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Get some heightwith ACF Aviation

Discover Martinique with ACF Aviation

Want to discover Martinique from the sky? Do you dreamoflearning to fly a small touring plane? ACF aviation offers unforgettable sightseeing tours and flight training.

Tomfranchette Acfaviation Lamentin MartiniqueTomfranchette Acfaviation Lamentin Martinique
©Tomfranchette Acfaviation Lamentin Martinique
Tom Fanchette

Pilot and owner of ACF Aviation

I have an appointment this morning with Tom Fanchette to experience a discovery flight. I’ve chosen a one-hour combined Presqu’île de la Caravelle + les Salines flight to discover the natural beauty and diversity of this Caribbean island from the air!

I’m in luck, the weather is superb, the sky is clear and the sun is shining: ideal conditions…

Directing to the general aviation area behind the airport, I find Tom who welcomes me warmly. Over a cup of coffee, I take the opportunity to ask him a few questions about himself and his team.

ACF Aviation, a family history

– How long has ACF Aviation been around?

“My parents founded the club in 1995. In other words, my sisters and I have always been involved in this business.

Personally I took over the flying school in 2016, I was doing initiations and discovery flights. Since 2019, I’ve relaunched the training courses as well as the whole instruction part.

Todaywe have 4 aircraftincluding 3 4-seater Cessna 172s,we can take up to 3 passengers (in addition to the pilot).

Ihave a great team of passionate young instructor pilotss. Theambiance is friendly and convivial, our customers and elèves feel it well, itis part of the successès ofACF! For all that, we work very hard and veryès seriously, itis essential !

Discovery flights

Gain altitude

The great thing about ACF Aviation is that you can choose your tour on the day, depending on the weather conditions and your desires.

Ihave chosen to combine the discovery of the presqu’île de la Caravelle from the air with that of the Salines. A tour to explore the heart of the‘île and much of the Atlantic coast. “A verygood choicesighs Tom !

As the weather is fine and the lumière is perfect, Tom suggests I go now. We’ll talk about training when we get back… Heading for the tarmac, I go through passport control (pièthis didentity mandatory*).

Après a check of theairplane, a Cessna 172, a quick briefing, headphones on: it’s off to an hour of wonder !


Circuit Caravelle + Salines

Exceptional views

The Central Plains

Just after takeoff, we cross Martinique from west to east, flying over the Lamentin plain, the Martinican countryside, its orchards, and its cane and banana fields as far as the eye can see. We fly over the Manzo dam, this large artificial lake designed to store water in the rainy season, releasing it during the dry season. Finally we reach the magnificent Atlantic coastline.

La Presqu’île de la Caravelle

Direction La Presqu’île de la Caravelle, nature reserve, a place I love and which takes on another dimension from the air!

La Martinique reèle breathtaking natural beauty and incomparable landscapes. From the air, we can admire the steep cliffs plunging into the Atlantic Ocean. Lagoons, mangroves and beaches stretch as far as the eye can see. Our favorite is the baie du Trésor followed by the baie du Galion and their crystal-clear waters, between ocean and mangrove.

Tom then heads back down south to the islets, and we fly over the celèbre îlet Loup Garou, the furthest from the coast. Magic, this green pebble bordered by white sand and the foam of the waves. The desert island as weimagine it!

The islets of Robert and François

The cAtlantic coast is wonderful with all its islets, its camaïeu of blue, from the lightest to turquoise and those white backgrounds that pop up in the middle of theocéan. Chancel, Madame, Oscar, Thierry… Tom enumeratesè me the names of the islets we’re flying over with the point oforgue the célébrissime Baignoire de Joséphine. Iget an eyeful! I know these places but they take on a whole new dimension and I rediscover them in wonder.

Normally this is the end of the first circuit, which then joins the airport via central Martinique – but as I’ve chosen a combined flight, Tom continues south.

We skirt the Atlantic coastline veryès jagged with its small coves and long beaches. Names well known to the Martinican follow: Cap Est, Trou Cochon, Pointe Faula, Petit and Grand Macabou. We fly over two of my favorite beacheses Cap Macré and theanse Michel at Cap Chevalier. The barriècoral reef that separates the deep blue of theAtlantic from the lagoon-colored waters here is spectacular seen fromplane. Below the sails of the kite-surfs are dots of every color.

L’étang et la plage des Salines

Après la mangrove de la baie des Anglais et lanse Trabaud, theplane passes the cape that separates theAtlantic Ocean from the Cara Seaïbes, we head up the coast to Martinique’s most iconic beach, les Salines, famousèfor its natural beauty linede with coconut palms. The spectacular panoramic view captures the essence of Martinique: verdant mountains, golden beaches and turquoise waters stretch to perte de vue, creant an enchanting picture that only an aerial flight can offer.

The tour comes to an end, heading for Le Marin, we fly over Sainte-Luce and its grand caye, a diver’s paradise before heading back up to Le Lamentin. Tom continues to tell me a host of anecdotes, no doubt he knows his island by heart…

What a unique experience! What an unforgettable adventure! Itis truly a magicalexcursion, which isfor everyone, tourists of course but also all those who live here and think they know everything about their island.

The little + : “Captain”

The sightseeing flight can also be done in “Initiation mode”, taking the captain’s seat with l“Captain”option: pre-flight visit and theory lesson around the airplane, taking the controls for start-up, take-off, flight and approach. Delivery of a certificate of initiation to piloting.

A super idgift!

Want to become a pilot?

ACF, Professional Flying Training School.

Renowned for its professionalism and passionate pilot instructors, the school offers two types of training:

  • ABL (Autorisation de Base): Accessible from age 16 (with parental authorization), the ABL represents a minimum of 6h of dual-control flight training with an instructor. The ABL will enable you to fly an airplane by day, alone on board and within a 45km radius of the departure airfield. It’s a perfect start, and the best motivation for further training.
  • Private Pilot License: Accessible from the age of 17, the PPL(A) private pilot license represents training of around 35h of dual flight and 10h alone on board. The license allows you to fly as pilot-in-command with no restrictions on distance or destination.

Well, I haven’t signed up yet, but I’ve had a great morning, with some very nice people, I’ve had a blast. Only one desire: to do it again!

With our feet on the ground but our heads in the sky, we take a refreshment at the “Tarmak”, the club’s HQ bar.

Thank you Tom and all your team for your welcome!

Practical information
  • It is imperative to have an ID (passport or ID card) for customs clearance.

Go ahead from us!