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Author: Subject: ouch! fun strips slowly disappearing
capt. mike
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sad.gif posted on 6-7-2014 at 11:25 AM
ouch! fun strips slowly disappearing


The BBP pointed out that of the 117 small airports that had been licensed in Baja within
the past 10 years, 94 are now closed because if expired licenses with about a dozen more
set to close in the next 12 months as their licenses expire. In the full report that we
provided, it was indicated that almost all of the most popular small GA strips are now
closed. These include:
 The Serenidad
 Bay of LA
 Alfonsina’s
 Punta Bufeo
 El Socorro
 Punta San Francisquito
 Santa Ines
 Cielito Lindo
 Lorenzos
 Meling
 Todos Santos
 Bahia de las Ballenas
 Cadeje
 And more
These strips are closed because of lack of license thusly cutting off the contribution to the
economy of these small villages via aircraft as well as taking away access to these




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Ateo
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 11:31 AM


So what's your professional opinion on why they are letting the permits expire? I'm ignorant.



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capt. mike
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 11:50 AM


well it's not a function of the DGAC "letting" the strips expire - it is all about a bunch of bureaucrat nonsense from the feds making the strip "owners/operators" go thru endless paper and financial hoops to renew licenses as their dates come up. Towns too poor to do it. Serenidad is closed and Don is now having to fence it in to comply with new rules before he can get it re-licensed.



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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 12:54 PM


OK. Thanks. Yeah, I wanna fly into Cadaje someday.............or better yet, San Juanico.



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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 01:16 PM


Yes Mike, it's a different world we are living in today, and it affects everyone, not just pilots but all of the people who benefitted economically from aviation in Baja. The medical and humanitarian help that has been provided over the years also will be very negatively impacted. For all who enjoy and take for granted the other non aviation benefits of Baja, such as racing, driving ATV's freely around, or having free access to sensitive desert or archeological sites, expect the future to hold similar restrictions similar to those presently in play in California.
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 01:46 PM


Mike, are you sure the Pta Bufeo strip is closed? I have fairly current info to the contrary.

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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 03:21 PM


Dang. I'd sure miss Serenidad, Bay of Cross Wind, & Francisquito.



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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 03:48 PM


So what about programs like Flying Samaritans? Will they still be able to use the air strips for medical purposes?

I know nothing about aviation... But maybe the MX government is trying to stop drug trafficking?

I have seen some curious activity at night around air strips
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 04:07 PM


Used to fly into San Francisquito & El Socorro in a buddy's 205 in the old days.... too bad
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 04:54 PM


There are many unlicensed air strips still operating. Some in the places you mentions. Correct?
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 04:54 PM


SOS

One of our funnest Baja trips was Baja 1000 in 2004 chasing down the peninsula on Screaming Airlines with requesite 'pit' stop at Serinidad for mid day taco run then on to La Paz to watch the finishers bring it home. It was a real treat to see from the air all the places we have driven and especially the places yet to go. Good times. Too bad things change.




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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 05:10 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by churro
So what about programs like Flying Samaritans? Will they still be able to use the air strips for medical purposes?

I know nothing about aviation... But maybe the MX government is trying to stop drug trafficking?

I have seen some curious activity at night around air strips


Unless the Mexican government blocks access by bulldozing the strip inoperable, which they have done to many of the old strips, some pilots file a flight plan for a legal strip and land at one of the unlicensed ones. This of course has its risks if the unpredictable enforcement common in Mexico happens to be applied. I don't believe there are any exceptions made for the Medical flights to officially go into any of the closed strips, at least that I have heard of so far. Maybe someone has heard differently. Most of these new regulations are at the behest of the US government who supplies Mexico with all of the high tech Military toys and weaponry you see at the checkpoints and elsewhere, provided they play by the rules. This is in lock step with the tightening of the new bank regulations concerning American bank accounts in Mexico. All of this is to keep winning the war on drugs, and possibly keeping terrorists out of the US. :lol:
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[*] posted on 6-7-2014 at 05:29 PM


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A9rida_Initiative



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[*] posted on 6-8-2014 at 01:48 PM


Planes in and out of Serenidad yesterday and today.....



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[*] posted on 6-8-2014 at 02:10 PM


It's been a long time since I have actually driven out to the BOLA airfield, but isn't that a well-paved airstrip of considerable length?

-----and you say it's "closed"???

Now THAT is a real shame.

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sad.gif posted on 6-12-2014 at 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bufeo
Mike, are you sure the Pta Bufeo strip is closed? I have fairly current info to the contrary.

Allen R


the list is very current off BPI website and last week the Prez of BBP AKA El Jefe Jack was in MX city talking with DGAC. Landing at any officially closed trips has big risks if the Feds go In to full enforcement mode. Medical charities like Sams do not get any breaks. They can still get to Lopez legally and use Guaymas for entry but likely will overnight in Loreto now until Don gets legal. I would NEVER now land at a closed strip even if others are - the Feds are getting more serious - money rules. Fines and fees line pockets. Haven't been south in my bird since 2010 and no plans to do so - too many changes have taken the fun away. and it ain't cost effective either. I may go to La Paz as a friend is moving a 52 ft motor sailor there from San Diego and has a marina space rented so will make fun vaca.




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[*] posted on 6-12-2014 at 03:33 PM


Nomad member 'El Vergel' (Vern) reported the El Vergel runway was recently closed, too. This was the last strip open between San Felipe and Puertecitos. Other runways were once located at Bahia Santa Maria, La Roca, and Coloradito.



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[*] posted on 6-12-2014 at 03:35 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Barry A.
It's been a long time since I have actually driven out to the BOLA airfield, but isn't that a well-paved airstrip of considerable length?

-----and you say it's "closed"???

Now THAT is a real shame.

Barry







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[*] posted on 6-12-2014 at 04:06 PM


This has been a relatively slow and gradual slide from the Golden Age of Flying. The GA flights into Mexico are a mere trickle of what was once a constant stream of planes and pilots southward.

The decline is a factor of many things, age of pilots, cost of flying(especially fuel in Mexico), the USA's pressure on Mexico to fight the drug war(easiest was to close strips), fear of violence in general, economy in the USA and so on and so forth.

Mike will agree that the times we had flying in Baja were awesome, from camping on Isla Carmen with the old dump truck taking you to a beach of your choosing, to the spectacular strip between Palmas de Cortez and the highway, yowzaaa! The Baja Bush Pilots showed the "old guard" how things had changed by choosing to by pass the Hotel Serenidad for the more modern and updated accomodations at Loreto for their Whales Trips a number of years ago. The Serenidad was to flying to Baja as is Oshkosh is to experimental/vintage/ homebuilt airplanes! If you missed, sorry for you. My last flight in Baja was May of 2012. Flying personal aircraft is a very costly hobby unless you just want to get off the ground and fly around by yourself locally in a slow and simple plane. On the other hand, many of us are now slow and simple ourselves, hmmmm, maybe not so bad after all.
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[*] posted on 6-12-2014 at 05:15 PM


Great times for pilots in the 60's, 70's and 80's for Baja... even in the 90's somewhat... I only got to ride in a couple planes briefly over Baja: Capt. Mike's Screaming Piper from Serenidad in 2001 and Doug Bowles Cessna from Alfonsina's in 1999.

Jimmy Smith has some fun flying stories...



As does Marvin Patchen...



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