Sarasota to Key West, what route do you take?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by cowman, Sep 13, 2019 at 10:38 PM.

?

Which route?

  1. Direct

    4 vote(s)
    15.4%
  2. Follow coastline as far south as possible, then direct

    11 vote(s)
    42.3%
  3. Follow coastline all the way around then follow island chain

    10 vote(s)
    38.5%
  4. do something else

    1 vote(s)
    3.8%
  1. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    KSRQ - KEYW

    Yes, I'll probably be making this flight in a few weeks. I'm pretty sure I know how I intend to do it, but I wonder what other pilots might choose to do. Single engine piston aircraft, day VFR conditions.

    Flying direct takes one out of gliding distance and also crosses the ADIZ, haven't done this before but I believe if filing a flight plan and landing/taking off in the same country it's a non issue.

    Next option would be to follow the coastline as far south as possible then do a shorter crossing over open ocean straight for KEYW, avoids the ADIZ completely and greatly shortens the out of glide distance time. A variant on this might be to head for Marathon Island, shortening the over water time further.

    Next would be follow the coastline but continue beyond the farther south point and overfly the island/bridge chain all along the keys all the way out to KEYW. Again avoids the ADIZ and mostly eliminates the out of gliding distance problem but takes us way out of our way

    Or... something I didn't think of? Maybe locals or people who've done this a few times know about something I don't.
     
  2. 1anG

    1anG Pre-Flight

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    Being that you are flying US to US you do not need to worry about the ADIZ, as for gliding distance I personally would follow the bridge island chain.
     
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  3. JC150

    JC150 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Engine doesn’t know it’s over water, or unforgiving mountains, or a major city. Don’t let that deter you from going direct. I would take V225 to Key West. And I’d rather have to ditch in the open ocean than the swamps of the Everglades. I don’t like gators...
     
  4. Doug F

    Doug F Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No longer a problem...gators are all being eaten by pythons.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I’ve got a trip planned from Tampa to marathon. I figure I’ll either go via X01 or follow the island chain from key largo, depending on how much time I have. I think it would be an enjoyable flight to follow the chain.

    Another thing to think about is all the thunderstorms over the glades in the afternoons. Might make direct more attractive.
     
  6. Jim K

    Jim K Pre-Flight

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    Flying to key west along a1a is a bucket list item for me, but going clear over to key largo adds a lot of miles from the west. Following the coast, then south to marathon puts you over water for 25 miles, but it's shallow, and doesn't add much time to the trip.
     
  7. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    If I had a raft and other proper safety equipment on board, I would fly direct. Otherwise I’m staying within gliding distance of land. I can swim well, but I’m really not a fan of doing it for survival.
     
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  8. geezer

    geezer Pre-Flight

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    To Keys twice, southbound was on the east coast, so naturally down the highways. Returning north, en-route destination Tallahassee, cut across north of Marathon and up the coast.

    I thoroughly enjoy the scenery in the Keys, and fly relatively low over the Keys,, usually quite low and over the water SE of the coast. The Hawk channel and off shore reefs have interesting variations as you travel on toward Key West.

    but on the northbound leg, climb to 4,000 or more for the over water segment. I have a relatively high regard for the reliability of aircraft, but my wife does not swim, so we both enjoy being higher when far from land.
     
  9. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    How high can you fly and what is your Glide Ratio?
     
  10. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    Shark infested water or alligator filled Everglades. It a tough call. I did years back from FMY esat coast and follow the islands.
     
  11. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

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    I never thought of the keys as shark invested waters. Maybe out by the reefs, but not in the shallow water west of the keys, much is so shallow you can get out and walk. Forget the alligators, the mosquitoes in the glades are enough for me to avoid that area.


    Tom
     
  12. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    So, I was leaning towards option 2 with a twist. From the southern tip of the FL mainland KEYW is only about 20 minutes flight time which isn't terrible. We do have life vests on board and can swim, but no raft. A risk, but a calculated one. However, if I go straight from the tip to Marathon Island that flight time is cut down to right around 10min, which if you factor in that part of that 10min will be in gliding range it's not long at all. I've gone longer than that over terrain where I couldn't really make a decent emergency landing so in comparison this doesn't seem too bad.

    I do have a bit of a side motive too, if it works out I'd like to try to fly to the Bahamas sometime next year. If I'm going to do that a 10 or 20min over water flight better not scare me off, this will be a nice way to get an idea of how comfortable that will be.
     
  13. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    You wouldn’t be the first pilot to be intercepted by DEA crossing the ADIZs without a transponder code from ATC.
     
  14. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

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    If afraid of water, try flying over the great lakes. I agree, flying high is the best method from a safety standpoint, but low has better views...do you feel lucky?


    Tom
     
  15. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I think my problem is nothing about it, even going direct, really scares me and I feel like it probably should. Is that nuts?
     
  16. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Maybe, but I don't understand your grammar well enough to know for certain. :D
     
  17. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    Well, is it a Cirrus, cause the chute is magical! Lol.

    I'd probably follow the island chain or do the shorter overwater and go higher. If in a turbine single or twin, then direct.
     
  18. kayoh190

    kayoh190 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    How much does renting a raft cost these days? I think I could be convinced to go direct if I had a raft onboard. Probably fly the island chain and enjoy the view otherwise.
     
  19. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I can swim well too, but probably not after my limbs have been eaten by gators, sharks and pythons.
     
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  20. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I like to fly the coast then follow the island chain. Something to be said for low and slow.
     
  21. wayne

    wayne Cleared for Takeoff

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    Fly down the coast to Naples, then direct to KEYW. There are enough boats down there you'll be able to land very near one. Sometimes seems like you might have to aim to miss them all.

    We flew to Key West from Atlanta, stopping in Lakeland, then Naples and direct to KEYW.

    On the way back we flew low up the keys to Marathon for the view, then climbed, direct to Naples and then Sarasota to see my MIL.

    Get flight following, then if you do have an issue you'll already be on a frequency with ATC and they'll already have you on radar.



    Wayne
     
  22. 1anG

    1anG Pre-Flight

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    Well I assumed maybe premature that he would at least request flight following
     
  23. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    That’s not anymore comforting then the gators. It even might be a bit more terrifying. :eek::D
     
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  24. Perezhr

    Perezhr Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Usually I fly direct from Naples. More times than I can count now. I’m either on an IFR flight plan or flight following with Miami Center (if you are talking to Center don’t worry about the ADIZ). Always have life preserver on and usually between 7.5-10k in my Mooney. If your first time then go to Marathon first to cut down on the over-water distance.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  25. dmcummins

    dmcummins Pre-Flight

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    I go down frequently. I usually go a little past Everglades city, then direct. This keeps me out of the warning area. I’m usually on flight following, so they let me know if the warning areas are hot, but this route keeps me in sight of land a little longer, and doesn’t add much time.

    The water is warm, shallow, and there are plenty of boats in the area. I take life preservers and fly around 7500.
     
  26. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

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    Is KEYW small plane friendly?


    Tom
     
  27. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    Lots of smaller metal flies in there. 100LL from Signature isn't cheap at $6.92, but 50 cents off on the weekends helps that.
     
  28. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    Saw this on Airnav: "Fees for a small single engine. $29 Facility waived with 7 gal of fuel, $5 Infrastructure, $25 per night."
     
  29. dmcummins

    dmcummins Pre-Flight

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    I’ve always been treated fine down there, but there are charges. And you will need a cab or Uber to get anywhere. And if you want to see the Hemingway house you need cash. I still find myself down there about 4 times a year.

    It’s going to cost you about $25-$30 to park for the day. Either from the ramp fee or the extra cost of the fuel. I generally get the 7 gal to waive the ramp fee, it about $3 more per gal.
     
  30. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    How many engines do you have?

    I can see getting yourselves out of the airplane if you have to ditch, but I wouldn't want to have to get a raft out as well. If you're close to land you can get to shore quickly and wait for a pickup. If you're 20 miles offshore, you'll be in the water a while if you can't get the raft out.
     
  31. dmcummins

    dmcummins Pre-Flight

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    If you cut across around Everglades city you shouldn’t be much more the 20 miles from shore at the most. And not for a very long time. And I’ve never crossed where I haven’t seen boats in the area. I’ll fly around 7500’,where I have around 15 miles of gliding distance.

    If your not comfortable with that, fly down to the southern tip, towards marathon, then head to key west. Watch out for the restricted area.