By Gord Mahaffy
We had more than 40 people present to hear Jeff and Lesley Page describe their trip from Oshawa to the Bahamas in their Cessna172.
The attendance was both surprising and pleasing since the average number of people at our monthly meeting is about 25.
Perhaps the topic itself struck a nerve with the people. A tropical country with warm sunshine and long beaches is truly seductive in the middle of winter.
But the other appealing aspect to this trip was the fact that Jeff and Lesley made it in a C-172 under VFR conditions. Jeff stressed that the key was in the pre-flight planning. Dealing with routing, fuel stops, overnight accommodations and filing flight plans is fairly straight forward, flexible and fun. It adds to the anticipation of the trip.
And as expected the new requirement by the department of homeland security to file a flight manifest is the biggest irritant. But as Jeff demonstrated this too is manageable. In fact, great effort is being made by the Americans to streamline the procedure.
While the manifest itself can be entered on-line ( http://eapis.cbp.dhs.gov ) up to a year in advance, a pre-takeoff phone call must be made to the point of entry to confirm permission to enter the country. And “no”, no-one has yet been fined $5000 for non-compliance.
In summation Jeff and Lesley pointed out that many members of COPA National make this trip regularly. After this presentation, hopefully more COPA members will feel comfortable doing the same thing. It is highly recommended that this presentation be downloaded from the following links since they include many more links which will help in the planning of such a trip.