Weather and Flight Plan
Flying is so much simpler in the U.S. We called Brownsville Ground and received clearance to taxi to runway 13R. I did the runup there and then called Brownsville Tower and received a takeoff clearance. Several miles north we were cleared to leave the frequency.
We climbed to 4500' where we were above and to the east of Harlingen airspace. As we neared Corpus Christi, I called Corpus Approach and we received radar service (separation from other air traffic via radar monitoring) while in that region. We passed directly over the Corpus Christi airport. I repeated the exercise as we approached Austin and we passed over that airport as well enroute to Georgetown. As soon as landing traffic passed, we were able to begin our descent into Georgetown while in Austin airspace.
We were handed off to Georgetown Tower and made a night landing at Georgetown.
We found the Tampico Airport to be superior to the Huatulco and Matamoros Airports in terms of its layout. All of the offices are in the same location except for the fuel office, which is located in the fueling area. The Matamoros airport had Aduana and Imigración in the main terminal and Operaciones, office of the Comandant, and Flight Planning out by the control tower. It was necessary to go through security and then outdoors to get to the latter offices. Since the process of preparing for flight involves multiple visits to all of these offices, this is a tedious process at Matamoros. If it is raining, you will get wet. If the wind is extremely strong as it was on our visit, you risk losing all of your papers. I recommend Tampico as an airport of entry/exit. Likewise at Huatulco, you must go through security and then outdoors to get to Operaciones. The Comandant's office is inside the general aviation building, an inferior arrangement for the general aviation pilot.
The principal obstacles to safe, enjoyable flying in Mexico are
In spite of this, we would be willing to do it again. I would not enthusiastically recommend this to everyone. I say you might consider a flight into Mexico it if you are patient, flexible, speak at least a little Spanish, and love flying. I think I like being called Capitán too.