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Your fondest aviation memory


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#1 F7Ftigercatlover

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:08 AM

For a lot of us here aviation has been a big deal for most of our lives. Many grew up around aviation, others found out about it later in life, or maybe one incredible experience made us want to learn more. For me it was a combo of all 3, My father was pilot and went to the Reno championship air races form 1973-1986 every year so he poured a lot of knowledge onto me when I was a kid. By the time I was about 8 years old I really began to dive deeper into aviation history, specifically WWII air power, the TV series Dogfights ​and countless books that my father gave me increased my interest and knowledge in a huge way and it has only gotten bigger since. But the one moment I can say I didn't just want to learn about aviation but pursue a career came when I was 9 years old. It was May of 2009 and it was me and my dad's first trip to the ​Planes of Fame ​air show and museum. We had been at the air show since 7:30AM on Sunday but our flight back to phoenix was at 4PM only an hour after the end of the show. The Last flight is a massive grouping of 40 or 50 warbirds flying all at the same time, that was at first the real reason why we were there was to see that marvelous sight. Unfortunately if we were to get to the airport on time we would have to leave about 45 minutes early, I was disappointed, angry, and really devastated. As me and my dad walked back to our car in the grassy parking lot my dad excitedly grabbed me by the shoulder and turned me around and said, "Look, do you see that Sea Fury it's going to fly right over us!" The Sanders family Sea Fury was just finishing it's flight demonstration and in fact was heading right towards us at 400mph while flying at about 70 feet. It ripped right over us, with it's wingtip smoke falling on us. The whole experience made up for my disappointment, and that was the moment I knew I had to fly. Does anyone else have a similar story? I'd love to hear it :) 

 

-F7F


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#2 GregP

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:11 AM

My best experience was at Chino, too.

 

I took flying lessons in 1968, but had to wait untli 1981 to get my license, and life got in the way of flying some 5 - 6 year later. Pan ahead to 2006 and I found myself in So Cal (Irvine) and decided I was close enough to finally go see the Planes of Fame. I went out one Sunday and wandered through the museum and went to my first volunteer meeting some 2 weeks later. Been a volunteer ever since.

 

I met Dr. Ken Wagoner about 2 years later and became friendly at Flo's Cafe. Later I saw him several times at the musem and started going by his hangar when I chanced across it. He had (and has) a BEAUTIFUL P-51D called Lady Alice. Spotless ... and not a speck of paint out of place. When I walked in and said hi, he immedialtely put me in the pilot's seat and told me not to move any switches as it was primed and ready to fly. I didn't. 

 

Some 2 years later I was in the museum restoration area and he came walking past my workbench on a visit. We had talked casually for a some of that time, and he mentioned he was going on a flight a bit later to practice for his bieniial flight review ... and that I could ride along if I wanted to.

 

Naturally, I beat him back to his hangar and he took me on a 2-hour P-51 ride that was an absolute blast. He practiced approach and departure stalls, and did some ground reference maneuvers.We flew up around Temecula, then went over to Big Bear for a higher-speed descent to the lake. You can't put the nose of a P-51 down very far without getting somewhat faster! On the way he unstrapped, leaned over one way, and allowed me to lean way forward and take the stick for a bit. It flew EXACTLY like I suspected it would after flying several simulators, and we had a great time going slowly back to Chino over Diamond Bar and the general area. I said slowly, but it was still close to 215 knots!

 

Now THAT was pretty neat. He is still one of the friendliest and happiest guys I know and will gladly show anyone his beautiful toys (the P-51 isn't the only plane in the hangar). It was a rather high point for me along with getting rides in two different Planes of Fame Musuem aircraft (B-25J and P-40N) over the years of restoration when they were doing maintenance hops or flights to other venues. I didn't get to handle the controls of either of them, but had two more great times flying, that's for sure! Meanwhile, I'm doing aircraft restoration on Saturdays. Mostly sheet metal, some machining, and a bit of painting now and then.

 

All great fun. And there are NO people around the museum who aren't friendly, good people. It makes for a great place to spend some productive time very weekend, that's for sure.


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#3 Ricky

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 08:47 AM

I have only ever flown in passenger aircraft - the Trilander to Alderney was the best of those

But best memory? Walking along the Norfolk coast when a couple of Harriers came screaming in at low level, did a series of high-g manoeuvres (lots of mist forming on the wings) then flew off. I can still remember it vividly
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#4 GregP

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 09:23 PM

I think most people who really like airplanes can vividly remember a time or three they saw a military aircraft make some impressive maneuver or maneuvers. I was driving in Tennessee one day headed south twoard Chattanooga along a ridge when a pair of F-4 Phantoms came over my car inverted maybe 100 feet over the car.

 

They had come down the valley and climbed up the ridge and were momentarily inverted while pulling back toward level flight. I was startled by the noise and unexpected appearance, but I still vividly recall them coming over inverted and both smoothly rolling back to level flight. They had separated to roll & pull, and rapidly rejoined in leader-wingman formation once back upright. The way they did it, the wingman didn't completely roll upright, but stopped while his canopy was still maybe 35° toward the leader. He then pulled toward the leader, straigntened, and rolled maybe 40° back the other way to stop the approach when in perfect position.

 

Like you, I can still see it clearly. Good memories!

 

I'm glad my ex-wife doesn't make that clear of an impression ... it might be vivid, but would also be scarey. I never DID thank her for driving me to drink ... 


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#5 Kutscha

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 10:14 PM

Like Greg said there have been a few,

 

airshows at RCAF Rockcliff - Sopwith Snipe and a Spitfire doing a low level pass almost cutting the grass with its prop, Gloden Hawks coming over the bluff one by one (silence then a roar) The  Aviation and Space Museum is there now.

 

grew up about 1.5 mi from the end of the runway at RCAF Uplands so saw all kinds of a/c > Lancaster, Sabres, CF100s, CF104s (seen a CF104 go vertical til out of sight once - heard roar as it was taken off then silence then an almighty roar as the pilot got the engine relit and went AB)

 

On the interstate in Georgia almost drove off the road when a B-52 came up from behind (never saw it coming) at low level - what a noise as it passed over!!


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#6 TheArtOfFlight

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:18 AM

I have to admit there are quite a few great aviation moments for me. Two that instantly spring to mind.

My father taking me to Birmingham airport as a young boy to watch Concorde do a touchdown and takeoff/flyover. Such an awesome plane and great memory for a young boy.

 

But i think my most favourite moment was again at Birmingham airport during the late 90s when the Battle of Britain memorial flight made a short stop over (im guessing to refuel) before carrying on to Duxford. A Avro Lancaster flanked by a Hawker Hurricane & Supermarine Spitfire coming into view, making a low pass over the airfield and then both fighters peeled off while the Lanc landed. Then in turn the fighters. As it was the first time i had ever laid eyes on any flyable ww2 aircraft the whole experience was absolutely awesome. 6 Merlin engines all purring away and in perfect V formation. Nothing i have experienced since comes close to those couple of hours of pure historical aviation bliss. Just Magic!

 

Although i have to say being involved later on in life with the RAF gave me the chance to see first hand the great Harrier jump jet up close as well as the Tornado. Amazing memories for sure :)  :)  :)


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#7 Stony

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 11:59 AM

As most of you I have several recollections of aviation moments. I must confess that not all my memories are positive ones.

First occasion which comes to mind is the mid aircollision of 2 Mig 29s at the Royal International Air Tattoo in 93/94. Before that crash I've seen several aviation mishaps (belly landing, gear collaps, a F-15 losing his canopy during t/o) but none of those were that confronting...

On the other hand I still can remember the joy of hearing the howl of a j79 in a F-104 or the sight of a mixed formation of a F-15, Buccaneer and F-16 led by 2 F-86's returing from a practice sortie..

But also the sight an sound of around 50 Hawker Hunters in one big formation made a big impression.

And even nowadays I enjoy every aviation moment I encounter...
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#8 Armand

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 08:43 PM

............the sight an sound of around 50 Hawker Hunters in one big formation made a big impression.
...


I didn't realise the Hunters could stay in air long enough to gather a 50-ship formation! ;-)
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#9 [email protected]

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:18 PM

Hi guys ,I suppose my fondest memory would be the day I sat in the cockpit of the City Of Lincoln ,the Lancaster of the Battle Of Britian Memorial Flight.I was 15yrs old and went down to RAF Conningsby in Lincolnshire as part of a School Trip.I had a memorable experience ,also got to see the Spitfire and Hurricane ,the City Of Lincoln was awesome ,I sat in the pilots seat and looking to my left the propeller so close to the canopy,even now I try to imagine what it was actually like for those guys that flew them in WW2.
Best regards
Keith....
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#10 Kutscha

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Posted 12 January 2017 - 10:49 PM

I didn't realise the Hunters could stay in air long enough to gather a 50-ship formation! ;-)

 

Long enough for 21 tho.

 

hawker-hunter-formation-111-sqn-raf-sbac


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