Cactus521

First Flight

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Does anyone remember their first flight in an aircraft?  Mine goes back to 1966, in a PSA Electra from Burbank to San Francisco.  I still remember it clearly even though it was 51 years ago.  I was glued to the window, listening to the hum of the turbines, watching things get so small.  I took several flights that year, some in t-props, some in 727's, since my Dad worked in Northern California but we lived in Burbank, we would fly up to see him until we finally moved to Northern California in 1967.  He worked for the Navy and was eventually stationed at Mare Island for one and a half decades, before moving to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission around 1980.  I loved going to Napa airport in my youth, I flew with several people out of that airport in their Cessna's until about 1987.  It was a fun place to be, the pilots were always enthusiastic about showing us their aircraft.  One pilot was a county supervisor who would fly his plane down from lake Berryessa.  I did not talk to him much, he was much too busy with governing the county.  His name was Harold Moskowite. Other pilots would fly from Napa to Angwin up in the foothills and park their aircraft there.  The third airport in the county was the Calistoga gliderport which I flew out on  several sailplane flights, but they eventually closed it down after I had moved away from the area to Phoenix.  I had some wonderful glider rides with my friends and by myself during the late 70's and early 80's, I had no fear of flying motorless, I knew the pilots were pros and they knew what they were doing.

John

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Mine was in TAA ( Trans Australian Airlines ) Fokker F27 from Sydney to Casino around 1978 or 79 ( I was just 4 or 5 but remember it ).  TAA changed its name to Australian Airlines in the early 80's and then Qantas purchased the airline in the early 90's.

1993.291l.jpg

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The first flight I recall was in a Comanche 250 in, I think, 1961. The flight was from El Paso to Indianapolis and back.

My father was flying and my mother, sister and myself were along for the ride.

He thought, I guess, that flying himself was better than driving and commercial flight was too expensive in those days for a family of four.

He was a USAF pilot and, at that time, getting a private certificate was pretty much a check ride and oral exam, if you were a military pilot.

This makes flying the A2A Comanche pretty special for me.

Funny, but the thing I remember the most is watching him crank the trim handle and my mother being in a state of constant panic.

 

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Yup, I can remember my first flight in an aeroplane, I would have been pretty young so I guess it might have been around the very end of the Sixties or more likely early in the Seventies. It was in an ex-BOAC de Havilland Comet 4 operated by Dan Air London, flying from EGCC Manchester Airport (which was known as Ringway Airport back then) to LEGE Gerona airport in Spain. I made the return flight back to the UK on a Boeing 727, disembarking as I recall, via the airstairs at the back which was interesting.

I can remember looking at the wings of that Comet from the window seat whilst we were at the gate at Manchester and noticing they had a lot of stains on the aluminium surface, presumably from a fuel spillage or some such. I was sat on the port side next to the emergency over wing exit (not something an airline would let a young child do these days). During the flightI can remember looking at fluffy clouds above the distant Pyrenees Mountains, a range which divides France and Spain and goes up to 11,000 feet.

It was an impression which certainly stayed with me because I often make that same flight in simulators these days. I was one of those kids who was always making model planes, drawing them and reading anything I could get my hands on to do with aeroplanes and I knew I always wanted to learn to fly right from being a little kid. Since my dad worked as an engineer for Faireys, building the real things, I would sometimes get to go to their factory and see where aeroplanes were made. Hardly surprising then, that I got into all that kind of thing too.

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BAC-111 from London Gatwick to Tarbes in about 1985. I had one flight before that but I was a toddler at the time...

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I was probably about 9 years old, so it would have been in and around 1987. It was an Aer Lingus 747-100. It was my first and only time in a 747. Of course I didn't appreciate how iconic it was back then. She was going from Dublin (EIDW) to New York Kennedy (KJFK). It had a stopover to make in Shannon (EINN) which was as far as we were going. The purpose of the flight was for a school trip. It was pretty neat at the time, because getting a plane for a school trip at that age was pretty much unheard of. The flight only took 20 minutes. Being young an naive a few of us contemplated not getting off at Shannon, and hiding under a seat and go to NY. Innocence lol. Of course we chickened out.

 

We got the train back home, which was a serious comedown. 

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We were on our European vacation.  The one I remember was flying KLM from London to Amsterdam around '76/77.  I don't remember the model of the plane, maybe a 737.  We did that because we had taken the ferry.  My mom and dad got sick. We arrived at the dock sometime well after dark.  We had reserved a cabin, but they claimed there were no cabins--only for the crew.  So, we had to sit in airline style hard seats in the bow.

So, I remember we did fly KLM on the way back.  We fell asleep.  When we woke up, my sister was no where to be seen.  We knew she had gotten on the plane.  Once found, she said the pilot said there were seats up front to stretch out and she gone up there.  I think that was a DC-10.  Oddly, I think we flew MArtinAir from the USA and KLM back.

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Just out of high school year '62 and a couple of us guys decided to go to Chicago and see what that was all about. 

Cedar Rapids airport was small back then and serviced by Ozark mainly. We boarded a green and white slightly dirty old Ozark DC-3 and I got the window seat. 

I remember mostly looking out and seeing oil coming from the right engine and flowing over the wing in little droplets and becoming quite concerned. No one else cared so I just kept an eye on it. 

I think we stopped at every small airport from Cedar Rapids to Chicago but we did eventually make it, oil or no oil.

About our Chicago adventure I can only remember this one bar we went into that was in a basement and the Kingston Trio was playing to a crowd of us and a couple drunks. 

I cannot remember how we got home but I am happy we did. 

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First Flight......Britannia Boeing 737 (I do not remember the type) from Manchester to Salzburg, Austria in June 1993.

Last Flight (to date).....British Airways Boeing 757-200 from London Heathrow to Manchester in October 1995.

 

Yeah, I know. Shocking :blink:

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My very first flight was on an Eastern Airlines Super Connie from Miami to San Francisco around 1954. I don't remember how many stops we made, but I do fondly remember that meals were served on china, with cloth napkins and real silverware. Oh yeah, real food too! :laugh:

I was in the port side window seat just forward of the engines, and very clearly remember seeing the long flames and tons of smoke as the engines started. My mother was pretty nervous when I called her attention to the flames!

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12 hours ago, Christopher Low said:

First Flight......Britannia Boeing 737 (I do not remember the type) from Manchester to Salzburg, Austria in June 1993.

Last Flight (to date).....British Airways Boeing 757-200 from London Heathrow to Manchester in October 1995.

 

Yeah, I know. Shocking :blink:

Chris, that's astonishing! How have you managed to avoid flying for over 20 years?


My first flight was LGW - GVA in April 1991. As a then 9 year old, I remember it being a big, noisy and quick aircraft. What stuck with me was the sensation of being pushed back into my seat as we accelerated on the take-off roll - something I've only rarely experienced since.

And here's a pic of this incredible aeroplane:1494668.jpg?v=v40

Given the stage length, it's now of no surprise that it took off like the proverbial rocket!
 

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For me it would be a Piper Cherokee from a little grass strip called Maple, north of Toronto. Urban sprawl and Canada's Wonderland made that airfield a distant memory. We went on a sight seeing trip over Toronto and being a fearless kid back then (1972?) I asked the pilot, a friend of my Dad's and an ex WWII fighter pilot, if we could do a loop. Nope,

First commercial flight: Air Canada L1011 1976 Toronto to Tampa. Still my favorite aircraft ever. Return trip on an aging stretch DC-8.

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On 9/5/2017 at 3:58 AM, F737NG said:

Chris, that's astonishing! How have you managed to avoid flying for over 20 years?


My first flight was LGW - GVA in April 1991. As a then 9 year old, I remember it being a big, noisy and quick aircraft. What stuck with me was the sensation of being pushed back into my seat as we accelerated on the take-off roll - something I've only rarely experienced since.

And here's a pic of this incredible aeroplane:1494668.jpg?v=v40

Given the stage length, it's now of no surprise that it took off like the proverbial rocket!
 

I flew on that very same L-1011 once from Manchester to Spain, and I've got a funny story about it too:

At the time, I was going out with a girl who amongst other things, collected whips (yup really), not for any pervy stuff, she just liked sticking nice ones on her wall as decoration, since a lot of them have nice braiding and what not. So, anyway, I said, well, since I'm off to Spain (famous for its leatherwork among other things), I'll get you a nice cool one for your wall. Anyway, on the way to Spain in that L-1011, I was chatting to a lot of the very nice Caledonian cabin crew girls and got fairly friendly with one or two of them. I actually got free drinks on that flight!

So I have my break in Spain and dutifully seek out a beautifully made and very decorative twenty foot long leather bullwhip, which I buy and the shop wraps it up in a little bit of tissue paper. Off I go back to Palma airport for the return flight with this bullwhip sat on the top of a carrier bag. Now keep in mind this was 1990, so customs were not as mental as they are these days with things you can and cannot take on an aeroplane, so I go through customs and the Spanish dude at the Customs desk spots this big whip and pulls me out of the line, now I'm thinking, here we go, it's gonna be out with the rubber gloves next (I always get collared at customs because of the way I dress incidentally, tons of silver rings, earrings, long pony tail hair, all that kind of thing). Fortunately I can speak a bit of Spanish, so I explain to him it is a gift for my girlfriend (some raised eyebrows there lol). Anyway, I get told that I cannot have it in the airliner cabin, as it is classed as a weapon. 'Really?' I exclaim, 'Who do you think I am, Indiana Jones?!', but they tell me it is no problem if I can give it to one of the cabin crew since they can secure it, then give it me back when we get to Manchester airport. So, I do that, thus it was handy to have got friendly with them on the flight out to Spain. 

Anyway, we arrive back at Manchester, and I go through Customs, then I spot my girlfriend at the other side of the big concourse, and just as I'm walking toward her and greeting her, one of the gorgeous Caledonian cabin crew girls comes running after me, waving this massive bullwhip above her head, calling out: 'Al! Al! You forgot your whip!'. Well, you should have seen the look on everyone's faces in that arrivals hall as they think: damn, that guy's in big trouble. :cool:

 

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I was born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 1968. At the time we lived in Cape Rodney (South-East of Port Moresby), so my first flight was from Port Moresby to Cape Rodney in a Piaggio P.166 when I was 10 days old. It could have also been in a Pilatus Porter, though my parents both seem to remember a twin-engined plane. I'm pretty sure that I can blame that very first flight for sparking my passion for aviation. :smile:

We left Papua New Guinea before my first birthday and flew to Amsterdam via Manila, Bangkok and Beirut. At the time Qantas was using the Boeing 707 on the Manila route, I still have a certificate somewhere for crossing the Equator with Qantas! The flight from Manila to Europe was with KLM, they had the Douglas DC-8 in service on that route back then.

Of course I don't have an actual memory of these early flights, though I do remember flying from Frankfurt to Johannesburg via Nairobi with Lufthansa in 1973, my very first flight in a Boeing 747.

Cheers,

Jerome

 

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2 hours ago, Chock said:

I flew on that very same L-1011 once from Manchester to Spain, and I've got a funny story about it too:

At the time, I was going out with a girl who amongst other things, collected whips (yup really), not for any pervy stuff, she just liked sticking nice ones on her wall as decoration, since a lot of them have nice braiding and what not. So, anyway, I said, well, since I'm off to Spain (famous for its leatherwork among other things), I'll get you a nice cool one for your wall. Anyway, on the way to Spain in that L-1011, I was chatting to a lot of the very nice Caledonian cabin crew girls and got fairly friendly with one or two of them. I actually got free drinks on that flight!

So I have my break in Spain and dutifully seek out a beautifully made and very decorative twenty foot long leather bullwhip, which I buy and the shop wraps it up in a little bit of tissue paper. Off I go back to Palma airport for the return flight with this bullwhip sat on the top of a carrier bag. Now keep in mind this was 1990, so customs were not as mental as they are these days with things you can and cannot take on an aeroplane, so I go through customs and the Spanish dude at the Customs desk spots this big whip and pulls me out of the line, now I'm thinking, here we go, it's gonna be out with the rubber gloves next (I always get collared at customs because of the way I dress incidentally, tons of silver rings, earrings, long pony tail hair, all that kind of thing). Fortunately I can speak a bit of Spanish, so I explain to him it is a gift for my girlfriend (some raised eyebrows there lol). Anyway, I get told that I cannot have it in the airliner cabin, as it is classed as a weapon. 'Really?' I exclaim, 'Who do you think I am, Indiana Jones?!', but they tell me it is no problem if I can give it to one of the cabin crew since they can secure it, then give it me back when we get to Manchester airport. So, I do that, thus it was handy to have got friendly with them on the flight out to Spain. 

Anyway, we arrive back at Manchester, and I go through Customs, then I spot my girlfriend at the other side of the big concourse, and just as I'm walking toward her and greeting her, one of the gorgeous Caledonian cabin crew girls comes running after me, waving this massive bullwhip above her head, calling out: 'Al! Al! You forgot your whip!'. Well, you should have seen the look on everyone's faces in that arrivals hall as they think: damn, that guy's in big trouble. :cool:

 

That is fantastic.

 

Lucky for you your lady knew what it was about.

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