Missed this when I signed up to discussions
Hello I am Eric.

I am a PPL, 59 with 300 ish hours - learned to fly in 2011 at North Perry (a fun place I think) after being diagnosed as diabetic to add to the hypertension as the only thing I could find that required me to keep the pressure and the sugar under control (no pills on the latter).

British, live in Barbados, l have a US registered Archer II - one of only a handful of light airplanes down here.

I fly for fun and to motivate the medical thing - have done Ft. Lauderdale to Barbados in under 13 Hobbs hours - knocked 10 hours off the previous Archer time in 2017 - mainly I fly locally with occasional visits to other islands - oddly, it costs more to get to Bequia from Barbados than it does to get to New York on commercial so feel a bit privileged to get to visit occasionally.

Keeping an airplane here can be difficult, had to go up to St Barts for the annual nd my BFR, over three hours each way - direct on the way up and via Guadeloupe on the way back, had a broken alternator belt and so no electrics 70 miles out, that was fun.

4 Replies
Hi Eric,

             Although I'm based in Montreal, I'm currently not too far away from you over in Trinidad & Tobago (TTPP) on a rather over extended business trip.

I think you'll enjoy 2019, as there's a person whom you probably know, based out of Bequia, who's working very hard to facilitate the International Air Rally adding to their itinerary a route which includes the Eastern Caribbean. It should attract lots of attention to General Aviation and to the region which should help foster growth.

There are also a couple of GA initiatives in their early stages in Trinidad & Tobago and they're focused on helping bring the regulators and the GA community together with one vision in mind, that being to harness the benefits GA has to offer but in the context of not lowering the current level of safety in the air space of the region.

Like you, I'm in my 50s and have just over 300 hrs logged, so I can understand your desire to keep fit, current and proficient while at the same time having to deal with the extra and unique challenges an owner/pilot has to face in this part of the world, especially the added cost due to low demand for GA support services (economies of scale).

Hopefully that issue will be addressed by there being new GA start up business on the horizon in the region and much more tours being facilitated for GA pilots and their passengers from North America in a similar manner to what transpired with the Yachting Industry as the pilot I mentioned before has pointed out to me.

Glad to hear you made it safely to your destination. 
Best regards,

Hi Eric, 
You are not the only one to miss the intro section.  That flight sounds like it had a real pucker factor to it.
 I’ve got a few hours on my Hobbs too. I just realized that I have an anniversary coming up. My Solo on Dec. 7th 1972, Wow wasn’t that just yesterday?
I was real busy back in those days. Solo, Private, and Commercial all in one year. You talk about an airport bum!
Good luck with that annual. Hope the only problem was that busted belt.


Hello Dave

I think I do know who you mean on Bequia (Belanca guy?) - met him earlier this year when I had a flat tyre there - he fixed it but unfortunately managed to have the plane slip off the jack and go right up though the wing - EC$20 temp repair too get me home and $8,500 for the permanent repair including DER fees - did claim off the insurance as they would likely have subrogated it on to him - put a big dent in my flying plans for the year:(

As it happens I have been chatting with Sam the air rally guy - he was planning to use my airplane to scout the route, never went anywhere as I would have ended up subsidizing it.

It would be good if something happened in T&T - surprised there isn't an A&P based there or none I can find - an odd place (I have an office there) I cannot find out if "handling" is compulsory (the only time I flew myself there it cost more than the flight for over night, had to pump my own gas and there was no one there to get me out the when I planned to leave so had to stay an extra day - the joys of flying it the Eastern Caribbean!). Oh yes and they decided to bill me as if I was a G500 - I told them to shove it;)

My attitude to flying is I fly I follow the ICAO rules as they apply and take no nonsense - too much GA here is focused on $30m airplanes and sucking up the money attendant on it - take no nonsense and in the end they leave you alone- taken six years and I can actually say this past twelve months no one has come to me with their hand out thinking I am wealthy, yippie:)

I have been trying to get a 50 hour check done for the past month - I started when at 35 hours - still going slow, slow, slow now have three hours or so left - thinking of going up to Martinique, if my guy here cannot find the time to do it - we have done parts (oil change, all firewall forward parts) but need to get the lubrication done.

There is the light airplane club here but not people I want to deal with.


Yup the belt broke on the way back from the annual - fixed no problem, only took a week to get one sent down (well two actually, we wired the second one in place for an easy fix if and when the next one goes).

The long flights over water in a single don't bother me - just make sure the airplane is flown regularly (I fly it 2 -3 times a week for around 20-30 minutes a time to keep it all moving) and the engine is properly maintained.

I have good wear all the while life jackets, a GPS PLB and a four man raft (not sure I'll actually be able to get in to it - hope I never find out!) - I scuba dive and so am fairly confident in water, other than that I just don't think about it.