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Fuelstop Portugal/Spain before Atlantic Crossing

A friend of mine is going to start his Atlantic crossing tomorrow.
His flight plan tomorrow will take him from Austria to Azores with a fuel stop somewhere in the Northern Spain or Northern Portugal.
Could anybody please recommend a good GA friendly airport with reasonable 100LL.

The GC course will just touch Santiago in Spain, so somewhere in that neighbourhood would be great, or a bit south into the Porto area could work too.



What customs status do the Azores have?

Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

Azores is a part of Portugal right??

I guess this is only an issue on departure from Santa Maria to Canada.

I would think this will be an intra EU trip all the way to the Azores


I always found San Sebastián helpful, but it’s some years since my last visit.

Oxford (EGTK)

Looks like the big issue here is going to be Fuel price.
Santigo is around 3,50€ a liter!!

So this thread will more be a “where is it cheap fuel” question.

I guess South West coast of France is an option too.


With which plane and extra fuel options is he doing the Azores crossing? Twin engine?

I could do the Azores with mine but in case you ditch, you can read an entire library and grow a 1.5m beard before they come to pick you up…


If you ditch in the Atlantic you are gone… Doesn’t really matter where you are.
Its a calculated risk in any cases. But its a bit higher on the Azores-St.Johns
He is OK with this risk.

Now we need some support on cheap fuel before getting to Santa Maria where we believe it to be pretty expensive.
So the more cheap fuel he can tanker into LPAZ, the cheaper the trip will be.

Looks like France is the cheaper option, but will burn more of the “extra” fuel before getting there.


Just fly to France, bunker, continue to the last avgas bearing airport on mainland Portugal, fill up what you’ve burned so far and then do the hop. My typical bunker place is Belgrade after which comes expensive Greece and avgas free Africa… A ferry setup can easily raise suspicion so I would avoid any of the notorious French airport like Biarritz. Best a small club field.

Which aircraft make and model?

There were quite some people that got rescued after a ditching in the Atlantic. Just recently a Cirrus where they got the ferry tank install wrong.

Last Edited by achimha at 21 Oct 19:24

(I know a guy who did it in a C-182, but the other way: Florida-Azores-Germany … )

He flies a Bonanza
The Ferry tank is an approved setup, and was recently used on a lot of longer x-country flights in Africa, even at its maximum range.
So its a well proven system.

Regarding rescue, I guess ships traffic would be the best option. And having proper PLB’s now makes this a possible solution.

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