As if this week could get any better! I got to fly mid-week on Wednesday to take our passengers a whole five miles away to the island of Saint Maarten.
I’m so glad they decided to fly instead of taking the ferry. Who takes ferries if they have a perfectly good airplane?!
This is our life raft that we keep accessible inside the cabin. It weighs about sixty-two pounds and should only be inflated outside the airplane. Write that down. Outside.
This is one of two nose baggage compartments. Sometimes we keep bags here. It isn’t pressurized, so I don’t put anything valuable here (like my computer or explosive makeup containers). It gets pretty cold in here. And luckily for me…there is a placard reminding me not to put any live pets in here. Live pets wouldn’t be so live after a flight in this compartment.
I also store our gear pins and pitot covers in here. They don’t seem to mind the severe cold or lack of oxygen.
One pin goes into each of the gear: the nose, left, and right main gear. There are two pitot covers on the right side of the airplane, and one on the left.
The bright-red “REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT” cannot be mistaken. With these still in, we can’t retract the landing gear! Which means we have to stay really slow and thus won’t be able to go far at all. That would be rather awkward to explain to passengers, so I always ensure that the instructions are followed…and that they are removed before flight.
A popular item in any pilot store is a bright-red women’s tank top with these same words. Creative? Not so much. But who says pilots have to be creative?
By straight-line distance the flight from Anguilla to St. Maarten was only 5.7 miles. It took a whole six minutes to get there.
TNCM is St. Maarten. The map is course-up (not north-up), so it is actually backwards in real life. St. Maarten is south of Anguilla. In case you ever come here and don’t want to get lost. I was in two countries today, since St. Maarten is ruled by The Netherlands and Anguilla is British. Look at me, the little world traveler!
I didn’t get my passport stamped in St. Maarten (crap!), but luckily people will believe that I’ve been here because of pictures. Right? You believe me, right?
I love this picture because you can see St. Maarten in the distance with all the mountains. Anguilla, which I am on for this picture, is relatively flat. We are going to fly just a short hop over the Caribbean Sea to St. Maarten. I’m actually sitting in the cockpit of a Phenom 300 for this shot, just before we started engines.
Hi, Anguilla’s Lloyd Tower! Anguilla also has a mini airline which trucks people from Anguilla to other islands in the eastern Caribbean. We actually saw several of these airplanes land in St. Maarten while we were there for the day.
We departed Runway 10 from Anguilla, which took us off towards the east. We circled around to the west the prepare for a RNAV approach to Runway 10 at St. Maarten.
Thanks for blocking the view of my hotel at Meads Bay, Clouds. I’m trying to share the view with my lovely readers, and you’re blowing it for me!
Hello, St. Maarten of the Netherlands! If I was Dutch, I would probably choose to live here rather than the motherland. No offense, freezing-cold European motherland.
The famous St. Maarten’s Sunset Beach is just shy of this runway. This is the beach where people appear to be just a few feet underneath landing Boeing 747s. Luckily, our efficient engines didn’t blow anyone out into the water when we landed. I will share more pictures of this beach on Monday. Lucky you if you can wait!
We put the wind gust lock into the yoke for its day on the ramp. See the “REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT” tag on the left? That will come out before we leave. Isn’t this a beautiful cockpit?!
Look! Another Citation Sovereign! I see these guys everywhere lately. Is it fate? Should I add it to my Christmas Stocking List?
But I am rather partial to this pretty little lady, who spent the day on the ramp in St. Maarten to work on her tan. Me, too.
On Monday, I will share more pictures of my time spent in this heavenly island. I get a little picture-happy when I am in paradise, and it’s best to break up the dozens and dozens of photos so each gets its proper stardom. Besides, looking at tropical islands is no-doubt boring to most of you, so I will limit how many pictures pop up in a day.
As you read this today, I am on my looooooong trip back home. We will stop in Ft. Lauderdale to clear Customs, then continue on to Texas for a fuel stop before making the last leg home. It will be a fun day, but what hasn’t been fun this week. I think I can maneuver the shoulder harness around my slightly-pink shoulders.
Please turn into a tan. Please turn into a tan. Please turn into a tan.