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Flight to Manzanillo

February 2010
by Tom Penick
Email:   tom@tomzap.com
Jalisco Aerial Photos:
Puerto Vallarta
Yelapa and Pizota
Río Tabo
Laguna Agua Dulce
Laguna Larga
Las Alamandas
La Manzanilla
Barra de Navidad
Overland to Puerto Vallarta
Colima Aerial Photos:
Playa de Cocos
Manzanillo Airport
San Rafael
Overland to Playa de Oro
Main Index
Manzanillo Airport
San Luis Potosi Aviation Weather
León - Guanajuato Aviation Weather
Manzanillo Aviation Weather
Monterrey Aviation Weather
Flight to Big Bend Ranch
Flight to Huatulco
Flight to Oaxaca
Flight to Puerto Escondido
Flight Planning: Airnav
Flight Planning: Globalair
Caribbean Sky Tours (maps)
US Customs and Border Protection
MacAfee and Edwards
Photographing the Playas
Regional Map
Great Circle Mapper
Visitors' Comments

Flight to Manzanillo | Georgetown to Monterrey >

Our Piper Arrow


The Airplane

Sectional Charts

    Sectional charts are used for VFR (visual flight rules) navigation. They show landmarks that can be recognized from the air. There are ONC (operational navigational chart) and TPC (tactical pilotage chart) sectional charts available (at least some of them are) for Mexico but they haven't been updated in about the last 20 years. The TPC are 4X more detailed than the ONC. One thing the ONC and TPC don't show is restricted areas. You need the ELA (enroute low altitude) charts for that.

    This year I find that there are now WAC (world aeronautical chart) charts available for parts of Mexico. These are like the sectional charts that we use in the U.S. but the scale only permits half the detail. That isn't a problem at all in Mexico because there are not so many aviation facilities. I ordered 2 WAC charts from Caribbean Sky Tours, MXWAC-MTY-NLR and MXWAC-GUA-CUL. The route of flight from WAC charts is shown at right. Yellow lines are southbound and purple lines are northbound.



San Luis Potosi


Guadalahara and Volcano

Manzanillo and Colima

Enroute Low Altitude Charts

    Enroute Low Altitude charts are used for IFR (instrument flight rules) navigation. They show radio landmarks that can be used for navigation when the ground is not visible. IFR routes are based on these navigational radio stations and extend from one station to the next. These days many airplanes, including ours, are equipped with GPS navigation systems and don't always need the old VHF radio navigational system but the existing routes and instrument approaches based on the VORs are still in use. And with aviation it's a good idea to have more than one way of doing things in case a system fails.

    I purchased the Mexico travel kit from Jeppesen which includes all of the approach plates and enroute low altitude charts for Mexico at a cost of about US$100. The charts also contain the high altitude information and are called Latin America High/Low Altitude Enroute Charts or LA(H/L). Actually, all of Mexico is covered by two LA(H/L) charts numbers 1 and 2 and they are printed on the front and back of a single sheet of paper. The chart excerpts displayed at right show my route; I won't be keeping them up to date so they are not for your navigation.

Laredo to Monterrey

Monterrey to Leon-Guanajuato

Leon-Guanajuato to Manzanillo

Approach Plates

    An approach plate is an IFR landing procedure that is used to guide an airplane to landing when the runway is obscured by clouds or other conditions. The meanings of the abbreviations are ILS - Instrument Landing System, DME - Distance Measuring Equipment, VOR - VHF Omnidirectional Range (an abbreviation of an abbreviation).

    The ILS is the most precise approach, giving the pilot horizontal and vertical guidance at increasing resolution along the glideslope and in most cases can be flown to 200' from the ground in zero visibility. The DME is a radio that tells the pilot how far he is from a VOR radio station with a resolution of 1/10th of a mile. A VOR is a radio that tells the pilot on which compass bearing he is from the radio transmitter on the ground. "VOR" may refer either to the transmitter on the ground or the receiver in the air. In Mexico, each of the international airports has a VOR on the airport and there are not many that are not located at an airport. In the U.S., most of the VORs are not located at airports.

    Here are 3 of the many instrument approaches for Monterrey. Again, I am not keeping these approach plates up to date; they are just for whoever might be curious about such things.

ILS DME1 Rwy29


VOR Rwy16

Flight Plan

eAPIS, the New Customs Requirement

Flight to Manzanillo | Georgetown to Monterrey >

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