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Granddaughter's love for flying brings family to new heights during pandemic

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Posted at 7:45 AM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 11:54:41-04

LAKESIDE, Calif. (KGTV) -- The relationship between Lakeside residents Vince and Barb Russo and their granddaughter is incredibly close, but being physically distant during a pandemic was painfully out of reach.

Kay Russo lives several states away and was training near her home in Houston to become a pilot, and losing that connection was rough for her grandparents, who couldn't get out safely much.

"We haven't done much socializing since we've been here," Barb said.

But just when they thought they couldn't bare separation any longer, a solution landed right in their laps when Kay ran into a hurdle.

"I was hoping to continue to instruct, build my goal, but the pandemic got worse and they canceled the cadet program," Kay said.

Kay desperately needed that program to secure her pilot's license, so, in need of flight hours, Kay and her father, who's also a pilot, decided it was time to buy a plane of their own.

"I've been able to build a lot of flight time that I wouldn't have gotten even instructing," Kay described.

And soon Kay would have her eyes set on one destination: San Diego. She's been flying back and forth these past months, helping her grandparents through every step of their quarantine. She was there to drive Vince to his vaccine appointment.

"She drove him down because we didn't know if there'd be a reaction, so she drove him down and drove back," Barb said.

And once that was done, the trio squeezed in a trip to Catalina Island.

"We stayed on the runway, packed a lunch, she had chairs, we stayed there to chat," Vince said.

Kay's frequent flights allowed her to rack up her hours, while taking the Russos' love for their family to new heights.

This story originally reported by Vanessa Paz on 10News.com