Here are some answers to a few questions that I have received:
The hangar party will be at John Kinsey’s hangar at the Boca Raton airport (BCT). A map is included in the binder which will show the location of the hangar parking area.
When you arrive at the airport, we will have asked that the tower direct you to parking close to the hangar on the south or southeast end of the ramp. We have also asked that Boca Aviation keep one isle set aside for our use, but there are no guarantees. The party begins at 7:00.
For those of you staying at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Wednesday night, it will be walking distance from the aircraft parking area. If you need transportation, the FBO, Boca Aviation, will be happy to provide you a lift to the hotel.
Boca Aviation will waive any ramp fees and discount the price of gas. (They haven’t said how much yet, but they have promised me an answer on Friday.) If you have any problems, look for me or ask for Linda Hernandez, the Customer Service Manager.
Even with the fuel discount, the Boca fuel will probably not be cheap. While it is always nice to by gas at the facilities providing you services, especially when they waive some fees, Pahokee (PHK) 10-15 minutes west on the SE shore of Lake Okeechobee, used to have good gas prices.
Rafts, if you have ordered them through us, will be waiting for you at the hangar party. You will have to return it yourself to the Banyan FBO at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) after you clear customs there.
When we depart from Boca in the morning, we will take off one at a time and fly in a very stretched out line. It is unlikely that you will be within sight of other planes unless you make prior arrangements with another pilot to do so. Practically speaking, ATC will keep the IFR traffic very spread out and at different altitudes. Expect a few minute gap between IFR aircraft on take-off. The VFR traffic will fly a slightly different (more direct) route.
When we arrive into Marsh Harbour, there is no tower. While planes may begin to bunch up as we enter the traffic pattern, we have never had any sort of congestion or confusion (that is as long as you are not following Mike Murdock[;)] ) . Typically when we arrive there will be no more than 2 or 3 panes within 10 miles of the airport.
If the WX is very clear and any IFR planes are interested in flying as a flight of 2 or 3, (not a close formation, but within sight) I would be willing to discuss it at the hangar party.
Once you land, there is parking on the ramp North Side just past the middle if you’re landing on RW 9. Park you plane and secure it as best you can. There are no tie down facilities, but you will probably want to set your brakes, use chocks, lock the plane, and deploy your covers. Unless things have changed, they will not move your plane. There will be Bahamian “porters” with carts anxious to help you with your bags, for a small tip of course! If the first couple of planes give good tips, we will all get good service from them.
If you want gas, you can call for “Zig-Zag” the cheapest gas in the Bahamas, either before or after you land. The gas truck will probably be pretty busy, so cut the guy a break. If the gas truck is not immediately available, I suggest that you clear customs with all you baggage and then go back to the plane to pay for the gas. The Bahamian agents rarely inspect the planes.
Once you clear customs, take taxis to the hotel. I think the fares are about $4 per person, unless you are Bahamian then it is $1! I would ask about the rates before you get in the cab, but haggling is not likely to be successful.
I will be available at the hangar party and in the hotel breakfast area to answer any questions and provide help with the forms.
Oh, one more thing: It’s Better in the Bahamas!