Aviation has always been important to Air Unlimited Pilot, Dave Owen, so it was no surprise that he enrolled in private pilot ground school at just 16 years old. His grandparents opened the very first airport in his hometown of Wabash, IN, and Dave spent much of his time there watching and learning anything he could. After completing ground school, Dave planned to continue his education and attend flight school, but was unable to afford it at the time. After a few years of hard work and a strict money-saving plan, he was finally able to continue following his dreams, and he graduated from flight school at the young age of 26. This gave him the necessary experience and qualifications to fly everything Air Unlimited offers, from scheduled service to aircraft charters.
While never letting his passion for flying falter, Dave also decided he wanted to follow another passion path he had grown up envisioning. He worked in law enforcement for many years, keeping his community safe. Once he retired from the police force, he knew it was time to make aviation his life priority once again. Dave feels like he truly found his place at Air Unlimited and definitely isn’t complaining about the perks of the job. He had never been to the Abacos before joining the Air Unlimited team, but island life quickly became something he fell in love with. He began embracing his adventurous side and started boating, water skiing and even barefoot skiing, every chance he had. In fact, he loves water skiing so much that he’d love to become a coach in the unlikely event that he ever loses his passion for flying. However, enjoying island life isn’t the only part of the job that Dave loves. He says the customers and his colleagues at Air Unlimited are what make the job outstanding.
Dave also keeps a very healthy work-life balance, which is important while working in one of the most stressful industries in America. He always tries to go swimming or work out after particularly stressful days and take many vacations with his family. Dave’s perfect vacation would be anywhere in the world with his wife and all of his kids. He has vacationed in Treasure Cay and Green Turtle Cay, and he can’t wait to explore more local towns during his time off. He also hopes to bring his dogs on the next vacation, as they are now “seasoned” flight dogs.
Dave says his next destination will be anywhere that has plenty of sun, sand and surf. Lucky for him, Air Unlimited is expanding its service to North Eleuthera in the Bahamas Out Islands in April 2018. Look for Dave on your next flight with Air Unlimited!
For travelers who have never been to a tropical destination, the fear of the unknown may be a bit daunting. Anything from sea life and sunburns to rip currents and tropical weather can seem like a lot to plan for before hopping on a private flight to the Abacos. The best thing you can do is be prepared and do your homework – in this case, Air Unlimited has done your homework for you. That way, you are ready for anything that comes your way!
It is so important for visitors to take care of themselves to avoid putting a speedbump in their vacation with a trip to the ER. Although you might want to be on the beach from sunrise to sunset, it is crucial that you take breaks from the sun to reapply sunscreen and stay hydrated. According to the American Skin Association, you should use sunscreen that protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays with an SPF 15 or higher. Apply it 30 minutes before going into the sun and reapply every two hours, and after drying off from being in any kind of water. Remembering to drink water can also save you from overheating and possibly being exposed to heat exhaustion. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat, which will cool you down so you can enjoy the outdoors for a longer period of time. This is especially important if you plan on drinking alcohol at the beach, since alcohol will dehydrate you.
Being aware of your surroundings seems like a no-brainer, but there are certain things to look out for to make this simple tip more effective in a tropical destination. Many beaches in the Abacos do not have lifeguards, so it is up to you and fellow beach goers to look out for things like sea life and rip currents. Sharks will be very easy to recognize under the crystal-clear blue water surrounding the Abacos, but once the sun is setting and visibility is lower, it’s time to get out for your own safety. Sharks usually feed at dusk and have no problem swimming into shallow waters to hunt. On the other hand, rip currents are a little more difficult to spot. A rip current is a strong current that runs perpendicular to the beach and moves at about 5 miles per hour. They might not be very obvious when you are in the water, but they become a scary problem when you are stuck in one and being moved out to sea. Rip currents can be 30 miles wide and stretch hundreds of miles long. The easiest way to check for a rip current is to stand back from the water so you get a wider view of the shore and look for places where waves aren’t breaking. Rip currents will be calm on the surface of the water and you will usually be able to see sand being picked up and dragged out to see. Other areas of the beach are still safe to swim in, but make sure you give yourself enough space between yourself and the rip current.
Natural disasters are another very real threat to the tropical areas that we love. Hurricane season is during prime summer travel time and extends into the fall (June to November), so if you have any questions about hurricanes and hurricane safety, feel free to reach out to the Air Unlimited team.
While all of these things might seem like a bit of a deterrent to visiting the gorgeous Abaco Islands, fear not, because none of these happenings can overshadow the fun and relaxation that comes with taking a private flight to the Bahamas Outer Islands. The key to traveling anywhere, not just a tropical island, is simply being prepared. No other location can offer the extreme serenity of the Abaco Islands, so grab your sunscreen, keep an eye out for rip currents, and come have a blast with us!
For more information, give us a call at (407) 585-4300.