201er

201er's Caribbean Adventure #2

Recommended Posts

9 hours ago, flyboy0681 said: Doesn't this guy work?

I don't think so, it looks like he robbed the cradle, or I'm getting old.

Clarence

Heck, he just climbed out of the cradle himself!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Members that donate $10 or more do not see advertisements*

Yes, airport is on Beef island but we visited Roadtown on Tortola.

dnmxEcZwZso.jpg

We had lunch in Roadtown, walked about, visited the Botanical Gardens.

Edited by 201er
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The flight from St Thomas to Beef Island was very short, yet it was a little challenging. Cruising IFR at 3000ft put me into a scattered to broken layer over Tortola. Before entering the clouds, I could not see the airport so I could not accept a visual approach. So they assigned me the NDB approach! I don't have ADF but I began flying the overlay on the 430W.

During a break between the clouds, I spotted the field, requested a visual, and dropped down before hitting clouds again!

The visit to Tortola was short but fulfilling. It is very similar to the US Virgin Islands but with a little bit of British flavor to it.

Briefing the international flight to St Martin

qoSa8kQkYWI.jpg

Beef island is only 4500ft runway with nothing more than an NDB approach! No jet airline traffic. Mostly light twins.

_O2a3RUEA_8.jpg

The departure procedure was runway heading to 1000ft and then a turn southbound. It wasn't until reaching 3000ft that I was cleared on course eastbound. At 5000ft I got to rest for 15 minutes of cruise before I had to begin dealing with arrival procedures.

Juliana "approach" was swamped. The guy in the tower was acting as ground, tower, clearance delivery, approach, and departure all in one for a fairly busy international airport! It took 10 minutes of calling before I received any acknowledgment. I was issued direct to a fix that was not on the approach plate or enroute chart so I had trouble with understanding the poor pigeon English. When I called in "unable", I received a fairly prompt response with clarification!

The San Juan controller that handed me off gave me "radar service terminated." The Juliana controller never stated radar contact so I was really confused if I needed to make position reports or not. But with the frequency congestion, I probably couldn't even if I tried.

Upon reaching the fix, I was cleared for the VOR Z approach. It includes a DME arc and some other complexities so I opted for the RNAV approach instead! I decided the VOR approach was an interesting challenge but not for an actual flight like this in busy airspace, over water, with an overworked yet barely competent controller. So I kept it simple and let the GPS guide me.

I was below clouds in no time but appreciated the approach for guidance. I came down across the world famous Maho Beach where airplanes land low over beachers! It was like a dream! So many videos I've watched of airplanes coming in to land on St Martin and here I was piloting my own craft low across the beach full of onlookers! It was exciting. I dipped down to the lower end of a completely normal approach to get a closer encounter. I did not go anything below a normal glides lope though because I was still on edge from the whole approach.

PrVEakMBReM.jpg

I am running two gopros on my bird so I hope to share some really cool footage from this landing when I get back.

After clearing the runway, I had to wait quite a while before the busy tower came back with a taxi instruction. I was going to Signature aviation so I was confused when they sent me to the main ramp. Turns out they park planes wherever and then bring you over to the FBO in a car. FBO is putting it generously. More like a trailer at the side of the airport. Unexpected for an office carrying the Signature name.

I've heard that St Martin is considered very difficult. The low landing glide path over the beach isn't really the reason though. I think it is more to do with the lack of a precision approach and the poor airspace management.

I am used to flying in NY Approach airspace which handles hundreds of times more traffic. Our controllers are competent, clear, and efficient. I have flown approaches between jets into busy Charlies and Bravos with far better communication and organization than here.

I would say that that St Martin is a fairly busy airport, however, due to poor organization, it comes off as super busy. A typical Charie during medium load is at least as busy but much less loaded because of good distribution of labor and organized procedures.

So far the island is very nice and a blast though!

Edited by 201er
  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike-

We've all watched a ton of those videos of 747s landing at St. Martin scraping the beach.  I can't wait to see someone put up the video of your Mooney landing over the beach.

Sounds like an amazing trip!

 

-Seth

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who is babysitting the parrot?

Nice pictures Mike. Keep them coming.

Yves

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, 201er said:

Beef island is only 4500ft runway with nothing more than an NDB approach! No jet airline traffic. Mostly light twins.

During peak periods, private jets are parked tip to tip, nose to tail.  The ramp space is limited.  Some jet operators will not use the airport at night.  4500' is okay until it gets wet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bradp said:

Did anyone hang on the fence when you took off?  Hee hee.

I would hope not. Wouldn't want someone fall down from not enough air blowing!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want an update on your Stinky Pants. By my math, you will have close to 18 hours in them. Post pictures of them standing up in a corner.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't mess around!  My wife likes to stop every 3-5 hours...definitely a trip that she would fly commercial and meet me there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife is learning about all the different kinds of airplanes. What better place than Maho Beach in St Martin to go plane spotting!?

 

West Jet - Boeing 737-700 C-FIBW

DoA1BmK2GHM.jpg

 

JetBlue - Airbus A320-232 N598JB

rdlq7Rj5eiA.jpg

 

Continited Boeing 737-724 N15710

4c4HieJSTnM.jpg

 

201ER Mooney M20J N4361H

KIRlLYE0R0A.jpg

 

KLM Boeing 747-406 PH-BFA

dETvw5hAnss.jpg

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Marauder said:

LOL! Mike -- N4361H right there in with the big boys.

I'd have that picture framed and hanging in my office if that was 1151V. It's every pilots dream to land there!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You better hope that the controllers don't read mooney space or there never gonna let you out if there!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking of printing and framing 61H on my wall.  Who will know it isn't my O...

Best regards,

-a-

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, 201er said:

KIRlLYE0R0A.jpg

This is seriously sweet.  I also love the shot showing the shadow on the beach.  Looks like you are having a ball!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great pics and what a terrific adventure..Living vicariously through you looking at these (minus the pants jokes, you can keep the those). I've really enjoyed tagging along via computer and MS. To be able to do this kind of trip twice...wow.  LTD (Living the Dream).. Awesome Mike!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Came down with bad stomach flu. Both of us. Can't fly, can't leave room. Entire hotel Sonesta Maho Beach infected. Shows up 48 hours from getting it, we must have picked it up the moment we walked through the door. Hotel is lying and downplaying the situation by putting out hand sanitizers and a small written notice rather than warning people and giving refunds. 

We were supposed to fly to Anguilla and then to San Juan today. Neither of us is in condition to walk to the lobby let alone fly. We're stuck here until there is some improvement. I feel bad for the poor unsuspecting schmuck flying out by airline next to patrons of this hotel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What rotten luck, Mike. Hope you and the wife recovery completely and quickly. Also hope you have ready access to quality medical care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had that happen to me once coming back home from Central America in Mexico - but it was food poisoning after a lobster dinner. Luckily just me and not my wife. She enjoyed a couple extra days of the beach in Mazatlan while I remained in the room chained to the toilet. Then it was home in one more long day. Get well!

I see you are a wiz with Photoshop! Unless your bride took that photo of you landing again.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, 201er said:

Came down with bad stomach flu. Both of us. Can't fly, can't leave room. Entire hotel Sonesta Maho Beach infected.

Hope you feel better.......

Welcome to international flying.........never leave home without Imodium AD.....and cipro

Edited by Jim Peace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Jim Peace said:

Hope you feel better.......

Welcome to international flying.........never leave home without Imodium AD.....and cipro

Yeah but this is waaay beyond that. This is Norovirus that isn't treatable by anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now