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Last Updated: Monday, 22 December 2003, 09:28 GMT
Send us your flight memories
Aviation enthusiasts from around the world are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first powered flight.

The pioneering brothers conquered the air on December 17 1903, flying over a remote sandy island on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina, USA in their revolutionary motorised "Flyer".

A re-enactment of the feat using a replica of the aircraft will be staged at Kitty Hawk beach in North Carolina, where the original flight took place.

What was your most unforgettable flight, and why does it linger in the memory?

And if you have any photographs of your aviation accomplishments, email them to: yourpics@bbc.co.uk


This debate is now closed. Read your comments below.

Your comments:

I loved flying a Cessna 172SP from San Juan PR to Christiansted, St. Croix, or when I bought a ride in a Stearman over Napa Valley...but the most memorable was in a DC-3 approaching Canaima in the Venezuelan Amazon and circling Angel Falls...
Rich Nasser, Minneapolis, MN

Around five years ago, flying from the main Maldives airport out to one of the island atolls in a tiny sea plane that sat around 6 passengers. The pilot was from Canada and to complement his neatly pressed shirt was sporting a cool pair of flip flops!. There was even an in flight magazine. Looking down from a few hundred feet (well it seemed like that) onto the Indian Ocean and all the atolls, then coming in to land by what seemed no more than a floating wooden strip about 20 foot square was definately unforgettable.
Phil, Nimes, France

The most memorable thing for me was seeing Concorde leave Edinburgh Airport for the last time ever. People were openly crying all around me. Very sad. How nice would it have been to have sent a Concorde to the US yesterday to fly over Kitty Hawk and stamp its presence on history. BA lets us down again!
Gordon, Falkirk UK

Flying low and fast over Hartebeespoort Dam, South Africa, in a SAAF Puma helicopter; and doing tactical night landings and take-offs whilst sitting on the cot behind the pilots in a C-160 Transall. My brother-in-law was flying the Transall and it was both frightening and thrilling. Sadly he was killed last year test-flying an aerobatic aircraft.
Graeme Ballantyne, Worksop, UK

My first soloflight - incredible!
Asger, Nykøbing F., Denmark
Being the son of a former airforce- and later on business-pilot, I´ve spend countless hours in the cockpit on test flights etc. and, once in a while, on a few days trip around Europe. The most memorable flights I´ve had however, was when I joined the Danish Airforce. My first soloflight - incredible! I was flying the Saab T-17 Supporter, alone! What a kick! Then came the first loop, roll, high-speed stall etc. etc. - all clear memories from my 'fly-boy-past'. I later failed a few tests, and had to leave the course. Oh you lucky guys up there...
Asger, Nykøbing F., Denmark

Easily the most memorable flight of my life was when I visited the Tiger Moth Club's flying day at Woburn Abbey some years back as a guest of an old friend of my father's. Not only did I meet night fighter ace John Cunningham, one of my boyhood heroes, but I had a joyride in a Tiger Moth - complete with flying helmet inna Biggles stylee!
Guy Chapman, Reading, UK

In October 1998 my girlfriend, now my wife, and I trekked up to Everest Base Camp, starting from Lukla at 9,500 ft. Our group of 16 flew from Kathmandu to Lukla in a light aircraft. The flight through the snow-capped Himalayas was magnificent and then we went into a very steep descent towards the side of a valley to land at Lukla, an unmade, 500 metre airstrip on about a 40 degree slope on the side of a mountain! As we hit the runway the noise of the twin props on reverse pitch and the stones bouncing off the underside of the aircraft were deafening. The aircraft bounced and thundered up the slope of the runway and somehow managed to stop at the top to the relief of everyone. It was the best 'White-Knuckle Ride' ever!
David Salmons, Stevenage, Hertfordshire

I now have my licence and just took a flight over the south of England to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight
Giles Olley, Winchester, UK
I learned to fly this year. My most memorable moment was September 11th 2003 when I flew solo for the first time. I won't quickly forget the thrill of taking off on my own from Southampton airport. The feeling of elation as I successfully landed was incredible. I now have my licence and just took a flight over the south of England to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight.
Giles Olley, Winchester, UK

I will always remember the first time I went up in a glider. I must have been about 7 or 8 and my Dad took me up over the Black Mountains and I remember feeling as though I could fly.
Emily, Sandhurst, Berkshire

Finally getting onto a flight home from the US after September 11th. Very mixed feelings. Getting struck by lightning when coming into land in Germany and having to abort landing at the last moment. Flying from Barbados to Mystique in an 8-seater plane like a flying camper van, feeling completely safe and being able to see the fish in the water below.
Kathy, Marlborough, UK

It was just incredible to fly into the green canyon
Charlie, Oxford, UK
I flew in a tiny Cessna over miles and miles of the Venezuelan jungle to see Angel Falls, the world's highest waterfall. It was just incredible to fly into the green canyon and see water cascading almost 1km to the base. The Falls were discovered by a pilot, Jimmy Angel - without planes we'd probably still be unaware of their existence
Charlie, Oxford, UK

Four years ago in my last weeks of university, my flatmate took us up in a light aircraft from Filton, where Concorde was partly built. The views were absolutely incredible on that rare sunny day around Bristol, and we wheeled over the River Severn to look at a shipwreck. We could even see a cricket match down below. The sense of freedom is indescribable, and even in a small plane, the technical achievement of flight remains impressive.
Julian , London, UK

My most memorable flight was my first solo in a Cessna 150 two-seater at age 48. I thought it was amazing to be piloting an aircraft all by myself!
Bev, Canada

At the beginning of the 20th century, several countries competed keenly for the Schneider Trophy - eventually won outright by Britain in 1931 with the S6B, a plane which was a forerunner of the Spitfire. This race was restored in the 1980s as part of the national air racing championships, organised by the Royal Aero Club. In 1991, I had the honour and thrill of winning the diamond (60) jubilee Schneider Trophy air race in my Condor aircraft - top speed 122mph!
Brian Manning, Cleobury Mortimer, Worcs

I wonder what observations and comments the Wright brothers would have made of helicopter flight
Russell Aisbitt, Lower Slaughter, UK
My first helicopter flight 13 years ago was the most memorable. When the helicopter lifted straight up, the way the grass beneath made a radiating pattern from the downwash of the rotors, viewing trees in a forest from just a few feet directly above. These are both images that I will never forget. I wonder what observations and comments the Wright brothers would have made of helicopter flight.
Russell Aisbitt, Lower Slaughter, UK

My aviation memory is actually a memory of hearing my late father describe the 1st Airborne Division's landing at Arnhem. Many of the gliders crashed, either on takeoff or landing, or over the water on the journey. He described it as 'sitting in a coffin', constantly shaken from side to side, buffeted by winds, feeling sick and frightened and ill. Out of his regiment, less than half made the journey home again. I am amazed at the bravery of all the men who flew in these gliders. It took my father some 40 years before he could bear to go near a plane after that. And I am very proud of him.
Kate, Wales

Flying in a piston engine, Douglas DC3 Dakota from Port Said down to Cairo after a month on an oil rig. You climb into the plane at the rear and walk up the aisle - a fairly steep climb to your seat, then as the plane takes off the angle totally changes and the aisle becomes level. That was in 1983 when the planes were getting on for 40 years old and still flying - I bet there are still DC3 Dakotas flying commercially even now. A wonderful plane.
Anon, UK

Eating the smoked mackerel on a BA flight from Dusseldorf to Manchester, and then spending the rest of the flight with a sick bag and having to make a dash for the loo when we landed. It seemed like the longest flight ever ....!
Lou, England

When I was still flying to and from Canada on a regular basis in the 1980s, I had the rare chance of sitting in the cockpit of a 747 flying to London Heathrow. Because I knew a pilot in Canada who worked for British Airways, I was able to pass on greetings to the Captain on this particular flight. To my surprise, the stewardess who had taken the message said I was 'wanted in the cockpit'. It was 'night' at the time, and, apart from the interesting explanation of most things in the cockpit, I noticed what to me was an amazing display of northern lights. Upon commenting, I was told that the crew, in over 20 years' flying, had never seen them as they were on that night. The entire sky was one great light show!
Douglas Fear, Heidelberg, Germany

It's easy to forget all the bravery, ideas, skill, and ingenuity people like the Wrights and other pioneers who made it possible for those who wanted to fly
Des East, Chelmsford, England
When you think of all the millions of people who have ever lived on earth and who wanted to fly. Even now I feel what a very rare privilege it is to be a pilot. and to know I can get into a machine make it leave the earth and come back safely. Flying on an airliner it's easy to forget all the bravery, ideas, skill, and ingenuity people like the Wrights and other pioneers who made it possible for those who wanted to fly the chance to do so.
Des East, Chelmsford, England

When I flew back from Mali a couple of years ago, I had malaria. I was flying alone and feeling so miserable I started crying. Every one around me just stared, no one bothered to ask what was wrong which made me feel worse. When we arrived my luggage was lost. It took so long to sort it out that by the time I walked through the gates my sister thought I missed my plane and left so I had to make another 2 hours train ride to get home and I only had my summer clothes on me and this was half October... But I had a great time in Mali that made it all worthwhile.
Leen, Belgium

I was given a flying lesson in a Cessna for my 21st birthday. I was given total control of the plane from the moment we started taxiing up the runway, and the instructor only took it back as we were coming in to land (about 20ft off the ground!) The view of my local area from the sky, and the feeling of total exhilaration that I felt to be in control of such a gorgeous machine is one I will never forget. I am now saving up so that I can do my full PPL some day!
Jo, Bristol, UK

My most memorable flight was flying to Australia in 1996 - two things stick in my mind. The first was flying over India at night, the blackness of the land was broken up by camp fires all over the landscape instead of the artificial light we see over westernised countries, and a huge moon hung in the sky, red from the heat of the day - I can still see the image in my head. The other memorable moment was flying over the top left hand corner of Australia, just beautiful blue ocean, red, red earth and white sandy beaches which went on for miles and miles. Beautiful.
Jeni Middleton, Leeds, UK

Two spring to mind.....
1. Concorde Bay of Biscay flight on my 21st birthday 14 yrs ago. My Dad fixed up for me to sit in the jump seat for the landing. Fantastic atmosphere for all on board especially when the old girl hit Mach 2. When we landed at Heathrow I had a smile that made my face hurt.
2 Comet - XV814, last ever flying Comet 4B, round the coast of Britain when I was apprentice at RAE Farnborough. Glad to say I flew in first and fastest jet airliners.
Nic McCartney, Fareham, England

My grandma and granddad flying off on honeymoon to Holland from Liverpool airport in the early 1930s. It was quite the event in their hometown of Bolton and got them in the local paper with a picture of them standing by the plane on the runway, with a headline reading "Bolton couple fly". The plane looked like it was made out of balsawood. It was the one and only time in her long life that my grandma flew, despite all the things we told her about the advances they'd made since those early days.
David Walmsley, Reading, UK

Thank you Wilbur and Orville!
Chris Hodgson, Manchester UK
I have just started learning to fly this year and I must say it's the most fantastic thing I have ever done. Already I have some memories to treasure. Flying over complete overcast in a surreal yet beautiful environment, or at 5000ft as the sun goes down is simply awesome and makes the whole thing worthwhile. Thank you Wilbur and Orville!
Chris Hodgson, Manchester UK

For me a flight coming home from the Falkland Islands to the UK and I was on the flight deck of the Tristar as it crossed the equator and I watched as the dials showed the latitude and longitude readings. The other must be watching a beautiful sunrise over the South Pacific when flying to New Zealand from Honolulu. The colours were breathtaking.
David Hamilton, Barkingside, Essex UK

When a student pilot, I took off at Exeter with Concorde on the apron, the Red Arrows getting ready to line up, and when I made contact with ATC, they said to look out for a Lancaster, a Spitfire and a Hurricane in the area. Definitely one to tell the grand-children
Paul, Devon, UK

I spent a lot of my childhood in Seattle, USA as my father went to work for Boeing, and his pet projects were the 747 and 747-400. When I was a small child, I would look up at the sky and call any plane in the sky a Boeing. Most memorable flight I can remember was on a British Airways 747 flight from Seattle-Tacoma to London Heathrow, and I was allowed up in the cockpit. We were flying over Greenland at the time, and although it was the middle of the night, it was broad daylight.
Kate, Manchester, England

I never really liked flying but am now just about used to it! The last flight was from London to Bangkok - a return journey of 24 hours but it was so smooth the seatbelt lights never went on once... people go on about Concorde but I think 747's are also amazing and quite underrated. Safe flying everyone!
Johnny, Windsor, Windsor, UK

I was amazed by the grace, manoeuvrability and speed of the WWII vintage plane
Paul, Colchester, UK
Although my feet were firmly on terra-firma, my most vivid memory of flight was watching impromptu demonstration by a Spitfire during a visit to Duxford a few years back. I cannot think of a more perfect marriage of beauty and sheer brute power, despite its sixty years of age the Spitfire's spectacle was the most awesome sight in aviation that I'd ever seen. I was amazed by the grace, manoeuvrability and speed of the WWII vintage plane and the almost primeval howl of that Rolls Royce Merlin engine as the pilot flung the machine through a series of tight turns and passes.
Paul, Colchester, UK

I took my first flying lesson yesterday and the instructor let me take control of the aircraft from the moment we were in the air until the final landing approach. 45 minutes buzzing around the skies above my county at 3000 feet - what a rush!
Rich, UK

Of all the aircraft I have flown in, from gliders to large commercial jets, by far and away the best was my flight on Concorde. This is the only aircraft I have flown in where you can positively feel when it speeds up and slows down in the air. The power felt amazing, plus the view from 58,000 feet and being able to see the darker skies above and the curvature of the earth. All this whilst sipping Champagne. Truly amazing. I long for the days when I will be able to fly higher and faster. The views and thrills as an astronaut must be amazing.
Craig Goodwin, Farnborough, Hampshire




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