Sunday, March 20, 2011

Low Altitude Photo Shoot

I had a whole day free today and was determined to do something new and cool.  Last night I was making plans to the fly to the Bahamas.  I thought my first international flight would certainly qualify as "new and cool".  Unfortunately, I didn't have all my government required paperwork in order...

Last night, I figured out that I had my Homeland Security/Customs sticker for the plane, my eAPIS registration, and a radio license for the plane.  Unfortunately, I didn't have MY international radio license, which apparently is required for my to legally talk on the radio in international waters.  At ~10:30 PM last night, I filed my application online only to get a confirmation # and a notice saying it would take 5-7 business days to process!!

As a result, this morning I was on the hunt for a new destination.  I remembered reading Lane Wallace's book about memorable flights, and decided to do a low altitude photo shoot in the Florida Keys and maybe "swing by" Miami or Palm Beach for lunch before heading back home.  Then the fun began!

When I arrived at Tampa Executive Airport, Snoopy1 (the Met Life) blimp was about to takeoff.  I chatted with the ground crew and got to see an amazing takeoff!  Then I took off myself and flew the following route:

Along the way, I did get a number of amazing pix as you can see in the slide show below:

As I was following US 1 from Key West to Miami, I flew at 800 FT above the water just south of the road.  (This was as low as I felt comfortable flying.)  When I reached ~ 20 miles south of Miami, I climbed to 3500 and called Miami Approach to get a clearance through their class B airspace.  Much to my surprise, I got the most unusual clearance!

"Descend to 500 FT just offshore and follow the coast northbound".  I happily complied and got some of the most amazing pix and video!  See for yourself:

After I passed Boca Raton, I turned westbound and headed to Okeechobee for a quick lunch and then back to Tampa with minimum fuel.

Overall, a great day flying, but even better photo opp day!!

Cheers,

8 comments:

  1. Did they really clear you for that?

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  2. Gotta love when ATC does something awesome. What a view!

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  3. What a great ride....my luck I wouldn't have my camera!

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  4. Great shots. I need to start taking more shots for my blog. Gotta get it going

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  5. Did you have your new "english proficient" certificate? thats another pointless thing (like your radio license!) that's required for intl flying!

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  6. Thanks everyone! ... Update ... I just got my radio license!! Now I just need to hope they believe I am "english proficient" ;-)

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  7. It only takes $2 to get new certificate from the FAA, that's all, no test or anything. I don't know why it can't just be assumed that all US pilots are English proficient without needing to have it printed on the license. Does your SR22 have a 406MHz ELT?

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  8. Yes I have the 406 MHz ELT ... (Luckily have never had to use it)

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