Getting to Bahamas in coming weeks - Charter options?

Acadia

Well-Known Member
Folks, I have a friend that does damage assessment work in the marine world, and as you might expect, that work is going to be in demand in the Bahamas. I am trying to connect him with reliable flight operations that can get him to Great Abaco in the Treasure Cay area from South Florida. Don't know if there will be usable runways or if it would need to be float plane or even helicopter? He is probably looking at daily round trips for a few weeks from wherever he needs to fly out of in Florida. Could any folks (or folks with that knowledge) suggest best bets for this kind of charter operation to the Bahamas?

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
The recent photography of that area didn’t look like anything other than rotor wing was going to be reliable. Good luck.
My guess is the US and/or UK will have combat engineers there within 24 hours clearing the runways and CCT setting up a mobile control tower and there will be planes landing within 48 hours. Even in Haiti they had planes landing pretty quickly and there they had to repair the runways. Here they just need to bulldoze the debris off.

Or maybe Trump told them to get ready to assist Alabama instead.
 

denverpilot

Well-Known Member
My guess is the US and/or UK will have combat engineers there within 24 hours clearing the runways and CCT setting up a mobile control tower and there will be planes landing within 48 hours.
Probably. We’re pretty generous like that.

Plus there’s a lot of tax haven banks that need rebuilding. And the broom closet that was the “headquarters” of one of my former employers. LOL! (One of my former co-workers was bored and there once and actually hunted it down and sent us a photo of it. Hahaha. It actually existed!)

Kidding aside, what a mess.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
My guess is the US and/or UK will have combat engineers there within 24 hours clearing the runways and CCT setting up a mobile control tower and there will be planes landing within 48 hours.
The airports are mostly uncontrolled. But also built on top of sand, so who knows what is under them after the water drains off.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
I'd take a boat. It's not that far. Marsh Harbor was under water the last time I looked, and the boat affords a lot more options than an amphibian.
Even with good charts and GPS, boating there involves getting really close to rocks and sandbars - was just there last month on the water for a week. Paying a local guide was necessary. And the marinas are all pretty much destroyed. Going to be airplanes and helicopters for a while.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Tropic Ocean Airways out FLL is just about the only reputable 135 seaplane operator out of S Florida. They’re already going to make trips out there as soon as the runways are clear.

Seaplanes at this time would be dicey given the shift in sandbars, changes in topography (beaches are underwater and potentially rocks now) as well as submerged/ partially submerged objects.

Oh, and there is also a NOTAM that until further notice the Abacos and Grand Bahamas islands are off limits except for Government aircraft.
 

T/O w/FSII

Well-Known Member
No offense, but let his company work it out. Literally any charter company that flys out to the islands will be...flying out to the island.
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
No offense, but let his company work it out. Literally any charter company that flys out to the islands will be...flying out to the island.
Thanks and I should have been clear that this work would certainly not start until rescue and life safety work was secure and the next phase was appropriate. He is a smaller operator and was flown in to the last Caribbean Hurricane area a few years back, and learned that the companies he worked for did not usually know how do deal with these situations. He asked if I might be able to figure out who the reputable charter companies are with more capacity.
 

FloridaLarry

Well-Known Member
Dorian creamed the Bahamas - destruction is unbelievable. Grand Bahama International is reported to be under 6 feet of water.

Seaplanes could land ON the runways?
 

Acadia

Well-Known Member
Understand that it is not accessible now and probably not for a while. Looking for reputable charter ops that would be the good targets to work with once that changes and it is suitable to visit. I talked to him this morning, and the companies will basically look on the web and throw a dart to pick an operation. That has not worked well in the past, so he was simply hoping to find what the local professionals might recommend as good operations to work with in this region. It has been 17 years since I last flew in Florida, so I don't have the slightest idea.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
There are now hundreds if not thousands of Facebook groups and GoFundMe pages going for the islands, plus the armada of people now willing to do a crossing in their 21' SeaRay over with supplies. This is a summary of the various discussions that I've seen about going to the Bahamas by air or sea over the next few weeks:

You'll need round trip fuel.

S. Florida has limited helicopter operators, it isn't NYC or LAS.

I have yet to see how any sort of distribution point over there has been set up yet.

No marinas, no docks... Beaching a boat will be a 50/50 chance of hitting a rocky shoreline.

Roads are washed out, which means the runways might be damaged and will need to be inspected before operations resume.

Good luck if you need any sort of GSE. There are no GPUs, huffer carts, tugs, stairs, buildings, etc. Even worse if you end up AOG.

The storm has passed, but the weather hasn't returned to normal yet. Still 20kts of wind and 3'-5' seas. It'll be a rough ride in that SeaRay.

We'd like to think looting isn't going to happen, but people have lost everything except the clothes on their backs. They will be desperate and desperation changes things.

Even though it is the Bahamas, which to many of us just seems like a neighboring state, it is still a foreign country and there are rules that have to be complied with unless otherwise stated. Duties have been waived, but still need to enter via designated points of entry.
 

Pilot Fighter

Well-Known Member
The boats are being told to stay away for now, since nobody knows where sandbars are anymore, and more boats run aground just causes more trouble.
This wouldn't be an issue for many smaller boats. I've known guys that routinely loaded up on fuel and took a 17 foot Boston Whaler from FL to Bimini.
 

Adler

Low-Level Individual
There are now hundreds if not thousands of Facebook groups and GoFundMe pages going for the islands, plus the armada of people now willing to do a crossing in their 21' SeaRay over with supplies. This is a summary of the various discussions that I've seen about going to the Bahamas by air or sea over the next few weeks:

You'll need round trip fuel.

S. Florida has limited helicopter operators, it isn't NYC or LAS.

I have yet to see how any sort of distribution point over there has been set up yet.

No marinas, no docks... Beaching a boat will be a 50/50 chance of hitting a rocky shoreline.

Roads are washed out, which means the runways might be damaged and will need to be inspected before operations resume.

Good luck if you need any sort of GSE. There are no GPUs, huffer carts, tugs, stairs, buildings, etc. Even worse if you end up AOG.

The storm has passed, but the weather hasn't returned to normal yet. Still 20kts of wind and 3'-5' seas. It'll be a rough ride in that SeaRay.

We'd like to think looting isn't going to happen, but people have lost everything except the clothes on their backs. They will be desperate and desperation changes things.

Even though it is the Bahamas, which to many of us just seems like a neighboring state, it is still a foreign country and there are rules that have to be complied with unless otherwise stated. Duties have been waived, but still need to enter via designated points of entry.
Friend is heading over in a 108 ft boat loaded with supplies, they were told not to bring generators -- there is no gas. Also anything else you being will probably get stolen too. The few people with houses are getting forced out by desperate people taking them over. The humanitarian has mission and quickly changed into a salvage of the owners estate.
 

higney85

Property of Scheduling
I’m scheduled to start a trip tomorrow (9/5) with a MYR turn and then to NAS to overnight. Schedule still shows “on time”. This could be interesting.
 
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