Re: “The last 747: Boeing workers bid farewell to a Northwest icon” [Jan. 30, A1]:

In March 1976, the arrival of a Boeing 747 SP (ZS-SPA) brought traffic to a complete standstill on the four lane N2 motorway that abuts Cape Town International Airport in my native South Africa. This nonstop 10,000-plus-mile delivery flight to South African Airways from Paine Field set a then world-distance record for a commercial aircraft.

The four-lane motorway became a parking lot in both directions (traffic police were complicit and joined in the party atmosphere) with people excitedly sitting on the bonnets (hoods) and roofs of their cars in anticipation of the arrival.

I will not forget that day, and over the decades, both as passenger and observer, continue to feel awe-struck at the sheer majesty of these beautiful aircraft, whether landing or lifting their unlikely mass so gracefully into the air.

May we never lose our sense of awe when witness to such examples of mankind’s ingenuity.

Paul Suzman, Seattle