Your Most Memorable Flight Experience"

fly4fun89

Filing Flight Plan
Joined
Nov 10, 2023
Messages
4
Display Name

Display name:
Jarvis Laura
Hey everyone!

I thought it would be fun to share our most memorable flight experiences. Whether it was a breathtaking scenic route, an unexpected adventure, or a particularly challenging flight that taught you something new, let’s hear your stories!

I'll kick things off with mine:

Last summer, I had the opportunity to fly over the Grand Canyon in a Cessna 182. It was one of those perfect days with clear skies and calm winds. As I approached the canyon, the sheer size and beauty of it took my breath away. Seeing it from the air gave me a whole new appreciation for its grandeur.

But the highlight of the flight was when a family of eagles joined me, soaring gracefully just off my wingtip. For a few minutes, it felt like we were sharing the sky, bound by an unspoken understanding. It was a surreal and humbling experience that I’ll never forget.

What about you? What’s your most unforgettable flight experience? Share your stories and let’s relive those amazing moments together!

Fly safe and happy landings!

Thanks for reading!
Jeremy
 
I would have to say it would have been my first flight in my grandfather's Aztec flying to Panama City beach on vacation. Four years old, Chocolate Soldier in one hand, Honey bun in the other, in the right seat. We were flying from 4R7 to KPFN (the old airport on the east side of the bay). Once we cleared Lake Borgne and got over the beaches (and I got my hands clean), the pilot, Boudin, let me 'fly' the plane. My brother later spoiled my fun when he told me that Otto was really flying the plane. ;)
 
I've got 3. All involved passengers.




Edit: 4, who could forget this one!!

 
Last edited:
So far, the flight from Connecticut to Maryland as part of our annual Florida trip last winter. Here is the full report: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/another-epic-trip.145912/#post-3480323

The leg that was most memorable was taking off from Connecticut two hours late due to weather, then requesting the skyline route through Manhattan and being able to fly my very own NYC city tour. That was just awesome. From uptown to downtown took about 5 minutes but those 5 minutes were epic. My wife and I kept talking about those 5 minutes for the remaining 1.5 hours to our destination for that day in Maryland lol.
 
Lots of great memories.

- Flying a French exchange student as a 17 year old PPL holder into Meigs Field with my CFI dad and another exchange student sitting in the back of our Grumman Tiger

- Getting 4 hours of airship dual in a Skyship 500 (thank you DARPA)

- Flying Cliff Robertson to ORD from OSH as a favor during Airventure in a TBM-700

- First seaplane arrival into Oshkosh Seabase with my father in our CH-701, when I was 8 years old we stood at the seabase and wondered if we'd ever be flying in ourselves. 15 years later we made it happen.

- More recently, my 1st 'solo' after 12 years of inactivity and every flight in my new-to-me Comanche
 
Flying small GA to Cuba 2016 (when the window was briefly open for no-advance-notice-needed to US Treasury)...
 
1. Ride with Blue Angels
2. First carrier landing
3. Believe it or not, a ride with Rob Lees in a 65hp Taylorcraft!

So there I was, gettin that ride. Guy KNEW how to fly it in ways I never dreamed possible. Wasn’t stunting or doing things really he shouldn’t… just an uncanny ability to fly the wings off it.

Me: Rob, how many hours you got?
Rob: uh, 2500?

Me: (damn respectable for a simple PPL) Uh, how many in T-crates?
Rob: Uh, 2300 of them.

Me: Ooooooooohhhh…

I gave him his first and only flight in a nosedragger a few years later.
 
1. Ride with Blue Angels
2. First carrier landing
3. Believe it or not, a ride with Rob Lees in a 65hp Taylorcraft!

So there I was, gettin that ride. Guy KNEW how to fly it in ways I never dreamed possible. Wasn’t stunting or doing things really he shouldn’t… just an uncanny ability to fly the wings off it.

Me: Rob, how many hours you got?
Rob: uh, 2500?

Me: (damn respectable for a simple PPL) Uh, how many in T-crates?
Rob: Uh, 2300 of them.

Me: Ooooooooohhhh…

I gave him his first and only flight in a nosedragger a few years later.
What about blue angels flight? I would have guessed your experience and abilities were close enough to not be impressed.
 
Memorable in different ways,
1. Flying the Hudson corridor seeing places where I grew up.
2. Losing engine power in the clouds over the Rockies.

Honorable mention: my second lesson :D
 
I’m one of the luckiest people alive. I made a formal decision at the age of NINE (and no, I wasn’t any more mature at that age than I am now… er, I mean than any other nine year old…) that all I wanted to do in life was fly jets on carriers. And I was going to do it by going to the Naval Academy. Much of that decision came from watching the Blues all my life. I have vivid memories of watching them fly F4s at the age of 4!

Turns out one isn’t related to the other. And I really ain’t all that smart, thank God the Navy Academy ain’t as competitive in Nebraska! Somehow managed to pull all this off…

Making a long story short, I was a has been by 34! Ha! I got that ride just a few months short of getting out. The perfect culmination of a dream come true. I’ve gotta be one of the very few people who ever existed that literally lived the dream they formulated between the ages of 4 and 9. And it was everything I ever hoped it would be. No disappointments.

AND, despite knowing I had the same basic skills and qualifications, it ain’t until you’re sitting there that you realize they take it to a whole ‘nuther level, WOW!

Did I ever tell you the guys the story (it’s even true…) that I only got that ride because the first name out of the hat was Glen’s, WHO TURNED IT DOWN! Another thread….
 
I don’t know about most memorable, but the ones that formed an indelible memory were
1) pre-solo learning lost procedures with an NDB in the rain.
2) doing airborne command and control for the infil and opening hours of Anaconda.
3). Doing the same for TF20 & TF Jaguar in OIF. Before the Marines decided to start the war early.
4). Solo cross country with an electrical fire 10ish NM from the second landing.
5) Muting my wife on final at T82 one morning with high cross winds. Apparently she prefers side slip vs crab.
 
So far, this one:
1010296.jpg1010314.jpg

Followed closely by this one:
IMG_20220208_132855716_HDR.jpg
20220208_133931.jpg

GA is the sharpest double edged sword I've ever experienced. Planning to go to the grand canyon in less than a month, looking forward to some more good memories.
 
I hardly know where to start! If I were forced to pick one, I'd have to say the highlight so far was my trip to Alaska and back. I ran out of superlatives to describe the scenery before I even got there, and the problem just kept on compounding. The English language is rich with superlatives (awesome, magnificent, majestic, gorgeous, spectacular, etc. etc. etc.) but even English isn't up to the scenery on that trip.
 
I’ve got a few. First solo is an obvious one, first time flying into a Class B airport in a single position watching all the big planes go past me and my first flight after I got my PPL. I didn’t have my drivers license so I had to take my mom along with my friend so she could drive the crew car to lunch lol. Finally, I posted thread last week, getting to fly with my dad professionally.

IMG_7712.jpeg
 
Where to start...

Define "most memorable." The flights I remember best are the ones (fairly few, thankfully) that scared the living s*** out of me.
Same here.

There are only two types of flight for me.

Those flights where I don't change pants after the flight,

And those flights where I do...
 
Several.

1) 18,000 feet, in a glider
2) Shooting a picture of my friend's Cherokee circling the Statue of Liberty.
3) over 500 KIAS at LOW level over NM desert.
 
I thought this thread would blow up, but it hasn't. I think all of us are just scrambling to figure out how to answer the question! Too many memorable flights!
 
The boss, Andy Evens, had just won the 1997 12 Hours of Sebring in his Ferrari. We were then flying him in the Falcon 50, to the next race in Goodyear Arizona. Florida and the southern coast was full of thunderstorms.

1. I had never seen it.....and haven't since.....but the windshields were dripping FLAMES.....from St. Elmo's Fire!! The flames spread into the cockpit and rolled along the rug to the rear.

2. After climbout the ENTIRE Gulf of Mexico was illuminated by hundreds of shrimp boats. They all had huge lights and the gulf was completely lit up. It was like day.....except it was night!

3. The thunderstorms were still huge and lightning was continuously lighting up the Texas coast.

4. Then, there was an eclipse of the moon that night that we got to see from 41,000 feet.

5. FURTHER.............to top it off, some comet was cruising by..........very bright!

So......that was my most memorable flight!
 
The boss, Andy Evens, had just won the 1997 12 Hours of Sebring in his Ferrari. We were then flying him in the Falcon 50, to the next race in Goodyear Arizona. Florida and the southern coast was full of thunderstorms.

1. I had never seen it.....and haven't since.....but the windshields were dripping FLAMES.....from St. Elmo's Fire!! The flames spread into the cockpit and rolled along the rug to the rear.

2. After climbout the ENTIRE Gulf of Mexico was illuminated by hundreds of shrimp boats. They all had huge lights and the gulf was completely lit up. It was like day.....except it was night!

3. The thunderstorms were still huge and lightning was continuously lighting up the Texas coast.

4. Then, there was an eclipse of the moon that night that we got to see from 41,000 feet.

5. FURTHER.............to top it off, some comet was cruising by..........very bright!

So......that was my most memorable flight!
That comet was Hale-Bopp, just a few days from its peak.

Amazing set of coincidences!
 
I wasn't the pilot but flying into Haifa, Israel in a C-131 (MAC flight) was pretty amazing. Lotta years ago ...
 
Hard to choose, but one I will always remember was a night approach to Kontum in 1972 when the bad guys controlled half of the airport. It was my only flight wearing a flack vest and helmet in the C-130. It was a GCA, and we waited until decision height, 200 feet AGL, before turning on the landing lights... and there was nothing but buildings in front of us, all with lights off because of the battle going on. After the missed approach we were able to find the runway on the second attempt, and as the combat control team was off-loading pallets of ammunition, there were tracers coming at the tail end of our airplane. And we had to go back there again that night.

A week later we lost an airplane and five-man crew at Kontum when it was hit by a mortar.
 
Three.

FIrst was when I had an engine failure over Downtown Cincinnati with my 2 year old daughter and my very pregnant wife as passengers. We all lived and they flew with me again:biggrin:

Second was as a backseater in an F-14 Tomcat doing some aero and BFM and then pulling a 5+ G Break on the Tower at Miramar NAS in true Maverick fashion.

Third was the next day more BFM and two Traps and Cat Shots on the Enterprise separated by Five Bolters caused by Arresting Gear problems.
 
I am not a military pilot and have no jet experience so my one-hour F16 orientation flight as a college freshman was extremely memorable. Followed by aerobatics training in a Citabria Decathalon out of KRHV. After that the times I’ve been scared s***less make the list, such as avoiding a couple midairs reporting the same position inbound as another plane reported outbound, loss of power at 400 feet, not being able to see anything flying into the sunset as a freshly minted PPL (not weather, glare) etc.
 
My favorite was a weather diversion day going up to Alaska. Planned to go inland but weather was better along the coast. Skagway to Anchorage with a fuel stop in Yakatat. Flew right over Glacier Bay then low up the coast. Not the day I planned… but one I will never forget.

Funny that my phone sent me these photos of that flight in today’s feed. So must have been this day in 2010.

1 DSC_0644 (2).JPG1 DSC_0646 (2).JPG
 
And my favorite FBO sign was in Yakutat Alaska.

This sign was on the AIRCRAFT side of the building…. 1b 1.JPG
 
Not the most memorable, but one of the funniest:

Ordinary day in Vietnam, early in 1970. Operating a UH-1H on routine missions out of Chu Lai. The weather was normal for that time of year, with clouds and haze. I got word to pick up a Navy petty officer at Quang Ngai and take him out to a boat. That was it—no other coordinating instructions such as the location of the boat. I thought let’s give this a look and do what we can do. We land at Quang Ngai, the pax comes out, gets on board, and says fly heading 093. I ask how far and he says he doesn’t know exactly, but estimates 30-40 NM. Off we go eastbound, crossing the coast line shortly, and on our way out over the South China Sea. Not seeing anything on the horizon, at all. Flying 093 degrees with autopilot precision, though. Fly and fly, and after 20 to 25 minutes I see a dot out there. Damned if we’re not heading straight at it. Yeah, it was close to 50 miles out but at least we found it. Worrying about engine failure now took a back seat to worrying about the next phase of the mission: offloading my pax securely.

I got closer to the boat and started coming up with my plan. One of the problems with that particular mission is that we had not been assigned a radio frequency, so I have no way to contact the boat except by over flying it.

Soon the boat is right there. It’s making good speed into the wind, and I notice choppy waves in the water. It’s a small boat, which I was informed later was a Coast Guard cutter. What it was doing in that part of the world I never figured out. It was a boat just barely large enough to have a helicopter landing pad. It also had tall radio and radar antennas of every description in the immediate vicinity of the pad. I notice it’s flashing lights at me but I don’t know their code.

Circling the boat at low altitude I could see an individual with a helmet and goggles on a platform adjacent to the helipad. He was waving semaphores in each hand. Little good that did. So I figured an approach azimuth that gave the maximum clearance from the antennas and swung wide around to set up for landing. So far, so good, except that the boat was really going up and down as I could see by getting closer. And the little man was waving those flags faster.

About 100 meters out I was down to a manageable speed but realized that pad was rapidly moving target, rising up and down, up and down. So I approached to a high hover over the pad, noticing that after waving his flags in a blur, the little man had dived over the side of his platform and disappeared. At least we were temporarily safe, having dodged obstacles successfully, so far.

Now the problem was the pad was going up and down at least 15-20 feet if not more. At least I had good aircraft control and plenty of power so it was game on. As the boat would rise, I would drop a bit to catch it at the top and follow it down, but not too much. Up and down the pad and I went until I got the rhythm of it. On about the third or fourth up and down cycle I got within about 5 feet and firmly planted the collective down, getting us on the deck with a jolt but still moving which was an exceedingly strange experience.

Pax debarked immediately. As soon as he was clear I saw the little helmeted man peek his head up and start waving his flags or paddles, I honestly forget which. But it was moot. I asked the crew were we clear left, right, and overhead? They said yes so I waited for an upswing and pulled max torque straight up at the top of the heave. I think the Navy was glad to get rid of us. I was pleased, also.
 
Writing the check to the flight school was my first most memorable moment...
 
Flying Dallas to Tuscon with my Dad in the right seat and having a picture posted on the internet by a plane spotter. Yes, I tried to contact the spotter, but he did not respond.



TUS100511.jpg

Another would be flying a Falcon 20 from Dallas to Europe and traveling in Europe for 3 weeks then flying it back to Dallas. Back in the late 80's.
 
My grandfather was a pilot and had a Twin Commanche back in the late 80s/early 90s. My first flight was in N110WW in June 1990 as a 9-month-old. I began flying in 2020 and he was battling pancreatic cancer for the third time. I knew my time was limited, so I worked diligently and called him after every flight. It was great to be able to build a deeper connection over aviation. I earned my PPL in June of 2021 and immediately went back to Kansas City to fly with him. That trip was the last time I saw him and he passed away in October of that year. I'm so thankful that I got to fly with him and I'll never forget that.

Flight with Pa.jpeg


Second most memorable was flying my wife to the Bahamas (February 2024). She was 6 months pregnant, so flight planning (and fluid planning) became even more crucial than normal! We visited 6 islands in 7 days (after a maintenance issue on the way down). On the way back, flying into Fort Pierce, the Coast Guard helicopter ahead of us called cloud bases at 50' above approach minimums. Fortunately, I broke out 150' above minimums. Definitely got to enjoy a super enjoyable trip with her and I doubt we'll take another trip of that magnitude.

Bahamas Trip.jpeg
20240216_151524.jpg
 
Back
Top