Wake Island to Honolulu, Hawaii · · PAGE 14.
April 13-April 13, 1964: Chapter 23 - - When
Jerrie lined up on the centerline of runway 10 at Wake Island, she turned off her landing
lights and used the runway lights as her guide for the departure. Here is what she
saw in front of 38 Charlie. The stars and the lights at the edge of the runway
outside, and the soft glow of her control panel instruments inside, nothing more as she
focused on the takeoff roll. She describes it so well in chapter 23 in her book.
The flight from Wake Island began at about 11:30 PM at night and landed over 14
hours later the next afternoon, also on April 13 in Honolulu, Hawaii after crossing the
international date line. When she flew all night, the sunrise gave her new energy.
Along the way, she crossed that weather front dodging the clouds easily in the daytime while still a few hours from her goal. Hickam Air Force Base and Honolulu International Airport use the same runways. The base parking ramp is filled with military aircraft. The commercial airport is far more busy with airliners from many places coming and going 24 hours a day. There is also general aviation here as well.
Here is the view approaching the west side of Oahu near Barber's Point, and on
course for Honolulu International Airport. There are two commercial satellite
antennas up on Makakilo Ridge that provide satellite television signals to the Honolulu
broadcast stations. I helped to install the second one beginning in the fall of
1981. The antenna site is about 2,000 feet above sea level and the airliners on a
similar course depicted here would fly past our location about 1 mile to the south.
Take notice of the words "fly past" instead of flying over as the airplane were
in the decent phase as they passed our job site.
The final approach to runway 8 LEFT at Honolulu International Airport.
Diamond Head Crater is on the horizon south of Waikiki Beach at the right side of the
photo. The control tower provided her with taxi instructions to a hangar where
Cessna would take care of Charlie for the night. And of course, there was a crowd to
welcome her along with members of the press and their camera men.
These photos were taken when she was on the phone with her husband calling from Columbus, Ohio. She had just stepped out of the airplane in Honolulu. He had cancelled the festivities that were planned for her for the night she would spend in Hawaii. She was wide awake and wanted to do those things. It was her first chance to enjoy herself with a group of people back in the USA. She was upset! There are plenty of details about her ONE day stay in Honolulu. The details of this first evening and the next day are all described in the book.
After the press had their chance at arrival questions, Jerrie was taken to a hotel over on Waikiki and was wide awake and bored. The operator had been told not put through any calls and that was one reason she missed some dinner invitations. Written messages were delivered to her as she started out of her room and down to the restaurant where she dined alone. This is one of those times you need to read her thoughts and understand her sense of humor and the irony of the situation. She had her first experience with a one-piece phone in the hotel room. Her description will take you back in time.
Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California
April 14, 1964: She had a chance to visit
the Honolulu air traffic control center near Diamond Head crater during the day of her
departure. This photo was taken at the flight service station at the Honolulu
Airport when she picked up her weather briefing for the trip to California. She had
planned to takeoff at 4:30 PM local time for the overnight flight to Oakland.
I know this place well from two business trips I made to Honolulu in the fall
of 1981 and spring of 1982. Of course I traveled in an airliner as I was not a pilot
or had dreams of owning my personal airplane.
This photo was posted on Google Earth at the end of runway EIGHT LEFT at
Honolulu. From the shadow on the runway, it was taken by an airline passenger on the
left side of the cabin. I always get a window seat when I fly the airlines.
This is that last view "ahead" before every line up with the runway centerline
This view is climbing out after takeoff from Honolulu. The same person
who took the photo above could just as easily taken this photo.
Here is an image I created with Google Earth simulating the view from 2 miles
off Waikiki Beach at about 1000 feet altitude. This is the kind of aerial
sight-seeing Jerrie talked about when she was flying along the south coast of Iran.
I could not believe how many 3D buildings were modeled in Google Earth for the images of
When I was a student pilot, I flew at one mile offshore from Palm Beach, Florida at an altitude of 1,000 feet in the Class C air space for West Palm Beach. When flying north or south past the West Palm Beach airport, the choices were over mid-field at 2,200 feet or higher, or along the beach below landing or departing airliners near the beach, one mile off shore at 1000 feet or 500 feet above the ocean at half a mile from the beach. Both those options allowed enough altitude to glide a Cessna to the beach for an emergency landing if needed. I am not a beach person, so when I fly along the coast of Florida, I see LONG emergency landing strips of packed sand near the high tide line.
This tourist photo from Google Earth shows how most folks have seen Diamond
Head south of Waikiki Beach.
Jerrie flew just off shore from the extinct volcano Diamond Head. This is
a land-based view of Waikiki from the top of Diamond Head. It is high enough that it
would be similar to what Jerrie saw as she flew past this location when she departed.
Jerrie mentioned the last land she saw was where the VOR is located at Koko
Head Point. Just like the day she left North Carolina heading for Bermuda, a VOR
signal points the way toward San Francisco Bay. From here, there is nothing but
Ocean all the way to California over 2,400 miles ahead. This is another all night
flight with arrival the next day.
Here is the route across the Pacific Ocean from Guam, Wake Island, Hawaii, and to Oakland, California. The flight from Hawaii was another overnight trip with arrival in California the next day.
April 15, 1964: Her approach was across San
Francisco Bay and there was a chase plane filming her arrival to the Oakland International
This photo was taken after her landing at Oakland, California when her husband
Russell was there to meet her. She spent one night in Oakland to catch up on her
lack of sleep before departing the next day heading across the USA.
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