Sweet 16

By Eric Tournaire

March 2016

I dreamed of aviation first spotting Boeing jets as a teenager in France from the then terrace in Nice airport.

Years later, I was captain on the 737 and loved it. While attending the Paris Air Show, I spotted the first appearance of Boeing's "Triple Seven," made my way to the plane and, showing my ID, told the Boeing guy at the fence "I am a Boeing flier -- may I visit?"

"Welcome, sir. Please proceed," was the answer -- opening to me the gate to the restricted area. I said to myself, those people at Boeing are like the airplanes they build: "human-friendly." Sitting in the captain's seat of the 777 after a walk around, I thought, this is the airplane I want to ride on.

Life listened to me and I was enjoying captainship on the B777 the following summer and for 16 delightful years across our tiny blue piece of the universe, up until retirement.

Boeing, you were there at the beginning of commercial flights, you were there at the early jet age, you made the Jumbo, which moved all of us. Please go on producing those always smarter, more efficient and still-human-friendly-to-operate-and-use airliners.

Happy Centennial, Boeing.

A happy Boeing flier, on monitoring duty in 2008.

Courtesy of Eric Tournaire