I am Douglas Aircraft brat. I was raised on commercial planes and have a deep and abiding love for DAC planes in particular. I eventually followed in my father’s footsteps and went to work for McDonnell Douglas (as did my little brother). When the DC-10 was in it’s hey day my father traveled the world negotiating contracts for the sale and lease of the aircraft. He traveled to exotic places like Liberia and Peru. He spent months in Europe and Asia.
We stayed home. Mum raising two children while he traveled. Sometimes that meant placing the odd international call to tell him that the refrigerator stopped working. I remember late night trips to LAX to pick Daddy up from a long trip. Nothing quite beats that feeling of a loved one returning from a long trip and throwing yourself at them as they walk off the plane. (Of course, that experience is no longer available in the world thanks to the ridiculous state of paranoia we now live in.) There were the trips to LAX to pick-up visiting airline reps that Daddy wasn’t yet home to meet.
When he was gone for extending periods of time he would mail home cassette tapes telling us about his trips. I remember being so happy when those arrived in the mail. Then there would be the lasting treasure I still have to this day, the international doll collection. Every country he visited, he brought home national souvenirs for us. We would each get a doll in the international dress of the country. I cherish my collection still, even if it is still packed away because I have yet to find a worthy curio cabinet.
The last DC-10 passenger international scheduled aircraft concluded it’s last flight on Thursday of last week. The DC-10 is still in active service as a cargo plane across the globe. The plane is not without it’s share of problems or critics. But in general, it is an incredible plane that is more than forty years old and still in service. It has carried the hopes and dreams of millions of people across the globe. It has delivered the mail and aiding Santa Claus for four decades and will continue to do so.
The DC-10 made the world more accessible to millions of people. It brought relief to those in need. The DC-10 is my favorite plane. It isn’t one I had any personal involvement with but it is the aircraft that allowed my family to have an amazing and wonderful life for many years. It is a piece of my childhood. I shall miss it.