By Susan Schell

Pilot Staff Writer

Whenever I get a chance to fly, I take it. Big planes, little planes, helicopters, parachutes, you name it. I love the view of the earth from above.

So when the Brookings Flying Club was offering $10 airplane rides during the Kite Festival I was there at the airport awaiting my turn.

Helicopter pilot, David Everson, was also in town with his four-seat red-orange bird. A lot of people thought $35 was too much to pay for a quick spin around town, but I thought it was well worth it.

Since I was the first of three passengers to purchase a ticket, I secured myself the Holy Grail of helicopter rides - the front seat.

The pilot dipped down low to the ocean and flew along the surface of the water. The dome-shaped windshield offers a panoramic view all the way down to your feet, and the feeling of gliding along the sea in a chopper is an experience like no other.

When I got back to the airport I was up again in minutes in an airplane. Pilot Tom Moore accommodated my picture-taking infatuation by circling around the harbor and tipping the plane sideways so I could shoot down without the wing obstructing my view.

Brookings-Harbor is beautiful from above. The water in the harbor and the Chetco River is a deep resplendent green, the coastline is jagged, rocky and wild, and the lush forest seems to go on forever toward the east.

No matter how long you have lived in your city, you have not really seen it until you've seen it from the air.