My very first memory is of boarding an IB
Caravelle at EMA
via the rear stairs - I do distinctly remember this, it was dark, and raining, and I'm being carried - according the my Dad I would have been about 3 at the time - 1969.
I remember working at JNB
in the 80's, Fridays was the busy day, lots of carriers like OA
only flew weekly or twice weekly, but always on a Friday. QZ
707's, Tristars, DC10's, the Air Malawi VC10 to BLZ - great fun to watch.
Flying over Victoria Falls in a Piper Aztec - swooping in low over the Zambezi and seeing the hippos in the shallows.
Flying anti-SAM approaches into SAAF AFB Ondangwa in Namibia - descend to FL010 and spiral down tightly, with an Alouette flying around the airfield perimeter watching for insurgents ! I don't think they ever found any, but it was cool watching the Earth turning in a circle through the opposite window of the Hercules.
Flying circuits and bumps under the full moon, as a passenger on a training flight in a C172, Grootfontein, Namibia - the bush below shadowed, the hills in the distance gleaming.
First trip in the forward cabin of a 747 - I had seat 1K, JNB
- the old Stratosleeper seats with the footrest that folded out manually from under the seat cushion.
Flying to HKG
for the day to go shopping - JNB
Friday, arrive HKG
Saturday am, 8 hours in HKG
Saturday night, 8 hours on the beach getting sunburnt, MRU
Sunday evening, blending in with the honeymooners to get my purchases through customs without paying duty ! Fun times.
Just seeing the old orange tail at the airport and knowing it was going home - from LHR
Concorde - JFK
on the BA004, turning up at the Concorde entrance at T7
in a huge limo, being wafted into the (admittedly ghastly) Terence Conran Concorde lounge, blasting off, smoked salmony nibblies on the plane while the curvature of the Earth shimmered below, landing at LHR
just over 3 hours after leaving JFK
Flying into Kulusuk, Greenland - circling over the icepack waiting for the clouds to clear over the airfield, descending between the mountain peaks and landing on the dirt runway, then continuing by helicopter over the fjords and glaciers to Ammasalik.
Islanders. Anywhere - just magic little planes to fly on, and always to some remote gravel strip surround by palm trees.
Seeing icebergs in the Southern Ocean, 2800km from the South Pole between MEL
Standing on the aircraft steps at St John's, Newfoundland, during a transit stop en route LHR
- breathing in the fresh clean pine-scented air.
So many excellent memories.