Thursday, 28 October 2010

crazy, silly, or downright certifiable..

UPDATE : I've been gifted a model of the very same plane that's pictured at the bottom of this post. It's a sort of a dream come true, because I'd seen it 4 years earlier when i had no money, and wanted to buy it. When i could finally afford it, the shop that had it shut down, and i could find it nowhere. Until a dear friend of mine, Rustom Mazda, found one in Italy and gave it to me as a birthday gift. Friends, like dreams, are awesome :)

those that work with me in the same office know that the website is an important part of my day. a hangout for aviation enthusiasts worldwide, its my source for a lot of aerospace knowledge on wide ranging topics, be it technology, business or the latest rumours in the industry. plus the simple pleasure or looking through over a million pictures of airliners. and an occasional source of inspiration, it turns out.

i've jokingly told a lot of people that what i want to do when i retire is to buy a small airplane and live near an airport, so i can take the grandkids out for a spin when they come visit me. for the most part this was a silly pipe dream, and not something i meant in entire seriousness. in fact, there were a few more similar dreams that would fall into the same category. but something happened today, that sorta made me look at them afresh.

on one of the forum threads on today, someone posted asking how much it would cost to restore a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar aircraft (a plane i love) to airworthy status to be used as a personal jet to transport all his friends to cool places. now, contrary to appearances, this wasn't posted by a juvenile who hasn't lost all his milk teeth yet, but by a forty eight year old graphic designer from new york. he wanted to paint it in a cool livery of his own design, and wanted to take his friends around, partying in the skies. that was his dream. and he just wanted know his chances of realizing it.
what surprised me were the responses. most of them took the dream reasonably seriously, having had similar dreams themselves. some people were chipping in with aircraft acquisition costs, D-check costs, crew and operational costs etc, while others were giving him more realistic options like smaller planes and charter costs for larger planes. there were also outright naysayers, and some skeptics, which i suppose was to be expected.

but one
post stood out from the rest, and sorta touched me i guess. i thought i'd share it here. it was by a real estate agent in the USA, who is also an aviation nut, and he said :

"You know, it's fun to dream. When I read the posting I just had to smile. Who amongst us in this forum or on this website has not, at one time or another, had the same dream? Or similar? I used to think it would be so cool to acquire the old Regent Air B727 and fly my friends around to parties and all the happening hotspots. (I'm seriously dating myself referring to Regent Air!) There is also that incredible B757 in Dallas that the Mavericks charter to fly their team, and I think it seats only 63 pax. I'd load it up with all my co-workers and fly us to our annual convention in style. Call me crazy, silly or downright certifiable. I'm in my mid-40's now -- my reality is a house that has two mortgages, a 1995 Corolla with 200+K miles and two somewhat ungrateful cats. And yet, yet, everyone once in awhile my mind drifts to my "happy place" where I'm in my private plane at 30,000 feet (or higher), being served Maker's Mark and soda by my model-gorgeous cabin crew and headed off somewhere -- ANYWHERE -- away from my current reality. Don't get me wrong -- my life is not at all bad, in fact it's pretty effing good. Dreams are free. You keep dreaming, buddy. I think your dream is awesome.


call me a sucker for having fallen for a few words, but this made my day, and made me look at my dreams afresh. thank heavens for small joys, eh?

Lockheed L-1011 Tristar V2-LEJ , leased by Air India from Caribjet in the late 90's.