the true pioneers

   civil aviatior
Early on we carried businessmen with the K.L.M. machines to Paris and Hamburg - they were, more than the pilots themselves, the true pioneers. They paid a lot of money for such a trip to Paris, London or Hamburg; we made a profit, so to speak.
One should understand what it meant to a young man in his early twenties to spend three nights out of each week in those cities. Or to fly with Jack Hylton as passenger and then to be able to find the field at Hamburg only by sheer chance, by means of a yellow flare that almost went into the cockpit window... I could not miss the field and when Hylton heard, after landing, that other machines were down in Bremen and Hannover because of the fog, and he invited me to see his show - well, I found life very pleasant in those days.

Willem van Veenendaal, Tussen hemel en aarde (Between heaven and earth) (1955)

true pioneers

   real lovers of modern flight
I never will forget the day that I tried to take off with a fully loaded Spad from Le Bourget. With five passengers I needed a lot of runway to get clear. But in the middle of the field we met with a very unfortunate bump when we had almost enough speed to take off... like being shot from a catapult the machine rose in the air and accomplished half a 'salto mortale'. There we were, on our backs - luckily the passengers had fastened their seat belts and they hung before me in a row whith their heads dangling. They weren't hurt and took things in a sporting way. Within half an hour they were on their way in another machine.

That was the spirit of the passenger of those days. They were pioneers in the true sense of the word... the real lovers of modern flight: they being the amateurs, we the professionals.

Iwan Smirnoff, Smirnoff vertelt (the story of Smirnoff) (1938)

true pioneers

   some advice
The circulars and advertising matter published by the various airways tell passengers that it is not necessary to wear anything but ordinary street clothes, the same as when you travel by rail. But if you happen to do any flying in early spring or late autumn, or during the winter, you will have far more peace of mind if you wear heavy-weight woollen stockings.

Of course the comforts will all come in a short time, perhaps before this goes to press, but we happen to be ahead of them.

Lowell Thomas, European Skyways (1928)

flying as passenger in a Spad between Vienna and Budapest

true pioneers

   more stockings
Snow once more began to fall. Hoping for better things on the coast, F/Lt Allen flew blind over the mountains for about an hour and then we once more saw patches of earth as we neared the coast and guessed our troubles were over.
Owing to the long strain of blind flying, I had been giving a little assistance with the rudder when I found it erring unduly from its course. As I have done this at home, I thought F/Lt Allen would know I was helping, but afterwards learnt that he thought the rudder was getting jammed with the frozen snow which was forming on the struts and other parts of the machine because whenever he turned round to see if it was me, he saw me quietly knitting and did not realize that I had 1½ eyes on the compass and only ½ a one on the knitting. It is easy to help anyone else to keep straight when one has no responsibility and only the rudder to look after.

Mary Bedford, The flying Duchess (1968)

flying and knitting 'a prosaic sock' between Bucharest and Istanbul, 1933. Well, what do you expect from a 63 year old woman?

true pioneers

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