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Pres. Nixon On Commercial Flight (While President)  
User currently offlineRedFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10261 times:

I remember back in 1973 or early 1974 during the Arab oil embargo then-President Nixon took a commercial flight in order to set an example by conserving on oil consumption (nevermind all the other examples, most of which were notoriously bad, that he set!). I guess the thinking from his poll-watchers was that the public would see him giving up a huge perk of office -- Air Force One -- in order to contribute to energy conservation.

In any event, I was curious if anyone remembered the event and had any details on the one and, I believe, only commercial flight taken by a modern sitting U.S. president. Such as where the flight took him, how many seats were occupied by his Secret Service detail, who monitored the flight from the cockpit, and how far in advance the flight was arranged, especially with regards to flight and cabin crew assignments. I believe he took a UA flight. Don't recall the equipment, but I think it was a 727. Any info is appreciated.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetJeanes From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10251 times:

I thought it was a Ua dc-10 he flew and flew in the rear of the aircraft from what i remember,,, but then again at the time id take a dc-10 over that old 707 anyday

User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10243 times:

It was a United DC-10, IAD-LAX. It was right after the national speed limit was lowered to 55MPH, so he asked the pilot to fly more slowly than normal, which ended up using more fuel, since it took it longer to fly across the country. In the end, Air Force One was flown empty out to California to pick him up to return to Washington, wasting even more fuel.

User currently offlineAirTranTUS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10235 times:

It was a DC-10 and the flight took place around Christmas. There was an article in either Airways or Airliners Magazines a few years ago. I have a copy at home, where I won't be till Sunday, and only for a few hours. I will try to remember to get it. I remember reading the flight was not very full (odd for Christmas) and partway through the flight, passengers recognized him and he talked to them. I thought he was in the First cabin, but I forget.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
In the end, Air Force One was flown empty out to California to pick him up to return to Washington, wasting even more fuel.

That it did.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10206 times:

A little more info from Time Magazine, the Jan. 7, 1974 issue:

Quoting http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,910952,00.html:

As the year came to a close, President Nixon got away for a few days' rest. Flying to California, he did his bit to ease the energy crisis with a symbolic act of conspicuous nonconsumption. Instead of traveling in Air Force One, the President, Wife Pat, Daughter Tricia, nine staffers and 13 Secret Service agents went, unannounced, aboard a United Air Lines DC-10.

Nixon left his $217.64 first-class seat and spent half an hour walking the aisles in the tourist-class section happily holding a baby, signing autographs and chatting amiably with passengers while Press Secretary Ron Ziegler snapped photos. When one 16-year-old girl blurted out: "You look like Bob Hope!", Nixon grinned and replied: "He's a good friend of mine." As he left the compartment, the passengers gave the President a standing ovation.


User currently offlineRedFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10203 times:

Ok, since there are some on this forum that remember this peculiar event, I gotta ask the question: What was the call sign of the aircraft while Nixon was on board? Even though it was a commercially operated flight, was it redesignated Air Force One for national security purposes or given some other moniker?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
In the end, Air Force One was flown empty out to California to pick him up to return to Washington, wasting even more fuel.

That is hysterical! I knew he flew just one leg; didn't occur to me he had to get back to DC and he did it via traditional means!


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 10197 times:

Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 5):
What was the call sign of the aircraft while Nixon was on board?

It would have been Executive One.


User currently offlineUnited_Fan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9816 times:

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 7):
Was there a pic in the article? I wonder what ship number it was!

There was an article a while back on this flight. The author wasn't sure which UA -10-10 it was. It may be with FX or it may be beer cans.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9750 times:

About the same timeframe, Pat Nixon took a IAD-LAX flight. Trickie Dickie was elsewhere. I think she flew AA or TWA on this trip to spread the wealth around...

The Nixons flew the United flight Dec 23 1973, and yes it was a diesal 10.
safe

[Edited 2007-06-12 16:24:58]

User currently offlinePacNWJet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9665 times:

The Airways article is in the August 2004 issue (Volume 11, Number 6, Issue 102), "When the President Flew 'The Friendly Skies'" by Stan Solomon (pages 53-55). The article contains three sidebars: "Which Airplane?" (page 54); "That Was Then, This Is Now" (page 55); and "A First Lady Flies Commercial" (page 55). Images in the article include a photo of the type of United DC-10-10 Nixon flew, a copy of the United timetable with the flight in question higlighted, and a photo of Nixon's ticket jacket for the flight (the president was seated in seat 2A; he was accompanied by First Lady Pat Nixon, his daughter Tricia Nixon Cox, and their dog an Irish Spaniel by the name of King Timahoe). For the record, the specific flight was UA 55 on December 26, 1973 non-stop from Washington Dulles IAD to Los Angeles LAX. The United timetable shown in the article indicates that the flight was scheduled to depart IAD at 17:30 and arrive in LAX at 20:05 and that there were cocktails, a meal served, and audio, but no in-flight movie. The article states that United personnel cosulted for the article can't seem to remember which specific DC-10-10 was used on that flight, but research narrows it down to those with registrations N1801U through N1818U. The published one-way IAD-LAX first class fare for the flight (with a 24-hour advance purchase) was $217.64 which the article states would be $903.07 today adjusted for inflation.

User currently offlineIsitsafenow From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9638 times:

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 13):
record, the specific flight was UA 55 on December 26, 1973 non-stop from Washington Dulles IAD to Los Angeles

Interesting......WIKIPEDIA show Dec 23rd as the date. I do remember the news article saying most if not all of
F was taken by the Nixons and the secret service. The flight was known as Executive One though this name
was NOT used in cockpit communications.
safe


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 9608 times:

BTW they then drove all the way from LAX down to San Clemente, which is pretty far.

I think Nixon usually flew into/out of El Toro.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9547 times:

The Book Air Force One has information on his UA flight as well. Complete with photos!

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/boo...ry.asp?z=y&EAN=9781589232334&itm=2


User currently offlineCJAContinental From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9379 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
which ended up using more fuel, since it took it longer to fly across the country

Do you know this for sure, or are you just assuming that it would use more fuel; as you may know, flying too fast, or too slow is inefficient, though there is a perfect speed for that altitude, and perhaps that speed was the most efficient.

E.g., a car travels x meters at 70 mph, and a car travels 80mph the same distance, both cars are exactly the same.

Although the ratio of speed if 0.875:1 respectively, the power required by the engines would have a ratio of around 0.6:1 repectively, therefore more energy would be required.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9358 times:

Quoting CJAContinental (Reply 20):
Do you know this for sure, or are you just assuming that it would use more fuel; as you may know, flying too fast, or too slow is inefficient, though there is a perfect speed for that altitude, and perhaps that speed was the most efficient.

I've tried looking up a definitive source for this on the web whenever this question comes up, but haven't been able to find any. I remember it from the ABC News broadcast that covered the story in 1973, is all. It's one of those things that's always stuck in my mind about it, with it being at the time the national speed limit was lowered.


User currently offlineTan Flyr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9323 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
It was a United DC-10, IAD-LAX. It was right after the national speed limit was lowered to 55MPH, so he asked the pilot to fly more slowly than normal, which ended up using more fuel, since it took it longer to fly across the country.

Just for the record, the National Highway Energy Emergency Act ( or something close to that) was signed on Jan.02, 1974

IIRC, the effective date was sometime in Feb. or March of 1974 giving states time to replace thousands of signs with the new 55 , or double nickel speed limit. Little fuel was ever saved, and it turned millions of otherise very law abiding citizens into daily Federal lawbreakers!

I remember the news coverage later that night about Nixons flight that evening and arrival at LAX.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9293 times:

Quoting Tan Flyr (Reply 22):
Just for the record, the National Highway Energy Emergency Act ( or something close to that) was signed on Jan.02, 1974

Thanks for the correction. I should probably say "proposed" in the same context in the future.


User currently offlineJhooper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9242 times:

Also according to Wikipedia, Air Force One (the 707) still flew the route behind the United, w/o the President onboard--Self defeating, eh?

User currently offlineTeamAmerica From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9201 times:

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 24):
Also according to Wikipedia, Air Force One (the 707) still flew the route behind the United, w/o the President onboard--Self defeating, eh?

In actual fact, yes - no argument. In terms of symbolism it was a bit cynical, but may have had some positive effect, like Pres. Carter wearing a sweater in his TV speeches. In terms of boosting the image of an embattled President...probably a good move. Get close to the people and all that.

Bottom line is that Air Force One exists to keep the President secure and to keep him in essential communication with all elements of the government. It's gotta be a blast to fly on that beautiful plane, but as a "perk" I'd say it is just as essential as the President's armored limo. I want the President to fly on a properly equipped aircraft, and not on United Airlines (with all due respect to UA). airplane 


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 9154 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):
It would have been Executive One.

Can you provide definitive proof of that Westy?


User currently offlineViscount724 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9125 times:

Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 26):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 6):
It would have been Executive One.

Can you provide definitive proof of that Westy?

Excerpt below from FAA procedures manual, accessible on their website. Relevant section at this link
http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraff...tions/atpubs/ATC/Chp2/atc0204.html


7. Presidential aircraft and Presidential family aircraft:

(a) When the President is aboard a military aircraft, state the name of the military service, followed by the word "One."

EXAMPLE-
"Air Force One."
"Army One."
"Marine One."

(b) When the President is aboard a civil aircraft, state the words "Executive One."

(c) When a member of the President's family is aboard any aircraft, if the U.S. Secret Service or the White House Staff determines it is necessary, state the words "Executive One Foxtrot."

REFERENCE-
FAAO 7110.65, Operational Priority, Para 2-1-4.

8. Vice Presidential aircraft:

(a) When the Vice President is aboard a military aircraft, state the name of the military service, followed by the word "Two."

EXAMPLE-
"Air Force Two."
"Army Two."
"Marine Two."

(b) When the Vice President is aboard a civil aircraft, state the words "Executive Two."

(c) When a member of the Vice President's family is aboard any aircraft, if the U.S. Secret Service or the White House Staff determines it is necessary, state the words "Executive Two Foxtrot."

REFERENCE-
FAAO 7110.65, Operational Priority, Para 2-1-4.


User currently offlinePnwtraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9119 times:

Those days are over for sure. The attempt on Regan's life ended it as far as the Secret Service is concerned. And if that didn't then 9/11 sure did. Had their been a 9/11 type crisis during that flight Nixon would have been pretty much out of the loop unless they landed the plane somewhere.

User currently offlineFlysherwood From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9080 times:

Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 28):
Those days are over for sure. The attempt on Regan's life ended it as far as the Secret Service is concerned. And if that didn't then 9/11 sure did. Had their been a 9/11 type crisis during that flight Nixon would have been pretty much out of the loop unless they landed the plane somewhere.

 checkmark 

On 9/11 President Bush had to finally full rank over the director of the Secret Service just to get back to Washington D.C. aboard AirForce One! When are people going to really understand the office of the POTUS. He is the single most powerful leader on the planet. He is leading the only Super Power in the world. That office does not have the time to be fiddling around aboard a commercial flight. And quite frankly as a naturalized citizen of this country, I would be angry and concerned that the President, no matter who he is, is unable to perform the duties of his office in a time of crisis for the length of time he is on board "Executive One".

If you think we have chaos now, just imagine some terrorist succesfully harming the President!  Yeah sure


User currently offlineUSAFHummer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 9052 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 27):

I'm aware of that, thank you, but that does not address the specific situation...I have seen this situation claimed either way...it operated under the "United 55" callsign, or the "Executive One" callsign...I am looking for verifyable proof of which one it actually was


User currently offlineViscount724 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 9016 times:

Quoting USAFHummer (Reply 30):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 27):


I'm aware of that, thank you, but that does not address the specific situation...I have seen this situation claimed either way...it operated under the "United 55" callsign, or the "Executive One" callsign...I am looking for verifyable proof of which one it actually was

What kind of proof are you looking for? I doubt you're going to find anyone with an ATC recording or transcript.


25 Post contains links ANCFlyer : RE: Which US President Flew On Commercial Flight? (by AERoc Dec 19 2004 in Civil Aviation) Theres a few more thread out there on Nixon and his jaunt o
26 USAFHummer : Perhaps my Google searches on this topic last night were inefficient, or the information is tucked away in some biography of Nixon, or presidential h
27 Post contains links Viscount724 : I found this if it helps. Includes the Captain's name. Unfortunately you have to pay a fee to obtain the video of the CBS news report. http://openweb
28 RedFlyer : I think the military attache that carries the doomsday "football" would have been on that flight with Nixon. I think that briefcase has, in addition
29 Post contains images Chase : Okay, sorry for the pedantic question, but: What if GHWB were on one commercial flight, Barbara (Sr) were on another, and the twins were on another f
30 TaxPilot : During President Nixon's last year in office he spent many weekends at his Key Biscayne home. We were part of the massive aircraft movement to south F
31 Spacecadet : I would never suggest we ditch the idea of having a dedicated airliner (or two) for the President now that we have them, but let's be a little realis
32 Post contains images Flysherwood : What is arrogant about that? If the British have no problem with Tony Blair maybe being harmed, that is up to them. I on the other hand have a problem
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