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SimAirline.net - Message Boards • View topic - Something Different

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 Post subject: Something Different
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2009, 08:42 
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Hi! well i have returned from another journey. Something Different from the usual when it comes to flying.

Here is a quick view of whats following:

Australia - Malaysia - Philippines

1) Gold Coast (OOL) - Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Air Asia X
2) Kuala Lumpur (KUL) - Manila Clark Field (CRK) - Air Asia

Then last minute i decided to fly back from our province rather than take the usual ferry journey, a fairly exotic flight in the Xian MA-60!!! :shock:

Marinduque Island (MRQ) - Manila Ninoy Aquino (MNL) - Zest Airways

then the return journey of course.

Flying Predominately under the Air Asia Brand for the first time, good for the price, i didn't have high standards anyway... I've flown a lot of LCC's, i can't complain for that price. The service was nice too, acceptable if not better than other LCC's in the region.

Well Here we go (* A fairly long post to be honest, i will try and be brief)


Australia > Malaysia
Departing: Gold Coast-Coolangatta International Airport (OOL)
Arriving: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-301 (9M-XAA)

After a wait at the Airport, bored as hell we finally began to board. Walking along the tarmac i got one shot of the A330-300 leased from AWAS (Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services), the airport is being renovated, Gold Coast airport is being promoted as the Low Cost entry point to Queensland and Brisbane, with the help of Air Asia and Tiger Airways Australia it's really gotten bigger than i can remember.

Well Here the big red bird is, my airbus straight to KL. (Excuse low image quality on this shot, my point-and-shoot isn't special in low light)

Sitting on the Tarmac

- This A333 (9M-XAA) was the first A330 for Air Asia X, and was launched with a formation flypast with the Red Arrows!! (Shot of -XAA in the formation)


It was a late flight so not many shots of the A330 as i was sleeping, the best i could. But lets skip about 7 hours ahead and, now im in KL.


Malaysia > Philippines
Departing: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Arriving: Manila-Angeles Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (CRK)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-216 (9M-AFL)

Boarding 9M-AFL, Another Shiny red A320. KL Budget terminal is being renovated, it looks like some incredibly big and expensive renovations so i can't wait to see how it goes next time.

Boarding

Shaky? everyone was shoving for a seat !

Taxiing to the runway, their are hundreds of these Air Asia birds swarming around the terminals, this one came along side us

KL Tower, with some MAS 744's docked

Line up!

Takeoff

Airborne!

Kuala Lumpur has a ton of these tree's around the countryside, i think they produce a tree oil or something that is a popular export

Sunrise, not sunset

I Cannot afford a special camera yet, but in the distance here you can just make out the KL - CBD and even the Petronas Towers!! damn their big

Landfall! over North Luzon, the province of Zambales, better known internationally for the US Navies former Subic Naval base, this isnt the naval base, but a smaller port. Above you can see the old Lahar fields created from the Mt Pinatubo eruption (top of the shot).

Over The Philippines Already, in the countryside of Pampanga Province you can already see the rice fields as we descend to Angeles City

The Region is popular for GenAv and gathering hours, a lot of flight training schools are based in this area

We are getting closer to the Airport and Angeles city, as you can see the Volcanic remains of the Mt Pinatubo eruption is still here today, with this lahar field.

I can already smell the street BBQ, ihaw-ihaw! :lol:

Landing! - This airport has many names that it goes by, Manila-Clark, Clark Field, Angeles International, Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) - Try saying the last one fast 8 times :lol: - It is more famously known as the former US Air Force Base, the largest out of the United States, Clark Air Force Base.

The Airport is going under massive upgrades and renovations, here is one of the older Runways, 1 of 2.

A number of flight schools are based at Clark Field, with many nationals coming from around the world to train.. Here is a shot facing Omni Flight School, one of the better flight schools

Saying good bye to my Shiny A320

The former terminal (which was chaos) is now totally renovated, upgraded etc, and very very comfortable and easy to go through! - here is the arrivals terminal. Their is an ambitous plan to make this entire airport complex the premier gateway to the Philippines, replacing Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (RPLL/MNL), with plans already passed for a Y-sattelite main terminal and a total renovation, it will be about the size of HKG or KUL according to the passed plans. We will see in the future.

Heres some of the old hangars, with a Zest Airways MA-60 fresh from a hop from Taiwan. about to enter service - I later find myself on one of these

On a sad note, here is the Aircraft these are replacing, these classic NAMC YS-11's :( - The Philippines currently is the last YS-11 paradise, with the most in operation, A shame they are slowly disappearing


Marinduque Island > Manila
Departing: Marinduque Airport (MRQ)
Arriving: Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
Aircraft: Xian MA-60 (RP-C8995)

This must be a first for simairline.net! The Xian MA-60 is a licensed "copy" of the AN-26, but fully modernised inside and outside, including western instruments and powerplants.

At Marinduque Airport, it really is an experience flying out of my province. Surrounded by rice fields, carabao (water buffalo), and right next to the runway is even a Cockfighting arena! :lol:

One unique thing is that their is a small village on the other side of the airport runway, right next to the seaside, it is cut off to everything by the runway. Therefore their is a small dirt path/road that connects the village to the rest of the village (right in the middle of the runway), so basically you sit in the terminal with bikes driving across the runways, kids playing basketball, kids coming home from school walking around the runway, people selling cakes and sweets along the runway in their bike tricycles! :lol: - They actually have an old WWII Air-Raid siren, you know, the epic siren you hear in pacific war films, to warn the villagers that their is an inbound aircraft. about 10 minutes before the aircraft lands it wails constantly, and it begins... You see Zest Airways, the only airline serving the island, just re-launched, it has been over 5 years of silence for the airport... Its a show when the MA-60 arrives, the whole village sits by along the fence, farmers stop what their doing and gaze as the bright MA-60 does it's thing.. I can't forget watching everyone as we took off, many many kids chasing alongside us as we taxiied and took off! A great experience :) , but not too uncommon in many developing nations.

Front of Marinduque Airport's Terminal

Walking to board our MA-60, RP-C8995

Tarmac, facing the Terminal

The Airport runway is part gravel - Initially it was intended to construct a full asphalt runway, capable of Jet operations, but it never came, this explains the half-gravel-half asphalt runway

Turning for Takeoff, the structure with the maroon roof is the local Cockfighting arena!

Powering forward for Takeoff!

Airborne, a small traditional fishing boat or "Bangka" and fisherman below

Already approaching Manila's outskirts, in descent, and you can already see the dense city beginning

Over Manila Bay, i can see we are too approach for a Runway 06 landing, a lot of Fish pens fill this area of the bay, especially around the mangroves, you can watch the fishermen and kids swimming on your approach in great detail when in descent, some even waved, but unfortunetly 3x optical zoom only gets you so far...

The City of Manila Begins

Coming in to land RWY06 - A Good contrast between rich and poor, with a shanty town on the lower portion of the shot along a small river, then part of the renowned business district of Makati towering in the background... :roll:

The Classic, Terminal 1, eventually all International airlines will serve only Terminal 3, the fate of the old T1 is questionable at the moment.

Terminal 2, dedicated soley to Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines, Terminal 2, A340-300 fresh from either the US or Canada about this time of day

Taxi to the Domestic Terminal, a Cebu Pacific DC-9-30 in storage - A TON of aircraft are sitting around the domestic area of the airport, from DC-3's to 737's, their are many DC-3's, DC-4's and even a constellation sitting around. Many go for spare parts, and in some cases such as the constellation they are restored to their former glory.

PAL Express Q300 and a Cebu Pacific A320 - The flight time was 45min all up, it seems like ground time was more than the flight! thanks to a lot of traffic and a taxiway restoration effort near the domestic terminal.

Cebu Pacific, the Philippines's premier LCC

Finally! the domestic Terminal

Cebu Pacific A320, and a sister plane to our airline, a newly arrived A320 for Zest Air, just a couple of weeks ago she arrived for the airline


Philippines > Malaysia
Departing:Manila-Angeles Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (CRK)
Arriving: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-214 (9M-AFK)

Walking on the tarmac to our bird, traffic is evident. A Tiger Airways A320 outbound for SIN and an arriving Cebu Pacific A319 from Macau. The Tiger Airways A320, 9V-TAJ, if your familiar with my last Trip Report when i flew Tiger Airways, was the same bird i flew on to this airport. :roll:

Tiger 9V-TAJ

Cebu Pacific taxi's to park

Here is my bird, -AFK

goodbye... :cry:

Satt. Terminal

The Satt. terminal in KL


Malaysia > Australia
Departing: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
Arriving: Gold Coast-Coolangatta International Airport (OOL)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-343E (9M-XXB)

Unfortunetly they prevented me from taking shots of this bird due to the security risk, strange considering they couldn't give a care on all the other flights... I guess i got unlucky? well anyway this was Air Asia X's 2nd delivered A330, delived in Dec 08, it still had New Aircraft smell!! :lol: , it was very clean, modern and stylish inside.. But incredibly uncomfortable for a 7 hour flight, but you have to understand you get what you pay for..

The leased A330 i took on the first flight over to Malaysia was much more comfortable (9M-XAA), as the configuration was that of the lease company, which aqquired the A330 from troubled Spanish carrier Air Madrid. it was originally delivered to Air Lingus in the mid 90's, in a more comfortable seating configuration, not 9 abreast like Air Asia X's ordered A330's (obviously a LCC move to fit more seats in). XAA gets around a lot :wink: , Air Lingus, Air Algerie, and her last operator was Air Madrid in 2006 before she was bought by the leasing company and leased onto Air Asia X. Here is a shot of her flight deck whilst with Air Algerie in 2004. Although She came from Air Madrid, i found it odd to see some Iberian carts inside the cabin, i assume the leasing company had something to do with that, or mayby they are second hands by Air Asia X? considering Air Madrid had no affiliations with Iberian

Apology for the few shots of their A330 fleet, it was night time, i just attempted to sleep for 7 hours with no success, cameras where being banned.. etc...

Well it ends here.. I hope this was something different than the usual. I would reccomend Air Asia as long as you are prepared for the Gold Coast - KL leg, if you don't get -XAA it might be a bit uncomfortable... But then again you are paying peanuts compared to flying any other.

Thanks for viewing, i have many shots of the island and my travels around many islands but i think we are more interested in the Flight reports :roll:


!! :)

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Last edited by Thomas auer on 25 Jan 2009, 08:50, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2009, 08:45 
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Holy cow! Must have been an amazing journey, and some nice pictures there too...Thanks for a great write-up!

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2009, 08:51 
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Joined: 22 Apr 2005, 03:05
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Hi David! Thanks for the very prompt reply!! :lol:

It sure was an amazing journey, i envy some of the guys their, imagine doing x-country training among 7,107 islands.. Island hopping, earning hours... its like a dream. Glad you liked the report, i hope to get into some GenAv when im back their next time.

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2009, 08:55 
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Great. My Filipino friend would really enjoy that report. I should show it to him.

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2009, 09:10 
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Ahh okay! Salamat Po! :)

If your Filipino friend is interested in the aviation scene in the Philippines he should also checkout the forums at http://www.philskies.net , it has some great reports and general stuff regarding aviation, commercial and genav in the islands.

Regards!

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 25 Jan 2009, 09:30 
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Thanks Thomas!

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2009, 19:29 
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Nice report Tom! I always like seeing your shots.

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 26 Jan 2009, 22:23 
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A very detailed report!!! Nice shots by the way :D
why dont you film the landings like i do? 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Something Different
PostPosted: 27 Jan 2009, 02:43 
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thanks for the comments guys! Ohh i was considering filming the landing, but i was questioning if i had enough memory left on my camera, i took hundreds of shots during my visit :mrgreen:

i will try next time though

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