My mate Pete Talalla flew 747s.
He was and is a master.
On his last flight out of Sydney (before retirement) in a plain-white-painted 747 transport (bound for the Middle East in support of..enough said!) Pete's co-pilot asked Sydney ATC for a special clearance to recognise this master pilot's time in the front left seat.
"XXX you are cleared for take-off, maintain height not below 500 feet......"
If you ever saw a plain white-painted 747 run up the Sydney coast from Malabar to Bondi, past The Heads, past Manly and all at "never below 500 feet (ahem!)" and then make a sharp left towards Mecca while screaming up to the sky - well that was Pete!
Thanks for your service brother!
Pete's just posted this - it comes from a time when Real Men ran airlines!
There once was a time when the men flew the aeroplanes, and not the other way around where the airplane now flies the man.
The 747 Classic is the icon of the former age. Stuff of legend, where layovers were counted in days and sometimes even weeks.
Pilots got enough sleep, enough fuel, enough pay and enough time at home.
The skies clear, the passengers classy, the seats bigger, meals were served with warmth, and the spirit of aviation was fueled by excitement and adventure for passengers and crew alike.
The 747 Classic was royalty.
The Queen of the Skies.