Flying to the Bahama Islands [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Glocker45
03-05-2007, 15:36
Hey guys, I was trying to come up with a spring break idea the other day and came across the flying.bahamas.com site (dang AOPA airport directory). This sparked a few ideas and I was wondering if anyone here has flown to the Bahamas? I realize that this could be a bit on the expensive side, but am hoping to share costs with a buddy or two.

It looks like most of the rules in the Bahamas are similar to the US (aside from no VFR after sunset, different cloud clearences). I would have to look at airplane rentals in Flordia to see if that would kill the idea or not.

Any suggestions? Am I crazy for even thinking of this?

flyandscuba
03-06-2007, 18:17
Doubtful that any rentals will allow the extended over water and international flight due to insurance reasons.

It's not a bad trip -- but you'll most likely need to buddy up with an aircraft owner to make such a trip.

c6601a
03-07-2007, 13:02
Forget about it. It is unlikely you will find a FBO willing to let you rent a plane and fly it internationally or on an extended over-water flight (you are planning on doing both).

Even if they did, I would not consider entering the USA in a rented vehicle of any kind; airplane, boat or even a car. Did the last renter stash drugs somewhere. Did they smoke pot in it? I know someone who got stopped coming in from Canada. The drug dog got excited. They tore up the back sets where the dog was going nuts. They questioned the guy for hours and eventually let him go. For several years afterwards, whenever he entered the country, he got the VIP treatment, including a detailed examination of EVERYTHING he had with him. All because the last renter had stored some drugs in the vehicle he rented. I know that they are a lot more vigillant about drugs down south and the rules allow them to confiscate the airplane.

Third, I would be VERY careful about who I bring along on an international flight. You have to make sure you know them really well and are absoluetly sure that they are clean. If they do something bad like bring in a few drugs, are on a watch list, try and bring in things without declaring them to save duties or whatever, you are liable. Once again, confiscating the airplane is a possible consequence. Unlike driving, as the PIC you are actually responsible for everything that goes on in the airplane and are held accountable.

IslandHopper
03-12-2007, 13:00
Originally posted by c6601a
...as the PIC you are actually responsible for everything that goes on in the airplane and are held accountable.

Oh come on now...
Do you really think I would be held accountable (as PIC) for anything the 200+ passengers on my plane might be bringing into the U.S. ??
ON a small plane, you might be questioned/detained as the relationships are more "intimate", but, unless they come up with compelling evidence that you are culpable, "innocent until PROVEN guilty" is still the law of the land for U.S. citizens within the U.S.

c6601a
03-12-2007, 15:03
Unless you happen to have a commercial operator's certificate (not just a commercial or ATP license), the part 121 and part 135 rules do not apply. That is why the airliner's captain is not responsible for the drugs in the passenger's bags, but the part 91 PIC is.

As for innocent till proven guilty, that may save you from going to jail, but it does not apply to property. The government can confiscate property merely on suspicion and you have no practical recourse. In a vast majority of cases, no charges are ever filed against the person from whom the property is confiscated because there is not enough evidence to make the charges stick. If you look around, you will find a few dozen threads just here on GT over the last year about such cases of confiscation. It is usually a person carryiing large sums of cash, but it can be property as well.

IslandHopper
03-14-2007, 11:50
Originally posted by c6601a
...If you look around, you will find a few dozen threads just here on GT over the last year about such cases of confiscation...

And since I read it on the internet, then it MUST be true...

c6601a
03-14-2007, 12:19
Originally posted by IslandHopper
And since I read it on the internet, then it MUST be true... Since I have read the actual court decisions, posted on the court's official website, then it must indeed be true.

Superfueler
03-15-2007, 10:02
Originally posted by c6601a
Forget about it. It is unlikely you will find a FBO willing to let you rent a plane and fly it internationally or on an extended over-water flight (you are planning on doing both).

Even if they did, I would not consider entering the USA in a rented vehicle of any kind; airplane, boat or even a car. Did the last renter stash drugs somewhere. Did they smoke pot in it? I know someone who got stopped coming in from Canada. The drug dog got excited. They tore up the back sets where the dog was going nuts. They questioned the guy for hours and eventually let him go. For several years afterwards, whenever he entered the country, he got the VIP treatment, including a detailed examination of EVERYTHING he had with him. All because the last renter had stored some drugs in the vehicle he rented. I know that they are a lot more vigillant about drugs down south and the rules allow them to confiscate the airplane.

Third, I would be VERY careful about who I bring along on an international flight. You have to make sure you know them really well and are absoluetly sure that they are clean. If they do something bad like bring in a few drugs, are on a watch list, try and bring in things without declaring them to save duties or whatever, you are liable. Once again, confiscating the airplane is a possible consequence. Unlike driving, as the PIC you are actually responsible for everything that goes on in the airplane and are held accountable.

I've flown between the Bahamas and the US a few times, and while the Customs guys can be dicks, its not this bad. And there are FBO's that will rent you an airplane, just call around a bit. Try Ft Lauderdale Exec (FXE).

aircarver
03-15-2007, 12:59
Got yer passport ?
The wait's long now...:sad:

fludy12
03-17-2007, 13:09
Originally posted by c6601a
Forget about it. It is unlikely you will find a FBO willing to let you rent a plane and fly it internationally or on an extended over-water flight (you are planning on doing both).

Eh... Just go ahead and do it. I've never rented out of an FBO that made me file with THEM, too. How would they know where you're taking it? Just pick a US destination the same distance away because they'll check the Hobbs meter when you get back. Just have to hope the plane doesn't break in the Bahamas and don't screw up and get a flight violation or anything... It's highly doubtful the FBO would call FSS to check on your flight plan. Even so, just depart VFR and file in flight or request flight following. You'll make your Bahamas trip, but maybe only ONCE from that FBO, but hey once you're gone, you're gone! One of those "asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission" things I heard so many times in the Navy.

I've flown to the Bahamas many times, but that was using a Navy helicopter and we were going to beautiful AUTEC off of Andros Island. :upeyes:

Also, if you're worried about the Customs ramp check and the FBO seeing you and finding out about an international flight... Make your US entry into another airport THEN take the hop back to the FBO. There are airports EVERYWHERE in Florida and many, many of them have Customs services. I used to be in and out of PBI (Palm Beach) Int'l all the time being stationed in Jax, FL.

flyandscuba
03-17-2007, 14:46
If you follow the above advice -- have plenty of cash in your bank account to cover the value of the airplane if it goes down in the ocean. Any renter's insurance you have will not cover the international flight -- or the falsification of your rental paperwork.

The FBO's insurance will replace the airplane -- but then they'll be coming for you to repay.

Then again -- if you die in the crash, I guess it will not matter to you...

c6601a
03-17-2007, 14:51
Originally posted by fludy12
Eh... Just go ahead and do it. I've never rented out of an FBO that made me file with THEM, too. How would they know where you're taking it?Wow, talk about an idiot giving bad advice. You sound like someone who gives both gun owners and pilots a bad name.

So, you have a rental agreement that says that you will not fly the airplane out of the country. You violate it. If there is a problem that leads to an insurance claim, do you think their insurance is going to cover it? Even if you have your own renters' insurance that is valid outside the country I am sure it has a clause that you have to abide by the rental agreement and this just vioded it. What is your plan in that case?

How do you plan to handle a breakdown outside the country? "Just hope it does not happen" is not a good plan.

And do you really have a clue about international flying in a private airplane? All international flights have to be on a flight plan, VFR or IFR. If you decide to air file for an international flight, you can count on being greeted by the local police in addition to the usual customs folks because it will look very suspicious and the FAA does cooperate with law enforcement.

Glocker45
03-17-2007, 18:43
Thanks everyone for your replies. I did some checking around and there are a few FBOs that will rent airplanes to take to the Bahamas (standard rates for a 172). This still looks like a great way to see the islands and be an adventure, but upon further review I think I will hold out until I get my instrument rating. I realize that the weather will most likely be clear; I would feel a little better with my instrument after seeing how small some of the islands are.

fludy12
03-18-2007, 05:48
Originally posted by c6601a
Wow, talk about an idiot giving bad advice. You sound like someone who gives both gun owners and pilots a bad name.

So, you have a rental agreement that says that you will not fly the airplane out of the country. You violate it. If there is a problem that leads to an insurance claim, do you think their insurance is going to cover it? Even if you have your own renters' insurance that is valid outside the country I am sure it has a clause that you have to abide by the rental agreement and this just vioded it. What is your plan in that case?

How do you plan to handle a breakdown outside the country? "Just hope it does not happen" is not a good plan.

And do you really have a clue about international flying in a private airplane? All international flights have to be on a flight plan, VFR or IFR. If you decide to air file for an international flight, you can count on being greeted by the local police in addition to the usual customs folks because it will look very suspicious and the FAA does cooperate with law enforcement.

What rental agreement? Do you rent planes like cars? :upeyes:

Every FBO I've rented at from California to Florida to New England NEVER had me "sign" any rental agreement. After an initial check out on whatever make/model (ASEL, MEL, rotorcraft, etc), I just call and ask if a certain side number is available from day X to day Z. If it is I simply reserve it.

As far as filing, read my previous post. If it's really that important to the OP, he can just depart, land at another domestic facility, file and continue happily on.

But, as opposed to the other uninformed idiots in this thread, the OP found more than one FBO willing to rent an aircraft for international flights.

Thank you, and good night.