From I-Spy to I-Fly

By Humberto Branco

May 2016

Boeing has been in my life since I was 10 or 11 years old. Living in a small Brazilian city, my favorite weekend activity was getting a 90-minute bus trip to the airport and taking a camera and an adapted VHF small radio. Seated in the balcony, hearing the ATC frequency, taking notes of planes' tail winds, flight numbers, departure and takeoff schedules, and navigation clearances was my life.

Then came some contacts with the airline people at the airport, and taking any opportunity to join dispatchers on their job of getting pilots information about their fuel, weight and data sheets. I clearly remember my first visit in a gorgeous 727-100 Freighter, spending the night at the airport for maintenance inspections. An hour in the cockpit alone and that wonder! It was a dream come true.

After that night, several others came -- some long visits, and some short comings and goings just to take a quick look. When I was 14 I took my first trip as an unaccompanied kid to visit my grandfathers. Based on my own registers, I knew exactly I would enjoy flying in a 727. From that time on, I've had Boeing in my life as a regular passenger and as a private pilot, able to afford having my own single-engine airplane and always having a chance to take a look at Boeing airplanes on the tarmac or in the airspace.

That's Boeing: the brand that alone represents everything aviation means to me. That's Boeing: the synthesis of the most incredible human genius.