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Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Feb 26, 2021 11:21 pm

This was just something I was thinking about recently and I would love to hear your stories. Can you think of a moment in your lives that turned aviation from a hobby or interest into a passion?

I think mine was my first transatlantic flight. I was a freshman in high school back in March 2013 and my family was headed to Italy for spring break.
The entire aura surrounding this trip - getting to leave school early, making the drive up to PHL (we'd typically use BWI as we live just north of Baltimore), and the prospect of flying on the first widebody I can remember, along with my first long haul flight, was the perfect buildup. Our itinerary was PHL-FRA-FLR on Lufthansa, using their A340-300 and E190. I even remember the sky looked like it was going to storm the whole night but it never did, so the contrast against the dark sky felt really cool too.

The whole drive up, I was nervous about getting a window seat. I heard the adults scheming to put us kids in the middle four seats of Lufthansa's A340 economy class. As luck would have it, I weaseled my way to the front of our group, made my way to our block of seats in rows 26 and 27, and asserted myself into 27K, where I would find myself facing the most perfect wing view I've ever seen. From then on, I always try to get a seat right at the back of the base of the wing. You can see every detail, every deflection in the control surfaces, including the slats, from that angle. All because I lucked into this seat.

Dinner (my first meal on a plane) was a delicious teriyaki chicken and rice dish. From that point forward, I loved every meal I had on a plane. Maybe I'm just always excited to be flying. But that meal was perfect.

We flew through the night, which is something I always find relaxing and therapeutic. I didn't sleep a wink of course.

I still remember that I happened to be looking out the window as we hit our top of descent. I could see the angle of the horizon change and feel the engines rear back. At this point, the sun was just beginning to rise and the sky was filled with that eerie pre-dawn green tint. From that moment, I've had an affinity for redeye flights. Seeing a sunrise from an aircraft is such a cool thing.

I remember being glued to my window as we descended and touched down, smooth as butter. At the time I thought we landed on runway 36, but thinking back it's much more likely we landed on 25R. Plus, we took off on runway 18 on our connecting flight to FLR.

I remember the bus ride to the remote stand for our FRA-FLR flight took us right under the new-ish A50-A69 gates. We were at ground level with A380s and 747-8is, both of which I was seeing in real life for the first time. It was a perspective I had never seen.

From that flight on, I started taking videos of my trips, hoping to capture every moment. I always try to get the perfect window seat to mimic the view I had on this flight. I always try to take redeyes when possible because of this flight.

I had always had an interest in aviation, but this trip and every moment cemented my love for flying. I started recording tail numbers on every flight after that. (Side note, anyone know what aircraft operated LH427 and LH310 on March 15 and 16, 2013?)

When you look back, what moment sticks out as one that cemented your love for aviation?
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sat Feb 27, 2021 3:58 am

I've always been interested in transportation in general. An interest in mass transit (I would take the subway everywhere since my mom didn't drive) eventually progressed into an interest in aviation, since my parents were separated when I was a toddler and I had to fly across the ocean every year to see my dad.
Since transpacific flights are really long, and back then KE didn't have PTVs in Y, I perused their inflight magazine, especially the fleet section that allowed me to learn about the different aircraft types KE operated at that time (A300, 747, MD-11, MD-80, F-100 etc.) Back then, my interest and knowledge of aviation was limited to KE's fleet and route map, but when our family got internet in the late 90's, it opened up a whole new world of knowledge for me and it allowed me to learn about other airlines and aircraft types. Prior to that, I didn't even know of any other aircraft types outside of KE's fleet, and I've never even heard of a 777 before until after I boarded one for the first time in the late 90's and saw "777-200" on the safety card. My mind was blown.

I guess the lack of PTVs back then (and not being able to fully understand or appreciate the "grown-up" movies playing on the main screen) gave me an opportunity to take in my surroundings and the beauty of flight to a greater extent, and gave me a reason to read the in-flight magazine and learn about the cool aircraft types KE had, and the cool places that they flew to.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:33 pm

Excellent thread! Sit back with your favorite beverage (adult or not) and put your feet up, it's a long story boys and girls.

My parents started taking us on trips from CLE to ORL to visit my Grandparents three or four times a year, almost always by plane. The first flights I remember (though may have been more earlier in life) would have been when I was about five, EAL DC7's from CLE making what seemed like 2-3 stops/connections to get to ORL. Then I recall getting on a UAL SE-210 Caravelle as the first jet flight and then B707's. I am sure that is when I started to love flying and aviation in general. We had many trips to ORL and on some we'd go out to the old Naval Air Station in Sanford just north of Orlando to watch the planes come and go. Vivid memories on 1969 flying from CLE-JFK-OSL and a number of other Euro spots and watching from a OSL hotel when Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon.

From there my Dad decided to flying lessons and I'd go along a few times with him and the instructor in a BE23 in the back. After a few accidents of private planes got media coverage my Mom decided it was time for him to stop taking lessons and particularly taking me along, so that ended his flying days with I think around 15 hours. But I was hooked and determined to get my license, but needed to wait until I was old enough to start lessons, oh Mom won't like this! :shakehead:

After moving from CLE or Ft. Myers, Florida, we'd fly quite a bit on old National Airlines B727's out of FMY. National was the only jet airline at the time while Marco Island Airways flew Martin 4-0-4's and Florida Airlines flew DC-3's around the state. Every National flight either went to MIA or TPA and the others not quite sure where they flew. I vividly remember walking out of the terminal building that had one or two gates onto the ramp to board the National planes. Love hearing that APU running all the time thinking I've got to fly one of these babies.

I got accepted to attend LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas, for a degree in some sort of aviation with the sole reason to get my Private license. Between my senior year in high school and college I got a job at Ft. Myers Airways as a lineman, I was in heaven. Being around planes all the time, fueling them, towing them, washing them was great fun as well as a learning experience plus meeting some very nice corporate pilots who always would love to talk about flying with me. The job was short lived as I headed to Texas for college and quickly found out, college and I did not mix. The only thing I studied for was ground school and took my first lesson in January. I quickly soloed the first of February and yep, the tail of my shirt was then hanging in the FBO at GGG. School was out for the summer before I got my private so when I got home quickly finished up at FMY and got my private in early July. My Mom was actually very happy and pleased (as all Mom's would be) that I accomplished that, but not happy I was not going back to school. During the summer I got my job back at FMY which gave me even more flying time plus was around when EAL, DAL, TWA, UAL started flights to FMY and Ft. Myers Airways had the fueling contract. WEEEEEE what fun that was to actually be able to climb up the stairs and give the pilots the fuel receipt, even get a Coke from the flight attendants from time to time.

I had decided I wanted a job as an airline pilot, period. The FSS was just across the ramp from the old terminal since the airport had opened a new one across the airport. The FBO took over the old terminal so I'd walk over the FSS for a pre-flight briefing almost every day rather than call before I'd go fly. One day one of the FSS Sups asked me what I was going to do and I proudly announced "be an airline pilot" to which he politely told me I needed to wake up as I had a huge problem ahead of me. First major issue was Viet Nam had just ended and those airline and corporate jobs would be scooped up by the military pilots with thousands of hours. Next, I stood absolutely no chance of getting hired by anyone either airline or corporate with something like 150 hours of single engine time. I was devastated, but determined to get one of those jobs. A couple of days later the same fella took me aside and asked me if I'd thought of being an air traffic controller, hmmmm ah NO, that was not flying. He advised me to go check it out over at the tower which I did one day and talked with a few of them who I recognized by voice after having them control my flights. One told me to take the test to be an Army controller and see what I get. Army, you mean helicopters, not my idea of controlling jets since they could hover!!! He told me that the Army at the time was the only service that gave their controllers a Control Tower Operator (CTO) certificate and that would weigh heavy with the FAA after my four years of service. Not sure if that was correct or not, but I took the bait and away I went.

Basic training went by fast and before I knew it I was at Ft. Rucker in tower and RADAR training. Next assignment I was assigned to the U.S. Army Communications Command (USACC) at Ft. Bragg, NC., home of the 82nd Airborne. Simmons Army Airfield (FBG) was my home in the GCA for the next 28 or so months and it was a BLAST. We'd get the C130's doing approaches, of course plenty of Army helo's and all sort of private flying from the base flying club. I was so blessed as all I did was control planes the entire time. Basically I was a civilian wearing fatigues at work. But I wanted out when my four year tour was up so I had taken the FAA ATC exam and passed with a very high score and was honorably discharged to next wait for an FAA hire date to show up in the mail. HMMM Federal hiring freeze went into effect, though ATC could hire one controller per region when two left (retired, quit, fired, failed training etc.). I'd call the Southwest Regional office (had the most open facilities before the freeze) where I'd requested to be place almost daily, pity the lady who kept getting those calls.

Then August 1981 hit and on August 6th I got the call. If I could be in OKC to start school on August 10th, I was hired. OMG, yeah wasn't flying for hire just fun, but a Fed job if I could pass the Academy four month course. That time went by fast and Jan. 2nd I was sitting in my first FAA facility in the resort community of Beaumont, Texas. I worked tower and approach control there till 1983 when IAH told me I was selected. Hey, I'm gonna be in the show now. Lots of jets and fun ahead at a major airport with many airlines.

We worked both tower and TRACON, dual qualified until around 1990 when the FAA decided to split the up and down, so you only worked tower or RADAR, not both. However, our manager was a genius and basically told the FAA to pack sand as he was going to go what was best for his facility and decided to keep one or two from each crew dual rated UFN and I was blessed once again as I was one that got to be dual qualified. His thinking was we needed to have some RADAR folks training the new tower kids on what happens in the TRACON as most had never worked any RADAR before. Yes they'd be limited RADAR controllers in the tower, but he wanted that connection. When the new IAH Tower opened in 1997, I continued to be then the only dual rated controller until I decided in around 2003, that now with an office job and staying dual qualified it was time to drop the tower side and only be RADAR current. The office job got me involved in many projects with airlines, corporate flight departments, military and FAA programs. What great fun to be able to head over to the COA sim building for a meeting with their flight tech guys and end up in one of their sims for any number of reasons. While I don't have all of those hours signed by the guys who were instructors in my log book, the MD80, B733, B735, B738, B752, B772 hours were great fun, but the B788 sim was the best and those two landings are signed off. :airplane: :biggrin:

Retired now for eight plus years and have been very very fortunate to have enjoyed such a great fun career in aviation as well as flying. Some 36 years of gov't time and 1,500+ hours in the log book. I no longer fly, but will often open up the log books remembering some of those flights for breakfast/lunch/dinner, flying to the Key's from FMY a few times, taking delivery of brand new C172's and C210's in ICT for the FBO in FMY, flying some GCA approaches provided by the controllers I was training or worked next to at FBG and the list goes on and on. I have to mention all of the wonderful people I have had the privilege of meeting, whether it be corporate or airline pilots, FAA people both I worked with or met through projects I was involved in, many of which are great friends to this day.

Oh well, guess I went overboard with my love of you need that beer!
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:50 am

For me it goes back to when I was very young. I had an interest in every form of transportation (cars & trucks, trains, ships, and spacecraft). When I got to airplanes, it ended up sticking. When my uncle used to fly in to visit the family, I would often go with my parents to pick him up at the airport. Before our local airport changed its parking arrangement for pickups, we would go to the observation deck in the terminal and watch activity on the ramp and airfield. I then got into programs such as Google Earth flight simulator, and started to read a lot about different airplanes and aviation topics. Took my first flight with US Airways, followed two years later by my first light GA flight in a Piper. It's all gone up from there (no pun intended).

There are several reasons why I came to love aviation:

- It's cool
- Has the best views
- It's something bigger than myself or any one person
- The sights and sounds are unmatched anywhere else
- It's interdisciplinary (a conversation about aviation can lead to science, politics, law, economics, business, history, or anything really)
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:12 am

We moved to the DC area when I was 7 and stayed for just under two years. I was pretty into movie / pop culture references at that age and was primarily driven by Star Wars and Star Trek spaceships. Then one spring morning my parents took me to Gravelly Point, just beyond the threshold of DCA's runway 19 and I was never the same. I begged to go back any weekend it was sunny, and by a year later had a room full of LEGO airport materials and diecast models. When we moved back to CA I absorbed everything - SFO/SJC, events at Moffett Field, taking the tour at NASA Ames, etc. We traveled at least 3-4x a year so it was always exciting visiting family in LA, DFW, and my parents' favorite spot in Maui. Started going to airshows in my preteens and joined Young Eagles events by 13 or 14.

Very similar sentiment to N965UW...aviation sparked my lifelong interest in geography and absorbing as much random information about different parts of the world as possible. I was an annoyance to many teachers.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:56 pm

Ok, I'm not even a high school kid yet, but I was interested in aviation way back when I was 6. Don't know if it counts, but I was interested in Chinook helicopters for some reason. That interest eventually fueled my passion to collect toy helicopters and that suddenly extended to airplanes by the time I was done with Elementary. It was awfully embarrassing though, as I called every plane I see a Boeing 747 (even an Airbus plane I saw in a movie). Eventually, I started learning more about each plane and could differentiate between them better (The days of calling everything a 747 were long gone thankfully). Now I have a Geminijets collection of Delta airlines aircraft and play MSFS2020, hoping to be a pilot someday!!! :D
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:37 am

I flew on Delta Airlines October 10th, 1980....
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:40 am

Boeing757100 wrote:
Now I have a Geminijets collection of Delta airlines aircraft and play MSFS2020, hoping to be a pilot someday!!! :D

You chose the right airline to collect..:D and hopefully when you are a pilot you will choose the right airline again!!!!!!
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:45 am

Aaron747 wrote:
Very similar sentiment to N965UW...aviation sparked my lifelong interest in geography and absorbing as much random information about different parts of the world as possible. I was an annoyance to many teachers.

That happened to me too..and then I got interested in boxing and found out that sport, on its more major levels, is organized with major fights around the world! (Although the bulk of the huge competitions take place in New York or Las Vegas, two places that also happen to have majorly important international airports BTW)

So by the time I was 11, I wanted to be either A) a commercial pilot who moonlighted as a pro boxer or B) a pro boxer who moonlighted as a commercial pilot...:D I happily combined my two big interests to also learn about our beautiful and interesting world!
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Wed Mar 03, 2021 4:53 pm

AntonioMartin wrote:
Boeing757100 wrote:
Now I have a Geminijets collection of Delta airlines aircraft and play MSFS2020, hoping to be a pilot someday!!! :D

You chose the right airline to collect..:D and hopefully when you are a pilot you will choose the right airline again!!!!!!

Yes :) I think DL was the first airline I ever flew on... My parents keep saying WN but I think its DL. Anyways, I'd like to fly the 757 for DL, but I don't know if that's possible since they might all be retired by then. :(
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 3:42 am

Boeing757100 wrote:
AntonioMartin wrote:
Boeing757100 wrote:
Now I have a Geminijets collection of Delta airlines aircraft and play MSFS2020, hoping to be a pilot someday!!! :D

You chose the right airline to collect..:D and hopefully when you are a pilot you will choose the right airline again!!!!!!

Yes :) I think DL was the first airline I ever flew on... My parents keep saying WN but I think its DL. Anyways, I'd like to fly the 757 for DL, but I don't know if that's possible since they might all be retired by then. :(

Probably! LOL The 757 is such a great plane and an easy ride as a passenger!
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:25 pm

Strangely it all started roundabout I went to my friends house who had just got a new (at the time) PS1 game called Air Combat, a precursor to the Ace Combat series. That ignited a little spark, but it was when I went to another friends house who had just got the newly released FS98 that I was hooked. We fell out a few times because he wanted to buzz around doing aerobatics while I was interested in pottering around in the "boring" 737.

This was well before regular Internet in our household, so I managed to secure myself a large hardback book that become my bible (A History of Passenger Aircraft by William Sweetman). I must read the covers clean off, I still have it somewhere. Unfortunately, as amazing as I found the book, at that age I didn't realise it was actually published in 1979 and spoke of the "upcoming" 757 and 767 as paper planes, being still in development at time of writing. I thought we still had Comets and Constellations commonly plying the skies in the late 90's.

I finally had my first flight aged about 10 years old in 1998 from London Gatwick to Palma. I thought it was fantastic, and our big Britannia 767 in the blue pinstripe livery was the most glamorous thing I'd ever seen. 2-4-2 on a 767 didn't mean anything to me, I thought I was living the high life.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 7:11 am

microsoft combat flight simulator 1
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Mar 05, 2021 10:12 am

My family didn't fly frequently so my interest in aviation didn't start from the flying experience. However it started the moment I picked up a copy of Flight International magazine lying around my father's office. He subscribed to it because of his work in composite research, although he didn't directly work in aviation (he's a university lecturer).

After he realized I read the magazine from cover to cover, he would bring copies home for me to read once he's done with them and I got hooked from there.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sat Mar 06, 2021 11:29 am

I always had a slight interest - I got more interested when I got involved with flight simulator for a while. I took photos for a time but stopped in 2012 and haven’t been back since. It’s something I will never do again.

I lost the interest - aviation is just a means of going somewhere.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:38 am

Wow! How awesome is this thread?! I was a very lucky guy in that i was born into an airline family. My dad was with AA for 36 years and so i've "non-revved" (traveled free on his passes) since day one. So it was already in my blood and just automatically became a passion. It's amazing what I can remember: Watching the props start on an Electra, always the two engines on the right first. The black sandpaper like strip on each step of any aircraft with integral stairs. Eastern Convair 440 and Electra, Texas International Convair 600, Frontier Convair 580, the ventral stairs on a Southern 404, etc. This may sound weird, but i can vividly remember the smells of kerosene and of the cabin with its cloth curtains, and leather bound selection of magazines. And the windows! Nothing could beat a Delta DC8 series 50 with those distinctive howls as each engine was started. The Palomar seats with the reading light at the upper corner of the seat. It was huge and you pushed a little white button to turn it on. Your air vent and oxygen were in front of you integrated into the back of the row in front of you.
I just slowly slowly fell stronger in love with everything, but I think the one experience that cemented it was watching Continental Viscounts. I grew up in El Paso and CO had a very large presence there (even had a base there for awhile in the 70s or 80s). Unfortunately I never got to ride in a Viscount, but those windows were so huge and the enormously high shrill of those Rolls Royce engines were totally captivating.
Fast forward to the time I was flying around looking at which college I wanted to attend. The only thing I cared about was what kind of airplanes could I fly on to get there! So, after looking at Coe College in Cedar Rapids (CID), i had the thrill of finally riding on an FH227 .Good ole Ozark took mom and me to STL with a stop in Moline. The combination of the window that was almost as big as the Viscount AND having the wing above the fuselage was beyond exciting. To stare outside in anticipation of watching the gear come down made it even more awesome when they did!
Fortunately for me, i had access to my dad's passes all through college. I ended up going to school in SAT and would fly up to ORD for the day that was spent in one location, the observation deck. Right down below were all the North Central Convair 580s and it was nonstop activity. On one excursion I flew to IAD and watched the two Concordes from BA and AF arrive in the U.S. for the first time, pulling up to face each other, nose to nose, in front of a huge crowd. ATL had a wonderful deck as well (right above where the Piedmont YS-11s and 404s were. Plus seeing 8 Southern Airways Martin 404s all lined up awaiting passengers for the next puddle jump). And finally DAL. On one of my day jaunts from ELP I found a small covered sitting area that was supposed to be where people could wait for a private plane to taxi in and take them somewhere. There was never, ever anyone there and it was right by an active, very busy runway.
That's where I fell in love with Braniff. Those colors, i'm talking the solid colored ones with the white tails and the distinctive black "BI" logo. They were constantly taking off, 727s, BAC111s, and 707/720s. Of course AA was about as frequent, but I didn't like the orange lightning bolt look at the time (probably because that's mainly who i flew on) and found it boring. But i was soon rewarded by a Texas International Convair 600 or DC9. I was old enough to remember seeing them when they were TTA. The initial color scheme after they became TI was a combination of white, grey and purple. I can remember someone asking me what were my favorite smells and aircraft kerosene fumes were right at the top! (Looking back on it, there is no telling what settled in my lungs from all the beautiful black smoke! LOL!) Love Field also had a wonderful observation deck. Central Airlines was the carrier that was right up close (Convair 600s and DC3s prior to their merger with Frontier).
So, when i was a senior in college it was time to look for a job. I really wanted to work for Delta, and the entry level position i wanted was that of a flight attendant. Apparently, back then, DL was not fond of having male f/as (typical Southern attitude) and I never even got an interview. Braniff turned me down (thank god!). They had a base in San Antonio at the time and I wanted to stay there where all my friends were.
My dad retired from AA in 1975 so I knew I could apply since it was 1977 and therefore not nepotism.
I was hired and sent to LGA as a frightened mamas boy. The early morning sign ins became my introduction to coffee! Unfortunately, caffeine was not helpful when you were trying to serve a snack breakfast (a sweet roll and a coffee cup) on a little tray to 116 people on a 727-223 (they kept on adding seats through the years). So you just would carry them out by fanning 3 in each outstretched arm. Oh, did I mention this was the 7am departure to SYR with a flying time of about 32 minutes? I flew the same 2-day trip all month (LGA-SYR-ORD-TUL-OKC on day one, OKC-TUL-STL-LGA-DTW-LGA on Day2. We worked hard. I mean really hard. One time, and one time only, we simply could not finish. I could hear the flap motors grinding and I knew it was only a matter of time before the big thud from the gear lowering would cause me to begin sweating profusely. The captain announced prepare for landing and we still had about 10 rows with tray tables down and people eating. So we just told them to put them on the floor, and they did. Kathy, the #1 who worked first class, had been back helping us and she couldn't make it up the aisle in time so she just sat on the aft galley floor! Thank god there were no FAA inspectors on board, That one flight caused me to be paranoid about finishing the service on every short flight I worked during my career). Upon landing, it was a policy that one flight attendant go up to the front of coach, start opening overhead bins (this is on taxi-in) and hand down coats. And we did it willingly and happily because, at the time, we worked for the best airline. We were green, young, and very very proud.
Last year I retired after 43 years. The company that I once knew no longer existed, and when I found myself dreading that someone would ask who I worked for, I knew it was time to go.
There was nothing better than that era to begin my love affair with commercial aviation. It was truly wonderful. Thank you so much for allowing me to express my thoughts for the first time since I left. This has been a blast.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:21 am

My story is a bit weird. I was 11 years old and saw a deck of playing cards that had a Kuwait Airways B767 on each card. One day to started starring at the 767 and realized that airplanes are gorgeous and I instantly fell in love!
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:13 pm

I was 6 years old. My best friend and neighbor was immigrating to the USA. My aunt who lived in the USA at this time was visiting me in the Caribbean and she brought him to the USA. Because of this I ended up going to the airport with her when she was leaving. Back then in the Caribbean, there weren't jet bridges, so you had to walk on the tarmac. The airport had a waving gallery so you could see your family members as they headed towards the aircraft. I stood there and watch him walk across the tarmac, up the stairs and as he disappeared into the darkness of the aircraft I said I will learn to fly an airplane to come visit him. That was it. After the planes would fly over my house and I would rush outside to see them. I didnt become a pilot but it is a hobby and I do "work" in the industry.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sat Mar 20, 2021 12:26 am

When I was 12 we emigrated to Australia and flew over in a B.O.A.C. Boeing 707 , that was it I was hooked , our flight number was my user handle on this site ie BA724
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:15 am

Aviation is something that has always been attractive for me, from the ground level staff to the person sitting in the cockpit and the entire surrounding is so fascinating and well decorated that it made me fall in love with it.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:32 pm

ozark1 wrote:
Wow! How awesome is this thread?

A great read and story, thanks for sharing it.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Wed Mar 24, 2021 8:17 pm

My love of aviation simply came from my father. For 47 years he worked for Northwest Airlines, the last thirty or so at SEA in the air freight imports office. I have vivid memories of going to work with him and sitting in his office at the freight warehouse listening to him type away on the computer and answering the phone the same way each time, "Northwest Airlines, air-freight, imports." I used to walk around the warehouse looking at all the goods being shipped in and out of Seattle. Then the secure doors to airside were taped open. There was no real fear of someone getting on the ramp. I would sit in the old hangar on DC-10 tires and watch the mechanics work on the airplanes before my eyes. And many of the mechanics knew my name!

Of course without all of the extra security I'd spend hours in the terminal, traveling the satellite trains back and before between the North and South Satellites. Watch the AA MD-11 come in from NRT. Watching the NWA 747-200 leave for NRT. There were all of the exotic languages spoken in the south satellite when the international flights arrived. How could you not love watching the airplanes?

Of course with all of that traveling on passes made it so cheap but never really easy. Hours of waiting in MSP for the final DC-10 to Seattle to leave and all of us pass riders finally getting on. Sitting in first class as a child and teenager unaccompanied while business men and others strolled by giving me the evil eye. Oh, of course there were the hours and occasionally days of waiting to get on a flight, and you had to dress up, no sweats or shorts for those of us flying on a pass. No, dockers, shirt and tie, and nice dress shoes were the order of the day.

Dad would bring home so many cool things. Airline magazines from the managers office. Posters, many of which have disappeared. The cool calendars for NWA Cargo done on yellow plastic in different geometric shapes. Models. Fresh salmon, fruit, and other goods that the shippers would give my dad as a gift.

I still am fond of NWA and sad my father was not able to make 50 years with the airline. Delta wanted him to come back after the merger to be a contract worker in the air cargo office but dad didn't want to work for anyone but Northwest.

No matter when I hear the sound of an airplane over head I always look up and smile.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:56 am

Here's the "Reader's Digest edition" of much longer story, which I plan to write up as part of a series of trip reports from decades ago.

My parents and I had taken a train from St. Louis to Kansas City for a weekend in 1964. On the last day of our stay, my father decided we'd fly home instead. So that afternoon, this eight-year-old found himself sitting in an aisle seat on a TWA L-749 Connie, watching a pretty hostess pass out Chiclets to everyone before takeoff. As she passed my seat again on her way back to the galley, she stopped and gave me all the gum she had left over. While I was thrilled to have all that free gum, there was something oddly entrancing about the individual servings of two Chiclets, each delicately wrapped in clear cellophane and adorned with a TWA logo, neatly nestled in a cute little presentation tray.

That moment, as well as everything else about the flight - including viewing the tail through the window in the rear lav - left me realizing this was something really special. It fueled a lifetime love of the airline industry, and it wasn't before I decided I wanted to work for TWA when I grew up. None of my friends could relate to my newfound obsession, but that was okay. While they were playing sports and listening to the Beatles, I was in my room, reading the OAG, studying route maps, learning liveries, practicing safety announcements, and playing my some of my parents' instrumental LPs while pretending it was boarding music...all while dreaming of my next flight. Yeah, I had it bad!

And I still do.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sun May 02, 2021 11:28 am

I think for me it was because I grew up around aviation. My parents were based in the RAF and we served on a couple of air bases. Our first trip away in the late 80's was to Australia and I think that is where I got the commercial aviation bug and have loved it ever since.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Sun May 09, 2021 4:58 pm

For me it goes back to 1991.

My dad was a police officer. Back then Schengen was not yet live, but everyone knew it was coming. Border police was short handed, but why hire new border police when Schengen is only a few years away (1995). That's why the police officers from rural areas where sent in to assist.

We lived 20 minutes away from the German border... so, bureaucracies being bureaucracies, dad was sent to Schiphol

At the end of this "tour of duty", he gave the family a guided tour in a little police van (myself, mum, siblings and grandparents). We went everywhere except the runway and the ATC tower. The platforms, taxi ways, maintenance areas... the whole lot. At the maintenance areas I even got inside a KLM 747, looking out at a El Al 747. The very one that one year later crashed in the Bijlmermeer.

Anway, you'll understand that this made a mighty impression on a 10 year old. :D

My dad still hates airports and anything aviation related. LOL
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:18 am

This love affair... it's not as much as how I found aviation, but how it found me. I still remember my five-year-old self staring out the window of a United DC-8, seeing Kennedy Airport way below. Airplanes have gripped me with a fascination that has not abated over the decades! (The aircraft I mention says a little how long this affair has been.) I grew up climbing the stairs, up into the Space Age cabin of a Pan American Boeing 707 somewhere in the world. Throw in Air-India Boeing 707s, Swissair DC-8s (and a Convair CV990, for good measure), and other goodies. At age 12, I ascended a *double* stairway into the cabin of a towering Boeing 747. Even a flight nowadays aboard a no-frills, cramped cabin, sitting in a paper-thin seat is a treat, as long as I can look out the window. Airplanes fascinate me. A house full of models and vintage toys will attest to that.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:59 am

Good question. Thinking about it I can't quite pinpoint the moment. My first in-depth interest was the Titanic (and it still is in a sense) back in my early childhood. From there I think it blossomed. Initially I was curious about aesthetics. Pretty ships. Pretty aircraft. Pretty cars and trains. But as time moved on my interest has shifted to a more complex contextual one. Transportation as a symptom and tracer of human development, and of the technological maturity and ingenuity as historical and current ideas coalesce into something new. Every craft, their use, and their tailoring to their surrounding a well of concise information about society as it looked at that moment and what led up to it. Everything from the pressure to make it, it's success or failure in its time, and the experience of those who used them. Every form of transportation a small time capsule in a sense when you take in the broader context in which they existed.

And I still think that's true. Granted, I'm weak for aesthetics still, but what's increasingly fascinating to me now is all of those things outside the purely technical. Knowing the dimensions and speed of say... the Queen Mary or a Convair 880 is nothing compared to knowing what made them possible, a success, or a failure, in their time. Dimensions and speed are only one facet among several.

In a way I simply keep falling in love with the subject as I expand outwards. New perspectives adding to older ones with time.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Fri Jun 25, 2021 7:34 pm

When I was 6 years old, I was interested in the aviation. I gone to the fence of the airport's runway and always love to see and hear the Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154 aircrafts (at Budapest Airport). When I was 14, I started to collect different papers from airlines and airports. Now 31 years later I like even more the civil aviation and establish an exciting Collection (more than 6500 publications from 380 airlines and 340 airports of the world).
I know more than 25 years and thanks so much for the team.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Tue Jul 06, 2021 12:11 pm

I don't have the foggiest idea, I just experienced passionate feelings for it since my extremely early age. I actually recall, that even before my sister was conceived, I used to call cockroach as Plane Pula (puka implies bug in my language for example Sylheti), on the grounds that it's anything but a plane. At the point when I was in my Higher Secondary standard, I thought why Harrier aircraft designers are utilizing four nossels for making it VTOL, part of energy is getting lost at that, why not utilize just two burners for that all things considered, one at the Center of Gravity to lift it up and another toward the finish to push it forward, well only couple of days after the fact saw that US is planning another plane in a similar line, they named that Harrier 2 I accept. At the point when I landed into position, my the then sweetheart used to request that I say that I love her more than planes, I used to say sorry child. Presently that I'm 33 and before long going to be 34, I am attempting to improve the airplane shape, so it can encounter less drag, more lift, less radar cross segment and such different stuffs :)

It's a passion, you are born with it.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Tue Jul 20, 2021 3:35 am

I used to just watch planes whenever they would make that thundering noise and this was during my child hood days and the place where we were stationed was close to the International border, near Punjab. Those planes just fascinated me. Father took me to the fence of the aerodrome and spent some time there watching fighters and some planes in action. Soon we were transferred to New Delhi. I had more options. My class mate used to live in quarters, close to international airport. I often went to his place to watch planes. I could never believe that rumbling noise when plane was just directly overhead the water tan of that apartment quarter. Good old days, I have always loved aircrafts and still do. I wanted to become a pilot but situation was not in my favour so chose different avenues. I am 35 now and recently opened a carton box full of my child hood aircraft drawings. I still draw planes and keep them updated on my instagram page. The greatest fascination was the sound of those mi-17 helicopters back then. Soon I was able to make out the equipment and make of the aircraft/manufacturer by just looking at it and trust me it was in the year 1997. Whenever I see those pilot vlogs on YouTube, it gives me immense happiness. That uniform is so imposing with responsibilities. This is/was a great thread. All the best for upcoming and to be pilots and those associated with aviation industry.
- Pramod Sharma
Hyderabad, India.
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Re: Why did you fall in love with aviation?

Tue Oct 05, 2021 8:01 pm

Some of my earliest memories in life were my grandparents bringing me over to DUB. Didn’t live to far from the airport so those ‘spotting’ trips where the start, once I was back home after a trip to DUB my head was permanently tilted upwards. Back then in the 90s when Dublin was fairly quiet any RWY 10 arrival from the south would nearly skim the rooftops this side of north west Dublin, was hard not to be fascinated.

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