Next part of my adventures in the Yukon. After the very first 4N report, here are two new items for Flight Report, first flight aboard the mighty HS-748 and first landing at YDA, Dawson City.
After a short night at the SKKY Hotel, that I would easily recommend should you have a transit there as it is opposite the airport with a free shuttle and free wifi.
What the hell brought me to YDA? A school friend of mine moved there and built from scratch the first Coffee and B&B in Dawson City. Furthermore, a flight on an HS-748 is a must as we don't have them in service anymore in Europe. And it is believed that 4N is looking to replace them with ATR's or Dash's. Too bad.
Here I am at YXY little terminal, that serves both arriving and departure flights:
Should you fly aboard the HS748 you should know that only 20KGS of checked bagage is allowed and 3.8 KGS of hand lugages. I am well above both limits and need to pay CAD 30.- to get my boarding pass. It did not came as a surprise to me as I checked that in avance. Furthermore, the whole process was handled by a very friendly agent.
About the carry-on limit, needless to say that with a laptop and a reflex and the bag to put both in, it is absolutely impossible to stick to the limits. THe HS 748 has no overhead bins, only a kind of rack that is only meant for jackets. Underseat space is limited as well. The agent told me to take the laptop out of my bag and to ask the crew if they can store my luggage somewhere. Let's see.
Here are the three flights leaving today:
The flight to YDA continues to Old Crow and then to Inuvik before coming back to YDA. Passengers for this flight do not need to clear security, and this is a great help as my winter shoes are heavy and not easy to remove. We are invited to wait in the hall and to listen to the boarding announcement that should come around 07:45.
As the flight is free seating, the check in girl told me to stay close to the boarding door to get a good window seat for my spotting.
Here is gate #03 directly in the departure hall:
At 07:45 as expected a boarding announcement is made to gather near th boarding door but nothing happens. At 08:00 we are informed that the weather in YDA is horrible and that the airport is closed for the time being. The captain decided to wait a bit before taking a decision. He had three choices: Go directly to Old Crow and Inuvik and try YDA on the way back. Skip YDA completly on both ways. Or circle around YDA and check if the weather is improving and maybe wait or try ;)
Pax are leaving the queue, but not their bags, so they all know where they were:
At 08:15 another call is made that the chances to land in YDA are now 50/50 and the captain decided to try an approach, and if it does not work, will try it again on the return. Passengers bound for YDA are given the choice to fly the day after or to try their luck. I'll try my luck.
Boarding is launched, and here is the beast:
C-FCSE is actually older than me, having been manufactured in 1970 and with 4N since 2006.
The cabin looks immaculate but old, and tight!! My bag does not even fit under the seat in front of me, nor under the two seats!!
But I got a beautiful wing view:
Take off to YDA:
In the meantime, the cabin attendant took my bag to store it in the rear compartment. That was great as I had a neighbour and we were like sardins in a can ;)
Take off video:
Soon after our departure, the attendant will collect drink orders that she will bring on a tray as there is no space for a trolley in the rear galley. We had the choice between coffee-tea and soft drinks together with muffins or cake. I'll take coffee, apple juice and cake. The cake was a pure delight. Freshly made, soft and moist.
Side cup holder is something I have never seen on recent plane.
Then it's time to explore that old lady. I briefly explain to the crew member my will to take some pictures of the plane and she told me to do as if I am at home ;)
That's the rear part of the plane, with the main boarding door. The stair is quite funny. There is a micro galley and the pannel with all the CCM switches:
Door opening handle:
That's the rear cargo compartment. Note the containers and the ice box. This is were the stewardess prepares her catering as there is absolutely no space anywhere else.
Then the toilets that share the right space with the emergency exit. So old school. To flush you got to pomp ^^
I could not get rid of the paper and will tell it to the cabin crew. She told me not to worry, she's got a wooden stick for that kind of problem :)
More cabin shoots:
So old school :p
Then the captain is on the mike to announce the start of the decent towards Dawson, and that conditions are much better, and we'll try to land.
Visibility has really improved, but it is snowing though. No big circle for me today :(
The runway is white and snow covered. There is a customs office as 4N flies to FAI in the summer:
My friend picked me up and so my Yukon trip started!!
Air North Charter - Canada
Whitehorse - YXY
Dawson City - YDA
It is really hard to evaluate such kind of flight, as it is more for pleasure than anything else that I flew on that bird. To make it short, I gave 10 almost everywhere just for the joy of flying. But the crew and the catering were really great. So it is deserved :)
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