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Other Items to Bring
Here is a list of items that aren't necessary for a safe flight but are nice to have along anyway.

  • Camera and film If you have even the slightest interest in photography, bring your camera and plenty of color film. Hawaii surely rates as one of the finest locations in the world for aerial photography, and once airborne you will realize that the effort to bring photo equipment was well worth it.
         Consider the effect of the air's salt content while planning your photos, though. Humid, salt-laden air found at low altitudes in Hawaii typically restricts visibility to about twenty miles, and photos taken of objects many miles away are likely to turn out hazy. This problem can be avoided. One obvious solution is to restrict photos to those scenes that are close enough to appear clear to the naked eye. Another technique is to climb above the haze layer. Its top usually coincides with the top of the lowest cloud layer, and visibility improves dramatically once you're above that altitude. Photos of distant subjects such as the Big Island's snow-capped mountains become possible when taken through high-altitude air. A third technique simply involves shooting on one of those rare days when visibility is excellent at all altitudes. Chapter 2 describes when such days are most likely to occur. Finally, a polarizer filter can help reduce the haze effect.
  • Compact luggage If an overnight stop will be included in you tour, remember to bring some luggage which is small or collapsible enough to fit into a light plane's luggage compartment.
  • Portable stereo tape player Pack up the Sony Walkman or whatever headphone-equipped tape player you own and bring it with you. Hawaii's scenery was somehow meant to be viewed with music, and the right tunes can add a special flavor to the flight. You might enjoy picking up a cassette of Hawaiian music. After returning home, you'll discover how visions of the island return whenever the music is replayed. A tape player will also relax any white-knuckled passengers on your flight. They'll find music to be much more soothing than the sound of an aircraft engine, particularly while enroute between islands.
          You may even want to select a route of flight that provides the proper scenery for the type of music you prefer. If you enjoy classical music, may I suggest a flight offshore Molokai's north shore or Kauai's Na Pali Coast. If your taste in music runs more to hard rock, a more appropriate flight would be over Hawaii's volcano area.
  • Chevron credit card As this book is written, all aviation fuel sold in Hawaii is distributed by the Chevron Oil Company. Consequently, their credit card is particularly useful. Some FBOs will give you a credit card to use on cross-country flights. Other FBOs will want you to take care of your own fuel purchases and the amount you spend on fuel will later be subtracted from your aircraft rental fee.
  • Portable GPS If you intend to fly cross-country and have access to a portable GPS, bring it. Many inter-island flights include moments when land is not visible in any direction. By using the GPS to confirm what the VOR indicates, you gain confidence that you are, indeed, proceeding as planned. CAUTION: Do not use GPS as your primary navigation means if you are somewhat unfamiliar with the technology. A light plane over the ocean is a poor place for making your learning mistakes.


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