Scheduling Your Checkout and Trip
With a five-minute phone call to Hawaii, you can schedule a checkout flight
and reserve a plane for your trip. Make sure, though, that you consider
some of the finer points in trip planning before placing the call.
If your proposed flight is to originate
in Honolulu, are you prepared for operating from a busy tower-controlled
field? Few airports in the country handle as much jumbo jet traffic as
Honolulu International, and during daylight hours this airport is a beehive
of activity. To determine whether your background has prepared you for
flying from Honolulu International, ask yourself this question: “Can I
communicate quickly and clearly over the radio?” If your answer is “yes,”
chances are you'll encounter no serious problems. Flying experience from
major jet airports is not a necessary prerequisite for checking out from
Honolulu International, but an ability to communicate well over the radio
is essential. A solid knowledge of wake turbulence avoidance is also needed.
If you're in doubt about your ability to fly from Honolulu International,
plan to rent your plane at an airport on another island.
If possible, avoid scheduling your
checkout flight and your trip to take place on the same day. You're bound
to learn a few things about flying in Hawaii during the actual checkout
and ground session, and your trip will likely run smoother if you've had
time to assimilate the new information.
A touring flight is best scheduled to occur
near the beginning of a stay on an island. That way, if the flight must
be canceled due to weather, it can be rescheduled for a later date. We
tend to picture Hawaii as always being blessed with blue sky and sunshine,
but even this paradise sees its share of rainy days.
Once you've decided on the details of your
flight, you can make that phone call to schedule your checkout and trip.
How far in advance should your call be made? If you try to reserve a plane
more than two months ahead of time, there's a good chance the FBO's scheduler
will not yet have prepared a schedule covering the date you're requesting,
and she'll ask you to call back later. If you make your call less than
a month ahead of time, you run the risk of discovering that the plane
you wish to rent has already been reserved by someone else. Therefore,
a call between one and two months before your desired date will be your
best bet. Just as with an airline, you should call the FBO a week or two
before your trip to reconfirm your reservation.
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