A review by Marlon Carter.
Nature Air is a new addition to the Just Planes lineup and in addition to being a newly featured airline, we will also have the privilege of flying to some 11 new and intriguing destination! In this program we will follow the flight crew of Nature Air’s Twin Otter and Caravan operations in Costa Rica. Some of the destinations we will be visiting are Quepos, Palma Sur, Tambor, Nosara, Punta Islita, Puerto Jimenez, Golfito, Tamarindo, Liberia and La Fortuna!
When I first saw the extensive list of destinations, I initially thought that many of these flights would be more or less the same. After viewing the program in its entirety, I can honestly describe this program as one of the most interesting adventures that Just Planes has to offer. Here are some of the highlights.
Our first flight takes us from San Jose to Quepos and Palma Sur Costa Rica onboard the Cessna Caravan. Most of these flights border on 20-50 minutes in length and no one will be complaining since driving to these destinations can easily take up to 4 hours!
For the duration of our first leg, our primary view came from the wing mounted camera that pointed directly as the aircraft and it also offered a wonderful view of the surroundings below. On our second leg to Palma Sur, we experience the majority of this flight from the cockpit of the Caravan. While flying low altitude enroute, the Captain pointed out interesting details about the flight and the region as we fly overhead. The landing at Palma Sur easily reminded me of landings in St. Barts since we had to dive to the runway due some very tall trees surrounding the threshold.
After a very turbulent arrival back at San Jose, the Captain chats with the viewers about various destinations and their attractions. This segment was very enlightening since it teaches you about some of what Costa Rica has to offer. In addition to this presentation, the Captain also discusses various details about the Cessna Caravan.
One of the things you will immediately notice about the Caravan is that it comes with the legacy cockpit verses the newer G1000 display units. The Captain explains that Nature Air chose the legacy cockpit due to its reliability in harsh climate conditions of Costa Rica. Other operators who used the G1000 often experienced overheating which resulted in maintenance issues. Thereafter, the Captain also delves into a very thorough cockpit presentation of the Cessna Caravan, which was a definite highlight of this program.
The next sequences of flights take us from San Jose to Tamarindo, Nosara, Punta Islita, Puerto Jimenez and Golfito onboard the Twin Otter with a few flights also featuring the Caravan. Many of these flights feature stunning views from the various cameras mounted on the tail, wing, gear and belly of the aircraft! Some flights are films entirely from these views and they offer a beautiful perspective of this tropical region. The return flight from Golfito to San Jose was by far the most memorable flight on this program. The cloudy sky conditions at dusk created a stunning experience that has to be seen to be truly appreciated.
As the program draws to an end, the CEO and Founder of the airline talks with the viewers about the history of the airline and its importance to tourism and job creation in the region. After viewing this presentation one can’t help but be impressed with the large role of this small airline. What is even more so impressive is that Nature Air is the world’s first Carbon Free airline.
How can any airline be Carbon Free? Well I am not an environmentalist but apparently there are equations that determine an airlines carbon footprint. After taking into account that Nature Air preserves the rain forest with its profits, this environmentally conscious airline has offset their carbon footprint to nil.
After this intriguing presentation by the CEO, we delve one last time to some flying action with a few clips of Nature Air’s fleet in action. This is followed by a few Twin Otter flights that also include a thorough cockpit presentation! As the program comes to an end, it was hard to believe that nearly 4 hours had gone by.
This program offers a wonderful view into the operations of Nature Air and an intriguing look at the region of Cost Rica. For both pilots and enthusiasts, this program is definitely a keeper and it will no doubt provide hours of nonstop fun and adventure.