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  #1  
Old 09-12-2015, 06:43 AM
GalinHdz's Avatar
GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
Posts: 2,211
Default We flew to Cuba!

I just returned from a flight to Cuba. The experience was AWESOME! We did all the coordinating ourselves and even though the flying portion was a bit expensive it was worth it. For now there is still no official word on flying an experimental aircraft to Cuba (I asked) and you are required to go IFR. I am working on an experimental approval with the Cuban Civil Aviation Authorities and personally think it will happen.

You can read about the trip from a pilot's perspective in the bottom of the ADVENTURES section of our website, www.puertoricoflyer.com.

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  #2  
Old 09-12-2015, 07:12 AM
BillL BillL is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalinHdz View Post
I just returned from a flight to Cuba. The experience was AWESOME! We did all the coordinating ourselves and even though the flying portion was a bit expensive it was worth it. For now there is still no official word on flying an experimental aircraft to Cuba (I asked) and you are required to go IFR. I am working on an experimental approval with the Cuban Civil Aviation Authorities and personally think it will happen.

You can read about the trip from a pilot's perspective in the bottom of the ADVENTURES section of our website, www.puertoricoflyer.com.

Fantastic story! Thanks for posting. One thing that is curious is the radio license requirement. Do we need to get one for Experimental?

The other item was the boarding pass requirement - it looks like they have been well briefed (and prepared) for commercial procedures. It looks like the interface with rules is tricky but the people are not rigid to an obvious rule conflict i.e. boarding pass.

I will be interesting to see what happens to GA acceptance there as time goes by.

Thanks again for this interesting "Adventure" report.

PS the currency is also interesting, I traveled to Siberia via Moscow in 1991. I was told never to pay anything in dollars, only rubles. We stopped in Krasnoyarsk, an official wanted me to pay a passage fee of $20, I thought about it and said I had no dollars only Rubles? She thought a minute and said 20 rubles. Exchange rate was 450 rubles to a USD at that time. It looks like Cuba learned that lesson.
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  #3  
Old 09-12-2015, 07:24 AM
spark68 spark68 is offline
 
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Location: Lk Havasu City, AZ
Posts: 194
Default flight to Cuba

Galin,

Nice report, thanks. Very exciting new adventure! You covered the flying details well.

How about the other details of your stay? How was the hotel? Food? Social aspects?
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2015, 07:53 AM
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GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
One thing that is curious is the radio license requirement. Do we need to get one for Experimental?
Yes you need the aircraft radio station license to get the landing permit. We are working on getting approval for experimental airplanes to go so stand-by on this. We are approaching them on the premise that an experimental aircraft with a VALID airworthiness certificate is no different than a certificated aircraft. For this reason we don't want them to have different rules for experimentals which could take forever and wind up with some wierd restriction(s) just for us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillL View Post
The other item was the boarding pass requirement - it looks like they have been well briefed (and prepared) for commercial procedures. It looks like the interface with rules is tricky but the people are not rigid to an obvious rule conflict i.e. boarding pass.
There has been commercial aviation into Cuba for the past 50yrs so they have that down pat, it's GA they are learning about. No such thing as an FBO in Cuba. We recommend they set up an internal policy to use the GENDEC in lieu of a boarding pass for GA. No additional paperwork for them or us and their computer system already accepts it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spark68 View Post
How about the other details of your stay? How was the hotel? Food? Social aspects?
The food was excellent and the people even better. My wife is writing about that part of the experience. REMEMBER, travel to Cuba by a U.S. Citizen for tourism is still illegal.

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Last edited by GalinHdz : 09-12-2015 at 10:27 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2015, 10:14 AM
Gary 40274 Gary 40274 is offline
 
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Location: Conyers GA
Posts: 348
Default Same o same o

I read with great interest your story. It is almost identical to my experience in the 1980's flying my Glasair III to the British Virgin Islands. They just don't know how to handle GA aircraft without boarding passes and crew without uniforms.

In my case we had come to an impass until another pilot overheard my dilemma and called me aside and gave me his shirt to allow me passage to my plane. It is a great example of having to follow procedures that don't fit the situation. But all governments have their rules.

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  #6  
Old 09-12-2015, 11:44 AM
GregM GregM is offline
 
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Awesome! Love the nose wheel chock too.
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  #7  
Old 09-12-2015, 02:50 PM
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GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
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Default

That nose wheel chock wasn't easy to move. At least we knew the airplane wasn't going to roll away.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...b609bf&theater
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Last edited by GalinHdz : 09-12-2015 at 04:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2015, 03:28 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Thumbs up Galin the Pathfinder

What a great adventure! Thanks for a detailed story Galin and congratulations on being the first! Do they still speak Russian in Cuba? Was Antonov pilot a native?
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Last edited by Vlad : 09-12-2015 at 04:54 PM. Reason: sp
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2015, 03:49 PM
campi campi is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Washington, D.C.
Posts: 215
Default Cuba!!!

Galin,

Congratulations on the trip, and being one of the trail blazers for GA aviation to Cuba. Many others will benefit from your experience and work. Loved the write-up and the pictures.

I would love to travel to Cuba, but because of work will probably wait until tourism by US citizens is allowed -- or I change jobs.

Saludos,

Fernando
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2015, 04:10 PM
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GalinHdz GalinHdz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: KSGJ / TJBQ
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
What a great adventure! Thanks for a detailed story Galin and congratulations on being the first! Do they still speak Russian in Cuba? Was Antonov pilot a native?
I did not run into anybody that spoke Russian but I imagine there are many that do. The Antonov pilot was a native Cuban.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...b609bf&theater

Once we iron out the experimental airplane thing we need to do a trip with just experimental airplanes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by campi View Post
Galin,

Congratulations on the trip, and being one of the trail blazers for GA aviation to Cuba. Many others will benefit from your experience and work. Loved the write-up and the pictures.

I would love to travel to Cuba, but because of work will probably wait until tourism by US citizens is allowed -- or I change jobs.

Saludos,

Fernando
I know what you mean. I retired in 2013 so now I can go. Hey, with the "thawing of relations" you may eventually need to travel on official business there.
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Last edited by GalinHdz : 09-12-2015 at 04:21 PM.
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