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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:25 pm 
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Moving forward, way forward -- Giant Step Forward -- I retired! I completed my last flight as an Air Canada pilot. When I started in 1978 I was only 4 years older than this guy, on the right.

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My first job was as an FO on the DC-9. Here I am, vastly more experienced, at age 23.

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Dad and I flew together...

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Mind you, we flew together yesterday, too!

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Last edited by Dave Hadfield on Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:50 pm 
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And last week, 39 years later -- 23,000 jet hours later -- I completed my last airline flight, a B-777-200 LR to Frankfurt and back.

I ended up with Type Ratings on the DC-9, B-727, A-320 (inc 319 and 321), L-1011, B-767, A-340, A-330 and B-777. My preference? Well, it was always for a paycheck, but I liked Airbus least -- and I had 12 years to think about that, left and right seat.

Left to myself, my last flight would have been unannounced. I would have faded silently away. But Robin and some other friends decided that wasn't an option. They formed a Cabal. I had no idea. They organized a Conspiracy. A Great Organization took shape. I was in the dark. But the final result was a wonderful thing, and major life-event for me.

It started with my FO, John A, whom I grew up with at the farm. I probably taught him to drive a Farmall H in 1973. He was one of my brother Phil's best friends. We wangled a flight-drop, and got him in the right seat for the trip. Then the FO who brought our airplane in from HKG was another graduate of that farm, Andy H, and he hung around an hour after arrival to get this photo taken. (John is on the left.)

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Here we are way back in the tractor days, after sweating on a hot spring-planting day...

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Slight change of scene, first in Flight Planning...

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... and then in the Boeing.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:26 pm 
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The flight was mostly full, but we were able to squeak the family on board.

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Robin and Kelly got into Business Class...

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... but I put Austin (who was recently a B-777 RP, and is now on his 320 course) to work -- no mercy!

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It was a typical Atlantic crossing -- bumpy and dark -- but fortunately we discovered Europe, where the groundspeed went to 630 kts...

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...and even stumbled across Germany.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:54 pm 
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Speaking of stumbling, I flew this first leg because if I screwed up and pounded-it-on in FRA, at least I'd have another chance back in YYZ. But if by chance I achieved a smooth one I'd make it a "keeper".

The approach was 25R, which is a bit odd because it's a 150 ft wide runway (narrow) and a steeper than normal Glideslope, which combine to give an unusual ("Aren't you getting too high?") view out the window. But by worshipping the radio altimeter and taking into account the tense expression on John's face, and the sudden alarmed intake of breath from Austin, I flared at the right point, found the Earth, ruptured hardly a thing, and decided, Yes!, that one worked. I'm done!

We were given an off-gate parking stand, with buses, so this gave a good opportunity for photos. First, my daughter came up to see the cockpit...

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... followed by more...

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... and then some outside on the ramp bfore getting on...

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... the bus.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:42 pm 
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Dave.....congratulations......and enjoy a well-deserved fun and healthy retirement!!!!

Dont let this be an excuse from posting more great stories....

Pretty cool you have your family on the last flight.

Cheers and take good care.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:22 pm 
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Wonderful pictures of a great career! Thanks so much.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:53 pm 
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Looks good on you Dave! Now you'll be able to complain about how busy you are. :drink3: :spit :spit

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:25 pm 
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Bravo, Dave! Thanks for sharing this very special flight with us! :drink3:

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"It's his plane, he spent the money to restore it, he can do with it what he wants. I will never understand what's hard to comprehend about this." - kalamazookid


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:35 am 
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Thanks, guys! I'm off sailing for a couple of days -- will finish this when I get back.

Bikinis and alcohol may become a factor.

Dave


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:21 pm 
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Please don't post any pictures of you in a bikini Dave.
That'll change things irreparably. :shock:

Congratulations. Enjoy! :drink3:

Andy


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:48 am 
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Wonderful :) Congratulations! :drink3:

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:38 am 
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Thanks, guys.

Yes I got distracted. And bikinis were a factor.

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Anyway, we upgraded to a suite at the Hilton in Mainz, and the management sent this up to us...

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... so we invited the crew up to help us consume it -- and a bit more!

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Dinner: schnitzel at Goldsteins, a typically great Biergarten/restaurant -- reminiscent of 1000 other great evenings in Europe.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:02 am 
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Back to the airplane; the Germans are so organized -- T minus 13!

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Reflection of Fin 702 in the terminal windows.

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Takeoff was uneventful -- it was John's leg. We headed up towards Copenhagen and never spoke to Shanwick at all. Quite a northern route back.

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That's the south coast of Iceland beyond John's dimples.

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And I started receiving a sequence of datalink messages which were very touching and unlooked-for.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:33 pm 
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There is a lot of traffic on the North Atlantic Tracks. This one wasn't even particularly close as these things go.

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And then we crossed Greenland at the latitude of the Viking colony. The day was clear enough that I interrupted everyone's movies, and actually made an Announcement. Often passengers don't like that much anymore, but this was rare enough to be well-received.

East coast. You can see glaciers melting and calving icebergs.

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West coast and colony site. Very little snow even on peaks...

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... but just to the north the Ice-Cap is not far away.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:03 pm 
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Fantastic! Keep it comin' Dave, your posts are wonderful! pop2 :supz:

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