Friend’s Dogs Need a Ride (California to Hawaii)

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    Anyone know of a company or individual that would be able to to ferry three dogs from the Central Coast of California to Hawaii? I have a friend that is moving and asked if I knew of anyone. He’d be very reasonable on the cost.

    Ted Depuis, I thought of you right away, but I know that your 310 doesn’t have the range. Sorry! 😥

    Please advise if you know someone who is. Of course, it can be any kind of ship as long as they are reasonable on the cost as well.




    Of course your friend realizes that he just can’t show up on a private plane with dogs as Hawaii has no rabies. There’s a whole procedure that he needs to go through or else the dogs will get quarantined for 60 days.


    Absolutely. That’s why the last company that gave him a quote came to $55K for three pure bread and pampered dogs! He completely understands that there are strict protocols, but that seemed quite extreme. And, he certainly has the money, so that’s not the issue either. He’s just seeking a more “realistic” transportation cost. Hence, asking for my assistance. So, if I can help a friend out, I certainly will.


    55k is actually cheap! Last time I looked into a private charter from the west coast to Hawaii it was about 120k! You need a plane that is ETOPS certified and that has the range especially going Westbound. You’re looking at a mid/super mid jet.

    quote mchien1:

    55k is actually cheap! Last time I looked into a private charter from the west coast to Hawaii it was about 120k! You need a plane that is ETOPS certified and that has the range especially going Westbound. You’re looking at a mid/super mid jet.

    My friend who used to push Gulfstreams around said that they’d only guarantee Hawaii to the clients certain times of year in the G-IV. The G-V I think had enough better range to make it a non-issue.

    Unfortunately, we are definitely out of the running for that with the 310. I would definitely NOT recommend airlines. Too many dogs die on those.


    Wow!!! Goes to show how much I personally DO NOT know about transporting animals! Never done it, and never intend to. So, if $55k is cheap, then it is what it is. Again, just trying to help a friend via wisdom and insight from my Twin Cessna friends. And, Ted, excellent point about the airlines. He wasn’t even considering them for that very reason.

    Appreciate the feedback. I’ll let him know what you’ve said.

    Thank you.



    There was a time I was thinking about moving to Hawaii so I’m actually quite knowledgeable on this topic. You definitely don’t want to take the dogs there just for a “visit.”

    I would only go via airlines if I could take the dogs in the cabin with me and if the flight was non-stop and flown into a Direct Release airport of which HNL is the best, followed by OGG then KOA.


    The reason $55k is cheap is you’re talking about chartering a G-V or equivalent.

    Our cost to transport (assuming we had the ferry tanks) would be way cheaper, but that’s because of the operating costs of a G-V vs. a 310.

    But just for fun, let’s figure out what my cost would be! We’ll pretend I have ferry tanks already installed that give the 310 ridiculous range. Assume average ground speed of 170 KTAS, which is a bit conservative but factors in typical headwinds and such I find on a long trip. The map would look like this:

    45 hours and 29 minutes round trip! I’m going to need a lot of PowerBars, coffee, and empty Gatorade bottles. 😯

    Assuming $300/hr wet cost (which is probably undervaluing a hair, but we’ll give a bulk discount), that comes out to $13,650. Of course, roughly half that cost comes from having to fly from Ohio to California before going to Hawaii, but as you can see, even we wouldn’t be able to do this for under 5 figures, and since there are no ferry tanks, you’d be talking about actually spending a bunch more money to equip the plane with them. So even a 172 that was already based in LA I doubt could do it for much under 5 figures. That leg from LA to Hawaii is a real killer at 13 hours each way.

    I do get a lot of really interesting requests that make for fun hypothetical flight planning. I’ve been asked for Singapore (I think that one got an outright “No.”), Europe, Central America, etc. Hawaii is just particularly hard because there just isn’t enough fuel to get there. The plane holds 140 usable gallons right now, and I would need about 350-400 gallons with reserves for economy cruise of 25 GPH.


    Troy, out of curiosity, who has your friend talked to? I have one other friend who might be able to help (he’s arranged moving elephants from Africa), but I suspect he’s going to have the same answer of “Hire a G-V.”


      The airlines move over a hundred animals a day to and from Hawaii. Not a big deal anymore. The animals need a health certificate from your vet after a series of shoots. United Airlines has a Pet Safe Program and can take care of all the details.

      Once they arrive in HNL my charter company (Pacific AIr Charters, Inc.) will pick the Pets up at quarantine and we will fly them and their Persons anywhere in Hawaii. Quarantine usually takes about 30 minutes from the time they land to released.

      We fly animals in our C-421C, Chieftain, and Seneca II several times a week.

      Our C-421C is Oceanic certified and has a 2600 nautical mile range. But it is a lot cheaper to fly on the airlines.

      Call Pacific AIr Charters for more information (808) 839-3559.

      Keep’em Flying



      Thanks again for the excellent feedback, folks. I’ve already conveyed your comments to my friend, but I’ll give him this additional information as well.

      Pat, appreciate the insight on the United Safe Pet Program and Pacific Air Charters. Hopefully one will work out for him.

      Ted, not sure who he has contacted so far, but I’ll advise. Also, nice “planning scenario” with your 310. As you clearly point out, when you start adding up all the costs for a private charter, I can see how the $$$ add up very quickly. Fun to see it anyway! 🙂

      Best regards,



      Pat how many gallons of gas does it take to get 2600 miles of range in a 421? My SWAG is 450 or so?? Todd


        The airplane has the standard 228 gallons of gas. Oceanic High Power Garmin 530A and 430A Coupled to a 800B IFCS. Dual Collins HF220 Radios, SATCOM, Iridium Internet tracking system.

        We have quick connect fuel couplings in the x-feed lines. Two 125 gallon aluminum fuel tanks that attach to the seat tracks over the CG. Field approval for 135% over max Take-off weight (10,200 lbs). Takes about 2 hours to tank-up airplane and do paperwork.

        Normally 40 minutes to climb to 15,000 feet and then fly at max. specific range speeds for the weight. Normally it will take about 75% power when heavy for best L/D speed then taper off to 52-54% at the end of the flight. We have very accurate performance charts that we have extrapolated from the factory charts.

        Keep’em Flying



        Pat, interesting system. Can you also take passengers in that ferry config? What types of trips have you been using the system for? What oil level do you start/finish at?



          Airplane is put into Restricted Category, crew only, some operations require more crew members!

          With the GTSIO’s we normally start with 11 quarts of oil for flights over 12 hours. It is normal for the first 2 quarts to blow out in the first hour of flight. The oil level stabilizes at 9 quarts. We see it sometimes get down to 7 quarts on very long flights. The oil system hasn’t been augmented.

          There is nothing magic about these kind of operations. The key is do really good preventative maintenance. The ignition system must be in the first half of it’s normal life. The induction system must be perfectly tight and torque seal is invaluable. Dynamically balanced engines that run smooth in the first hour of flight normally have no problems making the trip.

          Keep’em Flying


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