate with a holiday to Indonesia and get on one of these Merpati examples  

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
deltamartin
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 08, 2012 1:01 pm

Hi Eric!

Nice report as usual, covering some really exotic equipment!
The MA-60 seemed like a fairly nice ride, I can understand it's very different, but what western prop would you say it reminded you the most of?
Great pictures over Bali, seems like you had a great time.
I'm looking forward to the next report!

Martin
 
lychemsa
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:22 pm

Thanks for the beautiful pictures of Bali. Makes me want to go.
 
AlwaysOnAPlane
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:29 pm

Hi Eric.

You know I like to try my best with photography and i'm quite serious on the subject. Well, your pictures on Bali had my mouth hanging wide open. The picture of the narrow road disappearing off into the distance with the trees and so on, simply amazing composition. Really well done here mate.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
The domestic terminal offers several small shops aka minimarkets, a Starbucks facility even. Who would’ve thought!

Yea, quite amazing, then again we should know by now that this push to introduce western business into all walks of life is the way things go.

I have to confess that this type is totally new to me, I had no idea about the manufacturer. Lets just say it looks quite ok, on a par with the more common types for the Westerner, ATR and so on. The cabin to me looks actually really nice and comfortable. Nice to see a small service being offered too.

I'm looking forward to the next part and some more top class photography.
Cheers, Lee.
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:19 am

Hi Eric, great report as usual. Nice job logging the MA-60, a very interesting bird! The pictures from Bali are very good, I'm starting to understand why so many people go there  

Brgds,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
MEA-707
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:24 pm

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 27):
I think it's non pressurized, so operating at a lower ceiling

The MA-60 is pressurized, it can fly at max 24.000 feet I believe.
I think when Merpati doesn't climb higher then a certain hight, maybe 18 or 20K, you are allowed to fly without oxygen masks because you can dive quickly enough to 9K when the plane depressurizes.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
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sultanils
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:36 pm

Hi Eric,

Very nice report of this exotic route, carrier and aircraft. Beautiful pics once again as well!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
During the day it becomes clear that the driver is going the ‘touristic route’

Ha, what else did you expect? But I find you were truthful in promising him some more tip if he took you the way you wanted it. That would've been a nice extra for this guy. I bet their income is really low.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
To make a small summary:

Quite a hefty record, and all quite recent.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Our flight is on the departure board, destination LOP. This is the new airport code for the brandnew airport. It became operational on 01 October 2011 at 2am. We visit just 2 weeks later…

I believe you got yourself some premieres here  

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
I obtain a safety card but have to hide it in my bag.

 

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:47 pm

Hi guys,

your replies are all very much appreciated. Thanks!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 28):
Nice report as usual, covering some really exotic equipment!

Exotic places ask for exotic planes Martin  
Quoting deltamartin (Reply 28):
The MA-60 seemed like a fairly nice ride, I can understand it's very different, but what western prop would you say it reminded you the most of?

Yeah, I expected it more 'strange' in advance, but in the end, it maybe felt like being in an older generation Dash 8 (-200/-300). Not bad at all!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 29):
Thanks for the beautiful pictures of Bali. Makes me want to go.

I fully understand... everytime I look at them again, I get the same feeling  
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 30):
You know I like to try my best with photography and i'm quite serious on the subject. Well, your pictures on Bali had my mouth hanging wide open.

I know!! We have both good equipement to work with and make things happen.... glad you liked those.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 30):
I have to confess that this type is totally new to me, I had no idea about the manufacturer. Lets just say it looks quite ok, on a par with the more common types for the Westerner, ATR and so on. The cabin to me looks actually really nice and comfortable.

There is always something new, and something more to fly on.

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 31):
Nice job logging the MA-60, a very interesting bird! The pictures from Bali are very good, I'm starting to understand why so many people go there

Thanks Martijn. I think the majority of tourists never get to the inland though. A lot of -mostly younger- people probably stay around Kuta and the beaches, party till late at night and sleep till afternoon. The island has so much to offer, that I've to go another time again. (not that I'm complaining haha)

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 32):
The MA-60 is pressurized, it can fly at max 24.000 feet I believe.
I think when Merpati doesn't climb higher then a certain hight, maybe 18 or 20K, you are allowed to fly without oxygen masks because you can dive quickly enough to 9K when the plane depressurizes.

Good info Servaas! Thanks for this.
I checked the safety card again just now, and see also no information about use of oxygen onboard, let along mentioning about it. I guess you can be right with your clarification.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 33):
Ha, what else did you expect?

Well, if I agree a route before we leave, then I expect that my route is driven. It was not a real problem because everything is really nice to see, but it's also a reason to re-negotiate for 'another day'.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 33):
But I find you were truthful in promising him some more tip if he took you the way you wanted it. That would've been a nice extra for this guy. I bet their income is really low.

We discussed his salary and indeed, for our standards it's very low. But for their life it's not really bad either. He had a house and could feed a wife and children even. Their food is very cheap (cheaper then cheap) and at another standard then what we eat on the island, so it's difficult to compare. But the luxury life we have doesn't really excist for the majority of the people there. But it's a happy life, for many, I think.
We tipped really well, making it a double day salary for him. Too much overtipping is not good either in such environments though.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 33):
I believe you got yourself some premieres here

I'm sure I did  

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:34 am

Thanks Eric. Beautiful report, stunning pictures. You have made me see Bali in a whole new light once more.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Bali Scenes

Yes, very beautiful, and great to see you heading off the assigned tourist guide routes. I would probably consider renting a motorcycle in Bali.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
In addition to these pictures which won’t fit this website without a flight, we make a jump aside

haha - no, if they did fit, it would be a busy old forum!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
after reading the best travelbooks (Roughguides, imho).

Yes, well I prefer Brandt. Have you tried? They are well written. Gone right off Lonely Planets these days. It is a young bucks guidebook. Wouldn't say not to writing for them though!

An interesting segment Eric, on this nice old plane. DPS looking pretty mangy. Not a great fan of this airport, nor of the tax at the airport. I wish they would start including this in the ticket price.

Cheers!

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
jetlag73
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:56 am

Selamat Pagi Eric,

Great report
Enak Jalan jalan di Bali !

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
I notice SQ around with a B777-300 in Star Alliance livery

I have been flying DPS-SIN and back on SQ more than 80 times (I live in Bali since 1999) and I never saw a 773 on this route, only old -SR series 772s. Guess you were lucky !

Quoting debonair (Reply 8):
EK will start flights to DXB as soon as the new airport is open- any sign?!

Not going to happen. EK will be in DPS long before that, even DPS is on EK's eating list now.
QR and KL are doing good on DPS, so I guess EK will get in soon.

The new Lombok airport in Praya (central Lombok) has been built and opened last year in order to develop South Lombok (around Kuta) tourism.
For the last 12 years, I hear that Lombok will become the new Bali, but it's just not happening. There's something about Bali that other islands cannot buy...I think that Lombok is a nicer island, but the overall mix is not to attractive.

Sampai jumpa

Enzo
 
infodesk
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:10 am

Hi Eric,

A very special report about a special flight. I have to admit this is a new aircraft type for me, never even heard of it before. Congrats on being able to log it.

I enjoyed your pictures of Bali, particularly like the ones of the flowers.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
This is the new airport code for the brandnew airport. It became operational on 01 October 2011 at 2am. We visit just 2 weeks later…

How exciting!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Behind the door in front of row one, which leads to the cockpit, is the cargo hold. I didn’t get the chance to have a look in that area, unfortunately.

It looks strange with that door there, I don't like it. Makes you feel so shut out. I always like to see what the crew are doing.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
deplaning I ask to take the safety card, which was first denied. But I ask once more and explain that this was a very special aircraft to fly on for me, and my request is granted. I obtain a safety card but have to hide it in my bag.

Nice to hear that honesty is still rewarded these days.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 9):
Remember going to a bar in Shanghai where they charged me €5 for a shot of Bailey's, made me really upset.

That's still a bargain compared to Swiss prices!

Looking forward to seeing some impressions of Lombok in the next part.

Happy flying
Infodesk   
"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
 
CaptainRed
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Hi Eric,

what an exciting report with some awesome pictures. Really like the views of Bali, this is for sure a very special place.

And congrats for logging the rare Xian MA60 plane, I don't think I have read another report on this type. The plane looks actually very nice in these colors, also seems to be in very good condition.

Looking forward to see a few pictures of Lombok as well   ...

CaptainRed
 
roberts87
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:04 pm

Great read Eric!

The pictures of Bali bring back some great memories, and nice to read about the Xian MA-60. I actually considered flying the route myself, but in the end decided against it. So great to read about it in the end!
 
parton87
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:03 am

Hello Eric!

Thanks for another great story from your Indonesian adventures! Great as always! a really rare aircraft feature in this report, but I have to admit that I don´t think I have the courage to fly this aircraft after several accidents with the type and airline. I´m glad you landed safely 
Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
I would like to show you some pictures which I took during our stay on Bali

Great pictures! Bali looks amazing! Really love the picture of that country-road. It looks so peaceful and idyllic 
Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
2009: a small Twin Otter was flown into a mountain side when they flew in haze under VFR conditions

2009: A Fokker 100 was involved with a runway excursion, bringing substantial damage to the frame

2010: quite some injured pax when a 737-300 had a runway excursion and received substantial damage

2011: one of their CASA aircraft went off the runway after continuing an unstabilized approach

2011: one of the Xian MA60 aircraft crashed into the sea during approach in bad weather condition. All passengers and crew died, 25 in total. The aircraft was destroyed.

That´s quit a list! I guess there have been accidents before 2009 too because Merpati has been around for a while haven´t they?

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Air Asia A320 and Lion Air taxiing out with the B737-900ER

Lionair´s 739 is they only one I can say is a 739 because of the extra emergency exit. Otherwise I can´t see any difference from the 738:D

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
came around with inflight shopping sales, and where busy with 2 ladies in front of us buying both a Quran book. Interesting to see this book on sale on a flight, isn’t it?

He he that´s odd. What else did they sale?

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
It has the ‘Antonov An-24 looks’

It really have. Wonder if MA-60 will sell anything in Russia since the authorities there will force the airlines to retire their AN-24 in favour for safer and more modern A/C?

Thanks again for the story Eric! Really enjoyable

Greetings
Robert
 
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:13 am

Hi all,

good to see you've liked this report and thanks for your comments.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 35):
Beautiful report, stunning pictures. You have made me see Bali in a whole new light once more.

Luke, good to know! Thanks  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 35):
I would probably consider renting a motorcycle in Bali.

Wow, life is in danger on a motorbike. I prefer 4 wheels in those places haha... but it's an adventure for sure.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 35):
Yes, well I prefer Brandt. Have you tried? They are well written.

Never heard about Brandt guides. I'll have a look. Thanks for this advise.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 35):
An interesting segment Eric, on this nice old plane

Hmm, not really old, but just a rare breed.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 35):
Not a great fan of this airport, nor of the tax at the airport. I wish they would start including this in the ticket price.

It's everywhere in Indonesian airport, rates differ. It's only small money (for us), not so exciting to make this additional payment imho

Quoting jetlag73 (Reply 36):
Enak Jalan jalan di Bali

Terima Kasih Jetlag73  
Quoting jetlag73 (Reply 36):
I never saw a 773 on this route, only old -SR series 772s. Guess you were lucky !

I didn't pay much attention to it on other days, but I would think the 773 is normal on schedule these days.

Quoting jetlag73 (Reply 36):
Not going to happen. EK will be in DPS long before that, even DPS is on EK's eating list now.
QR and KL are doing good on DPS, so I guess EK will get in soon.

Also my opinion. DPS will be first in row to get EK's service.

Quoting jetlag73 (Reply 36):
For the last 12 years, I hear that Lombok will become the new Bali, but it's just not happening. There's something about Bali that other islands cannot buy...I think that Lombok is a nicer island, but the overall mix is not to attractive.

Spot on! More on this soon in the next chapter...

Quoting infodesk (Reply 37):
I have to admit this is a new aircraft type for me, never even heard of it before. Congrats on being able to log it.

Something new every time. It was a 'must' for me this time since this aircraft type is quite difficult to find.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 37):
I enjoyed your pictures of Bali, particularly like the ones of the flowers.

I promise to bring up some more flowers for you on my facebook soon, ok?

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 38):
Really like the views of Bali, this is for sure a very special place.
And congrats for logging the rare Xian MA60 plane, I don't think I have read another report on this type. The plane looks actually very nice in these colors, also seems to be in very good condition.

I've read about an experience on type in China before. Merpati definitely keeps these birds in good condition (inside at least), don't know about the structure/maintenance status.

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 39):
nice to read about the Xian MA-60. I actually considered flying the route myself, but in the end decided against it. So great to read about it in the end!

Hmm, what did you keep deciding against it?

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 40):
I have to admit that I don´t think I have the courage to fly this aircraft after several accidents with the type and airline. I´m glad you landed safely

Haha thanks. Well, It was not so bad in the end.

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 40):
That´s quit a list! I guess there have been accidents before 2009 too because Merpati has been around for a while haven´t they?

Sure, not a really good history for this airline in the past, so a lot of people refuse to fly these airlines. Actually they're blacklisted on EU regulations, so I guess this flying adventure wasn't even covered by my insurance haha

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 40):
Lionair´s 739 is they only one I can say is a 739 because of the extra emergency exit. Otherwise I can´t see any difference from the 738

And inside, I guess the 737-900ER looks like a 757-200 or A321 mostly, with the extra door. Are there 737-900ER's out there with an extra galley halfway the cabin?

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 40):
What else did they sale?

Several standard items, even some airline branded stuff like T-shirts or a cap (I almost bought one)

Quoting Parton87 (Reply 40):
Wonder if MA-60 will sell anything in Russia since the authorities there will force the airlines to retire their AN-24 in favour for safer and more modern A/C?

Would be interesting to see this happening indeed, Chinese planes operating in Russia. Opposite world, in that case hah

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
akhmad
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:46 pm

My friend Eric,

With this breathtaking report, you have undoubtedly become an ambassador of Bali. The beautiful scenery you captured, the story of Balinese people you shared, the places you visited… how might anybody not feel invited to pay a visit? We bypassed Bali during our last holiday and your report make me want to return to the island.  


Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
So genuine Bali!

So gorgeous!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Would you go inside at first sight? Well, the food was delicious here!

You bet I would!   


Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
My good friend Suryo (akhmad) used this website also after my advise as far as I know, and also had a good impression about them

It was a really good advice. Thanks a lot!   


Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
We ordered a taxi

We? So, your partner did come along to Lombok! How nice!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
a Starbucks facility even.

Starbucks is just everywhere in Indonesia.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Bringing 1 liter of water is not any problem here

The well-appreciated benefit of flying domestic in Indonesia.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Making photo’s on the apron is not a problem at all here.
Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
No guiding at all, plus, more time to make a few more pictures.

My home country is one of the most spotter friendly place on earth! 


Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
During startup, which some ‘strange noises from the engines’ where heard (not negative, but noises I never heard on other props),

I remember the noises. You just have to get used to them.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Interesting to see this book on sale on a flight, isn’t it?

I would regard Merpati’s in-flight shopping facility as flying convenient store.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
and my request is granted. I obtain a safety card but have to hide it in my bag.

Indonesian hospitality at its best!


Your report bring back the nice memories of flying Merpati’s Xian MA-60. Thank you for sharing and my apology for belated reply.

Best regards,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:15 am

Hi Suryo,

Quoting akhmad (Reply 42):
With this breathtaking report, you have undoubtedly become an ambassador of Bali.

many thanks for your kind words. It's a truly beautiful island

Quoting akhmad (Reply 42):
It was a really good advice. Thanks a lot!

You're welcome Suryo

Quoting akhmad (Reply 42):
I would regard Merpati’s in-flight shopping facility as flying convenient store.

So, during your flight, did you buy the cap or t-shirt with the Merpati logo's on it?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 42):
Your report bring back the nice memories of flying Merpati’s Xian MA-60.

Good to hear you had a good ride and survived also in the end haha...

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
ba319-131
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:47 pm

Great read and pictures, glad I finally got around to reading it!

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
let’s start on Bali

- Love the pictures, looks great.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Merpati Nusantara is also known from several air incidents/accidents in recent years.

- Indeed, not the safest carrier around.......

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
the Xian MA60 was which made me decide to book on Merpati Nusantara

- And so would I.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
The domestic terminal offers several small shops aka minimarkets, a Starbucks facility even. Who would’ve thought!

- Cool, feeling at home already  

The MA-60 looks like any modern western prop inside, heck, I bet hardly anybody would guess where she was made.

Cheers

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
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allrite
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Fri May 04, 2012 4:02 am

Thanks for the gorgeous photos and the chance to read about an unusual type.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
Would you go inside at first sight? Well, the food was delicious here!

Yes! That's where you get the best food.

Quoting airbuseric (Thread starter):
a Starbucks facility even. Who would’ve thought!

Now I'm not a coffee drinker, but my coffee loving friends in Australia haven't got nice things to say about Starbucks. Perhaps while you got the coffee beans from the civet droppings, Starbucks rely on the other remains.  
I like artificial banana essence!
 
LXM83
Posts: 567
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Fri May 04, 2012 9:07 am

Hello airbuseric,

Great report on the MA-60. I'm hoping to catch one of these later this year in China.

Also, thanks for introducing me to the new LOP airport. Funny that it's only mentioned as LOP on the departure screen from DPS. Always amazes me on how poor (and inconsistent) many airports are about updating their data in their systems.

Best regards, LXM83
 
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RE: Bali Scenes & The Avic Xian MA-60 To Lombok

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi all,

thanks for your latest replies and my excuse for replying too late to you. I've had some 'troubling' times in private life recently but coming back  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 44):
Indeed, not the safest carrier around.......

I think these days Merpati is quite ok though

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 44):
The MA-60 looks like any modern western prop inside, heck, I bet hardly anybody would guess where she was made.

Totally agree. It's comfortable to go!

Quoting allrite (Reply 45):
Thanks for the gorgeous photos and the chance to read about an unusual type.

Thanks, and my pleasure!

Quoting allrite (Reply 45):
Now I'm not a coffee drinker, but my coffee loving friends in Australia haven't got nice things to say about Starbucks. Perhaps while you got the coffee beans from the civet droppings, Starbucks rely on the other remains.

Haha well personally Starbucks is ok imho but I don't like all their coffees though. Personal tastes, we can't say it's a good or bad thing. Take whatever you like  
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 46):
Great report on the MA-60. I'm hoping to catch one of these later this year in China.

Wow in China, that means an interesting airline too. Looking forward to read about it!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 46):
Also, thanks for introducing me to the new LOP airport. Funny that it's only mentioned as LOP on the departure screen from DPS. Always amazes me on how poor (and inconsistent) many airports are about updating their data in their systems.

Officially just opened. And this is Indonesia   I'm ok with it, kinda funny it was haha

Regards
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"

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