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Your Earliest Aviation Memories  
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7906 posts, RR: 14
Posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1498 times:

I think this will be fun. Tell us your first aviation memory, the one thing that sits most clearly in your mind.

Here is mine: I had just turned 7 years old, this is 1987, and me and my family go to O'Hare airport to visit the then new United Terminal. My first real vivid memory is coming out of the neon tunnel into the C concourse and seeing a United DC-10 parked right next to us. At ground level the thing was huge, those large GE engines... it was quite a sight to a 7 year old. Also at this time, and through much of grade school my family lived less than a mile north of PWK... so I saw planes everyday, but back then everything was either a "Learjet" or a "Cessna." And boy did I get confused on what those "low-winged Cessnas" were (Pipers).

What is yours?

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2684 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1431 times:

Going to DTW when i was REALLY little and watching the planes fly over the car. First flying event was on a republic airlines MD-82, dont remember that much, but i thought it was "cool". Earliest flight I really remember was a DL 727. We had breakfast which was good. It consisted of eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, toast, and juice in REAL cups. Another flight that stands out was a UA 727 out of MCO. Flight got delayed for 3 or so hours, and we were on the plane for the whole time, ARGHHH! I also remember when DL and UA were REALLY big players at DTW (before NW). UA even had a flight kitchen there.

User currently offlineSQA340 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 702 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1424 times:

I have vivid memories of flying UA.

When I was 7 I remember flying on a lot DC-10s. One of my most memorable avation experinces is from when I flew business class on a UA 747-200. I had fleit miggion and it was fantastic! I grew up with UA. All else I remember is puking a lot on DC-10s 'cause of the smell. Ugh.

Thanks; you brought back a lot of memories.


User currently offlineIflyMidwExprss From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 160 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1422 times:

My earliest memory is from the late '70's: being on a Republic DC-9 from Minneapolis/St. Paul to Sioux Falls, SD (en route from Milwaukee to Yankton, SD for the holidays). The FA served my brother and I kiddie meals- tasty hamburgers and fries- served on a Republic frisbee instead of a plate! Still have the frisbee...

User currently offlineEraxandaf From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1408 times:

Western Airlines 1969, OAK-HNL-SFO on a B720 and B707. First Class, with my box of Mr.Salty pretzels my parents bought me at airport. Watching a movie called "Butterflies are Free" w/Goldie Hawn and having the volano shape inspired punch (w dry ice for the effect). Pu-pu's for appetizers and a full meal and for desset, ice cream in a full scooped out pineapple! My sister reclining her seat back and the man in back of her having his tray not properly aligned and spilling all over him. (FC then had pull down trays attached to seat in front of you) Arrival into HNL where the runway is just off the water and getting off with a full lei arrival. 1969, 5 years old.

User currently offlineG-BEAK From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2000, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1405 times:

I can vaguely remember being stranded at Edinburgh airport after being diverted by fog when I was about two.

My best memory is at LHR when I was seven. I was in the departure lounge and I was drawn to the aircraft outside the window like a magnet. I sat staring at it for ages and when it was time to board my parents had to drag me away kicking and screaming - I didn't want to leave the plane and I didn't believe I was actually going on it. When I got on it was bigger than any other plane I'd ever been on, there was a lift to the galley that the stewardess took me in and I went to see the captain and I remember he spilt cream all over his trousers. I didn't want to get off at the other end and I shed a few tears as I watched it depart back to LHR. That was my first encounter with a TriStar and it was love at first sight and has been ever since. Unfortunately I still want to shed a tear when I see one because it might be the last.

User currently offlineTrvlr From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4430 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1407 times:

My earliest memory somewhat related to aviation was an aborted takeoff at SAN on a DC10 on a direct flight to Zurich via ORD. I was about 3 and a half. The planes engines roared and we started to go, but about 5 seconds after the initial roll we slowed down and stopped because there was another plane on the runway. We then started back up again without turning around and going back to the beginning of the runway. I remeber my dad saying that was wierd because we were on a big plane and the runway at SAN is so short. At the end of the flight at ZRH I also remember seeing either the DC10 we arrived on through the terminal window or another DC10 throught the aircraft window.

Aaron G.

User currently offlineCorey777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1401 times:

My best early aviation memory...a cockpit visit on a DL 757(?) in 1990--I was 7 years old--going from SLC to IAD...the spark that ignited my love of aviation!!!


User currently offlineBDLsk8ter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1395 times:

1990, DL BDL-MCO. Delta somehow messed up our confirmation, and when we got to the airport the gate agent told my parents there weren't three seats together for us. This was my second plane trip in my life, and I was too little to remember the first one. I was so scared. My mom said there was no way she was putting me by myself (I was only eight) so they gave us seats together- in first class! I don't remember what we ate, except it was breakfast, and we got placemats and real silverware and a really nice flight attendant gave me pilot wings and a Donald Duck visor. We were on our way to Disney, so I thought the visor was really cool, I remember wearing it for the rest of the flight. By the time we started descending, I was brave enough to sit one seat away from the window  When we landed and were leaving MCO, we met my grandparents and walked outside, and the first thing I said was, "Grandma, are those palm trees REAL?" On the flight home (in coach), when our snack was served, I looked at my dad and asked him where were the placemats and fancy silverware. I hadn't realized we wouldn't get that in coach. (I did get another set of pilot wings, though).

User currently offlineIwantanl1011 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

Braniff, Braniff, Braniff....

When I was growing up in the 70's and 80's I was a
braniff freak... I flew them on my first flights, and most
of my childhood flights. I was so crushed when they
went out of business... I remember my interpretation of
the reason they went bankrupt... "The president was
spending Braniffs money on his own groceries.."

Their livery was so cool... And Excellent service.

I remember as a kid my dad and I walked through the old braniff terminal at DFW (was it 2E?) and the place was completely deserted.. I took lots of "souveniers"
from the ticket counters... wish I had kept them

I still miss Branniff.

User currently offlineIndianGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1386 times:

Well, i remember my first flight as a kid, when i was in tears for the entire flight. I was i think 6 or 7 at the time.

The airline was the now defunct commuter airline called 'Vayudoot' and the aircraft was a 42 seater Hindustan 748. I was pretty gung-ho about flying for the first time. But the moment the aircraft engines started, i burst into tears and i just wouldnt stop! The FA had a hard time keeping me quiet.

I refused to travel by air for over 15 years after that (YESS!). It was only recently that i managed to overcome that paranoia. Props still give me the creeps BTW.

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1373 times:

i have alot of fond memories, dont know why i never seriously thought of a career in the industry, have loved everything about airliners since childhood but in 1978 at the age of 8 years flying on an SAS DC-10 from Karachi to Singapore via Bangkok(first foreign trip on a foreign airline)i experienced chronic air sickness from the moment the plane lifted off from Karachi right upto when it landed in Singapore, it was such a horrible experience that it scarred me for life ,since then i never travel without taking atleast two motion sickness pills and have had to drop my dream of being a steward.Sad, but i still love planes and flying, and envy F/As.

.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineMbmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2734 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1373 times:

Wow! DC-10s as your early experience? You make me feel old.

When I was 5 (1965) I saw my parents off to New York City from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were flying TWA from ABQ-OKC-JFK, or something strange like that.

There I stood in the departure lounge, which was at ground leve, looking up at a TWA 707-300. I was only five, but I could read the lettering toward the rear of the plane: "Star Stream 707".

My parents were going to fly this mythical bird to a mythical city, many miles away. The "Star Stream" label stirred my imagination. I thought that the plane must fly so high that it would scrape past the moon and the stars.

Thus, my interest in airliners was born!

User currently offlineNJTurnpike From United States of America, joined May 2000, 580 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1373 times:

Earliest aviation memory didn't involve being on a plane. My parents took me to Heathrow when I was very young, to look at (and defend my little ears from) the aircraft. I saw some real classic aircraft in great old 70s liveries whilst being there. If only I had realised it at the time. But that's what you get for being 4 years old.


User currently offlineEyeSky From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1371 times:
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My uncle was working as a Boeing rep to BOAC (now British Airways) back in the mid 60's. He, my aunt and 3 cousins moved to England in the summer of '66 and flew on a BOAC VC-10 from Boston to London when they moved.

I'll never forget that first time, standing on the observation deck of the old international terminal at Logan Int'l as a 7 year old watching, listening, smelling as that beautiful VC-10 and it's Conway engines howled away into the darkness. After that I was well and truly hooked and never missed an opportunity to hang out at the airport. I checked every book I could find about commercial aircraft out of our tiny library. When this wasn't enough, I started a library of my own.

My aunt, uncle and cousins made many more trips back to the Boston area to visit, also on VC-10's - first the standard, then the super. I begged to be allowed to go and visit my cousins in England - my uncle routinely arranged for members of the family to travel on standby passes. The thought of a transatlantic flight on such a classy bird really sparked my imagination and filled my dreams. I really envied my cousins their frequent trips and couldn't believe that they were actually bored at times with the flying! They stayed in England until the VC-10's were replaced on that route by 747's (or the "seven-four-seven" as the British were so fond of calling them).

I had to wait until the fall of '67 for my first flight though, as the promise of a VC-10 flight to England never came to pass. My family and I flew on a Northeast DC-9-30. "Yellowbird" from Boston to Montreal to visit EXPO '67. I was so wound up I almost got sick before we boarded.

Even though I have kept up with the commercial airline scene pretty much ever since then, I still have VC-10's, DC-8's, 707's, CV-880's, CV-990's and early 727's burned into my brain.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7906 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1348 times:

I am sorry if my early memories including DC-10's make you feel old, but one day some kid will say his first memory was of a A3XX or something. Then we will all feel old. I can still picture that DC-10 sitting above me on the tarmac. Plus I was impressed with the "tunnel" too. Though the new age version of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" was a bit tasteless. Do they still pipe that in down there?

Though I think my fonder memories are of watching Learjets depart from rwy 16 at Palwaukke, and my dad trying to race them down Wolf Rd.

Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineTan Flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1983 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 1342 times:

Boy do I feel old with you guys!!Anyway, several to share with you. I must have been about 5 or 6 , flew with my parents from TUS to Ohio on a TWA Connie. The event that hooked me was taking my Dad to DAY for a biz trip to MSP via ORD on a new 727 of UA. The smell of spent jet fuel..WOW!! I was hooked!
My first by my self was in the mid 70's from FLL to ORD on an EA 727QC. Flt was # 791. Funny how we remember some of this stuff! Also, numerous DC-10s of AA in the late 70's from ORD to PHX.

User currently offlineEyeSky From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 1340 times:
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Tan Flyr,

There are a few of us "old codgers" around. How many of these young pups recall piston engined equipment, the time before jetways or the sounds, sights and smells of a real, outdoor observation deck?


User currently offlineSurf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1330 times:

My earliest memories are of 707's between HNL and the west coast, boarding and exiting planes without jetways, and flying on an Allegheny Airlines Lockheed prop aircraft, though I can't remember which one it was. The timetable though is still stored in a trunk, at my parents house, and it says which aircraft, I'll have to find it one day.

User currently offlineJrebel From Sweden, joined Aug 2000, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1326 times:

My very first flight was WAW-AMS on a KLM Vickers Viscount in December '59, at the age of three weeks. For some reason my recollection of this event is a bit vague! By the age of two months I had accumulated 6 flights.

My earliest really vivid aviation memory is my first jump-seat landing, in a KLM DC-9 at WAW, Easter '68

User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 51
Reply 20, posted (15 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1320 times:

My dad used to take us out to Decatur (IL) Municipal Airport as little kids in the mid 70's to watch the Ozark planes take off. I definitely remember the turboprops, but I think Ozark may have also flown DC9's into DEC in the early 70's. Anyway, I loved watching the turboprops start up, taxi, and fly off over the cornfields.

My first actual flight was on a TW DC9 (formerly Ozark's) in 1987. During takeoff, I remember thinking I was having trouble breathing (I think the cabin pressure had something to do with it). It was so weird and amazing to think there was nothing below the floor of the plane except air.

An unexamined life isn't worth living.
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