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Ian McColgin
12-27-2011, 03:05 PM
My sister and her husband copied the PanAm TV series for a family viewing. Dad grumped about take-off throttle settings in a shot in mid-Atlantic and the complex cutting between flashbacks and storylines, but he celebrated by donning his old uniform. Still looking good at 91.

http://a1.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/395733_2416155478391_1086461839_32040948_88285826_ n.jpg

Reynard38
12-27-2011, 03:08 PM
THAT IS GREAT! And yes your dad looks amazing.

Hwyl
12-27-2011, 03:31 PM
I guess he is not quite old enough to have flown Clippers, he must remember them though.

Concordia 33
12-27-2011, 03:41 PM
I loved Pan Am. I bought a couple of old cancelled stock certificates and have them framed. One of them is actually signed by Juan Trippe.

bobbys
12-27-2011, 03:59 PM
I cannot believe he is 91!

Ian McColgin
12-27-2011, 04:05 PM
All PanAm planes were named clippers and all PanAm pilots were Sky Gods.

Dad left the Army Air Corps and joined Pan American in 1945, first post war hire. He went from being a colonel to being, as he called it, auxiallary door closer on the Sikorsky clippers. Because Charles Lindberg had been his inspiration to become a pilot and then was a personal mentor getting Dad to not just finish college but on to his PhD, it was one of his greater honors to assist Mrs Lindberg, by then a widow, in commissioning the 747 Clipper Lindberg which he then captained on its first commercial flight.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-27-2011, 04:27 PM
Terrific!

Ian McColgin
12-27-2011, 04:48 PM
One of my favorite Dad as fourth officer stories is that he also handled the mooring lines. After a landing on that, I think it was, river space at Shannon the crotchety Sky God captain - one of Juan Tripp's originals from the '30s, taxied in the direction of the mooring ball while Dad opened that little forehatch and readied his boat hook. The Captain cut the engines too early for the flying boat to drift to the mooring. Dad knew this captain was one who never saw himself at fault for anything so he stripped off his coat and shoes, grabbed the end of a line hanging there, secured the other end, and dove out, swimming to the mooring where he got a becket bend (like a sheet bend but through an eye) on before the boat fell back too far.

Gerarddm
12-27-2011, 06:18 PM
Great stories, Ian.

Paul Pless
12-27-2011, 06:22 PM
Fantastic Ian!

ccmanuals
12-27-2011, 06:35 PM
your dad is looking great Ian!

MiddleAgesMan
12-27-2011, 06:35 PM
The last time I recall flying Pan Am was a trip from Florida back to Eleuthera where I was stationed in the Navy. We landed at the Rock Sound airport which was probably too short for a big commercial jet. Every landing I recall at Rock Sound was HARD, which I came to understand was necessary due to the short runway.

Anyway, your dad looks familiar. :) And Great!

Paul Pless
12-27-2011, 06:47 PM
More of these anecdotes would be great Ian. You might tell us a bit about the small herder in the first post's photograph as well.

Breakaway
12-27-2011, 09:14 PM
Wonderful stuff, sir!

Kevin

Ian McColgin
12-27-2011, 10:27 PM
That's London, one of two Sheltie bitches, half sibs two years apart, that arrived a couple of years ago, breaking a long string of Golden Retrievers as house dogs - not to be confused with the fox hounds who lived in the kennel and were certainly not house pets.

Here's the other, Bailey

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/165294_1525840581075_1086461839_31190873_7406418_n .jpg

Paul Pless
12-27-2011, 10:37 PM
She's pretty!

I once rescued a dozen Shelties from a breeder that died. Took me a couple of years to place them all in good homes, but they were great dogs. I have quite a bit of affection for the breed after that experience.

BrianW
12-28-2011, 09:08 AM
Thanks for sharing the excellent stories Ian. Good stuff.

Oldersalt
12-28-2011, 11:38 AM
All PanAm planes were named clippers and all PanAm pilots were Sky Gods.

Dad left the Army Air Corps and joined Pan American in 1945, first post war hire. He went from being a colonel to being, as he called it, auxiallary door closer on the Sikorsky clippers. Because Charles Lindberg had been his inspiration to become a pilot and then was a personal mentor getting Dad to not just finish college but on to his PhD, it was one of his greater honors to assist Mrs Lindberg, by then a widow, in commissioning the 747 Clipper Lindberg which he then captained on its first commercial flight.

THE CLIPPER LINDBERG IS STILL FLYING! After being sold to United and then put out to pasture, it was purchased by NASA in 1996, and is now SOFIA--The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy. There is even a plaque inside noting that it was christened by Ann Morrow Lindberg on the 50th anniversary of Lindberg's famous flight.

Ian, send me a pm if you want to get in touch with the NASA people. I am sure they would love to be in contact with the first pilot to fly SOFIA! It's now based at NASA's Dryden Research Center in southern California. Just google NASA SOFIA to learn all about it. What a cool coincidence!
Mike Bennett (oldersalt) at mbennett(at)astrosociety.org

carlg
12-28-2011, 01:07 PM
I used to fly Pan Am from SFO to Hong Kong in the early 80's. It was the non-stop 747SP; 14 hours. Service was great and if I slept a little it didn't seem like 14 hours. The days of that kind of service are long gone, alas. Ian, did your father ever fly the SP's?

rbgarr
12-28-2011, 01:10 PM
Hi Ian,

Your Dad might enjoy the movie with Leo Dicaprio impersonating a Pan Am co-pilot: "Catch Me If You Can". He might get an especially big laugh from the 'stewardess selection' scenario.

At one time Pan Am was the best of the airline stocks to own.

Oldersalt
12-28-2011, 01:21 PM
Ian's dad did fly the 747SP, because Clipper Lindberg (now SOFIA) is an SP. Boeing only made about 40 of them; they were made for really long flights, with bigger engines and a shorter body.

Bob Cleek
12-28-2011, 01:24 PM
Last year, for several months, there was a beautiful boat on the hard at my local yard in San Rafael CA named "Pan Am." She was a steel or aluminum (I didn't really check) double ended sloop or cutter rig, reputedly a Sparkman and Stephens design. Word was she was built by Boeing in Washington State for the Pan Am account. (Yes, they also built at least one large WOODEN schooner yacht for some 1940's female movie star, as well. Oddly, her planks were butted on the frames!) Trippe's family had extensive ties to the US Navy, so I expect he was likely a sailor, but the age of the boat would suggest that Trippe, born in 1899, was no spring chicken when she was launched. She was for sale and I guess sold, since she disappeared. Beautiful boat. Anybody know anything about her?

PS, you are indeed a multidimentional man, Ian! I'd never have pictured you an East Coast Blueblood riding to the hounds in your youth!

Bob Adams
12-28-2011, 01:24 PM
Hi Ian,

Your Dad might enjoy the movie with Leo Dicaprio impersonating a Pan Am co-pilot: "Catch Me If You Can". He might get an especially big laugh from the 'stewardess selection' scenario.

At one time Pan Am was the best of the airline stocks to own.

That is a very entertaining movie. Yup Ian, Dad looks great, thanks for the stories!

Ian McColgin
12-28-2011, 02:42 PM
Dad got a kick out of the movie. He was flying when the real guy did his thing. The real guy of course did not ever fly PanAm - too much risk of exposure. So when it was happening, Dad never even heard about it. The real guy (I keep forgetting his name) did give a talk at one Clipper Reunion a few years back and the only fly in the ointment was when some dingaling proposed that he be made an honorary member. That was squashed. Guy wasn't a pilot, after all.

On the TV series PanAm they have a sequence to explain why the young captain had jumped the seniority system - 11 minutes in the elevator with Juan Tripp. There are so many reasons why this was impossible, like Juan Tripp invented the system; it was enshrined in the union contract; it violated every pilot's sense of decorum . . . Dad, who had his own face time with Tripp starting when he was the only pilot Eagle Scout handy for some late '40s BSA even that Tripp was involved with, had represented the WWII vets in an effort to get their combat flight hours counted as if flying for Pan American so they were not so punished for flying in the war while a bunch of (as Dad a bit unfairly called them) draft dodgers their same age flew for the line. But neither management nor the union would go for it and as a result it was 21 years before Dad got to the left seat. At the time of PanAm, he was still a first officer though five or ten years older than the fictitious charactors.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-28-2011, 02:47 PM
I used to fly Pan Am from SFO to Hong Kong in the early 80's. It was the non-stop 747SP; 14 hours. Service was great and if I slept a little it didn't seem like 14 hours. The days of that kind of service are long gone, alas. Ian, did your father ever fly the SP's?

I did that flight in reverse a couple of times. HK to SFO and back in 85 or maybe 86 I think.

But then Cathay developed the ability to do the same flight in a regular 747...

Ian McColgin
12-28-2011, 04:15 PM
If I recall rightly, Dad flew the SP the last few years. He reached mandatory retirement in '79.