How I Fell in Love with Aviation
Happy National Aviation Day! Every August 19th in the United States fans of flight celebrate all things aviation. There are a number of ways to enjoy the celebration of flight. To observe the day, our owner Ronald J Schaberg reflected on how he fell in love with aviation.
Schaberg learned to enjoy flight because his father traveled all over the world for his career, and took his family with him. “I was born in Thailand and my mom and dad brought us to the United States for the first time when I was 4, on a Boeing 707,” Schaberg said. “That was my first introduction to aviation and I feel in love with it.”
Because of his upbringing Schaberg “…had the good fortune of flying around the world three times before the age of 12, on Pan-American Airways and a few other carries.” Schaberg’s love of aviation grew because it made it easy for his family to visit exotic places and experience the world. “We would leave Thailand on a 707 and come to the United States every few years. On the way we would make stops in Bangkok, Tokyo and Hawaii. We’d also visit London and India on a different route. I thought it was exciting.”
Schaberg says one of his favorite early memories was when he was allowed to join the captain on a flight. “I might have been 8 years old and the captain allowed me to sit in the cabin, which would never happen today. I would sit in the co-pilot’s seat. I was too young to be able to reach the pedals on the floor, but he explained to me what they did.”
Schaberg notes the ease of flight that was most attractive to him as a child. “The beauty of the airplane, being able to travel to exotic places, it all appealed to me. By the time I got to high school I couldn’t wait for school to be over so I could go to the airport and fly an airplane.”
When Schaberg was young he remembers flying was very different from today. “In those days they would hand out cigarettes and gum. You could smoke on the plane. They give you a pack of 3-4 cigarettes and routinely handed them out. They would also hand out Chiclets for your ear pressure.” Class was also a big deal on airplane flights when Schaberg was a youth. “Everyone in first class wore a suit. On the big 707 they used to board first class on the front of the plane, and coach passengers would board upstairs, on the rear. It was weird.”
Schaberg’s love of aviation led him to start Travel Care Air, one of the leading international air ambulance providers in the world. Since 1980 Travel Care has helped people in need all over the globe, continuing Ronald’s love for travel and experiencing other cultures he developed from his parents as a child
What’s your favorite aviation memory? Share yours to join the National Aviation Day celebration on our comments, or on our Facebook page!