Boeing

Big Jet, Big Crowd. Magnifico!

By Stefan Vargas

January 2016

I will never forget the first time a Boeing 747 landed in Costa Rica, at the international airport Juan Santamaria. It was a Clipper Flight Pan Am 747, and it was the first time Pan Am brought the big bird to the country.

The airport was packed with people -- there were people everywhere. The plane landed. It was beautiful, big, amazing. As a kid, I thought it was magnificent. I'd never seen it so close.

At the time of departure, all eyes were on the plane. Apparently the pilot was to treat us with a maneuver -- no one knew. The plane took off, turned around, approached the airport and did a flight bypass so close to the runway, landing gear up -- fast and at the same time waving the wings like saying goodbye.

Then the pilot positioned the plane in an ascend angle at the end of the runway -- I've never, ever seen it before, to this date! -- until it disappeared into the clouds.

I'll never forget that day ... a Pan Am Boeing 747-100.

Happy 100, Boeing!