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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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March 25, 2011     The Catalina Islander
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March 25, 2011
 

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From page 1 gers slowly climbed in a Grum- man Goose G-21 from the airport in Burbank bound for Catalina through the low cloud cover sur- rounding the nearby Hollywood Hills. It was the last flight of the day, but trouble started early when Hanley emerged from the clouds only to notice cars on the highway ABOVE his plane along a nearby ridge. Just climb higher REAL soon, he told himself. And so he did. But the new altitude brought its own problems in the form of ice, which rapidly began coating the plane's radio antenna. The ice didn't stop there, however, and soon his entire windshield was covered with it, making it impos- sible to see anything ahead of the plane. The tension was eased consid- erably after Hanley finally got the Goose above the cloud cover. But although he now had good vis- ibility out the side windows, he realized that the cloud cover truly obscured all of the ground below. "That cloud cover, now below us," he wrote, "was absolutely fiat as far as the eye could see. Not a lump anywhere." Then, things got a whole lot worse when the ice building up on the antenna suddenly broke away, taking the whole antenna with it. Hanley and his passengers were now several thousand feet in the air with cloud cover between them and terra firma and no way of com- municating with those on the other side of those clouds. No problem, thought Hanley to himself. "Fly your airplane, dude," he told himself. Using an old pre-radar pilot trick, he counted the minutes, knowing that it was 20 minutes from Burbank to Long Beach and another 17 minutes from there to Catalina. After 30 minutes, he began eas- ing the plane lower, bit by bit, cal- culating that by now he was over the open water, approaching the Is- land on the leeward side. They de- scended lower and lower until they were swallowed up by the clouds. Would the Goose and its occupants find open sea below them? Or would they plow directly into East Peak or Mt. Orizaba? He was now well on his de- scent on a heading of 180 degrees when a "voice" clearly spoke to him, he write "Turn to nine zero degrees," said the voice. "TURN NOW." It took Hanley a moment to real- ize that he still had his headphones on; headphones that blocked out the voices-of anyone in the plane. Headphones that--because of the missing radio antenna--were com- pletely and utterly dead. Hanley obeyed the mysteri- ous voice and rolled his Goose 90 degrees. Immediately, the plane broke through the clouds at 900 feet right into the middle of mountainous .terrain. "Hills and mountains loomed all about," he wrote, "under and to the right of my wingtip." Jim Watson Columnist W'rthin minutes, as Hanley tried to figure out just exactly where he was (had he circled around some- how and was back over the main- land?) he looked directly below the nose of the airplane and saw Ava- lon. After a nail-biting half hour, Hanley safely landed his plane and its passengers. Hanley would later discover that the "absolutely flat" cloud cover was flat only because of a 70-mile- an-hour wind, which had pushed his plane much further along than he had reckoned. These winds, he calculated, would have almost guaranteed that--without making the 90-degree turn--would have plowed the plane straight into Mt. Orizaba. "I didn't hit the mountain be- cause a voice'in dead earphones, when I was flying absolutely blind, told me to 'turn to nine zero de- grees." "Where did that voice come from?," he asked himself. "That's where I run out of answers. The whole thing seemed impossible, but I'd heard the voice, and I obeyed it." Robert Hanley has long since passed from this earthly plane and from his earthly planes. But with- out the "Ghost and the Grumman Goose" that passing could have occurred much earlier. Got a weird story about Catali- na? Email it to us at dan@cinews. us or send it to Mysterious Island, c/o Catalina Islander, PO Box 428, CALE,NDAR FestivalI 16th annual fundt'aiser featuring over 80 wineries, delecta61e hors d'oeuvres and smooth jazz. Net proceeds help support mentoring and scholarship programs. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce (310) 510-1520; www. CatalinaChamberlcom 8129-81301 21st Annual Church Mouse Marlin Invitational Non-profit madin fishing tournament, all proceeds donated to Catalina youth, Over $825,000 hbs been raised over the last 20 yearst Captain's meeting Sunday, August 2 th; fishing Monday and Tuesday, August 29-30. For more informa- tion call (310) 4 7-2371 or visit www. .- Date TBA I lane Grey Invitational Marlin Tournament Striped marlin fishing toumament limited to a maximum of cash purse over in friendly c0mpe event. Offshore T( 258-0445; www.’ Date TBA Avalon Billfish C 100% release ms circle hooks only Inc. (714) 258-0i com Date TBA Catalina Classic Southern Califorr 45 teams. Boasting a 350,000, anglers engage ition over the four day umaments, Inc. (714) atalinaclassic.com ass/’ 1in tournament using Offshore Tournaments, i45; www.catalinaclassic. a's largest billflsh tour- nament[ 50 tearqs will compete for more than $250,000 cash and prizes. Call (714) 258-0445. help services Avalon seniors are going to be able to live independently longer, thanks to a home help program at -Catalina Island Medical Center. Funded through a grant from the Los Angeles County De- partment of Community and Senior Services with funding from the Area Agency on Ag- ing, the home help grant will be able to assist up to 20 patients. "We can initially provide up to six hours of home help per week," said Medical Center Social Ser- vices and Grants Manager Dawn Sampson. "After July 1, the pa- tients will be reduced to a main- tenance level of approximately two hours per week per patient." During those hours, patients can be helped with a variety of needs, including housekeeping and personal care, all of which will help the patients live in- dependently in the community. Eligible patients must be at least 60 years old and have some type of physical or mental dis- ability that makes it difficult to maintain independent living. "Case management services are also available to help de- velop appropriate care plans, provide information and refer patients to appropriate care and social services," Sampson said. For information, call Lin- da Altherr at (310) 510-0096. Lancer Golfers Hit the Fairways an Jimenez are the future and BY "COACH" STEVE HALL The Avalon Boys Golf team has been hard at work preparing for the upcoming season. The Lancer Linksters will be in a new league this year and look to have one of its best teams ever. Senior returners Jose Pedroza, Rudy Perez, and Je- sus Pedroza will hopefully lead the Lancers to their best season ever in their last year as Lancer golfers. Sophomores Gabe Hernan- dez, Ricky Tamayo and Bry- that looks pretty good as well. Avalon has established a good reputation after making the CIF playoffs the past two years, com- peting in the very tough Moore League. They are favorites to win their first League Champi- onship in the San Joaquin Val- ley League and hope to make good on those predictions. Stay tuned for more news as we travel to the mainland this week to open league play against TVT and Fairmont Prep. N Firs Call Tuesday of the month 1:30 - 4:3° p.m. Two Harbors Baywatch Station 31o-51o-oo96 for appointments. Walk ins welcome. ]tient, non-emergency vices are available. neral preventative care • • Well-child checks • ] • Treatment of acute health conditions • Treatme9tl of chronic health conditions • Minor wound care • On-site laboratory work also available. • Urinalysis • • Hemoglobin • • Pregnancytests • • Rapid strep tests • • Phlebotomy (blood draws) • Island P.O. Box 1563 1oo lealls Canyon Road Avalon, Calif. 90704 (31o) 51o-o7oo Appointments (31o) 51o-oo96 www.ClMedicalCenter.org The CATAUNA !_’LA_NDER Friday, March 25, 20111 '3