Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson said the above quote back in the 1800’s. He sure was a man of his time, a pioneer to free thinking and going against the routine grain. I would love to think that I too go against the grain of day to day life, but i’m not convinced that I am there quite yet.
I’m sure my mom thinks I stay up late at night just coming up with adventurous schemes to get my heart rate up a little bit. Little does she know, she’s totally right. For this particular Friday morning I had a new scheme, I had let my mind stew in the idea for a few months, I dreamt about it. I flew a helicopter.
“You are crazy. There is no controlling you” -Mom
“They let you operate? You were in control of a helicopter? Only my sister. Only MY sister.” -Brother
“Now THAT is cool. That is way cool. ” -Dad
Yeah a helicopter. For some reason the past few months I had become nearly obsessed with the things. I was researching flight schools, watching YouTube videos, and studying the handbooks, all BEFORE I EVEN WALKED IN. Ill admit I was nervous. For the first time in a while I found something that gave me such a rush even talking about the subject.
I opted for the Mauna Loa Helicopter School at the Honolulu Airport, and on April 21st found myself in a small room learning pre-flight safety measures. As my instructor was discussing what mast bumping was, it hit me, I was about to be handed controls of a helicopter in 30 minutes. I had never even been in a helicopter. What I was getting myself into I wasn’t entirely sure but God was I ready.
Outside I was given the briefing on the main aspects of the helicopter, a Robinson R22. It was tiny, but the rotor blades that stretched above our heads were not quite as small. We made our way through the checklists, went over the controls, and gauges, and after making calls to the control tower, we were airborne.
We had just cleared the airport, and he handed the controls over to me.
Okay so I drive my car everyday, I’ve rode off road vehicles, motorcycles, the works. Controlling a helicopter is like NONE of the above. It’s a challenge. The movements you make with the cyclic are so small but have such great actions on the direction and pull of the aircraft. It was a struggle. But my instructoor was right there the entire time to direct the controls if need be.
Out of my total flight time there were only brief moments that I actually took in the view that was all around me. Seeing the island from above definitely is like nothing I have seen before.
Now I don’t have any actual photos from the flight since I was taking in the whole experience and stowed my phone away, but I think you’ll like the visuals I have for you. They do the trick right?
Flying over the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor
Dramatic Views of Diamond Head State Monument
I would definitely rate this as one of the best things that I have done while living out in Hawai’i, or just living in general. My head has always been in the clouds, so why not make that my job? Being up in the sky getting the best views around. It’s a thought that I have debated the past few months, and I will let you know if I continue with the idea of flight school. Until then enjoy more overly enthusiastic selfies documenting my first ever logged flight hour.