Friday, April 21, 2006

on top of old smokies

Scott Reiff is the airborne reporter for KABC-TV. Several years ago he invited me to go flying with him as he reported on rush hour traffic for KLOS. Best of all, he said I could bring my daughter along. We took off from Van Nuys Airport early enough to do some sightseeing before the first traffic report of the afternoon. Scott flew to Burbank so we could see our house from the air. Then it was over the top of the hill where we looked out the window and saw part of the Hollywood Sign. We were too close to see the tops and bottoms of the letters. Scott gave us a couple more thrills as we appeared to dive down the side of the tallest building downtown and then flew about five feet above the surf off the Pacific Palisades.

Last week I was offered the opportunity to take an aerial tour of the Smoky Mountains and to do some endorsement spots for Scenic Helicopter Tours. This time I was able to bring my son and my brother-in-law along. We had a great flight over Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Dim the lights, it's time for the slide show.

We loaded into one of their black and yellow Bell JetRangers and took off. These first shots are of the heliport.

Our flight was piloted by Dan Haynes, who owns the company. He's the one who looks like he knows what he's doing. Dan is getting ready to open Helicopter Headquarters next month.

We started toward the Smokies, passing Ober Gatlinburg on the way.

The scenery was amazing. We saw Mt. LeConte, Cades Cove and a neighborhood called "Top O The World."

If you're near Sevierville tomorrow, bring the family to Helicopter Awareness Day. The event honors the memory of Dan's father, Hal Haynes and raises money for East Tennessee Children's Hospital.
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Blogger Frank Strovel III said...

Great pics.

I once flew over the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland's Eastern Shore with a friend who was a pilot. Now you have me wanting to go through boxes of photos and find the pics from that day.


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