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Funny Adventures

It is hard to say what event deserves mention. Over the pre-war years, when air communication was still in its early development, and especially before the nationalization, when we flew as Aerolloyd, and then Aerolot, each of us had more or less funny adventures. At that time air transport was very romantic. Passengers were not in a hurry. They would usually fly for pleasure. The flight itself was a great adventure. Sometimes we would have to land along the way due to bad weather or technical failure, but passengers were hardly deterred by that, and they were happy to wait for departure, sipping tea with a local landlord. We usually flew the four- seat Junkers at that time. Passengers would step up onto the wing, and then from the wing into the cockpit.

LOT Ju52What were the more funny stories? I flew to Kraków. Only one passenger was in the cockpit, a young and pretty lady. This time, to my luck, I had an engineer with me, sitting in the other seat in the cockpit. It was summer, weather was wonderful. Suddenly a window opens, and an enthusiastic face appears to let me know that she is going to take a walk on the wing for better sightseeing. The window is right behind me, on the wall that separated the passenger cabin and the cockpit, but the engine noise did not give much chance of persuasion. I had my mechanic talk to her and try to convince her this stupid idea would have grave consequence, as should be blown off the wing immediately. Fortunately the airfield was not far away and we landed soon. The lady was delighted with the flight, but rather bitter towards me.

A friend of mine had a somewhat similar case, when flying with one passenger from Kraków to Vienna, but with the difference that his passenger did not ask his permission--he simply get off at 1,000m altitude. He left a note on his seat (unlucky in love).

That was what the air transport.was like in the early, pioneering years. Over the pre-war period we had some bitter situations, as well. But it is a fact that LOT Polish Airlines, already at that time, was at the top of the European list in terms of flight safety and punctuality.

Captain Ludwik Tokarczyk