Cayman Islands Trip Report 2009

by Paul A. Rosales

Last Updated: Thursday May 21th, 2009; WE ARE HOME SAFE, arriving at 2230 local time on Sunday, May 10th. Our trip began on Saturday morning, April 18th.

We flew ~6720 nautical miles (~7730 statute miles) and put 51 hours on the engine (it ran perfect ;-)

Here's an entire thread on my Van's Air Force page which has some of the pictures. I plan to write a complete trip report in the future.

Saturday (4/18): Mercedes Eulitt/Leslie Monforton departed a 2-ship with us from Rosamond (CA) at 0600. We met up just SE of Edwards AFB with Bill & Sharon Souza then landed St. Johns (AZ) for fuel. We continued into Plainview (TX) for fuel and lunch. Addison was still marginal VFR as a front was clearing to the east. We eventually departed around 1600 arriving Addison (near Dallas) around 1800. Mercedes/Lesli landed at Decater. Sunday (4/19): We met up with numerous locals including Doug Reeves, Ross, Jay, Tanya/Scott & others for lunch at the Hard 8 BBQ in Stephenville (SEP). I flew over with Victoria in Bill's RV-10. Monday (4/20): Cleared Class B over Dallas Love then across to Arlington at 2K' MSL. Victoria visited with her Tupperware friend Bev Edwards, a and I visted with a childhood friend (since birth) in Grand Praire. Tuesday (4/21): Departed Arlington with another Class B Clearance that took us just over Downtown Dallas (east side) at 3.5K MSL towards Lake of the Ozarks, MO where we visited/overnighted with our skypark home building Contractors John & Marsha Forrest. Wednesday (4/22): Departed Lake of the Ozards for a 4.1 hr flight, 195-205 knots direct to Cross City burning 30 gallons, very cool! Fueled and continued into Clearwater where we visited/overnight with former F-117 (Honeywell "Navboy") Bob Coughlin and wife Vicki. Thursday (4/23): Departed Clearwater to Sun and Fun, arriving around 1000. We saw Bud Smith, Dana Overall, Rick Gray and "Turbo" Ed Darcy who bought us lunch (thank you!). Mercedes/Lesli led our 2-ship out just before the field closed for the afternoon airshow, landing Homestead about 1600. Four other RVs were already there, and we found out the Mills had to bail on the trip :-( We checked into the hotel, went for a short swim then we all met where Jimmyb briefed the flight across Cuba into the Caymans. We then filed our flight plans and had dinner. Friday (4/24): We departed Homestead starting a 0800, in 10 minute intervals, in the following order;

We were all mostly cleared direct to Cayo Largo VOR (UCL) by the time we reached the Florida coastline, and we settled in to our assigned altitudes. We chatted frequently on our company frequency, occassionally hearing from Havana Approach asking to report our position. Bill & Sharon passed us up in the RV-10, arriving Cayman Brac in about 2.5 hrs). I landed about 20 minutes later with Jimmyb just minutes behind me and Mercedes/Lesli minutes behind him. Chris & Indira landed a short while later followed by Gene & Janet. We all got our planes sprayed for bugs ($18.75) then cleared customs and paid our $27.50 landing fee ;-) We had to file another flight plan for the 5 minute flight to Little Cayman. We're staying at the Paradise Villas on Little Cayman. We are all enjoying our "island time" and will keep you posted! ***************************** Saturday (4/25) to Monday morning (5/4): We had the VERY best time on the island, and this page will be updated later with all the pics! ***************************** Monday: May 4th, 2009 We arrived back to the USA today, flying into Key West, 4 RVs total: Victoria/I, Bill & Sharon Souza, Jim & Vicki Baker and Gene & Janet Larsen. It was about a 2.2 hour flight from Cayman Brac across Cuba into Key West. I continued on Victor Airway G448 since there was some military dogfighting going on so was unable to turn direct Key West from intersection TADPO. Key West customs was the BEST, and got us cleared in/out in less than 15 minutes, WOWWEE!!! Customs Agent Rahaim was very professional yet courteous, something we've not see on any of our trips arriving back into the USA. After clearing customs, Jim & Vicki arrived as Bill & I started our engines. We 'yelled' at them that we'd meet them in Homestead as we were not allowed to be near them since we were 'clean'/cleared ;-) We got into our planes before Jim & Vicki turned off their engine. Nice 2-ship departure off Key West with approach. It was about a 40 minute flight to Homestead, and Jim & Gene's RVs showed up about an hour later. We all fueled and decided to make one more flight (leg) to Perry Foley (40J), Fl, about a 2 hour flight. We fueled then tied down the planes for the night, and the folks at the Hampton Inn picked us up. The Perry Hampton Inn is less than 5 minutes from the airport, and I highly recommend them for anybody heading this way looking to overnight as they are TRULY 5-STAR!!! Their number is 850.223.3000, and you can contact them via e-mail. Goodman's BBQ is right next door, and we left there 'stuffed' with excellent BBQ!!! Tuesday May 5th through Sunday May 10th, 2009 Weather kept us from our original plans to fly north the the Biltmore Estate, Kitty Hawk, the Smithsonian Museum at Dulles and Niagra falls, so Tuesday morning we turned westbound from Florida to Austin (TX) where we met up with the Gary & Carolyn :-) We spent the next several days visiting San Antonio (Wednesday), Corpus Christi (Thursday) and Houston (Friday) ending up at Pecan Plantation near Fort Worth (Saturday) where we attended the Texas RV fly-in. We arrived home on Sunday around 2230 PDT. ************* Now that we are back in the USA, here's our revised itinerary since BAD WEATHER prevented us from flying north; Sunday (5/3): Little Cayman to Grand Cayman (and back) for a day-trip (~30min flight each way) Monday AM (5/4): Little Cayman to Cayman Brac (~10nm to clear customs) then back same route over Cuba to Key West. Monday PM (5/4): Key West to Asheville, NC Perry, FL with the Bakers, Larsens and Souzas. Tuesday AM (5/5): Visiting the Biltmore Estate. Perry (FL) to Austin (TX), overnight with Scott & Tanya Cards (along with the Ziliks) Tuesday PM (5/5): Flying to Kitty Hawk, NC and visit the birthplace of flight ;-) Wednesday AM (5/6): Kitty Hawk for a few hours then depart for Washington DC area to Manassas, VA. Departed the Card's house to New Braunfels where we tried to find a BBQ place... we didn't find it so we flew to San Antonio where we visited the Alamo and dined on the Riverwalk. Thursday AM (5/7): Visiting the Smithsonian Annex at Dulles to see lots of planes. Flying to Corpus Christi to visit the Naval Carrier Lexington. Thursday PM (5/7) Fly to and see Niagra Falls After the Lexington tour, we flew to Houston to the skypark home of Paul Dye & Louise House. Friday (5/8): Paul Dye took the day off and gave the Ziliks and us on a personal tour of the Johnson Space Center (thank you very much!) We stayed another night with the Paul & Louise ;-) Saturday AM (5/9): We attended the Texas RV fly-in then after lunch, fly to Cleveland, OK (near Tulsa) to visit with a longtime family friends. stayed the night with Martin & Claudia Sutter since the weather was not-flyable in Oklahoma. Sunday AM (5/10): We waited for the weather to clear (overcast) and we left Pecan Plantation around 1130 PDT. We fueled at Brownfield (TX), St. John (AZ) and we had dinner with friends in Payson (AZ). We departed Payson at 2000 and landed Rosamond 2.5 hours later, around 2230. You may send e-mail to Paul & Victoria

Rosamond (CA) to Dallas (TX), about 8 hours, 2 stops (AZ: St. Johns and TX: Plainview)

Dallas to Lake of the Ozarks (MO) 3 hrs then to Cross City (FL) 4-hrs nonstop, fueled then less than an hour into Clearwater near Tampa.

Clearwater to Lakeland (20 min) to Homestead (FL, 1 hr) then across Cuba to Cayman Brac to clear customs (2.5 hrs) then 5 minute flight to Little Cayman

Little Cayman to Grand Cayman (35 min) back to Little Cayman to Cayman Brac (5 min), across Cuba to Key West (2.5 hrs), Homestead (40 min) and Perry (FL, 2 hrs).

Perry to New Roads (LA) for fuel (2.5 hrs) then into Austin (TX, 2 hrs) to San Antonio (1 hr).

San Antonio to Corpus Christi (<1hr) to Houston (~1hr) to Pecan Plantation (~1.25 hours total)

Pecan Plantation to Brownfield (~2 hours) to St. Johns (~2.75 hrs) to Payson (0.75 hrs) to Rosamond (~2.5 hrs)

Here's the entire USA portion of the trip;

PS: All tracking performed using a Spot tracker ;-)


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