Airplanes & Airports!

When I was little, I always dreamed that when I grew up I would be an airline pilot. I loved flying, I loved planes, I loved airports, and I loved being driven to an airport even if we were just going to pick someone up or drop someone off. I loved everything about it. I would play flight simulator all the time, especially on road trips. I sucked at landing. To be honest, I kind of still love everything about it, but I haven’t had the chance to fly since February of 2012. I don’t have those childhood dreams anymore, but I’m still fascinated by planes and airports and yea.

The airports I’ve flown to and from in my life are Sea-Tac (obviously), Detroit, Chicago O’Hare, St. Louis, Minneapolis St. Paul, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Newark, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. Airlines I’ve flown on, including some which no longer exist, are Northwest, Delta, US Airways, United, American, American West, TWA and Continental. The first and last time I flew on Continental was my last flight, the month before it merged with United, so I got that airline checked off the box just in the nick of time! Planes I’ve been on are the Boeing 727, 737, 757, the Airbus 319, 320, 321 and the old DC 10. Longest flight was Newark to Sea-Tac, which was six hours. I’ve flown into thunderstorms, I’ve been on a flight that did a go around, took off in the snow and yea.

I know that loving planes and airports goes against caring for the environment and being a bioregionalist, but for whatever reason I’m still fascinated by them. I google image pictures of all different types of planes, Airbus and Boeing. I watch youtube videos of people filming their flight. I even watch air crash investigation series videos, so I know like all the major airplane crash stories. I’m so weird I know. I know all the different reasons a plane crashes, and I know how to prevent a crash in all sorts of different emergency scenarios. I know all the safety rules, including how far apart planes must be in the air (five miles) and/or 1,000 feet in elevation.

If I had still wanted to be a pilot, I would want to fly the Boeing 777-300, the Airbus 330-300 or the Airbus 340-600. I don’t know what it is about those three planes but I like them. If I could even just fly on them one day, that’d be sweet, although Airbus has stopped making the A340’s so I’d have to do that within the next 5-10 years before airlines replace them with newer 777’s, 787’s and A350’s. It also means I’d need to travel overseas, because those planes only do long distance flights, something I’ve never done before.

Similar to as how I’ve been to most of the U.S states, and been on most of the Washington State Ferries fleet, as well as like half the BC Ferries fleet, I want to be able to say I’ve flown on every type of plane. I want to sit on the upper deck of a Boeing 747, as I’m sure everyone wishes they could do. I want to sit in first class on an Emirates A380 to Dubai because who wouldn’t? Before they retire, I want to fly the Boeing 767. Give me the new 787 and the A350.

I want to visit London Heathrow, and Paris, and Amsterdam, and Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, and Hong Kong, and Beijing, and Tokyo Haneda as well as Tokyo Narita. Singapore, Kula Lumpur, Bangkok, Sidney Australia, Zurich, Frankfurt and more. I want to experience all the different airlines. British Airways, Air France, KLM, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Virgin Airlines, Qantas, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Thai and others. If I could visit Kula Lumpur on an airline other than Malaysian Airlines, that’d be great, because I don’t trust that airline with safety. I don’t really know the airlines of Africa and South America, but they don’t have any super cool airports so I don’t hear or see about them on youtube and google. I mean, I absolutely want to visit Africa and South America, I wish to see every country in the world, but this post is just about airplanes and airports and airlines.

I get excited like a child when I see airplanes, to this day still. At my dad’s house in the Greenlake part of Seattle during the day, the planes coming into land at Sea-Tac make their southward turn above, and I just look up fascinated. My old high school, Roosevelt, which is a short walk to the east, you can sit on the bleachers and just watch planes coming from the east or west make their southward turn to land. On a sunny day at RHS, you can actually see the planes all the way until just before they touchdown at Sea-Tac. At night, the planes come in to land from the south. You can see the wing lights on a clear night. From certain areas in Seattle, you can see the planes lined up in a row, sometimes four planes deep, coming in to land. I find it so cool. If I’m 10 miles north of Sea-Tac, and there’s four planes lined up for landing, the fourth plane at minimum is 15 miles behind the first plane, at minimum, I am looking 25 miles out. In other words, from North Seattle, I’d be looking at a plane that’s above Tacoma. I just find it fascinating for whatever reason, when I realize just how far away that plane is, even though I can actually see it.

I get conflicted about my love for planes and airports, because I know it’s bad for the environment and I care so deeply about the planet. My love for momma earth is a million times that of my love for flying. Hopefully the technology for planes keeps getting better. Planes will never be kind to the planet, but the less harm they do, the better. I’m not a fan of small planes and short flights, because they could and should be replaced with high speed rail. Flying will be a crucial mode of public transit for as long as underground maglev remains not a thing. If it was up to me, I’d abolish flights of less than 500 miles, and I would encourage medium distance flights to use bigger planes, resulting in fewer flights. So, instead of two 737-700’s between Newark and Seattle with a capacity of 137 each, combine the two flights into one flight on a 767 with a capacity up to 370. You still get the same service, everybody still flies, but fewer planes are used, thus less air traffic, less gates at airports are needed, and airports can downsize rather than expand. That’s just my compromise though, so everyone, including myself, can still fly while having less an impact on the environment.

So yea anyways, I still love planes and airports just as I did when I was little. I don’t know when the next time I’ll get to fly is, may not be for years, but I eagerly await. Hopefully it’ll be a new plane for me and a new destination!

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