Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Old Days

Smoking turbojets on airliners, with good food, pleasant stewardesses and people dressing up to go to the airport. 707s, 727s, DC-8s, 880s and if you look in the background, you can see the older piston-engined airliners still in use. Eastern, Western, Braniff, TWA, Pan Am, Northeast, and other airlines that have long ago gone bankrupt or were merged out of existence. You'll see carbon-copy tickets, which were written by hand and no TSA!


LRod said...

Ah, memories. I worked all of those airlines and all of those airplanes. Son-in-Law's father is retired Eastern Captain.

Interesting to see the old center images (my principal domain) as well as the old TRACON images (some time at ORD, too). Interestingly, the boards (strip bays) were at a steeper angle during my career than depicted. Yep, I used horizontal radar displays and shrimp boats.

It was interesting to see the hand written strips (wrote thousands of them myself) mixed in with Card-a-Type strips.

Note the white shirts, black slacks, and black ties (narrow). Yep, that was the "uniform" back in the day. Pastels were creeping into fashion by the time I hired in, and I never owned a white shirt. I actually got counseled by management about my wardrobe.

Fact checking: One can't get to 32L at ORD solely by the Outer—it's the Outer to the Parallel (32L-14R implied) or Outer to T-3 (32L was >11,000' long, so intersection takeoffs, especially from the United gates, were not uncommon.

"210" is a wrong callsign for direction of flight. ORD-LAX being westbound, the flight number would have been odd—just the opposite of altitudes.

We never said "Flight Level 39 Thousand"—it's always been Flight Level 390 (pronounced "three nine zero"). Do a search for a blog by that name for some excellently written airline insider postings.

At and around ORD we never used headings other than 10° increments. We would never have switched an aircraft over to center on a "258 degree [sic]" heading—250° or 260°, and "degrees" is never articulated.

ORD approach/departure was never addressed as ORD Tower. It was ORD Approach or ORD Departure. A more common variation was Chicago Approach or Chicago Departure, especially nowadays when it's not even at ORD.

Loved seeing all those Model 28 Teletypes—R and KSR.

Cringed seeing the Bell Model 52 headsets—the most godawfully uncomfortable headset ever devised. I never used one, but there were older timers than me who were still using them when I retired in '97.

Ah, memories.

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

D. said...


My family had flown (via MATS) during that era, so I remember some of that stuff.

I remember many of the commercials for those airlines.

I didn't know Continental went back that far!

w3ski said...

Ah memories. Going to Disneyland from SFO, A turbo-prop airplane, and then a ride closer to the park in an OLD Sikorski helicopter. Shaking from the engine vibration and noise and excitement. What a ride that day was. Probably late 1950's.

Stewart Dean said...

Jeebers, can you find any airlines shown here that are still flying?
As a kid in the '60's, I flew in Connies and DC-3s and once went through the Saarinen TWA building when it was still a temple to flight....later again when it had turned to a cattle yard. Now it just sits there. Saw a Connie in the Tucson air museum and was amazed at how small it was....737s are bigger.

Comrade Misfit said...

Stewart, only American, Untied and Delta. Carl Icahn personally destroyed at least two of the airlines in the film (TWA and Eastern).

LRod said...

Nope. Frank Lorenzo takes the prize—Trans Texas (later Texas Air), Continental (only partially destroyed), and Eastern. Varying sources credit him with some other kills, as well—People's Express and New York Air among them.

He was so bad, the DOT denied his request to start another airline. His name is not spoken in my S-i-L's household (his father was a captain for Eastern).

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Chuck Pergiel said...

"Every second of every day an average of 5 airplanes are taking off or landing somewhere in these United States." That works out to over 200,000 flights a day. That was in 1965. A little checking shows that the number of flights these days is much lower, like 25,000 commercial flights per day in the US. Something's not right.

Comrade Misfit said...

Charles, they said "airplanes", not "airliners". There was a lot of military and civilian flying back then.