My name is Peter and I have been interested in aviation for most of my life. When I was younger I was crazy about ships as that is how we travelled to the different places we lived as a family. Those places included (Western) Samoa, New Zealand, Holland and Malaysia.
My introduction to aviation at 9 years of age was in March 1966 where we broke with tradition and instead of boarding a banana boat to travel from Samoa back to New Zealand, we instead opted to fly.
It was 3 in the morning as we checked in at Apias’ Faleolo Airport. The Polynesian Airlines Douglas DC3 stood ready to take us the 90 miles to Pago Pago in American Samoa so we could connect with the TEAL (Air New Zealand) Douglas DC8 which was brand new. The runway at Faleolo was marked by a row of bonfires, off we went. We saw the lights of Apia as we passed overhead and on landing at Pago Pago dawn was breaking.
It also sounding like the world was breaking. On exiting the active runway the most almighty roar, the loudest I had ever heard came up behind us. Our DC8 had just touched down with a hiss and a roar.
Standing under the tail as we were about to board the DC8, I was sure I had never seen anything so big and beautiful. My love affair with planes had begun.
I worked for an airline in my career, although only in the sales area. I also got my private pilots licence which was such a buzz.
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