Like Nothing Else On Earth
We’ve received a lot of pre-flight questions so we thought we’d share with you some of the most popular ones. If there’s something we haven’t covered, please call us! 808-497-6033
Well we wouldn’t fly every day in them if it wasn’t safe. But let’s talk facts: Our Australian-made trikes are built and stress tested to +6 G’s and – 3 G’s. This is the same strength testing as airplanes here in the USA. But the aircraft are only as safe as the people flying them. We have been flying trikes since 2003, taken over 10,000 people up, and have a perfect safety record. We’ve never had an engine quit or had to use the ballistic parachute.
You may find it interesting to know that Tom Sanders (Paradise Air’s co-owner) has been coordinating skydiving, hang gliding and BASE jumping stunts for over 30 years with a perfect safety record. You can see a sample of some of Tom’s projects here . We believe that safety is no accident, and, in fact, it’s our #1 priority.
We recommend you wear clothing that is comfortable for the day (girls, you’ll be better off in shorts or pants than sundresses). Before we take off, we’ll give you a flight suit to wear which will keep you warm and comfortable during your flight. If you get cold easily, you may want a long sleeve shirt or light sweater under the flight suit. In addition we’ll give you a headset and helmet with visor.
Glasses or contact lenses are fine. If you want to wear sunglasses during your flight, we recommend NON-polarized lenses to reduce interference with the plastic visor. Also, be sure to wear secure shoes. Sandals are fine as long as they have a back strap and are secure on your feet. Sorry, no slippahs (thong-type shoes) or slip-on shoes.
This isn’t like an outdoor concert “Rain or Shine”. We don’t want to fly in crap weather either. The weather in Hawaii changes quickly and is very different in different parts of the island. Because we are located on the North Shore’s west end, we typically have drier weather than Waikiki and the windward side of the island.
You are always welcome to call us if you have questions about the weather, but don’t let rain at your point of departure get you down. It’s likely totally different at the airfield. If the weather looks unflyable, our pilots will make every effort to contact you before you head out.
For that reason, it’s extremely important that you have your cell phone CHARGED, ON, and WITH YOU for the 18 hours before your scheduled flight time.
We also recommend giving us a backup phone number for somebody in your party in case we are unable to reach you directly. In the unlikely event that we do have to cancel, we’ll do our very best to work with your schedule to come back out.
Since it’s essentially a hang glider with a big engine, if the engine quits… well… it’s still a hang glider and can be safely landed with no power. It’s not uncommon to actually turn the engine off and glide in at the end of some flights (usually best done on our sunrise flights).
Each of our aircraft is equipped with a BRS ballistically-deployed parachute as an added safety measure.
Since we fly in the smoothest part of each day, motion sickness is rare. If you are especially prone to motion sickness and are used to taking medicine such as Dramamine, then feel free to do so. If you’re not used to taking medications for motion sickness, it’s better to not start experimenting now. Try to avoid orange juice, coffee, or other acidic foods/drinks before your flight.
Eat a light breakfast or snack before your flight. Let your pilot know if you are prone to motion sickness. We have motion sickness bands for your wrist and ginger on hand (remember your mom giving you ginger ale when you were a kid and had an upset stomach?)
Absolutely, our fleet of THREE Airborne trikes enables up to three adventure-seekers to fly at the same time. We also have radio communication between the three aircraft so we can check in with your flying buddies while aloft.
With no flight training, this is a R E A L L Y B A A A A A A D idea (not to mention illegal). Although cleverly disguised, these are FAA registered Light Sport Aircraft, not little toys. They have a top speed of 95 mph and take mad skills to fly safely on a daily basis. Sorry, you’re stuck with us! But we don’t bite, aren’t bad looking, and it’s pretty likely we’ll even be a little helpful up there 🙂
We do not have any age restrictions to take a flight…. we’ve taken kids from 9 years old up to kids 93 years old so far! We do recommend a minimum weight of 80 lbs. For children lighter than 80 lbs, the 70 mph forward speed may be a little much. We can take folks who weigh up to 240 lbs (weight proportionate to height) and the tallest person we’ve comfortably taken up is 6’6″ tall. Depending on your build, we may decline customers who are at the extremes of our seat width or seatbelt length. While our seats are physically smaller than a coach seat on Southwest Airlines, they do tend to feel MUCH more roomy 🙂
We’ll talk your ear off if you let us! The aircraft, commonly called a trike, is weight shift controlled, meaning that we control our flight path through the sky by shifting the weight of the pod (the part we’re sitting in). We’ve had 9 year olds and 90 year olds take the controls so don’t think it’s scary or difficult. Most folks find it easy and even relaxing to fly trikes!
These little birds clock in at $75,000 apiece. They look like whimsical little ultralights, but they actually are “real aircraft”. That means we can fly them into Honolulu Airport (and we do sometimes because it’s fun to mess with the controllers) and we can fly them inter-island (we do that too because it’s fun!). Most people totally underestimate just how capable these little aircraft really are. Our fleet of two AirBorne trikes are each powered by a 4-stroke, 4-cylinder, 912 cc, 80 hp Rotax aircraft engine. This is the most popular engine being put in Light Sport Aircraft worldwide and its reliability is unmatched. We cruise at about 70 mph and have 3 different lengths of flight lessons from which to choose (more on the difference between a ride and a flight lesson below).
No, every flight we do is a lesson…. but that’s a GOOD thing! During your flight we’ll show you how the aircraft flies and moves around the sky and if you want to take the controls, you CAN! (How many other flying activities let you do that?) But there’s no pressure here…. if you do not feel comfortable taking the controls, you don’t have to. Every person is different, and every person learns differently. Our goal isn’t to “make you fly”; our goal is for you to have a great time and to come down grinning ear-to-ear saying “I can’t wait to do that AGAIN!”
YES! For a $75,000 CASH ONLY security deposit, you can bring your own camera! (Okay, here’s the real answer…)
No cameras, cell phones, or anything loose in your hands are allowed on board. The reason is that we will be cruising around at 70 mph in an open cockpit with the engine and propeller directly behind us. If anything were to come loose, it would go right thru the prop. So for safety reasons, we are very strict on this rule.
We completely understand… most people want photos and/or video. For that reason, we have mounted both video and still cameras to the wing. They are controlled by the pilot and are able to capture your flight in its entirety. Not only are they a great way to review and learn from your flight lesson, they make for great bragging rights back home.
Cost is $65 for all the hi-res digital photos we can shoot, $65 for video with audio (Blu-Ray or Standard DVD), and $95 for both. You’ll have the opportunity to view your flight’s photos and video back in the hangar and decide what you’d like to take home with you.
Our custom photo and video systems are the brainchild of Tom Sanders, the co-owner of Paradise Air. More can be found out about Tom’s amazing work by clicking here .)
OK GoPro fans, you are in luck! After being asked “can I PLEEEEASE bring my GoPro?” about 5,000 times we finally broke down. If you just have to bring your GoPro everywhere you go like a third appendage, we have an option for you.
We still prefer to use “real cameras” (aka SLR still cameras and professional video cameras with audio inputs and large sensors both paired with big, fat, heavy, expensive, nice wide angle lenses) BUT we’ve outfitted one trike with an additional GoPro mount. So if you want us to mount YOUR GoPro on OUR rotating mount, we will, but there’s the catch….. you have to commit to purchasing our photos+video package (retails for $95) AND pay $10 for us to mount your GoPro. So basically for $105 total, you’ll get a whole slew of hi-res digital still photos shot with our wing mounted SLR camera, gorgeous hi-def video with audio of the entire flight shot with our wing mounted video camera, a free Paradise Air men’s or women’s t-shirt of your choice AND photos or video (your choice) of your entire flight shot on your GoPro camera. We’ll rotate the camera during the flight and be sure to capture quite a few different angles. If you think $105 for all this is highway robbery, try asking the local skydiving centers who charge $230 for their photo and video package if you can bring your GoPro on a skydive…..
Also, please come with your GoPro ready to mount. We waste so much precious time each morning with folks running back to their car to get their extra battery or a SD card. Please arrive with a fully charged battery, a card with enough room on it, and your GoPro in it’s case and ready to mount. The open backed cases are better than the waterproof sealed ones, but if that’s all you have, we’ve had really good luck with them so far not fogging up. Moisture absorbing sticks are also a good idea if you have the waterproof sealed case.
RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED!
If you just show up in the morning, we’ll either be out flying or in between flights. Either way, we’re pretty busy giving our world-renowned, unmatched super-amazing customer service to those who are already scheduled to fly with us. Please call us at 808-497-6033 to make your reservation. When you call, we’ll take down the names and weights of the flyers, a contact phone number, an email address so we can send you a confirmation email, and a credit card number so we can be sure you remember to set your alarm clock the night before. We do not charge or put a hold on your credit card ahead of time and you can change your payment method to cash or a different credit card on the day of your flight.
Sometimes folks like to drop by to check out the aircraft, meet us, or just talk story. It’s all good…. we’re happy to meet with you and show you the aircraft before your flight with us when we’re not with other customers. If you’d like to come out and say aloha to us, please consider calling ahead and letting us know. We’ll let you know what time we’ll be done flying on the day you want to come out so you can see the aircraft (before we cover them up for the day) and also not intrude on our last customer’s departure. With no other customers around it’s great…. then we can give YOU 100% of our attention 🙂
Online ressies are so 2013. I mean, why would you trade soulful, meaningful conversation with a warm-bodied real live human being for a few cold, impersonal keystrokes? You wouldn’t, would you? No, we knew you wouldn’t. While it’s true you can’t make a reservation online, you CAN request a reservation online . We’ll contact you soon after getting your info to finalize everything.
If you’re an immediate satisfaction, gotta have a ressie right now kind of person, just call us at 808-497-6033.
If you’re contacting us from another country, time zone, or universe and calling is difficult, then please use our reservation request page .
We take Cash (of course…. :-), travelers’ cheques, and credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. We apparently take Diners Club too but none of us has ever seen one of these.) We are one of “those companies” who no longer accept AmEx – sorry! But you know they really hard on us small businesses! Keep your AmEx for Costco and Delta….. they’re a little bigger than us and have no problem accepting it.
We do! We offer a (full time) student discount, kama’aina, military, and senior discount. Students 18yrs or younger automatically get the discount. College students have to show current full time enrollment by bringing in a copy of your current or upcoming full time class schedule (or you can pull it up on your phone). Active duty military, retired military and military dependents just need to show your military ID. Locals, bring your Hawaii driver’s license or state ID card. And seniors over 65, just ask us. We stopped suggesting senior discounts long ago after pissing off some folks in their 50’s.
You may change or cancel your reservation with absolutely no charge to you if you let us know 72 hours or more before your scheduled flight(s). If you cancel your flight(s) within the 72 hour window, we will charge your credit card for the full amount of the flight(s) booked if we are unable to fill your timeslots. If we can find someone to take your slots on short notice, we will not charge you.
While we never expect tips, they are certainly welcome and very much appreciated. If you think we did an excellent job and exceeded your expectations, the best tip you can give us is by telling your family and friends about us. We also really appreciate 5 star reviews on Yelp! and Trip Advisor. If you found out about us in the “O’ahu Revealed” guidebook, you can tell the author about your experience by clicking here . If there’s something you think we could do better, please let us know . We are always striving to improve Paradise Air and welcome your input.
No. There are three options to get to us up here on the north shore. By far, the best option is rent a car. You should be able to rent a car for one day for about $40 in Hawaii. A second option is to hire a car and driver. These guys usually charge about $60/hour and you should plan for the drive out, flight, and drive back to be a minimum of 4 hours. Obviously, that adds up quickly. The worst option is to take a cab, but that runs about $135 each way.
Yes there is a bus system and no it will not take you to us. The Bus only costs $2.50 but takes over 2 hours to get up here and unfortunately stops 5 miles short of our airfield. By far, most of our customers rent a car and drive to our location.
We are located at the west end, mauka side (mountain side) of Dillingham Airfield (right next to the tower) on O’ahu’s North Shore. For directions, click here. For GPS, Google, or Yahoo! Maps, Dillingham Airfields address is 68-760 Farrington Hwy Waialua, HI 96791 (but that address will only bring you to the EAST GATE. The WEST GATE is another 1.7 miles down the road). Or You can also input airport code PHDH. Lat/Long is Lat 21.579196 and Long -158.206971.
We are open for flying 7 days a week, mornings only, when the winds are lightest and the flying is the most smooth. We start at sunrise and fly for the first 4 hours of each day. In the summer, we’re usually flying from 6am – 10am; in the wintertime, we’re usually flying from 7am – 11am. We do occasionally fly later in the day when the conditions are conducive to doing so. We answer our phones up through about 6pm each day. If you get our voicemail, it probably means we are in the air or on the other line, please leave us a message and we will call you back.
On a little side note, we recommend you plan to fly with us early in your trip for a couple of reasons. For those traveling from the US Mainland to Hawaii, you’ll likely crash… I mean, fall asleep at your hotel just after the sun goes down on your first day here because to you, it will feel like “Mainland-Time”, meaning your body will think it’s later than it is. Then, on your first few mornings here you’ll wake up really early. Since we tend to fly mornings, you will find it easier to wake up early on one of your first days here in Hawaii. Booking on one of your first days here also gives you more options for rescheduling if, on the off-chance, Mother Nature is grumpy on the day you are scheduled to fly with us. Just my 2 cents after scheduling folks for over 10 years, flying early in your trip (if you are able) makes the most sense.
It’s recommended you wait 12-24 hours after SCUBA Diving before you go flying. If you have any questions about how long you should wait, it’s best to ask your SCUBA Instructor or just wait the maximum time of 24 hours.
Trikes fall into the category of Light Sport Aircraft. To fly a Light Sport Aircraft, you need a Sport Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA. You can find out more about a Sport Pilot Certificate and Light Sport Aircraft by clicking here. It realistically takes about 25-35 hours of flight training to qualify for your Sport Pilot Certificate. You can read more about the requirements to become a Sport Pilot in 14 CFR Part 61 Subpart J.
How long it takes depends on how often you fly and if Mother Nature is on board with your flight training plan. Tom and I learned in about a month. We flew almost every day and Mother Nature was kind to us for the entire month of September in 2003.
You need to be proficient in flying weight shift controlled aircraft. There is no minimum time requirement but it’s common to take about 5-10 hours of transition training. You can read more about adding a different category or class of light sport aircraft in 14CFR Part 61.321.
- Waikiki – 1 hour (no traffic) 1 hour and 15 minutes (with traffic)
- Kaneohe/Kailua – 1 hour from the time you get on the H-3
- Ko’olina – 1 hour (no traffic) and 1 hour 10 minutes (with traffic)
- Makaha/Waianae – 1 hour and 30 minutes (no traffic)
- Hawaii Kai – 1 hour 30 minutes (no traffic), 1 hour 45 mins (with traffic)
- Turtle Bay – 45 Minutes
- Kahuku and Laie – 1 hour
- Haleiwa – 15 Minutes
From anywhere on the island, the drive is very pretty! Enjoy!!
It’s a very complex algorithm that really only Denise and a select few comprehend, so the easiest way to know how much time you’ll spend with us from start to finish is to simply ask, “What time will we be done?” I promise you, we’ll have a fairly accurate answer for you once you’re booked. But if you’re a dork and want to know for yourself precisely how we come to that exact date and time, keep reading…..
X = Length of flight
Y = Total Time we’ll have you and
Z = Number of flyers in your group
IF Z is 1 or 2, THEN Y = 30 mins + X + 30 mins (see note)
IF Z is 3 or 4, THEN Y = 30 mins + (X * 2) + 45 mins (see note)
IF Z is 5 or 6, THEN Y = 30 mins + (X * 3) + 60 mins (see note)
IF Z is 7 or 8 (I can’t believe you’re still reading this!), THEN Y = 30 mins + (X * 4) + 75 mins (see note)
(note: all times are approximate and possibly even inaccurate and do not take into account Mother Nature’s moodiness, random strangers stopping by, random friends stopping by, random animals stopping by, excessive picture taking, overly-chatty, super-inquisitive family members, or coffee pot emergencies).