Kona, Hawaii
Bradley Pacific Aviation

The Kona station was the third to be developed after Honolulu and Lihue. BPA continued to be aggressive with each location having unique issues. Kona's primary issue was access to fuel (Jet-A). The current fuel storage at KOA was controlled by the competition (Century & Circle Rainbow*). We knew that we could access Jet-A from Hilo but logistics would be difficult. We came up with a solution but it would limit us to servicing corporate/biz jets until we could develop additional fuel storage. The second issue for BPA was the State of Hawaii, DOT-A... they made it difficult at every turn but we pushed back and let rules & regulation dictate our course.  See more below

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In the beginning...

Terry Mooney was one of the very first to join BPA. He helped open Lihue & Kona.. Not an easy task...Mahalo!

The Start-Up

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BPA Jet-A storage (2- 30,000 gal. tanks)
Beginning the Jet-A storage
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photo by Terry Mooney
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photo by Terry Mooney
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photo by Terry Mooney
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photo by Terry Mooney
photo by Terry Mooney
2005

Third tank arrives

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Proposed BPA Hangar Facility - 2007
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Bradley Pacific Aviation handled Air Force One during a President Clinton stop over near the end of his second term. The above certificate of appreciation was for all our efforts while they were on the ground at the Kona International Airport. Payment for services were completed by way of a work order. The work order was closed out before departure but some additional requests for support came before final departure . We were told, send the bill to the white house which we did, We also sent friendly reminders, until one day we received a brief response written across our invoice...

"He doesn't live here any more"

I also remember days before their arrival, an advance team came to prepare for the arrival of Air Force One. They looked at the 2 - 30,000 gal fuel tanks at the storage facility and declared they needed to isolate these tanks for fuel security for AF1. I told them they absolutely had no authority to take control of the airport fuel system. The airlines own the system and the fuel inside. 

The advance team made the alternative plans to ensure that the fuel that went into AF1 met quality standards and that security would be maintained. 8 - 5,000 gals Jet-A fuel trucks were flown in  C-5 Galaxy's which included a security team to guard the fuel until it went into the aircraft for departure. $$$$$

BPA @ Commuter Terminal
BPA Fuel Ops
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photo by Terry Mooney
photo by Terry Mooney
photo by Terry Mooney
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Aloha Airlines B737

Lessons Learned

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It took two 10,000 gallon fuel trucks to refuel United Airlines Boeing 747-400 that flew their scheduled flight out of Kona. The truck was always positioned just below the fuel panel on the left wing between #1 and #2 engine. One day, during fuel operations, an Aloha Airlines B737 departure was taxing by the United aircraft, with a little more power than was necessary and the jet blast blew the truck cab door open. It sat open directly below the tail cone of the #2 engine. As the fueling continued and passengers began to board, the aircraft got heavier and lowered into its landing gear struts. The tail cone on #2 engine lowered down on the corner of the cab door, puncturing the cone. We had to take the door off the truck to get it released from the aircraft. It was determined that this small one inch puncture made the aircraft unairworthy. The two hundred plus passengers were deplaned and without another aircraft being available until the following day, they were shuttled off to hotels. Bradley Pacific Aviation got the bill for the hotel and meals... tens of thousands of dollars. We got off easy because we didn't have to pay for the cost of aircraft repairs and sending another B747 to pick up the passengers. New fuel operations procedures were put in place. Lessons learned! 

more to come...