Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

one six right (& aviation movies in general)

I had a flight scheduled for today, so of course the forecast took a quick turn from "mostly sunny" to "freezing fog". Le sigh. In the afternoon it started to clear up but then we had winds right on the edge of my limit, and after last week's unfortunate attempt at a flight in borderline weather where I had to turn back after one pattern, I was not about to go up unless I was sure it was a nice day.

And speaking of that flight my school is holding a special session this week to show everyone how to use the defroster sprayer thing. I feel a little hurt. I think every student should have to learn to use the thing in actual 20 degree weather at 7 am like I did.

But I digress... instead of flying I watched a flying movie. At this year's SWE conference I met this brilliant girl Erin who told me about the movie and promised to e-mail me a link. She did. I wanted to e-mail her back after I watched the movie, but procrastinated long enough that my work inbox ate her e-mail. So she never heard back from me and this makes me a horrible person who seems to only be nice to people on conference highs.

Digressed again, crap. Anyway One Six Right is a documentary about Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles, California. This area of California used to have 60-some general aviation airports and now there are nine. The documentary tells the story of the airport, interviews people about the wonderful things that happened there, and makes a case for why general aviation airports need to exist. Wikipedia says this little airport moves over 1000 airplanes a day. LAX moves 1700. So hell, just imagine what LAX would be like with over 50% more traffic. But there are other reasons to keep the little airport too... it's REALLY good for the economy, it has amazing history, once you plow it under you can never get it back.

The interviews were great. I liked how many women pilots they found, from fresh young helicopter pilots to WASPs who ferried planes in WWII. I also realized I am NOT the most cursed student pilot ever, I know I complain about weather a lot but one pilot interviewed told the sad story about how he was literally lined up on the ramp for his first solo flight when the airport was shut down for an emergency. Pearl Harbor had been bombed. He had to wait an entire YEAR for his first solo, and it was of course part of an armed services training program.

Anyway if you're not into airplanes you'll think One Six Right is cheesy. They have too many scenes of single engines soaring freely through the clouds with sweeping music in the background. But if you kinda like airplanes, or LOVE airplanes, I'd recommend this film. I got it on Netflix.

This is the most meaningful aviation movie I've ever seen. I love any movie with an airplane in it... but trust me I've seen some horrible ones. Like Soul Plane. This year my husband put me through Iron Eagle, which was so bad I couldn't look away but in the end I wished I'd had that time in my life back. And isn't Top Gun more about guys playing sand volleyball than pilots? Except that reminds me, I gotta ask my instructor when I learn to buzz the tower.

Where I work, we love Fletch. It's an all-around good movie and there is one scene involving an airplane, where Chevy Chase explains to the A&P mechanics that "it's all ball bearings these days". That line works EVERYWHERE, even in avionics, you'd be surprised. We also love AIRPLANE, especially because we install autopilot systems and wish ours was inflatable.

Anyway if I'm missing any other movies with airplanes, let me know, they're all terribly important.

I did not see "Amelia" this year. I read too many horrible reviews of it, I was afraid it'd break my heart to see it done badly. Let me know if I'm wrong.
Tags: aviation, movies
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