Wednesday, April 25, 2007


There was a time when I really loved to fly. Maybe it was because I was a late bloomer and had never been in a plane until I was 20 years old. Before that age I had no reason to go anywhere in a hurry. Nor did I have any exotic locations to go to. My travel was mostly to Canada and the Adirondacks.

My first flight was a one-way flight to Florida to rescue someone who had a major panic attack and simply couldn’t drive back to New Jersey. Since then I flew to Hawaii every year and to the West Coast several times a year. I flew in a lot of small planes and helicopters, and even considered becoming a pilot myself. I went through ground school, but left it at that.

I’ve never had a bad flight, but I have had many wondrous ones. I flew so often that I was on a perpetual first class ticket. You could upgrade back then with 10,000 frequent flier miles.

I’ve been seated with some amazing people, particularly David Suzuki, pilots who were deadheading back home, and a scientist who not only had a seat in first class, but an instrument he was delivering to New York has its own seat in first class as well.

I just realized the other day that the last time I went anywhere by air was 1996 and I really don’t miss it. It just isn’t the same, or at least it no longer holds the same allure for me. I don’t mind terra firma one bit.


Blogger Jaggy said...

I've never flown anywhere in anything, so I can't relate much to your story. However, I too like terra firma just fine. :)

Weekend plans? Check the message board!

7:56 AM  
Blogger OC Mama said...

I loved flying, until I had children. Now it's not fun anymore. If I could go fly somewhere by myself that might be different.

8:13 AM  
Anonymous auntie said...

I use to love to fly also. Mostly because it got me somewhere. The last time I flew it was for "bereavement" which totally took the fun-ness out.

Take off is such a rush,but landing scares the crap out of me.

My best and also scariest flight was with my cousin who is a bush pilot on the Kodiak peninsula. We flew in a float plane. Taking off in the water is really thrilling and landing in the water wasnt that bad either. It was also really cool flying over the terrain, seeing wildlife etc to find just the 'perfect' fishing spot.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Amaya said...

I hate to be all cliche about this, but I think things really changed after 9/11. Now it's a chore to fly. From the elongated security checks to the uptight flight attendants.. it's not fun anymore. Oh, and don't even get me started on the people who wear tennis shoes or have more than 3 ounces of liquid in their carry on and hold up the security line!

11:33 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Jaggy, you should go to Mt Hood with TH, get lost on the mountain and they will fly you out.

OC,It's no fun for others when kids are in a plane. I remember once flying from New York to San Francisco. All these chidren were in the lounge area, and I thought to myself, I'm glad I'll be in First Class, but when I got on the plane all those damn Kids were in First Class as well. It seems their rich Grandfather flew the entire famly, his kids and their kids out to see him once a year...first class. I was the only non-Hoganin that section.

Auntie, small craft was always my favorite as well. I was even thinking of an ultralight a few years back, but I came to my senses.

Amaya, I hear you, I don't even enjoy going to the airport anymore.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a love/hate relationship with flight and I wouldn't mind if I never flew again.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Flying commercial used to be OK. In 1970 we went overseas and I took a 3 1/2 hp Briggs and Stratton engine in my carry-on bag--the movers wouldn't pack it because I hadn't drained the gas out of my mini-bike.

I've always liked the actual flying experience but the hassles involved with flying commercially make it a pain in the ass. When I was younger my father let me sign up for flying lessons but I was too busy being a stoner and didn't get beyond the first lesson. At least I got to take the controls for a while in that one lesson in a small plane.

As a photojournalist I had many a flying experience, from the giant C-5 to landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier, landing on polar ice on skis, riding in a variety of helicopters from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard--everything from Hueys to Blackhawks to the CH-46. Does a hovercraft count as flying, because I been on a couple of them as well. I still like flying, but I don't like being one of the cattle.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey, lucky you - to have been seated with David Suzuki (Canadian!) Wouldn't mind listening to him chat for the duration of a flight. It would be fascinating.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

I used to like to fly, but now it's so humiliating. If I felt that the security measures were anything other than superficial attempts to make the uninformed feel better, I wouldn't mind the extra time. But turning in bottles of shampoo? Cavity searching octogenarians in wheelchairs? It just seems so silly that I just can't stand to even be a part of it.

10:57 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Trish, then how would you take your cabin fever escape to the tropics in the dead of winter ; )

Rich, could you imagine trying that today? Also it cool how each craft has it's own personallity.

Beth, I was probably the only passenger who didn't bother him. And yes I kenw he was a Canadian from BC.

Mo3, I don't like to be suspected unjustly even though everyone is now suspect.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I know...that one is tough to resolve.

6:25 AM  

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