Flying holiday in Southern Florida and to the Bahamas

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Flying holiday in Southern Florida and to the Bahamas

Postby Biggles71 » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:06 am

Next month I'm with my wife (also a pilot...) for a flying holiday in Florida from Dubai, UAE. Planning to rent a G1000 C172 for 8 days, we want to do about 2 to 3 hours of flying a day.

Presently looking for some advice and recommendations of enroute and nightspot airports. We are mostly looking for GA friendly airports with hotel/motel accommodations relatively close by.
For simplification lets split up the trip in two parts:

Part 1: 3 days around southern FL: Leaving from Palm Beach, the initial idea is to go south towards Key West, with a possible nightstop in Marathon (Key West). Next day along the West coast with multiple stops at the nicer airports and a nightstop possible in Venice, FL. Jebb, might even stop by Hidden river... ;) Third day back to the FL East coast and the Palm Beach area.
Especially looking for airports with a lot of warbird, vintage aircraft activity and possible small museums.

Part 2: 5 day trip to the Bahamas. Beside the initial entry for customs, we are not interested in the large islands. Not a casino holiday but more so a small island, small strips one. Any recommendations of need to go to places in the Bahamas from a GA pilot perspective ?

Thanks for your help,
Flying was my first love and it will be my last one!

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Location: stuart, fl / s windsor ct / virgin gorda, bvi

Re: Flying holiday in Southern Florida and to the Bahamas

Postby turbo » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:44 am

bjorn, ill get the ball rolling here. sebring fl, ksef, is a great stop. south central, it has food, hotel, & small warbird museum on the field. busy on the weekends and a place for homebuilts on wednesday 8am for breakfast. email me and ill meet you there. go to the hotel for the buffet lunch, $8 for all you can eat, soup to dessert.

in the bahamas, treasure island has hotels and nice beaches.
summers s. windsor, ct/ winters stuart, fl RV-6/ R-44 / Gyroplane "The government is a body of people notably ungoverned." Image

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Re: Flying holiday in Southern Florida and to the Bahamas

Postby Soccer-Jock » Mon Oct 17, 2011 10:00 pm

You'll want to be certain you check with the FBO, school or whatever entity you're planning on renting that plane from...
My experience so far is that many FBOs will not allow their rented aircraft to be flown to the Bahamas. Each FBO appears to have their own differing reasons.

I'm 0:6 right now and the responses I've gotten include concern over security, theft, vandalism and staggeringly high cost of "captive" repairs. (funny that the latter never even crossed my mind!). Most have admitted that their current insurance did not cover the aircraft outside of the country.

As a Florida resident and long-time aircraft "renter", the Bahamas has always been on my list of destinations via private aircraft; currently unattainable through "renting" from an FBO or similar.

This aside, Florida has some great destinations, you've listed many. Definitely include Lakeland Linder and Fantasy of Flight. Key West is visually stunning... and if you plan your flight just outside of Key West you can view a couple of partially submerged shipwrecks only a few miles west. (Pack your life vests and water-related survival gear... most "rentals" do not include that, though it may be available if you ask. In any event - don't forget it.) There's one or two other items, like a good hunting knife, you'll want to also include if you spend any amount of time over the Everglades or even traveling up that lower west coast of Florida. No one ever wants to think of the worst, but I believe you have to at least consider it... there's a lot of survivable places to land in an emergency, but concrete and dry land are not among them there. The wildlife, both water and land based, will be there to greet you long before any humans do.

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