Fantasy camp for those who love to fly
News from The Associated Press:

Fantasy camp for those who love to fly

ABOARD AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 9454 (AP) — Eric Mueller’s vacation started when his plane filled with smoke. Soon, people slid down an emergency chute, inflated life vests and climbed into a raft.

Mueller loved every minute of it.

Most days he runs a book review website. But on this day he was living out a fantasy at American Airlines’ flight attendant academy, practicing evacuation procedures most people hope to never use.

“I look at the safety card. It’s not supposed to be a comic book of things you want to try, but it all just looks cool,” said Mueller, 40, of Los Angeles.

There are people who grew up wanting to be Mickey Mantle. They go to Yankees fantasy camp. Others dream of playing Carnegie Hall. They join the summer orchestra at the shore. Then there are aviation geeks like Mueller. People like him — and there are more than you think — charter a commercial airliner and hop across the country visiting the Meccas of the aviation world.

The most recent journey had 160 people paying up to $ 1,699 for a seat and access to spots normally off limits: Boeing’s sprawling 737 factory, American’s mission control-like operations center and the cockpit of the world’s la…………… continues on The Associated Press

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John Glenn and the foregone future
News from Asia Times Online:

John Glenn and the foregone future

This article is run courtesy of Daily Maverick. To visit their site, please click here.

Fifty years ago, John Glenn performed America’s first manned orbital flight in space. J BROOKS SPECTOR remembers the glorious day very well.

Years ago, on a family vacation in Florida, we found ourselves with an open, unscheduled day when it was too cold to go to the beach, we’d finally had our fill (and then some) of theme park rendezvous with cartoon mice, synchronised swimming killer whales or terror-inducing roller-coaster rides. Cape Kennedy and the rockets remained, however.

Although we’d been to Florida numerous times, for some reason we’d never actually made the pilgrimage to the space program’s


‘holy of holies’. While the rest of my family was not entirely convinced, as we got underway, I realised just how much I had wanted to make this trip. I’d grown up with the space race, from its inception in the 1950s. I distinctly remembered the horror of adults when the first satellite to orbit the Earth had been named “Sputnik” rather than “Pioneer”, “Vanguard” or “Explorer.” America was the countr…………… continues on Asia Times Online

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