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The Helicopter Effect


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Last year my husband and I went on a trip to Hawaii with a group of friends who we have traveled with for the past six years. We divided up the responsibilities: which islands to visit, where were the best places to stay, and what were -the things that we "had" to experience while visiting Maui and Kauai. Touring the "Grand Canyon" of Kauai by helicopter was definitely a must.


Our friend Tony took the lead in finding us the "Cadillac" of helicopter tours. He gave us a website link so we could see the luxury helicopters that we'd be flying in and could read what to expect from the tour. I spoke with a couple of people who had taken this same tour before who exclaimed profusely that flying over the volcanoes while listening to piped-in music was definitely the way to go. Even though I have suffered from panic attacks when I flew in the past, with the help of therapy, nutrition and "better living through medication", I was ready to ride in the chopper.


About a week before our trip, we all met for dinner at our friends' home to go over any last minute details about our vacation. Tony discovered an even better helicopter tour than the one we'd scheduled and as a matter of fact, he believed that though our current tour was considered the "Cadillac" of helicopter tours, this new one was the "Ferrari" of helicopter tours. Buoyed by the collective joy, love and excitement of our group, we all agreed to change to the Ferrari tours.


Herein lies what I affectionately term, "The Helicopter Effect" so pay attention because maybe you've had this happen to you too. My life was very busy at this point. I was then still with the IT Consulting company and my long-time college, just left to frolic in greener pastures . I was not only trying to keep up with all my own responsibilities at work, but also - hers, as well as interviewing for the two new positions that her leaving created. I say all this to try to find some semblance of sanity in my thinking then as to why oh why it never occurred to me to:


a.) Ask Tony to clarify what the differentiation between "Ferrari" and "Cadillac" meant to him.


b.) Find out exactly what "helicopter without doors" meant;


c.) Go look at the new tours' website to see what the helicopter without doors looks like and read about what this Ferrari tour would entail.


No, I simply trusted my friend Tony to intuit the dark shadows of my fear and blindly created my own definition of what this new tour would entail. In my mind, without any validation via words or photos, I told myself that our helicopters would be the same kind that we had seen photos of before (large and luxurious), that "without doors" meant that the apostrophe shaped doors that were in a normal helicopter would simply be "pushed out", leaving the frame of the door behind, and that we would be thoroughly strapped into our bucket leather seats with a multi-faceted, multi-winged seatbelt with a final padded row bar pulled down and locked in place for added protection. hawaii helicopters

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Not having doors saves time having to clean windows. It also leads to better photos since there is no glare. You get used to the view looking down, you keep your seat belt on and you're not going anywhere.


It also saves weight, so you and the hubby can put on a few pounds and still get off the ground. The Hughes aircraft shown does not have much head room in the back seat, so if hubby is a tall guy, I hope you got him into a front seat or bought him a gift certificate to the local chiropractor.


By the time you land, I bet you were giggling and not able to stop talking about the flight all vacation long. It may even lead to AIDS (Aviation Induced Divorce Syndrome)where one partner decides to embrace a life long dream to fly, and the other is left behind to pay the bills.


You couldnt have picked a nicer place to fly.



Edited by Goldy
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I used to do tours and charters around NY City. I would (almost without fail) have a soda or water bottle on the floor next to my seat. For some of the more enthusiastic passengers, I would fly over the Empire State Building (no longer an option) a do a steep bank turn around the antennae center. The very observant passengers noticed that the soda bottle never moved, even at steep bank angles. It's physics.


Doors off also helps you stay in trim, as otherwise it creates a very annoying "wind through the headset mic" effect. :)


And before you start, this is simply an entertaining anecdote...no risk of stuck pedals existed. :)

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