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El Salvador

There was a maintenance hangar in Topachula, but I found no mechanic, who could help me to troubleshoot, why the generator was no longer charging the battery. So I removed the battery from the aircraft, charged it and re-installed it. February 7th, with a full battery, I was ready for my flight via Guatemala to Ilopango (MSSS) in El Salvador. Emigration was typical Mexican. Many stamps and visits to different offices in the GAT. The river in the picture is the boundary to Guatemala

The news was full of an eruption of volcano "Fuego" in Guatemala. According to the NOTAMS, a circle with a radius of 8 nautical miles around the volcano was to be avoided, but Foreflight showed a 50 miles circle. I didn't find the SIGMET or NOTAM for this and planned my flight around it, increasing the flight time to more than 3 hours.

But suddenly, the circle disappeared and I replanned a shorter route.

Volcano Fuego in the distance was quiet.

After 3 hours and 22 minutes flight time, I arrived in Ilopango. Once parked, 10 military looking men approached me. Half of them, equipped with automatic weapons, secured the parking position in the background. The other half friendly explained that they have to search my aircraft. Just routine, they said.

After offloading luggage, equipment, fuel boxes and more, I had to remove the seats. They wanted to look into the tailcone of the fuselage, engine cowling, wing inspection holes. They even unscrewed the headliner. Dogs sniffed everywhere. Really just routine?

As they found nothing, they became friendlier and took photos in front of the aircraft. Then, they left and I was free to taxi the aircraft over to the AeroClub El Salvador. AvGas is only available at the AeroClub, they said.

After fueling, I looked for a mechanic to troubleshoot the generator issue. Found a very friendly person, who was teaching young men to become mechanics. They looked at ancient history.

We discovered an issue in the voltage regulator, exchanged it and closed the issue in the logbook. Battery is being charged again.

Then, someone said that I have to do the new medical check due to the Corona virus. I was the only international arrival, so they had a lot of time and asked a lot of questions. Finally, they let me go.

I had a very good time in San Salvador. They secured my plane in a hangar, took me out to dinner and organized that I could stay in an accomodation belonging to the CAA. I can truly recommend Ilopango and El Salvador. They like private planes. Picture shows the view out of the window of my accomodation.

Swimming pool with a plane

Plane, parked here for a long time

February 8th, I flew around locally, checking the new voltage regulator. Everything worked perfect. Ready to fly to Nicaragua tomorrow

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