Just picture it. Relaxing in the warm glow of the sun, a gentle breeze blows across your face. And with your toes dug down into powdery smooth sand, you let the rhythmic drone of ocean waves and island beats invoke a sense of inner calm and peace. Ah, yes, the Caribbean. Where the turquoise waters sparkle and the laid-back pace of life attracts visitors from all over the globe.
But if the thought of endless security lines, misconnected luggage, and deadline-driven cruise ship itineraries tend to bring your travel plans to a screeching halt, think again. With a pilot certificate in your pocket, this exotic locale may not be as hard to reach as you think. On top of that, the sense of accomplishment that comes with this type of trip can be a reward in itself.
Let’s Go Island Hopping
Several common questions come to mind for pilots considering a trip to the Caribbean. How difficult is the paperwork? Will I be able to find fuel? Can my airplane even make the trip? While there are a few important items to consider before your flight to ensure your safety and the safety of any passengers, they should in no way impede your ability to enjoy this jewel of a destination. And, oh yes, it may also help to know that even a modestly equipped Cessna can easily make a trip to just about anywhere in the Caribbean.
Depending where you originate, the hardest part of a Caribbean journey may very well be the flight to Florida. Variables like weather, terrain, and airspace restrictions can often be more of a challenge here in the United States. The next hardest part might be deciding where to go. From Florida, your destinations include everywhere from the Bimini Islands in the Bahamas, less than 50 miles off the coast, to Oranjestad, Aruba, just north of Venezuelan coast.
Your destination research should also include checking the official tourism websites of the countries you plan to visit, many of which have specific information on private flying policies e. Another good place to get your bearings on country-specific travel requirements is the U.
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Department of State. Although specific equipment requirements may vary between different Caribbean nations, there are several basic items both you and your aircraft will need when traveling in this area. Also check that your insurance policy extends to your planned destination. It is not required, but it may be a good idea to bring a copy of your policy with you. Try Google maps too, for aerial satellite views of your proposed route.
Hurricane season runs for half the year June 1 to November 30 and can bring some unexpected and often violent changes in the weather. Wind shear is a dangerous phenomenon best avoided, and is also common in these parts, so make sure your crosswind landings are up to par before you start your island hopping. I've never been a "comfortable" flyer. When the wind is down and the sun high, I can actually look forward to a flight and watch the clouds with wonder and joy.
But bring in a few drops of windy rain, some uncertain terrain and a rust spot on the wing and I begin to doubt my sanity at having bought that ticket. Somewhere, lurking beneath the surface, was the deep-seated belief that humans are not meant to be bouncing around in a metal tube suspended in the sky.
So rewind to my latest trip: heading home from Kenya , I'm fine. A little nervous tension around turbulence over the Sahara, but that's perfectly normal - few people like to be shaken. Then I start preparing for my trip to Colombia. Looking over the schedule I'm seized by panic.
Foreign Office warns travellers not to fly on major Caribbean airline
Twelve flights. Ten days. High mountains. I also know the planes will be tiny, from unheard-of airlines, and will fly into airports whose landing strips look smaller than the path across my garden.
I have to act fast; the words "I hate flying" are seeping into my brain and I'm a travel writer. I can't travel the world and pay my bills with an airplane phobia. I've written more about fear of flying on this page. I considered taking flight anxiety medication. But I was looking at a dozen flights in ten days and if I succumbed to some kind of chemical treatment for fear of flying, I might be so off-balance I wouldn't be able to complete my assignments. And the meds probably wouldn't work. None of my past remedies would do the trick.
I explained my problem and asked if his program might finally reveal why I was scared of flying and whether he might be able to help me in time. He went one further and let me try his course free of charge in exchange for a review, no strings attached other than letting him know when I published it.
He seemed confident it would help.
- Calculating the harm.
- The pilots who risk their lives flying tiny planes over the Atlantic - BBC News.
- The 4-Ingredient Vegan.
- Ships? Even worse!
- Guile and Spin!
- Let’s Go Island Hopping - Flying to the Caribbean.
- The pilots who risk their lives flying tiny planes over the Atlantic.
But I was still skeptical. And I had tried pretty much everything else under the sun. If you're feeling anxious just reading this page, you may want to check out all the great resources and courses available from SOAR. I took the SOAR Complete Relief Program , there are several courses at different price levels which consisted of 18 videos covering four areas:.
I watched the videos a bit haphazardly, I admit, jumping around the easiest ones and avoiding the ones that didn't interest me as much.
www.hiphopenation.com/mu-plugins/burnet/telegraph-online-dating-username.php Anyone who has more than mild or moderate anxiety will find that [this course] the only way to eliminate the fear. It is the most comprehensive fear of flying program that I know of.
Several paths to getting over fear of flying
I did the exercises. Most of them, anyway. One of the exercises involves breaking down the cycle of negativity that spirals into panic. Another is designed to kick in if you're gripped with panic by making you focus on items within your peripheral vision.
- Mulberry Grove: The Ring.
- Art Deco Paintings & Prints!
- How To Draw A Bulldog In Six Easy Steps.
A particularly effective tool to overcome the fear of flying is an offshoot of the movie reel exercise and involves using images in a sequence that somehow deconstructs the entire flying adventure and makes it palatable, pleasant even. The course has plenty of other exercises designed to alleviate or even cure fear of flying, along with explanations of how planes stay up in the air the "jello" example , how the engines should sound and why our minds make turbulence seem worse than it is.
SOAR also has a brilliant app that measures G-force, or gravity, and shows you how little your plane is actually moving, even in major turbulence. More than anything, I was scared of the planes and airports in stormy Colombia, so he began by reminding me that planes flew easily in storms and that lightning wouldn't bring the plane down.
We spoke on the phone he's very accessible and together we looked up every airport I was scheduled to visit. He showed me the approach was safe and the airports' technical capacities were perfectly adequate. Even if you have an extreme fear of flying phobia, the SOAR course will help you get on that plane.
It worked for me! The first travel phobia courses started in the mids at PanAm remember them? While a number of satisfied students graduated, success was measured by the number of people who took the test flight. Problem was, many of them never flew again after that. Captain Bunn has a distinct advantage over others providing fear of flying courses: not only did he fly for the Air Force, but he was a commercial pilot for years on the Jumbo Jet.
He is also a trained therapist and social worker with a graduate degree and years of therapeutic experience. His work is considered groundbreaking and by all accounts offers the best and quickest chance of overcoming fear of flight. By the time we finished our phone call, I was relaxed enough to board the plane right there and then.
A Facebook page and a student forum round out the outreach. But the course is quite realistic and that might be enough for you. Still, the information is current and bottom line, it works. In my rush to overcome fear of flying, I did a lot of things wrong on this course.
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