Trike Flying in Kauai

Back in April 2009, my wife and I went on vacation to Hawaii. We had done Oahu the year before and we were anxious to try something different. Kauai was a blast! Our time-share condo was right on the beach in Kapaa. The weather was not perfect. But, we had sun at least part of the day every day.

I booked a trike flight with Birds in Paradise, a well known ultralight school/tour operator based at the Port Allen airport in Hanapepe. I’ve flow in a couple of 3-axis ultralight trainers in the past; but, never a weight-shift type. The trike I flew in was an Airborne 912SST. It fairly leaped off the runway in a very short distance, and seemed to be controlled by some sort of telepathic connection with my instructor pilot. I did a few basic maneuvers; but, mostly just enjoyed the view. We saw a couple of whales and overflew the airport a Lihu. My instructor took over for the landing as the quartering headwind was pretty brisk. I had a great time! I’d heartily recommend this as the preferred way to tour Kauai.


That’s me in back.

Note: I was saddened to learn that the owner of Birds in Paradise, Gerry Charlebois, was killed in crash involving one of the school’s trikes in March of this year.  He and a passenger were discovered dead at the crash sight by fire crews responding to a report of a brush fire in Waiakamoo canyon. I do not know the cause of the crash. But,  I’ve heard that Gerry was very active in promoting ultralight safety.  According to a local news report, he was considered one of the top ultralight pilots and instructors in the United States. Fair winds Gerry!

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