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Rob Ainscough

Maui and Molokai Helicopter tour

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I think I have a new found love for helicopters ... we were on a EC130, noisy, vibrates, but so much fun ... thank goodness for noise cancelling headsets.

 

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

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Yes. Choppers are wonderful machines. I fly radio controlled ones, ("proper" helis using collective pitch with a main rotor and a tail rotor). I have been on a few pleasure flights in JetRangers

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Hi Rob;

 

I don't know what weather program you used but the sky and cloud textures/colors were too unrealistic. And the same palette for the whole trip? Green, light green and brown. Ugh! Will not buy this scenery! 2/10. 

 

On a serious note, thank you for sharing. I've been to Hawaii twice before and loved it. It's not often I watch all of a 17 minute video, but I did on this one. I was also pleased that the camera kept moving at a good pace. I would've liked to see more out of the side window (for perspective and more scenery) but that's negligible at best. Again, great vid!!!

 

Your awesome video makes me want to go back again! Thanks for sharing.

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I would've liked to see more out of the side window

 

Me too, but it was difficult to turn sideways with a 4 point harness and inflatable emergency pack belt and holding a camera, the cockpit glass on my right side is only 3 inches away from my body so it was hard to maneuver into good camera holding position.  Not to mention Maui gets very windy mid afternoon so we get bumped around a bit.  We got lucky with only 4 passengers (normally 6) and seat assigned is based on weight distribution.

 

But with that said, I want to do more helicopter flying, incredible experience.

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

EDIT: Pilot was very nice, ex-military and was flying tours for Maverick in Grand Canyon before getting opportunity to work on Maui.

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Very good Rob,  Pretty cool Resolution on that snapper alright,  Very nice indeed 

 

Beautiful scenery ! The clouds coming down off the mountains look incredible,  A great looking experience   

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Simply a wonderful ride Rob... Think I might have gotten a bit queasy up there though with " All That Shaking Going On " 

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I think I have a new found love for helicopters ... we were on a EC130, noisy, vibrates, but so much fun ... thank goodness for noise cancelling headsets.

 

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

Glad you had fun.

I also hope you had some thoughts for the people (hikers) in both Haleakala National Park and the quiet island of Molokai that come to these islands expecting Paradise and looking forward to enjoy nature and quietness and that instead have to put up with the nonstop noise and distraction of choppers flying 500ft above their head...

 

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quiet island of Molokai that come to these islands expecting Paradise and looking forward to enjoy nature and quietness and that instead have to put up with the nonstop noise and distraction of choppers flying 500ft above their head...

 

That's an extreme exaggeration and incredibly negative - being a hiker and experiencing helicopters flying over my head in one location on Maui, the noise lasted about 10 seconds and happened 3 times during my hike for a total 30 seconds of "noise" vs. 6 hours of silent hiking.  Not exactlly what I would call "nonstop" and certainly with my ability to TOLERATE.

 

But I'm sure if helicopters were deemed a serious problem to others they wouldn't be allowed to fly ... just like boats and jet skis are not permitted in certain areas when it's whale season.

 

Now here is something far more positive to enjoy from Haleakala:

 

 

Enjoy, relax, find some tolerance.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Non stop noise? Just how many helicopters do the charter companies own and fly at any one time on the island??

 

If I was watching aviation happen as well as enjoying the scenery then I for one, would indeed be in Paradise...

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That's an extreme exaggeration and incredibly negative - being a hiker and experiencing helicopters flying over my head in one location on Maui, the noise lasted about 10 seconds and happened 3 times during my hike for a total 30 seconds of "noise" vs. 6 hours of silent hiking.  Not exactlly what I would call "nonstop" and certainly with my ability to TOLERATE.

 

But I'm sure if helicopters were deemed a serious problem to others they wouldn't be allowed to fly ... just like boats and jet skis are not permitted in certain areas when it's whale season.

 

Now here is something far more positive to enjoy from Haleakala:

 

 

Enjoy, relax, find some tolerance.

 

Cheers, Rob.

 

I really hope you enjoyed. Don't get me wrong. What I am doing is simply pointing out and raising awareness.

I have hiked the entire Haleakala Caldera many times (12 times) from the Summit to Kaupo Gate and close to Hana and I can tell you that the non-stop noise we get inside the caldera, reflected by the bowl geometry of the caldera is very very annoying.

 

Remember:

- you are at 10,000ft 

- helicopter is hovering from time to time to do their landscape photography for tourists and this is the most power demanding situation you can be in a chopper

- helicopters are probably close to MTOW when packed with tourists

 

All this means that these turbines are working really hard and this has definitely an impact on noise

You put all this noise in the otherwise serene environment of Haleakala and you can hear these things from very far i.e. from the other side of the caldera. Sorry, but this is really disturbing. And this happens as soon as we get daylight and a break in the clouds for choppers to get in.

 

Maybe you were more lucky and the clouds prevented many choppers from reaching the caldera during your lucky hike.

 

Non stop noise? Just how many helicopters do the charter companies own and fly at any one time on the island??

 

If I was watching aviation happen as well as enjoying the scenery then I for one, would indeed be in Paradise...

 

Well it is easy. $$$. Actually this is the probably the only untold reason choppers are allowed over the NPS while stupid yet less noisy drones are not.

 

How many choppers does Blue Hawaiian have in Maui? 12?

You then add the other companies for maybe 12 or so in Maui for a grand total of 24 helicopters.

Most tours last between 1hr and 2hr including ground time.

 

This means that you have about a dozen helicopter flying inside the caldera every hour during daytime. Or about one every 5 minutes. Given the transit time, it means that as soon as Haleakala is outside the clouds during heli operations (~8am to 4pm), you have a perpetual flow of helicopters.

 

Don't take me wrong. Not another nimby here and I have little sympathy for people electing to buy a house next to an airport and then complaining. But I do have sympathy for people electing to go to a National Park to see and enjoy nature and being constantly bugged by choppers. If you happen to go to Kilauea, it is even worse there. There are almost constantly 4 or more choppers hovering close to Puuoo /or wherever the lava is / for nonstop noise.

 

(Add next the less than stellar VFR conditions over Puuoo on the Big Island, Add also the pilots pushing through these less than ideal conditions for more $$ and you have a midair waiting to happen. I have personally seen choppers flying almost in close formation (no kidding, like 500ft apart) in 200/300 feet cloud ceiling with mist and rain over the Puuoo during the Winter time. But I digress, this is another story)

 

Cheers

Minos 

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But I do have sympathy for people electing to go to a National Park to see and enjoy nature and being constantly bugged by choppers.

 

Both are tourist activities with no more or less "rights" ... tolerance is the better option.  Going beyond this point will move into a political debate which is not permitted at AVSIM.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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This is not a question of rights or politics. Sorry that you can't see the bigger picture past this.

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Thanks for the detailed explanation Minos. Never having been to such wonderful places I did not realise the issue.

 

On the bright side - those less able bodied persons who cannot hike, but can afford the heli tour still get to see the wonderful scenery and from a great viewpoint. Yes, I know there's plenty of able bodied people - myself included - who will take a heli tour. Granted that we cannot "hear" the tranquility, but there's no quiet method of air tourism I guess; hot air balloons aren't quite as versatile.

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Hikers and drones do there fair share of damage/invasion also (trails, camp sites, etc. etc.), it's really a matter of tolerance from both sides or ban both activities to "preserve" the tranquility -- in which case the "Beauty" would not be experienced by anyone.  I haven't hiked any location yet (and I hike A LOT, at least 5 days a week all over this planet) where I haven't found refuse and environmental damage from hikers/campers.

 

I'm aware of the "bigger picture", the question is who's picture and how big do you want to make it?  You initiated a discussion of what appears to be pro-drone (drones aren't silent either and can be very invasive to privacy) and anti-helicopter based on noise.  It almost sounds like a debate for the sake of debating and like I said, to expand on it further moves towards the political realm which is not permitted at AVSIM.

 

But to put some fact to the helicopter tours, it's simply NOT true ... we used Maverick Helicopters which is the most popular for Maui and they have 3 helicopters,  Blue Hawaiian have 3 helicopters also, but I only saw two active.  But due to weather conditions in Maui it's rare to see more than about 4-5 active at any point in time at very different locations.  Like I said earlier, at the locations we hike I saw 3 helicopters over a 6 hour period where the noise lasted for about 10 seconds.  The helicopter hover locations we went to are not accessible by hikers or just about anyone except perhaps rock climbers (which as I understand it is rare) ... maybe a few mountain goats.

 

But like I suggested before, find tolerance, otherwise the only fair approach would be to eliminate all activities (hikers, campers, helicopters).  Not something I'd like to see happen, but if it was deemed important for the "bigger picture" then so be it, plenty of other ways to enjoy Maui.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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We've been to Maui a bunch of times and never found the helicopters to be particularly invasive. You know they're there. Trust me, they have much bigger issues on Maui like having enough affordable housing for its citizens and the issue of homelessness. 

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Tks for the video Rob. A pleasure to watch.

I have noticed however something very interesting from this live video.

The bloom effect (real as it gets considering the camera used) that is noticeable on the clouds and shoreline with waves.

I just kind of noticed that real effect is what we have in P3D now. It is very close. I use PTA and HDR.

I am still surprised. Will download the video and look at it more closely.

Tks again Rob

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But like I suggested before, find tolerance, otherwise the only fair approach would be to eliminate all activities (hikers, campers, helicopters).  Not something I'd like to see happen, but if it was deemed important for the "bigger picture" then so be it,....

 

To a certain degree this is happening in the UK. Many ramblers (hikers, walkers), the vocal minority, would wish to abolish horses and also all forms of wheeled transportation (bicycles, trail bikes and 4x4s)  from the green lanes which are legally open to all these types of usage. Green lanes are ancient roads running through areas of natural beauty, which were traversed in days of old by horses & carriages and used by farmers taking their stock to market and other grazing lands etc. Once said ramblers become too infirm to walk far, how can they continue to enjoy the countryside?

 

We don't have the same prevalence for heli tours over our National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty though.

 

But having tolerance is a good thing, on that we can agree.

 

...The bloom effect (real as it gets considering the camera used) that is noticeable on the clouds and shoreline with waves.

I just kind of noticed that real effect is what we have in P3D now...

 

Going off topic a little: IMHO sims should strive to mimic what the human eye sees directly rather than what we see via a video feed - are you saying P3D is getting close to that? If so then that is excellent news:cool: 

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I'm aware of the "bigger picture", the question is who's picture and how big do you want to make it?  You initiated a discussion of what appears to be pro-drone (drones aren't silent either and can be very invasive to privacy) and anti-helicopter based on noise.  It almost sounds like a debate for the sake of debating and like I said, to expand on it further moves towards the political realm which is not permitted at AVSIM.

 

 

 

This is not true. I am certainly not pro-drone and if you read carefully, my message certainly did not imply that. What I am pointing out was the hypocrisy of banning drones in the NPS because they disturb and yet leaving out helicopters free to roam and scud-run over the NPS despite them having a much larger (and annoying) footprint.

 

Otherwise, you are wrong.

Blue Hawaiian is much larger than what you imply. They have at least 7 helicopters permanently based in Kahului, Maui but that can vary up during high demand periods (Christmas).They might even have some based in Kapalua, but I am not 100% sure about that.

 

 

And again, it is not a question of you having more or less rights. Supersonic flights are not legal over land in the US for a reason. Oh, and no mountain goats in Hawaii. 

We don't have the same prevalence for heli tours over our National Parks and Areas of Natural Beauty though.

 

Blessed you are.

Having four or five choppers simultaneously hovering/circling over your head at 500ft while watching molten lava on the Big Island of Hawaii is totally no fun. It will be a sad state of affair the day we will have to wear Bose noise suppression headphones (like Blue Hawaiian pax)  when trying to go, experience, hear, and feel nature within a unit of the National Park System.

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The bloom effect (real as it gets considering the camera used) that is noticeable on the clouds and shoreline with waves.

 

That most likely is just operator error (aka me) ... there are an exposure setting (aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, and auto) that basically emulate the same settings used for still images only applied to movie operation.   I left it in "Auto" so everything is adjusted by metering.  I should have experimented to get better balance (but there is always a trade-off).  I made this video during the "Supermoon" a few days ago from our backyard ... lots of atmospheric shimmering but if you watch until the end of the video as the moon's orbit starts to move out of view (camera's reference points) the camera attempts to increase exposure and the moon starts to "blow-out".  Again I was in the wrong "mode" for night shooting, should have been in manual mode ... still learning.

 

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Tks for the clarification Rob. I understand.

My comment was more about the bloom effect in real life and the software to reproduce it.

In looking at your video (in the chopper) in "auto" mode sort of reproduced more bloom than normal and that got my attention.

In flight simming nowadays with the proper hardware you can get better feel (visually) for flying and one aspect that has seen quite a bit

of improvement lately is the rendering of light in the simulator.

And P3D is doing a good job of it particularly when you can "tune" the shaders. I use PTA.

I am presently working on a way of demonstrating that...(if that is possible, I dunno)

Anyways, you have a nice day,

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