“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be? It is the same the angels breathe” Mark Twain, ‘Roughing It’ Chapter XXII, 1886
“More than anything else the sensation is one of perfect peace mingled with an excitement that strains every nerve to the utmost, if you can conceive of such a combination.” Wilbur Wright, 17-12-1903
I have always been interested in anything that has to do with flying and I have wanted to fly since I can remember. When I was 17 I wanted to go to the KLM flying school, but alas there was not enough money to pay for the flight training, so I never learned to fly. Airplanes have of course evolved rapidly after the Wright brothers first demonstrated theirs in 1903. And the thrill of flying has gone a long time ago, lost among the regulations and the everyday routine.
The dream of flight has dimmed to become simply in driving a bus from point A to point B and back. But it never stopped to fascinate me and traveling around the world gave me a chance as a passenger to fly a lot of different planes, from the different Boeing types to Russian Iliyushin II-liners, Antonov An-124 cargo plane, Antonov An-2 biplane, Cessna’s, Seaotter and even a Dakota DC3 from 1949 and of course I always buy the latest version of Microsoft FlighSimulator.
One of the best flight I ever made was the The “Flight of Angels” with a small Piper over the upper Zambezi and Victoria Falls. The little plane swings out over the Zambezi River far enough upstream for everyone to see the river’s delta leading to the falls. From that vantage point you can barely see the “smoke” roiling up from the base of the falls. Eventually you get to the falls where you get a bird’s-eye view of the delta, the cataracts, the gorge (well, sorta — it’s hidden under the “smoke”) and the Zambian shore. Another highlight was flying the Nazca lines in Peru. And when I recently had the chance to go on a flight in a micro light, I jumped at it and really experienced the joy of flying. It’s was thrilling, exciting and even more more of everything than I ever thought.
So, maybe that’s why my eldest daughter Evelien is flying all over the world as a cabin attendant with KLM airlines and why flying always stayed a key interest in my live.