Flying to the Bahamas


Gone West
Today the boss expressed interest in taking a trip to the Bahamas in the next few months. I will order the Jepp trip kit when we nail some dates down.

But aside from that what else should I know?

Any suggestions to visit while out that way.


New Member
The Bahamian government is pro GA and operate a very helpful website. Going to the Bahamas is usually easy, it's US customs coming back that can be difficult. I recommend the out islands, don't have much good to say about Nassau.

All-and-all, I think flying around the Bahamas is some of the most interesting flying.


Well-Known Member
Make sure you have the new ELT. Bahamas flight regulations require it now. AOPA has a ton of info about it.


Island Bus Driver
Depart and return through Ft Pierce.FL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Huh??? Ft. Pierce has, by far, the WORST Customs Agents on the entire east coast of Florida (as of 4 years ago). We used to fly out of our way to go through PBI just to avoid those guys.

A few things in general to keep in mind when flying out there...

-As already said, avoid the big tourist spots if you can. Marsh Harbor is by far my favorite.

-Walker's Cay is probably one of the MOST challenging airports in the area but if you can get in, it's well worth it.

-If you file an ADIZ flight plan with Freeport Radio, Miami Radio/Center probably won't get it.

-Be very careful flying at VFR altitudes. There are tons of charter ops that fly quasi VFR back and forth and often times aren't too particular about their altitudes.

-Make sure you spent at least a little time looking inside the airplane at your instruments despite how beautiful it is outside.


Mashin' dem buttons
My professional opinion is that PBI is a royal pain in the ass to deal with. Every time we stop there, without fail, we are harassed. No one meets you at the aircraft. You never know whether or not they want you to offload the bags; you offload ten 50 lb suitcases and they say its not necessary and then you don't offload three 5 lb overnight duffel bags on the next trip and they threaten to detain you because you not following procedure. There IS no procedure at PBI. Its a "make the rules as they go" type operation. The baggage carts that are supposed to be outside are always inside because the agents are too lazy to push them 10 feet out the door.

They take every opportunity to flex their muscle by needlessly inspecting our passengers bags, yet they let EVERY other passenger go through unscathed. The TSA isn't even that bad. They ask personal questions that have NO relevance to their duties or national security, and they do it in a manner so that EVERYONE in the building can hear what is going on; does asking my boss if his ex-wife was on the trip with him or why he has three Viagra pills in his bag have ANY relevance to catching drug smugglers?

Avoid CBP at PBI

My Flight Surgeon

Sr. Aviation Medical Examiner
One of the keys to Ft Pierce is to call the day before and schedule your arrival. That makes it smoother. If they have time to run you through the computer before you arrive, they are happier.:)