When I was in high school (15) and trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life, I seriously wanted to be an astronaut. Seriously. I figured I would go to the Air Force Academy and then get into the space program. I also decided I should learn how to fly before I got there. My parents were very supportive (thought secretly scared to death) and paid for lessons. I helped by working part time at the flight school at the Kahului Airport.
My flight instructor was David L. Osman. When I think back on all the amazing teachers in my life, David, Leonard and Mr. Takamori are tied for 1st. (All from Maui schools, hmmm) He was enthusiastic, funny, smart, a great pilot and made the whole process easy. About 13 flight hours into the lessons, and after my 16th birthday, student pilot's license in hand, we flew to Hana to practice landings there. This was not unusual as we could get out of the way of the Kahului aiport traffic and practice landings at an uncontrolled airport.
On September 2, 1983, I solo'd. I knew it was coming up so I wasn't completely surprised when David said, "On this next landing, pull up to the building so I can get out. Do three touch and goes, then pick me up again." Righteous!
So I did. I'm sure I was grinning huge the whole way. Not to mention singing a Duran Duran song. (Hey it was 1983, I'm alone for a good 20 minutes in a vehicle (Cessna 152) without any kind of music and I'm STOKED...might as well sing!)
Recently, in searching for photos of Maui for oggonline, I found these photos. They took my breath away because this the view of what it is like to land at Hana. And these photos were taken from a high winged airplane, just like mine. It was the view of my first solo. I wanted to share. (Click on all to make bigger.)
"Hana Airport Traffic, Cessna 6243 Quebec on base for runway 8, touch and go."
That's me and 43Q. This was taken later on my first cross country solo to the Big Island. (What you can't see is that I'm barefoot. I wore slippers into the plane, but flew barefoot. Just like driving....)
By the way, I wrote to the owner of the photos to ask if I could use them, but never heard back. So I am going to anyway, hope you don't mind, sir! Here is his site.