suseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 625 posts, RR: 1 Posted (6 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2760 times:
I searched and searched the internet for an answer to this but all I got was charter information. I have an FAA issued PPL and I was wondering if any of the Caribbean experts on this site might know of a place where American Private Pilots can rent Cessna 172s (or the like). I am trying to plan a honeymoon and I think what I would like to do is treat St. Lucia as "homebase" and then take day trips to the following Islands (with exception of maybe Barbados).
I am not stuck on St. Lucia if one of the other Islands has a better plane rental option. Just at the beginning stages of research here.
Anybody know of anything or have any experience with this.
N757ST From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 286 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (6 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2736 times:
Just as a warning from someone who flys there professionally, be on your game. If you are a private pilot with lots of experience flying around foreign airspace it's one thing, if you are a new pilot who is not its another. The atc and procedures are not all that different, but it's a long way between some of those islands... Peirco radar is not all that great, and some islands can get busy at times with airline arrivals such as bgi. Just a word of caution is all.
suseJ772 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 625 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (6 months 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2712 times:
Quoting N757ST (Reply 1): The atc and procedures are not all that different, but it's a long way between some of those islands... Peirco radar is not all that great, and some islands can get busy at times with airline arrivals such as bgi. Just a word of caution is all.
Thank you for this. I first am trying to figure out if I can do it, then if I want to or should do (hence possibly not doing Barbados).
The islands I have chosen are all within 70 miles airport to airport (barely even a Cross Country flight standards here in the states), with the exception of Barbados. I was telling my fiance I actually would feel better about an engine out scenario on these flights than I would going from PDK to AHN.
The busyness doesn't bother me. I learned to fly at PDK. Day two of training I was doing parallel approaches (visual) with Jets in my 172 on a runway separation of about 500 feet. The ATC environment there is incredibly busy (second only to Hartsfield in Georgia).
All that to say, I am definitely asking the question "should" I do this as well, but right now I am more so just looking for answers of "can" I do it.
N757ST From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 286 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (6 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2496 times:
I fly airbuses in there, so my veiw might be different. None of the airports are expecially difficult, though St Lucia has a lot of terrain. Flying single engine between these airports though is something that I think about twice personally... At least bring adequate survival equipment is all. As far as weather, nothing too bad... all the winds will be out of the east and most of the other weather is predictable. I can't speak of the 100LL availability nor the rental possibilities, but I am imagining a rental check will teach you a lot of the areas. Controllers on St Lucia and Barbadoes speak good english, pierco and Martanique are ok to poor at times, heavy accents being the issue. If you venture as far north as SXM just watch out for volume and climb requirements. I have no idea of the customs requirements, I need to clear at every airport but I am flying a direct flight from JFK, so it might be different for you. In summary, be careful and do a LOT of research.
Remember one main thing..... IF the aircraft is registred in St. Lucia, you may need to obtain a validation for your PPL. San Juan has several flight schools that can validate/provide check out/ and rent the aircraft.
However your Honeymoon budget will be severely impacted by this excursion. A word to the wise...... do it for the 2nd anniversary!