Planes that will make the Hawaii trip

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by davemha, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. davemha

    davemha Filing Flight Plan

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    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)
     
  2. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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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.
     
  3. gcd89

    gcd89 Pattern Altitude

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    Is that right?

    I'd figure most twins with extended tanks would be built for a long trip?
     
  4. davemha

    davemha Filing Flight Plan

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    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.
     
  5. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    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.

     
  6. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    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).
     
  7. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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  8. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    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: Aug 6, 2012
  9. weilke

    weilke Final Approach

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    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: Aug 6, 2012
  10. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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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.
     
  11. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    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: Aug 7, 2012
  12. LJS1993

    LJS1993 Line Up and Wait

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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. 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: Aug 7, 2012
  13. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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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.
     
  14. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    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.
     
  15. DaleB

    DaleB Pattern Altitude

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    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.
     
  16. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    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.
     
  17. LJS1993

    LJS1993 Line Up and Wait

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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. 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.
     
  18. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    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.
     
  19. Mafoo

    Mafoo Cleared for Takeoff

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    I guess that's true. I have been called a few hispanic racial slurs in my lifetime. :)
     
  20. NoHeat

    NoHeat Pattern Altitude

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    Is there any weather data available while en route between the mainland and Hawaii?
     
  21. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    Don't recall seeing any stations when I flew that route. :D 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)
     
  22. SteveR

    SteveR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    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-blog/twin_puffin/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/article/2003/Nov/18/ln/ln10a.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  23. ainokea

    ainokea Pre-takeoff checklist

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    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
     
  24. jnmeade

    jnmeade Line Up and Wait

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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.
     
  25. Skylane81E

    Skylane81E Final Approach

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    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
     
  26. JOhnH

    JOhnH Final Approach

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    Aside from some of the intelligent things others have said, I would like to say "you da man". We need more of "Your kind". Good attitude.


     
  27. BayAreaFlyer

    BayAreaFlyer Filing Flight Plan

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    If the risks are X% of a failure for every engine hour, then it's 12X for a 12 hour flight... A twin has twice as many engines that could fail, so figure 24X. The redundancy of a twin is lost if there's no where to go.
     
  28. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Thanks for the link about the rutan defiant... good stuff
     
  29. jnmeade

    jnmeade Line Up and Wait

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    And are the risks X for every engine hour? Not linear from what I've heard, but I'm interested in any hard evidence.

    What is the risk for a 12 hour flight - any evidence on that?

    My question has to do with lightly assigning perceived risks without really thinking about it.
     
  30. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    Here you go this method is highly regarded. Just plug in your numbers:
    AIRCRAFT ENGINE RELIABILITY ANALYSIS USING LOWER CONFIDENCE LIMIT ESTIMATE PROCEDURES

    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a260386.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  31. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Cleared for Takeoff

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  32. jnmeade

    jnmeade Line Up and Wait

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    Looks like anyone who wants to support their contention that it is risky can do so. Those of us curious as to the validity of their contention can wait to see what their numbers show.
     
  33. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    Risk is in the eye of the beholder. Any time you fly over the water you increase your risk by eliminating the option for diverting to a field for landing. If you accept that overwater flight adds risk, then increasing the number of hours you spend over the water adds to the risk. I accept that numerically the risk of an engine failure is not increased by flying over the water, but the overall risk is increased because you have taken away the option of a forced landing on dry land.

    Add to that the time required for SAR assets to arrive at your location, the difficulty of exiting an aircraft in the water, (assuming it is landed intact, which is never assured) and the difficulty of surviving on the water, and you have significantly increased the risk.
     
  34. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Kinda, you have weather fax and radio weather but both require HF/SSB equipment. You can use a shortwave receiver through a Pactor modem hooked to your laptop, that'll only cost a few hundred bucks, or you can pull it in on a HF set that you would probably want to buy rather than rent if you are going to do it on a regular basis. These are scheduled weather broadcasts. There are also weather routing services that monitor weather and you can call either on the HF or Satphone to get updates. You can get data over satellite, but the equipment will cost more than the plane and the service more than the fuel. Low cost (relatively, +\- $1000 for equipment and $1.50 a minute @2800baud if you are lucky, I've often seen real transfer at 2baud:yikes: that makes for about $1,000 weather map) satellite coms/ data through Irridum is just not feasible and Globalstar (the people who bring you Spot) is such poor service you'll throw the unit out the storm window in aggravation.
     
  35. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    king air 350 with ferry tanks :)
     
  36. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Cessna 340-421 with ferry tanks as well.
     
  37. jnmeade

    jnmeade Line Up and Wait

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    Are you talking about the risk of an engine failure or something, or are you talking about the consequences of it? Do you think the risk and the consdequences are the same? Your little girl walks one block to grandma's house in a small, quiet midwestern town. The risk of abduction is minimial. But the consequences are incalculable. So, you don't let her walk.
    I can't see that the likelihood of an engine failure 1,000 miles out over the ocean are any greater than over Missouri, but the consequences are different.
     
  38. DouglasBader

    DouglasBader Line Up and Wait

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    After one engine fails, dragging along on the other, how far will you get? Big wet footprint. If you're the adventurous type who enjoys taking chances, it may be for you.

    I've done the LA-Hono run many times, and that's a lot of water to cover in anything. I wouldn't prefer it in a light airplane.

    The Hono-LAX-Hono run was a hard one to stay awake on.
     
  39. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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  40. Tom-D

    Tom-D Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's easy to wake the whole crew and bring their adrenalin to the max in one easy motion.

    just pull the mixture back on #3.