San Luis Potosi airport offices More Photos
The high minimum enroute IFR flight altitudes put IFR flight out of reach for the Arrow for this leg of the flight. The only option is VFR flight. We file a route to Colima and then to San Luis Potosi at an altitude to 11,500'. I add a little time to account for all the climbing we have to do and file for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Although it is not legally required, we will breath oxygen. It's a long way back to Texas and it's nice to arrive without a headache.
I have two waypoints programmed into the navigation radio to assist with this flight.
Actually the volcanoes are quite visually prominent as soon as we take off. We notice that Nevado de Colima has lost much of its snow since we passed by a week ago. The Arrow has no trouble climbing over the terrain. We could probably have chosen a more direct route. On the radio, Manzanillo hands us off first to Colima and then to Guadalahara. We fly over the eastern end of Laguna de Chapala.
The San Luis Potosi airport is at an elevation of 6035'. The terrain quickly rises to around 8500' on either side. To avoid a rapid descent into the airport, we descend to within about 1000' of the mountaintops. It is bumpy. As we descend down the slope into the valley where San Luis Potosi is located, visibility drops to 2 or 3 miles due to dust kicked up by the windy conditions. I stay a little higher because I worry about being able to see antennas. The tower clears us to enter a downwind leg for runway 14 and we land. A strong tailwind has made our flight shorter than planned.
See More Photos of the flight.
The San Luis Potosi Airport
Since our next flight is to Laredo, this is our airport of departure and we must turn in our airplane entry permit, passenger visa, and pilot's entry permit. After our bad experience with Monterrey as our airport of entry, we are interested in checking out San Luis Potosi as a possible alternative entry airport for future trips. We are told that it is a 24-hour airport with customs and immigration services on site. We find that the offices of Operaciones, Flight Planning, Immigracion, Customs, and the Comandancia are all located close to each other although some are outdoors. Some of the officials speak good English and all are friendly. There were no monetary surprises. San Luis Potosi will make an excellent airport of entry.
So on our way to the general aviation building we see the fuel guy and order fuel, then on to the Flight Planning office to close our flight plan and create a new one, then take that to Operaciones where the billing paperwork is started, then on to Imigracion where we show our passports and surrender our visa and pilot entry permits, then on to another office where we surrender the airplane permit, then to the Comandancia to get the flight plan stamped then back to Operaciones to present the stamped flight plan and pay the airport fee. On the way we see the fuel guy and pay for our fuel. And we're done.