A Journal, with Pictures

Brownsville, TX to Veracruz, Mexico

by on Mar.19, 2018, under Flying

Our first day of fly­ing on the COPA Cen­tral Amer­i­ca Pana­ma Adven­ture start­ed with 6:30 break­fast at our hotel in Brownsville, then to the air­port for a 8:30 depar­ture for the three and a half hour flight. Part of our group (Flori­da res­i­dence) were com­ing from Key West Flori­da and would meet us in Ver­acruz so we had eight planes in our squadron. We left on time with the tur­bo charged planes going first so they could wait for the rest of us at our des­ti­na­tion but not have to wor­ry about sep­a­ra­tion. The flight was easy down the coast with scat­tered clouds, and we got intro­duced to Mex­i­can, real­ly Cen­tral Amer­i­can ATC. Radar is spot­ty so we were required to report our posi­tion peri­od­i­cal­ly rel­a­tive to a way point. We made a VOR approach into Ver­acruz and got intro­duced to Mex­i­can cus­toms. CST had their agents there to help us and we got through fair­ly quick­ly by Latin Amer­i­can stan­dards. We were off to the Hotel Empo­rio Ver­acruz which is on the water. After check in we did a walk­ing tour on our own of the very scenic old city. A cold cerveza  on the square, a look at the old fort which has a rich his­to­ry and then it was time to meet for the brief­ing for tomor­rows flight to Guatemala City before cock­tails and din­ner at the hotel. Ver­acruz is a very pret­ty, scenic sea coast resort city and a good choice for our first stop.

Our first brief­ing by CST with the whole group took place in Ver­acruz. What was clear was we had no excus­es of not being pre­pared. Pia Hilbert Gard­ner, gave a us a “Pas­sen­ger Itin­er­ary” the gave us every detail you would want to know and just in case you could­n’t read she went over the next days activ­i­ties and sched­ule. Rick Gard­ner, then briefed us on the upcom­ing flight, what to expect and do in cus­toms, in the air, on the ground as well as the fore­cast­ed weath­er. He pro­vid­ed a pilots guide with every pos­si­ble detail includ­ed and then cov­ered the next days depar­ture, flight and land­ing. We were in good hands, so we could relax and enjoy our jour­ney. We had a jol­ly din­ner and start­ed the process of mak­ing new friends.

Tomor­row we fly to Guatemala City, we are off to a good start with a con­ge­nial group.

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