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Thread: How Did You Become an Aviation Enthusiast?

  1. #16
    Senior Member gonzalu's Avatar
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    Yup, that's my country... lots of this type of names... but it actually means baths as in natural gardens baths... not a friggin toilet in a dirty NYC subway station

    as in:

    Manny Gonzalez
    Thrust Images | General Photography | R.I.P. Matt Molnar 1979-2013
    BRING BACK THE KJFK/KLGA OBSERVATION DECKS

  2. #17
    Senior Member hiss srq's Avatar
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    I accidently sat on a 727 pitot tube as a kid and liked it.......... Just kidding.... I grew up around airplanes and was raised right at the outer marker for the 31's at JFK, the rest was history pretty much. Not much more to it than that really. Watching TWA Boeings and Tristars, Tower Air 747's, Speedbird, Swiss 743's and MD11's, NCPD Aviation landing on the beach in front of our home during the summer and pretty much living on airplanes to and from our home in Florida my entire life, I was doomed from the womb.
    Southwest Airlines-"Once it pop's it's time to stop" Southwest Airlines-"Our Shamu's are almost real" Southwest Airlines -"We blow our top real easy" Southwest Airlines- "You can't top us..... really"

  3. #18
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    Well, I had to find something to do after the lady who owned the brothel discovered I wasn't really a piano player...

    Honestly, I was extremely lucky to have a dad who was in the business. Dad was in the Air Force when I was born and some of my earliest memories are of going out to the base to see "his" airplane. I remember climbing up into the KC-135, and the time dad took me out and let me fly the -135 simulator. I was hooked. I thought airplanes were SO cool... I was reading about them ALL the time. Dad had a book called "Strategic Air Command: A Portrait" which was nothing but photos of SAC planes from the early to mid-60's, and I used to look at that all the time.

    Dad left the AF when in 1968, when I was 6, and joined Western Airlines. I would take every chance I could to go out to the airport with him and look at airplanes.

    When I got older, I spent many hours reading through the manuals of the airplanes he'd flown: TB-25, KC-97, KC-135, Lockheed Electra, Boeing 720, 727, 737... (some might find this boring, but after all...the Victoria's Secret catalog was many years in the future). I also grew up reading books by Ernie Gann, Dick Bach, Martin Caidin, St. Ex, and many others.

    I was fortunate to be able to get a job at the local airport and trade work for flying time. With only a few periods of time off for college and various furloughs during my career, I feel extremely lucky to have been able to work in the aviation business continuously since I was 16.

  4. #19
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    With a lot of family in Taiwan, my family would visit often, even while I was just a few years old. The first international flight I can remember is Portland to Taipei aboard a Delta MD-11 when I was three years old. As a former paratrooper, my dad would explain everything flight related to me on those trips, from the control surfaces to the sound the gear made when it lowered. I was an av-geek from the start. I can remember explaining the concepts of wing flaps and spoilers in elementary school, and sprinting as fast as I could down newly paved strips of asphalt during recess with my arms outstretched, praying that I could somehow take flight into the skies. I probably looked like an idiot while clotheslining kids in the head doing that, but it was bliss to me.

  5. #20
    Administrator Landing Lights's Avatar
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    Growing up in Connecticut, I wouldn't say that I flew a lot, but I was definitely fortunate enough to fly roughly every other year or so. At the airport and onboard the plane I would be glued to the windows. I feel like I was always looking up when I saw something overhead, and in fact, I still feel that way. In fact one of my earliest memories is watching the helicopters responding to a wildfire on top of the ridge that we lived at the base of when I was 3 or 4. One time, one of my uncles took my brother and I to watch the planes at the local GA airport and from then on, I would always hope that my dad would drive by the airport if we were in the area.

    Throughout my primary school years, I became fascinated with space and space travel. Challenger exploded when I was 5 and I remember my parents having to explain that to me. I would watch any shuttle launch or landing that I could, and an uncle who was an astronomy teacher would take me out at night to view Haley's Comet, the shuttle flying overhead and more. I even had my bedroom decorated in a space theme for many years. As I grew older, I became more interested in music and theater and those took up most of my time through high school and into college, and took me into the career that I am in today. But I still found myself amazed by things in the sky. While studying theater at SUNY Purchase in the early 2000s, I would often enjoy watching the planes land at HPN out my dorm room window, where they were not much above eye-level. As I transferred schools and ended up in downtown Brooklyn, I would often watch the stream of LGA arrivals over the Brooklyn Heights Promenade or the EWR arrivals in the distance across the harbor.

    Not long after graduating I became interested in podcasts and soon found myself listening to the classic "Fly With Me". As that show began to fade away, I went looking for an aviation themed podcast to take it's place, and I came across the Airplane Geeks Podcast. I started with all of the back episodes and would listen frequently on my hour+ commute. One week, their guest was our own Phil Derner and I found what he had to say about planespotting to be fascinating, though it didn't push me in to it right away. It was the point where all the pieces started coming together though. I started infrequently following this site, and even made a few abortive attempts to go out and spot. I also found myself listening to liveATC.net and using flight tracking apps a lot. This exposure prompted my to try spotting out as a hobby as I started to find myself getting burned out between the constant loop of going to work and then coming home and working around the house. One afternoon, I needed to drop off a package near JFK and brought my camera (a trusty cannon point and shoot superzoom) along with me. I ended up shooting at The Mounds for a couple hours and left with a smile on my face that didn't leave for days.
    Ben Granucci, Wappingers Falls, NY
    NYCAviation Senior Editor & Director
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  6. #21
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    As a kid my dad used to take us to Republic Airport to see the different military planes coming in. I remember seeing the Skytypers starting up in the area over by 109 way before it was built up. I also remember when the Blues were there with the Skyhawks and were parked over by the old contol tower. I spent many summers at that airport waiting for planes to come in. My dad always seemed to know when military aircraft were coming in. We lived in Babylon and planes were always going over and we'd run up. I got to see FiFi when she came to LaGuardia many years ago before that became the airport is is today (although I didn't get to see her fly that day). I remember when the Blues came back to stage out of Republic for the shows at Coney Island. My dad worked for the West Babylon schools and saw one fly over and we thought he was seeing things. When we drove by there they were sitting by the terminal. The next day we spent hours waiting for them to go up and come back, got a bad sunburn but it was worth it. It had been a while since the last time they had come back and I was very young so I didn't remember much. It's funny because when planes like this came in there was usually a small crowd, nothing like there has been the past 3 or 4 years since the Jones Beach airshow has become more and more popular. Every two years I am like a kid again hanging around the airport waiting for the Blues to come in or go up for practice. Now I'm one of the nuts on top of his SUV taking pictures with my scanner going. I've had the exhaust of an F-18 ( not the Blues) blast me from what seemed like 30 feet (not kidding it was one of the demo teams and the ground crewman forgot to tell us he was parking him right in front of us) and I had the taste of aviation exhaust in my mouth for quiet a while but it was still a cool experience.

  7. #22
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    I had my first flight in 1992. I was about to turn 6, and everything about the plane amazed me. When we took off, the sheer power of the 757 we were in had me in a craze. To top it off, the F/A invited me up to the cockpit, where the plethora of buttons, lights, and screens put me into an utter state of happiness. I have been crazy about aviation ever since.

  8. #23
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    For me, it is a very weird story....


    I am in the origami club in NYC, called OrigamiUSA, because I am an enthusiast for origami....I have my own youtube channel for it: origamimaster4716. Anyways, I remember one day, I got a letter. It was about donating cranes to the 9/11 memorial, and I decided to do it. While looking at the letter, I said to myself: What DID happen on 9/11? So, I started to research a lot on it and got interested in it. Suddenly, I got so interested about the planes. I dont know why, but I started to look at planes SOO MUCH! That's how my love of aviation came about =P

  9. #24
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    When I was six, my Dad took my brother and I on a seaplane ride out of the Little Ferry, NJ seaplane base near Teterboro Airport. From that point I was hooked to the point that I had my 7th birthday at the NJ Aviation Hall of Fame museum. At the time kids could climb into the old tower (which had ATC piped in) and watch the field. Our house was a mere 5.5 miles from EWR's Runway 11 and, to this day, still sees a constant stream of regional jets.

  10. #25
    Senior Member 727C47's Avatar
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    RWY 11/29 was our entry into EWR when I was flying DC3s and Convairs for a living, I used to love our sweeping visual approaches over New York harbor onto 29,and following rt 78 in the wee hours to 11,then making the left turn off and short taxi to Zantop who did our unloading for the Edison,and Linden automotive plants,we would park next to their Electras, and turbine Convairs,drink coffee, watch the sunrise over Manhattan,then blast west for Michigan before the day was completely born.
    The beehive hummm of the JT9D and GE CF680C2,the thunder of the JT8D-17,the rumble of the PW1830 and the high ,thin whine of the PW 545A are all music to my ears!

  11. #26
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    My addiction started in 1974 when I first flew, a Pan Am 707. The next few flights included, BA VC-10's, 707's, Laker DC-10's, BA and Aer Lingus Bac 1-11's, I was hooked. As a kid I remember getting a Laker DC-10 metal toy, my parents couldn't understand why I wanted another Laker DC-10 for my next toy. I remember walking the ramp at LGW to board my Laker DC-10 flight and seeing them all lined up together, that's what I wanted. I spent a few years living in Elizabeth, NJ near the runway 4 approach route. I would run from the back of the house to the front watching the arrivals, lots of good stuff from the 70's and 80's. My first shot as far as I can find is of an Air Manilla Int'l 707, shot at JFK. In 1979 I got my first Canon AE-1, I remember going to EWR shooting AA and TW 707's, DL DC-8's, Air Florida 727's and 737's, etc.. When I got my first car, the weekends were mostly spent at JFK. Prints for a few years but quickly getting into slides. At one point my slide collection numbered more than 30,000, I like to think that I had one of the best DC-10 collections around. Today, digital is king. I said early in the digital era, you will see images now that you have never seen before. Every time I go to the various image sites, along with this one, I am so impressed.

    AJ
    Pull back and the houses get smaller!

  12. #27
    Senior Member Kris V's Avatar
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    My enthusiasm from aviation comes from being born a dependent to a Seattle home carrier which bares the name of my state, which my first flight was within 2 weeks of being born on a Maddog heading south to Seattle then Oakland. My real love came from my Grandfather's books from WW1 to civil aviation, and soon I was making regular trips to Ted Stevens International to see glimpses of the Redtail freighters from the Coastal trail down hill from Runway 14. Sooner or later I received my first camera a Nikon cooplix in 2007, then my first DSLR in late 2010...which planespotting came natural to having a camera. Finding the forums first started with model aircraft forums, but soon I started more spotting and in 2012 I was told by another member about NYCaviation and of course I joined. (I know my story isn't filled with the classics but something better then nothing)

  13. #28
    Senior Member Idlewild's Avatar
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    Back in August of '78, when I was 13, I flew on my first commercial flight from JFK to LHR via a British Airways Super VC-10. Left side, all the way in the rear, right next to the engines. I done got hooked.
    Spotters have been Homeland Security before HS was a glimmer in the president's eye.

  14. #29
    Senior Member Spunker's Avatar
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    when I was in grade school my Dad got me hooked. I had always liked cars and he figured I might planes as well. He took me to our local airports (KAVP and Wyoming Valley Airport) and that's all it took. I was hooked and completely forgot about cars. Thanks Dad!! Wish you were around today to see all the great things flying.
    Gene Delaney

  15. #30
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    Time Period: 1975-80
    Place: VARK (Rajkot, India)
    I was 10-12 when I would visit the one and only daily arrival of Indian Airlines BAE Avro 748. We could almost walk next to plane ... Open viewing area with only small barrier. But here's the crazy part, we use to go at runway end where not so secure fence had several holes and go right onto runway and play! The guards would go home after the only flight of the day and even the local shaperds had cows/goats on the field for rest of the day! I can still remember the prop engine sounds as Avro (HS 748) taxi onto ramp and to me it was the size of B747!!
    Then came the jet age and IC switched to B737-200! My first visit of its arrival was like witnessing A380. ( no exaggeration) And I was hooked....
    Also my house was only 2km from field and since I lived on 5th floor... my mom and I would always run to see the arrival or departure from our balcony!
    Raj

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