Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

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waynemcc999
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Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by waynemcc999 »



We're now heading out over the water, refueling in the Bahamas, and on to Turks & Caicos. Decent weather, an interesting instrument approach to a busy airport, and 2 nights on very quiet enjoyable island.

Share your "holding" stories... ours was in a holding stack with two airliners.

We had a super easy time clearing at Exuma, Bahamas... but a pricey and slow time clearing at Provo, Turks & Caicos... what experiences have you had? Do you use a handler or role your own? On this trip thru six countries, we tried each way?

Controllers... what are your thoughts about working approach and tower, on a busy weekend, with no radar?

Thoughts, questions, and suggestions? I'd love to hear from you.
Thanks for your insight and enjoy the video!
Wayne, the GeezerGeek Pilot
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by CFIDave »

Really enjoying your videos!

As you discovered, there is no radar coverage in Turks & Caicos. We flew IFR direct from Ft. Pierce, FL to Grand Turks Island in our DA42 and -- while over Caicos Island -- got vectored down to FL030 (i.e., 3000 feet) right through a very heavy rainstorm just past Providenciales before landing Grand Turk airport (MBGT).

We were part of a group of 4 aircraft and didn't need to use any handlers on our trip, and thus didn't pay any fees in Turks & Caicos other than government-mandated landing and Customs (we did have to climb the control tower at MBGT to pay cash to the tower controller).

For our return trip, we re-fueled at the very modern MBPV Providenciales FBO on our way back to FL. While on the ramp we noticed a private jet with the tail number M-SEXY (M is the country code for Britain's Isle of Man, often used as a tax haven). After takeoff we were handed off from the Providenciales tower to Miami Center for our 3-hour IFR flight back to Florida. Shortly thereafter we heard on the radio “Miami, I’m sexy, climbing to flight level xxx.” Sure enough, it was the jet we had just seen on the ramp. Imagine saying that tail number every time you talk to ATC.
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waynemcc999
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by waynemcc999 »

Dave, the M-SEXY thing is too funny!!
In an only slightly more modest vein, I posted this to Facebook when we were in Provo:
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by dgger »

waynemcc999 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:01 am
We had a super easy time clearing at Exuma, Bahamas... but a pricey and slow time clearing at Provo, Turks & Caicos... what experiences have you had?
I vividly remember the fantastic colors coming in. Turquoise waters, intense sunlight, chalky white patches of land. Everything was just so beautiful.

Another memory is indeed the local love for procedures. Seeing how Turks & Caicos authorities were asking for 16 (!!!) copies of the Gendec (in & out) was a first hint checks would be thorough. I was arriving with my kids while my wife airlined in and Turks & Caicos was the first country to asked me to provide proof of my wife consenting to them traveling with me. Ever.

But like you shouldn‘t judge a book by its covers it is probably unfair to judge a country by its immigration. That said staying there was a marvelous experience and I would go again anytime!
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by waynemcc999 »

Peter, you are totally correct... the colors in the Bahamas and T&C are indeed beautiful!

Regarding Turks & Caicos, we found the locals very friendly (especially on South Caicos) and had no real issue with customs/immigration... our problem pretty much centers on Provo, and apparently MBPV ATC (and maybe the FBO) who required that we return to Provo from South Caicos before we could continue southbound to BVI.
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by dgger »

I agree. Being on Turks & Caicos was a wonderful experience. People were great!

As for the international South Caicos departure I don‘t think they have immigration/customs there, right? Not that it is going to help much, but requiring an international departure from an official airport of entry is a policy that I have seen in almost all countries I have been to. Unfortunately, that can be a hassle when flying in Europe, too. Makes for quite odd routing and lots of overhead sometimes...
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waynemcc999
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by waynemcc999 »

Peter, yes at MBSC they do have customs/immigration and are listed as an AOE... actually the small staff is shared with the harbor at Cockburn. The customs/immigration officer cleared us to depart MBSC for TUPJ... it was Provo ATC that nixed that nice idea. Now I'm wondering if we could have departed MBSC VFR and picked up our clearance to TUPJ in the air with Miami Center. Hmmm.
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Re: Flying the Caribbean (Part 4) - to South Caicos -- Ever been in a Holding stack with 2 airliners?

Post by dgger »

Interesting. That makes it very odd, indeed.
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