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Requirements to fly over the ocean...

mwwest2004

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Posts
20
Hello,

I was just wondering what ratings would be required to fly into the Bahamas fom the United States. I know you have to go over the ocean, but not for very long. Just wondering what is required and what is recomended (multi-engine, or anything that I may not know about from basic research).

Thanks for your help.
 

Tired Soul

Plowing at FL370
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Posts
257
Total Time
>10000
Apart from being a certificated pilot, there are no ratings required.
Had a look at your previous posts.
Depending on how large your family is I'd say
Private Pilot Multi Engine with Instrument privileges.
Maybe Piper Aztec....
But then I saw in another post that you're looking at buying a jet?
 

mwwest2004

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Posts
20
No...not looking at buying a jet (we have chartered one before)...I havent even begun training, so I havent really thought about buying any kind of aircraft yet...

So, while not required, is it pretty highly recommended to have multi and instrument ratings?
 

Princedietrich

Retired Starchecker
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Oct 27, 2004
Posts
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I would definitely recommend instrument rating. Going internationally, it's just a lot easier to have positive ATC control the entire way. That way you don't have to worry about inadvertently crossing into a restricted or warning zone and getting an F-18 suprise.

Mutli engine is good when doing extended over water flights because of the extra margin of safety brought on by the second engine. However, a single engine aircraft in good working order will carry you just the same. Just make sure you have the necessary survival gear with you.
 

VW Pilot

MMM...PIGEON CASSEROLE
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Rising
I was reading in flying magazine that one of the editors, Tom Benenson flew to the Bahamas and did not inform on his flight plan that he would be going through customs on his return trip....The article said he could have faced a fine of $10,000 dollars....somehow he got out of it. I forget which issue it was but be sure to check if there is anything you need to do like
list this on your flight plan or inform Customs and Border Patrol of your intensions. I do not recall from the article who you should contact (It listed it)but please check. This could have just been a story article, but it wouldn't hurt to be sure. Better than paying $10,000 fine......As far as ratings, well you could do it with a Private ticket. I wouldn't....I would rather be Instrument Rated and have a Multi-Engine rating and fly a Muti-Engine aircraft. Not necessary, but adds to the redundancy incase an engine fails or you encounter un-forcast IMC......
 
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Princedietrich

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Yeah, VeeDub is right. Don't mess with the Customs and Border Patrol officers, they will ruin your day faster and more efficiently than the FAA and TSA combined.
 

Balou

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Dec 12, 2003
Posts
77
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2000
if you havent already , I would highly recommend joining AOPA. lots of great info on flying there. Also lots of info on flight training in general.
 

Seadogrun

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Mar 6, 2007
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I was reading in flying magazine that one of the editors, Tom Benenson flew to the Bahamas and did not inform on his flight plan that he would be going through customs on his return trip....The article said he could have faced a fine of $10,000 dollars....somehow he got out of it. I forget which issue it was but be sure to check if there is anything you need to do like
list this on your flight plan or inform Customs and Border Patrol of your intensions. I do not recall from the article who you should contact (It listed it)but please check. This could have just been a story article, but it wouldn't hurt to be sure. Better than paying $10,000 fine......As far as ratings, well you could do it with a Private ticket. I wouldn't....I would rather be Instrument Rated and have a Multi-Engine rating and fly a Muti-Engine aircraft. Not necessary, but adds to the redundancy incase an engine fails or you encounter un-forcast IMC......

Do not rely on your flight plan to notify customs. You MUST call them yourself and tell them your intentions to avoid the fine.
 

KigAir

Viva France!
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Isn't an instrument rating required if you want to do any night flying around the Bahamas?
 

skyward80

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mwwest2004

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2008
Posts
20
Thanks for all of the info! It has been really helpful. Yesterday I took the first big step toward getting the certificate. I took a one hour intro flight with an instructor down in Louisiana. I hope to be down there full time around January to start training. The instructor was very nice and great at explaining things. I cant wait to start my lessons!
 

NW_Pilot

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May I recommend a place called AST survival they have the survival gear you will want to take. I use the IPSLR Raft as it has removable CO2 cartridges and cheap to replace and only 5lbs.

Look at the water temps and study the effects of hypothermia in the region it will superize you.

Also you may want to go to the faa Survival Course (Free In Oklahoma City)

http://www.faa.gov/pilots/training/airman_education/survival_training

Course Content
Basic Survival training consists of information on the following topics with hands-on, Lab, application where indicated (listed in order of presentation):
  • Psychology of Survival
  • Overview of Search & Rescue Operations
  • Personal Survival Kits
  • Fire Starting with Lab
  • Hot Land Survival
  • Cold Land Survival
  • Signaling with Lab (weather permitting)
  • Aircraft (Smoke) Evacuation with Lab
  • Ditching and Sea Survival
  • Underwater Egress
  • Water Survival Lab consisting of:
    • Ditching and Egress
    • Flotation and Swimming
    • Raft Boarding and Righting
    • Rescue (pick-up) Devices
    • Shallow Water Egress Trainer (Voluntary)
 

avbug

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Look at the water temps and study the effects of hypothermia in the region it will superize you.

Don't look too long. "Superizing" can be painful.
 

JAFI

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"Supersize"? Do you get frys with that?????

Going swimming from any off airport landing in any region is not fun. Some are just much less fun than others. If you are not prepared, think twice about going. Small life rafs can work if you are not injured, you have practiced how to get into one, you are not in a storm, you have food and water, and you are mentally ready to handle the situation. If you are not ready, you may just be Fish Food......
 
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SpauldingSmails

Aboard the sloop.
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I used to fly between mainland FL and Freeport quite a bit. It's very easily done VFR, of course VFR at night is prohibited in the Bahamas. There's a guide you can purchase from some FBOs down there, for the life of me I can't remember the name, but it was very complete and info pages for each airport in the Bahamas.

Again, bone up on customs procedures (ADCUS...etc), and carry CASH (USD) for covering Bahamian customs fees. Remember, nowadays you'll need a passport for arrival via air in the Bahamas. Bahamian ATC procedures are a little different too, and you may hear some phrases not used in the US. A little research will prove helpful... i.e. CAVOK, "Line up and wait".

Inquire at your local FBOs for overwater equipment rentals. As for the crossing, I'd recommend paralleling the coast until you're abeam and then head straight out. For your return I think Fort Pierce, FL and W. Palm Beach are your best bets.

Do your homework and have fun, Bahamas are a neat place to fly.
 
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