Hawaiian Helicopter Operators Discuss Issues and Concerns With HAI President

I got to ride on a helicopter last year with Howard Dicus courtesy of  Paradise Helicopters and that was an awesome trip.

I don’t mind the tourist helicopters as much as I mind the federally funded green harvest helicopters.

The yellow pouch is actually a life vest

It often seems like folks here on the Big Island mix the two up and tourist helicopters are taking the bad rap on things at times.

Howard Dicus and Paradise Helicopter owner Cal Dorn discuss the scheduled flight

The president of Helicopter Association International, Matt Zuccaro was on the Big Island recently to speak at the Aviation Issues forum, “a prestigious annual gathering of congressional, governmental, and aviation industry leaders hosted each year by the American Association of Airport Executives.”

…The tour operators Paradise Helicopters and Sunshine Helicopters discussed initiatives to support and enhance the air tour business with Helicopter Association International (HAI) President Matt Zuccaro during his recent visit to Hawaii.

Zuccaro met with Cal Dorn of Paradise and Sunshine’s Paul Morris to discuss a number of HAI initiatives to support air tours, including its ongoing discussions with the FAA, U.S. National Park Service, and representatives of environmental groups as part of the National Parks Overflight Advisory Group. That group was created to develop air tour management plans for national parks…

…In their meeting, the three also reviewed initiatives to enhance the safety of helicopter operations in Hawaii by fielding the greater air traffic surveillance and communications capabilities of the FAA’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system (which is now operational in the Gulf of Mexico) and gaining funding and support for an integrated network of weather cameras on the islands.

Zuccaro updated Dorn and Morris on HAI’s efforts regarding legislative initiatives that would place unwarranted additional regulatory and financial burdens on the helicopter community…

Full article here: Hawaiian Operators Discuss Issues, Concerns with HAI President

Top 10 Adventures in 2010… Numbers 6 and 5

Continuing on with my top 10 adventures in 2010 today brings us to adventures 6 and 5.

Coming in at #6 was having the chance to get up on stage with Third Eye Blind after the Don the Beach Comber’s Mai Tai Festival and Battle of the BBQ Contest at the Royal Kona Resort.

Not only did I get to watch them rehearse during their sound check I actually went on stage for about five minutes and caught some great pictures from that perspective.

The concert was actually after the Mai Tai Festival where Oahu bartender Christian Self walked away with a $10,000 check for the best Mai Tai.

It was a great day in that earlier folks had the chance to stuff themselves at the BBQ cook-off!

I’d like to thank the folks at The Royal Kona Resort for hooking me up with the above weekend!

Coming in at #5 was getting the opportunity to go up in a helicopter with Televisions own Howard Dicus and his wife and a Hawaii News Now cameraman.

Me, Howard Dicus and wife Bernadette and the Hawaii News Now Camerman

This was an awesome trip provided by Paradise Helicopters and the Big Island Visitors Bureau where we got a 3 hour customized tour of the Big Island! We started off down the Hamakua coast and made it almost as far as Waimea.

Just one of many waterfalls and valleys we got to see.

We then headed south and when we got to the active lava flows, we flew with the doors off of the helicopter so we could totally feel the heat of the lava flows.

Pu`u `O`o Crater

This was the first time that I had ever flew on a helicopter so it was quite an experience for me.

Howard on the other hand seemed like an old pro about it and even wrote on his blog posting “Up, up and away  over the Big Island“:

Many people say they won’t ride a helicopter because it scares them, but I have got to tell you that I find helicopter tours smoother and they provide better viewing of Hawaii’s beautiful scenery.

Bernadette and I took our first helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian on Maui last year, and Thursday we toured part of the Big Island with Cal Dorn, owner of Paradise Helicopters. With us was Damon Tucker, who writes one of my favorite Hawaii-based blog…

Waipio Valley… A Fly Over

I mentioned the other day that I got to go on a 3 hour custom helicopter tour with Howard Dicus, well I just noticed this other video that I took of it and it turned out pretty decent.

Be sure to turn in to the Sunrise Show this week on Hawaii News Now to see more footage with a professional camera!

Mahalo Howard!

I mentioned on Thursday that I got a chance to spend 3 hours in a helicopter with Hawaii News Now reporter Howard Dicus… I just wanted to personally thank him for such a nice comment!

…Bernadette and I took our first helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian on Maui last year, and Thursday we toured part of the Big Island with Cal Dorn, owner of Paradise Helicopters. With us was Damon Tucker, who writes one of my favorite Hawaii-based blogs, http://www.damontucker.com

You can view the entire post here: Up, up and away over the Big Island

For those that don’t really follow the news as much as I do… this stuns me that he actually follows my blog!

Big Island Helicopter Tour with Howard Dicus

What an exciting week it’s been!  On Monday I got to go out on the ocean with the US Navy Destroyer USS Chung-Hoon and I thought that was a once in a lifetime experience.

Today, I did something that I have always wanted to do… and that is to ride in a helicopter!

CLICK ON PICTURES FOR BETTER VIEWS

I'm not jumping out of this buggah!

Fortunately, it’s Merrie Monarch week in town this week and there are a lot of folks from the media in town and I was lucky enough to be invited by the Big Island Visitors Bureau to go on a helicopter ride with Howard Dicus, his wife, and a cameraman from Hawaii News Now the “Sunrise Show”.

Posing with Howard, his wife and the camerman

Here is a short video of us lifting off:

If you haven’t seen the Big Island from the perspective of a helicopter, I highly suggest it to everyone.

One of MANY Waterfalls we saw

You see things that you never even knew existed on this island and you really get a feeling for the natural beauty of this land.

Hamakua Coast

We left at 11:45 and headed North down the Hamakua Coast.

The Mouth of the Waipio Valley

We went above and past Waipio Valley but not into the valley as the tour companies have an agreement with the residents down there to stay out of the valley.

Into a Valley

But then the next valley that wasn’t populated we actually flew into and hovered for a while.

Another Waterfall

We actually opened the doors to the helicopter so that I could get some better shots.

Valley View

The cloud cover was pretty low so we didn’t get to venture up Mauna Kea very high but it was still cool.

Had to stay below the clouds

After we got almost down to Waimea, we turned the helicopter back around and then flew back up the coast and headed straight out to Puna.

The Coastline

As we were flying towards Puna… I noticed a whale and asked about the whaling season… but what I didn’t realize until we got closer, was that it was a Momma whale and her calf which I thought was pretty special.

A Whale and her Calf

We flew over Hilo on our way out to Puna

Bayfront Hilo

We headed directly for the Halemaumau Crater and Pele was giving us a show!

Pu`u `O`o Crater

Steam Vent

Recent Lava Flow

Active Flow

We then flew over Royal Gardens and looked at the one remaining house that is still down there and someone still lives in the place still to this day despite the danger zone that he lives in.  (He’s stubborn and won’t move!)

The last remaining house in Royal Gardens

I have to admit… it’s a pretty cool house, but a 4 mile ride on a motorbike over lava kind of limits your abilities to have guests come around!

Another View of the Royal Garden House

We were up in the Helicopter for nearly 3 hours when it was time for the trip to end.  Coming back in, we flew by the Hilo Dragstrip which I had never even seen on land and our pilot remarked that it’s the only dragstrip in the world that’s in the middle of a rainforest.

Hilo Dragstrip

We got back into Hilo and I was pretty anxious to get my feet back on solid ground.  I snapped this last picture of Howard getting off the helicopter and although it looks like he’s about to puke… he was doing quite fine as he was just bracing himself from the wind from the propeller.

Getting off Helicopter

I wanted to thank Howard and his lovely wife for taking the time to show off the Big Island to folks on the news.  The episode will air sometime next week.  I’ll give folks a heads up on my blog if I find out what day the specific helicopter piece airs.

Howard, Cameraman, and Howard's Wife talk to Security Guards at the Hilo Airport

I also wanted to say thanks to the Big Island Visitors Bureau as well as Paradise Helicopter President and “Personal Pilot” for this trip, Calvin Dorn for telling us so much about the island from the air.

Howard Dicus: “Stamp Out Overpaid Postmasters”

I think I had one of my bigger “Blogging” laughs this morning when I checked in at Howard Dicus’s Blog.

He writes in a blog entitled “Stamp out overpaid Postmasters

…President Obama lashed out against those overpaid CEOs, collecting millions for failure. Now someone has noticed that a CEO named John Potter makes $850,000 a year.

He’s the Postmaster General…

…The Postal Service no longer gets taxpayer dollars but it’s still hamstrung by more federal requirements and more federal oversight than its competitors have. As a result, it faces a $6 billion loss in the current fiscal year despite raising the price of a stamp every couple days…

…I am especially impressed by Hawaii postal workers, who are friendlier than their mainland brothers in the face of sometimes short-tempered customers…

I can think of one postmaster that definitely doesn’t deserve his pay raise this year.  I won’t mention any names. :roll:

postoffice