|Volume 4 Issue 1||ONLINE EDITION||
Comp Air 6 Takes a Caribbean Cruise
Cruising over the crystal blue waters and beautiful sandy beaches of the Caribbean is a pleasure that few get to enjoy. During the first week of March 2000, private pilot Ivan Guzman enjoyed that rare privilege when he flew over 1200 miles - from Florida to St. Croix, where he resides. St. Croix is a beautiful little island, nestled away just a little southeast of Puerto Rico. Local residents enjoy golfing, deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, and wind surfing during their leisure hours. Guzman had just purchased his Comp Air 6 from Steve Darrow of Merritt Island, FL, where the airplane had been used as a factory demonstrator.
The weather was beautiful for the entire trip. As the CA6 cruised along, scattered fair-weather cumulus clouds played hide-and-seek with the islands dotting the Caribbean. Guzman, who prefers VFR flight to IFR, was thrilled to be able to make the flight in good weather. Although he's accumulated over 400 hours of flying experience, Guzman had never before had an opportunity to fly through the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, or along the shoreline of the Dominican Republic.
Guzman's Comp Air 6 is equipped with a Continental O-470 engine that was rebuilt after removal from an early model Cessna 310. The 235 HP piston powerplant provided a comfortable economy cruise - averaging 140 knots at the Guzman's preferred cruising altitude of 7500 feet. Fuel burn was an economical 13 gph. Guzman commented that the trip cost less for fuel than a 1-way airline ticket! Guzman's first stop was at Exuma, Bahamas. After refueling, he continued to Grand Turk, the eastern-most island in the Turks and Caicos. From there, he then headed south to the coastline of the Dominican Republic. As the mountains of the Dominican Republic passed by on his right, he headed east again toward Puerto Rico. He arrived at San Juan International airport a few minutes before sunset, where he stopped for the night. Early the next morning, he finished the last leg of the trip with a quick one-hour flight home, where he was greeted by his wife Claritsa and very excited seven-year-old son Eric.
Within hours of his arrival, several of Guzman's flying buddies began expressing interest in buying shares in his new airplane. We wish them all well, and we'll be looking forward to hearing more of their Caribbean adventures in the future.