30+ years of flying the line

S.T.Aviator

Well-Known Member
Found this great article and just wanted to share it with yall.:)



Some good memories from 30+ years of flying the line. Something "they" can't take away from us . . .
Sunrises seen from the high flight levels that make the heart soar.
The patchwork quilt of the Great Plains from FL 370 on a day when you can see forever.
Cruising mere feet above a billiard-table-flat cloud deck at mach .86, with your chin on the glare shield and your face as close as you can get to the windshield.
Punching out the top of a low overcast while climbing 6,000 feet per minute.
The majesty and grandeur of towering cumulus.
Rotating at VR and feeling 800,000 plus pounds of airplane come alive as she lifts off.
The delicate threads of St. Elmo's Fire dancing on the windshield at night.
The twinkle of lights on the Japanese fishing fleet far below, on a night crossing of the North Pacific.
Cloud formations that are beautiful beyond description.
Ice fog in Anchorage on a cold winter morning.
Seeing geologic formations that no ground-pounder will ever see.
The chaotic, non-stop babble of radio transmissions at O'Hare or Kennedy during the afternoon rush.
The quietness of center frequency at night during a tanscontinental flight.
The welcome view of approach lights appearing out of the mist just as you reach minimums.
Lightning storms at night over the Midwest.
The soft, comforting glow of the instrument panel in a dark cockpit.
The dancing curtains of colored light of the aurora on a winter-night Atlantic crossing.
The taxiway names at O'Hare… before they were renamed: The Bridge, Lakeshore Drive, Old Scenic, New Scenic, Outer, The Bypass, Cargo, North-South.
The majestic panorama of an entire mountain range stretched out beneath you from horizon to horizon.
Lenticular clouds over the Sierras.
The brief, yet tempting, glimpse of runway lights after you've already committed to the missed approach.
The Alps in winter.
The lights of London at night from FL350.
Squall lines that run as far as you can see.
Exotic lands with exotic food.
Maneuvering the airplane through day lit canyons between towering cumulus clouds.
The deep blue-gray of the sky at FL 430.
The hustle and bustle of Hong Kong Harbor.
The softness of a touchdown on a snow-covered runway.
Hearing the nosewheel spin down against the snubber in the well after takeoff. A delightful sound signaling that you were on your way!
The thrill of having the best looking stewardess suddeny appear in the cockpit at the end of a flight and, without a word, hand you a folded note with her phone number written on it.
Old Chinatown in Singapore before it was torn down, modernized, and sterilized.
Watching the lightning show while crossing the ITCZ at night.
Long-tail boats speeding along the klongs in Thailand.
The quietly turning paddle fans in the lobby of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore.
Dodging colored splotches of red and yellow light on the radar screen at night.
The sound of foreign accents on the radio.
Luxury hotels.
To paraphrase the eloquent aviation writer, Ernie Gann, The allure of the slit in a China girl's skirt.
Sunsets of every color imaginable.
The tantalizing glow of the flashing strobe lights just before you break out of the clouds on approach.
The half-unexpected rush of seeing a gorgeous stewardess at the last intermediate stop, with her bag packed and waiting for you, because you casually suggested that she jump on your flight to spend the weekend together in San Francisco.
Yosemite Valley from above.
The almost blindingly-brilliant-white of a towering cumulus cloud.
A cold San Miguel in Hong Kong after a long day's flying.
Ocean crossings.
The taxiway sentry (with his flag & machine gun) at the old Taipei downtown airport.
Seventy-thousand-foot-high thunderstorm clouds in the tropics.
Sipping Pina Coladas in a luxury hotel bar, while a typhoon rages outside.
Chinese Junks bobbing in Aberdeen harbor.
Watching the latitude count down to zero on the INS, and seeing it switch from "N" to "S" as you cross the equator.
Wake Island at sunrise.
Oslo Harbor at dusk.
Icebergs in the North Atlantic.
Contrails.
Pago Harbor, framed by puffy cumulus clouds in the late afternoon.
The camaraderie of a good crew.
Ferryboat races in Sydney Harbour.
Experiencing all the lines from the old Jo Stafford tune.
See the pyramids along the Nile.
See the sunrise on a tropic isle.
See the market place in old Algiers.
Send home photographs and souvenirs.
Fly the ocean in a silver plane.
See the jungle when it's wet with rain.
White picket fences in Auckland.
Trade winds.
White sandy beaches lined with swaying palms.
Double-decker buses in London.
The endless expanse of white on a polar crossing.
The Star Ferry in Hong Kong.
Bangkok after a tropical rain.
Mono Lake and the steep wall of the Sierra Nevada range when approached from the East.
The bus ride to Stanley... on the upper deck front seat of the double-decker bus.
The Long Bar at the Raffles.
Heavy takeoffs from the reef runway at HNL.
Landings in the B-747 when the only way you knew you had touched down was the movement of the spoiler handle.
Jimmy's Kitchen.
The deafening sound of tropical raindrops slamming angrily against the windshield, accompanied by the hurried slap, slap, slap of the windshield wipers while landing in a torrential downpour in Manila.
Endless ripples of sand dunes across the trackless miles of the Sahara desert.
Miller's Pub in Chicago.
German beer.
The white cliffs of Dover.
Oom-pa-pa music at Meyer Gustels in Frankfurt.
Fjords in Norway.
The aimless compass, not knowing where to point as you near the top of the world on a polar crossing.
The old Charlie-Charlie NDB approach into Kai Tak.
Brain bags crammed with charts to exotic places.
The Peak tram in Hong Kong.
Breaking out of the clouds on the IGS approach to runway 13 at Kai Tak, and seeing a windshield full of buildings.
An empty weight takeoff in a B-747.
The bustle of Nathan Road on a summer day.
Sliding in over Crystal Springs reservoir for a visual approach and landing on 1R in SFO.
The smell of tropical blooms when you step off the plane in Fiji.
The quietness of a DC-10 cockpit.
Main gear touching down while the 747 cockpit is still 70 feet in the air.
The Eagle Pub in Cambridge.
The coziness of a B-747 cockpit.
Good flight engineers.
The Burma Road.
CAT IIIb autolands in the DC-10 on a foggy day, when you feel the wheels touch before you ever see the ground.
The rush of a full-speed-brakes descent at barber pole in a B-727.
The back-door approach into Kai Tak in a B-747 with your wingtip skimming the rooftops of Yau Yat Chen as you make the steep turn to final.
The twists and turns of the noise-abatement departure out of Osaka's old Itami Airport.
Getting preferential treatment by a gate agent because you both work for the same company and she notices your 30 year pin.
Deadheading in First Class.
The Canarsie approach into JFK.
The Gas Station in Frankfurt.
The Eiffel Tower.
Max gross weight takeoffs.
Cross-wind landings.
Good co-pilots.
A large handful of thrust levers, each one connected to 50,000+ pounds of thrust.
Man-sized rudder pedals as big as pie plates.
Leak-checking your eyelids on a long night flight.
And, as one friend so perceptively pointed out, payday!<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
 

S.T.Aviator

Well-Known Member
No problemo guys! With all the sadnesss within the industry I figured we all needed a little cheering up and something to look fwd to.:)
 
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