My first memories are from LTN
from the late 80's into the mid 90's when I really started getting into planes as my grandad used to take me in school holidays. No U2
in those days and while there were always bizjets, it was boringly quiet compared to what it is today. The best memory was always the lunchtime FR
BAC 1-11 to DUB
. Apart from a few ZB
scheds / charters, there was not much else happening at LTN
then, the only other regular sched was a JE
Shorts 360. Interesting freighters though with Herald's, Vanguards, Viscounts & DC3's even then and various IL76's. Air Foyle were based at LTN
so had a motley collection of fresh hand me downs from the just broken up SU
, companies such Inversija of Latvia and Khors Aircompany of Ukraine stand out. MK
Cargo also used to fly their DC8's to LTN
then, as did Aer Turas.
My other memory was BAe at Hatfield, my grandad took me to the end of the runway not too far from his house and we used to see 125's & 146's in and out - and Dash 7's for some reason too (I think as an ex DH
facility they had the European mx contract for DHC a/c).
My other great early memory has to be my first visit to LHR
, we arrived at 945am on the Queens Buildings roof at T2
to catch the 10am departure of Speedbird 001 to JFK
As for flying, my first flight was in 1987 on a British Airtours TriStar though I dont recall much other than some great crew who gave my sister and I coloring books and wax crayons (we were 4 and 6) and we were severely delayed coming back to LGW
and the place was devastated and powerless when we did arrive due to a massive hurricane (October 87, some Brits may remember it) - I remember less about the next flight the following year on a BIA MD83, both were LGW
The first flight I really remember was in December 1990 on a ZB
757 G-MONC STN
! I was 9 years old, STN
was a ghost town then, the terminal was brand new and empty, the stop in BGR
was fascinating as I had never really seen snow like that before nor American trucks - which were way cooler than our Leylands! I got a cockpit visit and a signed postcard of MONC from the pilot which I still have.
My next flights were by TriStar 500 (BWIA), 747-200 (Airtours lsf Air NZ
) & DC10-30 (JMC Air) all of which I didnt truly appreciate then as I do now.