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Lima to Miami by Cessna 182

May 29, 2011

Had a good trip flying a Cessna 182 from Lima to Miami last week. It took a bit of work to get all of the overflight and landing permits organized ahead of time, but I use a good handling agent to sort out all of that paperwork when I’m flying outside of the US or Europe.

There’s not a lot of general aviation in Latin America and your airport stops are usually a bit more involved than in Europe or the US. Because we were on an international ferry flight we had to stop at airports of entry only, so we routed from Lima to Trujillo, then on to Guayaquil, Cali, Cartagena, Montego Bay and finally Kendall-Tamiami.

I’m a bad picture-taker, but here are some pictures from the flight: (click on the pictures for full size)

Flying along Peru desert coast

Flying along Peru's desert coast

Flying Northbound from Lima towards Ecuador we got a good view of Peru’s desert coast. Our first fuel stop was Trujillo (SPRU), one of the few airports in Peru where avgas is available. Trujillo is one of my favorite places in Peru, the airport is right by the beautiful seaside town of Huanchaco.

On the ramp at Trujillo airport, Peru

On the ramp at Trujillo airport, Peru

After Trujillo we headed north to Guayaquil, Ecuador. The city looked great coming in at night. Guayaquil has a fair amount of general aviation, but it still took us over 2 hours to get the airplane fueled, clear customs and immigration, pay the airport fees and get out to the hotel.

Night landing at Guayaquil Ecuador

Night landing at Guayaquil, Ecuador

Having departed Lima around 2:00 in the afternoon, we overnighted in Guayaquil. The next day we flew to Colombia with stops in Cali and Cartagena. Cali is located in a bit of a valley, where American Airlines flight 965 crashed into the top of a mountain in 1995, still a sad thought all those years later.

For our route approaching Cali from the south, the MEA (minimum altitude) was 14,000 feet for the last 80 miles or so of the route and we needed 1 turn in the holding pattern to loose altitude for the approach.

Landing at Cali, Colombia

Landing at Cali, Colombia

We spent about 2 hours on the ground in Cali and headed for Cartagena, a beautiful and historic city on the Gulf Coast of Colombia. Cartagena was our second overnight stop.

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

From Colombia we headed out over the water to Jamaica. In the Cessna 182 we nearly had enough range to reach Miami, but we had planned a stop at Montego Bay, Jamaica, about the midway point between Cartagena and Miami.

Garmin 1000 MFD showing route from Cartagena to Montego Bay

Garmin 1000 MFD showing route from Cartagena to Montego Bay.

Montego Bay is a beautiful resort and also the first airport along our route that has a bona fide fixed base operation (FBO), meaning a terminal with services for private and business aircraft. Our stop in Montego Bay was the quickest stop of the trip.

Approach to Montego Bay, Jamaica (MKJS)

Approach to Montego Bay, Jamaica (MKJS)

After Montego Bay we got this beautiful shot of the water near Cuba:

Beautiful Gulf waters near Cuba

Beautiful Gulf waters near Cuba.

From Cuba the descent to Miami was uneventful. We landed at Kendall-Tamiami to clear customs and get a well-deserved rest!

On right base to runway 9L at Kendall-Tamiami airport (KTMB)

On right base to runway 9L at Kendall-Tamiami airport (KTMB)

The airplane treated us very well and we are planning to fly back to Lima towards the end of June, which should be another great trip. All in all the flight was very uneventful, we had an excellent airplane and great weather. Most of the work was planning, obtaining the overflight permits, landing permits, filling out apis manifests for the Caricom and US. At each ground stop (except Montego Bay) there was a bit of running around, but we had no real issues anywhere.

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