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Helicopter Pilot

Mar 8, 2018Canadian, Female, Japanese, Life&Food

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Have you ever ridden in a helicopter?


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Kanna and José were talking about her life history and about how she wanted to fly helicopters in Africa to help protect wildlife.

Kanna Kai Jones: So um I didn’t go to um Africa. But I I I flew in in Los Angeles and I did the charter.

José Cruz: So you never gave up your dream. You you you couldn’t find a way to get into the whole African situation, because of this sexist (Mm) guy (Ha ha) But you held onto your dream, and and pursued it in America anyway,

Kanna: Yeah. Mm-hm. (Wow) And uhKanna uses the filler words ”uh” and “um” very naturally (0:23). And then I flew for the movies and charters and then all kinds of stuff (Wow) and in the meanwhile, I really wanted to fly for the-for the naturesKanna mistakenly says this uncountable noun with a plural ”s” (0:32) and um the- the animals (Sure sure) So I I picked the last job I did was flying over the water- um the- commuting from (Oh wow) the mainland to the island. (Of?) Going back and forth. (What island?) Ah Catali- Catalina Island.

José: Ah Catalina Island.

Kanna: The south of um, Los Angeles.

José: Sure I didn’t know. (It it) I thought this was (It it) maybe Hawaii now suddenly. Yeah go on.

Kanna: Yeah I- I. Becausepronounced, “KUHZ” (0:53) I flew in Hawaii for a year.

José: Oh god! OK I was just guessing. OK. OK OK.

Kanna: Ha ha. So it was it was so you know, it was natural for me to get that job in Los Angeles. And then I flew over the whales and dolphins and then I saw some eagles flying and all that. You know, natures. Um I- I loved it. For- I’ve done it for seven years or so.

José: When did you last. When- When did you- or- Uh you’re not a pilot now?

Kanna: I- I quit. Yes. I-

José: When did you last fly?

Kanna: That was 2008.

José: Oh wow. So let’s see. You flew for basically for what about 30 years, 20 years? (20 years) Wow that’s so cool. Nobeginning the sentence with a “No” acknowledges that José’s surprised reaction (1:35), I’ve just- I’ve always had- Like every time I see a helicopter I keep thinking- Because I know generally, the cycl- the the technical part of the cyclic- and the pedals and stuff like that- and I- I keep telling myself that is a tough job. Landing (Ha ha) a- a helicopter that’s got topronounced, “GOTTA” (1:54) be the hardest part, right?

Kanna: Landing yeah- hovering and landing.

José: Hovering is tough too?

Kanna: Yeah hovering is tough in the beginning. And once you get used to it. Just like you know the the bicycle. Riding (Uh I guess) a bicycle.

José: I think a bicycle is easier Ha ha.

Kanna: Well similar- once your body remembers.

José: Yeah sure. or uh, probably not a really good comparison. But like, now, that’s an automatic uh transmission I have in my car, But I- I remember how hard it was trying to drive sticka slang term meaning “manual transmission” (2:22), (Mm-hmm) and at a certain point after a couple of months, it was- my hand was doing things (Right right) that I didn’t even know it was doing, (Exactly yeah) I didn’t know hovering was hard, but I guess so, eh?José’s Canadian accent emerges here when he ends the sentence with “eh?” (2:33) Because you’ve got to really feel the wind. If it shifts in a certain direction you’ve got to compensate back in the other way and…

Kanna: Yeah especially when you do some kind of photo shoot or something you really have to be steady.

José: Oh you did that stuff too? (Yeah) Wow! that’s so cool!

Kanna: Yeah the commercials. TV commercials, and all that stuff.


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Kanna Kai Jones


Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture

José Domingo Cruz image

José Domingo Cruz


Vancouver, British Columbia


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