Wednesday, December 23, 2009

TFR: Dec. 24 to Jan. 4 - NO FLYING ON OAHU

Update 12/21: New NOTAM posted - start time changed to 2 pm.
Update 12/21: DLNR suspends Kahana permit, will post signs.
Update 12/22: Signs to be posted at Makapuu as well.
Update 12/22: Start date changed to 12/24.

The FAA just issued a TFR for Oahu shutting down all hang gliding and paragliding during the President's upcoming visit. Between 2:00 pm on December 24 and noon on January 4, within a 30 nautical mile radius centered on Kailua, hang gliding and paragliding are PROHIBITED. DO NOT FLY between those dates.

Click here to read the NOTAM details, and here for the full text of the restrictions and penalties (including the use of deadly force and federal criminal charges).

DLNR called and also sent a letter from the Chairman to inform us that they have been asked to suspend our permit during the period of the TFR, and they will be posting signs to this effect at the trailheads.

Landowner KSBE was also asked to suspend permits at Makapuu during the TFR, and Dave Goto and Fireman Dave will be posting signs at launch and landing spots there.


Scrappy said...


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firedave2 said...

30 nautical miles, that is 33 statuate miles, even Kaena falls within that. It is screwed up that I actually thought he is a great president, there is a chink in the armor.

I have a bunch of free time coming up, the bastard. I hope it is super windy, unless they put up a NOTAM for kitesurfing as well.

When is that full moon anyway?

Just kidding Mr. Secret Cervixman!

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Alex said...

I just spoke with a field agent from the Oahu Secret Service office. This agent went out of his way to meet with Ray and hang glider Dale last week at Makapuu, an unprecedented move on their part to reach out to us and work with us. Unfortunately in this case the Secret Service and FAA ended up making the decision for the blanket TFR just to keep things simpler for them. He emphasized that they will be enforcing this very strictly and there is absolutely no gray area. I told him we appreciate what a hard job the Secret Service does and we appreciate their effort to contact us and work with us.

On the chatter box Pete said he e-mailed the White House - I hope that rather than complain about this to the President (who probably had zero input into this decision) he instead offered him and his family tandem instructional flights. Imagine what a great PR move that would be for the tandem pilot and for our sport. The tandem pilot would the only wing allowed up during the TFR, and they could legitimately claim to be Air Force 1. (Or 2, or 3, or however that works.)

Guys, PLEASE make sure our visitors are aware of the flight restrictions, especially our foreign visitors who might not know how this works and might be subject to undue scrutiny. I appreciate your help. Sorry I'm out of town and can't be there to suffer along with you all. I'll be back before the TFR expires, so I'll be grounded my first couple of days.

At the moment I'm snowed in at my parents house (2 feet of snow already and still coming down) and Dorothy and the kids are stranded in Chicago, delayed til at least Monday.

Alex said...

If I were in town right now, I'd definitely be making plans to go to the Big Island or Maui for some flying. Maybe you guys should recommend that option to any visitors that are here during this period.

Mad Dog said...

Being unemployed for 9 months I wish I could afford to buy a flight ticket to Big Island to fly my paragliding wing that is so slow it offers no possible threat to anyone except myself! Do they know how slowly efficient our wings really are to stop flights in a 30 mile radious? It takes hours for us to go that far in the best of conditions...If he was a real person with real concerns one persons vacation or visit would not ruin thousands of others holiday plans.
Get a life & let other poor people carry on with there meager life styles. He's not a local boy just another political clown from DC.
Aloha from one of the original 3 cowboys. Mad Dog
PS: I was actually happy to see him elected Pres.

JeffMc said...

It sucks not to fly, but let's put it into perspective guys! The president of our country needs to be protected by all means necessary. In a strange way, I'm honored to be so directly inconvenienced by that mission. I have a feeling we'll survive that week and half just fine! :)

JeffMc said...

Yeah... OK, after thinking about it some more, I'm really bummed about it actually. I won't be on vacation, but my workload is going to be light during that time and I was really looking forward to flying my head off. Jen had already planned for us to spend Christmas Day at Kahana, weather permitting. Oh well, guess I'll just do some kiting or dust off my surfboard :(

Alex said...

Guys, I have a lot of respect for people that do a pretty hard and dangerous and thankless job. The Secret Service is not coming to Oahu for a vacation.

This is not about politics or Obama, whatever you may think of him. President Bush ALWAYS had a 60 nautical mile radius TFR wherever he went as well. He just never vacationed in paradise! This is not anything special, this is business as usual for the FAA and Secret Service. Try googling "Bush TFR radius" if you want to read some pathetic whining and political grumbling by a bunch of airsick pilots.

Every private pilot in the country has been inconvenienced at times because of presidential travel, and they all whine about it, but I agree with Jeff, I'm honored to support the mission of the Secret Service no matter who they're protecting and no matter what brings them to town.

Yes, it sucks not to fly. Plenty of visiting pilots have come here who have been grounded for that period of time because of weather. They know that's the risk they are taking, but they're in paradise after all - I think they'll manage to enjoy their vacations just a little bit.

You guys have shown me time and again over the years that you are capable of sacrifice, nobility, civic spirit, selflessness, generosity, and hospitality. In the long run that's what I love about you guys, and I know I'll soon forget about the pathetic whining and selfishness and name calling posted above. I am well aware that there's nothing more pathetic than an airsick pilot, I've been one many times, and in fact I'm one right now, it's just easier not to think about it since I'm snowed in under a blizzard.

While you guys are trying to remember what your other hobbies are, I'll be sledding! I just hope my kids make it here soon.

JeffMc said...

Thanks for your comment Alex. Guys, let's keep this reasonable if we're going to comment here at all. This has nothing to do with politics.

An interesting link in the Advertiser:

There apparently was a meeting yesterday:

"Last night, tour operators, flight schools and others met with the U.S. Secret Service and FAA to discuss the restrictions — and try to persuade officials to relax them. Some helicopter tour operators, for example, suggested that the no-fly zone be slightly decreased so Sacred Falls was no longer in it."

"After the meeting last night, sightseeing operators said the Secret Service seemed receptive to the suggestions, though officials did not make any pledges that changes would be made. Operators were not told when the Secret Service would make a final decision on the flight restrictions."

"FAA traffic security coordinator Rally Caparas, who is based in Washington, D.C., was also at the meeting yesterday and said the flight restrictions are "still being formulated" and that the suggestions the operators made yesterday will be taken back to supervisors to see whether they can be approved."

Alex said...

Guys, just a reminder that everything we post here is permanently visible to the whole world - let's remember
that our club website is our public face, and we'd like it to reflect well on our club and our sport. Let's try and keep the discussion off of politics and onto our flying concerns, thanks!

Brazilian Ray said...

Yes, it is a "bummer" when somebody tells you can not fly, but we are blessed with flying all year round and sometimes we go way over 10 days with "no flying" weather and survive....
it is less likely to have other presidents vacationing here but we would have the same restrictions, so don't blame it on the actual president.
What would be very nice is for the SS and FAA to realize we pose no threat and allow us to fly at least kahana... as a great club we are we could shut down the site from one phone call if needed (let's say he is driving by to go to north shore).
don't take me wrong, I am bummed too! "Lost" is taking a holiday break, so I was looking forward to fly some friends.... I got a couple x-mas gift certificates out and had a new student from the mainland visiting the family, plus a lot of visitors this time of year (potential tandems)... I am not only grounded, I am loosing money!
Let's voice it, but keep it at a respectful level. Thank you.

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Alex said...

Thom politely requested that I remove one of his previous comments posted above - just a note to clarify that in case anyone remembers that comment and wonders where it went, or why a subsequent comment might refer to a remark that's no longer there. Thanks for keeping the discussion focused on the flying issues, guys.

Alex said...

Guys, this TFR is stirring up some strong emotions, which I fully understand. Even though we don't require this for our website all the time, I'm going to ask that you please post your names with your comments on this article, or I will assume it's not a sincere comment and I'll remove it. As webmaster I always strive to keep all our comment threads open and unlocked but sometimes they take on a life of their own. I appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

Anonymous said...

Here are the numbers for our representatives - this is the normal way to express concern over what the government is doing.
Akaka 202 224-6361,808 545-4683, Inouye 202-224-3934,808-541-2542. I believe the impact to employment is the best tack - tandem pilots are taking the biggest hit. It's all about the employment numbers these days - still over 10 percent.
Frank Highsmith

Anonymous said...

I just hope it pours rain the entire time. It would be good for the unemployment rate here in Hawaii as I could hire all the grounded tandem pilots, and I would have a job too...
It would also discourage our esteemed leader of the
"Free" world that they do not control the weather and maybe they will pick Florida next Christmas. Hehe

Brazilian Ray said...

"DLNR called and also sent a letter from the Chairman to inform us that they have been asked to suspend our permit during the period of the TFR, and they will be posting signs to this effect at the trailheads."
Thia means that if ANY pilot take it to the air we all will LOOSE our permit forever! so let's be respectful of the TFR (Temporary Flying Restriction) and NOT FLY.
Thank you!
Brazilian Ray

Anonymous said...

So.. I will come maybe tomorrow or Wednesday till 5th January - for non-flying...yeah thats my 'best' christmas ever,far away from home and family/friends .. but I really excited about see you all guys :)

Greetz from San Francisco (I hope totally that I get a flight tomorrow to Honolulu - keep our's fingers crossed for me)

Alex said...

Guys, the TFR has been changed to start a day later now. Not sure what this means for Makapuu and Kahana where our permits have been suspended for the original start date. I can try to check tomorrow morning with the guy from State Parks who contacted me about the Kahana suspension, and see if they will adjust the suspension to match the new TFR start date.

Mad Dog said...

Seems to reason one goes with the other unless we really are a 3rd world country as many visiters to Hawaii seem to imagine, see you in the air tomorrow...