If you recall from my Motherâ€™s Day post, I have a wonderful Mom who snuck through a side door of Unitedâ€™s headquarters in the 1980s to buy me something unique for my birthday from their logo shop.
My Dad is equally fantastic and did everything he could to encourage and foster my passion for airlines, airports and travel, and this Fatherâ€™s Day post is devoted to him.
As a kid growing up, he took me to the parking lots around Chicagoâ€™s Oâ€™Hare Airport on countless weekends so I could watch the arrivals and departures. We brought a scanner to listen to air traffic communications to know what was coming and going, and I often filmed our plane-spotting sessions on an old-school VHS recorder.
Our typical spot was alongside runway 4R/22L and aircraft would either be departing 22L or arriving on 4R. Even though itâ€™s one of the shorter runways at Oâ€™Hare, I still had the opportunity to see a number of wide-bodied jets take off and arrive, particularly DC-8s, DC-10s, L-1011s and A300s.
Once I had my driverâ€™s license at 16, I would venture out to Oâ€™Hare even more frequently and at all times of the week, sometimes bringing my homework to do in between lulls of traffic. With my Dadâ€™s foundation, I found even more spots around the runways to continue my passion for plane-spotting.
Sitting alongside airport runways and watching as much as I did, I hoped one day Iâ€™d frequently fly. I guess it was all but destined.
In 2011, I flew through Chicago on a couple of occasions and was fortunate to be seated in a window seat on the correct side of the plane to capture the following takeoff from runway 22L. Happy Fatherâ€™s Day, Dadâ€¦ this takeoff is for you.
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