No one knew the hectic pace of Pope John Paul II's Los Angeles travels better than Marine Maj. Pat Halton, who had the best seat in the house. After all, Halton, a Marine helicopter pilot, was chosen to fly the pontiff from one event to another.
"When you see the pontiff get off the aircraft, you sense a special feeling, and certainly that's present in our helicopter," he told KTLA-TV on Wednesday.
Since the pontiff is following a schedule that leaves no time for dawdling, Halton said his flight crew has to be ready to take to the air whenever the Pope is. And that has made his job a bit hectic, the pilot acknowledged. But he added, "We're all mentally prepared for that, to be flexible."