Frequently Asked Questions 

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We operate multiple aircraft making it even more fun to fly with your entire family or group of friends. Each person flies with their own instructor and we take off at the same time and chase each other around Kauai's skies as you take your introductory lesson.
 

 
Q Is this an aerial tour?
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[ A ] No. This is a hands-on introductory flight lesson with an FAA-Certified Flight instructor. Our training area happens to be over the beautiful island of Kauai. Our main goal is teaching you about the easiness and fun of this sport. Within 10 minutes you should be quite comfortable in flying the aircraft straight and level and doing gentle turns. We want you to come away from your flight with an experience of a lifetime and the feeling of “I can do this.”

Q How many people can take lessons at the same time?
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[ A ] We currently are operating two aircraft. Each person flies with their own instructor and we take off at the same time and chase each other around Kauai's skies as you take your introductory flight lesson.

Q How do we make reservations?
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[ A ] Please call 808-822-5309 to set up a time for your lesson. Our reservations line is available from 7:00am HST to 7:00pm HST. Reservations are required.

Q Where do we meet?
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[ A ] The Port Allen Airport at 3666 Kuiloko Rd., Hanapepe, HI 96716. Take Highway 50 to the 17-mile marker in Hanapepe. Turn left onto 543 and follow the signs to the airport. The Birds in Paradise Whirled Headquarters is located in the white trailer inside the airfield fence beyond the hangar for the Inter-Island helicopters. Please arrive 30 minutes before your flight time.

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Q Can I enter "Birds In Paradise" in my electronic location device?
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[ A ] Yes, it will direct you to the Port Allen Airport on the southwest side of the island.

Q What should I wear?
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[ A ] Shorts and a T-shirt are fine. You will be provided a flight suit, gloves and protective helmet. Closed-toe shoes and socks are recommended for warmth. Please no flip flops. Customers who book the early lesson may want to bring a sweatshirt.

Q Are there any age limits?
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[ A ] Children must be at least 4'6" tall and 9 years old. We have no upper limits on height or age – we've even had a 103-year-old WWI flying ace fly with us.

Q Is there a weight limit?
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[ A ] There is a 250 pound maximum weight limit for each passenger.

Q Will I be able to communicate with my instructor?
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[ A ] Yes, you'll be equipped with a noise-cancelling headset to wear during the flight. The instructors also have two-way aviation radios to communicate between the aircraft, other aircraft and airport tower personnel.

Q If our flight is cancelled due to bad weather do we lose our money?
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[ A ] Absolutely not. We only charge your credit card after your lesson. Pilots make the determination on weather conditions as they are the experts on its affect on flying. Cancellations made by you, with less than 24 hours notice are subject to full charge. Also, be aware that if we experience a short weather delay anytime during our daily schedule, it can delay your lesson time.

Q Is my lesson flight time that can be logged?
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[ A ] Absolutely. You will receive a signed Flight Certificate after your lesson to allow you to credit your total flight time toward a pilots certificate if you decide to continue your flight training. If you are already a licensed pilot, your flight time can be entered into your pilot's log book. We have pilot log books available for purchase.

Q How safe is it?
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[ A ] Birds in Paradise uses the latest state-of-the-art aircraft equipped with a backup rocket-propelled parachute system, a GPS emergency location transmitter and transponder. Each student also wears a flotation device. We have safely shared our love of flying with over 23,000 people since Birds in Paradise started in 1990.

Q Who maintains the aircraft?
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[ A ] Gerry Charlebois, the owner and head instructor at Birds in Paradise, is a Rotax-certified mechanic for this type of aircraft as required by FAA regulations. He maintains all of the aircraft for Birds in Paradise.

Q What if I am prone to motion sickness?
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[ A ] We have had customers who claim to get nauseous on escalators and they absolutely have felt no motion sickness.

Q What if I am afraid of heights?
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[ A ] We commonly hear this. We have found that after a few minutes in the air, that fear disappears due to the stability of the aircraft. Out of 20,000 students, only three have wanted to go back and land.

Q Can I bring a camera or water bottle?
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[ A ] No. Loose articles in a high-speed open aircraft can be a big safety hazard with a spinning propellor behind us. We have found that trying to be a photographer while taking your introductory lesson takes away from the experience. We offer photo packages to document your lesson.

Q Do you offer advanced training?
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[ A ] Yes, we offer training all the way through solo sport pilot. We are the only company in Hawaii with an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) on staff. Airtime in our aircraft is charged at a rate of $300 per hour. Airtime in your aircraft is charged at a rate of $150 per hour. Ground school time is $100 per hour. Package lessons are also available.

Q What is your cancellation policy?
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[ A ] You may change or cancel your reservation with no charge if you notify us at least 24 hours before your scheduled flight. If you cancel your flight within the 24-hour window, we will charge your credit card for the full amount of the flight(s) booked if we do not fill your timeslots. If you reschedule your flights to a different day within the 24-hour window, an $80 late-change fee for each flight booked is charged if we do not fill your slots.

Q Can I go SCUBA diving and then go flying?
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[ A ] Yes, as long as you wait 24 hours after your dive as we do reach high altitudes very quickly.

Q What's the difference between Birds in Paradise and a helicopter tour?
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[A] They are completely different. Powered gliding is a partcipatory experience. A trike lesson is a one-on-one flying experience equated with being in a high-performance motorcycle with wings. You will actually learn how to fly the trike. A helicopter ride is a passive experience with a group of people -- akin to riding in a mini-van -- where you cannot take over the controls (this tends to make the other customers nervous). If you can afford to do both, we recommend it. Of course, if you can only afford one, we recommend you fly with us!