201er

201er's Caribbean Adventure #2

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6 hours ago, Marauder said: LOL! I've met her twice and I don't think she spoke either time.

We need to get her her very own persona here, then she can start posting.  Suggestions?

Clarence

 

I'm probably going to go to hell for this.

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Mike, you have on these videos a lovely record of you and your wife when you were young. Safeguard them as a treasure for your grandchildren and maybe great grandchildren to watch. I have my young experiences recorded on 8mm movie films but have no movie projector to show them. So keep your videos on a USB memory stick and a laptop so you can play them in 50 years from now even if the technology is no longer compatible.

José

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Jose, take your 8mm films to the Walmart photo department and request that they be transferred to DVD. They don't charge a lot but if you have thousands of feet it may cost you some, but hey, the memories are worth it.

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1 hour ago, Piloto said:

Mike, you have on these videos a lovely record of you and your wife when you were young. Safeguard them as a treasure for your grandchildren and maybe great grandchildren to watch. I have my young experiences recorded on 8mm movie films but have no movie projector to show them. So keep your videos on a USB memory stick and a laptop so you can play them in 50 years from now even if the technology is no longer compatible.

José

8 mm film?  Holy crap you're old. :P

Tom

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4 hours ago, flyboy0681 said:

Jose, take your 8mm films to the Walmart photo department and request that they be transferred to DVD. They don't charge a lot but if you have thousands of feet it may cost you some, but hey, the memories are worth it.

Thanks for the tip. I have a bunch of the 3 minutes rolls, but they need to be put in proper order. I no longer have the splicing device. These are from the days you tell the actors "wave your hands is not a picture but a movie". One roll side was 1 1/2 minutes. The roll needed to be flipped (in a dark environment) to complete the 3 minutes filming. The actual film was 16 mm but cut in half to 8 mm. The camera winding was good for 20 seconds. Movies were silent but in color. Amazing today the technology for home movie making. I would have never though of filming with a telephone, much less with a rotary one. But then after rotary telephone sets came with handset coiled cords anything was possible.

José

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Airplane watching at Maho Beach in St Maarten. There's a 737, an A320, 747, oh and Mooney M20J 201er!

 

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So somebody was out shooting video that day, caught your landing and just happened to upload it somewhere where you downloaded it from?

 

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Just now, flyboy0681 said:

So somebody was out shooting video that day, caught your landing and just happened to upload it somewhere where you downloaded it from?

 

I bet he sent the selfi-drone ahead to share the full experience.  Mike has so many cameras going, when the linemen asks if he needs fuel or anything else, he says "No thanks I am good on fuel, but please charge all my Gopro batteries, and don't forget the tip battery racks!

 

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13 minutes ago, flyboy0681 said:

So somebody was out shooting video that day, caught your landing and just happened to upload it somewhere where you downloaded it from?

Yeah, my wife :D

The day after we arrived (and the day before we fell ill), she talked me into taking a flight while she stays on the ground to video. I had actually exercised this idea in my mind but thought it would be a logistical nightmare, expensive, time consuming, and too much to ask. But she offered and said I should at least find out what it would entail. She sacrificed some of her beach time and stayed on the ground so we could do it.

Mind you, at this airport you can't just walk up to your plane, fire up, and go around the pattern. They have to drive you up to the plane, you must have a flight plan, you must clear customs and security just to access the ramp! The FBO was already charging us an insane handling fee but the lucky news was that they would only tag on one more landing fee and not the whole handling over again if I were to do a short flight. The landing fee was only something like $10 or $20. I dropped my wife off on the beach and went around to the airport.

I figured it might be too much to ask the busy tower for a "closed traffic" so I opted for the "island tour" option instead. Even that took a lot of head scratching to get through that I just wanted to fly a circle of the island and come back to land. After clearing the flight plan, clearing me for engine start, getting stuck between some jets waiting for IFR, I finally got off. It was just 15 minutes around the island.

I was coming in to land on a half mile final when the nitwit in the tower cleared someone to take off. He said no delay but the plane still took his sweet time. I slowed down and S turned but it was just way too close so I proceeded to go around and negotiate with the tower after. He never called the go around nor gave a second thought to the fact that this just wasn't going to work. Since the plane was still on the runway, I broke off to the right and parallel to the runway. The tower cleared me to circle back around so I did an abbreviated pattern and gave it another try. So in a way, I got to do the approach to St Martin 3 times!

I set up on the final as low as I could and I gunned the throttle coming across the beach to make a little extra noise. My wife videoed it from the beach and made a memory that will last a lifetime!

I'll post the "island tour" and go around video later.

The whole adventure took about an hour. It wasn't completely clear what the FBO would end up charging me but it was such an amazing experience that even if it were the whole handling fees a second time, I decided it would be money better spent for me than anything else I could spend it on during the trip!

I was kind of waiting for someone to wonder how I got footage from the beach!

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Edited by 201er
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Great story, I'm actually glad I asked.

I imagine she would have been in the doghouse had she missed your arrival.

 

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One question I've been meaning to ask, on all your long over water flights, it doesn't seem like you or your wife are wearing life vests. While I recognize it's not technically required, isn't that a good safety step? Or were you wearing them and I just didn't notice. I was too carried away watching you eat pretzels perhaps.

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Just now, Jeff_S said:

One question I've been meaning to ask, on all your long over water flights, it doesn't seem like you or your wife are wearing life vests. While I recognize it's not technically required, isn't that a good safety step? Or were you wearing them and I just didn't notice. I was too carried away watching you eat pretzels perhaps.

No, they're laying on top of everything within easy reach on the back seat. Before the trip, we briefed the emergency process where in the event of engine trouble, she would get the life jackets out, put them on her and me. Put them on UNDER the shoulder belt. Don't inflate. Get the PLB ready. Hold the inflatable raft in her lap. After touchdown get the raft outside, inflate, and ditch.

The lowest cruising altitude we did over open water was 5000ft so you're still talking at least 6 minutes. We already agreed that at the slightest hint of trouble we'll already start preparing. She would focus on evacuation so I could focus on flying and dealing with the emergency.

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36 minutes ago, 201er said:

No, they're laying on top of everything within easy reach on the back seat. Before the trip, we briefed the emergency process where in the event of engine trouble, she would get the life jackets out, put them on her and me. Put them on UNDER the shoulder belt. Don't inflate. Get the PLB ready. Hold the inflatable raft in her lap. After touchdown get the raft outside, inflate, and ditch.

The lowest cruising altitude we did over open water was 5000ft so you're still talking at least 6 minutes. We already agreed that at the slightest hint of trouble we'll already start preparing. She would focus on evacuation so I could focus on flying and dealing with the emergency.

Sounds reasonable but in a genuine emergency would the plan work that well?

When flying to the Bahamas my wife and I always wear our vests, as uncomfortable and cumbersome as they are.

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Just now, flyboy0681 said:

Sounds reasonable but in a genuine emergency would the plan work that well?

When flying to the Bahamas my wife and I always wear our vests, as uncomfortable and cumbersome as they are.

It makes sense to wear life jackets when you're white water rafting or jet skiing, not when you're just normal boating. I'm more concerned with putting enough fuel in and not stalling the plane low to the ground.

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1 hour ago, 201er said:

No, they're laying on top of everything within easy reach on the back seat. Before the trip, we briefed the emergency process where in the event of engine trouble, she would get the life jackets out, put them on her and me. Put them on UNDER the shoulder belt. Don't inflate. Get the PLB ready. Hold the inflatable raft in her lap. After touchdown get the raft outside, inflate, and ditch.

The lowest cruising altitude we did over open water was 5000ft so you're still talking at least 6 minutes. We already agreed that at the slightest hint of trouble we'll already start preparing. She would focus on evacuation so I could focus on flying and dealing with the emergency.

Mike- this seems like good forethought and division of labor. I need to get on my game a bit before starting flying over water of any kind- e.g. Lake Michigan this summer for Oshkosh.

Just curious- what raft do you carry?  Do you feel it's necessary in warm caribbean waters?  Do you keep a separate portable ELT clipped to one of the life jackets?

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1 minute ago, DXB said:

Mike- this seems like good forethought and division of labor. I need to get on my game a bit before starting flying over water of any kind- e.g. Lake Michigan this summer for Oshkosh.

Just curious- what raft do you carry?  Do you feel it's necessary in warm caribbean waters?  Do you keep a separate portable ELT clipped to one of the life jackets?

I initially got the raft for my Caribbean Circumnavigation trip. The longest leg we had was an 8 hour flight, 4 hours between any land. When you're in the middle of nowhere, doesn't matter how warm the water is. We also have some plans for northern flights. Been across the Great Lakes a bunch of times.

Not only for water though, I keep the raft in the plane most of the time. When we were flying over northern Canada, it provided an option for lake ditching or to provide shelter and emergency supplies in the even of an off-field landing in remote wilderness. The raft has a survival kit, canopy, and could be flipped over to be used for shelter on land.

I have this one http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pspages/revere_compact_4person_std_kit.php?clickkey=7363

It looks like they have a new offering not available before that seems to be a really good deal: http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pspages/eam-sk-747-4.php?clickkey=7363

Flying over water I keep it in easy reach on the back seat. Flying over land, I keep it in the baggage area as a survival kit/ballast. Makes it a little easier to get the nose up for a nice landing. I only take it out when I'm doing nothing but local flying for a while or extremely tight on weight.

I always have a ResQLink PLB in the seat pocket and for those trips a SPOT. So in the event of an emergency, I'd sound the onboard ELT once I'm committed to an emergency landing and try to get a relay on 121.5. Then take the PLB when ditching cause the plane will probably sink and the onboard ELT useless. But I would do my best to sound it before ditching so they could get a satellite fix on the position. Yeah, it's a 406ELT.

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One item I always carry on over water flights is a hand held marine VHF radio. You can get the attention of boaters in the area effectively, specially on a raft. The pilot of a cruise ship will not notice a raft 5nm away but will clearly hear your distress call on channel 16. The VHF helps you on choosing the best rescue option.

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                                                                                                      "Here Mike a cold beer for you"

Edited by Piloto

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Cool video, Mike! Ground and air shots coming low over the beach. Like you say, memories to treasure!

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On April 4, 2016 at 4:17 PM, flyboy0681 said:

Sounds reasonable but in a genuine emergency would the plan work that well?

When flying to the Bahamas my wife and I always wear our vests, as uncomfortable and cumbersome as they are.

We are also based in South Florida and frequently fly over water. We've been to several safety/survival seminars given by the Coast Guard Air Station at KOPF (at Opa-Locka, Miami). They emphasize that in a water ditching (landing?), the only things you're sure to have are what you're wearing, what's in your closed pockets and what's attached to you or your life vest. Our life vests are boating ones which inflate manually and are pretty unobtrusive when worn. We always wear them when flying over water, and each of us has a PLB/EPIRB and whistle attached to the life vest. We also have a small raft and we take our ditch bag from the boat (flares, diving flashlight, signaling device, dye marker, marine and aviation handheld radios, leatherman tool). Hopefully we'll have the time and presence of mind to take everything with us (including some bottles of water), but we recognize that circumstances may prevent that. 

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This is the video of the St Martin island tour I flew which culminated in the landing over Maho Beach that you've seen in the previous video from outside.

 

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Watching a heavy Air France Airbus A340 take off from runway 10 from Juliana Airport in St Martin.

 

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