Monday, October 17, 2011

Leaping to the clouds in Hawaii


A street called AOLELE runs close to Honolulu Airport.

AO is a Hawaiian word that refers to any kind of a cloud, but especially high clouds that speed along before the wind..

Lele means to fly, jump, leap, hop, skip, swing, bounce, burst forth; to sail through the air.

So Aolele is all about jumping to the clouds!

" There is no sport equal to that
which aviators enjoy
while being carried through the air 
on great white wings. "

Wilbur Wright, 1905.

    / )  

 in 1899 a Professor Melville went aloft in a hot air balloon from Punchbowl.  The balloon caught on fire and the professor dropped through a kiawe tree into a puddle. This was Hawaii's first recorded flight.

  Some short time later, another hot air balloon ascended  from the slopes of Punchbowl on Oahu.  Drifting out to sea her operator, Joseph Van Tassell,  parachuted out of the balloon into Keehi Lagoon.  He was never found and was considered to be the the Territory of Hawaii's first fatal aviation's accident.

1897- Professor James Price flew in a balloon ascending to 3,000 feet above Oahu before parachuting safely back to earth.

On the last day of 1910- A promoter named Whipple Hall from the Curtiss Aircraft Company came to Hawaii with pilot J.C. "Bud" Mars who became the first person to fly a fixed-wing aircraft in Hawaii.  Taking off from Moanalua Gardens in a Curtiss P-18, he circled the field four times and executed Hawaii's first safe landing.

In June 1911- Clarence Walker took off in a bi-plane from Honolulu Park in Hilo. The areoplane cleared a a fence but quickly crashed into a lauhala tree.  He walked away unhurt, but the aircraft was completely destroyed. Perhaps the shortest flight in Hawaiian aviation history.

1911- French aviator Didier Masson flew the first cross-country flight in Hawaii from Schofield Barracks to Kapiolani Park, covering 19 miles in 22 minutes.

Oct 1913- Tom Gunn, a local Chinese man, took the first "paying passenger" aloft in a seaplane above Honolulu Harbor.

1918- Major Harold Clark flew the first inter-island flight from Oahu to Molokai and return.

1919- First official airmail goes form Honolulu to Hilo in Army airplanes.

Aug 1925- Commander John Rodgers, navigator, and pilot Lt. Byron Connell with an all-Navy crew, attempted the first Trans-Pacific flight from California to Hawaii.  Due to a fuel shortage the plane "splash-landed" in waters off Maui.  The resourceful US Navy crew sailed the plane to Ahukini Harbor, Kauai.  The airplane was a Curtiss PN-9. 

june- 1927- Lt. Lester Maitland and Albert Hangenberger flew the first successful non-stop flight from Oakland, CA, to Hawaii aboard a U.S. Army Fokker C-2-3 with three Wright 220 Tri-Motor engines named "The Bird of Paradise"

july 1927- 2 civilian pilots, Ernest Smith and Emory Bronte followed this flight within a month and were the first civilians to fly from the mainland to Hawaii. Their airplane, "The City of Oakland" was a single-engine Travel Air.  They ran short of fuel and crash landed their airplane on the south shore of Molokai.  Both survived the dunking.

Nov 11, 1927- The first commercial inter-island air service was established by Inter-Island Airways (now known as Hawaiian Airlines) with two S-38 Sikorsky Amphibian airplanes.  Scheduled service included Honolulu, Ma'alaea Field, Maui, and Ho'olehua, Molokai.  The chief pilot was  Charles "Captain Sam" Irving.

Jan 12 1935- Amelia Earhart is the first pilot to fly solo from Hawaii to the mainland landing at Oakland, CA.

April 1935- The first commercial flight from the mainland to Hawaii was flown by a legendary Pan American Airways M-130 Flying boat in 17 hours and 14 minutes.

1936- Volcano eruption on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Army airplanes drop bombs on the lava flow in hopes of redirecting the flow of molten lava away from the city of Hilo.

1940- During this year 1,153 people came to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland by air.  The flight took approximately 16 hours and the cost was $278 per person.

Oct 1941- Inter-Island Airways changes its name to Hawaiian Airlines.  Hawaiian Airlines begins flying the Douglas DC-3.  The DC-3's were flown to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland in 13 hours and 55 minutes.

Dec 7 1941- Pearl Harbor is attacked by Japanese aircraft.  Martial law is declared throughout Hawaii for the duration.

1946-  Hawaii Airlines resumes service after suspending operations during World War II.

1948- Trans-Pacific Airways introduces the first in-flight entertainment on passenger airplanes.  They featured singing, hula dancing and ukulele playing flight attendants.

1956- Pan Am Stratocruiser ditched half way between Honolulu and San Francisco after losing two engines at the "point of no return."  Unable to safety return to Honolulu or to make it to San Francisco they contacted a Coast Guard ship and rendezvoused with it and circled the ship until dawn when they ditched next to the ship.  The crew and passengers were all safely rescued.

1959- Pan Am begins Jet aircraft service to Hawaii on the Boeing 707 airliner.  The introduction of jets made the Hawaiian Tourism Industry what it is today.

Aug 21, 1959- President Eisenhower signs a proclamation declaring Hawaii as the 50th state of the United States of America.

1969- The Columbia spacecraft with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins lands in Hawaiian waters.

mar 6 1979- Hawaiian Airlines becomes the first U.S. scheduled carrier to operate a flight with an all-female crew.

Jan 1986- The NASA Space Shuttle Challenger explodes with Big Island born astronaut Ellison Onizuka on board.

April 1988- An Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200 on an inter-island flight from Hilo to Honolulu experiences rapid cabin depressurization, blowing off a portion of the forward ceiling of the aircraft fuselage.  A flight attendant, C.B. Lansing,  is swept away in the blast, but miraculously, the crew is able to maneuver the crippled aircraft to a successful landing on Maui.  The incident prompted investigation, and new policies, in the operation and maintenance of aging aircraft.
Locals start referring to flying Aloha Airlines
as "taking the convertible."
March 2008 ALOHA is grounded for the last time.

1989- The Honolulu International Airport's Reef Runway (08R/26L) is chosen as one of several emergency landing sites for the NASA Space Shuttle.

Yates, W. Paul. Aviation in Hawaii. Honolulu, Hawaii,
Paradise of the Pacific press [c1936]

Recently, a small plane ALMOST made it to Hawaii:
                         and thank YOU for winging by today! cloudia