Finished the Bahamas Challenge in My DA40

Your tripreports, airport experiences, etc. are welcome here.

Moderators: Rick, Lance Murray

Post Reply
User avatar
gandalfim
1 Diamond Member
1 Diamond Member
FIRST NAME: Dan
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N129DK
Airport: N14

Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:26 am
Been thanked: 3 times

Finished the Bahamas Challenge in My DA40

Post by gandalfim » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:50 am

Hi All,
Back in November I completed the 2013 Bahamas Pilot Challenge in my DA40.

Trip details: 3000 km, 21 airports (US and Bahamas), 9 islands, 8 days. (We made it all the way down to Inagua and could see Cuba while on approach.)

For those who would worry about flying single engine over the ocean, for the most part, we were always within sight of an island or boat. Besides, we had a raft, so I was never worried. (I was more worried by the bad weather in FLA on the way down from NJ.)

It was a great experience and I highly recommend it to everyone.

I uploaded my flight reports, they start at 5250.

Take Care,
Dan Ferry
User avatar
eHotAir
3 Diamonds Member
3 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Doug
Aircraft: DA40D
Registration: N333WF
Airport: KBWG

Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:56 am
Has thanked: 52 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Re: Finished the Bahamas Challenge in My DA40

Post by eHotAir » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:13 am

Congrats Dan. That is a dream that I will have to accomplish. Where can we find your flight plan?
Doug Robertson
User avatar
Gnomad
4 Diamonds Member
4 Diamonds Member
FIRST NAME: Eric
Aircraft: DA42-VI
Registration: N61EP
Airport: KEQY

Posts: 450
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:30 pm
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 44 times

Re: Finished the Bahamas Challenge in My DA40

Post by Gnomad » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:00 pm

Very cool Dan! This is near the top of my list, considered it in the last months of owning my 40, but decided to wait until my 42 was ready. Did manage to hit Key West on my last flight as a primer. ;)

I'm curious as to your thoughts on your favorite spots, which ones to avoid etc...Been reading a lot of opinions on the Red/Blue board. Going to have my wife along for the trip this Spring, so need to make sure I do it right! :D
Eric


DA42.N121
DA40.1136 (Sold!)
Charlotte, NC (KEQY)

My Diamond Flight Videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/eparker99a
User avatar
gandalfim
1 Diamond Member
1 Diamond Member
FIRST NAME: Dan
Aircraft: DA40
Registration: N129DK
Airport: N14

Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:26 am
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Finished the Bahamas Challenge in My DA40

Post by gandalfim » Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:22 am

Doug,
I uploaded my flight records to the REPORTS section above. They begin at #5250. I don't know if there is a way for you to sort/isolate my uploads, but my UID is gandalfim if that helps.

Eric,
I'll have to think about where my favorite/avoid places are. Off the top of my head, I'd say Long Island is my favorite (I'm going back at the end of Feb. for two weeks.) but I can't think of any "avoids". All the islands are pretty awesome and have their own +/-. I'll think about it and try to come up with some thoughts...

One thing I learned is that you need to pay CLOSE attention to the NOTAMS for airports down there and make phone calls if there is anything you're not sure about. Example: After leaving Inagua we planned to land at Mayaguana. (report #5266) We had the NOTAMs for Mayaguana, and knew there was construction on the runway, but we interpreted the NOTAM as saying that the runway was open and that most of it was usable. (This isn't unusual, we had the same thing at KBQK... landed over constrution equipment on the runway.) Anyway... as you can see in the report, we were on short final, past the "numbers", at 45 feet when I saw rebar sticking up, running the length of the runway!! I wasn't flying, so I called (perhaps screamed) "PULL UP...GO AROUND!", as soon as I saw the rebar. They would have destroyed us if we had hit them. (There were no X's at the end of the runway.) ...We continued on to San Salvador.
When we landed we double-checked the NOTAM and saw there was contradictory info. (It did say the runway was "closed to all but helicopters".) I guess we chose to see the part that said the runway was usable and "got us there"....?

As I said in my initial post, it was an awesome experience. Highly recommend it!

(Tip: When booking hotels, tell them you are a pilot and many will give discounts. Also, I wouldn't pre-book hotels. Instead, I recommend you have a list of places you'd like to stay and call after you land. I lost $250 because I pre-booked a place on Eleuthra, and due to a miscalculation on where it was relative to the airport, decided to not stay there, and they would not refund my money due to 21 day refund policy... even though I had only booked it 3 days before. ...There are always rooms available down there.)
Post Reply