Link to original article: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/january/11/10-tips-for-an-easy-bahamas-crossing
Link to Form C7A: https://forms.bahamas.gov.bs/documents/CUST_C7a%20Inward%20Declaration%20&%20Cruising%20permit%20-%20PAC.pdf

Flying To The Bahamas. 10 Tips For Private Pilots For Easy Crossings.

in this video I’m going to list 10 tips for private pilots flying to the Bahamas from the USA.

This list was written by AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman and is reproduced here with her kind permission.

Jill is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.

In the description below this video you’ll find a link to her article on the AOPA website where you can read more articles of this type.

This advice is aimed at US private pilots making the crossing from the US mainland. The Bahamas loves general aviation pilots. And pilots love going to the Bahamas. It’s a short flight from the Florida coast over the Atlantic Ocean that transports you to beautiful beaches, delicious seafood, and so much more. A Bahamas flight requires a certain amount of preparation, but with these tips you can make your trip without too much stress.

1. Start gathering paperwork now. No matter when you think you might make the trip, it’s never too soon to start gathering paperwork for the pilot and the aircraft.

Is your passport current?

Customs Sticker: These are valid for one calendar year. Order one at the start of each year and it’s ready when you are.

Station License (airplane). This is valid for five years.

Restricted radiotelephone operators permit (pilot). This is valid for the holder’s lifetime.

2. Beg, borrow, or rent. Life vests are a requirement for every person in the airplane. Jill borrowed two from a colleague who had made numerous trips over water. He also had a softcover copy of the Bahamas Pilot’s Guide, which Jill also borrowed, even though she had downloaded it to her iPad.

A backup is always good. Jill rented a life raft (not required but a good idea) from Banyan Air Services at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport for $35 per day, and considered it cheap insurance.

3. Go with other pilots. During her first crossing as pilot in command, Jill wanted the comfort of traveling with other pilots, some of whom had made the over water trek and some who hadn’t. It’s great to be able to compare notes before and after flights.

4. Plan your exit strategy. You can depart from any airport within range. Jill chose Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport because of Banyan Air Services, the fixed-base operator. Banyan is known for its expertise in Bahamas travel. Why not launch from a place where you have experts on hand for last-minute questions?

5. Set up eAPIS in advance, at home, with good Wi-Fi. Create your Electronic Advance Passenger Information System (eAPIS) account well in advance; a confirmation email with activation key from US Customs and Border Protection can take as long as a week.

Continued in the video…

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