Also this is not the kind of plane you can land on 1 of those bush dirt runways pretty much pavement only.What surprises me is how come these narcos haven't combed Alaska and northern Canada for bush planes that have a big payload and can land pretty much anywhere.There's no shortage like the 'Twin Otter' would be perfect,the 'Beaver' or 'DC 3's'.
and then the rest are military grade load carriers.
FedEx uses a Cessna 208 Caravan.
Plane in pic appears to be Cessna 425 Conquest I, or the Corsair.
Eight seater, which you can strip 6 to 7 people, depending on having a co-pilot. 6 people alone are usually calculated as 180#/person. 6 x 180# is over 1/2 ton in load, if you have a co-pilot.
Empty weight 4,915 lbs. Maximum take-off weight, 8,200 pounds. A ton and a half of coke without the co-pilot, passengers and seats, no problem with fuel burn-off and not at the expense of a Learjet.
Stall speed, 91 mph, just above the average speed of the typical Mexican driver outside the urban zone in Quintana Roo. Need 1/2 mile runway, has a ceiling of 34,700 ft. and climbs at 2,027 ft, or almost a half mile, per minute.
That’s all fine and dandy but these planes mentioned need paved runways and lots of it. Clandestine is what Cartels need. A Twin Otter is roughly a 15-20 seater and can land along a rough riverbank using only 200 ft.I wouldn't have believed it til my buddy who has 1 did it with me in the right seat while a little 4 seat Cessna takes 500 ft.Some Twin Otters are sometimes used for scientific expeditions flown halfway around the world to the Antarctic.Dont know their payload but the engines are twin turbines so I’m guessing pretty good and they are very reliable and large for a bush plane.Beavers are all over Vancouver Island used as air taxis on floats or flying to fishing camps.Im thinking could be excellent for landing in rivers and lakes . Yes the floats take some of the payload but you could outfit with wheels like tunda tires and land safely in the middle of nowhere.Do their pilots only fly corporate not bush flying?Also bush planes can land on pavement too.
Think you might could be givin em ideas. Alaska prices also?? Can’t even imagine what perico goes for up there for absolute shit quality at that. I’ve read that the demand is huge in places such as Anchorage.
I imagine Alaskan ports would make for a low profile jumping off point for shipping, given the proximity to Asia, Oceania.
Okay, the Twin Otter is a beast, and of course Canadian, Sydney, British Canada that is :)
It's take-off distance is 1,490 lf. That's a long unpaved road to reach 50 ft. Does carry 19 passengers, with 1 or 2 for crew. Let's say one, 19 * 180 = 3,420 lbs. of people that can be removed. Add the cargo weight or payload for a 400 nautical mile, or 440 mile is 2 tons. So you could realistically put 3 3/4 tons of coke in it if you strip all the seats and have one pilot. The plane will fly on a long range tank for 9 hrs. Maximum operating height is 25,000 ft, but is unpressurized, so you would need oxygen above 10 - 12,000 ft. above sea level. It is indeed a rugged plane and can be modified for all sort of missions. The world tour is ongoing with stops in North Africa, mid-Africa, India, Indonesia, Australia and the Southern Pacific.
How far is Columbia from Central America?
If you fly from Barranquilla, Cartagena, Medellin, or Cali, you could get to Merida or Oaxaca with a final empty tank with that load.
My final take, Canadiana is right! Great plane for hauling a heavy load and delivering over the southern border of Mexico. Not as fast, or high, but a mule!
Frank above is probably right I might be giving somebody ideas that they haven't thought of but then again they are already probably operating bush planes but just haven't come out of the bush to be caught!
Canadiana - The bush planes you are talking about do not have the range required. The Twin Otter will do 1500km ferry range which means no passengers, just full tank of fuel. You load it up with cargo and you lose a couple hundred km in range. Then on top of that, it costs 10 times what a used twin engine cessna costs.
Twin Otter - $2.5 mil range 1500km, Cessna 404 $250,000 range 3000+km. The twin otter is also a turboprop which needs JET fuel, while the piston driven cessna uses regular Av gas, and can also be converted to use auto gas. Makes it easy to refuel anywhere. Even smaller is the Cessna 310 which you can pick up used for $100,000 give or take in good condition and has a range of 1600km. The cessnas can also be equipped with STOL kits allowing shorter runways which is usually the case when its a dirt run way in the middle of nowhere
The twin engine piston planes mentioned do not need to operate from paved runways only. They frequently and easily take off and land from dirt strips, and have been doing so since the 70's.
It's always a fine line between load and fuel range.If you have 1 of more you have less of the other and every flight's needs are slightly different.The ideal undercarriage for a plane that lands on unimproved landing strips is what they call '3 down and welded' which means NON-retractable landing gear.(the reason for retractable landing gear is to save fuel enroute).Fixed in place landing gear isn't so sensitive, has lots of ground clearance between wheels and undercarriage and doesn't collapse if you hit a bump and happen to bounce and land down rough again which can easily tear off a retractable gear risking an accident or worse losing the load to a fire caused by going off the runway because the landing gear collapsed.Now if narcos can build tunnels with great feats of engineering why not a perfectly level dirt strip professionally done or a turf strip or even an oiled gravel strip and probably could be done.Whether it gets maintained is another thing or falls apart after the 1st rainfall but if they can do that in the bush and get big equipment in there then why not a paved strip that could last for years?My 2 cents worth.
Canadiana - A tunnel is concealed so you can take your time building it with good engineering, while a runway is easily spotted from the sky or satellite. No point putting much money into something which can be surrounded and taken over by the military. This is also a reason why they landed on a highway, why pay for a runway when many already exist, you have a convoy block off 2 ends of a road and you have your runway. But yes, when they want to land on unprepared strips they beef up the suspension and landing gear, and most times they are ready to ditch the plane, it costs a small percentage of the profit. This is why they are always buying new (used) planes on a regular basis. Pablo is one of the few guys who had a purpose built paved runway for sending drugs internationally, and he was able to do it because of the power/influence he had including multiple security rings.
blanco puro I guess you are right that makes sense being satellites and all and it would have to be a somewhat open area for landing.This way while landing on a paved highway road you can land in whatever the hell you want for a plane and of course you never have to land in the same place twice therefore there's no one waiting for you to either steal the load or arrest you and the only dangers would be power lines or bridges.It's brazen for sure but if you can get away with it............
I graduated from Cessna 152 to Cessna 182 to Cessna 210 to Cirrus. In West Texas I've landed on county roads, simply because there is no traffic and you need to take a whiz or park in the barn. The biggest problem I had landing on dirt was gravel dings on the prop and sometimes a chip on the windshield. When I flew along the border with a flight plan, for instance into Las Cruces, I was routed directly over Juarez. The color of the lights at night between El Paso and Juarez is a sight to behold, purple against yellow.
There were many runways in West Texas and Southern New Mexico that were installed by ranchers. As the ranchers gained oil royalties they left town, but left their runways in the middle of nowhere. DEA brought in tires and barbed wire and starting shutting these remote runways down because they were being used, over and over.
In Sierra Vista, Arizona, home of Ft. Huachuca, Drone training for the forces, a large blimp flies over town tethered by guy lines heading up into the mountains. This is one of the higher tech installations by the US Government. The only thing is, that you can hike to the base of the tethers, high in the mountains and no one is around, but the casual immigrant, border patrol, etc. Recommend the hike in the Coronado State Park on the back side. Coming in from Bisbee, parking and heading out, you just see how easy it is. Most of the Border Patrol focuses on Nogales in this area. Meanwhile, these ranchers don't have oil royalties, but still have their runways.
Cessna 152,Cessna 172,Cessna 206,Piper Arrow 2 and multi Piper Seneca are the 1's I'm checked out on.(and for the layman the 1st 3 are '3 down and welded' fixed landing gear,the last 2 are retractable landing gear types as to pertaining to my comments on the planes in the above post).I hold both a Private and a Commercial licence but the only commercial flying I've done is aerial photography for company brochures which I'm sure they use drones for now.I was planning on going north of the Arctic Circle to fly the bush but life got in the way ie: got pregnant then married in that order LOL.
LOL!! pregnant, married and cancelled the trips to the Arctic.
Gotta love you!
I quit flying when I couldn't afford it, had to sell my plane and forego short missions from our home base to our project sites. The joy of flying through clouds, lightning storms at night, storm fronts, snow squalls and plateau iced in landings cannot be forgot. Also the West Texas, New Mexico thermals that lifted your plane into the heights, with the edge of the thunderstorms driving you into the ground, how fun is that? Watching the cars drive faster than you because of the headwind, or the speed of a tailwind that left the ground traffic in the dust.
Flying! now home built race kits, clear canopies, tail dragging landing gear . . . . it doesn't get any better than setting your own rivet
I don’t want to hijack this post too much more.Us pilots are a very small community like Parro,blanco puro and me) but I will say Parro I’m intrigued by landing on a road to take a whizz.You don’t have 1 of those piss jugs?Yes after 3 hours it’s about time to land and stretch the legs if nothing else but if I did that here there would be cops all over thinking I had some emergency whereas in reality a person probably ran out of fuel because the winds changed from a tailwind to a headwind or poor planning.Tail drag experience you mention I have absolutely no experience at that but all the perils of the weather well that is flying's worst enemy.Nothing good comes out of a thunderstorm.(I would rather worry about getting ‘up’ than ‘getting down)’.Cheers happy flying.Wish I could come along Parro.I’m sure we’d have fun!Flying is a better high than any drug!