Due to the close proximity of the Bahamas to the Florida Coast, HLP is finding light twin engine aircraft to be the go-to solution.
This week we operated 3 of them: A PA-27 Aztec owned and operated by HLP volunteer Jeff Lewis, a C-310 owned and operated by JR, and an Aerostar 600 operated by Steve. These aircraft all feature of seating for 5 passengers OR seats can be removed to provide an all-cargo or combination solution.
All 3 aircraft are "piston" powered" and burn 100LL (100 Low-Lead) fuel which is currently approximately $6.00 a gallon! Not cheap by any stretch. Capability wise, these aircraft all have similar performance numbers ie: approximately 200-240 MPH cruising speed, ~30 gallons per hour fuel consumption and a useful load of around 1800-2000 LBS (which doesn't include the weight of fuel).
The Aztec operated this week mostly out of Lantana and West Palm Beach. The C-310 split it's time between Opa Locka and West Palm, and the Aerostar operated out of Opa Locka. Flights between FL and Abaco ran about 50-60 minutes each way, and Freeport about 30. Our week-1 operating area is depicted below.