Cody From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1930 posts, RR: 9 Posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4710 times:
I don't think anyone else has posted this and hopefully this doesn't break forum rules. Here is a really interesting video series about Northwest Airlines and the Convair 580 retirement. It was put out by Northwest the day the Convair was retired and includes interviews with employees and passengers.
UTAH744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4600 times:
WOW dis this post and videos bring back memories. I would like to share some of my Convair memories. I started with NCA in 1975 as a CV580 F/0 in May 1975 and flew 2 years as F/O and 2 years as Captain and found the plane very challenging but tons of fun.
In our Convair ground school the day before we started flight training the Senior Convair Instructor pilot welcomed us with something like this "It is a sad sight to see a new hire walking out of the hanger with his new shiny flight bag after we busted him in the training program." Welcome to NCA, but in all fairness he was the exception, not the rule.
Long before CRM the F/Os had to keep a book on all of the Captains with all of their idiosyncrasies, and boy were their some doozies. Smoking was still allowed then, and one Captain had a bunch of holes in his tie from falling ashes. One 3 day trip mostly throughout the Dakotas after lunch with the sun shining on us, and a 17 leg day, we made a takeoff from Sioux City (KSUX) and it ended up as a abort. The Captain, Mickey Walker (one of the very best I ever flew with) pulled the power levers back for the abort and then asked "Why couldn't you keep the plane straight?" I had to answer him with "It was your leg." We had a good laugh on the taxi back for another takeoff and told the passengers that there was a warning light, but we took care of it. Later I learned it was wise to never lie to the passengers.
One spring day (lots of wind in the upper Mid-west) a weary F/A came up to me and told me that she hated spring because of all of the blue and green. She explained that on landings all she could look at was her 6 inch round window in the aft door, and with us fighting the crosswinds all she saw was blue and green as the wing went up and down.
The Convair APU sounded like a barking seal when it started. Upon arrival at the gate the F/O would depressurize the cabin and you would feel the pressure change and pop your ears. Even a year after moving on to the DC-9 I would often find myself popping my ears approaching the gate. My last trip ended with a mechanical in Yankton, SD with a broken speed sensing switch (can't start the engine.) Appropriate, they were getting old.
On the "Route of the Northliners" it was really cold in the winter. Pilots would try lots of things to try to keep their feet from freezing. Thick socks, fur-lined boots, and electric socks all were tried. At outlying stations they would preheat the cabin and then just before boarding do the cockpit, sometimes too long. So we had to wear our gloves because it was too hot to hold the yoke; and sometimes too cold
She was marvelous on snow and ice. You would just use the two power levers like a steering knob. Want to go left just reverse the left prop a bit. Never was worried about sliding o the Convair.
What a great plane that left me with many fond memories. Amazing how fast you forget frostbite after 30 years.
HermansCVR580 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 504 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4327 times:
I have two copies of this video. One as an insurance copy just in case something happens to the first one. Great stories about flying the Convair and the fun multi leg trips. Is that hangar still standing at MSP? I thought the new freight ramp is there now? I will be up there on the 16th I will have to look for it if it is still there.
The right decision at the wrong time, is still a wrong decision. "Hal Carr"
ca2ohHP From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 948 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4190 times:
Wow that really brings back some memories. I still remember my family driving to Oshkosh, WI and waiting for my dad to arrive on a Republic -580 back in the early 80's. Thanks for posting this, although I have to admit I got a chuckle out of the "Top Gun" theme song.
UTAH744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4154 times:
Quoting Cody (thread starter)
What a great bedtime story to finish off my evening. I think my favorite part was the 17 leg day!!!! My worst day was nine legs. How in the world did you fit 17 into one days worth of flying?
Out on a trip now so I don't have access to my logbook so from memory the trip's 3rd day started in Fargo early in the morning and made ALL, and I do mean ALL of the stops down to Kansas City. Then we turned around and missed Yankton and Norfolk on the way back to Fargo. Turned the corner at Fargo and did the Thief River Falls, Brainard, Bemiji home to MSP The first two days of the trip had 10 & 12 landings so if you flew 3 trips with a 1 day filler you did close to 150 landings in the month. I don't think I did 150 legs in my last 2 years on the B744.
Two tidbits about Brainard. Flew Paul Newman up there when he was racing his car and as he got off the plane he looked me in the eye with his baby blues and said "Ciao." The guy was the definition of cool. One winter day we called into the Brainard station for the weather. They reported a couple of inches of snow. When we landed it was like catching the three wire on a carrier with the rapid deceleration. We had to taxi in with high rpm (remember the 580 used low ground idle for ground ops.) We had to wait a couple of hours while the runway was plowed for takeoff.
We also did 12 stop days on the DC-9 out of DTW. Across Michigan, over to GRB and then the UP and back the same way with an overnight in CLE. The DC-9 was a great plane too, a dream to fly and nice quiet cockpit. I came to NCA from California and it was a big change for me seeing what the winters in the upper Midwest were like. I did like the two weeks of summer in MSP though.
type-rated From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 4846 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4127 times:
One thing is sure, NC pilots saw all the extremes of weather. Thunder & lightning in snow clouds, below zero ops, frozen baggage doors, etc.
I'll never forget the noise the Convair made. Kind of a whistling sound. Once you heard it, you knew what kind of aircraft it was, even when it was flying overhead.
More airlines flew the plane than many of their contemporary counterparts. Back in it's heyday it was an economical aircraft to fly. A lot of the parts for the left side also fit the right side so you wouldn't have to stock as many parts as you would for another model aircraft. This was a selling point.
And I believe it was a safe aircraft as well. Not too many crashes over the years.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
sunking737 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2021 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4033 times:
Quoting HermansCVR580 (Reply 3): Is that hangar still standing at MSP? I thought the new freight ramp is there now?
That hanger was used by Mesaba for a few years, but sadly is now gone. It was removed to make way for a new deicing area. That hanger was used by NC has their G.O. until 1969 when the new one was built down on I 494. The hanger was used by Mesaba, an outfit called Air Vantage, then finally the M.A.C. for equipment storage.
I enjoyed the stories on the Convair 580. I worked for RC from 1985 to 1987, until after the NWA merger. Ramp MSP was a blast around the 580. I loved the power backs!!! The power of those engines. I tried to non rev. once on my day off, but the planes were all full. I did get the chance to ride right seat a few times taking a bird down to the hanger, with the mechanics.
WALmsp From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 130 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4003 times:
Pleasant Memories. As a kid, I would visit relatives in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa: Western 720 LAX to MSP, then across the terminal to a NC 580 to Fairmont via Mankato. I loved sitting behind the wing and watching those blades spin!
In memory of my Dad, Robert "Bob" Fenrich, WAL 1964-1979, MSP ONT LAX
skyymarc From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3970 times:
In 1980 my family passed through MSP on the way home to AZ from Germany. We flew HAM to MSP via London then connected to USAir at MSP to PHX. While waiting for the flight to PHX we were sitting in the gate area facing the northern runway and I remember those Convairs taking off. I was only 7 but I can clearly remember those smoke trails they left behind.
Coronado From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1127 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3955 times:
Great videos. I guess I am lucky having flown in and out of CMX several times a year during the 1980's with many of the flights on Convairs (also DC9's!), The best was landing in CMX in snow--incredible amount of blowing by those big props-- I wish I had kept a log on all the Allison aircraft I flew on since I had the pleasure of a great many Electra flights (on the CGH-SDU airbridge) and also spent 3 years in the Army Airborne with a lot of C130 one way trips.
The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973
MNMncrcnwjr From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3910 times:
Quoting Coronado (Reply 13): The best was landing in CMX in snow--incredible amount of blowing by those big props--
That was my home airport for a few years and the milk run to either DTW or GRB had the stops of IMT or ESC, MNM, GRB,GRR,LAN,DTW ... and on occasion MQT, MTW thrown in as alts as well...
One NC flight in the mid 70's from MNM to CMX in the fall, we overflew a scheduled stop in IMT and the capt took it low and slow on a very clear day... as we passed over an open field NNE of Crystal Falls the capt got on the PA and told the folks on the left side to look down for a herd of white tail deer that had to be 250+ (i was able to count like my Grandfather told me.. count the legs and divide by 4) as he did a left 360 around the open field.... to be far he then swung around and did a right 360 so the folks on the right side would get a nice view ... too many flights in and out of CMX (dc3, cv340 cv580, dc-9, saab 340B) and only 1 alternate landing at old MQT and a bus due to Snow....
one other flight from GRB to CMX we stopped MNM and IMT .. only on approach to IMT we had a sudden pull up and go around after the entire airport went dark about 1/4 mile from the fence.... on the base leg of the redo, the lights popped back on and we landed w/out incident ... no explanation as to why that ever happend. But what a great power rush as those two Allison's roared on climb out ..
cv640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (3 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3272 times:
I'd have loved a chance to have flown on one as a passenger. I always wondered what they looked like and how they rode when they were passenger aircraft. I got a chance when they were converted to fly freight. Not really a good comparison as a freight dog though. There they were gutted and loaded up with auto parts. They still looked regal and had a casted a very proud shadow.