Anniversaries: The Good, the Bad and the Great

By Robert Mark on September 20th, 2011

Sometime next month, a few anniversaries begin jumping out at me. And no, my 20th wedding anniversary doesn’t pop up til next spring, but I’m told I can still choose anniversarybetween China and Platinum trinkets with my Happy Meals.

I was actually thinking more of a few aviation-related milestones as I penned this, both the events and the people those events brought me together with.

October 27, 2011 will be Jetwhine’s 5th anniversary.

It just about coincides with a date five years ago when a Gol Boeing 737 and an Embraer Legacy ran together in the skies over the Brazilian rainforest. The stories that followed the tragedy filled countless posts here in our first six months as many writers and pilots tried to make sense of the accident. Five years later, no one is really sure what happened for certain, except that the Boeing crashed and the Legacy managed an emergency landing at a Brazilian air Force base. The pilots were found guilty in absentia by a Brazilian court and the Brazilian air traffic controllers were also found to be at fault.

Who would have thought though that five years later, that I’d be proud to call two of the people who survived aboard the Legacy my friends. But they are. Before that accident, I’d never met or spoken to Joe Sharky, a contributing writer with the NY Times or Daniel Bachmann, then a communications specialist with Embraer and now working for my pal Allen Howell at Corporate Flight Management in Nashville. Glad you’re all still healthy guys.

Just a few weeks later comes another deadline, one the is for me a personally sad day … November 13, 1991, the day the original Midway Airlines shut down, ending six months of speculation by traders and but ramping up the anxiety levels for some 5,000 of us shown the door. What a lousy job, I thought then. Looking back on it though, flying at Midway was probably one of the best experiences of my life, both from a job and a flying experience gained perspective. Over the past 20 years I can’t even remember how many times I’ve run into some of the people I used to fly with at Midway Airlines, many now captains at Southwest where quite a few of our more senior aviators ended up. In attempt to keep the love alive, I built a Midway Commuter Facebook page. If you know anyone who flew for Midway 1, send them over so we can swap lies and down a couple of virtual beers. And yes, if you flew for Midway mainline or Midway 2 at RDU, you can come too. We’re all still family.

Oops. almost forgot another big one. Twenty five years next month that I escaped from the clutches of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization. Looking this all over again before I hit publish makes me realize I must be way older than even I think.

Rob Mark, publisher


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One Response to “Anniversaries: The Good, the Bad and the Great”

  1. Jess Caldern Says:

    Hey Rob! You may be older than what you think/would but for me that I’m under 30 and living my first professional years in the aviation industry I’d sign right now to reach the amount of experiences, knowledge and friends that you have! Therefore CONGRATULATIONS man!

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