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Airplanes, Rocketry, Missiles, Spacecraft and things that go WHOOSH! in the night.
What's flying around my head at the current time.

Sunday, December 31, 2006


For Christmas, Linda bought me a copy of One Six Right, a 2005 documentary about Van Nuys Airport, the busiest General Aviation airport in the country. The overwhelming thread that runs through the film is that local airports are a precious non-renewable resource that is being depleted at the rate of one a week. The Los Angeles area has gone from fifty-some small airports to nine. Special note is made of the fate of Chicago's former lakeside airport, Miegs Field, which was destroyed in the middle of the night when Mayor Daley ordered bulldozers to cut large X-shaped trenches in the runways with out warning anyone and in violation of an agreement the city had with the FAA. Several nearby former airports are shown.

The majority of the film is composed of wonderful footage of all sorts of airplanes that operate from the airport. Everything from piper cubs to Classic biplanes. Cessnas to helos. Warbirds to big bizjets. The airport was the center of aviation in California. Aviation records were set and movies, including Casablanca were filmed there. Marilyn Monroe was discovered working an a plant there. There is archival footage going back to the opening of the airport in 1927, through the 30s, 40s, 50s through the present. Manufacturers including Aero Spacelines and Air National guard operations are covered Lots of local pilots, including celebrities and aviation pioneers are interviewed. All accompanied by a wistful original piano/guitar soundtrack.

Its a rare film that gets me choked up. Its even more rare that a documentary brings a tear to my eye. One Six Right did both. Highly recommended.

It will be showing on Discovery HD on New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and Several times in January.

Check out the website, One Six Right: The Romance of Flying

And if you find the password to the "Secret Hangar" section of the website, let me know what it is.

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