Aviation / How It Changed The World

With the sad news of the deliberate crash of the Germanwings aircraft and the not-so-distant memories concerning the lost Malaysian flight, well, the painfulness of it all made me reflect on the “goodness” associated with aviation — of how much it has remarkably changed the world, or at least the world as I’ve seen it.

My first flight was to Freeport, Bahamas, with one of my best friends, Linda.  We were only 19 or so and aviation life then was like the recently demised series “Pan Am.”  (Seriously, we wore hats!!)  We sat in the plane wide-eyed that day and when the flaps on the wings of the aircraft changed position, she and I looked at each other in complete horror — certain that something awful was about to happen.  (Did the plane’s wing just break or what??!!)  Lucky for us, a middle-aged man sat in the third aisle seat of our row and I’m sure couldn’t help but notice our reactions.  He gently leaned over and said, “Nothing to worry about, ladies.  It’s supposed to do that.”  I know I breathed a sigh of relief and so did she.

Since that time, I’ve felt a bit like a warrior when it came to flights — I couldn’t wait to get on one.  A couple of trips to the Bahamas, Hawaii and Acapulco — and other short trips to Dayton to visit my friend, Linda, after she married.  Oh, yeah, and did I mention there was one rock-and-roll landing in San Diego that will always be my most heart-stopping flight story?  More recently, there were trips back and forth to the East Coast and my longest flight ever — 8-1/2 hours out of LA — to Papeete, Tahiti, with a short hop to Bora Bora.  In looking back, I realized I evolved right alongside of general aviation.

So, now my books are filled with stories that revolve around the subject.  My early characters (1950’s — in Esperance, Zurich and Zurich Legacy) flew a Convair 340 and my now-characters (1970’s – Shamar) have added a Boeing 707-320B to the mix.  What was a mild interest in aviation suddenly flourished into deep abysses of range, cruising speed, maximum weight at takeoff, runway lengths, humidity factors, wind speeds, approach plates and service ceilings.  Not to mention the hours upon hours on the weekends watching endless videos on takeoffs and landings from the cockpits of the 707.  It not only quenched my thirst for this aviation knowledge, but I like to think it added credibility to the chapters of my books.

So, while I bow my head and say “God Speed” to those involved in such tragic recent circumstances — I will simultaneously be giving a salute to Scott Kelly and watching him with sheer envy as one of two people that will have the greatest flight ever —  for the next year.  Safe travels!  #YearInSpace

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Laura Brooks

Published author of four books. See more about me on Amazon's Author Central.

7 thoughts on “Aviation / How It Changed The World”

  1. I’m not sure why the news keeps referring to it as an accident or a crash. It was mass murder pure and simple. He had just renewed his glider license. He could have just taken his own life, if he had to do it by flight, rather than end the lives of one hundred and forty nine innocent people.

    1. I completely agree!! This man wanted to kill everyone, so they should be calling it mass murder and not an accident. Laura love the blog! Wish I could have been around in the day of Pan Am flights to witness what flight travel was like, before it became what it is today. Must have been very exciting. I don’t even know what it’s like to fly without having to remove clothing, and have my body X-Rayed!

      1. Oh! Except when flying private. That is the way to go.. I’ve been seeing more deals for this too! I think it may become the new norm.

        1. Thanks for reading the blog and thanks, too, for the comments! Flying then was an extraordinary event – one that you planned months ahead for and took lots of pictures of! It’s tough to travel today, but there are those that wish to eliminate our way of life and to that end, we are stuck with the ever-so-popular body X-ray machines. Private carriers will also be needing a layer of security, too, but at least not at the inconvenience of their customers!

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