Monday, May 28, 2012


Let me take you on a virtual flight from Tinian to Saipan, from the safety of your desk, chair or bed.

Air travel between Tinian and Saipan is regular and frequent....but unpredictable.

The small planes wait till there are enough passengers to justify using up the gas.  In my case, I waited and waited, and when it looked like I was the only passenger at least for a while, they put me on the plane as the sole passenger.  But they can always make money from cargo.

I used to sit next to the pilot at times back in the 90s when I was a priest in Saipan and would fly to Tinian.  He'd ask me to open and close the window on take -off.  I thought I should've gotten at least a few dollars off the fare for helping fly the plane.

Totally unrelated story.  Years ago I was helping cover a parish in Hawaii and a parishioner's boyfriend was a pilot who flew a small plane as this one in the video, taking small cargo to the small islands of Lanai and Molokai.  For the price of helping him carry cargo on and off the plane, he said I could go with him.  And that is how I saw two islands I probably never would have been to; Lanai and Molokai.

Back to Tinian.  In the 90s, I had a Healing Mass every Monday for the sick and I recognized an elderly man would always come for the blessing after Mass.  This elderly man was usually the pilot on these quick flights to Tinian and back.  I mentioned to him after Mass one time, "I really pray for you a lot when you come for the blessing."  "Why?" he asked me.  I said, "You know you're usually the one flying me to Tinian, right?"  "Yes," he said.  "Well, don't forget, there's no co-pilot!"

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