Go Fly Stories
We’re half a mile off Maui’s northern coastline when Nick Moran says the magic words: “My hands aren’t on the controls. You’re flying all by yourself.”
I glance to my left, where Moran is seated in the pilot’s chair of the helicopter, and his hands are completely removed from the cyclic, which helps to control the chopper.
“There’s no way,” I think to myself, “that I’m actually flying this thing.”
To see if it’s true I grab the cyclic and gently push it forward, and sure enough, just as Moran said it would, the helicopter changes its pitch, and an empowering sense of aerial freedom is now in the palm of my hands.
As we turn north to make the return flight to Kahului, Nick lets me take back control of the cyclic, and we glide along at 1,500 feet with frothing seas and big surf on our right, freshly washed forest slopes to our left. Since I get to choose, we’re flying right above the seam of the cliff and sea boundary for maximum visual drama.
I’m still nervous, and careful, but I’m also so stoked that I’m nearly floating in my seat.
As Pā‘ia and Baldwin Beach roll by below and the airport control tower materializes ahead, I realize that my flight is coming to a close just as I’m getting the hang of it.
Go Fly Maui was proud to partner with YesWild, an organization that helps raise money for charity by delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
GoFlyMaui and YesWild teamed up with Jesse Richman, pro kiteboarder for North Kiteboarding, to create a once in a lifetime adventure and raise money for Thirst Project, a non-profit who educates youth all over the world about how water works in their local area so they can become empowered to get clean water.