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What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:50 pm

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.

Patrick Bateman is my hero.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 12:59 pm

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!
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:07 pm

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.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:28 pm

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.  Big thumbs up
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:33 pm

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.

 Big thumbs up
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:54 pm

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.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:05 pm

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.  Crying . 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.  Pissed

That's how it all began. Right now, it's one of the most important parts of my life. I simply love aviation.  Love

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:11 pm

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.
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EK 345

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:16 pm

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.

Happy 1,000th post!  Smile
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:23 pm

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.

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:28 pm

You'd have to ask my parents that one. I can't remember to be honest. It's always been part of my nature as long as I can remember, and probally before that too.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


[Edited 2003-12-09 06:28:31]
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:46 pm

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.
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What Drew You To Aviation

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:56 pm

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.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:58 pm

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.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:11 pm

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
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 3:52 pm

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.

BRU a small airport in a big world.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:33 pm

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
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 4:36 pm

I guess it was in the blood.
My dad worked for Fokker in the Netherlands in the 60's and as far as I recall he worked on the assembly of F27 friendships.
I remember when the DC-3 was new!
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:04 pm

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.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:31 pm

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  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Tue Dec 09, 2003 5:44 pm

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).

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:07 am

Those are some great stories. Keep them coming!  Big thumbs up
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:17 am

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
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:18 am

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... Big grin
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:32 am

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.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:48 am

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, but drifted out of it for a couple of years, and when I flew in Nov, 2001, having not flown for about 5 years, I suddenly loved it again. I'm not obsessed, but when I can I do like to plane spot and fly.

A340 LoVeR! EC-GQK - LHR The Bussiest International Airport & 3rd Bussiest In The World!
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:50 am

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 would let me run down the jetway and into the plane to see my dad, but that was when I was 8 or so.

I don't do that anymore.  Laugh out loud

Never Trust Your Fuel Gauge
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 3:56 am

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 Orlando.

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The thing with this shot above is.. It was taken in June 1995 @ LGW and that's the year and month that I flew on this baby!  Smile

I was quite nervous and excited (Is that possible  Wow! ?) The calming sounds of Elton John's - Song for Guy aboard this massive aircraft made me feel at ease  Smile

Ever since, I have been inspired by planes and I always will!


Justin  Big thumbs up
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 4:39 am

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 Mississippi Valley Airlines. When they were bought by Air Wisconsin, he flew F27s, Dash 8-100 and -300s, and He is currently captain on their BAe-146's which he's been flying for the past 10 years now.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 7:54 am

Thanks to everyone that shared their stories. It made for a good 1000th post.  Smile
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:12 am

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 mom decided they wanted to go shopping at IKEA so we went over to IKEA and my mom my aunt and one of my cousins went shopping around in the store and my dad my uncle and my other cousin went to the resteraunt which used to have an area were you could go outside and eat i rember the first plane i saw land was a Air France 747-200 and that is when it all happend also in IKEA they used to sell Schabaks and my dad got me a American 747-200 and i still tressure it today but now i have herpa and starjets in stead of Schbak and my airport is gigantic. My parents needed extra help to move me so we could go. I still rember the sound of the Air France 747 and the feeling of the hot breeze brush past my face and the smell of gasoline. it was a dream comtrue and now i am the only kid in my school who nos every single thing about commercial aviation.

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:19 am

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 first flew when i was an infant, but my first flying memory got me into it. I flew PanAm to LGA and during the trip I got to see the concorde and the JFK terminal! (I actually think those were two seperate trips becuase I remember the gates were DL gates and when PanAm was around I had not heard of DL)

Then my dad went FLL-ATL-FLL weekly for a few months in 1996, so I got really attached to the airport (the employees almost knew my name!). We'd get there at 6pm... eat Sparro... and go to B6, where my dad was coming off the plane. He'd go back by himself. We moved there as a family in June of that year.

From 1996-1999, my interest kind of lost its "power". We flew fairly often, and it was just part of the rutine. I was still very interested, though.

in 1997, I got my first scanner. At the same time, my classmates were going to England. I went to the house of my friend, who was from England. It was the highest point in the neighborhood. We listened to the plane takeoff from ATL.

From 1999-2003 I only flew about 4 or 5 times, but when I drove to Miami and back, I would listen to my scanner the whole way.

In 2000, when jetBlue came about, my passion reignited. I became obsessed with B6 and was the first person in Atlanta to get a jetBlue shirt! I didn't get a chance to try them, though.

In 2003 we moved back to Miami. I got my first chance to fly since 9/11. Since the summer, I have been more passionate since the summer. I plan to fly B6 in 2004.

I have always been facinated by operations more than planes. I love to keep track of delays and schedules. solving the "puzzle" of "Where did my flight come from last," etc. In the past I have wanted to own an airline. As much as I want to do that, still, I have realized that it will be hard to achive that goal. I still want to work in the industry, though. The terminal is my favorite part. Probably because I am into acting and people watching. I still love planes. If you are my neighbor, sorry for blasting my scanner in the backyard!

[Edited 2003-12-10 00:21:16]
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:41 am

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 changing a tire on (security was a little different then). What a beautiful machine.......
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 8:52 am

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 that were landing...
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:01 am

I kept the classes writing on a paper the planes that were landing...

WHAT?!?!  Nuts

Anyway, these are some good posts guys.  Smile
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:41 am

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 to see my grandmother in MSP. Sometime during the flight, my father asked the flight attendant if it would be possible if I could go up to the flight deck and talk to the pilots. This, of course, was all pre 9/11, so the crew was more than happy to bring me up to say hello.
I just remember seeing all the impressive switches and dials, and the friendliness of the flight crew; and from that moment on, aviation was in my blood.

So, I would just like to say thanks to that DC-10 crew, wherever they are.
Also, to all the flight crews that welcome the younger generation (and the rest of us plane nuts) into your office, thank you. You're truly ambassadors of flight, and you do an excellent job of teaching the rest of us the joys of aviation.

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:43 am

For my 500th (The Big 500!!!) my answer is I have no f***ing idea!!!

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:43 am

Well, for me, it would have to be going to CVG as a kid. When we had some time after dinner, sometimes me and my Dad would go over and 'watch planes' at CVG. I remember the first plane I could recognize was the L1011. I thought those things were such sweet airplanes, and I loved the way the ground shook when one cranked it up for takeoff... I guess, now, being a pilot, getting to fly one of those old Lockheeds would be a very surreal experience... just knowing that I watched those planes in awe as a little kid would make the whole experience very emotional.

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 10:00 am

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 intrigued me to flying.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 1:30 pm

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 I proudly work for UA!
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 2:10 pm

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 terminal watching planes take off and land on the main runway a few hundred feet from the gate. I'd flown quite a bit to that point but had only a passing interest in planes. I'd be fascinated by them while at the airport, but once the trip was over I'd forget all about them. On this day however, watching Eastern 727's, L10's and A300's take off as well as an assortment of other planes, I was just hooked. After that I was big into planes. My folks bought me books and subscribed me to Flying magazine. We'd go to airshows and my dad would take me out to ORD and park on Irving Park Rd. to watch planes take off and land on 4R/22L (can't park there anymore). My dad also built models and put up with my fascination for bad 70's aviation disaster flicks. Big grin

As I grew up, my passion for aviation got sidetracked by a growing interest in sports and teenage girls, but I still wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. I changed my mind about being a pilot in college and worked on an aviation management degree instead, while working as a ramp rat at MDW for a couple of years. Now I'm still in the aviation industry and loving it. Still collect books and models, and after finding this site take pictures every now and then. I've had a habit of picking up a new hobby, getting bored with it, and then dropping it shortly thereafter. In this case, aviation has been with me for 17 years and it doesn't look like its going to go away anytime soon!

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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Wed Dec 10, 2003 2:14 pm

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 they fly.

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.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 8:43 am

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.

Most guys here are pretty cool with the probies although there are exceptions. Most all of the flak we give them is just good-natured ribbing. Probation around here is stressful enough without a bunch of guys giving you sh*t all the time.
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:18 am

A good family friend used to fly for Pan American World Airways. I would love to listen to her stories of flying all over the world and coming across such a diverse group of people. She really enjoyed it. My father and I took a trip together to Florida one November. We flew on Delta. That long DC8 to ATL then a brand new L-1011 to MIA. I was hooked. I even have a copy of the letter I sent to Delta employment as a 12 year old. And the personal reply I got from one of their recruitment personnel. I have been flying now for 17 years. Not for Delta. But I am happy and going all over the world. And still meeting some awesome people.

Safe Flying All !  Smile
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 9:30 am

Man - most of you guys are making me feel like an old codger here. . . Big grin

My first commercial flight was the summer of 1970, my family was relocating from New Mexico to Florida. My step-father had driven a U-Haul w/ our belongings ahead, and had set up house, and now my mother and I were flying to join him. The routing was ELP - DAL on Continental (Proud Bird with the Golden Tail) and then AA to TPA. From the second we arrived at the ELP airport I was hooked. The planes, the smell, the gate agents and crews in their sharp uniforms, all of it just fascinated me. Unfortunately I don't remember much about Love Field, but then we landed in Tampa. It was like I'd just stepped into the future. The remote terminals, airtrains, WOW! From that moment on, I was hooked. Within the next year I could identify all of the major airlines by their color schemes (we lived across the bay from TPA, so I got a good view of the flights), and the next time I went through an airport, I started collecting scheduled. Now, almost 40 years later (like I said, old!), I still collect schedules and take pride in being able to identify just about every airline and plane type that flies over my head!
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 11:52 am

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 do remember my first flight. It was 1976 and I was 5 years old. We flew from Washington D.C. to Phoenix on a TWA 707. I was so amazed by the different airplanes, and by the feeling when we took off. Too this day I still love the feeling of taking off.

God bless through Jesus,

God bless through Jesus, Jeff
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:19 pm

Living 2 miles from DFW's North/South runways until I was 3 probably had a role to play.

And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:22 pm

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 was an old one I know that. I loved it. A week later I had my first airline ride on KIWI from MDW to Atlanta. Thats how the 727 earned its place as my favorite of the steal birds we all hold so dear. I got interested in military aviation when I saw a Messerschmitt Bf-109 at an airshow, lovley bird and what an engine! You could hear and feel the power of it.

God I love aviation!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:23 pm

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 really was drawn to the complexity of ATC and then of airline management. One story I CAN relate to you however, is how airlines went from a hobby I enjoyed to becoming my current job/project.

I was connecting in STL one day on a business trip. I was standing in the concourse right about where the MD-80 is facing slightly away from us on the right side of this picture.
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Photo © Bevin Shively

I was watching all the goings on with great interest. At one point, an -80 pushed back out of a gate across the way (where the one is with the older livery in this pic). It taxied away and about 90 seconds later, another one came down the alley and pulled into that same slot. My thought at the time was "this isn't like the grocery store where you just grab one that's available... SOMEONE knew that gate was going to be vacated about this time and scheduled this aircraft to take its place!

Minutes later, I found myself staring at the ARR/DEP monitors trying to decipher the flight numbering scheme. I also began pouring over the scheduling and I realized that many feeders kept aircraft overnight to be that first wave inbound in the morning and that they would all trade passengers and then send them right back off to the feeders. The concept of what I now I know is a "banked hub" starting dawning on me. Damn! What a delightful little puzzle to solve!

I was a member of a Virtual Airline on VATSIM (SATCO back then) and tried to develop a logical scheduling algorithm that would take into account passenger demand, equipment size and numbers, gate space, etc. It was a massive task that became a personal quest for me. Not getting the interest from the VA, I continued doing it on my own.

Eventually, being an avid computer gamer, I looked for games that would allow me to run my own airline. Everything that I found was lightly detailed or highly inaccurate. I shared my frustrations with other enthusiasts. Despite all the management simulations on the market, there wasn't one that did the airline biz justice! It was because of this that I formed Intrinsic Algorithm and began working on our first title "Airline Traffic Manager"

Now, I get to study schedules, aircraft types, management decisions, etc... I'm surrounded by books with titles like "Handbook of Airline Operations" and "Handbook of Airline Strategy". I trade emails with operations managers at airports regarding the leasing terms of gate space and landing fees. And it's all research and development!

When this is done, I will have a product that allows me to solve that puzzle above... and others to do so as well! A dream come true!
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
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RE: What First Drew You To Aviation?

Thu Dec 11, 2003 12:28 pm

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 afterwards, I kept looking what kind of plane it was... and all of a sudden, I started to collect timetables everytime I used to go to the Airport.

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