Fly Around The World With Me
268 Individual Flights

PART EIGHT


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My Flight Around The World
  TRIP DETAILS:

Click here to view a map of the trip.

  FLIGHT 237: October 6, 2003 - 06:30
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (SBGL)
Sao Paulo, Brazil (SBSP)
Well, Rio is everything it promised – and then some. We arrived on the evening of September 30 and stayed with some close friends right on the Copacabana beach. It was a wonderful stay. We’re now begin our final chapter in our trip around the world in our Mooney Bravo. It’s about 6:30, just after dawn and the weather’s not all that great, but the flight should be uneventful in any case. It’s 70F degrees and humid. We probably won’t get off the ground till close to 7:00 since we still need to file our flight plan and taxi over to the end of this 13,300 foot runway - 28. We’ll be flying to Sao Paulo today at 10,000 feet.


FLIGHT 238: October 6, 2003 - 10:00
Sao Paulo, Brazil (SBSP)
Florianopolis, Brazil (SBFL)
We’ve had a great breakfast at the terminal and we’re pressing onwards to Hercilio Luz, International airport in Florianoplois. Once again we’ll be flying at 10,000 feet. We’ll grab some lunch, bid adieu to Brazil and head on to our final destination for today – Montevideo, Uruguay.


FLIGHT 239: October 6, 2003 - 16:00
Florianopolis, Brazil (SBFL)
Montevideo, Uruguay (SUAA)
Florianópolis is situated on the Island of Santa Catarina (the capital of the state of Santa Catarina) and has a landscape sprinkled with lakes, sand dunes, 42 beaches and small islands all along the coast. It is quite beautiful. This is a place we will need to revisit for sure. We must keep moving! Once again, we’ll be cruising at 10,000 feet on this long flight. It’s currently a comfortable room temperature (68F degrees) and the skies are overcast with light coastal clouds. We’ll get on top of this layer and we ought to see a magnificent sunset on this clear evening. We have contacted the Carrasco International Hotel in Montevideo and arranged for a late arrival.


FLIGHT 240: October 8, 2003 - 10:15
Montevideo, Uruguay (SUAA)
Buenos Aries, Argentina (SAEZ)
We arrived in Montevideo just after 20:00 on Monday and we stayed at the beautiful, five star Carrasco International Hotel built in 1999 – it’s quite remarkable. We spent last evening with some close friends and had a spectacular meal at the Radisson Montevideo Victoria Plaza Hotel. It’s now just past 10:00 on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 and we’re on our way to Buenos Aires – about a 125-mile jaunt. We will be flying at 6,000 feet and landing at the smaller Ezeiza International Ministro Pistarin airport in Buenos Aires. We will be spending a few weeks with some very close friends in Buenos Aires. My mouth is already watering just thinking about copiously speading chimmichurri sauce on a juicy Argentine steak!


FLIGHT 241: October 26, 2003 - 07:00
Buenos Aries, Argentina (SAEZ)
Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina (SAVC)
The past few weeks have been a blast! We had a real nice time. It’s now just after 7:00 on October 26, 2003 and we’re about to embark on a 775 nm trip to Comodora Rivadavia in the south. We’ll be cruising at 8,000 on this leg. It should be smooth sailing for the most part. We'll be flying over low cloud cover a good part of the way. And, it’s warm enough (66F degrees) such that icing should not be a problem. The weather reports strong headwinds as we leave the local area, swinging to 15 kt tailwinds about 50 miles out, then back to headwinds as we approach Bahia Blanca. There are also reports of moderate to severe turbulence in the Bahia Blanca area. Just south of Viedma, we’ll be putting our life-jackets on as we traverse about 125 miles of water. As we approach Trelew, we can expect to battling very strong headwinds that’ll dramatically reduce our ground speed. However, according to the current radar images, the clouds will have cleared, meaning that we can rest easier knowing we don’t have to be concerned about icing as the outside temperature approaches 32F/0C degrees.


FLIGHT 242: October 27, 2003 - 09:10
Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina (SAVC)
Carlos Ibanez Del Campo, Punta Arenas, Chile (SCCI)
Comodoro Rivadavia is nicknamed the “Capital of Eolic Energy” by the locals – wind-energy devices were everywhere to be seen. We spent the evening at a lovely motel on the Gulf of San Jorge, and we’re now on our way to Punta Arenas, Chile. This will be a about a 450 km trip and we’ll be flying at only 6,000 feet to avoid icing. It’s about 9:10 and we should arrive in Punta Arenas about 30-minutes past noon. It’s a fabulous day for flying and about the only degree of excitement will be opening the door when we reach the ramp.... brrrrrr! We have confirmed reservations at the Best Western Hotel Finis Terrae.


FLIGHT 243: October 28, 2003 - 06:00
Carlos Ibanez Del Campo, Punta Arenas, Chile (SCCI)
Puerto Montt, Chile (SCTE)
It took even longer to clear customs and immigration in Punta Arenas than it did when we left Comodoro Rivadavia. We hit the rack very early last night because we wanted to get an early start on the long day ahead of us. Our first leg will be about a 740-mile trip northwards, from Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt. It’s just coming up on 6:00 and we’ll be flying at 14,000 feet. We should arrive about noon. I have three messages Captain: 1) Bring food and plenty of coffee, 2) Make sure the cowls are closed and 3) Get ready for a long day! This is definitely going to be Pitot Heater time – the outside temperature at our cruising altitude will be well below freezing!


FLIGHT 244: October 28, 2003 - 15:00
Puerto Montt, Chile (SCTE)
Arturo Merino Benitez International, Santiago, Chile (SCEL)
We had a great lunch at the airport in Puerto Montt. The meal was called “Empanada” – a combination of meat, chicken or fish, with onions, eggs, raisins and olives inside a flour pastry. Fantastic! It’s now approaching 15:00 and we’ll carry on to Santiago. This will be about a 500 mile trip and looks like the flight will be very smooth. A heavy marine layer will develop around Temuco and stay below us until we reach Linares. We have confirmed reservations to stay at the Hotel Manquehue in the Santiago suburb of Las Condes.


FLIGHT 245: October 31, 2003 - 06:00
Arturo Merino Benitez International, Santiago, Chile (SCEL)
Cordoba, Argentina (SACO)
What can one say about Santiago? It’s a rockin’ town. It’s just coming up on 6:00 in the morning and we’ll be testing the specifications of our Mooney Bravo today, as we climb to 19,000 feet over the mountains to Cordoba, Argentina. In all likelihood, we'll need to leave the GPS route from time-to-time in order to maneuver around mountain peaks. We have reports of low-lying fog on approach into Cordoba.


FLIGHT 246: October 31, 2003 - 16:00
Cordoba, Argentina (SACO)
Silvio Pettirossi Intl, Asuncion, Paraguay (SGAS)
We had our special clearance to land in Cordoba as arranged when we left Comodoro Rivadavia last Monday. We’ve filled the tanks and our tummies and we’re continuing our trip today to Asuncion, Paraguay. We’ll be flying at 5,000 feet on this 500-mile trip. We have confirmed reservations at the Hotel Westfalenhaus that is only a few minutes away from the Airport as well as downtown.

NOTE: The ILS Approach into SGAS is inaccurate. Once you're locked on the Localizer, I would suggest you ask me to... "Prepare to make a short visual approach on runway two zero".


FLIGHT 247: November 3, 2003 - 07:45
Silvio Pettirossi Intl, Asuncion, Paraguay(SGAS)
El Alto Intl, La Paz, Boliva (SLLP)
We spent a fantastic weekend in Asuncion and regretfully, we need to press onwards. Today we’ll be flying at 22,000. The airport itself is 13,310 feet above sea level… whew! This is another LONG flight – so the message is as always bring lots of coffee and snacks as well. We have reports of very turbulent air and thunderstorms approaching La Paz. It’s 07:45 and it’s a comfortable 76F degrees in Asuncion, but it’s going to get cooler in a hurry at our cruising altitude. So, let’s hop into our wild mustang – we’re going ballistic!


FLIGHT 248: November 4, 2003 - 07:45
El Alto Intl, La Paz, Boliva (SLLP)
Jorge Chavez Intl, Lima, Peru (SPIM)
It’s 07:45 and we’re on our way to Lima, once again at 22,000 feet. This flight plan has us traveling about 600 miles. We have much the same weather as we had upon our arrival - thunderstorms and very rough air in the area. As a result of the shifting winds, getting up to our cruising flight level will be problematic. So, since the length of runway 10 is over 13,000 feet, ignore my "Rotate" callout and use ALL of the runway to get the airspeed up to about 110 knots, then lift the nose. Irrespective of the assigned ATC climb out altitude, climb up to 15,000 feet, let the aircraft level off and get the airspeed once again up to approximately 110 knots. Then, continue our climb out. We will experience some pretty choppy air throughout the first part of this flight. Other than that, we’re good to go ballistic! We have confirmed our reservations at the Best Western Embajadores hotel.


FLIGHT 249: November 5, 2003 - 08:45
Jorge Chavez Intl, Lima, Peru (SPIM)
José Joaquín de Olmedo Intl, Guayaquil, Equador (SEGU)
It’s just after 08:45 and we’re on our way to Guayaquil, Equador. We’ll be cruising at 8,000 feet and except for the anticipated coastal cloud cover, it looks like a great day to fly the friendly skies!


FLIGHT 250: November 5, 2003 - 15:00
José Joaquín de Olmedo Intl, Guayaquil, Equador (SEGU)
Gerardo Tobar López Airport, Buenaventura, Columbia (SKBU)
We got to the airport on time, cleared customs and immigration, had some lunch and we're now continuing on to Columbia. We’ll be cruising at 9,000 on this trip. It is 14:55 and this is approximately a 420-mile flight, so we should arrive near sunset. We have reservations for the night at the Hotel Pacific Blue Ladrilleros, in downtown Buenaventura.


FLIGHT 251: November 6, 2003 - 12:45
Gerardo Tobar López Airport, Buenaventura, Columbia (SKBU)
Tocumen Intl, Panama City, Panama (MPTO)
We arrived in Columbia on schedule and spent the evening at the Hotel Pacific Blue Ladrilleros. We managed to sleep in after the long day yesterday. In fact, per our filed flight plan, we’ll be taking off at 12:45 for Panama City. This will be about a 360-mile flight and we’ll be flying at 10,000 feet. We should arrive about 15:30 local time. Since 95% of this trip will be over water, we'd better put our life jackets on at this time.


FLIGHT 252: November 6, 2003 - 16:45
Tocumen Intl, Panama City, Panama (MPTO)
Juan Santamaria Intl, San Jose, Costa Rica (MROC)
We managed to get in and out of customs quickly, got our flight filed easily and we’re on our way to San Jose at 15,000. It’s 81F degrees at 16:45 and we’re looking at about a 300-mile flight. The wind has died down completely. We should arrive just after dusk.


FLIGHT 253: November 7, 2003 - 07:10
San Jose, Costa Rica (MROC)
Augusto Cesar Sandino Intl, Managua, Nicaragua (MNMG)
We spent a pleasant evening at the Hotel Aeropuerto. This is a country that really deserves to be considered as THE place to live. Democracy and freedom abound. What a great country! Regrettably, we have to move on. We’ll be traveling at 12,000 this morning en route to Managua. It’s now about 07:10 as we depart on this 175-mile trip, so we should arrive about 8:40. The weather is fantastic - a perfect day for flying!


FLIGHT 254: November 7, 2003 - 11:45
Managua, Nicaragua (MNMG)
Toncontin Intl, Tegucigalpa, Honduras (MHTG)
We cleared customs, filled the tanks, filled our tummies, and we're ready to go! It’s now about 11:45 as we depart on this 130-mile trip to Tegucigalpa, so we should arrive around 13:00. We’ll be flying at 12,000 feet again. It's a beautiful day for flying!

NOTE: If you ask me to... "Prepare to make a visual approach on runway one", don't be alarmed if you see me suddenly climb on Final approach to avoid the hills.


FLIGHT 255: November 7, 2003 - 14:45
Tegucigalpa, Honduras (MHTG)
El Salvador Intl, San Salvador, El Salvador (MSLP)
The time is now 14:45, we’ve topped off the tanks and our tummies and we are on our way to San Salvador. This is a 110-mile trip and we’ll be flying at 8,000 feet. We should arrive about 16:00.

NOTE: The ILS Approach into MSLP is inaccurate. Once you're locked on the Localizer, I would suggest you ask me to... "Prepare to make a short visual approach on runway seven".


FLIGHT 256: November 7, 2003 - 17:15
San Salvador, El Salvador (MSLP)
La Aurora Intl, Guatemala City, Guatemala (MGGT)
The time is now 17:15, we’ve topped off the tanks and we are on our way to Guatemala City. This is another 110-mile trip and we’ll be flying at 12,000 feet. We should arrive at exactly the same time we took off - about 17:15 as a result of a one-hour time shift. We’ll spend the night in Guatemala City, then in the morning, we'll press on via Belize to Cancun, Mexico for a well-deserved rest.


FLIGHT 257: November 8, 2003 - 11:00
Guatemala City, Guatemala (MGGT)
Philip S. W. Goldson, Intl, Belize City, Belize (MZBZ)
A $9.00 cab ride, and we were at the Holiday Inn Guatemala. When we arrived, we were naturally very tired after a long day, so we ate in at the Los Comensales restaurant on the 2nd flooor of the hotel – the meal was outstanding. We then got to our rooms and… died! And, naturally, we slept in. So we’re here at the airport and it’s 11:00 as we leave for Belize City. It’s about a 220 mile trip so we should arrive about 13:50 local time, considering a one-hour time shift. We’ll be cruising at 11,000 feet on this leg.


FLIGHT 258: November 8, 2003 - 15:45
Belize City, Belize (MZBZ)
Cancun Intl, Cancun, Mexico (MMUN)
We had an opportunity to grab some lunch and speak with some of the locals about their city. We’re now going to complete our traveling for today by flying to Cancun, Mexico where we will spend the next few days chilling-out! We’ll be flying at 3,000 feet on the 225-mile journey. The current time is 15:45, meaning we should arrive in Cancun about 17:40. Incidentally, the METAR reports for this leg indicates that we'll be flying over a heavy marine layer for most of the flight.


FLIGHT 259: November 11, 2003 - 07:00
Cancun Intl, Cancun, Mexico (MMUN)
C P A Carlos Rovirosa Intl, Villahermosa, Mexico (MMVA)
We spent an awesome long weekend in Cancun. We’re now about to embark upon a 400-mile low-level trip to the C P A Carlos Rovirosa Intl airport, in Villahermosa. It’s now just coming up on 07:00, so we should arrive about 08:50 where we will grab some breakfast and head onwards to Mexico City. By the way, we’ll also be flying over water in the gulf for about 30 minutes, so break out the life jackets. Thankfully, the rising sun will be at out six!


FLIGHT 260: November 11, 2003 - 11:45
C P A Carlos Rovirosa Intl, Villahermosa, Mexico (MMVA)
Lic Benito Juarez Intl, Mexico City, Mexico (MMMX)
We had some great huevos rancheros at a small cantina near the airport. We’ve filled up on coffee and we’re on our way to Mexico City. We’ll be cruising at 16,000 feet... we're going balistic again! The time is currently 11:45, so we should arrive in Mexico City about 14:45. About one hour into our flight, we’ll again be flying over water in the gulf for about 60 minutes, so get out the life jackets one more time. By the way, as we make our final approach, we'll need to drop like a brick! Once you're Locked on the Localizer, I would suggest that you ask me to make a Short Visual Approach if you miss the Glideslope!


FLIGHT 261: November 12, 2003 - 06:45
Lic Benito Juarez Intl, Mexico City, Mexico (MMMX)
General Juan N Alvarez Intl, Acapulco, Mexico (MMAA)
We spent the evening near the airport, because we planned on getting an early start this morning. We’ll be flying at 14,000 feet to Acapulco today – a beautiful day for flying. It’s just about 06:45 and the trip will be about 170 miles. We should arrive around 8:20, grab some breakfast and head on to Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo airport.

NOTE: The ILS Approach into MMAA is inaccurate. Once you're locked on the Localizer, I would suggest you ask me to... "Prepare to make a short visual approach on runway two eight".


FLIGHT 262: November 12, 2003 - 10:30
General Juan N Alvarez Intl, Acapulco, Mexico (MMAA)
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Intl, Zihuatanejo, Mexico (MMZH)
We had breakfast at the airport, and we’re continuing northward. We’ll be flying at 8,000 feet to Zihuatanejo, a 110 mile trip. Except for low level haze, it’s a beautiful, calm morning and a great day for flying. We’ll be flying over water for a good part of the trip, so let’s break out the life preservers. It’s about 10:30 so we should arrive just before noon hour.


FLIGHT 263: November 12, 2003 - 13:45
Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Intl, Zihuatanejo, Mexico (MMZH)
Don Miguel Hidalgo Intl, Guadalajara, Mexico (MMGL)
What can be better than a Mexican lunch? It’s 13:45 and we’re going balistic again... into the mountains to Guadalajara. Our flying time will be two hours on this two hundred mile flight and we should arrive at the general aviation parking area (after about 15 minutes of taxiing), at about 15:45. We’ll climb to 16,000 feet, head east to the mile-high city of Uruapan, then northeast to the other mile-high city of Guadalajara.


FLIGHT 264: November 12, 2003 - 17:30
Don Miguel Hidalgo Intl, Guadalajara, Mexico (MMGL)
Gen Rafael Buelna Intl, Mazatlan, Mexico (MMMZ)
I wouldn’t want to fly into Guadalajara without IFR on a bad night – yikes! Anyway, we’ve topped off the tanks and had some coffee and we’re on to our final destination after this long day of traveling – Mazatlan. It’s about a 200-mile flight and we’ll be flying as 14,000 after an extremely long taxi. I have no idea why they decided to put the small aircraft so far away from the main runway – dumb, dumber, dumbest! Anyway, it’s about 17:30, so we’ll arrive just after sunset, which by the way, ought to be pretty spectacular this evening as we fly northwest over Tepic, then on into Mazatlan with the help of favorable tailwinds.


FLIGHT 265: November 14, 2003 - 07:15
Gen Rafael Buelna Intl, Mazatlan, Mexico (MMMZ)
General Jose Ma Yenez Intl, Guaymas, Mexico (MMGM)
We spent the last couple of nights in Mazatlan and we had a great time experiencing the traditional folklore of Mexico. This morning we’ll be blasting of at 07:15 and we’ll be cruising at 10,000 feet on the 388-mile trip. I attempted to find the best altitude, with the least amout of clouds - 10,000 seemed to be the optimum. We will grab a late and leisurely breakfast, top off the tanks and press onwards to Tijuana.


FLIGHT 266: November 14, 2003 - 14:00
General Jose Ma Yenez Intl, Guaymas, Mexico (MMGM)
Abelardo L Rodriguez Intl, Tijuana, Mexico (MMTJ)
It’s now just coming up on 14:00 and we indeed had a great brunch in Guaymas. The tanks have been filled and we’re on our way to Tijuana – our last international destination on our trip around the world. We’ll be cruising at 14,000 feet on this 444-mile trip. The weather will be pretty fair, although there are reports of haze en route and a lot of clouds during the first hour or so. We’ll spend the night in Tijuana taking in the sites and head out tomorrow morning for San Diego to visit some friends this weekend.


FLIGHT 267: November 15, 2003
Abelardo L Rodriguez Intl, Tijuana, Mexico (MMTJ)
Lindbergh San Diego Intl, San Diego, California, USA (KSAN)
We’re finally heading back to the U.S.A. It’s been a long trip up through Central America and Mexico. We’ll be staying with some friends in San Diego and head home to Oceano on Monday morning. Are you ready? This will be about a 20-mile flight. It’s just after 10:15 in the morning, and we’ll arrive in San Diego at 11:00. We’ll get as high as 6,000 feet.


FLIGHT 268: November 17, 2003 - 11:30
Lindbergh San Diego Intl, San Diego, California, USA (KSAN)
Oceano, California, USA (L52)
We spent a very pleasant long weekend visiting with friends. Today we’ll be flying at 10,000 feet to Oceano – our final destination of this 365-day trip around the world. We’ll be airborne about 11:30 on this 230-mile final leg. Other than some 25-35 knot headwinds and some periodic blankets of cloud, it should be a pretty smooth flight. Just about all of this trip will be over water – cold water – so, break out the jackets! En route, we’ll be passing over Catalina Island and passing just east of San Clemente. We’ll then head inland towards Point Mugu and Oxnard, continuing northwards passing to the east of Santa Barbara, up over Santa Maria and then begin our descent down into Oceano. Regrettably, there will be a lot of haze today, which will steal part of the view. But I have to admit, even if there will be haze, seeing the Central Coast of California and the lovely Pismo Beach once again, after being away 356 days, will be a VERY pleasant site – HOME AT LONG LAST. It’ll be great to slide into the spa!


CONCLUSION
At long last, we've made our final landing in Oceano, California, from our odyssey around the world. It was a great voyage and I'm tremendously glad to have succeeded without losing a wheel or wingtip or any other of the myriad accidents that could have occurred! What a fantastic time we had. We were able to meet up with our old friends and made many new friends en route with whom we will keep in touch and perhaps meet again one day.

My wife was thrilled that the year-long journey was over. She insisted that I turn off the computer and we celebrated with a glass of nicely chilled champagne while soaking in the hot tub!



Click here to view a map of the trip.



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