Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Look out the Left Window ... This Is As Close As You'll Get to....

     Back to the 1970s. Just about every day, I’d leave my village in South Korea, get on a "kimchi bus," and take the 30-minute-or-so ride to Kimpo Air Base, right exactly next to the big civilian Kimpo Airport. There was a small, primitive military gym at the air base – the closest gym to us, and they let Army and Marines in, whereupon I would work out. By "right next to," I mean a small parking lot, a chain link fence, a strip of grass, and the runway. Planes coming and going were close and very LOUD. We got somewhat used to it.

Kimpo Air Base of the times

     Then, one afternoon I was in there exercising when a hideous wave of sound came crashing through the gym and shook my lungs. I swear I wanted to drop to my knees. WHAT? I made for the open bay doors and saw the source. The Concorde! Wow. First time I saw (or heard or felt that)! Later on the G.I. station news, I saw where the Concorde had just started flying into Korea and these were the first days. To my memory, it was a French plane. And, yes, we had to put up with the roar coming or going and rattling the fillings in our teeth if we were there at the gym working out at those times.

     Back to 2015. Recently on my way back from Warsaw through London Heathrow and while taxiing, the pilot told us all to look out the window to the left and see the "old" British Airways Concorde. Still looking so awesome. There was some display or event of sorts going on at the airport. The pilot said, “This is about as close as you will ever get to a Concorde.” But I was closer back in the 70s. Eyeball-shaking closer.

     At home in Texican land, I found this timely news video. It was a kick to see this plane again. And it took me back to a cool moment in time I'd forgotten, guts vibrating, running out to the lot, and watching the big, beautiful, supersonic bastard take off.

     See the video clip of the London Concorde action Click here

     Kimpo Airport of the times, later and now called Gimpo Airport

     Downfall of the Concorde - the 2000 crash video in France Click here 

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