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Southern Mexico

February 4th to 6th: From Acapulco (MMAA) via Puerto Escondido (MMPS) and Huatulco (MMBT) to Topachula (MMTP)

February 4th was my second day off in Acapulco. I replaced a broken charging cable, requested permits for the next states I planned to fly into and - relaxed.

Guests in the "Los Flamingos" are not the usual tourists. They, like me, like the special flair of this unusual hotel.

February 5th, I took off for the planned flight to Huatulco.

It is getting warm. The ipad soon overheated on my knies. Before it shuts itself down, it reduces the processor speed - evident when the GUI looses its smothness in following the finger's touch. When a tablet is on the pilot's knees in a 140, it is difficult to get it out of direct sunlight. But it helps not to charge it, when it is getting hot. Charging produces additional heat. It charges with 2.3 Amps.

The forecast for Huatulco included gusts up to 25 knots, but when I was 40 miles out, the tower reported gusts up to 30 knots. I decided that this is too much for me and diverted to Puerto Escondido (MMPS).

In Puerto Escondido I waited for the winds to die down. Well, it didn't really happen. But at least, I took off with full tanks again, allowing me to divert after a potential go around. Without the stop in MMPS, this would not have been possible.

Approaching Huatulco The airport is surrounded by forest. It is a nature park, popular by tourists. It was still windy, but experience grows. Landing was no problem.

They didn't have any anchor for the tail wheel. But my parking spot was so close to the edge of the concret, I could use my long rope. Important for me, due to the strong winds.

First time I used my new tie downs.

Commandant's office in Huatulco. Lots of paper. Mexican's love paper and stamp based processes.

February 6th. Last leg within Mexico. Difficult, because it is a long flight from Huatulco to Topachula. The short direct route goes over open water, not advisable without raft and life jackets. Following the cost, there is a military base (Ixtepic - MMIT), but it is surrounded by a prohibited area from sea level up to 9000 feet. The shortest routes in which the cost can be reached in a glide are prohibited areas from 5000 feet up. So I stayed low, reducing the gliding range, reducing the advisable distance from the cost, increasing the flight time to 3 hours, reducing the fuel reserves. Really difficult already during the planning phase in Huatulco.

Take off in Huatulco

Leaving the cost behind

Reality brings additional challenges. Lots of clouds. Circumnavigation necessary. Increased flight time. Increased distance from the cost. Couldn't climb over the clouds, due to the prohibited area above.

Strange wave patterns below

Far away from the cost. Too far. Not good.

A new challenge: The generator no longer charges the battery. Identification is difficult, the 140 does not have a generator fail light. You have to look carefully at the amp meter and see, that it is slightly to the left instead of slightly to the right. Slowly, the battery voltage is dropping. Should be 14V, if the voltage regulator is doing its job properly. I switched off strobes and EFIS, saving battery time. Still had enough juice to talk to the tower, when I landed after 3 hours flight time in Topachula, close to the border to Guatemala.

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