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Circlip
02-25-2009, 09:18 AM
OK, so we can't be accused of Ot' ing the Dac post.

My first flight was in a Dragon Rapide when about seven, canvas seats, pilot up front behind a CURTAIN. Second flight was in Chipmunks in the Air Cadets and third series was in Sedburghs and Cadet mark three's with ex WW2 pilots teaching us to fly/frightening us sh*tless.

Regards Ian.

digger_doug
02-25-2009, 10:10 AM
Ian,
excellent post.
The largest thing I was ever in (could have been the first as well,
have to ask mom) had 19 wicker seats, and a tailwheel.

I remember it well (was maybe 9 at the time).

We flew over water

Wanna guess ?

Doug

biometrics
02-25-2009, 10:22 AM
A zeppelin? :D

digger_doug
02-25-2009, 10:33 AM
"A zeppelin"---don't understand the taildragger part ?

Jeesh..I'm not that old, this was in about 1975, and was still running
up until the 1980's I believe.

Another clue, it was in the U.S.A., was a scheduled airline.

radkins
02-25-2009, 11:31 AM
To me the most memorable first flight was my first solo, nothing will ever equal that feeling I got after climbing out to about 2000' then looking over in that empty right seat and realizing I was all alone!

landspeedrich
02-25-2009, 11:45 AM
"A zeppelin"---don't understand the taildragger part ?

Jeesh..I'm not that old, this was in about 1975, and was still running
up until the 1980's I believe.

Another clue, it was in the U.S.A., was a scheduled airline.
Doug,I'm guessing a DC-3??My first flight was in a Cessna 150,over the foothills outside of Denver.!15 minutes into the flight,my buddy turns off the fuel and tells me we just lost the engine(windmilling roughly).Says we have to land it on the side of the mountain.I was crapping my pants,until he turned fuel back on during our emergency approach.Not a very nice way to intro. to joys of flying? Rich

digger_doug
02-25-2009, 12:02 PM
"Doug,I'm guessing a DC-3??"

Your guessing, not thinking, a dc-3 holds maybe 40 people.

".Not a very nice way to intro. to joys of flying"
Yah got that right, not one to further general aviation.

"then looking over in that empty right seat and realizing I was all alone!"

It was easier in my case, the instructor was in the FRONT seat
(ala j-3)

Was that the smoothest landing you ever made as well ?
sure seems like it, when it happens.

dp
02-25-2009, 12:14 PM
My first flight was May 6, 1956 from San Francisco to Honolulu in a DC-7. 11 hours as I recall.

Only flights in a DC-3 was round-trip between La Paz and Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula around 1973. It had wicker seats but no back door. My seat was port side, last row just inside the doorway. At that time the airfield at Cabo was a dirt field and they had to make low passes to chase burros from the strip.

Carld
02-25-2009, 12:28 PM
digger, Ford Tri motor.

Evan
02-25-2009, 12:29 PM
The DC-3 first had a capacity of 21 passengers and eventually that was improved to 31. The airframe is incredibly strong, in large part because it is a tail dragger. It can withstand major overloads. One simple mod is to replace the regular rivets on the front third of the wing with flush rivets. It ups the speed by about 15 knots and increases the range too.

My first solo flight was in Edmonton on a winter day. It was -30 on the ground but at circuit altitude it was a balmy -2. According to my log I soloed at 8.6 hours in a Fleet Canuck with an O-200 engine. We called them Fleeterschmidts. Nice aerobatic aircraft with a VNe of 160 knots. On my second flight my instructor, an old WWII pilot with 30,000 hours showed me what happens when you cross control and pull the nose up at the same time.
Instant snap roll with a roll rate of about 180 per second. That was in 1973.

winchman
02-25-2009, 12:35 PM
My first flight was in a J-3 Cub when I was about eleven. We took off from a grass field near the ocean, and flew over some marshes and the beach for about fifteen minutes. The pilot flew Air Force transport planes, and he also flew radio-control model planes in a field across from where I lived.

I think my first solo in a Cessna 150 was more memorable than my flight in that Cub. I certainly remember more about it.

Roger

digger_doug
02-25-2009, 12:36 PM
"digger, Ford Tri motor."

ding, ding,ding we have a winner...Island airlines out of
put-in-bay ohio.

landspeedrich
02-25-2009, 12:37 PM
"Doug,I'm guessing a DC-3??"

Your guessing, not thinking, a dc-3 holds maybe 40 people.

".Not a very nice way to intro. to joys of flying"
Yah got that right, not one to further general aviation.

"then looking over in that empty right seat and realizing I was all alone!"

It was easier in my case, the instructor was in the FRONT seat
(ala j-3)

Was that the smoothest landing you ever made as well ?
sure seems like it, when it happens.
Hey Doug,I did my practical exam on a DC 3 back in 71.40 in the back sure would of been tight,but I'm sure during the war they crammed them in.I furthered my general aviation career by getting a A&P license and a second class radio telephone.Should of gotten a flying ticket but could'nt afford the $4.50 per hour Piper Colt or Cessna 172 at $7.50 an hour.Guessing and thinking I did'nt think were all that different.My next guess would of been a Ford Tri moter,rode in one of those. Rich

digger_doug
02-25-2009, 12:57 PM
"40 in the back sure would of been tight"

No offence intended, I always had the number "40"
for those. Will revise my head.

Had a neighbor, used to fly them.

Told me they could go in (and back out of) an 1800' strip
at gross, was not a maverick pilot, said that was published.

Please verify.

My instructor moved up to flying them for freight.

Said I could handle them,(I dowt that)
said "were like a big cub"

Oldbrock
02-25-2009, 01:27 PM
Evan, I could have had my first flight in the same Fleet Canuck with Cliff Harris, my shop foreman at Barbers in Edmonchuck. Soloed in a Cessna 150 CF-SXB in Stettler.AB. Used to rent a Warrior for long trips. Cousin has a 172 in Penticton I get to fly once in a while. Peter

Carld
02-25-2009, 02:04 PM
ACT #669 10-30-37, Douglas, DC3A-S1CG held 21 passengers. There were many variations of the DC1 thru DC3 made. All I could find in the Civil Aircraft Series by joseph Juptner books was 21 passengers. It was last made in 1946.

I was told by some that flew them that on a hot day with a full load they did not want to land but floated down the length of the runway. They had to be forced to land.

They made sleeper versions that flew from coast to coast much like the sleeper trains of the 30's and 40's.

The old Ford Tri Motors and the DC series were the work horses of the passenger airline industry.

Evan
02-25-2009, 06:37 PM
They had to be forced to land.


:D A bit of an exaggeration, I'm sure. There is one thing that is always absolutely certain when you take off. You will land.

The DC-3 has a lift to drag ratio of 14.7 which was very good for the time. Because it is a low wing tail dragger it will experience a significant ground effect drag reduction when it is below half a wing span to the ground. The drag reduction is due to the supression of vortices from the wings due to the proximity of the ground. When that happens the stall speed of the aircraft is reduced and the reduction in drag means that it doesn't slow down as fast. This is what produces the tendency to float. On a hot day the air is less dense and the drag is correspondingly reduced. Once in ground effect the loss of lift due to the hotter air is countered by ground effect but the lower drag because of the hotter air still remains.

kvom
02-25-2009, 08:27 PM
My first flight was on a Lockheed Constellation from Nashville to Miami in 1957. Can't remember if it was TWA or Eastern. We made about 4 stops enroute.

I soloed in a C150 at Aberdeen MD. in 1972. I was so concentrated on making that first solo landing I didn't remember to be scared.

JCHannum
02-25-2009, 08:34 PM
We lived about a mile from a small airport and were friendly with the owners. My first flights were in Piper Cubs and a Waco. After the war, they had three or four AT6's and we got to go up in them a few times.

I owned my first airplane when I was 12, it was a Twin Beech.

Greg Parent
02-25-2009, 08:55 PM
1st flight was in a Cessna 172 - lots of fun, big grin on my face experience.

2nd flight a Sud-Aviation SA 341 Gazelle helicopter - I think it was made in France?? Scary, noisy flight and the pilot had trouble with the cross wind. Never again!

Longest flight - 15 hours - big 747 from Heathrow to Johannesburg - air inside started to smell like feet. Never again!

Have flown in many jets but like the small planes better.

I love the acceleration of jets but hate the feeling of being cargo along for the ride. I was on a 747 leaving Nairobi, Kenya back in 2002 that had six people on board. I have never felt that kind of acceleration before.

jseals
02-25-2009, 09:32 PM
In a Cessna 170. My uncle flying and my girlfriend with me. I almost got sick. Couldn't hurl because of her.
Ironic because I flew fighters in the Air force. Retired 13 years ago after 33 years as a pilot with Delta Air Lines.
Wish I had that level of experience as a machinist.

John

tony ennis
02-25-2009, 09:37 PM
Wanna guess ?

PBY Catalina (do they have tails wheels?? I don't think so!)
Fokker TriMotor
Ford TriMotor

Heh, above posted before I read the rest of the thread.

I Ford TriMotor flew right over me the other day as I drove by our general aviation airfield. It was surreal.

Evan
02-25-2009, 09:41 PM
Back in the sixties I once flew on a Sud Aviation Caravelle with pure jet engines. Astounding rate of climb for a passenger jet, we climbed out at about a 30 degree angle. That was my first jet flight. Since then I have flown way more miles than I can count with numerous trips coast to coast and many more in between. I have flown on just about every major type that was in service as of 1998 which was the last time I flew.

One of the best flights I had was on military standby. There were 5 of us waiting to fly to the west coast and the flight had only 5 seats left in the private suite in the front of the first class section. That is where we flew and the very pretty stewardesses in their then fashionable miniskirts had a blast giving us the super first class treatment complete with deluxe choice of 3 main courses and bottomless wine glass.

Hmm. I haven't thought about that in a long time..

fasto
02-25-2009, 09:54 PM
I soloed in Cessna 152 N68180 out of K1B9 10/8/1999, I still remember like yesterday. Private in the same airplane, 7/21/2000. Gosh that airplane must have had 10,000 airframe hours then, I can't imagine how many hours its got now.

My first flight was as an "unaccompanied minor" in 1977 on Delta. I was 8. The airplane was a 727-232Adv - my favorite airplane. I've always loved the Delta logo painted on the highly swept tail of those 727's, seemed to just exemplify speed.

I am too young to have flown on the piston engined propeller airliners, which I really miss. I'd love a ride in a DC-6 or an L1049.

TGTool
02-25-2009, 10:25 PM
I am too young to have flown on the piston engined propeller airliners, which I really miss. I'd love a ride in a DC-6 or an L1049.

There was magic there. I can still remember vividly looking out the starboard window at night and seeing that the exhaust pipes were glowing red hot. And that's been more than 50 years I think.

Bones
02-25-2009, 11:12 PM
DC-3, in 1958, Kalispell to Seattle, when I enlisted in the USCG. Solo in cessna 150, Mystic, Conn. Four years as raidoman on Grumman Albatros, in CG. Great lakes and S.E. Alaska.
Owned a Stinson L-5 while in Fairbanks, AK. great old bush plane.
Friend who owned the dirt field where i kept my L-5 was killed while trying to land on a gravel bar on an interior river. I quit while ahead.

bones

sansbury
02-26-2009, 12:08 AM
First flight somewhere around age 7 on Air Canada from Montreal to LGA, early 80s.

Soloed November 27th, 2001 in a Piper Warrior, in Lawrence, Mass. A "wow" moment the first time I saw the runway disappear under the nose all by myself. Took a week or so for that feeling to wear off.

Willy
02-26-2009, 12:27 AM
I remember it like it happened yesterday.

Amsterdam,1956, Locheed Super Constellation, I got the wing seat next to one of those big beautiful radials. I'll never forget the powerful roar or the belching flames from the exhaust stacks.
It was a night flight to New York via Gander. All the pictures are still in pristine shape, locked in my brain as if they were taken yesterday.

The "Connie" has got to be one of the most stylish planes I've seen, probably where they coined the phrase...form follows function.

I still get a woody when I hear a big radial!

gearedloco
02-26-2009, 12:41 AM
The first time I flew was in a Super Connie, from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia on my way to Boot Camp at Cape May, NJ. Nice ride, if a tad bit noisy.

My most memorable ride was in a big "swing tail" turboprop plane set up for passenger service. It was a MATS charter flight from Guam to Travis AFB. At that time it was the only plane Flying Tiger owned. During the preceeding month the other 3 had disappeared between Guam and Manila.:eek: Apparently just vanished from the face of the earth. Many S&R missions were flown but nothing was ever found.

About half way to Honolulu the engines kind of sputtered. Then it sounded like they were throttled back and then opened up again. When we got to Honolulu they dragged the plane off across the field and a fellow from Flying Tigers announced that at least one, and perhaps all 4 engines would have to be changed out. Could take anywhere from 12 hours to 4 days. They put all of us up in the Hawaiian Village for the "duration." As it turned out, we got loaded back on the plane after about 14 hours in Hawaii. Sure was happy to put my feet on the ground at Travis!

dp
02-26-2009, 01:06 AM
I made the ride from Hono to Travis in a Connie - 1959 Navy flight. I was a Navy brat at the time. Cool thing was at Travis at that time they were still flying B-36s so I got to watch them doing T&Gs while waiting for our bus to Alameda. Seats faced the rear of the plane on the Connie - odd configuration. The engines on those things would modulate your voice so it sounded like you had a buzz box against your larynx. I thought the DC7 going over was a better ride than the Connie coming back, but then the DC7 had nice looking stews whereas the Navy flight had swabbies as stews. I'll bet that my hearing was forever affected as a result of that flight.

Evan
02-26-2009, 07:35 AM
I'll bet that my hearing was forever affected as a result of that flight.


The Russian Tu-95 Bear long range bomber has supersonic props and when flown at top speed is so noisy that it is easy for f-15 interceptor pilots to hear over their own engine noise even with helmets on. It has eight 18ft counterotating turbo props on 4 engines with suspersonic tips generating multiple shockwaves that amount to a continuous high frequency modulated sonic boom radiating from the aircraft. Reports are that it can be heard in interceptor cockpits even before it can be seen on a low visibility day.

Deja Vu
02-26-2009, 07:47 AM
Not my first flight, but after soloing in my "milk stool", several flights later, coming in on final, too late to pull out, a radioless plane rolls out onto the runway! I almost took out the runway landing lights avoiding the obstacle while maintaining stability.
First I was too busy to feel anything......Then I was enraged!
By the time I got around, the plane which was using the airport as a waystop , was taking off heading to EAA. I really wanted to vent on the pilot of that "older" vintage plane.

digger_doug
02-26-2009, 07:52 AM
"a radioless plane rolls out onto the runway!"

Yup, Most places I've been (and that's not much)

We always were NORDO. Instructor took me on a cross country
to a nontower field (paved none the less), we were based
on a short grass field.

A C.A.P. "expert" about did us in with his straight in approach.

We followed the pattern properly, he did not, nor
did he even look for traffic...

Landed next to him in the grass....the versatility
of a cub.

Benta
02-26-2009, 08:08 AM
My first flight was on a DC-6 going from Copenhagen to Ibiza in 1965 I think. Took something like 5 hours.
I'll never forget the cloud of smoke that engulfed the plane when they started those radials. Cleared quickly, though.

George Bulliss
02-26-2009, 08:27 AM
My first flight was on a dirty Convair 580, flown by North Central Airlines in 1967. I had a seat by the window and still remember all the black smoke when the engine was started. We switched to a 727 in Detroit for the flight to DC. In later years my favorite planes all had propellers, but at four years old I thought the 727 was the coolest thing in the skies.

My solo flight was in a 152, about 200 yards from where I am now sitting. Just after rotation, the instructor’s door popped open. It scared the heck out of me when it happened, but once I got to a comfortable altitude I shut it and returned the cockpit to its normal volume. As others have mentioned, that first landing was one of my best. I think that first short final and landing flare is one of those few moments in life when you are 100% committed to the task at hand.

George

Evan
02-26-2009, 09:25 AM
The Williams Lake airport with 7000 ft runway and flocks of water bombers in the summer along with scheduled commercial traffic several times per day is uncontrolled. NORDO is common with the various ranchers in the area. There is a Nav Canada station but they are advisory only and there is no regulatory obligation to advise them or for them to advise you. They supply weather information and accept flight plans.

dp
02-26-2009, 10:20 AM
My Ercoupe didn't have a radio. That added to the enjoyment of flying it. But you do have to pay attention and keep your scan going.

Circlip
02-26-2009, 10:26 AM
Bl**dy Sedburgs and Cadet MK3's didnt have radios OR canopies, but you did hear ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK as a landing wheel whizzed past you.

Malc-Y
02-26-2009, 10:28 AM
My first ever flight was in 1952 from Heathrow (little more than a field and a few sheds then) to Paris (Le Bourget) in a Sud-Est SE.161 Languedoc, these were a four-engined 33 seat plane with four Gnome-Rhone 14 cylinder radials of 1,150hp each. We flew back in a DC 3 from Paris (Orly) a week later. I remember this flight more than the first one as we took off in a severe thunder storm. I was only 8 years old at the time and remember being a little disconcerted that the wings appeared to be flapping somewhat. At that time we lived less than a mile from Heathrow and ther was always the sound of engines revving. I remember the first jets (DH Comets and Boeing 707s) and I also remember the Bristol Brabazon coming to Heathrow, this huge aircraft (wing span 230ft) had eight 2,500hp Bristol Centaurus 18 cylinder radial engines in 4 pairs driving contra-rotating props.

Malc. :cool:

Link to footage of the Bristol Brabazon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miRV-SgYx7Q

derekm
02-26-2009, 10:52 AM
Vickers viscount (some of you must have flown in them ) in 1968 Liverpool to Heathrow - Viscount the worlds first turboprop airliner.

Norman Atkinson
02-26-2009, 01:25 PM
Brabazon?? I recall it well. It flew at the Farnborough Air Show in 1949.
I was there as a 'gash' corporal RAF. It came over from Filton and flew home again.
Among the stuff was the Canberra mark 1 which the Yanks thought to be a bit big for a fighter. Then there was the Gloster Meteor 8's with re-heats and 40, 000 feet in four minutes( then). Then ( gulp) came DH's Comet1!
then Avro did its thing with their Shackleton. It was designed to replace the ageing Lanc. and was only scheduled to last 168 hours in combat.
The old Shack. is still flying. Canberra has just left service- and WE have one in Goldstar colours as a museum piece. 'Ours' were never shot down- good old 31!
My first was as 'a spare prick' in an Avro Anson. Britain had invented a sytem where one finally didn't have to wind up and down its wheels. We had a choice of wooden or metal wings. They were wonderful old birds, we pulled one in for a major and something was wrong. It was waggling when it shouldn't and not when it should. Finally, the fabric in the fin was stripped off.
There was the bullet hole which somebody had hastily patched- probably an encounter with some U-boat in the war! Somebody rushed into my section bellowing 'Lofty, woodwork on an Annie fin' He got an evasive answer from O.Henry. What's an evasive answer-- 'Tell him to ****off'

Me next was- a 'Percy' Proctor with spats and things. Very refined, there were. Don't pee in the battery box, it shorts the radio out- and its nasty to clean up. Ah, spew bags- Airmen for the use of! We had one. I was flying as Signaller( I'm not) with a bunch of Air Training Corpse cadets. Sunday afternoon. Our harness's were piled up on the Elsan chemical toilet and the chutes on top of the lid. We'd kitted out these 'junior Baders' out with harnesses, chutes and as much Biggles swag as we could find. Sat 'em down and rolled up and up and over the railway embankment- of which we had a lot.
Most had tailwheels, but I digress. we decided to fly over De Havilland's place and do a bit of farting on. So the driver looked back at me- sitting side saddle and winked. Shut off the old Cheetah on the port side. Klaxon howled- and 'Corporal, corporal, what's happening' 'OK, I pointed to the prop which had stopped' Fumbles on their little brown parcels. Then the Klaxon went off again, the starboard had stopped. The driver man had cut in the port one again- crafty old bugger. Sh1t, there was a queue of four at the exit!
I pointed to the port windmill and then the other one.

The little cherubs had turned green and rummaging, I found the one and only sick bag. Ah, Holy Commotion as the bag was solemly passed from hand to hand.

Oh, I'd forgotten to tell about our Dakotas
Never mind. I fancy that one of them helped to write our book- First in the Indian Skies.
I never dare ask.
The book by Norman Franks has a lot of DC2 and 3's in it

Norm

franco
02-26-2009, 08:49 PM
What should have been my first flight didn't happen, and I've regretted it for 70 something years! My father took me to what is now Sydney Airport, which was then little more than a big grass paddock with a high wire fence in front of the terminal. I would have been approaching 3, I suppose, but well remember the occasion. There was a trimotor Avro X making "ten bob" (now $1) joy flights over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but there was no way I was going to get onto that thing!

First few flights were on wooden wing Avro Ansons which had been fitted with nine seats and were used by a country airline in NSW in the late 1940s. The co-pilot on these really earned his money. Not only did he have to wind the undercarriage up and down manually at each hop (how many turns Norm?), but he also had to wind up the inertia starters on the Cheetah IXs by getting up on the wing and operating a large vertical crank handle after each stop, and to load and unload the passengers' luggage.

First in a light aircraft was in a D H Tiger Moth with a somewhat inexperienced pilot. The Tiger was not equipped with any un-necessary weight-increasing features like brakes or a tail wheel. The pilot came in far too high, touched down about 400 feet from the end of the strip, and had to ground-loop the aircraft, fortunately without damage, to avoid running into the boundary fence - quite an interesting introduction to light aircraft.

franco

Evan
02-27-2009, 12:46 AM
I have one little story, not about my first flight but someone else.

One day in the 70's I was doing a few touch-and-goes in my Cessna 140. I was low on fuel and taxied over to the pumps. Standing at the other side of the cyclone fence was a young boy, perhaps 12 years old, his fingers clutching the wire. His parents were behind him. I looked in his eyes for a brief moment and saw myself. I had done the same as he at every opportunity, talked my dad into driving by the airport to watch the planes.

I realized that I had the chance to do something I had always wished for as a child. I sauntered over wearing my bomber jacket and asked him, "like to go up for a ride?" I glanced at his parents and they looked at each other for a second, then looked at me and silently nodded yes.

I opened the gate to let him through. We did a full walkaround and I explained the function of all the parts of the aircraft. He was still in disbelief but the smile on his face was growing by the second. I then showed him all of the controls and instruments.

We taxied out and did a runup. It was a Sunday and there was no other traffic to be concerned with. I took my time. It was a perfect sunny day with just a few puffy white clouds. We took off and climbed to circuit altitude. After clearing the pattern I let him have the wheel. The boy was awestruck. He was actually flying a plane! I pointed out the airspeed indicator showing that he was now travelling over 100 knots.

It was time to land and we had stayed within the sight of his parents the entire time. I let him dip the wings a couple of times before starting on final. The landing (by me) was perfect. I taxied back to the fence, he got out. By this time the smile on his face was permanent. I never did learn his name. I have always wondered what a difference I made in the young man's life.

mwechtal
02-28-2009, 12:35 AM
Well, my first flight was in a Convair (440?) from Elmira/Corning NY to Laguardia, then a DC-9 to Raleigh, that was in '75. I was 22 at the time. Reverse the procedure to come home. This was the old Allegheny Airlines, which changed it's name to US Air later. We always called it Agony Air at work. After the name change it became Despair Air!

Funny thing, the Convair pilots always landed them without a bump. You couldn't tell exactly when you were down. The DC-9 pilots seemed to just drop them the last five feet. Maybe different flying characteristics?

Evan
02-28-2009, 01:23 AM
Seems to me I flew on them once. Is that the airline that hands out little sewing kits so you can fix your seat as you fly?

dp
02-28-2009, 01:52 AM
Ewww - I have a lot of passenger time on those Convairs flying around Alaska. They're like a flying pickup truck - nowhere they won't/can't land and if the runway's too short well so what. They have huge portholes at each seat row so you can't miss one terrifying moment.

Landing in the fog at Dutch Harbor out on the Aleution chain after a white knuckle stop-over landing at Cold Bay after a soggy take-off from Yakutat, Naknek... Flying the line in AK. Ah, the memories. No wonder it's the liver transplant capitol of the world.

BillH
02-28-2009, 09:35 AM
I have one little story, not about my first flight but someone else.

One day in the 70's I was doing a few touch-and-goes in my Cessna 140. I was low on fuel and taxied over to the pumps. Standing at the other side of the cyclone fence was a young boy, perhaps 12 years old, his fingers clutching the wire. His parents were behind him. I looked in his eyes for a brief moment and saw myself. I had done the same as he at every opportunity, talked my dad into driving by the airport to watch the planes.

I realized that I had the chance to do something I had always wished for as a child. I sauntered over wearing my bomber jacket and asked him, "like to go up for a ride?" I glanced at his parents and they looked at each other for a second, then looked at me and silently nodded yes.

I opened the gate to let him through. We did a full walkaround and I explained the function of all the parts of the aircraft. He was still in disbelief but the smile on his face was growing by the second. I then showed him all of the controls and instruments.

We taxied out and did a runup. It was a Sunday and there was no other traffic to be concerned with. I took my time. It was a perfect sunny day with just a few puffy white clouds. We took off and climbed to circuit altitude. After clearing the pattern I let him have the wheel. The boy was awestruck. He was actually flying a plane! I pointed out the airspeed indicator showing that he was now travelling over 100 knots.

It was time to land and we had stayed within the sight of his parents the entire time. I let him dip the wings a couple of times before starting on final. The landing (by me) was perfect. I taxied back to the fence, he got out. By this time the smile on his face was permanent. I never did learn his name. I have always wondered what a difference I made in the young man's life.

You probably destroyed his life, put him into debt so he could have his flying career, getting furloughed from one airline to the next, making less money than his training should dictate.

Evan
02-28-2009, 10:03 AM
making less money than his training should dictate.

It isn't the training Bill, it's the responsibility. Not many people have total responsibility for the life and death of hundreds at a time based on their good judgement, knowledge, ability to function in extreme circumstances and even manual dexterity. Most people think that Air Traffic Control Issues commands to pilots that the pilot must follow. Not so. They advise the pilot what to do and the pilot follows that advice if possible. At any time the pilot in command may refuse if he deems it necessary for the safe operation of his aircraft. In that case it is the job of ATC to facilitate his decisions with no second guessing. The pilot of an aircraft is in total command and is the final authority on how, when and where it will fly.

The landing in the Hudson river was a perfect example of all this. I am quite sure there are regulations that apply to landing aircraft in the river. I am equally sure that no repercussion will ensue for not having the right paperwork.

mwechtal
03-01-2009, 11:33 PM
Seems to me I flew on them once. Is that the airline that hands out little sewing kits so you can fix your seat as you fly?
Well, it's been a while since I've flown, but I don't remember them doing that. On the other hand, they've never been known for fixing something that's not keeping the plane in the air so it might be a good idea!

mwechtal
03-01-2009, 11:44 PM
Ewww - I have a lot of passenger time on those Convairs flying around Alaska. They're like a flying pickup truck - nowhere they won't/can't land and if the runway's too short well so what. They have huge portholes at each seat row so you can't miss one terrifying moment.

Landing in the fog at Dutch Harbor out on the Aleution chain after a white knuckle stop-over landing at Cold Bay after a soggy take-off from Yakutat, Naknek... Flying the line in AK. Ah, the memories. No wonder it's the liver transplant capitol of the world.

This was something like a 30 passenger plane with twin radials. I never got to fly them at night, so I didn't get to see the glowing exhaust pipes. The runways they were landing on were MUCH longer than we needed, so definitely not a white knuckle landing. I think Convair made some smaller commuters too, so maybe that's what you're thinking of.

I don't care what I'm flying in, if the runway is too short, I'm not going to be happy. If I lived in Alaska, I'd probably have to get a pilot's license, and fly myself.

dp
03-02-2009, 12:23 AM
This was something like a 30 passenger plane with twin radials. I never got to fly them at night, so I didn't get to see the glowing exhaust pipes. The runways they were landing on were MUCH longer than we needed, so definitely not a white knuckle landing. I think Convair made some smaller commuters too, so maybe that's what you're thinking of.


Here's what I was flying in: http://www.airliners.net/aircraft-data/stats.main?id=169

mwechtal
03-02-2009, 12:30 PM
Here's what I was flying in: http://www.airliners.net/aircraft-data/stats.main?id=169

Looking at your link, I'm pretty sure they were 340s or 440s that I flew in. With the longer runways here, landing wasn't a problem. At LaGuardia, they usually took a turnoff at about the midpoint of the runway. They were actually pretty comfortable. I'm not sure when they stopped flying them, but it must have been sometime in the '80s. Maybe they replaced them with Beech Turboprops (1900 model I think), and sold the Convairs to someone in Alaska.