The first Cayman Islands ‘fly in’ in a few years is coming later this month.
It will consist of some 15 aircraft or 35 participants scheduled to depart Key West for Grand Cayman on Friday, 22 February for four days of tropical mid-winter enjoyment.
Caribbean Flying Adventures is bringing the fly-in.
In the past an annual overseas flight came every year from Key West and was known as the Cayman Caravan. It first flew here in 1991 and came for 15 years. The last official Cayman Caravan flew into Grand Cayman in 2005.
Organiser of the new fly-in, Jim Parker, President and Chief Pilot with Caribbean Flying Adventures said, ‘This is the first Cayman Fly In event for Caribbean Flying Adventures, although we have flown our aircraft to the Caymans four times in the past. We have also organised fly ins to the Bahamas.’
This four-day, three-night flying adventure begins in Key West, Florida with a Friday morning departure briefing and arrival in Grand Cayman in time for lunch.
The group will stay at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort on Seven Mile Beach.
‘Participants will enjoy swimming with the stingrays, diving, sunset cruises and discounted group meals at some of Grand Cayman’s ocean-side restaurants,’ said a press release. An optional half day flight to Little Cayman for lunch and snorkelling is also planned.
Mr. Parker noted, ‘We did participate in Cayman Caravan in the past. We were comfortable flying to Cayman Brac, Little Cayman and Grand Cayman on our own. Many pilots, particularly first time fliers to the Caymans, prefer to travel with a group.’
Mr. Parker believes the Cayman Islands offers a unique, exciting and tropical destination for US pilots to fly to.
‘The distance from the Florida Keys to the Cayman Islands is only 330 nautical miles. That’s about 2.5 hours for most single engine Cessnas. There is the added novelty of flying over Cuba.’
Mr. Parker has already announced plans for a larger fly in in early June. ‘The model is to provide pilots with knowledge, documents, charts, Cuban over-flight permits, safety gear, discounted hotel rates, help with Cayman and US customs and a warm welcome in the islands.
‘They will learn the ropes by doing it themselves, with guidance, and can then return under their own steam. Caribbean Flying Adventures is co-ordinating with Cuba’s Civil Aviation Authority, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Cayman Civil Aviation and Cayman Airports Authority to make this fly in an experience of a lifetime.’
Although the June fly in has not yet bee formally announced, they are looking at 12 to 16 June for the event.
While this month’s fly in will consist mostly of adults, one pilot will bring his grandson and visit his granddaughter who attends medical school here. ‘I have had some inquiries about children for the June fly in and of course informed them that Cayman is an ideal holiday spot for families.’
Mr. Parker said that pilots and aircraft owners are always dreaming of exotic flying adventures.
‘The Cayman Fly In is the ideal flying experience because it encompasses the Florida Keys, the Caribbean, a Cuban overflight, a destination that is English speaking and exceedingly welcoming and a huge variety of activities so there is something for everyone.’
There are a few slots left for more pilots for the February trip. For details, visit www.CaribbeanFlyingAdventures.com