Thursday, July 19, 2007
Home at last
London, Ontario, May 2007 [Click to enlarge]
The final leg of my trip home from China was a short hop from Toronto to London. The regularly-scheduled Dash-8 turboprop/puddlejumper had been pulled out of service after it arrived in Toronto. I'm not sure why, and I'm not sure I really want to know. But after a bit of a delay while the airline searched through the bottom of its proverbial knapsack for a replacement plane, we boarded one of my favorite aircraft, a Bombardier CRJ (Canadair Regional Jet).
It's manufactured in Dorval, Quebec, right near my old home. The old Canadair plant in the nearby suburb of St. Laurent - where I went to high school and used to watch them test-fly the then-new aircraft when I really should have been studying algebra - still builds major assemblies for this plane, as well as the Challenger business jet on which it is based.
So I've got a longstanding like affair with this particular aircraft family, and I relish any opportunity to get on board and head into the skies. I know, more detail about my aviation addiction than you really want to know.
As I deplaned in London, I turned back and admired the leading edge of the wing. Like the plane that just a week earlier had safely started me on my journey, this one ensured I was able to return to my family, now waiting just inside the terminal.
Your turn: I find air crashes to be unimaginably tragic. The TAM Airlines disaster in Brazil this week got me thinking about those souls unlucky enough to not make it back to their families after being away. Life is full of razor-thin differences between routine completion and horrifically immediate endings, and I strangely relate to the immense sense of loss when something like this happens. What do you think when you witness news like this?