Tour Report: Iranian S&C Day 4 – Pouya An-74 Flight & FARS Hangar Visit

Day 4: Pouya Air An-74 Joyride & FARS Hangar Visit

<– Day 3: Isfahan Sights & Back to THR with Qeshm

(Traveled on February 16, 2016)

While the previous days were a mix of aviation and sightseeing, day 4 was a day full of aviation. On this day, we chartered a Pouya Air Antonov An-74 for a one-hour joyride starting and ending at Tehran Mehrabad airport. There were also some surprises before and after the flight that led to an unforgettable day.

The Pre-Flight Party

Once again, we had a rather late start (meaning we do not have to wake up at 4:30AM in order not to miss our flight) as our charter flight is scheduled for a 10AM departure.

Woke up just as the sun was rising. A nice view of Mehrabad Airport apron from my hotel room.

We were picked up at the hotel by our Iranian friend who helped us arrange this flight and headed to Terminal 4 with him. This time, rather than walking, our friend treated us to a taxi ride.

Our flight was showing up as Sari on the check-in board even though it was a THR to THR joyride.

Check-in desk for our flight.

While waiting to be checked-in, we somehow “run into” and struck a conversation with Vahid Shamsaei who seems to have been one of the top futsal players in the world.

Vahid Shamsaei
Me with Vahid Shamsaei.

With our very classic boarding passes in hand, we cleared the security and headed to gate 6 where our flight was boarding.

Boarding Passes
Classic boarding passes in hand, we are ready to go!

The bus dropped us off in front of our aircraft – EP-PUC. I was so excited – it was about to be my first An-74 flight!

Our aircraft waiting for us. But wait, what’s that table in front of it?

…the flight was not ready to start yet. First, we had to eat the surprise cake that Pouya Air prepared for us!

“WELCOME TO POUYA FLIGHT” – a very nice cake prepared for our group by Pouya Air!
One of the crew members cutting the cake.
…and one more shot of the crew serving the cake.

While enjoying the cake, we also had a chance to roam around the aircraft and take pictures as we pleased.

Obviously, I was very excited to fly on the Antonov for the first time!

Flying Around Damavand in an An-74

Shortly before ten, after (almost) finishing the cake, everyone boarded the plane and we were ready for the flight.

One of the limited amount of “real” window seats on the plane.

The door was closed exactly at 10:00AM, and five minutes later we taxied to runway 29L.

Lined Up
Lining up on runway 29L. We are almost ready to take-off for the joyride!

We took-off ten minutes later, and the second part of the party begun.

In the Air
View of part of Tehran shortly after take-off.

The flight was roughly one hour long, and throughout the flight we were enjoying taking photos of and with the crew, exploring the cabin, and so on.

Mt. Damavand
Meet Mt. Damavand – the highest peak in Iran and the Middle East, and the higest volcano in Asia.
Beautiful scenery together with our wing. Mt. Damavand in the top right.
The unusual cabin with almost no windows.
The nice flight attendant serving tea.

Also, each of us got to visit the very “Soviet” looking green cockpit during the flight.

Cockpit Visit
Short in-flight cockpit visit.
Some more amazing scenery.

At some point, the flight even turned into a little modelling gig for the flight attendant.

Photographing the CA
Everyone enjoying photographing the cabin attendant.
My Photo
…and here’s my photo of her.

There was even a meal service. Actually, its no wonder – in Iran you are never let off an aircraft without having a meal (kind of similar to leaving grandma’s house). A side note: on the 747SP joyride in 2014, the crew didn’t have time to serve the meal during flight as people were blocking the aisles, and so they served it on the ground after arrival.

Meal Service
Iran Air snack boxes enjoying more popularity than some Hollywood stars!
Content of the snackbox. Simple, yet more than sufficient for the one hour sightseeing flight.
With Crew
Our group with some of Pouya Air members.

Unfortunately, the flight was over way too soon, and so we returned to our seats.

In-flight Camera
Just like the latest widebodies, this Antonov is equipped with an in-flight camera. Definitely a useful feature given the lack of windows!

Yukihiro got invited into the cockpit, and after asking if there were two jumpseats, I was invited as well.

To my surprise, there were no jumpseats, and so we were landing while standing. Leaning against the wall with two cameras in my hand – one taking video, the other one photos – definitely exciting!

Approaching into Mehrabad over the countless houses of Tehran.
Landing on runway 29L.

We touched down on Mehrabad’s runway 29L at 11:18AM, and five minutes later we were back at the Pouya ramp.

Exiting the Runway
Exiting the runway. Unfortunately, the flight was over way too soon.
Flight Attendant
The flight attendant bidding us farewell after landing at Mehrabad.

The Pouya Party Continues

After getting off the aircraft, the Pouya party was not over yet.

Close-up of the engine.
While we were busy photographing the aircraft, we were given some chocolate with Pouya logo. Nice touch!

We had a surprise waiting for us. Besides being able to take pictures of our aircraft on the ground, Pouya Air also pulled their Challenger out of the hangar so that we could photograph it.

Our Antonov after the stairs and some other things in front of it were removed to allow for a clear shot.
“TC-REA” is Pouya Air’s Challenger. They pulled it out of the hangar so that we could photograph it!
…and a group shot in front of it.

So much fun on the Tehran ramp. It was unbelievable!

How many people are in this photo? …members of our group trying to get the best possible angle for their shots.
Iran Air Fokker 100 taxiing past the Pouya Ramp. Of course, we had to wave at it!
Yes! We were all excited to be there!

Another Aviation Highlight: FARSCO Hangar Visit

Once we were finished on the Pouya ramp and taken to the terminal, we headed to Iran Air’s restaurant for lunch.

Our program after lunch was exciting again. We had the chance to visit facilities of FARSCO Aviation MRO Center – one of the main maintenance companies in Iran.

While we were, unfortunately, not allowed to photograph some aircraft including the Mahan Air 747-300 that had its engine damaged not long ago and a couple of Iran Air Force 747-100s, it was still amazing to be visiting the hangars.

Still, we were able to photograph some interesting aircraft including a Qeshm Air A300 and a Kish Air MD-82. The latter one, we were even able to enter and take a look at the cabin and cockpit.

Qeshm Air A300
Qeshm Air A300 was undergoing maintenance during our visit with both engines removed.
Kish Air’s MD-82 that has been stripped of its paint.
…and of its seats. Me and Yukihiro “flying” inside it.
The MD-82’s cockpit with the windows covered with yellow sheet.

We finished the tour in the late afternoon, and afterwards headed back to hotel. While some people decided to explore Tehran afterwards, most of us just relaxed as at this point the trip was getting very tiring, and we still had half of it ahead of us.

…at least some of us. For four people of the group, this day was the last day of the tour, and so after getting to the hotel, they headed to Imam Khomeini airport to catch their flight back to Kuala Lumpur.

Short Tour
The “short course” team ready to leave the hotel.
Long Tour
…and a bonus for the end. For the “long tour,” one of the participants prepared entertainment for us. Seems like he made this costume for the first flight of ANA’s R2D2 special livery aircraft.

Day 5: Caspian 737 and MD-83 to Shiraz and Back –>

7 thoughts on “Tour Report: Iranian S&C Day 4 – Pouya An-74 Flight & FARS Hangar Visit”

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