October 13, 2012
By Jill W. Tallman
If you’ve been contemplating flying to the Bahamas in your airplane, PilotMall.com hopes you’ll join other pilots in a nationwide challenge that could win you accommodations at an island resort.
Pilots who document landings at 12 of the 20 Bahamas airports of entry before Nov. 30, 2013, will be eligible to win a total of 23 hotel nights at resorts on various islands. Each pilot who lands at 12 airports will receive an official Bahamas Pilot Challenge T-shirt; pilots who had at just two airports will receive an official baseball cap.
Neil Glazer, president of PilotMall.com, said the challenge is designed to motivate pilots to explore islands they had not previously considered visiting, as well as to attract pilots who have never flown to the Bahamas before. Glazer is one of 11 Bahamas Flying Ambassadors in the United States; he has visited the islands many times in his personal airplane. PilotMall.com is administering the challenge for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Pilots can register for the challenge online. They’ll receive an official Bahamas Pilot Challenge “passport” that must be validated by Bahamas Customs at each qualifying airport. There is no charge to participate in the challenge; registrants are asked to pay postage for the challenge materials.
Glazer praised the ease of gaining entry to the Bahamas through any of the island chain’s points of entry, and said numerous fixed-base operators in Florida specialize in helping pilots with the procedures and equipment they’ll need for overwater flying. Several rent flotation vests and rafts, he said. AOPA offers extensive resources on flying in the islands.
PilotMall.com also is offering special pilot packages and discounts on rooms and meals at some resorts. See the website for details.
History abounds at San Marcos, Texas, where the Commemorative Air Force has a hangar full of warbirds and a museum with Doolittle Raider artifacts.
Alaska seaplane pilots will gather at Lake Hood April 26 for a day of free seminars, briefings, and conversation to kick off the season.
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
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