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View Full Version : Altitude of DAE flights to CUR



billy winter
05-23-2012, 03:35 PM
Do the flights on DAE (not sure what kind of plane it is) to Curacao fly low enough to dive
same day as departure (less than 4 hours)?

Thanks

susan
05-23-2012, 05:11 PM
Nope!

smits
05-23-2012, 05:33 PM
they only fly low when they have to transport divers to the deco tank in Bonaire. (Curacao does not have one)

susan
05-23-2012, 05:45 PM
Just fyi, Curacao is in the process of getting their hyperbaric chamber up and operating................I think it might be any day now. And to fly directly after diving, you would have to fly lower than 1000 feet.................I don't believe any airline, even EZ Air or Divi Divi, fly that low in between the islands.

hank
05-23-2012, 08:44 PM
Minimum enroute altitude westbound is 4000 feet and eastbound 3000.

smits
05-24-2012, 04:20 AM
Just fyi, Curacao is in the process of getting their hyperbaric chamber up and operating................I think it might be any day now. And to fly directly after diving, you would have to fly lower than 1000 feet.................I don't believe any airline, even EZ Air or Divi Divi, fly that low in between the islands.

I hope you're right.
A specialised doctor recently returned frustrated to the Netherland because funds for a hyperbaric chamber were note made available.
Money was allocated, but spend on other things.
there are 4 on Curacao. 2 malfunction, 2 others are owned by private companies for their own staff.
The responsable minister is under pressure now.
She announced that a tank, given by Venezuela, will be installed next saturday.
Let's hope there will be a trained staff to operate it.

billy winter
05-24-2012, 09:43 AM
Minimum enroute altitude westbound is 4000 feet and eastbound 3000.

Thanks Hank. I thought I read somewhere that Winair planes from St. Maarten to Saba fly low enough to
dive same day.

tschamp
05-24-2012, 03:40 PM
What matters is the PRESSURE-EQUIVALENT altitude, not the actual altitude. DAE and most other small commercial aircraft are indeed pressurized, you see.
Take a pressure-sensitive altimeter with you and see what it says.
I did this a few yrs ago on Grand Turk and dove two dives the last morning before the 20 minute hop back to Provo, where we stayed a few more days. Don't remember the details precisely but I have a 2007 post on Scubaboard about this...

tursiops
05-24-2012, 07:35 PM
Right, but the pressurized altitude is typically 8000 ft, which is too high.

There are lots of posts on lots of boards about people who have dived and flown the same day.
That does not make it a good idea....you are playing the odds, and they are against you.

tschamp
05-25-2012, 08:19 AM
Right, but the pressurized altitude is typically 8000 ft, which is too high.

The 8000 foot number is for large planes that fly at 33,000 feet or thereabouts.
Small 30-minute island hoppers don't get nearly that high and have pressure altitudes less than 2000 feet.
Measure the actual pressure altitude on the originating flight or forget about it. Just guessing is not a good idea.
I use the Brunton Nomad V2 Pro...

tursiops
05-25-2012, 09:07 AM
The 8000 foot number is for large planes that fly at 33,000 feet or thereabouts.
Small 30-minute island hoppers don't get nearly that high and have pressure altitudes less than 2000 feet.
Measure the actual pressure altitude on the originating flight or forget about it. Just guessing is not a good idea.
I use the Brunton Nomad V2 Pro...
And what do you do if you find the flight is not at the pressure altitude you'd expected? Jump out?
You've got to plan your flight and fly your plan....so to speak.
Just guessing is fine...if you guess 8000 ft pressure altitude.
Are we talking about low, small, island hoppers, or DAE Curacao-Bonaire?

tschamp
05-25-2012, 10:47 AM
And what do you do if you find the flight is not at the pressure altitude you'd expected? Jump out?
You've got to plan your flight and fly your plan....so to speak.
Just guessing is fine...if you guess 8000 ft pressure altitude.
Are we talking about low, small, island hoppers, or DAE Curacao-Bonaire?
This has only come into play once so far personally, back in 2007.
I measured the flight profile from Provo to South Caicos and from there to Grand Turk on day one of our dive trip.
Pressure altitude went below sea-level for a bit when they pressurized just before take off and stayed below 1000 feet the whole 15-20 minute flight. So we used that evidence to do our dive&fly planning for three days later.
If the aircraft pressurization system had FAILED on the return flight from GT to Provo, then yes, we would have had to jump out.
It's undoubtedly safer to avoid any flying for 24 hours after diving, no argument there.

I've not flown DAE recently, with or without my altimeter, so I can't report on that.
We are flying Insel CUR-BON-CUR the end of October, so I'll measure the cabin pressure on those flights if I remember.

petri hausmann
05-25-2012, 10:48 AM
according to today's Amigo the decompression chamber donated by Venezuela to Curacao will not be ready for a while. It is to be installed and operated by a team from Venezuela until the new hospital is built. A advisory in the paper emphasized that it can take hours to arrange a flight to Bonaire for emergency treatment. Also. you can not count on what type of aircraft will be doing the flight even if a particular one is scheduled. Is it really worth the gamble? personally for me .. NO.

Bill Thorpe
05-29-2012, 10:52 PM
Hi Susan,
Yes, I've been aboard Divi Divi when they've flown below 1000 ft--more than once!