John & Anne Wiley

Hawaiian Islands C-172 Rental

This is a brief summary of our experiences flying the Hawaiian Islands. First we rented a C-172 from Moore Aviation at HNL on Oahu, but found their “ground school” and “check ride” to be so adversarial we just switched to sightseeing and aerial photography after 15 minutes aloft. Moore’s focus is training military pilots and service members for civilian licenses, so in my opinion they make it difficult for simple renters. My 2,000 hours flying VFR to every state in the U.S. and every Canadian province including Class B, was no match for their CFI’s attitude. I’d also reserved a 172 for flying the islands the next day, but found they’d rented it before my arrival.

We then flew commercial as planned for a week on Maui. We found a rental C-172 from Maui Aviators at Kahului International Airport (OGG aka PHOG). After a few minutes of relaxed ground orientation including excellent free 8.5×11″ printed “crib” sheets (below), we were aloft 15 minutes before the CFI deemed me qualified and we returned to the airport. Their aircraft were also in better condition, without Moore’s partially non-functional panel with worn off button labels. I flew the free Avare app on the Android phones and tablet we’d brought on the vacation, and found the combination of Avare with the crib sheet to provide ample situational awareness. As you’d expect, ATC at OGG is also less busy and more helpful to further ease the half hour or so of solo familiarization flying it took me to be completely comfortable flying there. Availability and rates were good, and reservations were honored.

The bottom line: My recommendations for anyone seeking to rent a C-172 on the islands are to avoid Moore, and if possible to go with Maui Aviators. Since both companies rent 172SP models, it’s also helpful to be familiar with the startup/shutdown sequence for that fuel injected engine. For pix and descriptions of our flights, check out our first Maui post from the trip and the other HI posts in the Over Under (OU) Adventure.

Maui Aviators Crib Sheet

Maui Aviators Crib Sheet

Maui Aviators Crib Sheet

On the reverse side of this crib sheet is a full-page OGG airport diagram handy for preflight dialog with the CFI, though for taxi and flight I preferred the active GPS official current AF/D and Airport Diagram in Avare.


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