This return flight starts with some plane spotting, because the surroundings of GNI are ideally accessible. With three daily flights, it is unfortunately impossible to devote only a time slot for this activity in the day AND take advantage of all favorable spots, and I shall let the next visitors complete this iconography.
A small road leading to the cemetery goes around the end of the runway, slightly lower for the sake of safety, but there is an ideal access at the end of the runway on both sides to adapt to the current lighting conditions, with a simple wooden fence which does not hamper photography.
From there, in the middle of the day, we can see the last passengers boarding Flight DA7304. This would be an excellent spot for a landing.
We only need to take the wheel (or the scooter's handlebar, for 99.5% of the island's rentals are scooters) to reach the cemetery and find a better place to catch the take-off. I take bets on the car vs scooter rental ratio, in view of the alignments alongside the harbor.
Let's go back to plane spotting.
The Do-228 lines up,
… is very quickly airborne, for the headwind is non negligible…
… and the landing gear is retracted.
How do I return the car that the hotel provided to me? Just leave it on the parking lot of the airport with the keys on the ignition and do not lock the doors. It's cool, on Green Island.
Do not lock the doors before slamming them shut, because the locks do not work even since they have been picked in a distant past. I do not know how many kilometers I drove in a day and a half, because the odometer stopped for good at 179,667 km, which is 10,000 laps of the island. Anyway, a thief could not go very far, because I left as little gas as when I took it. Gas was then 30.4 TWD a liter for unleaded, and I was not going to waste any, even though it was around only 0.75 EUR per liter, or half the current price in France.
Anywhere, we are back to Lüdao = Green Island Airport
In case of a disaster, there is adequate equipment.
This is the entire Departure and Arrivals hall of GNI.
Traffic is actually not intense in GNI: only three daily flights, like in MFK.
Not only the evening flight is full, like on the way in …
… but there are already thirty names on the waiting list, on the foreground.
We are not on a waiting list, and this time I chose the right hand side.
After check in, we check in the luggage at this counter which has an old fashioned scale, and the employee fills in by hand what appears to be the weight statement of the aircraft.
Next, there is an information counter, but this is not the real tourist office, which is a few hundred meters away from the terminal. There are two more in the island: that is on par which the dense network of tourist information center in Taiwan. Note the self-serve reading glasses – I saw the same in post offices and banks in Mainland China.
The hall from the other direction
Like in TTT, there are brand new bicycles, which are made available for free to visitors, who only need to leave an ID.
Likewise, the landside toilets are functional, have the same general information on air travel, but nevertheless spot clean, with the same plants for decorative purposes.
To keep the place clean, there are no fewer than three cleaning persons, whose names are made public just like in TTT.
They come by rotation five times a time, which is a lot if you remember that there are only three flights a day.
The safety check opens a few minutes before the take-off. It is not very stringent: I only needed to show the cell phone that I had forgotten in my pocket when the gantry rang, and we joined the aircraft.
In the background, the lighthouse which was built after a ship was wrecked ashore on Green Island by the Kuroshio (黒潮 : "the black current", in Japanese).
There is a privileged PAX in Seat 1A… and two empty seat at Row 2. So much for the fully booked flight and the long waiting list. In Taiwan, since no-shows are not penalized, many passengers sign up on the waiting list just in case – I had already seen that to a lesser extent in MKG.
Right engine start,
… and a ground staff stores the ground power unit.
Once at the end of the runway, the pilot puts full throttle for several seconds: the aircraft vibrates violently until it lurches forward when the brakes are released.
The plane is airborne in less that half of the runway length, like the plane that we observed a few hours earlier.
Since GNI's runway is at the near end of the island, Taiwan's coast is immediately in sight.
A last blink at Green Island
I have a perfect view on the altimeter from my seat. The flight profile is simple: a quick climb to 3,000 feet, hardly any level flight and a long slope down to the destination. This is already the coast of Taiwan, but my camera's autofocus has a hard time leaving the engine.
Fengnin Air Force Base is on the right.
TTT is on the opposite side of the city: contrary to what happens in Taichung, civilians and military are clearly separated in Taitung.
This is again the river, whose nearly dry bed is very wide, because of the enormous amounts of water poured by the typhoons.
TTT is in sight on the right.
Touchdown at 16:50, which makes it a ten minute flight, thanks to the tailwind
I kept this unfocused view of the terminal for its giant Taiwanese flag, just in front of the control tower.
Oops, I was about to forget the reverse side of the safety card to complete the previous FR! There it is, I took the picture just before leaving the aircraft.
Some views of the parked Do-228.
Not by the way that the mechanics made progress in their hangar since the day before.
A set of courtesy umbrellas for the passengers between the terminal and the aircraft in case of rain, like in other airports in Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia.
A last look at the two aircraft assigned to the flights towards GNI in the background and KYD in the foreground.
Luggage delivery will be fast, because there are so few of them.
On the right, just before the exit to the public area, an elevator allows passengers connecting to Taipei (TSA) to reach the security checkpoint.
Green Island - GNI
Taitung City - TTT
We improved our record: the flight lasted ten minutes only, thanks to the tailwind. I keep the same top comfort grade (but it will be lower on the next flights), and the absence of FA on board is equally appreciated, since that allows unrestricted picture taking. No food or drink on board, of course.
Who could doubt of the virtue and serenity of Daily Air Corporation ? Its real Chinese name - 德安航空公司 (De'an Hangkong Gongsi) means Virtuous and Serene Airline.
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