The Story of My Life so Far - Part 36 - Flying to Tahiti for my First Post in the French NavysteemCreated with Sketch.

in story •  2 years ago  (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 35

After leaving the Jeanne d'Arc in June 1971, I spent some time with my family, mostly at the Abbey. Then I packed all my Navy uniforms and my clothes and was ready to fly to Tahiti for my first post as a Navy officer.

Flying to Tahiti

I am not sure from what airport I flew, but I strongly believe it was from Le Bourget Airport, the first airport of Paris, that is no longer used by commercial airlines.

My mother, Marie, drove me to the airport. My luggage was too heavy, but the airline found a way to not charge me.

The airline was UTA (Union de Transports Aériens), that has merged with Air France in 1990-1992.

UTA Airline

The fastest way to fly from Paris to Tahiti was first to fly to Los Angeles, then to Tahiti.
However, as you can see above, UTA was not flying directly to Los Angeles.

But it had a very long way to go to Los Angeles going eastward. As there were some seats available, the Navy was baying them cheaply. And me and my comrades that were also going to Tahiti, we traveled for 48 hours.

The airplane was a DC-8.

UTA DC-8 Airplane

As I remember, the plane stopped in Athens and Karachi in Pakistan (and not in Colombo in Sri Lanka, that was still known as Ceylon). After Karachi, I don't remember if there were other stops before Sydney in Australia.

For entertainment, in 1971, there was no video and no electronic headphones.

Movies were shown using projectors from the ceiling on a screen.

In-Flight Movie with a Projector

And the music was was distributed in small pipes and you could listen to it using pneumatic headphones.

Pneumatic Headphone

We stopped in Sydney for 12 hours and slept for several hours in hotel bedrooms. In the mean time, the airplane went to Nouméa in New Caledonia and back.

Finally, we started the last leg of our trip, from Sydney to Papeete, the capital of Tahiti.
It was a very long trip!

The Papeete airport is called Faaa or Fa'a'ā International Airport (yes, three consecutive 'a'; that should all be pronounced).

Fa'a'ā International Airport

I was greeted at the airport by all the officers of the ship I was posted on, including the commanding officer: the "Bâtiment de Débarquement de Chars" (BDC) Trieux.

Continue to Part 37

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35

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  ·  2 years ago (edited)

Nice fly..., .. very tiring of course..... 1971, I have not been born .... he .. he .. but you are now of course still healthy right .., greetings..

Very interesting story, you can also read my story if you like so : My life story that motivates

For entertainment, in 1971, there was no video and no electronic headphones.

I was born in 71 LOL

This is quite a series of life documentation and cool facts on the blockchain!

I posted something this week from my time out by you on the Left Coast too, I started posting more personal things the last few months when @aunt-deb and @merej99 egged me on.

Have a nice week my friend!!!

Yes, we should not be afraid of posting personal stuff.

I have some reasons.... but I am pushing past them.

(Activism and harassment and surveillance for sticking up for what is right for people-- the state really hates that stuff as you know.


Beside from the projectors and pneumatic earphones it seems that precious little has changed on flights!

  ·  2 years ago (edited)

At least now you can choose the movie you want to watch and when you want to watch it.

Well that is true. I always have my head buried in a book, the cheapie flights I get always seem to show a lot of tosh!

Interesting story, especially the details of 1971 in-flight entertainment!

Oh, we are slowly approaching the year of my birth. :) I didn't understand about the earphones. How was music played on a plane back then? I mean what is "pneumatic earphones" ?

By the way, I added your blog link to the standard footer of all my posts ;)

Oh, we are slowly approaching the year of my birth. :)


I didn't understand about the earphones. How was music played on a plane back then? I mean what is "pneumatic earphones" ?

The music was distributed through small pipes as sound. You would choose a channel and that would select a couple of pipes. The "pneumatic earphones: were made of two pipes, on for each ear, and you would listen to the sound through these pipes. No electronic in the distribution of sound.

By the way, I added your blog link to the standard footer of all my posts ;)

Thank you, I guess.

It is really nice idea to put your life story on blockchain so it stays here forever. Judging from your narrative you have really good memory to remember all those facts and I'm surprised dug out those photos to share with everybody from the internet. Those pneumatic headhones are really funny never knew they existed before. At that time I was not even born so it's really interesting to read in detail how it all went. In my early days of flying you could smoke on the plane and have liquor in the back seats so they would be wild parties happening while we fly to Egypt for scuba diving for example. It is surprising How Stuff changes over a period of couple years or couple of decades so dramatically.

Flying creeps me out, I have to admit. I hope steemfest plane ride will be uneventful! Will you be there, maybe?

Yes, I'll be at SteeFest2 in Lisbon.

Well, I'll say hello if I see you :)

Think I'm going to have to sit down and read more of your life :-)

Good idea! (;-)

Nice post

DC8 baby thats the real shit

very good post @vcelier
I'm a newcomer in steemit. please help me develop my steemit account.
help me to upvote and resteem, please

Interesting story, you explain it very perfect, I like your writing my friend.

Nice post

nice post i followed you

Another part of interesting story from your life. Great as always. Thank you very much my friend...

I love the in flight movie ;)

Really amazing!

Very interesting and wonderful how you remember such details--amazing, my friend

posts that attract my best friend and I will meristem your post this @vcelier