We Sometimes Forget Non-Aviators
Don't Get Revved up Over Airplanes
and the Noises They Make
"Somewhere between my fifth and tenth year of life, my dad/grandpa/older brother took me to an air show where I saw a bunch of neato airplanes. Next thing you know, I was riding my Sting Ray bike to the airport, hanging on the fence watching the stuff fly by. It was mesmerizing. When I was old enough to fly, I'd go hang out at that little field just outside of town, and wash airplanes in exchange for a few lessons. I was working towards my private ticket when I (a) went to college, (b) had a family to support and (c) never had the money to finish up. At about age 35 though, with a career in full swing, I was able to earn my private license and an instrument rating. I bought a Cessna 172 and when my company stock went through the roof, I bought a Bonanza A36."
I was enjoying dessert in the lovely backyard of a friend, sharing the table with a couple of people I did not know. I mentioned as I always do that I was a pilot, and I was asked if I had a "jet fetish". I told him that yes, of COURSE I want to fly and own a jet, and that any GA pilot who says they don't is a liar. The guy mentioned that his grandfather had flown "old prop jobs" and he thought it was a DC-something, he thought it had a 3 in the name. I asked, "you must mean a DC-3?" "Yes, that was it," he replied, going for another forkful of double chocolate cake.
Av8rdan: "Oh, DC-3s! Hey, let me tell you about what's happening in Oshkosh this summer."Non-aviator guy: "Oshkosh, you mean like 'B'Gosh? The overalls for rug rats? That Oshkosh?"Me: "No, Oshkosh the world's largest air show, in Wisconson in late July. Bratwurst, Patty Wagstaff, cool aviation toys...THAT Oshkosh."Him: "Oh." [blank stare]Me: "Yeah, they are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the DC-3 with a formation flight of 40 DC-3s."Him: "Forty DC-3s, is that a lot?"Me: "Uh, yeah. It is huge, the biggest thing to happen at Oshkosh, maybe ever. The sky will be filled with aluminum, FORTY of the coolest vintage airliners wingtip to freakin' wingtip, maybe for the last time...ever! Oh, and a bunch of them will be C-47s."Him: [no reply, just a blank stare]Me: "It is going to be awesome. Can you even IMAGINE the sound of EIGHTY RADIAL ENGINES all arriving over show center at once? My God, one radial engine is enough to stop us pilot types in our tracks, and force us to stare up in the sky listening to that sweet airplane noise. No, I'm talking EIGHTY RADIAL ENGINES, all at once, same sky." I was almost hyperventilating describing the scene.Him: "So, this airplane noise is a good thing?"Me: "You have been to the symphony, right?"Him: "Sure."Me: "It is going to be like going to the symphony for pilots at Oshkosh on that day when the DC-3 formation flies over to open the show. Only times, like a million."Him: [another blank stare]. After looking at me like I was nuts, he politely excused himself to go sit with other non-aviators who think airplane noise is something to be loathed instead of embraced.