Dr. I’s Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

Be sure to check out parts 1-5 first!

-Part 1 (Chicago-Istanbul) CLICK HERE!

-Part 2 (Istanbul-Singapore) CLICK HERE!

-Part 3 (Singapore-Male) CLICK HERE!

-Part 4 (Male-Rangali Island, Conrad) CLICK HERE!

-Part 5 (Dr. I Getting His Robinson Crusoe on in The Maldives) CLICK HERE!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and after 10 beautiful days with nothing but sunshine, buffet breakfasts and naps on the deck, it was time to bid the Maldives and Rangali Island a fond adieu.

 

FLIGHT #5: RANGALI ISLAND (Conrad)-MALE (Velana)

Aviation Geek Details:

  • Airline and flight number: Trans Maldivian Airways flight # 8Q??? (no boarding pass given)
  • Route: Rangali Island (Conrad hotel)-Male (Velana).
  • Aircraft: de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter Floatplane
  • Airplane (registration and year built):8Q-MBF, built in 1973
  • Miles flown: 69 miles
  • Flight duration: 24 minutes
  • Class of Service and Seat: Economy, seat 4C
  • This is my: 677th flight on 95 airlines.
  • This is my: 2nd flight on Trans Maldivian Airways
  • This is my: 2nd flight on a de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter Floatplane

The Routing:

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

The route flown by 8Q-MBF that day.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

After one last buffet breakfast and an hour of snorkeling, the buggy came by to take the missus and me to the main pavilion to check-out. Don’t worry, I got a shower in to, vacation didn’t squash my type-A’ness and hygene!

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

One last longing look back at the pier leading to villa 421, our home for last few nights. Buh bye villa 421, will I ever see you again?

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

Checkout was quick and we were soon walking to the pier where 8Q-MBF was waiting to whisk us to Male’s Velana International airport. Built in 1973, this 45-year-old plane was by far the oldest that I have flown on and actually older than me by a few years! Here’s hoping for an immaculate maintenance history!!

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

We boarded the antique seaplane with 10 other misty eyed passengers and as the staff waved goodbye the de Havilland engines came to life propelling us to the “runway” where a quick take-off run had us airborne over the waters of the Laccadive sea.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

The almost unobstructed views (hey, the plane has to land on something, right?) of the crystal clear blue waters and the atolls were just as breathtaking as they were on the inbound trip.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

Luckily this time there were no storm clouds and the…

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

entire 24-minute flight was smooth as a baby’s bottom! Some euphemisms make no sense but take it from me, a father of five and an OB/GYN, a baby’s bottom is actually quite smooth.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

One of the many joys of seaplane flying is the open cockpit which meant I got to enjoy front views and…

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

side views. I was a dutiful husband and despite the lighter load on this flight, I didn’t sit on the coveted single seat side.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

Close-ups of the emergency exit, which I hope to never use, and…

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

the air conditioning vents! God is good, 8Q-MBQ actually had air conditioning (so you can suck it 8Q-TME!).

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

All too soon we started our descent into Male and a smooth touch down had us back in the Maldivian capital at Velana airport.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

The Conrad had private cars to take each individual party from the seaplane terminal to the main terminal.

 

Dr. I's Maldivian Adventure Part 6: Seaplane Flight From Rangali Island to Male

The drive was quick, but the air conditioning was much appreciated. You would be surprised how quickly you can start to pour sweat in the Maldives. Just walking from the seaplane pier to the car was a sweat-inducing experience. The driver dropped us off at the departures area and after clearing security we were at the Air India counters checking in for our flights to Delhi (via Thiruvananthapuram), Zurich and finally sweet home Chicago.

 

Check out the taxi, takeoff and full flight right here: 

 

Flight Review:

  • Experience/Total stars: Above Average/ 3.4 out of 5 stars. Again, this is using my technical parameters and the limitations of a seaplane obviously can affect the overall rating but much like the inbound flight, the unique nature of this flight makes it a 5-star flight in my mind!
  • Check-in: 5/5. Excellent, unlike the outbound flight, there were no lines and the Conrad took care of everything (luggage and check-in).
  • Lounge: N/A
  • Boarding: 5/5. Again, quick and easy with open seating.
  • Seat: 1/5. Same as before, hard seats with non-existent legroom.
  • In-Flight Entertainment: 5/5. The scenery was the only entertainment needs but there again was an in-flight magazine to help pass the time.
  • Meals: N/A
  • Cabin Crew: N/A
  • Cabin ambiance: 3/5. Again, the cabin is pretty basic but the huge windows and the AC made all the difference this time around.
  • Cabin cleanliness: 3/5. Nothing special but not horrible.
  • Price paid and value for money: 2/5. Like I said before, the $500 price tag seems a bit much.
  • Thumbs up: Huge windows and beautiful views!
  • Thumbs down: It was taking me away from paradise!

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