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!!



  1. Did they really clear you for that?

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

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

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

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

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

  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?

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


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...