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Advice Needed, Flying Offshore of the Big Island

rmcpherson

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Dec 30, 2019
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Location
California
Hi all,

I'm planning to do some offshore flying from the Big Island in 2020 and I'm looking for some local knowledge so I can better plan my trip.

1. Are there times of the year that I should avoid flying because of weather/wind?
2. I've read some threads about taking off/landing from boats, what is the feasibility of doing this off of the Big Island (I've got a Mavic 2 Pro)?
3. Any other useful tips for flying around the Big Island? I know the national parks and such are off limits, but I'm curious as to the difficulty of gaining approval to fly in airport airspace.

Thanks for the help!
 
Looks like the airports at Kona, Hilo, and Waimea all have LAANC, so you can easily ask for authorization in much of their airspace.
There's a lot of offshore helicopter sightseeing.
I can't offer any wind advice (except to expect a lot around South Point--if it flies away there, look in Antarctica). But in general, if you're new to this, I'd be very reluctant to fly from a boat in the choppy ocean water unless you've saved enough money for a new drone.
 
A few of the Big Island spots: Driving SE from Hilo, pass Pahoa and drive south to some off-the-grid housing sites along the ocean, and you’ll find areas with lots of fresh lava. North of Hilo is a great locals‘ surf spot, Honolii, where you can get awesome drone videos. And a drive north from Waimea will put you along a beautiful ridge with views all the way down to Kona.

Enjoy the Big Island in 2020!
 
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2. I've read some threads about taking off/landing from boats, what is the feasibility of doing this off of the Big Island (I've got a Mavic 2 Pro)?

I just hand-launched & landed from our 30’ sailboat in the San Francisco Bay this past weekend, but it was in the morning under still winds and mirror-like water conditions. The Big Island swells can get rough anytime, but Hawaiian waters have their calmer moments, too. Please follow up to let us know how the trip(s) turns out for you.
 
I just hand-launched & landed from our 30’ sailboat in the San Francisco Bay this past weekend, but it was in the morning under still winds and mirror-like water conditions.

I'm hoping for these conditions while I'm there, I'm really trying to time the trip right. Thanks for your replies!
 
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