Riding a Helicopter

I can cross something off my list! I rode a helicopter yesterday!

We took a flight from Kahului to Molokai. It was amazing. I was a little freaked out the whole time, and I got a little airsick, but I didn’t throw up or cry, so I will call it a success. I will tell about the ride using pictures.

The helicopter held five passengers. Lloyd, Samith, Curt, and I sat in the back. A couple from Chattanooga were in the front with the pilot. The helicopter was loud as we got into it, but we didn’t have to duck. The blades are 9.5 feet off the ground. Headphones kept things quiet while we were riding.

Lloyd and Samith getting in.

Lloyd and Samith getting in.

We were snug together in the back seat.

Our seats were assigned to us.

Our seats were assigned to us.

I was kind of scared when I first got in. The pilot had a really calm demeanor, which helped a lot, but it was still kind of freaky. The pilot played music while we flew. It included movie soundtracks. The music helped calm me too.

The face of fear.

The face of fear.

The views were really very cool. We started by flying past Kahului. I recognized many landmarks.

We were out over the ocean.

We were out over the ocean.

After stopping to look at Waihe’e Valley, we flew past the Lahaina area. We could see coffee farms. Cool!

Maui coffee.

Maui coffee.

Next, we flew over the ocean to Molokai. I have really wanted to visit Molokai because of the story of Father Damien. I didn’t make it on foot, but at least I got to see it from the air. I sat right behind the pilot, so I could see how calm and steady he was while flying. It really helped.

He was a former military pilot.

He was a former military pilot.

We hovered next to several waterfall sites. I am glad we got to feel what hovering was like. It was amazing and scary at the same time.

Molokai waterfalls.

Molokai waterfalls.

We also hovered next to some cliffs at Molokai. From our vantage point, I kept thinking that it all looked like model train set landscapes.

A long time ago, a giant tsunami broke off chunks from this side of the island.

A long time ago, a giant tsunami broke off chunks from this side of the island.

On our way back, I saw our shadow. I tried to take a picture of it.

It's sort of in the middle of the picture.

It’s sort of in the middle of the picture.

We made it back with no incident, except a couple of times where the pilot did nose-dives on purpose. They scared me a LOT, but I’m glad I got to feel what that maneuver felt like. His calm voice and his nice soundtrack kept me from freaking out or throwing up.

Safe and happy.

Safe and happy.

I am so glad I got to experience this. My curiosity is satisfied. Though I will not seek out another helicopter ride, I would not shrink away from doing it again. But maybe next time I’ll take some Dramamine.

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6 Responses to Riding a Helicopter

  1. Lauren says:

    Hooray for not throwing up or freaking out! Hooray for flotation devices that look like fanny packs! (giggle) So glad you didn’t crash into the ocean.

    Lloyd looks like that was the most boring helicopter ride he’s ever been on. Or that he’s going to throw up.

    Enjoy today!

  2. Carol says:

    Just want to thank you for my morning giggle (when I scrolled down to “the face of fear” picture). Of course, you know I would have been trying to climb out of the cabin (if that’s even what it’s called in a helicopter) to escape somehow by then. You have earned even greater respect from me if you, a charter member of the WKFA (White Knuckle Flyers of America) WENT INTO ONE OF THOSE OF YOUR OWN FREE WILL. (…or did the boys drug you?)

    Oh, and the scenery was like from a movie – thanks as always for the vicarious vacation. 🙂

  3. Dad Royuk says:

    As I perused your post, dear Brad, I was thinking ‘those four friends are like four angels’……just plain good guys, having the time of their lives on a dream trip that will be remembered all their lives. “Angels” might be stretching it…I was waiting for a picture of one of you trying to stick your hand out the aircraft window so as to touch the face of God! The beauty of His creation is more evident in all the places you have visited than any other place on earth. To Him be all glory and praise for you guys and everything you have been able to do these few days! We are very, very happy for all of you! God bless you all with a safe return home!

  4. Peggy says:

    WOW!! Those views are spectacular!! An experience you’ll never forget….and I’m so glad you all lived to tell the tale! You’re all so much braver than me!

    And hehe…..your helicopter face Brad is the same as your Chuck E. Cheese face!

  5. Michele says:

    Hooray for not crying! That made me laugh.
    My first (and only) helicopter ride was when I was 12. We were in California and we flew over the Queen Mary. All I remember was taking off over the ocean, tail up, thinking I was going to fall forward into the windshield!
    I am so happy for you guys – it’s like you are living a dream … a well-deserved dream!

  6. Lloyd says:

    It was a great trip. The helicopter had 4 cameras on/in it. Front, left, right and cabin. The pilot could change which camera was recording. At the end of the flight they would make a DVD of it if you wanted. Samith bought one, but we didn’t have a chance to watch it before he went back to the mainland (don’t I sound like a native?). It will be fun to see it.

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