LEG 5: OAKLAND, CA to HILO, HI
 
 
Date Distance (SM) ATE Identifier City
Sat Jun 1 0   KOAK - KOAK Oakland, CA
Tue Jun 4 2328 14:45 KOAK - PHTO Hilo, HI
 
 

KOAK - Oakland, California, USA -- PHTO - Hilo, Hawaii, USA
Tuesday, June 4, 2002

Successful Crossing after HF Radio Change and Antenna Tuning.

Report:

We left Oakland at 7:15AM and arrived in Hilo at 8PM local, just at dusk.
That was 14 hours and 45 minutes enroute at 6,000 feet.  We burnt 202 gallons
of fuel, but had zero oil consumption, thank God. 

We arrived with adequate fuel reserves. Weather enroute was very pacific,
as the name implies, with hardly a cloud until about 200 miles out, then
scattered cumulus to 7,000 feet.

Bill was able to get 10 of the 13 position reports out on the new HF radio. 
The three other were relayed by airliners overhead. We were told that the 
atmospherics that day were terrible, hence the less than ideal conditions.

We checked in at the elegant Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. A special crew rate of 
$60 for a luxurious room overlooking Hilo Bay.

Wednesday, we did the tourist bit to Volcano National Park. Two volcanoes, 
Mauna Loa 13,677 feet high and Kilauea at 4,000 feet. In our Alamo rent a 
car we had road access to circle Kilauea but Mauna Loa was only accessible by 
hiking trail. Mauna Loa is active and we didn't want to get too close.

We also visited the Rainbow Falls just outside Hilo, then on to the Old City,
where we stopped at Cronies Bar and Grill for a Hilo Mehana Red Ale and
stayed for dinner.  Rubbing elbows with the natives was a pleasant treat.

Hilo Mechanic Phil Byrnes put me in touch with IFFR Eliot Merk. Eliot is 
providing internet access for this message. Thank you Eliot, a true 
Rotarian, and a QB too. How lucky can we get??

We will be fueling the airplane shortly, at 4PM, for a 6:30 AM departure on 
Friday to Majuro Island. I hope the anticipated tailwinds materialize, not
like the headwind component from Oakland.
	

See pictures below.

KOAK - Oakland, California, USA
Sunday, June 2, 2002

HF Radio Change and Antenna Tuning. Planned Departure Tuesday.

Report:

Unfortunaly, when ground checking the radio, the technician was unable to
communicate with San Francisco radio.  He identifies the problem to be with
the antenna tuner. This will require replacement on Monday with a Tuesday
departure.  This does bust our Barcelona arrival.  So forget the catch up.

Lets make it a leisure trip. The itinerary is revised as follows:

Depart Oakland 6/4
	Depart Hilo 6/7
	Depart MJO 6/10
	Depart Ponape	 6/13
	Depart Palau	6/16
	Depart Brunei 6/19
	Depart Phuket 6/22
	Depart Bomay  6/25
	Depart Bahrain 6/28
	Depart Crete	7/1
	Depart Barcelona 7/4
	Depart Santa Maria 7/7
	Depart St. Johns 7/9
	Untank 	7/10
	Bangor that afternoon, home 7/10
	

No pictures yet.

KOAK - Oakland, California, USA
Saturday, June 1, 2002

First Crossing Attempt Aborted Over Ocean Because of HF Radio.

Report:

We woke up at 4:30AM, had breakfast at 5:00AM and arrived at the Oakland
airport at 5:45AM.  We taxied out at 6:30AM and took off at 7:00AM.  The
heavily loaded airplane lifted off promptly and climbed well.   We are
headed for Hawaii.  Then came a new problem: We were unable to establish 
radio contact with San Francisco radio with our HF radio transceiver.
No radio contact over the wide Pacific, no go.   So, after 1.5 hours flight
towards Hilo, we had to return under the threat of a violation if we
proceeded further.

At this very moment we are awaiting the arrival of an HF radio specialist
and hope he will solve our problem.  If he does, we may be able to proceed
with a late afternoon departure.  If not, it will not be until Tuesday,
with Monday being a work day.  This pretty much wipes out arriving in
Barcelona on the 22nd of June for the IFFR annual meeting.  If that
happens, we will probably go back to our one-day fly, two days off schedule.
We will know shortly.  I have notified sky plan of our schedule change.
Whether or not we stick to it or not, I do not know at this time.

	Depart Oakland 6/1
	Depart Hilo 6/3
	Depart MJO 6/5
	Depart Ponape	 6/7
	Depart Palau	6/9
	Depart Brunei 6/11
	Depart Phuket 6/14
	Depart Bombay on schedule 6/16

We also changed our US port of entry to Bangor Maine on 6/30.  The tanks
would be removed on July 1, with a non stop flight to Sky Manor on July 2.
	

See pictures from Oakland and Hilo below.


Oakland, California

Click on pictures for high-resolution version.

Don Melcher at work with helper
Radio Equipment in the Nose
 
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Hilo, Hawaii

Click on pictures for high-resolution version.

Fancy Digs at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel
Bill on Arrival
Steam Vents
Bill at Caldera
Observation Tower
Slope up to Mauna Loa, Under the Clouds.
Caldera of Kilauea Volcano
Dick in Lava Tube
Rainbow Falls
Dick and Bill Under the Palm Tree
with Red Ale Overlooking Hilo Bay
Bill at Cronies Bar and Grill
 
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Pascal Landi, Manny Higazi Tuesday, September 25, 2007