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
- 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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