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Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going? (Read 406 times)
Rat Man
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Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going?
Jan 23rd, 2024 at 8:35am
 
    Summer of 1975.  I just finished Basic Training and was on my way to Ft. McClellan, Alabama for army MP school.  The first leg of my flight was from Philadelphia to Atlanta.  My trip was done via Piedmont and Southern Airways using old propeller airliners.  In 1975 such planes were still used for shorter trips.  The planes were of questionable quality but we made it.
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going?
Reply #1 - Jan 23rd, 2024 at 9:37pm
 
I believe I was on a plane for a trip to Florida (to visit Grandma) when I was too young to remember.

The first time I remember was in '99 or maybe 2000.  Flew out to San Jose / San Francisco for training on Cisco wireless network equipment.

I think my most fun time in a plane was shortly after that.  I went to college in 2001.  Before that I was checking out different schools.  One that I toured was the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics.  At the end, they did a raffle for prizes.  I won a plane ride.  What was super cool about it was it was a little tiny plane.  Only 6 seats (including the pilot and copilot).  No one else wanted the front, so I got to ride in the copilot seat!  We just flew over Pittsburgh for 10 minutes or so, but it was awesome!  I didn't end up going to PIA, but there are times I wish I would have.
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xud9a - call me zud 👍
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Re: Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going?
Reply #2 - Jan 24th, 2024 at 4:18am
 
Thanks for bringing back happy memories Ratman.
My first aeroplane flight was a boring bus with wings ride to a holiday.
My first time of feet off the ground was in a hot air balloon.
My partner at the time, Wendy, had always wanted to float away and as it happened a pilot lived across the road from my childhood home.
I knocked on the door, asked the question, had a chat and a few weeks later drove Wendy to a field in Derbyshire where  her dream came true.
We got on well with the pilot (R.I.P. Walter Davidson) and were invited to crew for him.
My first flight was comical in that I had made it clear I wasn't interested in flying so when I was told to bring the crown line in and get in the basket I knew I was being used as ballast and would be told to get out before lift off.
Next thing we were passing the top of a row of poplars with me questioning the tensile strength of wicker !!
Over the following years we travelled the length and breadth of the U.K. to balloon meets where through becoming a skilled "crown man" I earnt the trust of a number of pilots who repaid my work with flights.......
and beer 😁
Happy days and memories.
👍😁
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Rat Man
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Re: Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going?
Reply #3 - Feb 4th, 2024 at 2:06pm
 
   I have one best flight and two that are tied for the worst.
    After all of my initial army training it was time to go to my first duty station, the 142 MP Company in Seoul, Korea.  For some unknown reason the army gave me a generous travel voucher that allowed me to fly first class from Philadelphia to San Francisco via TWA.  What a great airline that was.  I'll never understand why they no longer exist. 
    I was spoiled during the whole flight.  I had lots of drinks and they let me eat as many dinners as I wanted.  My appetite was gargantuan.  I can't recall how many dinners I ate but it was a lot.  They even took a little side trip over the Grand Canyon just for the heck of it.  Great flight, great airline.
    My two worst flights were part of the same trip.  In the mid 80s my late wife Marie and I flew from Philadelphia to Miami to visit my sister Donna in the Keys.  Most of the flight was uneventful.  Near the end of our trip I looked out the window and saw a perfectly shaped anvil thundercloud hammering some poor saps down below.  Little did I know that this storm was right over Miami International Airport where we had to land.  It looked very sketchy and I really wouldn't have minded the inconvenience of diverting but they went ahead with the landing. 
    Marie had never flown before so she didn't know how really wrong this landing was.  At one point we hit an air pocket and the plane dropped like a brick for thousands of feet, the whole time the engines making this sick, whining "in and out" type sound.  I had flown may times having been in the army and was sure this was how we were going to die.  Obviously we didn't die but that was one landing I could have lived without.
     For our return trip back to Philadelphia we booked PanAm.  Unfortunately for Marie, the other passengers, and I this was when PanAm was going out of business.  This was the last PanAm flight for the crew and they really didn't give a poop about anything.  The service was horrible.  They didn't even clean up the lunch mess.  It just stayed on our laps or in the aisle.  I can't say I blame them but it was a lousy flight. 
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Rat Man
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Re: Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going?
Reply #4 - Feb 22nd, 2024 at 3:45pm
 
   This is a little off topic but my favorite plane to fly in is the C-130 Hercules.  Having been in the army I got to ride in one several times. 
   It came into service sixty seven years ago, there are forty variants of it, and there are no plans to retire it.  It has been a solid workhorse throughout its existence.  The C-130 has the best safety record of any widely used aircraft. 
    There is triple redundancy throughout the plane.  It has four huge engines and I believe it can land on just one in an emergency situation.  I never felt safer in any other aircraft. 
     Also, the view is better than in an airliner.  Most airliners will fly at thirty thousand feet or more.  The C-130 isn't pressurized so it doesn't fly over fifteen thousand feet.  Instead of the usual little patches far below you can actually make out cars, roads, railroad tracks, houses, and other features. 
   This is one time Lockheed got it right. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_C-130_Hercules

Edit:  Some C-130s do have pressurized cabins.  The ones we had at Ft. Campbell didn't. 
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« Last Edit: Apr 18th, 2024 at 3:18pm by Rat Man »  

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Rat Man
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Re: Your First Plane Trip. Where Are You Going?
Reply #5 - Apr 18th, 2024 at 3:13pm
 
xud9a - call me zud 👍 wrote on Jan 24th, 2024 at 4:18am:
Thanks for bringing back happy memories Ratman.
My first aeroplane flight was a boring bus with wings ride to a holiday.
My first time of feet off the ground was in a hot air balloon.
My partner at the time, Wendy, had always wanted to float away and as it happened a pilot lived across the road from my childhood home.
I knocked on the door, asked the question, had a chat and a few weeks later drove Wendy to a field in Derbyshire where  her dream came true.
We got on well with the pilot (R.I.P. Walter Davidson) and were invited to crew for him.
My first flight was comical in that I had made it clear I wasn't interested in flying so when I was told to bring the crown line in and get in the basket I knew I was being used as ballast and would be told to get out before lift off.
Next thing we were passing the top of a row of poplars with me questioning the tensile strength of wicker !!
Over the following years we travelled the length and breadth of the U.K. to balloon meets where through becoming a skilled "crown man" I earnt the trust of a number of pilots who repaid my work with flights.......
and beer 😁
Happy days and memories.
👍😁


I've never flown via hot air balloon.  It seems like it would be wonderful.  Maybe some day.....
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