Anyone that has vacationed in the Hawaiian Islands knows that there are loads of helicopters around. The sightseeing flight operations are extensive and there are a variety of types that are used. The Astar was a big feature of these flights but the EC130 was developed to provide something best suited to these flights and it is now very widespread. There are other types in use too. I used a Robinson R44 for one of my flights for example.
There are the occasional MD500s around too which is what you expect to see if you ever watched the original Magnum PI TV series. The helicopter area at Lihue was a busy place to be with a steady stream of operators moving from the different pads. I wasn’t on vacation to spend time watching helicopters but of course I managed to slip a little time in with them!
I was wandering along the runway at Concrete towards the end of the day during the fly in. A Robinson R44 had been doing pleasure flights throughout the day and was landing well up the field from where I spent a lot of my time. I had photographed it as it came over a couple of times but soon lost interest. However, as I wandered along, I happened to be near his landing spot when he came back from another trip. I was far better placed to get a shot or two so I did. However, he spotted me and, instead of following his normal approach routine, he brought the helicopter to a hover in front of me facing at me as they all looked at me while I looked at them. As long as I kept shooting, he didn’t go anywhere so eventually I just lowered the camera and waved. At that point he turned around and landed.