National Aviation Day: TPG staffers share their most AvGeek-y moments

Aug 19, 2020

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Happy National Aviation Day!

In 2020, however, that means most of us are grounded amid the global coronavirus pandemic. Travel is disrupting travel, and has led to border closures and quarantines.

But we didn’t want to let the day pass unnoticed, even in this most unusual of years. Instead, we’re hoping you’ll enjoy some of our staffers’ favorite AvGeek moments that we’ve resurfaced in this post from last year.

And here’s hoping to a 2021 where we’re all back in the sky again for the next National Aviation Day. Until then, stay safe!

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From 2018: Behind the scenes at American Airlines’ LAX operation for National Aviation Day

Scott Mayerowitz, Executive Editorial Editor

TPG Executive Editorial Director Scott Mayerowitz inside the cockpit of a JetBlue A321 parked at a gate at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport in July.
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 jet, the “Spirit of Freedom” dedicated to America’s servicemen and women, is pulled as part of a charity event. Mayerowitz and Senior Aviation Editor Ben Mutzabaugh got to take part in the event with some Delta staff.


Alberto Riva, Former Managing Editor

TPG Managing Editor Alberto Riva at the 2017 Dubai Air Show, with an A380.
Riva at the 2013 Dubai Air Show, in the cockpit of a Eurofighter Typhoon.

Emily McNutt, Global News Editor

McNutt getting a unique perspective watching ground staff at LHR turn around this Oman Air 787.

Benét Wilson, Credit Cards Editor

Wilson relaxes in the TWA Hotel’s Sunken Lounge.
Wilson’s daughter does a checklist inspection of her mom’s Beechcraft Sundowner training aircraft.
Wilson with United Airline CEO Oscar Munoz at an event celebrating the carrier’s final Boeing 747 flight.

Wallace Cotton, Community Manager

Cotton riding jumpseat on the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital MD-10, alongside Riva.
Cotton inside a now-retired United 747-400 at the UAM Aircraft Recycling Facility in Tupelo, Mississippi.


Summer Hull, Editorial Director

Hull’s 8-years-old daughter was invited to check-out the cockpit of a United flight from Wichita to Houston before boarding officially commenced. She was even given the chance to turn off some alarms with the help of the pilot.

Victoria Walker; Points, Miles and Deals Reporter

Walker after the first leg of her second flight — EVER — in Addis Ababa in 2014 after a 14-hour flight. Walker was flying Washington – Addis Ababa – Accra on a community service trip to Ghana in college.

Zach Griff, Travel Analyst

Two Zach’s (Griff and Editor-at-Large Zach Honig) inside the cargo hold of a United Boeing 787.
Griff and Mayerowitz on Taxiway A5 at Las Vegas Airport.


JT Genter, Former Senior Points and Miles Writer

There’s perhaps no greater place to AvGeek-out than the LAX In-N-Out Burger, which is located right at the edge of runway 24R. This runway handles many of LAX’s diverse large aircraft arrivals, and the adjacent runway 24L is the launch point for a number of the departures. Whether or not you like In-N-Out Burger, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon with FlightRadar24 on your phone and perhaps air traffic control in your ears.
While some passengers don’t care for “bus gates,” Genter says he is always a fan of being able to enjoy the beauty and the power of an aircraft from the ground. And British Airways is a beauty on the outside — even if the seat pitch on the low-cost Gatwick-based aircraft is a bit tight inside.

Benji Stawski, TPG Contributor

Stawski says having the opportunity to be up close with a 787 and see it get towed out of a hangar is a pretty surreal experience. You really can’t tell how massive these jets actually are until you’re standing right there in front of them.
Getting a photo in front of a jet engine has long been on Stawski’s bucket list. This was a General Electric GEnx on a 787 that was being fueled.

Zach Honig, Editor-at-Large

Can’t make it to Maho Beach for a little planespotting to celebrate this holiday? Check out these 5 must-see museum and tours for aviation enthusiasts, or turn on one of these 10 great aviation documentaries.

For the latest travel news, deals and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.

Featured image by Images Group via Getty Images

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