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Old 10-02-2016, 12:15 PM   #61
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First flight was in 1959 from Toronto to Winnipeg and back. The plane was an Expeditor and we were randomly selected to fly a plane we had just worked on to assess our thoroughness. It was duty because the timing was early March. Winter clothes in Toronto are inadequate for winter in Winnipeg.

Second flight was a Comet from Vancouver to Calgary in 1963. It was the final flight before the plane was retired (Its wings would fall off from structural fatigue!). I was returning to Toronto from an assignment in northern Vancouver Island working on the Pinetree Line radar station.

The following year, I flew from Toronto to Gander and Gatwick on the way to Paris in a turboprop passenger plane for a work assignment in Metz. First commercial flight was Toronto to San Fran (San Jose) in 1967 on Air Canada. It was for a 2-week course and I changed the return go to LAX for the weekend (which was cheaper than returning from SF).

Those were the days my friends...
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:30 PM   #62
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I remember the first time flying without a parent. I was 13 and flew with my younger brother and sister from montreal to Hamburg Germany on a 747 to spend the summer with my father who was on sabbatical there.

Two "interesting" incidents. My brother was 8 needed to go to the bathroom so I pointed the way. After over an hour I noticed (very attentive older brother!) that he hadn't returned . I walked all over and couldn't find him. Finally I started knocking on all the bathroom doors calling his name. Finally I hear a soft cry saying the door was stuck. Sure enough he had pushed the door and knocked it of the track. One of the pilots had to come get him out.

We then get to london for our connection and are escorted by a very pleasant English attendant. She was talking with me and I didn't understand her accent so just nodded politely and said yes. We are finally walked to the baggage claim and I reluctantly asked her where our next plane is going to be? She had a panicked look on her face and read the itinerary tags around our neck realizing three little americans were now going to miss their connection.

We had no way of reaching my dad @ the airport so landed in Hamburg and had to talk with more people with strange accents and figure out how to call him and have him drive the two hours back to the airport to pick us up. A great introduction to international unaccompanied travel.

After a rough start, it was a fantastic summer in Germany tooling around in a VW camper van.
What a great story!!!
I remember the first time I flew unaccompanied, also with my brother, when I was 9 and he was 13. We missed our connecting flight and my brother decided by gosh, he was a man and would handle it like that. So he demanded to speak with someone in charge, higher up than the girl at the counter. When his wish was granted, he got in the face of that supervisor or whatever, pounded his fist on the counter and insisted that we could NOT be late (to summer camp in Vermont, for pete's sake!!! Who cared? ). I was so impressed by his 13-year-old manliness that I remember it to this day. We got there on another flight, on time but probably by coincidence rather than due to his actions.
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First Airline Flight
Old 10-02-2016, 12:33 PM   #63
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First Airline Flight

I was 20, and in 1958 flew a TWA Constellation from Los Angeles to New York. It took 8 hours going East, and 12 hours flying back to the West Coast
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Old 10-02-2016, 03:57 PM   #64
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PSA had mostly 727 and all ex navy pilots. You differently know you landed, they flew them like they were landing on a carrier
Someone will correct me if I'm mistaken but I think the expression "Any landing you can walk away from is a good one" originated with Navy carrier pilots.

That was later supplemented with one along the lines of "A great landing happens when they can use the airplane again".
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:11 PM   #65
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Someone will correct me if I'm mistaken but I think the expression "Any landing you can walk away from is a good one" originated with Navy carrier pilots.

That was later supplemented with one along the lines of "A great landing happens when they can use the airplane again".
+1

The same people came up with the three telltale signs you landed gear up:

1. Loud alarm-like sound in the cockpit
2. Horizon appears higher than normal in your windscreen
3. Abnormally high power level required to taxi
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:12 PM   #66
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Someone will correct me if I'm mistaken but I think the expression "Any landing you can walk away from is a good one" originated with Navy carrier pilots.

That was later supplemented with one along the lines of "A great landing happens when they can use the airplane again".
It's my understanding all carrier landings are video recorded and " Graded ".

That's got to be even more pressure in addition to to being one of the most difficult landings, especially at night. Tiny field, pitching up and down, on the black water
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Old 10-02-2016, 07:41 PM   #67
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My first was accompanying my father on a business trip to San Antonio from Charleston when I was 10. I think it was Eastern, and we flew first class. Plus I got to eat lunch at a swanky executive dining room where there were multiples of every piece of silverware! I carefully observed the suits to my left and right to figure out which one to use, and made dad proud of his tomboy daughter.

My travel style declined precipitously from that point onward, but at least I started off right!
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:32 PM   #68
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First would have been in about 1979 from Toronto to Gatwick and I was about 6 or 7. It was on a lamented Canadian airline called WardAir which was founded by a real character, Max Ward. I remember I loved it because they gave me a little toy tin 747 airplane (same model we were flying) and my mum loved it because they served the meals on real Royal Doulton china (she has collected it all her life. Not the Wardair pattern though, lol)

First by myself was just 4 years later on Canadian Airlines (also over to London) Also long gone now and very, very missed when compared to its successor. I once flew on Canadian many years later as cargo (long story).
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:01 PM   #69
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1961- Age 14 New Orleans to St. Louis Delta DC-7 prop. Returned on Delta Convair 880 jet. Wow what a thrill.

I had a friend who said he made 3 or 4 flights before he actually landed in the plane. He was Army Airborne and had never flown before.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:26 PM   #70
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I'm not sure of the first, but sure of the first "solo" flight. Northwest 'Orient', the fan jet airline!
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:37 PM   #71
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I remember I loved it because they gave me a little toy tin 747 airplane (same model we were flying)
When I flew BOAC from Monteal to Prestwick in Scotland in 1959, they enrolled me in the "BOAC JunIor Jet Club" for which I received a gold colored winged pin and a little hard cover log book which you could give to the pilot and he'd fill in the flight data and sign it. I still have both to this day!
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:28 PM   #72
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In 1974 I was 18. Some friends and I took a short hop from L.A. to San Diego on United (my friend's dad was a pilot for United so my friend flew for free).
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:34 PM   #73
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My parents took me to YVR to LAX to visit relatives and take me to Disneyland. I can't remember if I was in elementary school yet in the mid 70's.
We flew Canadian Pacific Airlines, aka CP Air. It was absorbed by Pacific Western Airlines, which was then absorbed by Canadian Airlines, which was then bought out by Air Canada.

I don't think I flew again until grade 12 when my high school team went to Calgary for a basketball tourney.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:06 AM   #74
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When I flew BOAC from Monteal to Prestwick in Scotland in 1959, they enrolled me in the "BOAC JunIor Jet Club" for which I received a gold colored winged pin and a little hard cover log book which you could give to the pilot and he'd fill in the flight data and sign it. I still have both to this day!
Oh me too!
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:38 AM   #75
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In 1974 I was 18. Some friends and I took a short hop from L.A. to San Diego on United (my friend's dad was a pilot for United so my friend flew for free).
I once flew from San Diego to LA on an American Eagle flight. It was one of those small prop planes which hold about 20 people. It flew at a low altitude and hugged the scenic Pacific coastline for the 45-minute morning flight. It was the most beautiful airplane trip I ever had.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:30 PM   #76
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Yep...remember it well..convinced me that I wanted to be around airplanes..and that's what I did.

Mid 1980s on a Pan Am 737-200; MIA to ATL. I still have the N number written on the ticket.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:48 PM   #77
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First flight was in college on University airplane. I had won a paper competition, and they flew several faculty and myself to a conference to present at the regional or national level. A few years later I was on a flight to Los Angeles for an interview with Rockwell Aviation. I would have been 22 years old.

Times have changed! My kids flew many times when they were growing up, starting at around one year old. I don't think I even left the state where I was born until third grade, and that was on a school bus!
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:08 PM   #78
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Was in 86 or 87, for work. Wet behind the ears lawyer flying to another city to assist in defense of client airplane manufacturer. Stuck in memory because of stewardess' reaction to my reading material: NTSB report on the crash I was to be involved with for the next many months ....
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:59 PM   #79
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1963 Standard airways (Pink Cloud Air). SFO to Honolulu. I believe it was a DC-4.
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Old 10-04-2016, 03:49 AM   #80
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7/31/78. Flew American from SF to NYC on a red eye. Toured NYC all day. Then flew Lot airlines to Warsaw overnight. Sat all day in the airport. Flew Lot that evening to Moscow. The next morning we were up at 6AM to start a 30 day tour of the USSR and Poland. I was with a teen square dance group of 54 dancers, 11 chaperones. My sister and a boyfriend were on the trip.

Very special trip in more ways than one. The rehearsals for the trip and the trip put me in close proximity with DH, though we didn't start dating for another two and a half years.

That dance group now gets together monthly to square dance. We have moved away, however.


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