Posted by: Waheeda Harris | February 18, 2010

Try it: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a glider

I like to fly. I love the feeling of when the airplane takes off and you can see the ground quickly disappearing behind you, as the clouds come up to greet you.

I love it when you’re above the clouds, seeing the brilliant sun and zipping along to your destination, seeing the planet from far above.

I’ve been lucky to be in jumbo 747 and a four seater plane, a float plane and a helicopter. But I had never been in a glider.

After checking out the beauty of the north shore of Oahu, I was given the opportunity to go up in a glider with Honolulu Soaring at the Dillingham Airfield. When I arrived, I walked up and the lovely lady said are you ready to go? I said yes, signed my name and met my pilot, a friendly man named Dwight.

We walked out onto the runway, and I got to see the plane, this lovely white glider which Dwight turned around. I was shown how to get in, how to fasten my seat belts, as Dwight made jokes and I got ready to fly. Within minutes we were connected to a small plane, and then towed up into the brilliant blue sky.

It was a gentle take-off and so quiet. Since the glider has no engine, the sound of the other plane’s engine seemed very distant. As we rose higher and higher, the mountains on the one side of the runway were just below us, rippling shades of green. On my far right was the Pacific Ocean, with its multiple shades of blue and frantic waves rushing towards the creamy sand beach.

Dwight pointed out various things and kept up a constant chatter as I looked in amazement at the planet from a bird’s point of view. I was so enthralled I had to remind myself to take photos and not just take in the images for my own memory. My pilot made jokes and explained everything that was happening, as well as when the plane left us up in the air, to glide on our own at 3500 feet.

I realized at that moment why people wanted to fly – to have that weightless feeling, to see the planet from above and appreciate its beauty.

I felt excited and then calm and as we slowly descended, winding our way from the mountains, seeing rainbows in the sky and across the brilliant blue waters I was soaking in every minute of the freedom.

The landing was gentle and I realized I was back on earth, now back within the grasp of gravity.

My thanks to Honolulu Soaring: The Original Glider Rides and my pilot Dwight for a truly memorable flight above north shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

For more information: Honolulu Soaring

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