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Ask the Captain: How did you feel during your first flight?

USA Today  2016-08-15 12:17:24

John Cox, Special for USA TODAY 8:17 a.m. EDT August 15, 2016A pilot walks through the Phoenix airport May 24, 2016.(Photo: Spencer Platt, Getty Images)Question: How did you feel on your first flight?? Shuvam Sinha, Mumbai, IndiaAnswer: My first flight was in a DC-6 in the 1960s. I was amazed at the sights from the air. It furthered my desire to be a pilot. I remember it clearly even though it was well over 50 years ago. It made quite an impression on me.Q: What thoughts and feelings did you experience when you were given command of your first commercial flight? ? Tony, Stockton, Calif.A: It was in April of 1984. I was very happy, as it was the conclusion of years of work and training. Piedmont Airlines had prepared me for the upgrade to captain, and I was confident of my ability to do the job. It was a great day!Thanks for the question. I had not thought about that day in a long time.Q: When you flew for USAir, did you ever have a child-like moment the first time you flew a new aircraft? ? Logan C., Escanaba, Mich.A: I enjoyed the transition to new airplanes very much. The first flight is always memorable, but I would not describe it as a child-like moment.Q: Did you always have a love of planes?? E Jaffe, Silver Spring, Md.A: Yes, as a child I was fascinated by the airplanes that flew over my family?s house as they approached the local airport. I wanted to fly from a very young age and was lucky enough to be able to live that dream.Q: Hi Captain Cox. Did you enjoy and do you miss the days pre-9/11 when you could give young fliers tours of the cockpit? ? Jim, BuffaloA: I enjoyed young passengers visiting the flight deck. It reminded me of my childhood and seeing the flight deck of DC-6s. Certainly I miss that opportunity to help a child consider growing up to be a pilot.Q: Not a question, but a story about a retired airline pilot who had obviously enjoyed his career as much as you have. After he had given a talk to some young children, one boy said, "When I grow up I want to be a pilot!" The retired captain responded, "Well, you'll have to decide which."? Biggles, Calif.A: I?m glad to know of another pilot who has enjoyed their career as much as I have, plus has a good sense of humor.John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his own aviation safety consulting company, Safety Operating Systems.6 CONNECT 1 LINKEDINEMAILMORERead or Share this story: http://usat.ly/2bhM8fm

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