When somebody mix security with…balls !

When somebody mix security with…balls !

Those days have been as crasy as hard.

Again flying is the best part of the experience.

As you might know, europeans visiting USA no longer need a Visa. Just ESTA is enough if the planned stay is under 90 days. But that was tricky and when flying a private plane, a lot of people learn the hard way that a Visa is needed.

But why to get a Visa if the US Government state in its spanish web page that the Visa is no longer requested????

So as explained, I knew about in Mexico City. Applied there and paid 160 dollars that were of course, collected, together with my data, but no news until yesterday when I was informed that Embassy in Mexico only provide Visas to Mexicans citizens…

So I was informed about an alternate procedure: go to the border, cross it by foot and have your 90 days Visa waiver. Then take your plane, fly to an entry customs airport and check there for aircraft clearance to enter and fly in USA.

So I did, but first, I called Laredo US Customs about what I was said and they granted the procedure.

Jorge called Mcallen, and same thing happened: procedure was granted !

So I walked to Hidalgo bridge and got my visa waiver. I didn´t tell that I was flying later the plane into Mcallen.  I told I was going to visit Robert and Rosita friends living in San Antonio and then to Lakeland.

When I landed at Mcallen, I went to custom and…..surprise !!!!

The same officer that helped me at Hidalgo bridge was there and as astonished as myself.

To tell the truth, he didn´t like I didn´t tell him about me to fly my airplane there.

He informed his supervisor and return to talk with me.

He was nice and the only one who knew about what I have said and how I have reacted. He granted me with the clearance to enter with my airplane and fly into Lakeland.

He took my passport and stamped a 90 days Visa .

¨That way you will not have problems !¨ he kindly told me.

His son wanted to be pilot, so we talked a while.

Few minutes later, when i was about to leave, his Supervisor Erick called him and ordered to withdraw the granted permit and even the Visa waiver, and send me back to Mexico, not before taking all my data, weight, finger prints and so on.

Mr Erick didn´t want to talk with me: he was aggressive and almost hanged me up.

The Officer tried his Supervisor to calm down and cancel his order, but the angry Supervisor didn´t change its mind.

I talked to the Officer next day and he told me that he really think that his Supervisor overreacted and he didn´t understood his behaviour.

So, I tried yesterday to talk to Supervisor´s boss, Mr. Efrain de los Santos. He told me that I broke the US rules trying to enter the country with an airplane without Visa. He didn´t want to help or change anything.

Don called later the Supervisor, and almost was hanged by him. He told Don that he wanted to punish me  !!!

Punish me???

I thought that Customs´job is related with security, not to punish somebody because he wanted to do so.

The funny thing is that Mr Efrain told me why I didn´t fly direct to Mcallen….

So , who is breaking the rules???

Later on, another Officer told Don that I could have flown to San Antonio and enter with my aircraft and my ESTA.

Would I do that, and now I would be jailed !!

So, I have to be perfect, but is I follow their procedures, I am punished !

Really hard to understand.

Fortunately, USA is USA, and I will not judge the country because a silly guy has decided his balls (or lack of them may be) are more important than Security and many other things.


Tomorrow I will fly to Bahamas Freetown. I am not sure if they clear the overflight without landing first at a customs airport. I understand that if I will not land in US, I will be granted.

Easy to know..looking at the real time tracking.

If  follow the coast, I am granted. If I go overwater, between USA and Cuba, I am not granted.

If everything ok, I will overfly Lakeland at 1800 local, right after the air show. I will rock the wings as salute for all the Sun And Fun people and then fly to Bahamas.

FAI didn´t allow me to skip Lakeland: if I do it, the flight will not be reconized and accepted by FAI. They, also, don´t care about politics or crazy Supervisors…

Sorry not being communicative those days nor inserting videos or photos. Too much work and brainstorming.

Woooooow… I think that I will eat meatballs !!!!!



Jorge Camuñas García / Apr 7, 2016 8:28 am / Reply

If you eat meatballs, avoid the IKEA ones. they are dangerous!!!! Supervisors are only Supervisors, they do not create anything, they only control other people activities and usually wrongly. As the other Jordi(your Vietnam Hero), said, you were involved before in a even more difficult situation so, you can do it.

Si comes albóndigas, evita las de IKEA, son peligrosas!!!! los supervisores son solo eso, supervisores. No producen nada, solo controlan el trabajo de los demás y normalmente mal. Como dijo el otro Jordi(tu héroe de Vietnam), has estado en situaciones peores, puedes hacerlo.

Real Aeroclub de Málaga / Apr 7, 2016 11:20 am / Reply

Don’t be surprised if some pilot of the US is trying to get this FAI achievement in a couple of months. We don´t mind. This flight is YOURS and you will be the first one.

Michel, no te extrañe si en un par de meses hay un intento de algún norteamericano de conseguir este logro FAI. Este logro es TUYO y serás el primero en hacerlo. Mucho ánimo.

Angel / Apr 7, 2016 12:27 pm / Reply

Michelito, no es la mejor solución pero te permite seguir adelante, que es lo importante. Obstáculo superado. Mucha suerte con el viaje a las Bahamas y encuentra un poco de tiempo para darnos envidia y enviarnos fotos de paisajes (las necesitamos) y alimentos que no sean albóndigas difíciles de digerir. Estamos contigo. Muchos abrazos y achuchones.

Javier y Elisabeth / Apr 7, 2016 1:14 pm / Reply

Michel, sentimos mucho que te encuentres en esta situación y esperamos que halles pronto una solución para la misma.
Dificultades como la presente, y otras aún mayores, son algunas de las razones por las que nadie hasta ahora ha llevado a cabo un proyecto como el tuyo.
Un fuerte abrazo y ¡ánimo!

Paula / Apr 7, 2016 1:16 pm / Reply

Michel!! Sé lo difícil que ha sido tomar decisiones en tal ambiente hostil, pero el vuelo sigue y Bahamas te espera! Disfruta de tu vuelo!! Good Flight and Good luck!

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