Where my Love of Aviation Began

The Annette Island Airport.   This is where my Love of Aviation was Born.  I remember my dad and mom taking me out to our little airport and got to see Pan-Am and Ellis Air and the Grumman Goose Aircraft, in picture and occasionally a Coast Guard Helicopter as well.  I instantly became amazed by these big, loud machines.  I was 4 years old.  Was always excited when I heard a seaplane out in our harbor.

Where I grew up in South East Alaska, it was an island.  I grew up in a native village known as Metlakatla, Alaska.  Our areas of industry was commercial fishing and lumber.  And in order to get from one town to another, you either went by boat or plane.  There were no roads connecting you to any other town.  I remember one time, not sure how old I was, but my Dad, Mom and I went out to our airport, and they told me that we were taking a plane from our Airport to  Ketchikan, which is normally a 12-15 minute flight.  I was so excited.

Annette Island Airport - Pan Am in the background

We boarded the plane, I was so full of excitement.  My parents would give each other the look, you know the look.  If you are a parent, you know what I mean.  The engines began to start up, I got to sit in the window, as we taxied out, I was a chatter box, so many questions were “Flying” around in my head.  This was my first plane ride.  And we were going in a Jet from our little airport to Ketchikan.   We began the takeoff roll and I was being pushed backwards into my seat.  I sat up to look out the window to only to see how fast we were going, then we began the lift off.  WOW!  We began our climb, and it seemed like forever to get to Ketchikan, we climbed way up into the sky, as I looked out the window, the world below became very small.  I could see the ocean, and islands.  It was amazing to my little heart!  I remember turning to my mom and telling here that I thought the clouds looked like marshmellows!   LOL.   I also asked, why it is taking so long to get to Ketchikan.   That is when I caught the look between my mom and dad again.    Hmmm….THEN, the Captain came across the intercom and told us that we will begin our Descent into, “Seattle!”   Seattle, what is a Seattle, that does not sound like Ketchikan!  LOL.  Again, I was full of questions as we were flying over the city and I thought, man, Ketchikan is bigger than I thought!!

My first trip to Seattle.  We stayed at a place called the Claremont Hotel, on 4th avenue, downtown Seattle.   I became a tourist!  Went on a cool thing called a Monorail.  It cost $.10 for the ride to a place called the Seattle Center.  That was a cool place.  I was overwhelmed by it all.  And then looking up at what looked like a Space Ship.  And we went up in an Elevator to the top of that thing.  The Space Needle!!!   Wow!

Space Needle

Yes, my first plane ride took my to Seattle.  And it is one that I will never ever forget!  In my heart, the decision was made, one day, I WILL be a Pilot!

It is who I am.   🙂

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