From Louang Prabang: a chance to fly a new (to me) airline and aircraft: Lao Airlines and an ATR 72.
The airport was small and security was poor. A photocopied sign, strangely from CATSA (Canadian air security) advertised the usual liquid ban, but they xrayed all our bags when we entered the airport, with no idea which was carryon and which was to be checked in. They didn’t even mention the almost full 500ml water bottle in my carryon. If I believed the liquid ban was even remotely useful, I’d be worried about Lao security.
The ATR 72 is a weird plane. Boarding is by the rear left door. The area where the passenger door would noramlly be is a large cargo door. The galley and washrooms are in the rear as well, and the front of the cabin is just a wall with a door (that was never opened while I was in the cabin.) Also, the aircraft lacks an APU – there’s a beacon at the rear point of the tail, where the APU exhaust would normally be.
The flight to Chiang Mai was uneventful and short… they even fed us a snack :)
There are a couple of photos here.
(We flew to Chiang Mai on March 26th.)
2 thoughts on “ATR 72”
That *is* a weird plane. According to wikipedia, they compensate for the lack of APU by stopping the #2 engine’s propeller from spinning, allowing the turbine to provide air and power to the cabin. Pretty wacky.
I’ve never been on one, but I’ve seen (from a distance) their assembly facilities in TLS.
I’d read about the APU thing, but they didn’t seem to use that feature. While we boarded, neither engine was running (I walked right under #2 while taking photos) and the plane was on ground power. After boarding, they spun up the #1 engine (including the prop, obviously), and then the #2 engine (including the prop) – pretty standard.
Comments are closed.