Do you remember your first flight?
I do and it was quite an event. We are so used to flying that it has become part of our lives. Hopping on and off planes like they're buses - but everyone has a first flight.
First time up there
We had been in the London area for about a year and flew from Heathrow to Ronaldsway in the Isle of Man, I was only 9 nine years old. The aircraft was a DC3 (Dakota) operated by British European Airways. Everything was great. I loved it. Then the plane suddenly dropped around 500 feet or so. We were weightless. The stewardess had just served everyone cups of tea (what else). I watched the contents of the cup rise up, perfectly formed, then settle back down, in the cup and not a drop was spilled. It all took place in a few seconds.
My Great Aunt (her first time too) was sitting next to me talking, when that happened. She had her mouth open, I did not. So not only did I see my tea rise, I also noticed the contents of her stomach do the same. The only thing was, she moved. Everything, the tea, the cup and her vomit all landed in various places on her. Then I smelled it, grabbed the paper bag and promptly heaved my guts out. Yet I wasn't scared, just thought it all interesting and a bit funny.
I remarked to my Aunt about how the tea floated up and down (with hand movements) - she threw up again. Then, the stewardesses (that's what they called them back then) brought wet flannels and towels around for every one. I asked her a question, "That was really fun, can we do it again?" My Aunt vomited a third time, and told me to shut-up.
The wildest one
I was on my IBM contract in the Netherlands, years ago, and flew back from London after a weekend home. it was a Polish Airlnes, DC-6. He was flying high, too high, I could hear the engines straining and the plane would rise then drop a little. That means he was at 26,000 feet, the altitude where propellers stop working. The plane had about 5 passengers, it was cold and all we were served was some sugary orange drink in strange plastic glasses.
The Pilot announced that Schipol was directly below. Without warning, he banked the plane all the way over to the left and nose dived. Airline personnel, orange drink, blankets and a few seats started flying about, all over the aircraft, not to mention those passengers who had undone their seat belts (I had not) grabbing anything they could get hold of, in sheer panic.
The plane pulled up and I experienced: the number one, all time best, 3 point landing - ever! It was perfect, you hardly felt the tyres hit the runway. I just laughed.
After flying back from Madrid the other week, I got to thinking about all the planes I've flown in over the decades. Over 300,000 air miles have been covered in a wide variety of aircraft. At first there were no jets, just the propeller driven ones. Slow, noisy and about 100 or so people per flight (when full).
So here they are and the airlines (those I remember). No doubt many of you have flown a lot more than I have. This is just my account.
Amarillo, Texas - Barajas, Madrid, Spain - Bermuda - Boston, Massachusetts - Charles de Gaulle, Paris - Cincinnati, Ohio - Dallas-Fort Worth - Denver, Colorado - Detroit, Michigan - Eielson AFB, Alaska - Fairchild AFB, Washington - Fairbanks, Alaska - Fayetteville, Arkansas - Gibraltar - JFK New York - La Guardia, New York - Lajes, Azores - Las Vegas- London City Airport- London Gatwick - London Heathrow - Los Angles Int'l. - McGuire AFB, New Jersey - Mildenhall AFB, UK - Newark, New Jersey - Nome, Alaska - Orly,Paris - Rhein-Main AFB, Frankfurt - Ronaldsway, Isle of Man - San Antonio, Texas - San Francisco - Schiphol, Amsterdam - Seattle-Tacoma - Spokane, Washington - Stuttgart, Germany - Tangiers, Morocco - Toledo, Ohio - Travis AFB, California
Who knows what I will be on in the future and where. What about you?
Mar 07, 2014