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The Love of Flying
One of my greatest passions was to learn how to fly. It must have been the inspiration of going to many airshows, having my parents take me to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport on Sunday's to watch airplanes. My mon once told me that when I was young, one of the first multiple syllable words I learned to say was "United". Gee I wonder why? Back in the early 60's, United was one of the big carriers at the airport. I remember seeing the DC-6's, Viscounts, Caravelles, and even United's Boeing 720 jets. What a thrill. If memory serves, I believe I recall seeing United's unveiling of the 727 in Cleveland where they had an open house to view the plane. Ah the memories.
Air shows were big in our family, especially the Cleveland National Air Show and Air Races. To watch the races was like watching car races. You could hear the people rooting for the pilots. To me, walking around the planes, and seeing so many flyovers was the thrill. Even today, I have vivid memories of seeing flyovers by planes including the B-58 Hustler, Concorde, Vulcan Bomber, F-115 Stealth Fighter, B-52 Bombers, and so many more.
Meeting pilots was just as fun. I remember having the opportunity to meet Arnold Palmer, the legendary Bob Hoover, Dean Ortner (local P51 pilot), Corky Fornof, and all the military pilots who welcomed young people to talk to them.
My love of flying never ended even though I was unable to take lessons. My job and family vacations has given me the opportunity to fly all over the world and on many different planes. The list is long: 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, DC-3, DC-8, DC-9, Lockheed Electra, Twin Otter, Saab 340, Avro RJ85, Embrair RJ-135, RJ-145, RJ-175, Bombardier CRJ-100/200, CRJ-700, and Airbus A310, A320, A330. Today, I am a Million Miler traveler on United. The perks are nice!
Now that I have my Private Pilot's License, I'll be able to take to the skies and do my own flying and be part of a great group of people. The only thing you have to remember is this. What makes an airplane fly? Money!
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METARs for my local airports:
Cuyahoga County Airport (KCGF)
Cleveland Hopkins International (KCLE)
Lake County Executive Airport (KLNN)
Burke Lakefront Airport (KBKL)
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (KYNG)
Akron-Canton Regional Airport (KCAK)