Welcome friends, my name is John Reitmeier and I've been so fortunate to have experienced a lot of travel starting back in 1972. It's time to put the memories in some sort of order, and to add text and pictures to share with our friends and the many listeners to our radio programs. Thanks for coming along on this ride!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Very First Flight

Sure I'd been in airplanes before. Cessna's all of them. Probably all 172 or 182 series, and mostly didn't really like it. I don't like the feeling in my stomach that you get on a Ferris Wheel at a county fair, so why would I want to get 10 times that sick feeling on purpose?

I was working at Yamaha Canada, 1330 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg Canada. Had started working there in September, and although I don't remember what month this first flight was, it was 30 below zero that morning, so we must be talking February or the end of January 1973. I lived in the Courts of St. James, 234 Ronald Street and was really liking the big city/small apartment experience! It wasn't a holiday or anything, I just decided that it was time to find out what it was like to ride in a jet.

It was sort of a silly flight in the fact that it was so short. My parents had to leave the farm to go pick me up, BEFORE the plane lifted off from the runway in Canada. Even though it was only 140 miles or so, it was a different country and so there was customs to deal with. My recollection was that the American customs were in Winnipeg, that we talked to them BEFORE we boarded the plane to leave the country. Seems like a better plan since back then there were flights to several US cities from Winnipeg so why have customs/immigration in all the places, why not in just one.

I sat in Seat A right over the middle of the wing. It was a 727-100 the classic workhorse of so many airlines fleets back then. I remember being deathly afraid every time that the flaps were adjusted. Back then they were on motors that ran a system of gears and they made a LOT of noise in the cabin. I felt each time it started that it was going to have a bad ending. Finally I figured out what it was and rested a little easier about that. The flight was 17 minutes in cruise mode. I wish I had the receipt and boarding passes. I know they were in my jewelery box for years, but girlfriends and different moves always have a way of filtering out mementos. I seem to remember that it was $157.00 Canadian, which in todays money would be some pretty big numbers. My base pay at the time was $600.00 Canadian. But we took off, cruised, and landed all in good stead, and I had had my first experience flying on a jet! I'll never forget the day, the experience and the cold! Thank you Northwest Orient Airlines.

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