Left Coast Pilot 12-12Written by John Ruley
Mexico, Presidential TFRs and Personal Limits
Last month my wife and I made our last trip to Mexico for the year. The trip down was long but routine. The trip back was something else…
Longtime readers of my column will recall that my wife Kate is a pediatrician with an interest in medical mission work. Before we were married, she spent over two years at a Catholic hospital in Papua New Guinea, and we’ve travelled together for shorter missions (from one week to one month at a time) in Ghana, Cameroon, Guatemala, Uganda and the Philippines.
For the past 15 years, Kate has also worked regularly at weekend clinics in San Blas, Sinaloa, Mexico—and that’s where her mission work connects with flying. The San Blas clinic is a half-hour drive from El Fuerte, which has a 4,300-foot asphalt runway.
From our home base in Modesto, Calif. (KMOD) to El Fuerte, Mexico (MM79) is about eight hours flying time provided headwinds aren’t too bad, but add in two stops—one each for fuel and customs—and you’re looking at a 10-hour day. On this trip it was made a bit longer by the fact that one of our passengers needed to be picked up in Oakland (KOAK).