Hawaii – Maluhia slope soaring site

Maluhia is a great place for big planes, for F3Bs, F3Js and expensive glass-slippers that need a lot of room to land. The lift is great, but far out so small planes get hard to see. The landing area is huge and almost anything will fly here.

These are locations we have had the privilege to fly. Some may have access restrictions.
Check with local flyers for information.

Maluhia, the Fly-What-You-Like Site

Thanks to Duane Asami for permission to use this info.

Maluhia, named for the Boy Scout Camp which leases the land, is north of Wailuku Town and about a mile north of Kapuna Point (Waihe’e). The lift is great when the trade winds blow and you can fly nearly any kind of aircraft you want. I have seen a hand-launched Gentle Lady and an Olympic II sharing the sky with a Modi (F3B), also hand-launched. It’s a great place to picnic while flying and couples often go there to just lay on a blanket and enjoy the view. The site is scenic, the lift is awesome and the landing area has been described as, “A two-acre foam pad”.

You find Maluhia by following Kahului Beach Rd. north-bound from Ka’ahumanu Ave. (the main highway connecting Kahului to Wailuku) along the coast past the harbor. Take Waiehu Beach Rd. (340) to the intersection with Kahekili Hwy. (330) Turn right and Kahekili Hwy. 330 becomes Kahekili Hwy. 340. Continue north along Kahekili Highway (340) .9 mile past mile marker 6. The roadway to the camp is on the left and poorly marked, directly across the street from the main gate of the ranch offering trail rides. Follow the paved road up the hill 8. mile to the gate at the State Hiking Trail. The scout-camp parking-lot will be on the right; turn left and head back towards the ocean along the grassy road to the edge of the field. While facing the ocean, you should see a small hill on the left, a grassy slope ahead and a tree line on the far right.

If trade-winds (basically, in-your-face when you face the sea) are blowing 10 MPH or more, you’ll have fun. If the winds are coming out of any other direction, don’t launch. Launch due east, directly across the middle of the grassy slope and be on your guard, there are some nasty rotors in there. The trick to this site is to have faith. If you get part-way out and panic because you think you’re too low and won’t be able to come back, you’ll be right. You must push-on until you clear the tree line at the bottom edge of the slope to find the lift. Grab as much altitude as you like out there, then fly back and play directly overhead. Anytime you need to get back up again, just fly out to the tree line. Stay away from the hill on the left, the air gets very lumpy there and several planes have visited the heiau (Hawaiian temple) there.

Almost anything will fly at Maluhia. Ships seen there recently include : Highlander, Gentle Lady, Olympic II, Bird-of-Time, Vindicator, DAW foamie Mustang, Super Ridge Runt, Sparrow, Coyote, Calypso Cobra, Predator XL, ASW-26, DG-600, Renegade, Climax…ad infinitum. The only limiting factor is your vision. Remember, you have to go a long way out to find any lift, so small planes become very hard to see.

Landings are a piece of cake. Fly waaaaay back to the other end of the pasture and kill off as much altitude as you think you’ll need so you can land twenty or thirty feet short of where you’re standing. There’s a small “bump” of lift right at the top of the slope so if you come too far forward, it’ll pop you up again. Be careful of the tree line on the right, there seems to be a bad rotor about half-way back and a tree that is a genuine airplane magnet. I once saw five planes hit the same tree in one afternoon.

BTW, Joe Wurts flew at Maluhia and figured out a nice line for DSing the slope on the back side of the heiau. Anyone interested can meet with one of our guys and we’ll be glad to point it out.

A sincere request to visitors: On the top of the hill on the left is a heiau, a Hawaiian temple. It is a sacred place in the Hawaiian culture. DO NOT DESECRATE IT! If you go up the hill to take a look (and I do encourage you to go), behave as you would if you were in a church because you are. Take nothing, leave nothing and disturb nothing.

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