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Childhood Aviation Memories  
User currently offlineBigphilnyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4077 posts, RR: 51
Posted (12 years 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 2114 times:

I remember Mirrodie's pictures of him receiving a toy Concorde for Christmas (the uctest picture) and him spotting at JFK when he was 5 or so.

When I was little, I used to sit in my third floor apartment which overlooked the northern part of Runway 13/31 at LGA. I'd leer through binoculars and write down in a notebook all the kinds of planes that I saw taking off. I'd writ the type, the airline, the time and remarks on anything out of the ordinary. It was weird. I wish I saved those.

I knew the plane types from plane books I had gotten. Back then it was easier, although I couldn't really figure the difference between all the twin engines. I only learned that last year! lol.

I used to have these toys of planes. I had this little KLM 747 which was one of my favorites, adn when I went on a plane for the first time in 1989, I was on a Continental DC-9 (I think) in Houston, and I looked out the window and saw the same beast as my toy taxiing towards me and turning. It was jsut amazing. What a beast of a plane. I had never seen a 747 at that point, having only dealt with LGA traffic.

My teens years brought me away from planes and into sports like hockey and stuff. But I go back into it when I was 20, shortly before 9/11. I never got to really enjoy L-1011s and DC-10s coming in and out of LGA. Not anymore though, but I didn't realize until last year that I always liked planes. I'm glad Jcxp15 introduced me to this site, as that is what started it all again for me.

What are some memories you have from your childhood pertaining to planes?

(as a side note, Jcxp15 is now in Colorado at the Air Force Academy after leavign a week ago. He is a good man who will do well, and will be protecting our skies i an F-15 hopefully soon. Hats off to him!)

Phil Derner Jr.
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineUnique From Switzerland, joined Mar 2003, 1703 posts, RR: 32
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 12 hours ago) and read 2099 times:

I grew up very close to ZRH Airport and the airplanes attracted my attention since I was 5 or 6 years old. I still remember being next to the runway watching the landing traffic and I saw a golden B707 with a bird as a logo on its nose.

Then I had no idea what it was, today, I know...

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Photo © Eduard Marmet

Wish I had the camera equipment then as I have today  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineSushka From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 4784 posts, RR: 13
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 11 hours ago) and read 2094 times:

I used to draw airliners and make jet noises while I drew them. Recently I found some of my pictures and found a Swissair DC9 in old colors, a CSA 737, and whatt apears to be a Tu134. I was about 7-9 years old when I drew them

Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
User currently offlineBigphilnyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 4077 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 10 hours ago) and read 2084 times:

"...and make jet noises while I drew them..."

That's so cute!!! lol

Phil Derner Jr.
User currently offlineOsteogenesis From Germany, joined May 2003, 648 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 10 hours ago) and read 2079 times:

My Childhood Aviation Memories would take an entire book.

Here jus a few.

The first word coming out of my mouth as a baby was “Flugzeug” (airplane in German).

I was so crazy for airplanes I did nothing else then reading and fantasizing about them. I counted the hour’s months before my next flight.

Aircraft play a very big role in my life. The fact that I am handicapped stopped my dream of becoming a pilot.  Crying

Every time I see a plane my hearth goes faster. That will change the day I die. Big grin

User currently offlineLa Carlota From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 9 hours ago) and read 2068 times:

My username says it all...

"La Carlota" --SVFM-- (Base Aérea Francisco de Miranda is the official name) is an airport located right in the middle of Caracas, Venezuela. That's the city where I grew up, and our apartment was facing the runway, just a few feet behind the firefighters' base and right in front of the control tower.

Currently it's entirely a military base for Government use only, but back in the 60's and 70's it was a private airport, with lots and lots of small airplanes from wealthy Venezuelans (those were better times for the country).

I used to spend hours watching planes landing, especially Sunday evenings, as they were coming back from spending the weekend elsewere in the country. Friday evenings and Saturday mornings were good for departure watching, as people was leaving town by air in a rush. During the week, mostly executive turbo-props and later the first business jets (Citations, Learjets, Grumman). Also, plenty of Government DC-3's and helicopters, and, of course, YV-TTF (the popular "Tango Tango Fox"), a Cessna 150 used by a radio station to report about traffic in the city during rush hour.

Occasionally they held some "open house", so you could go there and even touch the planes...

I also used to listen to ATC through the FM band!!!! (at that time there were only one FM station in Caracas).

I learned a lot about light and business planes, as well as some military and even helicopters. They bought a presidential plane (B-737/200), and it used to operate from there. That was after they tried for a long time a F-28. Those were the two largest planes I ever saw there, and it amazed me as hell!!

Those were my earliest aviation memories, and those really marked my unstoppable passion for the rest of my life...

A little example of that unique airport:

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Photo © Javier F. Bobadilla - IBERIAN SPOTTERS

And here is that Presidential B-737:

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Photo © Ricardo Haddad

Tango Tango Fox
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 9 hours ago) and read 2059 times:

I remember climbing a tree in my front yard with binoculars hoping to get a little "closer" to the jets going over my house on the MINKS arrival into LGA, up at around 12,000'. I remember seeing Eastern L-1011's and LOTS of 727s...they gradually went away and now the arrival route goes to EWR.

I also remember my very first airplane flight, JFK-LHR on a British Airways 747.


User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 2038 times:

I would go through the Telephone directory every time I came across one just to look at all the airlines listed there, also in my childhood the only airlines that existed for me were JAL, PIA, Saudia, KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways and Pan Am, and yes I loved to draw planes, my major effort went into a British Airways Tristar 500 on two huge sheets in full colour, complete with passengers looking out the windows, a Kuwait Airways 707 and a scene of Geneva Airport with Swissair DC-9's. Also loved recieving airline coffee and Sugar sachets, jams, plastic cutlery sets.

.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineJsnww81 From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2429 posts, RR: 14
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 2033 times:

I used to draw pictures and maps of airports and airplanes all the time. By the time I was eight or nine I knew the layout of most of the major airports in the United States.

My stepfather traveled constantly on business, so for Christmas one year he started an 'airport postcard collection' for me - a photo album with a postcard of Atlanta Hartsfield inside. Every time he went on business, he'd try and bring me back postcards of the airport he was at.

It's funny... I filled up two albums and am now working on number three!

When I was about ten or eleven I started collecting timetables... I've got hundreds now, taking up most of my closet. My parents can't wait for me to move out and take all my 'airplane junk' with me.  Smile

User currently offlineClickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9823 posts, RR: 64
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 2026 times:
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my dad always took me to LAX as a kid. I have uploaded several of his shots here at airliners. Here are a couple of my faves:

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Photo © J Allen King
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Photo © Royal S King

I always had a fascination with UTA, and their DC-10's they flew to LAX. They came in very late in the evening, usually after daylight, but my dad would always try to let me see them. One time it worked, and he took a picture of it landing. I still have that slide  Smile

User currently offlineClrd2go From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 7 hours ago) and read 2024 times:

I have been fascinated with airplanes/airports for as long as I can remember..
My earliest recollection is accompanying my mother as she drove my dad
to SFO for a trip to New York on (what I believe was)a TWA Connnie..I
loved the observation deck at SFO and would have to go there everytime..
My grandparents flew in from New York a couple of times, and I'd love going
to the airport to get them..I loved hearing the arrival/departure announcements over the PA system "Trans World Airlines announces the
arrival of Flight 123 from New York" echoing through the terminal..
and watching as airplanes taxied in/out..and then parking near the airport
just to watch them..I'm 53 yrs old next week...and I'm still fascinated with
airplanes and airport operations.


What a long strange trip it's been
User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 2016 times:

In the very early 1980s, I flew into Kai Tak on a DC-9-30, and I remember taxiing through the "forest" of jumbojets like 747s and L-1011s. . .I was "wowed" by these beasts. We ended up parking between two massive 747s. It was my first close-up experience with such large a/c.
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Photo © C. A. Gage

Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlineCMK10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (12 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 2021 times:

- Going out to HPN when the terminal was little more then a Shack and USAir 737-200's were bigger then it. (1990)
- Flying to Hawaii in American DC-10's JFK-LAX-HNL and then an Aloha 737-200 and once being upgraded on the Aloha 737-200 when I was 4 and my parents stayed in coach. (1990)
- Driving past Kona Airport (KOA) and watching my first United New Paint 747-400 touch down. (1994)
- Exploring JFK and going down to the Delta and TWA gates before security was beefed up. (1994)
- Getting a full breakfast LGA-ORD (1994)

DC-10's Forever

"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4297 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (12 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 2010 times:

My first flight (1997)
My first international flight (1998)
I draw wacky planes...
and always Identify anything that flies overhead....
and you CAN change the twins
(funky winglets, 2 exits A320) (funky winglets, 1 exit A319)
(2002) My first Concorde View...truly exhilirating.

What now?
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (12 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

Going to the Midfield Complex @ ATL the day it opened. Watching ASA Dash-7s and Banderantes fly over my house it lived in until 1986. Watching flights on approach to ATL fly over my house when I lived near Stone Mountain. Being in the flightpath for Dobbins ARB, and getting C-130s, C-141s, and C-5s flying over my house on the way back to Dobbins. Watching glider flights that originated at the Britt Memorial Airport (a now-closed GA airport that was right next to Stone Mountain), and some of the warbirds that were based out of there.

User currently offlineAdam T. From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 957 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (12 years 11 months 6 hours ago) and read 2006 times:

I've been fascinated with commercial aviation ever since I was a little kid as well. I grew up in Houston from the time I was born until I was about 6 years old, so IAH is where it all started for me. My mom and I would often fly from IAH to DFW to visit my Aunt in Ft. Worth back when it cost like 30 bucks to fly that route. Now it costs about 200 from what I understand.
Anyway, I was always fascinated by them. I used to love going over to IAH and seeing those big Continental jets, and I remember seeing other airlines such as KLM, Air France, United, Delta, etc.
I also became familiar with DFW as I use to fly their often. My Dad was also living in Miami to get his masters degree and we would fly to MIA to see him as well. My first widebody aircraft was actually from IAH to MIA on a Continental DC-10.
Since I've lived near Charlotte for awhile now i've seen CLT sort of transform into the bustling hub it is today. Still not as exciting as IAH, but a neat airport!
Adam  Smile

User currently offlineCaetravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 922 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (12 years 11 months 5 hours ago) and read 1997 times:

First, I want to echo the sentiment of Adam T. above, CLT is a pretty neat airport, I have driven up there from time to time. I have picked up several friends there on flights before if they were nonrevving and it was easier for them to get there, than here to CAE (only about 80 miles away).

My earliest childhood memories involve taking trips with my Mom when I was like 2 or 3. I can't tell you the cities, or the aircraft types, but I am sure that SAV was involved, as well as DFW, and probably several points in between. All I know is that it got into my blood at a very young age.

Later on, when we moved to south Georgia, we would be driving for various reasons through Atlanta, and it always took us in on I-75 which passes very close to ATL. Every time I EVER had a chance to pass through there for YEARS, I would be glued to the car windows. I remember seeing those big beautiful DL L1011s parked at the hangars.

Finally, at the age of 22, I got my first professional job out of college, and promptly moved here to CAE where I am now (8 years ago). Within months of getting this job, I was travelling every two weeks between CAE and ORD via ATL. This was a DREAM come true, and something I had no clue I was getting into when I took the job. An apartment in downtown Chicago courtesy of my employer, and regular flights between the worlds two busiest airports. What more could I ask for? It was usually a combination of 767s and MD80s that I flew on those routes (though I did get an occasional 727 and 757). Anyway, I had still not flown on a Tri Star yet, and I was itching too by the time that project was winding up. (I know this is not a "childhood" memory, but it is the fulfillment of some of those dreams). Anyway, on my LAST flight home, I stayed over Friday night to finish packing up my stuff, and took a mid morning flight on Sat morning. Well, lo and behold, there was an equipment change, and instead of the scheduled 767, it was an L1011 sitting at the gate. Between the flight being nearly empty that morning, and my status with Delta, I of course got upgraded to First Class. It was awesome.

Of course, I have taken many more flights since then. My current job doesn't afford me travel, but I have had many great opportunities to fly all of my favorite aircraft since then (except the Concorde). My last hurrah is one more flight this year that will hopefully involve first class on a 777 and 747. I am 31, and still like a kid every time I get to travel.  Smile

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineClrd2go From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (12 years 11 months 5 hours ago) and read 1993 times:

I love CLT!

In my late teens/early 20's I had a job that occasionally required me to deliver
shipments to the airlines at SFO..Usually PSA (RIP) or Air Cal (rip) which enabled me to get to parts of the airport one wouldn't normally see..which brought me even closer to airplanes. Occasionally a delivery to SJC on another
job...One day I delivered a shipment and lo and behold parked right near
the office was a Ford TriMotor.


What a long strange trip it's been
User currently offlineDodgeCharger From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (12 years 11 months 5 hours ago) and read 1979 times:

I remember when just about every plane that flew over my house was a 727 when I was younger. Mostly AA and Delta when Delta's hub at DFW was much stronger. I also remember seeing Lufthansa 747s and BA DC-10s and occasionally a BA Tristar departing out of DFW. I really miss those days.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7906 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (12 years 11 months 4 hours ago) and read 1967 times:

From when I was 5 till I was almost 11 our house was less than a mile north of the main runway at PWK just north of Chicago. So back then every plane was a "Cessna" or a "LearJet", which to be honest probably was right 7 times out of 10.

My fondest early memory was a trip to visit the then new Terminal 1 at O'Hare... this was 86/87, so I was 6 yrs old, give or take a few months. I remember coming out of the tunnel (there are windows that are practically at tarmac level there) and looking at a United DC-10 parked on the C concourse. The plane looked so big, so did its GE engines. Of course everything is pretty big to a 6 yr old, but the Diesel Ten was especially big.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineANA777master From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (12 years 11 months 3 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

During the long, hot summer days of childhood (circa '72) I used to watch the Concorde go across the sky, going northeast from IAD. I can still hear the engines rumble, while watching it disappear into the horizon.

User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 17593 posts, RR: 50
Reply 21, posted (12 years 11 months ago) and read 1932 times:

This picture is reminiscent of many happy childhood memories of My Mom taking me to EWR to see the Eastern planes, she was very supportive when I was growing up. Everytime we were on vacation she would take me around the airports, always looking for Eastern  Smile

This photo of a Eastern A300 on a cold New Jersey Winter's day waiting to bring passengers someplace warm like Orlando or Ft.Lauderdale is represenative of my early love for aviation.

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Photo © John Kelly

My first flight was when I was 2 or 3, from EWR-MCO via ATL.

Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineBWIA 772 From Barbados, joined May 2002, 2202 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (12 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 1917 times:

I first travelled at the age of 3 months and there has not been a year that i havent gotten on to a plane more that 4 times. I love airplanes I love BWIA and most of all I love the L1011.

To me that was just the best plane ever. I remembers how fussy i would be when I realised that my flight would be on a Bwee big plane.

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Photo © Bimbo

My first flight at 3 months was rightly on a BA 747 the queen of the skies.

Eagles Soar!
User currently offlineIMissPiedmont From United States of America, joined May 2001, 6544 posts, RR: 29
Reply 23, posted (12 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1899 times:

That would be 1962 and 1963 while chewing a blade af grass in the horse pasture. I watched, and heard, Allegheny Convairs and DC-3s (actually C-47s) pass over enroute to PIT. When the weather was right I'd see the contrails of the big guys heading in. I was 70 miles from PIT so the big pistons and jets were still at altitude for contrails.

At night I would hear the UA and TW Connies and DCs fly over for what seemed like hours. Sometimes, when lucky, I could see the lights in the distance out the window. I am lucky that I was able to experience the round engines in their latter years. I still enjoy seeing a new type at an airport but I wonder if perhaps the magic still exists. I hope it does.

The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
User currently offlineBoeingfan From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (12 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1890 times:

Miami International Airport observation deck '64, a child, look a new type of airplane? No propellers?

It had a "T" tail, three engines, one on either side of the fuselage, and in the center at the rear of the aircraft. So coool...

Dim lights at each step of the built in stairway opened, touching the tarmac from the underside of tail? Wow...

The plane just glistened in the setting sun, a "golden falcon" stylized logo was painted on the large vertical stabilizer, there was an oblong shaped scoop at the top of the rear fuselage, leading into the tail? What's up with that?

A strobe light in the rear tip of the pointed end of the "T" tail was flashing. The aircraft looked so sleek, slipstream, futuristic, like cutting the air with a razor. The wings were so swept back and from that angle, the horizontal stabilizer, seemed to match exactly the sweep of the jets wings. Truly an awesome machine.

Oh look... The stairs retracting up into the underside of the tail, how exciting. The loud ripping of the engines, (covering my ears with my hands) the warm wind blowing, the smell of kerosene exhaust. I prayed that one day I would be able to fly on that type of airplane at least once in my life.

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Photo © AirNikon

rest in peace

25 Justplanesmart : I have mentioned this before, but I will share it again. It was the spring of 1971, and my family took my great aunt to Love Field for her trip to Eur
26 UPSfueler : Mine would have to be in the late 80s and early 90s before I got to take my first flight, driving past O'Hare airport on I90 on our frequent trips to
27 Post contains links and images LPL : My dad took me to LPL to have a look at the (few) planes that were coming in. In particular, I remember the Manx Airlines lunchtime Island Hopper serv
28 Arrow : Very long time ago: 1. Watching Avro Arrow take off and go vertical. Aircraft would accelerate along runway as two already-airborne chase planes (CF-1
29 MSYtristar : The year was 1982. I was only 3 years old, and almost daily, my grandfather would take me for a drive past New Orleans International Airport so I coul
30 Capital146 : I have so many happy childhood memories in relation to aircraft. There was one pocket sized aircraft identification handbook I had when I was about 10
31 Kjet12 : I remember my dad taking me to MSP and we would go around the gates and look at all the airplanes. He would also tell me about the different airplanes
32 Post contains links DeltaRules : I don't know how I wound up hooked on airplanes, but I can remember having a love for them as far as I can remember. My earliest memory is probably wa
33 Post contains images EGGD : Being woken up by PIA 747's every morning when I lived right by MAN. Playing with Herpa's when I was really small, wish I had half of those now!!! , b
34 Janne : My childhood aviation memories are when Bromma was still the international airport of Stockholm-Sweden. I still remember the Lufthansa Super Constella
35 L1011 : It was in 1957, when I was ten. My grandparents came to visit, and they gave me three postcards that were in their seat pocket on Eastern Air Lines. O
36 Janne : Ok, Bob. You seem to be the same age group as I. I love those old props. DC-6B, DC-7C, CV440, Lockheed Electra, Lockheed Constellation, Vickers Viscou
37 L1011 : Janne: Yes, I love the old props too. I've been on most all of them from the fifties except the Connie and Stratocruiser. I flew on a Vickers Vanguard
38 Tango-Bravo : My most vivid childhood aviation memory happened at the MSP terminal. As I watched action on the ramp in utter fascination, a departing 4-engined prop
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