TWA RETIRED PILOTS ASSOCIATION

TWA Retired Pilots Association

Welcome to The Latest Updates


July 3, 2019     ALERT!  Our website server is moving into new facilities tomorrow and our website will be down and unavailable from:  6:00 am to 9:00 am EDT (Eastern Daylight Time.

 

SCHEDULED SERVER DOWNTIME FOR DATA CENTER UPGRADE 6AM-9AM THURSDAY JULY 4th. 

 

 


May 10, 2019   TWA TOPICS has been mailed today!  Look for your issue in the next week or two.


April 27, 2019    Note!  Please refresh your screen (F5) to get the latest DIRECTORY PDF file.

The Member’s Directory has been updated as of today based on the TWA TOPICS mailing list for May 2019.  If you download or print out the PDF copy using the link at the bottom of the Directory page, you will see only members who are current with their dues after 2017.  Some of you are not current for 2019 so you may or may not receive the 2019 MAY TOPICS.  If you are not paid up through 2019, please submit your dues to our Treasurer, Ed Madigan, ASAP.


April 6, 2019

Since most, if not all,  surviving TWA Flight Crew Members have a minimum of $20,000 Term Life Insurance Policy administered by METLIFE Life Insurance Company, I thought it appropriate to provide some guidance regarding how this benefit is paid to designated beneficiaries.  After notifying American Airlines Benefits of a member’s death, the beneficiaries will receive a form from METLIFE with which to file a claim and make an election of how the benefit will be paid.  The current default for disbursing the benefit is a TOTAL CONTROL ACCOUNT which is set up by METLIFE.  They deposit an initial amount of $5,000 into the account immediately upon which the beneficiary can draft checks for a minimum of $250 per check up to the maximum balance.  The entire $20,000 benefit is available for withdrawal at all times.  METLIFE has claimed that this TCA is beneficial to the beneficiary in that the TCA will earn a guaranteed rate of interest on the balance which is set at the time the account is opened.  It is NOT a savings, or checking account but a convenient method of disbursement.

There are many varied opinions on this TCA and there are ongoing lawsuits against METLIFE for setting these accounts up as opposed to making full payment of benefit to the beneficiary as stated in the contract.

Here is a brochure published by METLIFE in 2010 but no longer available online.  This explains the program.  Click Here

Here is link to another informational source.    Click Here


March 5, 2019

For those members who have recently succesfuly logged in, WELCOME BACK.  We hope your log in experience was not difficult.  For those who have tried to log in, but were unsuccessful, please read the DIRECTORY INSTRUCTIONS and a couple of posts about logging in (scroll down to earlier dates).  If you do have problems, please email your webmaster for help and leave a valid phone number along with the “best time” to call you.  Please, do not be shy about this.  Sometimes it is a matter of updating your email address.  Our database has email addresses that were entered several years ago and are no longer valid.  Normally, the member is the only one who can update his profile including email info, however, for older address changes, the webmaster will have to change the data.

Many members have allowed their dues to lapse and may no longer have access to the DIRECTORY.  If in doubt, look at your mailing label on your last issue of TWA TOPICS and if it reads 2018, your 2019 dues were due on January 1, 2019.  Please remit to our Treasurer, Capt. Ed Madigan.

Enjoy and stay healthy.

Bob Willcutts, Webmaster.

 


Feb 14, 2019

TWA HOTEL now taking reservations!

The New TWA Hotel at JFK is now taking reservations online.  Please check the CONVENTIONS menu for the latest information on our 2019 Convention on September 1-3, 2019.



The Downing of TWA 800 – The Facts and the Lies

Coming soon but reserve your seat now because space is very limited.  The show is FREE but  definitely LIMITED to the first 100 people who call for reservations.

Presented in conjunction with the Speaker Series at the Flight Path Museum at LAX, located at:

6661 W Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA 90045  

This presentation will embark on a critical examination of the crash of TWA 800 in July of 1996. It will examine the unprecedented takeover of the accident investigation from the NTSB by the FBI and the CIA. It is presented by retired TWA 747 Captain Al Francis.  At the time of the crash Captain Francis was the Captain Representative and Council Chairman for Council #024 – Air Line Pilots Association, and in that capacity represented all the pilots flying international routes for the company. Because of that position, he has intimate knowledge of the aircraft and the tragic events which caused the death of all 230 people on board the doomed aircraft. Captain Francis currently serves as a Commissioner on the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission.

One day only  March 12, 2019  at 10:30 am by advance reservation only.

For Reservations Call Randy Ginsberg 213 787 6112 or email rgins@earthlink.net

This presentation has been seen by thousands in corporate meetings, college auditoriums and other venues on the East Coast, but this is the first time it’s been available for those of us in the West. Don’t miss out, call now for your reservation.



TWA Hotel will start taking Reservations on February 14, 2019. 

Click here for their Website:  TWA Hotel



TWA Hotel Update for 2019 Convention

The TWA Hotel at JFK is progressing nicely and is still on track to open in May of 2019.  Reservations for the TWA Retired Pilots Association Convention, beginning September 1, should be open in mid-February 2019.  The hotel will provide a weblink and a toll free number for reservations.  It should be easy for you to confirm our special room rates for the Convention.  An email will be sent to all that have shown interest in attending.  Also, check back here to an update in mid-February.  Any questions, you can contact our meeting planner, Vicki McGowen, 775-722-2811 or email vickimcgowen@gmail.com

Vicki



Are your membership dues up to date?



When IFR Changed In A New York Minute

On the slushy morning of Dec. 16, 1960, six residents of the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, suffered the irreversible consequences of turbines overtaking the propeller age, when one of the first jetliners, a United DC-8, collided with a piston TWA Super Connie over Staten Island, eight miles away. In total, 134 lives were destroyed, including those six on the ground who may have thought they had nothing to do with aviation. For the millions who survived and our descendants who fly today in the safest transportation system available, much changed, even if few are aware.

I was a kid in northern New Jersey in 1960 when I saw the EXTRA front page photo. Black and white devastation resembling the London Blitz 20 years earlier, except for the lone United empennage poking from the brownstone rubble. No YouTube video can speak like a well-composed photo. Give me Robert Capa Tri-X over an iPhone, stop-your-damn-panning shot any day. The photographer caught the horror one “Short Eight” wrought on a Brooklyn neighborhood, and I swore I’d never step inside an airplane. But, if I did—back-pedaling almost immediately—I’d take the last seat in the tail, because that’s what survived. I didn’t know that there was one survivor, although he wouldn’t survive long. Stephen Baltz was 11, and his story haunted me so that years ago I wrote a novel, Muzzy, that pivoted around this midair.

Muzzy means indistinct or blurred and encapsulates how life—including aviation life—can be altered when the best laid plans of pilots and air traffic controllers go to pieces in a blur of undetected mistakes. This blog limits telling the entire story, but it comes down to two airliners, flying IFR in typical winter weather, meeting a mile above Staten Island in what was both preventable and possibly inevitable.

United was en route from Chicago to New York International Airport (then Idlewild, now JFK). TWA was headed to LaGuardia from Columbus, Ohio. They met when United overshot a holding fix and clipped TWA inbound for the LaGuardia ILS. The DC-8’s right, outboard engine tore open the Connie’s cabin roof like an ice cream scoop through soft vanilla, scattering debris around Miller Field on Staten Island. End of all those stories.

United continued toward Idlewild, struggling with the literal loss of the number-four engine, embedded in the TWA wreckage. The United crew likely did everything possible to save the aircraft, but as systems failed, they lost control, and the promises of the jet age plowed into the ironically named Pillar Of Fire church in Park Slope, inside of which a maintenance man was napping. He was one of the six on the ground killed by the least expected visitation in this week before the holiday season. And New Yorkers adore the holidays.

The funny thing about fatal airplane accidents is there’s nothing funny. They’re brutal, chaotic and unplanned. Post-accident investigations, by contrast, are methodical and usually thorough. When researching the novel, with the help of NTSB’s Scott Dunham (now retired), we accessed the 60-year-old accident reports, which are colorless but paint a sobering image, especially to former controllers and pilots (Scott and I).

A brief sketch: United had been in radar contact with Center when cleared direct to Preston intersection and told to hold. Radar service was terminated—a common occurrence since coverage was far from universal—then, United was switched to approach control as it motored off-airway in search of Preston. Preston was defined by two radials from two VORs (Colts Neck and Solberg), back then called Omnis. Think 1960, long before GPS. To identify Preston, the crew ideally would have utilized two VOR receivers tuned to the separate but identifiable cross-radials. As needles centered the DC-8 should’ve entered the hold at 5000 feet to await a clearance beyond the fix. Routine. Just like today, or at least how we train today for the unlikely VOR-radial holds sans RNAV that were standard fare back then.

United, not in radar contact, called Idlewild approach and reported, “approaching Preston,” the holding fix. In truth, they’d already passed it. TWA, in radar contact with a LaGuardia approach controller, was being vectored for the localizer and warned of unknown-altitude, converging traffic. TWA’s approach controller had no idea it was a United DC-8, because ATC radar lacked sophisticated tracking data or handoff capability. TWA was likely in the clouds without any chance of seeing the wayward DC-8, doing 301 knots and intercepting them at the same altitude. TWA was doing 160 knots. Fate doesn’t need to be a hunter to do the math.

United was lost and cruising at high speed while the crew was preoccupied identifying Preston intersection by using one VOR receiver. The other receiver was INOP, and the crew had not informed ATC; weren’t required to back then. We are now.

I once shot a solo localizer approach into Teterboro, New Jersey airport (TEB) in my 1951 Bonanza with a 1951 panel in IMC, using a single VOR receiver and no RNAV. Mildly challenging, but I had radar service to put me on the localizer and call the f approach fix. United’s crew had one VOR, no ATC radar help and little positional awareness.

Today’s airlines are packed with navigational aids unimagined when United hit TWA. Rules have changed, as they always do after a disaster. Maximum speed (in most cases) is now 250 knots below 10,000 feet. Going direct isn’t usually permitted without radar monitoring, and only fools fly IFR with one stinkin’ VOR receiver for sole navigation. ATC has radar around the busier airports, and pilots have GPS plus ADS-B Out, In and Sideways or soon will. Safety has improved, although as the recent Lion Air accident reminds us, the best laid plans of engineers and planners sometimes amount to naught.

Meanwhile, Happy Holidays to us one and all who refuse to stay out of the sky, because it’s still the most amazing leap for humans who are only vaguely aware of how anything works.

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12/15/2018

VERY INTERESTING – BRING IT ON……..

BACK TO THE FUTURE – ARE WE READY FOR THIS?
Auto repair shops will go away.

A gasoline engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor. Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots. Your electric motor malfunction light goes on, so you drive up to what looks like a Jiffy-auto wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new electric motor!

Gas stations will go away. Parking meters will be replaced by meters that dispense electricity.  Companies will install electrical recharging stations; in fact, they’ve already started. You can find them at select Dunkin Donuts locations.

Most (the smart) major auto manufacturers have already de signated money to start building new plants that only build electric cars.

Coal industries will go away. Gasoline/oil companies will go away.  Drilling for oil will stop. So say goodbye to OPEC!

Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day than they use and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof?

A baby of today will only see personal cars in museums..

The FUTURE is approaching faster than most of us can handle.

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Who would have thought of that ever happening?

What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next  5-10 years and, most people don ‘t see it coming.

Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later, you would never take pictures on  film again? With today’s smart phones, who even has a camera these days?

Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had  10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Forget the book, “Future Shock”, welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now  the biggest taxi company in the world!

Ask any taxi driver if they saw that coming.

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.

Ask Hilton Hotels if they saw that coming.

Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world.

This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

In the USA, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of  IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for right now, the basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, (what a thought!) only omniscient specialists will remain.

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, its 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars are already here. In the next 2 years, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore as you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it you will only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

This will change our cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into parks.

1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide including distracted or drunk driving. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles; with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles. That will save a million lives plus worldwide each year..

Most traditional car companies will doubtless become bankrupt. Traditional car companies will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

Look at what Volvo is doing right now; no more internal combustions engines in their vehicles starting this year with the 2019 models, using all electric or hybrid only, with the intent of phasing out hybrid models.

Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla and so they should be. Look at all the companies offering all electric vehicles. That was unheard of, only a few years ago.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the costs will become cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move farther away to live in a more beautiful or affordable neighborhood.

Electric cars will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

Cities will have much cleaner air as well. (Can we start in Los Angeles, please?)

Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean.

Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.

And it’s just getting ramped up.

Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue – technology will take care of that strategy.

Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.  It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any Disease. There are dozens of phone apps out there right now for health purposes.

WELCOME TO TOMORROW – it actually arrived a few years ago.

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12/2/2018

From Capt. John Duhig

Hi Guys,

Everyone on my list gets these e-mails.  I realize that many of you are in far distant ports and will not attend.  I just want all to get the info, and there is no way on earth I could properly separate the list.  🙂

We are over the minimum guarantee of 75, so things look good, as a minimum.  That does not mean we stop.  Please consider joining us and let them know now you are coming.  They need to give a count in a few days.  The restaurant always plans for several over and above.   Billy, call em and register!!!

Gonna be great.!

You will get further updates as more reservations arrive

Gene and Gail York are offering TWA Final Departure wine glasses for a raffle.  Thanks, Guys. I purchased 4 of them years ago, and they are beautiful.  No, you can’t have mine.  LOL

Steve Leonard has some beautiful TWA flyers for sale.  Ask him about those.

See you in a little over a week,

john

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12/01/2018

December has come so quickly this year and we are about to close out 2018.  You should have received your November 2018 issue of TWA TOPICS by now and you will find it a very interesting issue. Thanks to our Editor, Capt. Bill Kirschner and the many contributors.  Please note the yellow envelope in the magazine which is for mailing your 2019 dues.  Your annual dues are payable by January 1, 2019.  Here is an excerpt from the By-Laws:

DUES

1. Annual dues for REGULAR members shall be $50.00 per calendar year except that annual dues for EAGLES and SUBSCRIBERS shall be $40.00. New members joining prior to September shall pay full dues. New members joining September and later shall be credited for the following year. (2007)

2. Any member or “Subscriber” who is three calendar months in arrears on his dues shall, after notification by the Secretary and/or Treasurer, have his membership in the “Association” terminated. (1986)(2015)”

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11/3/2018

Just received word that the November TWA TOPICS has been sent to the Printer.  Included in the magazine is new information regarding our next Annual Convention.  You will find a link under CONVENTIONS for the 2019 Annual Convention.  Be sure to check this out!

The TRAVEL GUIDE link contains updated info and clarification of the use of D1 Vacation Passes.  Click on the photo of the aircraft at bottm right corner of page.

On behalf of The Association Staff and myself, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving  –Capt. Bob Willcutts

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10/27/2018

Just finished watching “Oceans 8” with Sandra Bullock.  There is a few scenes during the first few minutes of the film which were filmed in the NEW TWA Terminal.  Really looks nice!

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10/6/2018
Minutes of the September 19, 2018 Board Meeting Conference call has been posted under “BOD Meeting Minutes”
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9/22/2018

For those who are going on the 2018 Convention/Cruise, I have posted the “Schedule of All Events 2018”  under the 2018 Caribbean Cruise menu.

The Embassy Suites has a complimentary airport shuttle 24/7.  The shuttle departs the hotel every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour.  For pick-up our guests should go to the 2nd floor Departure Level and look for the designated Hotel Shuttle Pick-up sign.  Look for a white van with the Embassy Suites logo.  It’s not necessary to call the hotel but just in case the phone numbers (305)-634-5000.

For return flights we recommend that guest do not book anything earlier than 11:00AM.

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8/14/2018

We have just received word that the new TWA HOTEL at JFK is now taking bookings.

Fran Diano, President of TWA Seniors Club has booked  the  weekend 15, 16, 17th  of October 2019 for the TWA SeniorsClub.org  AGM and Convention.  She has locked in room  rates of  $225.00 per room per night for all rooms. The room rate will apply for 3 days prior and 3 days post convention.Check the TWA Seniors. Org website for more details. All the information will be in the next Skyliner.  If you’ve been getting a Skyliner  you are a Seniors member and your dues date is on the address label. They’re holding up publishing until they can lock in the room rates for the next issue which will be coming out shortly. She is working on meeting rooms and the banquet rooms.  Please send her your interest and room night requirements.

Finally I can tell you we have the dates for our AGM and Convention at the TWA Hotel at JFK in 2019.  I just got off the phone a few minutes ago and have confirmed the dates will be October 15, 16 and 17,with a room rate of  $ 225.00 per room, per night for all room types.  The rate will apply for 3 days pre and 3 days post convention.   The hotel reservation system is not  up and running yet, so watch the January Skyliner for instructions on making your individual room reservations and for your registration form.
Please send me your groups requirements as far as expected room night need, meeting space for each group and also if you need to have any type of dinner for your individual club.
I am available by phone at 702 234 5145 or email TWAFran48@yahoo.com
I look forward to working with all of you to make this a memorable convention.
Best regards,
Fran

Stay tuned and check our websites.    https://www.twahotel.com/meetings-events    https://www.twaseniorsclub.org

Webmaster

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7/19/2018

After several months of experience with our new website, I have revised the DIRECTORY INSTRUCTIONS page.  It should be easier to follow and I hope it will prevent you frustration at LogIn for the first time and problems with changing your password.  I believe if you follow the steps carefully and read carefully, you should be able to log in without problems.

Remember:  For Intial Log In you must use the email address that you had on record with the old website.  The ‘username” must be that email.   Your Password must be your old PASSPHRASE used on the old website. (example: “averageredcat” case sensitive.)

If you still have problems be sure to email me with a valid current email address.

Webmaster

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