frantzy, did you do other flying in Hawaii? I chose Kona over HNL to base my quick scenic flight. Flew around the volcano area and back to Kona. Skipped the temptation to circumnavigate the island because we were encountering some pretty good moderate with a couple real wing rattling gusts here and there.
I fly in Boston class B frequently but never into or out of a class B. What was HNL like?
My mother-in-law lives in Hawaii so we visit frequently and I usually try to go flying (anyone with inlaws can relate
). We're always staying in Kailua on the northeast side of Oahu so HNL is our base.
A couple times I've rented a C172 from Flight School Hawaii and did an Oahu-Molokai-Maui-Lanai-Molokai-Oahu tour. The north side of Molokai is spectacular; Maui landing had interesting gusty crosswinds; Lanai had some cool shipwrecks just off the coast.
Last time I had 8 days so I got the seaplane rating at http://www.islandseaplane.com/
. Highly recommend those guys...they are very thorough. Takeoff at HNL, airwork off the east coast of Oahu, and touch-and-goes in Kaneohe Bay near the Marine Air Station.
Next time I'll rent an SR-22 with its faster cruise speed and check out either Kauai or the Big Island.
HNL is surprisingly accomodating and well set up for GA. The airliners use runways 8/27, GA land planes have runways 4/22, and there are sealanes 8/27 and 4/22 for seaplanes.
Flying VFR out the only real difference is to call Clearance and get a squawk code...runup prior to taxi...and then after getting Ground clearance to taxi, you just monitor Tower and they clear you for takeoff (rather than having you ask for it).
VFR departure routes follow some prominent landmarks and the highways...taking a local pilot or instructor the first few times is necessary.
Arriving, you contact arrival prior to entering Class B and fly a published VFR arrival. Final approach sometimes involves an interesting path over the passenger terminal, but is otherwise very simple.