U.S. Government Cancels Osprey Landings at Upolu Airport on Big Island and Kalaupapa Airport on Molokai

I’m actually amazed that U.S. Government cancelled the landings!

U.S. Marine Corps parachutists free fall from an MV-22 Osprey at 10,000 feet above the drop zone at Fort A.P. Hill, Va. on Jan. 17, 2000. The Marines from the 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C., became the first to deploy from the Osprey. Twenty-four successful jumps were recorded under the supervision of the U.S. Army Operational Test Command and the Marine Corps Systems Command to qualify the V-22 for parachute service. DoD photo by Vernon Pugh, U.S. Navy. (Released)

…Regarding the Hawaiian flights, Ospreys were scheduled to make practice landings at Kalaupapa Airport on the island of Moloka’i, and Upolu Airport on the Hawaiian main island. The U.S. government cancelled the landings, however, due to opposition from local residents plus concerns over noise pollution and potential effects on local heritage sites.

The tilt-rotor aircraft have had a number of high-profile accidents since their introduction to service in 2007, including a fatal April 2012 crash that the U.S. Marine Corps concluded recently was due to pilot error, ruling out mechanical or safety problems.

According to Japan-U.S. diplomatic sources, 24 Ospreys are scheduled for deployment to Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe, O’ahu by 2018. In preparation, in August 2010 the U.S. Department of the Navy began an environmental assessment of the plan as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

The navy department assessment named Kalaupapa Airport and Upolu Airport as sites for Osprey practice landings. However, local residents and other U.S. government departments came out against holding the training flights at the two sites, pointing to the danger to a National Park Service-designated archeological site near Kalaupapa Airport and the potential for severe noise pollution around Upolu Airport…

More here: Local Opposition Scuttles Hawaiian Osprey Training Flights

Commercial and Tandem Skydiving to Open in Kona on the Big Island – “Island Skydiving”

A few months ago I mentioned that the folks from Skydive Hawaii did some exploratory jumps to see about the the feasibility of starting up  a commercial and tandem skydiving business on the Big Island.

Today, the Hinshaw family, from Skydive Hawaii, is pleased to announce that Island Skydiving, LLC., a family owned partnership, will begin skydiving operations at Upolu Airport on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at 6:00AM.

Frank T.K. and his Father Frank Hinshaw at the Upolu Airport

Skydiving operations will be conducted from a Cessna 182 or 206 with Airvan support, all with a 10,000’ target exit altitude.

Skydiving operations will be conducted from a Cessna 182 or 206 with Airvan support

The memorable view from the aircraft and in freefall can be spectacular at Upolu Airport as Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa loom behind Kohala volcano. Waipio Valley and the Hamakua Coast are on the East side of Upolu Airport and often in clear view. With blue skies on Maui, the sacred volcano on Haleakala can be also be seen reaching up from Hana. Mo’okini Heiau and Kamehameha Akahi Aina Hanau, the birthplace of Kamehameha the Great are also visible within the Upolu Airport area.

The view from 10,000' is breath taking to say the least

Tandem skydiving will be offered with hourly arrival times between 6:00AM and 9:00AM. Due to the strong winds conditions at Upolu Airport reservations are limited within these hours. The tandem skydive is priced at $329 per person and included photos and video taken by the tandem instructor. Customers should plan on spending 2 hours at Upolu Airport.

Tandem skydiving will be limited to those over the age of 18 and under 200 pounds. The customer will be required to sign the company’s standard liability release. Upolu Airport is in a remote part of Hawaii island and emergency medical services may take time to respond.

Sport skydivers are required to hold a USPA class C or D license with 250 jumps and jump with their own gear

Sport skydivers are required to hold a USPA class C or D license with 250 jumps and jump with their own gear. A wing loading of more than 1 to 1 is required.

Reservations can be taken at this time or more information obtained at 808 949-4852 for reservation dates beginning May 5, 2012. www.islandskydiving.com is expected to be operational soon. You can “Like Us” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hawaii-Island-Skydiving/173920866012443

Island Skydiving Completes Exploratory Jumps at Upolu Airport on the Big Island

Island Skydiving, LLC has successfully completed exploratory skydives at Upolu Airport over the prior two weekends. A request has been sent to Mr. Wong Yuen, Manager, Kona International Airport, State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Airport’s Division for permission to begin daily skydiving operations at Upolu Airport beginning September 1, 2011.

Jujmping over the Upolu Airport

Island Skydiving, LLC is managed by Mr. Frank Hinshaw, who has extensive experience in operating skydiving activities at Skydive Hawaii. Tandem skydiving is the safest and easiest method to experience skydiving, and has become a favorite among both tourists and the local residents on Oahu. Tandem instructors are licensed by the United States Parachute Association and the parachute equipment is manufactured and maintained according to FAA regulations.

Frank T.K. Hinshaw and Frank Hinshaw

The company plans are to begin tandem skydiving at Upolu Airport when permission is granted. Operational hours will be limited due to the wind and other weather conditions. Tandem skydiving reservations are being planned for the hours of 6:00AM to 10:00AM daily, as wind conditions are most favorable for tandem skydiving during that period.

Due to the limited hours of operation the price for a tandem skydive is tentatively priced around $325 per person. The company has set a goal of 1,000 tandem customers in the first year of operation.

The company plans to have 2 full-time tandem staff when operations are started. At least two additional local jobs are expected to also be created by the company directly from these planned operations. Tandem skydiving should be a good compliment to the other outdoor recreational activities presently available and another opportunity for tourists to shop at other existing businesses in the greater Kohala community.

A successful landing at Upolu Airport

For more information, contact Frank Hinshaw at 808 637-4121.