Review of AeroVaupés flight San José Del Guaviare Miraflores in Economy

Airline AeroVaupés
Flight 1111
Class Economy
Seat 2
Aircraft Douglas DC-3
Flight time 00:40
Take-off 21 Jul 18, 13:15
Arrival at 21 Jul 18, 13:55
XX 4 reviews
Guillbcn
By SILVER 685
Published on 21st August 2018
Hello everyone. Again in Colombia, it's another oportunity to make some great reports. Unfortunately my phone was lost the first day in Bogota, so I lost my pictures from the flights Barcelona-Istanbul-Bogota (TK1856+TK800). Anycase if you are interested in these FR, last year I made the same flights and you can watch them. I made flight TK800, with the same plane as the last year, TC-JNC, which had been recently equipped with the new cabin and looks much better now. Pasta was offered in both flights and the service was quite good. Crew offering hot towels, water and the amenity kit in economy class on the long flight (IST-BOG).

But let's forget about that. During a few days I was sent to the Colombian Amazonas, a very remote area which, during the war, was very complicated because of the violence. Guaviare region, which is located in the southern part of the country and it's capital, San José it's about 9-10 hours by bus from Bogota (you also can go by plane) is quite unaccessible because of it's remote position. The southern part of the area is mostly covered by the jungle and the only way to access is by plane or by boat. The planes used for these flights are the old DC-3. Yes, it's 2018 and they're still flying after more than 80 years in the air. As I've been sent there to work a few days, I had the opportunity to travel with this "Jeep of the air" to this remote area of the country, so here it goes my experience, which is quite different as the "normal" flights that we are used to.
The day before the flight, me and one member of the organization went to the airport to buy the tickets. From San Jose there are flights to Miraflores on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Normally 3 flights everyday, but it depends on the demmand and the weather conditions. Two operators are "fighting" to sell their tickets. Finally I choosed the one called AeroVaupés, which is also operating flights to the region of Vaupés like Karurú or Mitú, the capital. The flight price is about 60€, but you have to pay airport taxes in some regions of the country. Guaviare is one of them.

The day of the flight arrived and I went to the airport at about 9:30 after a short walk from our house. The airport is very small and it's located in the center of the city, so from everywhere in San José you can hear planes. The STD is more or less 10AM but it's always changing and they don't have any official timetable. I left my bad at the Check In counter of Aerovaupés and I sat and waited until my flight leaves. Finally delay was about 3 hours but here is very normal. The main reason was the weather conditions in Miraflores. During the morning it rained so the "runway" (you will see it later) was out of service.

Some nice russian planes here.
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People is watching the TV at the terminal
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It was around one o'clock in the afternoon when boarding started. First we went sent to pre-boarding area. The workers are calling people with their names, no speakers also. There the police makes a security check, so there are no x-ray machines. Then we waited a few minutes, we were given some ear-plugs and soon they called for boarding. A guy was in the front and we went straight to our DC-3 which was waiting at the parking position. Walk is very short. I was wondering "I'm really gonna fly with that?" Once we entered the plane we had to choose a seat. As I was one of the first on the queque I choosed a seat in the front part.

I took the second seat in the front, here's the view.
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And cabin view. It's a mixed plane which is carrying passengers and weight to the region.
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The safety demonstration was a guy who said "Abróchense los cinturones"-Fasten your seat belts! Nothing more. Quite fun at all! Then the captain started the old engines, noise was crazy!

There we go then, taxiing to the runway
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And take off I'm really flying on a DC-3!
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Climbing was very slowly. Inside the clouds the plane was quite unstable, but bumps were'nt serious, even on a A320 you don't feel them like here. We head to the south and landscapes were getting greener and greener. We're going to the middle of Amazonas.
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No cabin crew on board, of course. Also no service. But it's enough to take a look at the window, even you have to turn the head nearly 180 degrees.
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Signs
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You don't feel the start of the descent, you just notice it when you across the clouds again. Flight is not very long.
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And down here we have Miraflores, our final destination. The runway is in the middle of the town.
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Approaching
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Almost a 180 degrees turn to head with the runway. We're gonna land soon.
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Landing wasn't very smooth, we touched the ground three times in the runway before the good contact. Flight time: around 40 minutes. Outside people was looking and taking pictures with their phones. At the end of the runway the plane parked. After landing I asked for a quick visit to the cockpit. "Of course, you can!" Said the captain. He also told me that we've flown an altitude of 500m, not very high today. The age of the plane was 82 years old. Crazy
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One last picture of the cabin before leaving the plane.
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Outside weight was being disembarked and placed next to the runway. Police officers and the army requested the Names and ID's of all the passengers and also asking the reason of the trip. After that you can take your bags which were placed next to the weight. Here there's the registration of the plane.
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After I took my bags I was recieved by the colombian guy of my organisation and we took a short walk to our house. Here there are very very few cars. The following days I've been in Miraflores and also the region. To conclude I want to show you a picture of the runway and one of the flights I could see taking off a few days later.
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Thank you very much for reading it, I hope you like it. I will not rate the flight because is very different as the ones we are used to. I want to excuse because of the bad quality of these pictures when focusing outside of the window. I always took pictures with my phone but now I have to use the camera, so I wasn't experienced with the quality and I didn't see the result until the end of the flight. Windows were quite dirty on all flights and I had serious problems to take good pictures. Cheers!
See more

Verdict

AeroVaupés

5.0/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew5.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering5.0

San José Del Guaviare - SJE

8.3/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Miraflores - MFS

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

Related

18 Comments

  • Comment 461017 by
    okapi GOLD 3888 Comments

    I cannot believe how fantastic this experience can be. Thank you sooooo much for sharing this epic flight with us. Let's forget about all fancy 1st class seats and bubbly wines, this is aviation, for real. A must do for any aircraft enthusiast. Kudos !!!

  • Comment 461068 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    Hi Guillbcn, Thanks for this very cool geeky report! Even though AeroVaupés doesn't have either an IATA or ICAO code, I added them to the list for you as they do offer commercial passenger service. Next time you need something added to the database, you can use the Contact Us form--the button is at the bottom right of the page.

    As we've added AeroVaupés, please update the rating for that airline. Just to explain about the grading, categorizing this flight as Avianca and assigning 5/10 across the board gets factored into AV's average rating, which isn't right considering they don't operate these flights.

    • Comment 461455 by
      Guillbcn SILVER AUTHOR 52 Comments

      Thank you for the change! It's very useful. Even that I don't think it's a good way to rate the airline because thiese flights were very special. As I said no timetable, not a "normal" cabin as the ones we are used to, no service on board... But even that the experience was great!

  • Comment 461193 by
    BESMRS 1847 Comments

    Incredible report ! When i saw it, i firstly think that the flight was an heritage tour... but nope ! :)
    Of course a such flight couldn't be rated as a commercial and regular one !!!

  • Comment 461248 by
    Airfunes 328 Comments

    What a fantastic report ! Thanks a lot to share your experience with us :)
    It is incredible, in 2018, to have a commercial flight with DC3 !

  • Comment 461254 by
    marathon GOLD 9602 Comments

    Wow, this is arguably the most incredible vintage aircraft report I've read on this website !
    Thanks for sharing your experience and pictures!

  • Comment 461335 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 538 Comments

    Great report... and what an odd treat to fly on a octogenarian DC-3.

    You know it's gonna be loud when they hand out ear plugs before boarding. ;-)

    I laughed out loud at the "safety briefing" for this flight.

    Thanks for this, and for the return sector. Definitely not your average flight-report.com experience!

  • Comment 461419 by
    Esteban TEAM GOLD 12370 Comments

    Incredible!

    Thanks for this super and interesting flight report, loved it!

  • Comment 461543 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 707 Comments

    Hi, Guillbcn!!

    cabin view. It's a mixed plane which is carrying passengers and weight to the region

    Amazing! I'll never complain again if my seat doesn't recline!! XDD

    The safety demonstration was a guy who said "Abróchense los cinturones"

    Al menos no fue un padrenuestro!!! XDDD

    I'm really flying on a DC-3!

    Todavía no creo lo que veo! No entiendo por qué los aviones modernos se caen si ese aparato todavía puede volar!!

    Signs

    This is the picture that makes my jaw drop. That door... The electric wires... I can't believe I'm seeing a plane! :O

    The age of the plane was 82 years old.

    Yo creo que la tecnología análoga es precisamente lo que hace a estos aviones tan confiables. Se me ocurre que es como los Volkswagen escarabajo antiguos. Dicen que tienen un flotador de corcho en el estanque para medir el combustible!! Simple y fácil de reparar. Cómo lo harías con un avión moderno que depende completamente de computadores, tan poco confiables como son??? Creo que, pensándolo así, no me sentiría tan inseguro volando en ese viejito después de todo!

    Hermoso reporte. Mi cara pasó de la sonrisa al asombro y luego a la absoluta incredulidad a medida que leía. Pensé que estas cosas se veían solamente en películas como Indiana Jones! XDDD

    Gracias por compartir!! :D

  • Comment 494458 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 707 Comments

    I was so sorry to read the news of an accident involving a dc-3 on its way to San Jose del Guaviare last March 9. Not the airline of this report, but not less terrible. https://www.ahoranoticias.cl/noticias/mundo/253428-colombia-doce-muertos-accidente-avion-caida-motor.html

    • Comment 508944 by
      Guillbcn SILVER AUTHOR 52 Comments

      Yes I was shocked when I saw the news. Sadly these airplanes also crash in some occasions.

      (En unas semanas estaré publicando otro FR con ese modelo en motivo de mi regreso a Colombia y mi visita al departamento del Guainía) ;) .

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