Neil’s Nostalgia

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Visits to the United States
• S T A T E S I D E 6 6 •

A selection from my travels – 196 flights in 21 days – $150.

Neil Aird © 1966

The iconic TWA terminal designed by finnish born Eero Saarinon (1910-1961), was opened in 1962 and remained in operation until October 2001. He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1923.

As we were landing at La Guardia, N16060 (1902) Douglas DC-3A-191 Dakota, a 1936 vintage still active with Northeast ,was taking off. A pleasant moment to savour. It was later to make the final Northeast DC-3 flight in 1968.

Post card from that period, sent to me by Ian M. Macdonald.

I was the only passenger to deplane at Wall Street from that New York Airways flight. Boy, did I feel special! N6676D (6) a Boeing Vertol 107 continued on across the river to Newark Airport – KEWR. Flight times on 25 August 1966. JFK off 11:03 – La Guardia on 11:08 – LGA off 11:13 – Wall Street on 11:18. Later in the day I returned from Newark on N108PA (108/4009) EWR off 17:56 – JFK on 18:06. This particular machine was supplied to Kawasaki as a kit in 1962 and built as a KV-107II-2. It is still active in 2011 as P2-CHE. N6676D met a terrible fate on 14 Ooctober 1982 when it broke up in flight while maneuvering during logging operations near Cascade, Idaho. It suffered rotor synchronization shaft failure and crashed to ground, 2 crew fatalities.
More images of my great summer trail-blazing adventure as a 21 year old to follow . . .

My travel adventure begins in earnest. Newark to New York – the long way around!
I seem to remember calculating that that summer’s flying took me the equivalent distance as around the earth at the equator.

Most of my travels were on the Convair 580, like this one, N5824 (121) of Allegheny Airlines. Viewed from under the wing of a Piper PA-23 Aztec, N5625Y (27-2736) which I had the pleasure of driving from Lock Haven all about Pennsylvania! Photo was taken at Philipsburg – PSB on 22 September 1968.

Here is N8444H Convair 440-42 (327A) of North Central Airlines awaiting my presence at Cleveland – Hopkins -KCLE, Ohio. 0n 27 August 1966 I flew on her operating as flight “NC806” for the twenty-nine minute journey to Detroit – Metropolitan. By 28 August 1968, I was at Aberdeen, South Dakota. I had just come off N8444H Convair 440 Metropolitan (327A) of North Central Airlines “NC763” completing my leg number twelve on this airframe in two days, it was a good time to get off and stretch my legs as I had to travel two more to Bismark and finally end up at Minot. N28341 Douglas DC-3 Dakota (3278) was gracing the small ramp. My heart goes where the wild goose goes, well “Herman” anyways!

This aircraft was rebuilt from c/n 96 a Convair 340-42A. Her career started in 1953 heading to Philipppine Airlines as PI-C342, but ended as N8420H still a Convair 340 on 20 October 1955 at Shereveport, Louisiana where she was damaged by fire. Rebuilt as a Covair 440 she served as N8444H; was converted to a Convair 580 (PAC166) 01 May 1969 then after service with Republic Airlines went to TG-MYM before returning to the US and N8444H until she whent to C-FCIB then on to ZK-CIB with Air Transport (Chatham Islands) on 10 June 1996. Lo and behold, when I was in New Zealand on 30 October 2010 at Auckland, forty-four years later, our paths crossed yet again.

N7061U Boeing 727-22 (18868) United at Greater Pittsburgh on 25 August 1966. Later went to FedEx as N181FE. There were eight USAF C-119 present, plus three C-121, a T-39, C-47 and a single TF-102 on the Miltary ramps.

N25Q Beech 18 Tri-Gear (A-823) at Cleveland/Hopkins – KCLE, Ohio – 27 August 1966. This one crashed 25 September 1985, landing short at Huntingdon, WV.

N18667 Douglas DC-3 Dakota (11644) ex 42-68717 Lake Central Airlines graces the ramp with N30087 (4861). BAC 1-11-401AK N5028 (068) represented the next generation along with N1982 (18438) Boeing 727 of American. 27 August 1966.

N6115A Lockheed L-188A Electra (188A-1058) of American departs. I was busy logging the 7 x C-119, 9 x KC-97J, 1 x T-29 and 1 x C-47 on the far side, just visible at the top right here. Yes, I was able to get all the serials too! Evening was good, as the heat haze was not too bad. I spent about four very busy hours at KORD on this stop-over.

N6320T North American P-51D Mustang (122-41037) ex 44-74497 sits quietly at Medford, Oregon on 03 September 1966. I really enjoyed my visit to this airfield, finding many gems!
Let’s continue travelling – Come on along. Wednesday 05 September 1966.

N141Z Beech E18S Expeditor (BA-178) of the USFS at their Illinois Valley, Oregon base. This Beech was JATO equipped!

N162Z Cessna 180A (32805) of the USFS. Illinois Valley, Oregon, 05 September 1966.

N94540 Lockheed 18 Lodestar (2605) graces the Portland Ramp, I had a pleasant walk-about before leaving on a West Coast Fairchild N2704, later in the day for Salem and ending up in Los Angeles.

N850D Douglas DC-7B (45456) ex Eastern ship. Purchased by California Airmotive 25 December 1965 and then by Airlease Inc in 1966. Broken up Miami in May 1971.

N5805S Beech 95 Travel Air () on the ramp at Portland, Oregon – 07 September 1966. Parked next to N8242D Beech Bonanza ().

N2704 Fairchild F-27 Friendship (7) of West Coast at Portland, ready to take me to San Francisco, operating as “WCA741” via Salem (20 minute sector), Corvalis (12 minutes), and Eugene (11 minutes) and final leg of 2 hours 17 minutes. Loved those big windows and lower altitudes. The Rolls Royce Dart engines were made just a mile from my high school in Scotland. 07 September 1966.

N2969G Boeing 727-193 (19304) Flight 201 of Pacific, seen through the tinted wondows, ready to transport me up the California coast to San Francisco, calling at Santa Barbara (12,000 en route at 625mph) and Monterey.

Lots of smoke back in 1966. Here we are getting closer to the front of a long queue at KLAX – Los Angeles. I look back in amazement at the line following my ship!

N37570 Douglas DC-6B (44894) “Mainliner Hawaii” of United fires up as we descend into Santa Barbara, with a very fine small terminal and tower in local architectural style. Just look at the interesting ramp inhabitants. They included three Lockheed P-38 Lightning, one Vampire, a DH104 Dove and two C-47/R4D Skytrains – check this blow up!

I spent a lot of time in Convair 580 Aircraft on this adventure. Here are a few at Denver’s Stapleton Airport on 29 August 1966. In the background are a Central Convair 600 and a Douglas DC-3, both of which I got to ride in later.

My bumpy ride through the Rockies from Riverton to Rock Springs (43 minutes) and on to Salt Lake City (64 minutes) was N75028 Douglas DC-3 Dakota (6053) Frontier “Flight 3”.

On arrival, seeing what was on the other side of the runway, I decided to rent a car to get there and make a trip to the Salt Flats.

N4172C / D18 Grumman TBM-3E Avenger (6810), with N7858C / D17Grumman TBM-3E Avenger (4076) ex BuAer: 91171 of Aerial Applicators. 29 August 1966.

N7296C North American SNJ-5 Texan (84979) Aerial Applicators. 29 August 1966.

N8397H Grumman TBM-3 Avenger (2198) BuAer:69459 CISCO.

N7687C North American B-25J Mitchell (108-32220) ex 44-28925 of Trans-West. Neil Aird © 29 August 1966

N8398H / D20 Grumman TBM-3E Avenger (3669) ex BuAer: 53607 of Aerial Applicators. Became CF-ZYC now in Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

N3656G North American/Noorduyn Harvard Mk II B (07-191) ex RCAF 3324just one of the interesting residents on “the far side”. Neil Aird © 29 August 1966

N1190V Beech D17S Staggerwing (398) a recent aquistion, earlier in 1966, of M. Meyers, chained down at Salt Lake.

N17643 Beech D17S Staggerwing (4827) at Phoenix – Skyharbor, Arizona. 09 September 1966

N252V Vickers V.812 Viscount (364) Continental arrives at Albuquerque – KABQ, New Mexico, on 10 September 1966.

N6130A Lockheed L-188A Electra (1121) of American arrives, while company N1978 Boeing 727-23 (18434) gets a tow. Lots of delights on the far side here at Dallas / Love Field on 12 September 1966.

N74859 Convair 600 (178) Central heads off on another leg Dallas / Love Field, Texas -12 September 1966.

This shot shows N174T a Lockheed 18-56 (2583) landing with one engine out. Later in the day a Douglas C-124 Globemaster burst a tire on landing. The Convair 240 N94235 (68) aircraft belongs to Trans Texas. This particular one was ex American Airlines, and later converted to a Series 600.

N7993A Grumman F-9F-6P () quite a surprize for me when visiting Dallas-Fort Worth – KDFW. Parked near the Bell Helicopters facilities on 12 September 1966.

N209J Bell 209 Cobra (20001) prototype gunship was a big hit for me at DFW. The other major item was the last built Convair B-36J-10-CF Peacemaker 52-2827 (383) of USAF-SAC on display.

A smokey Ozark DC-9 departs Lambert Field – St Louis as rather new N1055T Douglas DC-9 (45736) of TWA awaits passengers. My departure later was in a more stately fashion aboard Martin 404 N470M (14109) Ozark flight “458” for Springfield. 13 September 1966.

Another smokey character was this Convair 990-30-A6 Coronado N5608 (18) of American Airlines. Captured here during a three hour layover at Nashville, Tennessee, 14 September 1966.

N5514 Lockheed L-188A Electra (1020) of Eastern trundles by. She was broken up in January 1981.

N8147N Boeing 727-25 Whisperjet (18971) of Eastern rolls in, boy, lots of smoke back then. 14 September 1966, again at Nashville.
Early on during that summer in the United States, while I was based in Philadelphia area, I managed a “field” trips. One was to North Philadelphia Airport.

N7227C Boeing B-17G Fortress (BuNo77235) Aero Service Corporation used for aerial surveys, at North Philadelphia airport. Our paths crossed agin on 17 August 1991 at Geneseo, New York.

N7227C still operating in 2014. This image of “Texas Raiders” departing Tomball, Texas. xxxxxxxxxxxxxKen Snyder © 02 November 2014

N250Q Howard 250 (18-2173) a 1942 Lockheed 18-56 Lodestar (R5)-4) looking rather sharp at North Philadelphia – PNE. Became N250GW, current staus unknown.