737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 37 Posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3339 times:
I've been pondering what to do for my 1000th post (for my 737th post, I did a tribute to the 737). So, I've decided to ask each of you (whether you work in the airline industry or you are just an aviation fan) to share your story about what drew you to aviation in the first place. Describe your earliest recollections concerning airplanes, or defining moments in your life when you knew that you would have to be involved with aviation in some form or fashion. Tell us some of your favorite things (sights, sounds, smells) that help explain why you are drawn to this industry.
Me? I've loved machines ever since I was a kid. I had plenty of aircraft models and toy airplanes growing up and even remember reading a book on how planes fly when I was in the second grade. But the day that I knew I had to be involved with aircraft as an adult was when I took a helicopter ride at a local fair when I was 14; it was a thrilling moment for me. Then I moved to Tennessee where I was fortunate enough to go to a school that had an aircraft mechanics class in the vocational department. After I graduated, I got my A&P and spent several years earning experience (working mostly on DC-8's, a plane near and dear to my heart) so I could get on with a major airline. Now, I'm at Southwest and I still love planes. I read about them all the time, photograph them (maybe some of you have seen my pictures here) and basically drive my wife crazy with my incessant aviation talk. I guess I'm just an aviation nut.
I love the way burned avgas smells. I am awed by the sheer immensity of airliners and still find it hard to believe that these behemoths can get off the ground at all, even after all these years and all my training. I get a rush standing next to a jet engine when it's running and feeling the power reverberate in my chest. I love old warbirds and classic airliners; going to museums and airshows are some of my favorite activities. I get great satisfaction when I know I fixed something right the first time. Maybe it's silly to some of you, but I feel like I have a real connection with these airplanes; I leave my mark on them and they have left their mark on me.
Tiger119 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1919 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3320 times:
Growing up 7 miles west of IND and having pilots and controllers residing in my neighborhood started it for me. I even took my flying lessons there and the enthusiasm has never waned. Now I just sit back, relax, watch and listen!
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
Pr1268 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3309 times:
December 1978 A flight on WN AUS - HOU for a 10th Birthday present. It was as if someone had "flipped a switch" and all of the sudden I had this insatiable passion for commercial airliners. The following several years I spent a lot of allowance money on books about aircraft and a lot of time in local libraries researching airlines, aircraft history, the physics of powered manned flight, etc.
Interestingly this was not my first flight - I had flown before (in 1974 on DL) but I remember too little about those flights (IAH-ATL-JAX and return) except that one leg was an L-1011 and another leg was a DC-8 (my only time ever to experience each of these a/c).
The only time an aircraft has too much fuel is when it is on fire.
N751PR From Japan, joined May 2002, 1249 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3273 times:
Well for me it all began in January 1994 when I was 5. I vaguely still remember my first flight which was with UA from LAX to MNL via NRT. Like Pr1268, this wasn't my first flight but it was the first one I can ever remember. Ever since I loved airliners but I never went very in-depth into commercial aviation until September 2000 when I bought this book called "Boeing: The First 100 Years". Thanks to that and my return to flying in November 23 of that year with PR I've grown more on becoming an enthusiast and it was finally topped when I found out about A.net.
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
MD11LuxuryLinr From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1385 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3266 times:
Living under the approach of both main runways at PHL.. I didn't start noticing them until I was about 10 (about 1988). I would sit outside all day if I could. Freezing cold or blistering heat.. it didn't matter. Those big white DC10s (United) that came everynight right before sunset were my favorite. I never really wanted to fly them. I just wanted to watch them. They were so fascinating. And the noise.. God, how I loved the noise, especially when they were "taking off this way". Those 727s, 737s, and DC9s would rattle the windows in my house. I simply loved it.
Caution wake turbulence, you are following a heavy jet.
Skip7966 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3256 times:
My first flight was from CRP to SEA. I don't remember much about it except that I flew Texas International on a prop for the first leg and connected to a Continental 707 into SEA. I have a vague memory of some kind of long delay on the return flight that caused my Mom and I to switch to a different airline and route. The first time I flew alone was from SAT to SEA on Braniff, via DFW and PDX (no change of plane which is why I flew from SAT instead of CRP). The flight home my Grandma came with me and we changed in DFW arriving CRP. I got to visit the cockpit on the flight I did alone and although I was six years old and had flight attendants watching my every move, I had a real feeling of independence. When I arrived in SEA my Uncle picked me up and asked how I knew not to get off in DFW or PDX... I told him I knew where I was going. Anyhow sorry to be so long, but those were the flights that made me fall in love with commercial aviation. I really wanted to be a pilot when I grew up but an inury in my youth kept me out of the military and the other route was just more than I could afford. One of these days I WILL get my private license, but until then, I'm stuck flying the flightsims.
SOUTHAMERICA From Colombia, joined Dec 2003, 2498 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3231 times:
It all started when I was 6 years old. My dad then, travelled a lot for his company between Colombia and England. On one of his trips, he bought me a small BA 747-400 in Landor scheme for collection. From then, I forgot completely all my toys and concentrated myself on playing from dawn to dusk with the plane. I built a runway with white tape and tried to arrange it for "night operations" with christmas lights, but obviously failed. After that, he began buying me all the BA airplane collection and then several other aircraft.
I then started to notice more the aircraft that flew by over my city, but I simply wanted all Avianca aircraft to be BA. . As I grew up, my dad took me lots of times to the airport, where I began to discover more planes and cool stuff. Back then I discovered also that the smell of airplane gasoline is absolutely the most wonderful aroma in the world, and that warm engine exhaust can smell pretty nice too.
I still have the BA airplane collection and I love it. Recently the lady who does the cleaning, accidentally, dropped one of the engine cowlings of the BA A320 to the trash. I nearly killed her.
That's how it all began. Right now, it's one of the most important parts of my life. I simply love aviation.
Futureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2613 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3222 times:
My interest has been for as long as I can remember. I have been flying my whole life, and have grown up around pilots and fell in love with aviation at a young age and it is all I have wanted to do since.
Rjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3220 times:
I've lived near JFK for my whole life. Some of my earliest memories are seeing my grandparents off at the PanAm Worldport. I've been watching planes landing at JFK my whole life (17 years) and boy has it changed a lot.
I'm one of the few people I know( except a.net members of course!) whose idea of a fun time is watching JFK ATC tapes online, radio scanner in the other hand, and then watching the planes pass my house. I can sit here doing that for hours on end.
I'm still very young and I look forward to a life devoted to aviation. I know that whatever I do when i'm older, it will involve aviation somehow. ANd best of all, I have a passion. I know so many people who have no clue what they want to do in life, or who have no major interest. I'm so glad I have aviation.
PiedmontGirl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1124 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3213 times:
The first time I ever saw an airplane "in the flesh" I was about three. I remember seeing the military aircraft land at an Air Force base in Georgia. I've been hooked ever since.
I can remember flying from ATL to CRW when I was about four. I looked out at the wing, the clouds, the ground, and told my mother, who was terrified of flying, "If we had taken a jet we would already be there." I had seen a newsreel in a movie theater about jet aircraft and decided then and there that they were for me. The route was flown on a Capitol Airlines DC-3.
Pilot727aa From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3175 times:
When I was 5 we took a family vacation to Mexico. We flew a Mexicana 727 Green tail from what I remember to PVR. When we got off the plane I told my parents I wanted to get back on...that was that.
777lover From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3160 times:
Dad was in Air Force. Flew around world to get to where we were stationed. Flew Northwest Orient, Southwest, and space-A on Military flights a lot. Its just been since junior high school that aviation has become my true passion. I always loved it before, now its a passion and career goal.
Cmmcl3 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3161 times:
My first flight was in 1957 from DAL to MIA on National and then MIA-SDQ (then called Ciudad Trujillo) on a PanAm DC-6. I don't remember but the National flight was probably a DC-6 also. My dad was a petroleum engineer and was taking a job with a drilling company there. I was five and was allowed into the cockpit and given a metal pair of Junior Pilot wings. I loved the flight but my mother, a former "stewardess" for Braniff in the '40s was terrified. Years later I asked her how she flew DAL to San Francisco, L.A., Chicago and Denver and she answered she never looked out the window. Dad had been a B-17 mechanic during the war so I grew up fascinated by WWII warbirds and everything that flew. After we'd been in the DR a few months another oil family came down bringing their son who was five years older and outweighed me by fifty pounds. We were on the seesaw in the back yard when his set of Junior Pilot wings unhooked in his pants pocket and the pin jabbed him in the leg. He jumped and then slammed down on the seesaw and threw me through the air and I sliced my chin open on a bolt on the swingset. My mother wouldn't let a Dominican doctor sew me up so I still have the scar today. So you could say aviation was responsible for my first significant injury. Today PanAm would probably get sued.
Aaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8485 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3137 times:
737doc, your words ring beautifully true.
When I was seven we moved to Washington DC for a year from the Bay Area. A park not far from our home in Alexandria was heaven - sitting right under the approach path to DCA, my mom or dad would take me for hours on the weekends to watch all the Eastern 727s and Piedmont 737s roaring overhead. The bug was planted.
It got worse a year later when we moved back by the bay and made stopping at SFO to park in the now-closed location behind the 1R threshold a ritual upon any drive returning home from San Francisco. I still do it to this day, although now my interest has expanded to all things aviation. I've made great friends, I'm embarking on a great career, and I'm officially a bum at my local general aviation field.
If ya'll want to read something about love of aviation that will bring tears to your eyes - read Lane Wallace's column on why we do it in this December's issue of Flying magazine if you haven't already. There's a couple other really gorgeous pieces in there as well.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
Brubiac From Bouvet Island, joined Nov 2003, 217 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3110 times:
My father works almost his hole life at the airport of BRU. When I was younger I came often to here at the weekends when he was at work, I just loved it.
In July '99 I began also to work here as a marshaller, loved it even more. Being outside between al these beautiful aircrafts, just loved it. I did this 3 years, now I work on the Stand and Gate Allocation department. Can't be between the aircrafts anymore but I still can see them from my outstanding viewing position.
The passion for aviation was great but since I started working here the passion is even bigger. I go often, when it's possible, to other airports like AMS, CDG, DUS, FRA to photograph the traffic that I can't see here at BRU.
Pilotallen From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 656 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3090 times:
Well in 98 I got stuck at CVG witha problem with the radar in the nose of a DAL 757. I happened to be one of only a handful of pax most went to a hotel but i needed to go to Arizona. anyway i waited for hours for the othe rplane to come in and pick us up. While waiting i watched outside and was simply amazed at the planes. I happened to sit next to the pilot of our flight and he and i talked for a while and he told me about his job. He then told me to contact a program at CAL which got young people into flying (i was 14 then) I captain called me and he answered all my questions I had. Pretty neato at the time. Anyway that spured my interest and I have gone on to get my tickets and am now in college for aviation science. So i owe a big thanks to CVG and a 757 for getting stuck! thats how it all started
Mog From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3081 times:
I have had family in civil and military aviation going back to the year dot. Which is why, to prove a point, I became a seafarer. But then, being a rebel is one thing, life is something else, so I took private gliding lessons, and also started rallying cars.
The first international flight I took as a working man, cadet actually, was BOM to Mexico in the year 1975. When we reached Mexico, they did not like our documents, so we flew all the way back. When we landed at BOM about 3 days later, there at the airport was the office person with a fresh set of tickets to New Orleans. I have been hooked since and just love taking way-out routes when I have the time.
It was easier and more fune in the '80s, when you had sectors like VancouverBC to LA to Tokyo to Hong Kong to Bangkok to Delhi, all on different airlines (In this case it was forgot-JAL-Cathay-Thai and finally Lufthansa from Bangkok to Delhi!!) (Never flown Lufthansa since, I may add, they were so racist.)
Or London - Kuwait - Dubai - Delhi with BOAC/BA.
I came to this website because I saw a few people beating on Indian aviation without having the faintest clue on truth being a universal common gene pool.
B6FA4ever From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 820 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3072 times:
being a good ole "military brat" here i've had the privilage to be able to fly all over the place. I'm not quite sure what exactly brought me to love the aviation but for sure it was love at first sight.
what still gets me though is no matter how many times one of our pilots describes to me how airplanes actually fly...it still boggles my mind how a pair of engines can lift a plane weighing who knows how many thousands of pounds into the air...not to mention the B747's!
it just saddens me that many of the planes i used to fly on when i was a child are slowly being retired and not being seen much more (B727, DC-10, L1011, etc.) at least w/ the DC-10 (which is one of my favorite planes to look at) i can still see w/ FedEx
Garuda From Indonesia, joined Nov 2000, 584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3070 times:
For me, the first 8 years of my life, I lived under the approach path of the old Kemayoran Airport (JKT) in Jakarta. So mostly my childhood memory is spent on the backyard, watching F27s, F28s, DC3s, DC9s, Viscounts, BAe748 and Electras passed by my house. Sometimes my parents drove my and my elder brother to the airport to watch planes (JKT had a nice open air viewing gallery). When JKT was closed in 1986, that's the end of airplanes flying over my house, but my passion lived on.
I have to thank my brother who taught me how to identify those planes, he even let me play with his plane models (which I collect until now).
KYIPpilot From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 1383 posts, RR: 6
Reply 22, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3006 times:
When I was younger, my dad used to own a Cessna 182. I remember going flying all around, and going to eat at various fly ins. I used to fly the plane without being able to see over the dashboard! Anyway, he sold it before I was old enough to take lessons, but I was hooked on flying. I have wanted to be a pilot ever since!
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
Leskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 69
Reply 23, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3006 times:
Must have something to do with my first flight - I was two years old and was close to not making it to three... double engine failure on a twin (NO TWIN VS. QUAD HERE, PLEASE! After all, this was 1974...), hydraulics problems, my parents scared to death - and me? Asleep.
In other words - I've been interested in planes since I can remember...
Airmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (11 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2994 times:
I think my cousin introduced me to aviation since his dad was an Air Force pilot, but he was always more into military aircraft once he forgot a book about civilian airliners at my place and for some reason I just took to it naturally, it was like meant to be, since then I have always been interested in airliners and airlines, strange that I never got into aviation deep enough my interest is largely at the superficial level i.e planes, routes, liveries, service while hes the one who's flying now.
.....up there with the best!
: I think it has something to do with living so close to LHR - hearing aircraft and seeing them a lot! I have always been pretty interested in Aviation,
: Going to the airport with my mom to pick my dad up after his trips. At one time when I was younger, when all the passengers were off, the gate agents
: I became interested ever since I made my first journey on a plane back in 1995. I flew on a B742 with VS from LGW-MCO-LGW on a family holiday in Orlan
: My father, and my grandfather started that for me. My grandfather flew C-47 Dakotas during WWII. My father flew Shorts 330s, and Fokker F-27-500s for
: Thanks to everyone that shared their stories. It made for a good 1000th post.
: for me when i was one my cousins came in at EWR on a Contenintal 727-200 from Puerto Rico and we got to go to the gate and meet them. Then my Aunt and
: congrats on 1000 (and now 1005!) I have always liked planes. I used to buy the diecast planes and build an airport with my blocks for them to land on.
: I remember taking lunch to my dad who was a mechanic for TWA at Louisville,Ky. in the early 70's. We got to walk out on the ramp to the 707 he was cha
: When I was 10 years old, my school was right below the final approach of the ILS of my airport town. I kept the classes writing on a paper the planes
: I kept the classes writing on a paper the planes that were landing... WHAT?!?! Anyway, these are some good posts guys.
: On one of my first airplane flights, a NWA DC-10 I believe, BOS-MSP....... It was in the early 80s, and I was only 5 or so, travelling with my parents
: For my 500th (The Big 500!!!) my answer is I have no f***ing idea!!! Leo/ORD
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: still to this day is amazes me how 400 tonnes of aircraft can float 42000 feet in the sky and go 950 kms a hour. the sheer physics of it are what intr
: When I was 9 years old I took my first flight on UA from ORD-IAD on a 737-200 then on to MCO on a 757. Ever since then I have LOVED airplanes and now
: It started for me in 1986 when I was 8 and on a trip to Puerto Rico with my parents. We were delayed on the way back to ORD, so I was stuck in the te
: Me? I've loved machines ever since I was a kid. This is why you are a mechanic. Pilots love the thrill of flight, Mechanics love the machines that the
: BTW, take it easy on those DL guys that just got hired at the WN hangar. They're used to taking their lunch in a break room, not at their toolbox. Mos
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: Man - most of you guys are making me feel like an old codger here. . . My first commercial flight was the summer of 1970, my family was relocating fro
: What first got me into aviation was necessity. In order to go visit my grandparents in Phoenix, we had to fly since we near Washington D.C. However I
: Living 2 miles from DFW's North/South runways until I was 3 probably had a role to play. DLKAPA
: When I was in fifth grade my dad and I went to an airshow at Aurora Illinois. I got to take a free ride in a plane that i cant even remember, but it w
: I don't know what exactly got me into it. However, by the time I was a teenager, I knew that flight was something I was interested in. Additionally, I
: For me it started when I was first flew a Jumbo Jet (British Airways). I didn;t know what they meant by a Jumbo jet, so every flight I was on afterwar
: My parents took my sister and I in 1978 to MCO for our "first vacation". We traveled BGR-ATL-MCO on DL. I thought that traveling on an airplane was gr
: First flew oversea from ATL to LGW on August 31, 1980. It was a Delta Airlines Flight Number 10, L1011-500. I fell in love with that a/c and wanted to
: I live near the heathrow flight path and have travelled quite alot since i was a little kid Also i've always loved the Flight sim games, ever since MS
: My father is a diplomat, so its not a stretch to say that I've been flying for as long as I can remember. There's nothing more exciting than heading t
: Well, 737doctor, I had been thinking about signing up to Airliners.net for a while, and this topic made me do it. Hope that makes you happy. The first