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Old August 6th, 2012, 10:08 PM   #1
DaveMHA davemha is offline
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Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

I finally have enough saved, and have a decent enough income, that I'm going to start my flight training. And I'm moving to possibly the most beautiful place in the country for flying - Hawaii.

Now, to get back to the mainland. What planes (in order of price, maybe?) can make the journey back and forth?

So far, the only possibility short of commercial airliners or mega business jets I've found is the Rutan Long-Ez - and I think even it would need to be modified with extra fuel capacity.

I'd really like to find a plane that I might actually be able to afford that I could fly back home from Hawaii. Heh - maybe a Zeppelin? (only half-joking actually)
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Old August 6th, 2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Originally Posted by davemha View Post
I finally have enough saved, and have a decent enough income, that I'm going to start my flight training. And I'm moving to possibly the most beautiful place in the country for flying - Hawaii.

Now, to get back to the mainland. What planes (in order of price, maybe?) can make the journey back and forth?

So far, the only possibility short of commercial airliners or mega business jets I've found is the Rutan Long-Ez - and I think even it would need to be modified with extra fuel capacity.

I'd really like to find a plane that I might actually be able to afford that I could fly back home from Hawaii. Heh - maybe a Zeppelin? (only half-joking actually)
AFaIK, the only commercially produced civilian aircraft capable of making that trip unmodified and safely are jets with costs in the tens of millions USD. There have been a few Bonanzas with "Dolly Partons" (really big tip tanks) that could probably make such a trip with sufficient reserves to make reaching landfall a near certainty baring mechanical issues but you'd be talking about flying for something like 18 hours without a break and that doesn't sound like much fun, especially more than once.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 10:56 PM   #3
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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AFaIK, the only commercially produced civilian aircraft capable of making that trip unmodified and safely are jets with costs in the tens of millions USD. There have been a few Bonanzas with "Dolly Partons" (really big tip tanks) that could probably make such a trip with sufficient reserves to make reaching landfall a near certainty baring mechanical issues but you'd be talking about flying for something like 18 hours without a break and that doesn't sound like much fun, especially more than once.
Is that right?

I'd figure most twins with extended tanks would be built for a long trip?
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:06 PM   #4
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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There have been a few Bonanzas with "Dolly Partons" (really big tip tanks) that could probably make such a trip with sufficient reserves to make reaching landfall a near certainty baring mechanical issues
Thanks for the "tip". I get your "points". Seriously, though, that's something to look at.

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but you'd be talking about flying for something like 18 hours without a break and that doesn't sound like much fun, especially more than once.
You might be right. On the other hand, the thought of dealing with the TSA makes an 18 hour flight seem a whole lot less offensive. Also, sounds like one guy in a Dolly Bonanza did it in about 13 hours - from Hilo to San Diego. That's a bit better anyway.

Looked into the Long-EZ again. Apparently if one replaces the back seat with a fuel tank, one can get about 4000 miles out of it. Unfortunately, I was hoping for something that could actually carry THREE people, plus baggage.

<sigh> Short of becoming an innovate aircraft designer or earning a few million dollars, I'm not too hopeful. Still going to get my private pilot's license while I'm there, though.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:12 PM   #5
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Mainlandto Hawaii is one of the longest over-water legs that bizjets are asked to fly. Only a few will predictably make it, even fewer from Nov thru Feb.

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Is that right?

I'd figure most twins with extended tanks would be built for a long trip?
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #6
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Is that right?

I'd figure most twins with extended tanks would be built for a long trip?
Not even close for any light (i.e. 6 seats or less) piston powered twin I've ever seen. My airplane can achieve almost 9 nm/gallon if I fly it slow enough to get max efficiency. But that's well over 2000 nm and you really want to carry enough fuel to go well past half way then turn around and still have an hour's worth of fuel when you get back where you started from. That would mean at least 300 gallons of fuel on board. My "long range" tanks hold 136 gallons and the most you can get on a similar Baron is 166 gallons (some 58s can hold 192 but they burn more per mile).

There is one light twin I can think of that would have the range but there was only one made (Voyager).
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:21 PM   #7
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

A list of single engine flights that have gone round the world, with most (I think) having to make that hop:

http://www.earthrounders.com/cgi/singles.php

Of the experimentals I've come across, the Tango XR seems to start with the biggest range, at 2100 sm, though still needs even more:

http://www.teamtangoaircraft.com/sit...raft/tango-xr/
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #8
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

I can think of no compelling reason to even contemplate attempting regular crossings to and from Hawaii in a small aircraft. The risks far outweigh any possible benefit. If you want to reliably make that trip with three plus baggage prepare to spend a few million on a jet.

You're right about flying in Hawaii though. I have had the good fortune to spend some time there, and got to land on more islands than 99% of the pilots there.

Last edited by Threefingeredjack; August 6th, 2012 at 11:40 PM.
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Old August 6th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #9
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

I dont think many people do the Hawaii trip with the idea of movingtheir body back and forth. Except for the earthrounder type folks, these are ferry flights performed with cabin tanks and after waiting for a weather window for days to weeks.

Last edited by weilke; August 6th, 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:00 AM   #10
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Want pressure? Try making an approach to NAS Barber's Point with bingo field Midway Is. with a minium fuel to make 1 pass on the GCA.

ain't fun !

What did Yota say? there is no try, only Do.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:23 AM   #11
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

if you have some time before you go, I would look into getting your PPL before moving.

I would hate to think what it's going to cost there, with gas prices what they are.

Last edited by Mafoo; August 7th, 2012 at 03:24 AM.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:32 AM   #12
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Originally Posted by davemha View Post
Thanks for the "tip". I get your "points". Seriously, though, that's something to look at.



You might be right. On the other hand, the thought of dealing with the TSA makes an 18 hour flight seem a whole lot less offensive. Also, sounds like one guy in a Dolly Bonanza did it in about 13 hours - from Hilo to San Diego. That's a bit better anyway.

Looked into the Long-EZ again. Apparently if one replaces the back seat with a fuel tank, one can get about 4000 miles out of it. Unfortunately, I was hoping for something that could actually carry THREE people, plus baggage.

<sigh> Short of becoming an innovate aircraft designer or earning a few million dollars, I'm not too hopeful. Still going to get my private pilot's license while I'm there, though.

Dude the TSA gives you that many hassles when flying? I'm a 5'11 215 Latino/American with a shaved head and don't have so many issues with the horrible TSA. Shoot, the worst time I had was leaving SEATAC and even then it wasn't the worst thing imaginable. An eighteen hour flight across the Pacific in a small piston powered plane just to dodge the TSA? Wow!!!!!! Hardcore man....very hardcore.

Last edited by LJS1993; August 7th, 2012 at 01:45 AM.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 03:29 AM   #13
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Dude the TSA gives you that many hassles when flying? I'm a 5'11 215 Latino/American with a shaved head and don't have so many issues with the horrible TSA.
When was the last time a Latino blew up a plane?

I am of middle eastern descent, try that one on at the airport.

To be honest, I don't get bothered that much anymore. But I used to fly every week right after 9/11, and I got "randomly" checked 23 times in a row.

It really doesn't bother me to much I guess. If someone is going to blow up a plane, they are going to look like me. Check all of us.

Spending time looking for people who look like you, is a waste of tax dollars.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:25 AM   #14
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

The Hawaiian Islands are the most isolated in terms of close to a continent in the world.

I think it's nuts that anyone would think of doing the west coast - Hawaii thing routinely. The risks are insanely high in a pistn single and a twin just increases the chances of a mechanical.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #15
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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To be honest, I don't get bothered that much anymore. But I used to fly every week right after 9/11, and I got "randomly" checked 23 times in a row.

It really doesn't bother me to much I guess. If someone is going to blow up a plane, they are going to look like me. Check all of us.

Spending time looking for people who look like you, is a waste of tax dollars.
Dude, you can't get much more white-bread than me, and when they were doing those idiotic random searches... I got searched nearly every single time for about a year. I must have been the token "See, we don't just search Middle Eastern guys" search. Don't feel like you're all alone.

And I've been known to go well out of the norm to either prove a point or just to be able to do things the way I want... but I wouldn't try flying to Hawaii or even Europe in a piston GA plane.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 10:51 AM   #16
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Is that right?

I'd figure most twins with extended tanks would be built for a long trip?
Pretty much everything except one or two Twin Commanders are limited to about 1200NM range without extra tanks. it's 2150NM that's a long way. If you want a long range plane to fly yourself you'll need to do some tanking.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 11:15 AM   #17
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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When was the last time a Latino blew up a plane?

I am of middle eastern descent, try that one on at the airport.


To be honest, I don't get bothered that much anymore. But I used to fly every week right after 9/11, and I got "randomly" checked 23 times in a row.

It really doesn't bother me to much I guess. If someone is going to blow up a plane, they are going to look like me. Check all of us.

Spending time looking for people who look like you, is a waste of tax dollars.
I feel for you but keep this in mind. Many of us look pretty middle eastern in the eyes of many. Besides, right after 9/11 everyone who was in a minority group was considered a possibility.
Personally I really don't have an issue with the TSA and the security measures that have been enacted. If they REALLY want to see me naked through some machine then so be it. I can tell you it won't be entertaining for anyone involved. The bottom line is considering the fact that one of the 9/11 attackers had a shank in his back pocket that wasn't even noticed by pre-9/11 security made it painfully obvious changes had to be made. I'll gladly deal with the random searches, which I have been through, and delays if it means some moron won't decide to take out the plane.
All the crying and bitching about the TSA from an individual who has enough money to move to Hawaii, get flight training, and consider an aircraft for a Hawaii to the mainland trip is really ridiculous.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #18
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Want pressure? Try making an approach to NAS Barber's Point with bingo field Midway Is. with a minium fuel to make 1 pass on the GCA.

ain't fun !

What did Yota say? there is no try, only Do.
Barber's Point is on Oahu. Midway is composed of Sand and East Island. The old WWII runway complex is on East, the newer runway, 6-24 is on Sand where the main base was before they closed it up and turned the atoll over to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine Reserve.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #19
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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I feel for you but keep this in mind. Many of us look pretty middle eastern in the eyes of many.
I guess that's true. I have been called a few hispanic racial slurs in my lifetime.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #20
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Is there any weather data available while en route between the mainland and Hawaii?
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #21
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Don't recall seeing any stations when I flew that route. Seriously, the only data gathered would be from satellites or NOAA buoys or transient aircraft. There used to be an Ocean Station system staffed by USCG cutters in operation in both the Atlantic and Pacific which gathered weather information and passed it along to passing ships and aircraft. Ocean Station November was midway between the West coast and Hawaii. They were closed down in the mid 70s. There is a net of NOAA buoys off the coast and in mid ocean which record wave height, wind, air temp, water temp, etc. You can access them through the NOAA website. (Ocean Data Buoy System)
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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:47 PM   #22
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Few airplanes will do what you want as well as the Rutan Defiant. This is probably one of the safest light piston aircraft that can cross that stretch. Unfortunately, there aren't many around. It can make the trip with two people, but not three. For that your price is going up exponentially.

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...in/1/tpod.html


Do some reading about Bill Swears who tried to make it to Hawaii in a Cozy years ago.

http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/ar.../ln/ln10a.html

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Old August 7th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #23
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Last year there was a plane that flew from MRY to island and came up short of the big island and had to ditch the plane. If you really wanna bring a plane there I'd say put it on the Matson if it's possible.

I'm not sure what part of the country you're from but training in Hawaii is slightly cheaper (compared to the SF Bay Area) I'm hoping to move there next year and hopefully start on my instrument training.

http://digitaljournal.com/article/312519
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Old August 7th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #24
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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The risks are insanely high in a pistn single and a twin just increases the chances of a mechanical.
Are there some stats out there on the risks? Just curious. I wasn't aware that flying an engine for 12 hours was that much worse on it than flying it 6 times for 2 hours. Or whatever.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 02:14 PM   #25
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Re: Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

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Are there some stats out there on the risks? Just curious. I wasn't aware that flying an engine for 12 hours was that much worse on it than flying it 6 times for 2 hours. Or whatever.
If you only fly for 2 hours you are never far from help, making that 12 trip you can be 1000miles from the nearest assistance if something happens
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