Flying to the Bahamas


Filing Flight Plan
Jul 20, 2018
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Hey guys ,
I'm planning to rent an aircraft and fly to the Bahamas . I've got all the requirements including the Restricted Radio license . However there was another requirement which concerns paying of the Annual decal fee through CBP DTOPs and filling in the eAPIS form .
Now I'm about to pay for the the annual user decal fee for a private aircraft but is this required if its a rental aircraft ?
And could someone please briefly explain the difference between the two and how they should be used for my trip .

Thank you .
not sure about the decal, I would think you'd need to ask whoever owns the plane, they may already have it. for the eApis, check AOPA, they have a step by step on flying to the Bahamas which should answer this question. I'd also search here and I know there are some real good threads on Bahama flying on mooneyspace.
Yes, you need the decal for the plane (unless the plane already has one for this year).

eAPIS needs to be filed for the departing US/Arriving US legs. I did it using an app called FlashPass that worked well.
Remember to call US Customs before departing the Bahamas. If you don’t, they get very cranky and threaten you with $5000 fines. Trust me on this. :)
Remember to call US Customs before departing the Bahamas. If you don’t, they get very cranky and threaten you with $5000 fines. Trust me on this. :)

With friends like the CBP, who needs enemies?
Curious where tou are flying out of and what did ya rent??
The CBP ,people are not crazy about collecting the sticker fee,when you clear customs. They will give you an insecure site ,to purchase the customs sticker.
Yes, you technically need the decal. I cleared customs at KFPR last weekend and he never even came out to look at the plane. Sometimes they ren the radiation det cation around it and peek inside.... just depends.

Ask the rental place about the decal first. If you buy, they might be like.. aight! You pay for it, but it stays with the plane. Freebie on you.

You need:

IFR of DVFR flight plan with ADIZ location and crossing time indicated in the plan. ForeFlight has directions in their FAQ.

In and outbound, on Flight Following or IFR of course with a discrete squawk code and talking to ATC. Inbound to US, Contact Miami after opening your flight plan. Nassau will give you one if you ask, but I have found Miami center gives a new one once you get your FF inbound.

Radio license for plane, but I have never been asked for it ever.

Operator license -radio for you, see above.

CBP Dtops decal for plane

EApis approval inbound and outbound

Open AND close your flight plans if you are DVFR. They will be looking for you if you don't. Nassau radio is pretty reliable.

Life jackets on board

Might as well fill out the Bahamas C7a right now in tripicate. It's avail on the Bahamas website. You cannot get the immigration cards as the are carbon copy. List you and your copilot as crew. Outbound, only passengers pay the $29 fee, so,if you and the wife or whatever are "crew" you are not subject to the $29 fee for passengers.

Once off shore, monitor 122.8. It's a zoo sometimes... just go with the flow, self announce what you want to do and head on a swivel. Your ADSB should work into the Bimini, Nassau and Freeport areas. A bit further to the out islands it goes dark.

You can carry Miami radio above 7kft all the way to the out islands. Drop below that and "radar services terminated, freq change approved, squawk VFR should be expected"

I just came back last weekend from Eleuthera. If your plans are not solid, I recommend Spanish Wells as a first time trip.
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