Review – Birds in Paradise

During our 4.5 days stay in Kauai, Hawaii, it was recommended to us that we should check out the Birds in Paradise, a microflight to see the NaPali Coast from up top.    Located in Port Allen, we booked our flights.  Typically they have 2 aircraft that can go up together.  but unfortunately, that particular day, the other pilot was away, so we were only able to go up one at a time.  a bit of bummer – but at least we can take pics of each other before disappearing into the skies.

We arrive, did the necessary forms that signed away any rights for damages/injuries etc.  got our air suit and safety helmet, and went to check the aircraft out.  It’s basically 2 seats, strapped together with a small engine, and what looks like the steering control of a hand glider.  Our pilot sits in the front seat, and the passenger behind him.  yes, there are safety seat belts.  the Pilot then proceed to strap his camera onto the tip of the wing so that he can take pictures when in the air that includes the passenger.

We were given our headset to communicate to the pilot, and that’s pretty much it.  We decided to have Nick go up first (so I can gauge his reactions after).  He gets strapped in, and away he goes.  the ramp up was pretty fast, and pretty vertical.  the aircraft disappeared into the skies in no time.  An hour later, he was coming back, and the landing was equally quick.  He was waving and smiling – so that gave me the courage to do it.

My turn. all strapped in.  holding on the hand bar by my seat for dear life.  the pilot goes : you ready?  me: er. ok.  then he proceeded to gear up, ramp up and fly up.  the vertical to get to the height was indeed quick. I recall screaming loudly.  poor pilot.  but it wasn’t bad because it was quick.  and then we were gliding at the correct height (forgot how high).  Once we were up, it was surprisingly calm. i was expecting the wind to make the aircraft shaky with turbulence.  but the pilot knew how high to go to avoid that.  whew.  then you look around and downwards. and the view is just breathtaking.    you see the crater, and canyons and the NaPali coast as he flies through the hour.  He even let me steer for awhile (after some instruction).   before I knew it, my hour was up, and we were heading back down.  I was scared – I don’t do well on the way down even on big boeing 777 aircrafts, let alone a little 2 seater with no coverings.  but the pilot was an expert.  we came down with little stomach drops, and before I could even get scared or dizzy, we were touching the ground and on the runway.  I see Nick waving.

overall – it was a GREAT experience.   it’s worth the money – it was approx $200 USD per person. definitely better than seeing the coast via helicopter.  not only do you see great views from the top, you also get to experience something unique.

my word of advise – dress warm – though you get a handkerchief to wrap around your neck, it was still exposed.  and it was cold when up in the air.  I was sniffling from the cold near the end.  otherwise, dress comfortably, running shoes, tshirt, etc.

See pictures below – words are hard to describe the awesomeness of the views

From Kauai – Birds of Paradise, posted by Out Exploring on 11/03/2010 (28 items)

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