Monday, July 16, 2012

Planning Another Bucket List Trip!

So, The Boys are planning a bit of an adventure. It just so happens to be a Bucket List item for the IFR Pilot: Flying to the Bahamas! More of that story as it develops. But in the meantime, due diligence is being performed. Photographic evidence of same: 


It just so happens that Plane and Pilot recently ran an article on this very subject, aptly titled "Bahamas 101: Recipe for Paradise."  Of course there's a copy of that amongst our due diligence materials.


Also included as a copy of the 2012 Bahamas & Caribbean Pilot's Guide.  As the title implies, it's a resource guide for planning a flight by light airplane to anywhere in the Bahamas and Caribbean.  The guide is chock full not just of the expected airport diagrams and frequencies, but also color photographs of the airports so you can familiarize yourself with the airport and its environs.  There's also plenty of information for the tourism side of your trip planning, so of it narrative by the publishers and some of it commercial advertising.  No matter how you slice it, this is a can't-miss item in your Bahamian Flight Planning Bag.  It's also available for your iPad.


Also occupying space is a Caribbean VFR chart, using a WAC scale (1:1,000,000).  Interestingly, it contains the following disclaimer:  "This is a refrence [sic] and planning chart and is not to be substituted for legal charts."  Setting aside the spelling error (groan), it raises the question of what exactly are the legal charts necessary for flight to and within the Bahamas.  Time to do some reading, in particular to see whether the sectionals on the iPad (a) cover the necessary territory, and (b) satisfy any Bahamian version of the FARs.


Finally, I picked up a small "survival kit."  It consists of a metal water bottle and various items that you'd want to have if you really were stranded, such as waterproof matches, fishing line, thermal blanket, and a signal mirror.  One of the nice features of the bottle is that it is covered with a variety of survival hints like where to look for water, signs of dehydration, etc.  I'm not sure how much of that would come in handy in the event of an off-airport landing in the Atlantic Ocean between KFXE and MYBS (and beyond), but the bottle will certainly be filled with fresh water before we depart the Florida coastline for the overwater portion of the flight.


Our timetable for this adventure is still undecided, but it will be chronicled in all of its glory here.  


A shoutout to my friends at PilotMall.com for their great service in sending the Guide and the survival bottle in my order, which also included a set of self-adhesive decals to replace any that may have worn off in N62TB.  Service was fast and friendly, as I experienced when I spent way too much time browsing their booth at AOPA Expo 2009 in Tampa.  If you're looking for aviation gear, give www.PilotMall.com a look for great prices, inexpensive shipping (mine was free! for a $75+ order), and great customer service!!!

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