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insider's GUIDE
hawaii TRAVEL

A definite highlight of any trip to Oahuís picturesque North Shore.

What a wonderful way to see the island, in our sleek high-performance aircraft, soaring the skies over northwest Oahu. Panoramic vistas unfold as your pilot guides you in this bubble-topped aircraft; on the wings of the wind with sights and sensations never experienced before. Itís thrilling, itís serene; and itís HAWAII !

A definite highlight of any trip to Oahuís picturesque North Shore.

Your piloted Scenic glider Tour will start with flight along the lush Waianae Mountains with rugged cliffs, cattle and horse trails; panoramic views of Oahuís world famous North Shore including Waimea Bay; a glimpse of the Satellite Tracking Station at Kaena Point, and colorful windsurfing sails off the beach at Mokuleia. Depending on the length-of-ride and weather conditions, you can see all of the North Shore and most of the interior of the island including Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and Honolulu to the South. A 20-minute flight can attain altitudes of 3,000 feet or more, and longer flights are available. Mother Nature sometimes has a say in where we can fly and how high we can get (because of cloud-cover and wind-conditions), but rides of up-to-an-hour are available. Seating is ďcozyĒ, so we suggest that you initially make your plans for flights of 30 minutes or less; and then if conditions are favorable, decide on additional TIME-options when you arrive for your flight. (Maximum combined weight for 2-passengers is 350-pounds)

Specialized Add-on flight activities:

Aerobatic loop-d-loop Ride : You can spice up your scenic tour and include 7 - 10 minutes of aerial aerobatics. Complete with parachutes, you climb into the cockpit alongside an experienced aerobatic pilot and take a look at the world from a whole new perspective, up-side down ! You call the shots, mild or wild * and decide how many aerobatic maneuvers and what kind of ride you want. *available for single-passenger riders only; maximum passenger weight 220-pounds.

Eagle mini-lesson : ["Hands-on" Intro Flying Lesson ] Lets YOU do some of the flying! This is an introductory flying lesson in conjunction with your scenic tour. Your intro flight-lesson* will be with an experienced FAA certified glider (sailplane) pilot, and you'll be able to choose how much of the flying you'd like to do. Youíll be amazed at the ease of working the controls, and you'll get an introduction to basic flying maneuvers *available for single-passenger riders only.

"Combo" soaring flight: Experience a real rush! Sign up for both an Aerobatic Ride and Hands-on Mini Flying Lesson as part of your single-passenger piloted Scenic Tour!

In-flight video: Our two-camera VHS video taping system records your entire flight (including an inset picture-in-a-picture showing YOUR reactions to the sensations you are experiencing, and the panorama you are seeing); and the on-board microphone captures your comments, too. What a souvenir!

What To Know

Words to the wise: For MOST people, especially if you have not been exposed to small-aircraft flying, we recommend flights of 10, 15, 20, or 30 minutes. Longer flights are available, but sometimes a "slice"-of-life will give more enjoyment. 'Longest' is not necessarily 'Best'.

If you are in need of transportation it is available from Waikiki for $35 per person. Please allow 3 to 4 hours to complete activity from pick-up to return to Waikiki. About one hour before pick-up time we NEED to be in contact with you.
Maximum weight for all single-passenger scenic flights is 270 lbs.
(Maximum height 6ft 5in)
Scenic tours for 2 passengers can have a combined passenger weight of 340 Pounds with each person being of average size (170 lbs, 5ft 9in)
Maximum weight for all single passenger aerobatic flight is 220 lbs
(Maximum height 6ft 1in)
Take home a video of your flight for just $35.
Gliders have a live, on board, two camera VHS video recorder with both picture and sound.


Turn your world upside down with a thrilling aerobatic ride. Strap on a parachute, climb into out aerobatic glider with an experienced aerobatic pilot, and hold on tight for the ride of your life. Pull Gís. Float in zero gravity. Loop-d-loop. Roll wing-tip to wing-tip. Draw clover leafs in the sky. Pull straight up vertically into a hammer-head stall, and then fall off into a vertical dive -- straight down. At 2 positive Gís, wing-overs are the most mellow maneuver on your aerobatic ride.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in a dog-fight? You can with an aerobatic flight. Aerobatic maneuvers were invented to evade enemy pilots in aerial combat and get into position to shoot them down. Our ASK-21 aerobatic glider has the look and feel of a fighter jet. Wrap-around instrument panel. Bubble canopy that opens much like the ones on fighter jets. Forget seat belts, youíll be strapped into a five-point harness. Our aerobatic glider is highly maneuverable. And our aerobatic pilots are among the best anywhere.

Your flight is tailored to you. Your pilot can perform nonstop no-holds-barred aerobatics or take a more gentle approach, performing one maneuver at a time to check your comfort level before continuing.

The ASK-21 is a very strong and agile aerobatic glider. It is built to handle more G forces than most of the fighter planes of World War II. But our pilots hold the Gís at a maximum of 4 positive. At 4 positive Gís you will feel your body pushed down into the seat. Try raising your hand and you find itís not so easy at 4 Gís.

For the aerobatic ride, the glider pilot tows to between 4,000 and 5,000 feet before releasing the towline. (Relax and enjoy the tow; the views are breath-taking.) This tow altitude allows your aerobatic pilot to perform 7 to 10 minutes of thrilling maneuvers.

You have the option of adding a mini-lesson to your aerobatic flight. Choose this option and after the aerobatic portion of your flight is completed, your pilot will give you an introductory training flight. He or she will show you what each flight control does and then you get to fly the glider.


Are gliders safe?
Gliders are very safe. In fact, youíre much safer in a glider than you are driving to the airfield. Gliders are so safe that the FAA permits 14-year-olds to fly solo.
How long can a glider stay in the air?
A glider can stay airborne indefinitely Ė as long as it flies in updrafts. Updrafts or ďliftĒ can carry a glider higher. In a way, lift is like in-flight refueling. If the pilot wants more altitude or if he wants to fly longer, he just goes back to the lift and fuels up.
How do gliders get into the air?
We tow our gliders with airplanes. Gliders can be launched by auto tow, being towed by a vehicle, or by winch, but airplanes are much more efficient. You canít get very high on auto tow or winch tow. But, the towplane can take the glider as high as the glider pilot likes and take the glider exactly where the pilot wants to go.
How do they fly?
Itís the air flowing over their wings that allows gliders to fly. The airflow creates low pressure on the top of the wings. And, the lowered pressure helps support the weight of the glider. It canít support all the weight, though, so the glider gradually descends -- unless itís flying in lift. By using updrafts or lift, the pilot stays aloft and actually climbs higher.
How does the pilot control the glider?
Gliders have exactly the same flight controls as airplanes. Flying gliders is so similar that airplane pilots can easily learn to fly gliders.
What happens if the wind stops blowing?
Nothing happens to the glider. It doesnít need wind to fly. Gliders are not kites. All a glider needs to fly is air flowing over its wings. Itís the pull of gravity that keeps the air flowing over the wings. As a glider flies, it is gently coasting downhill. Coasting downhill, the glider feels the winds, just as a bicyclist feels the wind while coasting downhill. Of course, if the glider flies through rising air, it climbs. Fortunately, air and gravity are not in short supply.
How does the glider land?
They land in much the same way as an airplane. The pilot descends, levels off, and then allows the plane to touch the ground very gently.
Do the pilots have licenses?
Yes, glider pilots are certified through the FAA Ė just like airplane pilots and helicopter pilots. Pilots receive ground training and flight training on a one-on-one basis with a flight instructor. They must pass a rigorous FAA written test, accumulate solo experience, and undergo a practical test where they demonstrate their skill, knowledge, and judgment. Only then are they issued an airman certificate (pilot license). The FAA requires periodic flight reviews. A commercial rating, an advanced rating, is required to carry paying passengers.
Do glider pilots fly real planes?
Gliders are real planes. However, if you ask your glider pilot that question, she will understand that by ďreal planesĒ you mean airplanes. Some glider pilots fly airplanes, and some donít. In fact, some glider pilots are airline pilots or military pilots who love to fly all different kinds of planes. Some pilots only fly gliders because they really love gliders and canít imagine anything better.
Is it hard to learn to fly gliders?
On one hand, itís not especially difficult. On the other hand, itís not especially easy. It is easier for some than for others. There is such a thing as natural aptitude. Still, almost anyone can learn. All thatís needed for success is to really want to fly, to pay attention to your flight instructor, and to study hard.
What makes updrafts?
Here at Dillingham Airfield, the tradewinds blow against the mountain and are pushed up, creating updrafts all along the side of the mountain. Another kind of updraft or lift, we often get, is thermals. Thermals are columns of warm air rising off the ground. If you have ever seen hawks or even buzzards circling without flapping their wings, they are thermalling. They are hitching a free ride by circling in a thermal and letting it carry them upward. And there are two other kinds of lift. Convergence lift is like a mini-front. Two airmasses meet, and the colder and denser air pushes the warmer and lighter air up. Mountain wave forms when air blows over a mountain range, setting up a series of stationary waves that extend away from the mountain. Itís similar to water flowing over a log in a stream. A series of waves form downstream from the log. The waves stay in the same place behind the log while the water flows through them.
Will the pilot let me fly?
You can fly, but not on a two-passenger ride. For you to fly, it has to be just you and the pilot. There is an additional charge, because you will be getting a mini-lesson. Donít worry about taking off or landing. Your pilot will do that. Once youíre off tow, your pilot will show you how the flight controls work one at a time. Then he or she will show you how to use the flight controls together and let you fly.
Will the pilot do a loop?
Not on a scenic ride. Aerobatics have to be in a special aerobatic glider and both the pilot and passenger must wear parachutes Ė itís required by the FAA. Aerobatic rides are available in our Aloha Spirit, an ASK 21. The Aloha Spirit is a sleek and beautiful fiberglass glider rated to 6.5 positive Gís, making it slightly stronger than the fighter planes of World War II.
Do gliders fly in rain?
Gliders donít fly in heavy rain or other bad weather. Fortunately, the weather in Hawaii is so good that there are only a few days out of an entire year when the gliders have to stay on the ground.
What will I see?
You will have an incredible view of Oahuís North Shore. The Waianae Mountains. The Pacific Ocean. coral reefs. breaking waves. During the winter, you might see humpback whales at play. And, you will have the experience of soaring. Flying a glider is as close as you can get to flying like a bird. Your pilot can point out landmarks, if you like. Feel free to ask questions, our pilots enjoying sharing the beauty of Hawaii and the beauty of soaring.
Can I take pictures?
Itís one Kodak moment after another, so take along extra film. Most people run out of film before the ride is over. You can also take your video camera along, or we can video your flight for you, leaving you free to look around and enjoy your flight. The video is a lot of fun. Our video system has two cameras and a microphone mounted inside the glider. One camera takes the forward panorama, the other camera is trained on the faces of the back-seat passengers, and is displayed as an inset picture-in-a-picture. The microphone captures the comments. And it all gets put on a VHS cassette, and you take it home.
*Waikiki.com shall not be liable to any individual utilizing these tour/activity programs for delays, injury, loss, accident or damage to persons or property beyond its control. Natural phenomena are random and out of the control of the tour provider. Prices, features and/or menu are subject to change without notice.

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Glider Ride Packages

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15 Min Single


15 Min Double


20 Min Single


20 Min Double


30 Min Single


30 Min Double


40 Min Single


40 Min Double


Aerobatic Option (Single Passenger Only, 15 or 20 minute flights only)


"Hands-on" Mini Lesson Option (Single Passenger Only, 15 or 20 minute flights only)


Combo Option - Aerobatic & "Hands-on" Mini Lesson (Single Passenger Only, 15 or 20 minute flights only)


Transportation per person


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**Prices & Inclusions subject to change without notice.
***A travel representative will send you a confirmation email along with tour/activity vouchers within 24 hours of booking. If there are any problems with your dates, we will contact you. There are no refunds for cancellations made within 48 hours of tour/activity, unless another cancellation policy is specified. No Shows are charged in full. If you have any questions, please click here to contact us. Mahalo!

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