This tragic event has made a big impact on me
May they all rest in peace
This is the continuation of Finally Edelweiss! BRU-ZRH-ACE (by sultanils Feb 9 2015 in Trip Reports) and
An ATR72 Armada (B)inter Canarias: ACE-LPA-SPC-LPA (by sultanils Mar 5 2015 in Trip Reports),
for more background info on how this trip started: read it all there!
LPA PART 3
The bus ride from the city to the airport takes only 20 mins non-stop. The design of the terminal extension looks quite nice and modern.
This is the older part, wearing proudly the airports name. Note the tourist transfer buses - this is only a fraction of them that pass through here.
The 1st thing I do is check the FID to see whether there are any particularities concerning my flight to Funchal. The flight actually goes to Ponta Delgada with an intermediate stop at Madeira island.
The sole check in counter is well tucked away, in a far right corner of the old building. I don’t have to use it because I checked in online the day before.
Upon clearing security it is interesting to see how well trained the staff is in dealing with holiday travellers. Indeed they are a peculiar bunch, flying only once or twice a year and not knowing the procedures well but the staff guides them with military precision, fast but not furious through the detectors And then, the most obvious of tourist traps, after taxi touts, is laid out in front of me: duty free!
If it didn’t say ‘Gran Canaria’ I would’ve thought I was in Dubai
I can only just withstand buying a Ferrari and just in time I emerge into the terminal. To be honest, I’ve never ever seen so much retirees together at the same place. Also, the special assistance service of the airport has a busy job as there are also lots and lots of wheelchair bound pax. It’s also unbearably hot inside In short, not the most interesting place to be in...
With a little under an hour to go, I strategically position myself in front of a window to do some window shopping. Here’s the catch of the day!
Well look who’s here
Split thingies belonging to some TUIfly Nordic Boeing.
This airline is very well represented here.
A Novair A321 from Sweden turning into the gate.
And in the foreground, a tail of another visitor that is far away from home, Finnair with an A321ER.
Air Berlin’s OneWorld logojet...
... which should be loaded with a bag or two
With the spotting time over, let’s go the gate now, which is C21.
Oops, wrong way, been there done that!
Here we are. Boarding pretty much starts when I get there and it looks to be a free apron bus tour
LPA to FNC
DHC-8-402 Dash 8 CS-TRD Manuel de Arriaga
Photo © Toni Marimon
The route details, with the actual flown flight path.
Departure @ LPA.
Arrival @ FNC.
I (we) wait and wait and wait in the bus - apparently not everyone comes on time at the gate. The bus is parked right next to the area where the bagage trolleys are loaded and once again it amazes me how much luggage people take with them.
Finally and after waiting nearly half an hour in the bus, we drive off to the south side of the apron where our Dash8 is parked.
She seems to be accompanied by a bunch of other fairly exotic operators, as I can judge by the tails.
The bus stops and again we wait as seemingly they’re not fully done yet That does give me some extra time to admire this good looking girl!
Named Manuel de Arriaga which is (was) a Portuguese lawyer, the first Attorney-General and the first elected President of the First Portuguese Republic, following the abdication of King Manuel II of Portugal and a Republican Provisional Government headed by Teófilo Braga according to Wikipedia. Now you know
And now some more pics outside!
Time to get aboard now!
ON BOARD FLIGHT S45503
I’m seated in row 6, all the rows in front of me remain empty. Further back I estimate the load to be over 50%. Comfort is OK but nothing more than that and the seats feel rather small. I find that the nice outside of the plane is not so much reflected on the inside. Although on a postitive note, the younger of the 2 female FA’s is just wow-ser good looking (and friendly)
I kinda like the logo with that bird.
The main reason I picked this seat: prop view galore.
After the mandatory welcome announcements rumble and a word or 2 or more from the cockpit, we’re good to go. From afar it looks like the mad afternoon scramble at the terminal has calmed down.
Taxiiing to the active.
Mr C decides to throttle her up instantly and moments later we trundle down the runway and take off
Few moments after we break the clouds.
So what’s there to find in the seat pocket? SATA’s magazine for instance.
The fleet page. A310 =
Safety, of course!
See, no one in front of me!?
Some 20 mins into the flight, it’s trolley time. We are served 1 or more drinks of choice and a pack of Azorean cookies which are mighty tasty
The props do what they do best, , I do feel quite some (good) vibrations though
Here’s another iconic item of the Dash, the branded safety belt buckle.
Not before long, the cruise is over and we head down for landing at Madeira’s Funchal airport, Europe’s own Kai Tak. It’s time for a moment I’ve anticipated for quite some time! So, buckle up for a great approach into the island of flowers
The visual approach goes perpendicular with runway 05 until at the last moment a sharp right turn is made to align with the runway. The airport comes in sight...
See how an extension of the runway is built partly in the sea?
Just great and still going straight!
Starting to bank right just now.
Huh, where has the airport gone
Ah, there it is, touchdown! Can we go again... please
Brake before you break is certainly the case here as the roll out zone isn’t that long and the end of the runway basically drops down in the sea. Following a 180° turn, we head for our stand - FNC has no jetbridges. Oh and it does look very lush and green here too!
It’s nice and sunny here, me like The TAP Airbus that was here during our approach has just left.
The local spotters in action, I bet they see some action here!
The plane is parked and the doors are opened. Everyone has to disembark, also the transfer passengers continuing to Ponta Delgada, Azores.
Bye to my seat now.
And also bye to Manuel.
FNC PART 1
Nice ad just before entering the terminal building...
... and equally nice decorations inside.
Straight through the bagage reclaim area and out in the public minutes later.
See you again tomorrow airport!
19°C and it’s the end of Jan? I’m not complaining
SANTA CRUZ DE MADEIRA
I booked a hotel near the airport, the Vila Galé de Santa Cruz. Since it is only a few km away I decide to walk there. The walk takes you just under the final approach path and it is quite a spectacular sight to watch the arriving planes land.
The start of the runway, there’s no ILS here.
Taken from a bit further down.
My hotel is located right at the beach, certainly a good spot to watch the goings on in the air!
Back there I have even a better view
The hotel, very recommendable.
Enjoying the good life
easyJet to LGW.
Aigle Azur to ORY.
Transavia France also to ORY.
The darkness sets in steadily and after watching one more arrival, I head to the hotel for a swim, a sauna, dinner and a nights rest.
Hmm, who would that be?
Ah, another easyJet!
The next day, I have an early start. The flight to Lisbon is due at 8h00 and thus I told the reception the night before that I’ll skip the breakfast due to me leaving very early. ‘No problem sir, you want your breakfast in your room? We happily do that for you if you like’. Well ,if you insist And yes indeed, at 6h00 sharp there’s a knock on the door. Wow, I’m impressed with this offering! And tasty it is, even on this unholy hour in the morning.
Next I leave the hotel for the half an hour walk to the airport.
In the distance I hear the sound of a plane coming towards me - it happens to be my flight which comes from CCS and makes a stop at FNC before going further to Lisbon.
(Sorry for the blurry pic).
FNC PART 2
With half an hour to go before scheduled boarding I arrive back at the airport.
Up the elevator and through a walkway into the main building.
In a far corner I see the front end of the plane standing on the apron.
Nice and large FID - not too many flights today though.
OLCI with TAP worked like a charm, so no need to visit any of these.
The Schengen departure area, airside of course.
Strangely, our flight departs from the non-Schengen area although the pax coming from CCS are staying aboard during this stop
About 10 mins after scheduled boarding time, the boarding actually starts and we are shipped to the waiting plane by bus. I count about 30 pax in the bus.
FNC to LIS
Airbus A330-200 CS-TOQ Pedro Teixeira
Photo © Howard Chaloner
The route details, with the actual flown flight path.
Departure @ FNC.
Arrival @ LIS.
Entering the plane through door L2.
ON BOARD FLIGHT TP172
Having absolutely no idea about the load, I’m pleasantly surprised to see it is only average. A lot of people are sleeping on whole rows or are lazily watching tv. Two female FA’s greet us and show us the direction of our seat. First impression is better than expected admittedly. I chose the one-before-last row but a rather large older South American gentleman is sleeping over the whole row. The last row seems free so I take this one and wait for boarding to complete, which is announced a couple of minutes later. Great, I have the whole aft of the plane to myself Here are some cabin impressions.
Enough space and no intruding box. Well, there is a box but it is small and located at the side of the seat.
IFE is touchscreen and on-demand. There’s also a USB port and a single 3,5 mm jack for audio so you can use your own headset for the IFE.
Stockings are foreseen on the seat pocket to stow extra stuff.
TAP’s inflight magazine UP.
Ze safety instructions card. Interestingly it seems only valid for regs TOQ and TOR.
The seats themselves are grey patterned cloth seats with a green headrest cover, which imho is a stylish combo.
Recline is good, also in the last row - the proximity of the lavatory can be bothersome on longer flights though.
Outside, the day is breaking.
The safety video is shown and it is a very nice and unique one, in case you didn’t see it before, it’s right here. Then also the captain and the rest of the crew welcome us on board of this flight to Lisbon. Pushback and start of the engines is a few minutes over schedule.
Then it’s a short taxi to runway 05. Now I’m able to see it from the other point of view as opposed to yesterday. Passing by very close to the edge.
The hotel can be clearly seen in the distance.
Pity the takeoff is not as powerful as I had hoped it to be, the lowish load must certainly be responsible for that
However, the great views on the green hills make up for that!
Directly after lifting off, we make a soft right turn to align us north, direction Portugal. The town of Canical can be seen through the window.
A few tiny islands, named Ilhéu da Cevada and Ilhéu do Faro.
Early morning flights produce these nice colors...
The nice TAP logo on this winglet would look very smart methinks.
A coat hook obviously.
Let’s explore the IFE now, it seems there’s a decent choice of audio and video available. Not everything is working on this short flight - the moving map for ex and also the games were inoperative. ‘That’s because it is only a short flight sir’
Breakfast with The Maze Runner now that sounds like a good idea
The crew starts the brekkie round.
We get a snackbox containing a ham & cheese sandwich and an apple smoothie. Hot and cold drinks of choice are also available.
... or the other?
The occasional look out of the window shows we’re nice-n-easy cruisin’.
After approximately 75 mins of flight comes land in sight.
The cockpit comes on the horn announcing our arrival into LIS in about 15 mins from now, with a forecast of clouds and rainshowers and a termperature of 10°C.
The approach into LIS’ runway 03 is one of the nicer ones in Europe where you overfly the city at low altitude. You can either watch it pictured here or filmed in one of the flight reports on my YouTube channel.
A famous Lisbon landmark, the Torre de Bélem.
Another landmark is the Padrão dos Descobrimentos.
Urbanisation, Lisbon style.
The Aqueduto das Águas Livres.
If soccer is your thing: the Estádio José Alvalade XXI.
Last but not least, there’s the airport! Note that we are being followed by our shadow
Touchdown and braking. LIS’ runway is in a desperate need of repair, it’s a pothole road pur sang.
After we have left the runway, we taxi to a remote position, past these widebodies who are preparing themselves for yet another flight.
Spotting A310’s is an easy task at LIS!
That also goes for spotting exotic T7’s
The parking position is reached, the seatbelt sign is switched off and a few mins later we’re free to go. A last look into what was my home for the past 1h30 or so.
Messy cabin after this short longhaul flight.
Well, TAP, I leave you with a good feeling! Definitely better than expected
Out in the cold - brrr - I expected Lisbon to be warmer. But then again it’s only the end of Jan! But seeing this nice plane in full now makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Sorry, I’m getting too lyrical...
This is not a prop
The bus drives off to the terminal building, leaving the cleaners behind to do their work.
I like this livery a lot!
After being dropped off at the terminal, I head for immigration, the airport exit and the city.
Then back to the airport for the last flight home on Brussels Airlines. No more pics as off here as I feel this report is already a long one If you want to see what the flight on Brussels Airlines was like, you can see it here. Although it’s the same flight LIS-BRU, it’s been flown a few months prior but the general impression is the same, enjoy!
My Portuguese wanderings were succesful! Glad to have logged a flight on SATA and even more glad to have experienced the approach and landing in FNC. I can only recommend this experience to anyone. Also SATA did a good job with catering and service which were perfectly adequate for this flight.
It was only my second flight with TAP but this seems enough to form a definite and positive opinion on them. The plane’s interior was really nice, cosy and modern and the IFE was on par with many other operators. Their LIS hub I find just so-and-so for the old part of the terminal, the newer part is much better.
Obrigado for reading and feel free to leave a comment down below,