Panama buerocrats

Trip Start Jan 26, 2012
Trip End Jul 09, 2015

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Where I stayed
Hotel Costa Inn
What I did
mostly Custom at the airport

Friday, February 3, 2012

Not an easy start today in Chetumal

It rained all night and me leasy dummy did not put the canopy cover on last night.
Arriving @ the the Chetulam Airport MMCM went the departure procedure , Custom Imigration and Airport Authority fairly easy , lots of friendly People and no problems.
The weather was still lousy , therefore filed  IFR to MPMG via
Uleva BZE B753 TNT LIBIS A502 MGA A317 TUM , FL110.
After waiting an break in the constant rain , packed up my Bike and stuff and started the Engine,
bang !!! sounded like some kind miss-fire and the RH Mag Light came on , which on my Airplane is the Lightspeed Ignition, sure enough running the Engine the RH Ignition was not working..............
now what.After telling the Tower to put the Flight Plan on hold ,shuting down the Engine went looking for an Mechanic which an Volt meter to check things out.
The Lightspeed IGN had 12 V Power , but it was all went around the Box which is mounted on the inside of the Firewall , somehow Klauses Box is not water proof and the Water from last Nights relentless rain had found is way inside. I removed the Box and after opening find some traces of water inside, wnt over to the Airport mechanics workshop and used Nitrogen to dry out the Box.
I really tought this is not going to work and that I would have to Call Klaus in Santa Paula to send me an replacement Box and was prepered to stay a few Day,s in Chetumal Mexico .
But it never hurts to try and after re-installing the Dryed out Ignition Box ,the Engine started just fine and purred like a kitten. Thank you Klaus for making such an incedrould strong Elecronic Cirquit Board which even after getting wet worked just fine after drying out.
Morale of the story ...............alway put the Canopy Cover on.
Finally about 1 1/2 hours later got an Take off clearance and climbed it to the wet overcast, broke out around 10000 ft , enjoying the warm sunny day up there and settled in for the 900 NM miles Panama. every ones in a while got an glimpse to an break in the Cloud cover to the landscape underneat, Honduras has pretty rough terrain from what I could see. ATC wanted me to climb to FL 180 which I declined since I was to heavy with all the extra Fuel in the back and therfore got some few diversions around some restricted Airspace.
I have found with the newly Overhauled Engine on the SX I can easy file for 250 KTS and at FL110 I gewt actually between 265 -270 KTS true Airspeed , pretty good for this little Bird!
Inbound Panama City Down Town Air4port got Radar Vectores to Runway and broke out @ 4000 ft for the Visual 36 ,the only problem was to Runway was only like 2 miles ahead , so it was an fairly steep approach ,, which the SX handled just fine ,I guess that ATC uses this procedure because of Noise restriction and the the traffic is mainly Dahs8 and for them this not really an problem.
Got taxi instruction to stand 10 from Ground control where I was met by I taught was Custom , becuase the had Drug sniffing Dog,s. No problems and after re-locating the Airplane to the Over night parking spot I went to OPS where I was told that I would need to pay an fine since I had no prior Landing permission and all N registered Airplane needed 72 hours advance Clearance, well the Officials in Mexica told me that and 3hours advance Flight plan fling would be sufficient, but let things cool down and may be before I leave her here in a few day,s things have cooled down a bit and maybee ther are different people in the OPS office.
After unpacking my Bicycle and cycling across the ramp got unwanted attension from some official and was told to go to Customs..........well the lady sitting there at her Desk eating French Fries and Hambuger was very vocal and dissplayed her didd pleasure being disdurbed in her Duty,s and told me that I should have come first to her right after Landing and not one hour later.
I told here that I taught the men with the Dog,s wher the Custom People , but it turned out being the Police I was told , after some more chatting and waiting finishing her meal she finally got friendlier and was Interested what Im doing here with me Bicycle , I told her the plan about Cycling cross continental from one end to the other along the Panama Canal.
She warmed up I finally all the problems solved left the Airport 3 hours after Landing , in the meantime it was dark , my Rear Light on the Bike would not work , the traffic in Panama is cracy
, but I managed to cycle into Town town  Panama where the first 3 Hotel I visited wher all fully booked , anly @ the Costa Inn which I give an extra star for the Coachroches the Reseption Lady had mercy with an tired Cyclist and I got an room ,a couple Beers later went to sleep only to wake up around mignight to the blarring TV next door. Banging the Wall had no effect I guess the person next door needed the TV to sleep so I tuned on the rattling window AC which helped with noise canceling.................I will see what tommorow bring .........

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Great story so far. keep us informed. Glad to hear the SX is doing good.

Chuck Cheeseman on

Keep us posted, Heinz. This is fascinating!

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