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Emily Grossman

Focal Point

December 8, 2005 at 8:55 PM

It may not have been with a purple balloon, but I actually did get a chance to fly to Kaua'i the next day. My friend Matt has his pilot's license, so he rented a plane and invited us to go look around. Having never been in a Cessna, I didn't hesitate to take him up on the offer.

The tiny craft leapt off the runway, and before long, we were soaring over Pearl Harbor and leaving the island behind. For a while, it was nothing but ocean on all sides, and I admired the many new shades of blue below me. Kaua'i appeared as a soft glint on the horizon, gradually enlarging into a mountainous, windswept habitation mingled with golf courses and coffee plantations.

We spent a couple of hours snorkeling at the beach before returning to the sky for a tour of the canyon and its waterfalls. I managed to neglect my door, which came open during takeoff, but no one fell out.

On the way home, Matt got an idea. "Hey, Emily, you wanna fly for a while?" I dropped my knitting. Ha, no! Didn't I just almost get us killed on the runway, and now you want me to finish us off over the ocean? No. No. "It's really easy; there are only two things you have to watch." No.

...Well, maybe just a little.

Flying is not so difficult, once you are in the air. I was told to watch the compass and the altimeter and focus on keeping them on course. I tried to glue one eye on each gauge, but as my focus shifted to one, the other would veer off track. I giggled as I overcorrected, and our path took on a few crooks from my green attempt at steering. However, the sky is even more forgiving than the road, having few obstacles and lots of room for error.

"Emily, if you look to the horizon, you'll see the coast of O'ahu. Aim for that point on the right." As I watched the land approaching, the plane immediately steadied. The needles held still without my effort. I simply pointed to the coastline, and the plane flew itself the rest of the way there.

Don't worry, Matt took over for the landing.

From Eric Stanfield
Posted on December 8, 2005 at 9:20 PM
It's all good until you have to start practicing spins and stalls. That hung it up for me, just don't have the steel nerves and faith in the aircraft that pilots need. It's ok though, lessons are very expensive and that's money better spent on more violins!
From Emily Grossman
Posted on December 8, 2005 at 9:27 PM
I fly for free in my dreams.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on December 8, 2005 at 9:34 PM
We used a Cessna for my parachute training. They're like flying VW beetles to me. I think it would be fun to land in one, but I haven't done that. It was a grass field. One time I was going to go for a ride in one with a distant relative and we got all the way out there, and he realized he'd forgotten the key to the plane. I was glad I didn't fly with him.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on December 8, 2005 at 9:38 PM
P.S. Sounds like a blast!
From Eric Stanfield
Posted on December 8, 2005 at 9:52 PM
Anyone else notice Emily has become rather psychedelic the longer she stays in Hawaii? I mean, she's not having dreams of human ham sandwiches, but I suspect her third eye is rather dialated at this point.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on December 9, 2005 at 7:14 AM
Emily, you're really brave to try piloting the plane. So were the other passengers in the plane.
From Mellisa Nill
Posted on December 9, 2005 at 7:41 AM
Emily, I'm glad you're having a wonderful time, but now it's time to come home.

Please? Pretty please? I had to play "Sleigh Ride" by myself tonight!

Have some more fun for me!


From Emily Grossman
Posted on December 9, 2005 at 9:49 AM
No, I assure you Eric, this is pretty much the norm for my world. Not that I fly planes every day, but I'm not growing extra eyes or anything.

Mellisa, just make sure there's fresh snow, and I'll come back for some Anderson action. But it was always my dream to be the one that got to crack the whip. ...Think you can pull a few strings for me? ;)

From Eric Stanfield
Posted on December 9, 2005 at 3:37 PM
It's the norm because your third eye is always open.
From Mellisa Nill
Posted on December 10, 2005 at 3:36 AM
Mick smashed his finger in the whip again, but I have no pull with the conductor.

Perhaps Maria.....

From Mellisa Nill
Posted on December 10, 2005 at 3:37 AM
I forgot to mention there is no snow. My yard is a skating rink.

You may want to stay there. I'll suffer for you in the 40 degree heat wave.

From Emily Grossman
Posted on December 10, 2005 at 9:40 AM
Ugh, I hate it when it ices like that. How many inches of ice do you have now?

Funny Eric, I dreamed I found a way into Narnia last night. The lion was there.

From Mellisa Nill
Posted on December 10, 2005 at 6:59 PM
The lion is always there!

Ice is about 2" on my driveway, but a mix of rain and snow is forecast for today and tomorrow.

Happy touring!

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