SierraAir From United States of America, joined May 1999, 200 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1569 times:
Good morning all. I'm looking for anybody who might know anything about Trans-Colorado Airlines. I'm putting together a scrap book as a birthday present for the son of former president Bill Mueller. I'm looking for stories from former employees, memorobilia, collectables, anything.
Stories or memories would be greatly appreciated, and as for collectables and other items, I would be willing to pay for. Also, the database is rather devoid of photos, so if anyone had those as well, I would love it.
Please feel free to contact me if you're able to help. Thanks again.
SprxUSA From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 139 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1425 times:
I have a system timetable effective December 20,1984.
It is a 3 panel foldout that has service to: Albuquerque, Denver, Colorado Springs, Cortez, Durango, Gunnison, and Montrose.
There is a route map, but not sure of its accuracy.
It is in fine shape, but there is no pic of a Metro on it. I do have a June 16,1982 timetabole that has a pic of their SWM on cover. 2 panel no routes, serving Denver, Cortez, Gunnison, and Montrose. Great shape but with a partial address stamp on front.
If interested, just let me know and I'll contact you.
Gem State Airlines..."we have a gem of an airline"
AirlineBrat From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 634 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1290 times:
I flew Trans-Colorado in the Mid-80's. They flew mostly Metro's. I flew on one of their Metro's between Denver and Gunnison. I also flew Trans-Colorado a year later from DRO-ABQ because Denver was closed by the commonly occuring Thanksgiving blizzard. Was able to reroute on T-C to ABQ and connect to Eastern Airlines from ABQ-MCI-EWR.
In the spring of 1985, I was checking out potential ski-bum colleges and went EWR-DEN on United. Connected to an Aspen Airlines Convair 580 down to DRO. The next day I flew Aspen back up to Denver and connected to Trans-Colorado to Gunnison. Spent a few hours in Gunnison then caught T-C back to Denver where I caught UA to EWR. So in one day I went, DRO-DEN-GUN-DEN-EWR. That was the first time I flew on a Metro. They were small but relatively comfortable, but then I was 19 and lighter at the time. No flight attendants and I think there was not a door between the cockpit and the cabin. Maybe a curtain. Trans-Colorado as well as Aspen flew into many of the smaller communities in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming etc. T-C was a small scale competitor to Aspen Airlines before the majors homogenized many of the small commuter carriers into 'fill in the blank __________ Express'.
The United flight back to EWR ended up being quite an experience. It was a DC-8-72 that left DEN for EWR at 4:30pm. The plane was delayed b/c of hydraulic issues. When they thought they had it fixed, we boarded and started to push back from the gate. The cabin filled up with smoke (turned out to be steam b/c of an overheated air conditioner) and we returned to the gate. I guess you can say some of the passengers became slightly concerned..... Guess the hydraulics was still on the frits and they found us another DC-8. We landed in EWR 4 hours later.
But I digress, Trans-Colorado was your normal commuter in the 80's. Real low key and little if any inflight service. Just quick access into out of the way communities throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. Aspen Airlines did a better job in that department and their Convair 580's were a treat to fly on.
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
DLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1266 times:
Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 5): In the spring of 1985, I was checking out potential ski-bum colleges and went EWR-DEN on United. Connected to an Aspen Airlines Convair 580 down to DRO. The next day I flew Aspen back up to Denver and connected to Trans-Colorado to Gunnison. Spent a few hours in Gunnison then caught T-C back to Denver where I caught UA to EWR. So in one day I went, DRO-DEN-GUN-DEN-EWR
Ahh so I see you came down here to check out Fort Lewis then? I'm here now, I really wish our airport would get the service that it once had, all we have now is Phoenix, Denver, and Farmington of all places.
AirlineBrat From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 634 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1258 times:
Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 6): Ahh so I see you came down here to check out Fort Lewis then? I'm here now, I really wish our airport would get the service that it once had, all we have now is Phoenix, Denver, and Farmington of all places.
Yes, I went to FLC for a year then dropped out to be a full time ski bum in Summit County. I was in Durango from 85-86. Back then the options were Aspen Airlines, Trans-Colorado and a new airline out of PHX.... America West!! That was back when their planes were painted white with the old symbol on the tail. Think it included arrows and eagle feathers. AWA flew between PHX and DRO a couple times a day using 737's. I salivated at the 737 while I waited to board my 50+ seat Convair 580. The 580's were noisy but they were kid of big compared to most commuter aircraft and it was cool to fly in an operational museum piece.
Looks like the air service is still pretty much the same. Aspen flew to Denver and Farmington which was an extension of some of the DEN-DRO flight. Trans-Colorado flew to DEN, ABQ and maybe Farmington and Cortez as well.
From what I have researched, Frontier used to be the premier carrier in Colorado and the Rockies. They flew several 737's into DRO but that was before deregulation. The CAB ran the show back then and many two horse towns were getting air service with 737-100/200's and DC-9's. Then came deregulation and everything was downsized to props. In the 90's United Express flew a mix of Dash-8's and BAE 146's to DEN from DRO. I remember seeing that in the OAG Guide.
What happened to AA and CO. I thought AA was flying MD-80's and CO the ERJ into DRO during ski season? Seasonal service stinks for college students but it is good for spotting
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
DLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1252 times:
Quoting AirlineBrat (Reply 7): What happened to AA and CO. I thought AA was flying MD-80's and CO the ERJ into DRO during ski season? Seasonal service stinks for college students but it is good for spotting
Amen. Nope the CO and AA flights weren't picked up again this year. Oh well, the town is about to balloon to a size of 40,000 people here soon, so I foresee more business coming in and better spotting. Gonna turn the town to shit, though.
FlyHoss From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 598 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1230 times:
I first rode on Trans Colorado (TCA) from Rock Springs, WY to DEN in 1985; back then they flew a small number of airplanes to a handful of cities, primarily in Colorado and Wyoming.
But TCA went through some hectic and dynamic times in the late 1980's, through no fault of their own really. It all started with Continental...
In the mid 80's, Continental was using Pioneer Airlines in DEN as the "Continental Commuter."
Texas Air (Continental's parent) acquired (1986?) Rocky Mountain Airways (RMA), also in DEN. It was clear to the management at Pioneer that ALL of the DEN commuter flying would migrate to RMA, sooner or later, and so Pioneer ceased operations before the rug could be pulled out from under their feet. However, RMA wasn't ready to add that flying that Pioneer had done, so Continental quickly brought Trans Colorado on board to replace Pioneer (TCA flew some of the very same Metroliners for CAL that Pioneer had flown). TCA experienced some sudden growth. Soon thereafter, CAL ordered Beech 1900s for RMA to operate, replacing (essentially 1 for 1) the TCA Metros, at least in DEN. Some of the TCA employees became RMA employess and then Continental Express (today - ExpressJet) employees during this transition (I still see some of them to this day at CAL). I know of a small number of TCA former employees at Air Wisconsin, also.
TCA moved some flying to IAH until Britt (which again became part of Continental Express) Brasilias were on line.
The only "black mark" for TCA in those days was the accident on approach to Durango, CO (DRO) when the Captain didn't stop (in time) the FO from descending through the minimum descent altitude (Jan. 19, 1988 as CO Express 2286) and the Metroliner hit the ground (9 fatalities, some survivors also).
Uadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 10 Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1204 times:
didnt T-C put one down near DRO back in the early 80s?????when i spent my 6 months in dro on the yv to zw hand over back in 97 i remember a airport worker telling me that he went out to the site to help out...i could have sworn he said it was a t-c metro......
SierraAir From United States of America, joined May 1999, 200 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1156 times:
TC did lose one flight just outside of Durango in January of 1988. A bad situation compounded by the fact that the pilot had used cocaine within the prior 24 hours and the first officer was not as experiened at the approach as should be.
The bird was a former Pioneer aircraft. I've seen the original color photos Bill took when he was called to the accident site (subsiquently used in the accident report) It was not a pretty sight.
Thanks for the stories, guys. Also, since it is highly doubtful that a model of the TC Metros exist anywhere, does anyone know where I could order one custom made? I've googled some model sites but most are premade without the option to customize. Any ideas?