Going South!!!!!!

delaatmx

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Some input please!!!!!
I have a friend that is determent to fly him self and one of his buddies to Argentina in a Cessna 208 (N registration),but here is my concern,he has less than 350 hrs total time.
He want's to do it and got plenty of $ and has the insurance co.
to approve it.
Does any boddy some info and do and don'ts.
Thanks.
 

aero99

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Sounds like the beginning of a new NTSB file. No offence to your friend, but justifying by saying you have enough money and have the insurance coverage doesn't mean it is safe.

My first and only question would be can he handle the flight. I don't know your friends flying ability, but based on 350tt I would say there would be no way I would get on that plane.

I assume he is IFR rated. Here are some questions that might help answer the question completely, but I don't know that it would change my mind.

What type of plane is he flying?
How many hours does he have in that type?
Has he flown out of the county before?
(I haven't flown to Argentina, but).. do you have to cross much water?
Why does he want to do this? To prove something? Because he can? Vacation? Work?
 

troy

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Dont drink the water when crossing Mexico!.....Ok, I'm just joking. I don't know anything about it, but couldn't resist.
 

shaft

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Deltaatmx: If you post that question on Avcanada's message board http://www.avcanada.ca/ , I personally know that the webmaster there flew a Piper Cheyenne from Fargo, North Dakota to Buenos Aires, Argentina. He goes by the alias "weather" or "avcanada". I do remember him telling me that if you are not wearing a pilot shirt with epaulettes, they will not take you seriously down there. He also mentioned that there is some pretty unforgiving jungle to cross over. I also have a friend that flew a Piper Arrow from Canada to Belize City, Belize. He was a 300 hour wonder at the time and he made it there and back ok. He stopped a few times in Mexico and maybe once in Guatamala for fuel. Granted, Belize is not nearly as far as Argentina but he had a great time doing it. Your friend will have plenty of fun and will learn a whole lot. Good for him.
 

avbug

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Hull insurance, or life insurance approved it?

Have him sidestep the north end of the continent, it's a little hot right now. He might not make the news the way missionaries do when they get shot down, but it won't matter much.

Certainly it's not rocket science to travel down there, but navaids and communications are far more sparse, regulations and rules are quite different and tend to be flexible, fuel can be of questionable quality (and occasionally quantity), and never forget that outside of the US borders, we ARE the ugly american.

Weather information is far less available, as are alternates. Instrument approaches are fewer and farther between, and the standards for developing them are less consistant and they are not flight checked as they are in the US. As far as quantity, my US set of jeps is eight volumes, while my south american set is one volume.

The Caravan is proably about as good an airplane as any for that part of the world. It lends itself to repair nicely too, such as patching small .30 caliber holes...avoid peru and columbia without a lot of advance notice. Take lots of small bills. Don't wear bermuda shorts and carry a big camera. Have fun.
 

Little Deuce

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No Way

Look at my profile. There is no way I would even consider it!
 

bigD

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I'm not sure that it'd necessarily be unsafe if there was no hurry to complete the trip, and the flight was well planned. I mean, it's not as if every strip in Argentina is a 1000x20 dirt road on the side of a hill.

Properly planned using information from pilots experienced in flying in that region, *I'd* consider making a trip given the time and money, and I only have another 100 hours than he does.

I think the key is not being in any rush, and thus not feel any pressure to fly when the conditions are marginal. But that's not any different than any other long cross country - international or not.
 

bigD

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Why not little duece? Are there reasons beyond what avbug already stated? Which are definitely good reasons to consider, but I'm curious why it's such an obvious 'no'?
 

Little Deuce

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No Way

Because I'm too chicken, young and good looking to chance it!
 

bigD

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lol! Well, I'm young, but any kind of accident is only likely to make me BETTER looking, not worse!
 

aero99

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Everyone has their own limitations and comfort zone. I just hope this guy is not being pressured to prove something before he is ready.
 

flyboy

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I don't think his total time or flying ability has anything to do with it. I think it has everything to do with, "why in the h*** would you want to risk your life to go to a place like that just so you can brag to your buddies when (if) you get home?" If he's interested in taking a long flight, send him to canada or the carribean. Drug running guerillas would love to get their hands on an airplane like that. I'm sure that they'd have no problem taking it from you either. It's just not worth the risk.
 

GoingHot

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bigD

I understood Little Duece completely. What he is saying is that he wouldn't try it because he forgot how to fly a small airplane 30 years ago and haven't flown without a glass cockpit, FMS and First Officer in 20 years. And dead reckon navigation???? What the hell is that?? I can see him preflighting now. He bumps his head into the propeller and asks.........What is this thing for???:)
 

Little Deuce

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Going South

I will acept that post as it was intended. All in fun!

You kids will see when you get some "seasoning"!
 

bigD

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Heh heh - I'm sure we will, little duece. I didn't think about the political climate when I first posted. I'll think I'll stick to flying the Duchess around Texas, thank you very much. :D
 

414Flyer

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Shaft, you with Weather Mod?
 

TurboS7

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I would jump on that in a heartbeat, not any big deal. If he has money have Universal, Jeppesen or whoever do all your flight planning. They will figure all the fuel stops for you, set up payment for all your nav fees and landing fees. Best route would be the island chain to POS. Next fly to Belen, Brazil then follow the river south to Brazilia. Go from Brazilia to Sao Paulo from there follow the coast to BA. My brother lives there and I would jump on that one in a hurry. Make sure all you insurance is in order and have plenty of copies with you. You will also need lot's of Gen Decs and as avbug said lots of cash especially small bills. Your handler will set up all your fuel and everything, they will charge but if money is no issue, go for it. Enjoy the trip, very few people get to travel when "money is no issue." As for the experience if you have time you can land and wait. With GPS and everything flying like this is a piece of cake. We used to do it with a compass, clock, and our wits. Stop at Banyan Air Service on the way down (FXE) and they will help you get all the forms you need.
 

newmei

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You guys have the wrong idea about airstrips, drug runners and in general anything about central america. I lived and flew in Central America, actually Panama. I am american and was their in connection with US forces. My dad and I frequently went into 1200 ft strips, flew over jungle, dodged thunderstorms etc. You can't go down there like the know it all american attitude because THAT will get you killed, when your down there your not in Oklahoma anymore Toto. I've landed at airstrips way out in the countryside and had guys walking towards me with guns in their pockets. (coast guards!) But you just relax and don't get a attitude. I have 1200 hours and would get in a C-172 or any airplane that I'm qualifed in except for like a J-3 or PA-12 and go down in a heartbeat. I'd take lots of time though the weather is hit and miss, most of the flying during our summer times would have to be done in the morning due to thunderstorms. And San Jose frequently has 50 kt winds, so you may have to delay accordingly.

However that is not the issue, it is a low time pilot taking a aircraft meant for a high time pilot on a LONG international flight for which he has no experience. Would I get into a high performance a/c without valid experience and do it. NOPE
its just that simple
 

TurboS7

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I grew up as a kid in the center of Colombia, I have done all of the above. If he flies the route I suggested the only thing he will have to worry about will be the Brazilian customs and imigrations. I have looked down the barrel of an AK-47 and M-16 more times than I like to admit, but it is no big deal, just be cool. On the route I suggested all the airports are 8000 to 10000 feet long, with fuel trucks and everything. For a pilot with 350 hours that would be a great adventure.
 
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