My wife and I are excited because we are going back to Hawaii soon. We were married in Hawaii you see, or should I say we were mauwied in Maui four years ago. Going back will be like our second honeymoon and we are looking forward to it.
What will really be exciting is we will be flying in Hawaii. Yes, we have arranged to fly a Cessna similar to my own around the big island.
I have been reading up on flying small airplanes around the Hawaiian Islands. It's not like flying around the lower 48 on the mainland. First of all there is little level ground should you have to make a forced landing. Should you have to land, it will either be at an airport or in the Pacific Ocean. Even the roads are inhospitable because of their curves and bends.
Never the less, the Hawaiian Islands are a unique place to fly. The weather is almost always good with visibility over ten miles or more, that is, along the coasts. The mountains always have a girth of clouds and rain surrounding them. Not that you can fly over them anyhow. They are too high for general aviation airplanes to go over. Most flying is done slightly inland and along the coasts.
The truth is most of the civilization on the islands is along the coastlines anyhow. There are some plains between the two of the extinct volcanoes on Maui but they are covered in sugar cane. Landing in sugar cane will without question destroy an airplane, although, I understand ditching in those fields is very survivable.
Flying around Hawaii is unique because there is no other scenery like the islands anywhere else in the world. From lush, mountainous vegetation to lava flows and waterfalls, there is nothing else to compare anywhere.
We plan only on flying around the main island of Hawaii, the largest of the islands. It will take around two and a half hours to circumnavigate and longer if landing at one of the other airports in route. There are two airports on the island of Hawaii: Kona and Hilo. We are flying out of Kona.
One of the more interesting things I have learned about flying the islands is the salt that accumulates on the airplane's windshield. It is necessary to fly through one of the many rain showers occasionally that are always visible from the air to clean the windshield. It will be the first time I will have ever intentionally flown into rain in all of my flying years, though I am looking forward to it.
Upon our return I will assuredly surrender some of the aerial photographs we will have taken to the Beacon for your pleasure to enjoy.