|If Kobe can fly to work, why not me?|
I am flying westward over the Angeles Crest Mountains, the morning sun shining down over the San Fernando Valley as it spreads out below me and we bank south. The Cessna 152, aptly named "the Commuter," cruises at just over 3,500 feet as we travel from the Agua Dulce Airpark toward Santa Monica Airport -- a 47-mile trip that will put me just two miles from my office in Culver City.
Exhilaration rushes through me as the plane reaches optimal speed, or "trues out," at about 95 knots, the propeller spinning in a blur. The pilot, Michael Gold, checks in with air traffic control, effortlessly communicating a long string of flight information consisting of letters and numbers. I may be on my way to work, but this is definitely not an ordinary workday.
I don't usually commute by small plane. Other than the Lakers' Kobe Bryant -- who famously helicopters from Newport Beach to Staples Center -- who does? Since I started my job a year ago, in fact, I've been commuting almost 70 miles round-trip each day on L.A.'s jam-packed streets, spending, on average, three hours (or more) stuck in traffic on the 405.More »