Training flight to Mexico

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Deelee, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not quite sure where to post this, so I'll just leave it here. Long story short - my parents spend a large amount of time just south of Cancun Mexico now that they are retired. They went down for a few months recently and, unfortunately, my stepmother had a really bad fall. She had surgery in a hospital there and will be recovering for about a month. After that, they will be able to fly back to the states (for good, hopefully). I want to go see them over thanksgiving. I was planning to fly commercial, but.... here comes the question...

    How can I somehow weave in my IR training into this trip? Any way maybe a CFII wanting to build some hours will want to make an international flight with me as the student so I can get some real world xc IFR experience? Then maybe fly back without me and I can take a commercial flight back. Or hang out in Cancun and we fly back together so I can get even more training time?

    I am grasping here and will be completely happy to just pay Spirit the $400 (plus $400 in add-on fees) to fly down there for a few days. But I figured I would ask this group to see if, per chance, anyone has ever rolled training into this type of a trip.

    I am based in the DC area (HEF), but a little travel to meet someone willing to take this on would be worth it to me.

    And sorry in advance if this is a completely off-the-wall post.
     
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  3. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's pretty off the wall, that's for sure, and I understand wanting to make your IR cross country flight more productive.

    Good luck finding a CFII that wants to do such a lengthy trip.

    You've flown into Mexico before? Or is that experience new for you, too?
     
  4. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All new to me (only flown to Mexico commercial).

    Totally off the wall idea, but hey never hurts to ask! I have some money to burn on this and figured it would be more fun than flying on Spirit. And if I get a bunch of time xc and a bunch under the hood or in actual... hey even better.
     
  5. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That’s a good problem to have!
     
  6. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    In my opinion it is not an off the wall question, nor an off the wall proposal. Finding a qualified and willing instructor to make such a trip is likely going to be challenging however. You're going to want to find an instructor that has experience with international flying plus is decent at instrument instructing so that the trip is worthwhile.

    As an instructor, I'd take a job like this only if I had a good idea of where you are at in instrument training and if we had flown a couple of times prior to assess what needs to be taught/learned. I'd also want to make sure that not only is the airplane airworthy and capable of such a trip but to make sure the proper documentation is in place to make the trip. In other words, it wouldn't be a meet up, jump in, and go type of operation.

    If I wasn't halfway across the country and too busy fixing airplanes it sounds like it might be a good time.
     
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  7. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    haha only from my flying budget.
     
  8. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  9. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks all! Yeah, I think this was all wishful thinking. Combining my first international trip with instruction (I am just starting out with my IR) and my low time equals a no go on this. But thanks for the thoughtful responses.

    I will save the money and look to get some experience. I am considering the folks at OBXFlight for an accelerated course once I pass the written and have a few more xc hours under my feet.
     
  10. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Low time and doing a training flight like this wouldn't concern me a ton as long as you were proficient flying the airplane you'd want to take. I personally would take a pass on the trip as a beginning instrument student. There are important fundamentals to learn before jumping into the cross country portion of things.

    To earn an instrument rating you need at least 50 hours of PIC cross country however. While could be expensive to drag an instructor along on such a trip while building the necessary cross country experience, you might still learn some valuable lessons along the way if you did a trip like this VFR.
     
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  11. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I hope this works out for you even though the odds are against it happening. Would be a great way to get experience, and some adventure.

    But even if it doesn't work out, the training will be waiting when you get back....and you'll be able to focus entirely on your family while visiting.
     
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  12. rene86mx

    rene86mx Pre-takeoff checklist

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    MMAN has some CFI's so maybe if you want to avoid flying over the Gulf and plan accordingly, you can arrange something with a CFI from there. MMAN is GA-only/friendly with a lot of N-registered airplanes and most people flying to south Texas.

    About routing:
    I've been trying to fly to the Gulf this past few weekends but the cold fronts have been brutal (+50K gusts in MMTM and MMVR) so probably you are looking at an inland routing: MMSP and get to the Gulf around MMCE).

    If you want just to fly abroad and do some sightseeing, there are a couple of schools in MMUN with C-152s and C-182s. I'm renting the 182 for around $220 all-in, including Mexican CFI (schools here hardly rent if you are not an student). Won't count towards your IR but in a couple of hours you can do the whole Riviera Maya

    I've heard that in MMCZ you can rent Maules and Citabrias from a private airfield but haven't contacted them. The airfield was owned by one of Mexico's most famous GA pilot (he passed away a few years will performing aerobatics in his Extra)
     
  13. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Might be easier to find someone that will fly with your for instruction to border and back from border but for the whole trip that’s probably a tall order. Instead of a homerun swing for some easy doubles.
     
  14. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson Filing Flight Plan

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    It sounds like a worthy adventure to me and lots of learning to take place. Plan ahead and make it happen... just don’t end up in jail in Mexico.
     
  15. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Cleared for Takeoff

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    Flying in Mexico is reasonably easy, but honestly, to those that haven't done it before, it's intimidating, the first-time only.

    Lots of resources on how to do it... but...

    Find a CFII that's experienced in this and willing? Ummm. The Vegas oddsmakers are busy working against you.

    Good luck!!!
     
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  16. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe check on the Baja Bush Pilots site. Odds are that at least one of their members is a CFII. That group tends to know the in’s-and-outs of flying in Mexico.

    gary
     
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