Preparing to fly to the Bahamas

so in this video I'm going to or in this

series of videos I'm gonna cover flying

to the Bahamas and I'm gonna try to do

this in a way that I cover all of my

steps that I did preparing for the trip

and coming back so the first thing to

discuss are the N numbers on the

airplane there is a requirement that we

have at least on the side wing that's

covered but there are exceptions to the

12 inch end numbers so read the document

it's not really that big of a deal but

there are exceptions the next thing is

that you have to get a custom sticker

and you just put it on the steps around

the door

you'll also need to get a radio license

and the the radio license is a little

bit of a oddity to me because I've never

had anybody ask for it and it's rather

expensive to get but the airplane itself

is supposed to have a radio license so

you have to get that you'll also need to

get a life vest the coastguard certified

life vests for each person in the

airplane and then obviously your papers

that you normally have your registration

weight and balance airplane performance

stuff in your registration so those are

really the only things that are required

for the airplane itself and if you're

flying a single-engine I'd probably also

recommend getting a raft might not even

be a bad idea in a twin but I'm not

messing with the raft and so that those

are the primary things that you have to

have to to fly over to the Bahamas for

the airplane itself and then I want to

do some other videos on the paperwork

and those kind of things as well

okay so what we're gonna do is go

through some of the documentation for

the Bahama trip now this is a they call

it the Private Pilot guide to the

Bahamas you can get this off of the off

of Google just search for it it's

actually a pretty good document here and

so I'll cover some of the the basic

stuff so this document has most

everything in it that you would need to

make your trip to the Bahamas so we have

the telephone numbers here for getting

weather and following your flight plan

and that kind of stuff if we go

over the sea so here we start getting

into our checklist items so it tells you

here that you have to file a flight plan

either a a and it has to be an

international flight plan for flight and

Garmin and most of the other GPS systems

that are out there for aviation can file

an international flight plan you also

need to file an EA path manifest

outbound and inbound there is a program

that you can get called flash pass that

does a really good job you go in and add

your airplane you put in your custom

sticker number you put in each person

along with their passport information

and then it will tell it you know

obviously when you're gonna file or when

you're gonna fly and it'll file all of

the necessary paperwork for you for

going in and out of the United States so

I highly recommend getting flash pass

for that and so it tells you here we

file a flight plan do you're a APUs you

must have a Coast Guard approved

lifejacket for each person and then you

have to activate your flight plan before

leaving Florida and it gives you the

frequency so you either use Fort Pierce

Miami or Palm Beach obviously if you're

IFR it'll get activated when you get

your clearance

so prior to landing you have to close

your flight plan and it gives you the

frequencies there again if you're IFR

you'll be doing that with them in the

air but if you're flying VFR then you do

need to do that

and then you have to land at an airport

with the port with the immigrations and

and there's a list of all the airports

that are covered there

you'll also notice up here at the right

you've got to turn in three copies of

c7a they're actually at the end of this

document so you can print those out you

know from this document you'll have a

fifty dollar per aircraft fee and then

there's no no fees for actual customs

going in if you fly VFR you can contact

Miami simmer center for flight following

and they'll give you a squawk code and

then it gives you the frequencies for

that so as you can see there's quite a

bit of information here so that's that's

the information for going out to the

Bahamas then you have the information

for coming back in and coming back in

I'm actually going to do a separate

video so I'm only looking at going to

the Bahamas at this particular point and

so here so here we've got departing the

Bahamas this is actually coming back in

so here are your airport information you

can see up here it says port of entry so

that tells you whether or not it you

have a port of entry so as an example we

are going and these are not these are in

order of states or islands so you have

to go through and find the actual place

that you're going so we are let's see

where we're at we're gonna be going to

stain our nuts and key well where is it

Stella Morris so Stella Morris is right

here she's got a 4,000 foot runway

they've got fuel and then you can see

under the port of entry they do have a

port of entry there and then they have a

telephone number that you can call

now you'll also notice most frequently

asked questions are pretty handy to go

through and it says one of the things

here is if you're taking your pet and if

you are it gives you a fun number to

call you probably are going to have to

call the airport in fact I've got notes

here the phone number that ended up

that's the two four two three three

eight two zero one two is for your pet

however all they're gonna do is direct

you to go to the website for the

Agriculture Department and file the

paperwork there the problem is it takes

about four weeks to get that's what it

says anyway it takes four weeks to get

that paperwork done so we were gonna

take our little Yorkie with us but we

don't think we have enough time now so

we're just gonna leave you my home but

anyway the the questions actually have

some really good questions and answers

in here there's really not a whole lot

of a big deal you'll notice under the

equipment it says mode C twelve inch

tail numbers and then the Coast Guard

life vest again that twelve inch tail

number you need to look up the

requirements on that because there are

some stipulations for exceptions you

know your plane doesn't have an area big

enough for 12 inch like some of the

experimental airplanes maybe or the age

of the airplane and so forth so you

don't have to get flight following we're

probably going to be filing IFR on the

on a trip just because we normally

follow IFR so we'll we'll kind of

that'll be a little different if you're

going VFR and and so that is really the

main obviously your passports and in

driver's license that kind of stuff if

you want to file if you want to fly

between the islands once you get there

you do have the ability to do that

get a pass and then you can just fly

wherever you want to with exceptions you

can't fly the Nassar without a flight

plan but every our everywhere else you

can most everywhere else you can just

fly and there's your pet your basic meds

are accepted that Bahamas basically

accept everything the United States do

and and I honestly I've never actually

had anyone in the Bahamas asked me for

my medical or pilot's license I don't

least I don't think I remember them ever

asking for that but we'll see on this

trip and so you've got your let's see

departure flight plans weather briefings

also they recommend putting ad casts

which is advised customs in your comment

section of your flight plan to let them

know that you're coming now when you

come back into the United States you

actually have to place a phone call 22

an hour before you leave to let them

know you're coming so that's something a

little bit different but again we'll get

into the returning stuff in a later

video so that is pretty much it for

going into the Bahamas and I do

recommend getting this document because

it does have a lot of good information

in it that it kind of helps clear up

some of the questions that you may have

along the way so we have everything that

we can think of or everything and

there's a document done and ready to go

so we're going to be packing the

airplane up later today I'm gonna fly

down and get some gas we are going to be

stopping down on the east coast of

Florida to fill up with gas before we go

out because gas is very expensive out in

the Bahamas so you do need to consider

that and and then I'll videotape as much

as the trip as I can and document you

know any any things that we run into

that that we may wish we had done

different we'll try to document in this