pilottj
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Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:47 am

One of the early airline memories I have is when I was 6 in 1985, caught an early morning United 727 from ACV(Arcata) to SFO, then walking over to a PSA gate and catching an MD-80 to BUR, I remember the big cookie given to me by the FA that seemed as big as my head. Those were the days weren't they? I remember going to Disney for the first time and I believe PSA was the 'Official' airline at the time. I remember taking PSA a few more times between BUR and SFO or OAK. I also remember the paint schemes gradually changing to USAir. Does anyone else have fond or negative memories of PSA? I never flew on AirCal, but how did they compare to PSA? I think they both had 'smiles' on their planes.
CHeers
TJ
God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
 
timz
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RE: Old UA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:33 am

UA 727 out of ACV-- must've been a charter.
 
m404
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:34 am

My first time on PSA was around 1960 when I won a radio station program along with 70 others and were treated to a free scenic flight around the LA basin on an Electra of theirs. Many flights since then on 727-100 and -200 and Avro. An almost empty DC9-80 out of SAN to LAS sitting in the front row that faced backwards showed me what a really steep ascent rate was. Capt told me ahead of time he was going to do this. Legs stood straight out from Gees and the runway numbers could be seen out window receding but never changing in angle. That's really climbing. If no seat belts I'd been part of the next row. Gotcha on the ACV run by almost 20 years. Then it was a Pacific 727-100 ACV-SFO-MRY-LAX First flight to ACV was SFO-RDD-ACV F-27 with PC
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
N1120A
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:57 am

>UA 727 out of ACV-- must've been a charter.<

I flew a UA 737 RDD-ACV-SFO, then changed planes to LAX back in the mid-80's. UA used to mix in a lot of mainline with express in CA while flying more express flights out of places like OXR, VIS, etc. to more places.

Anyway, I don't remember my first flights, as I was an infant, but they were ONT-OAK-ONT on OC. I remember another flight where I was 2 and willing to "fly on the ground" but not "fly in the air" and an AirCal F/A tried to get me to like the air idea (things have changed since then  Smile/happy/getting dizzy) but I fell asleep anyway and woke up on landing to OAK and thought we flew on the ground. I also remember flying a PSA flight SFO-LAX (actually, that change of planes from the RDD trip where we visited my uncle was to this flight), just after the merger and the crash, and asking the CSA if we had the same flight number. They had put us in an exit row, and I was mad when they made us move because I was too young, as I was worried I would not get a window.




Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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jetpixx
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:58 am

Unfortunately, the only 'memories' I have of PSA are:

1) The funny smile painted on each of their aircraft, which was gone for good once US Scareways took over.

2) The nasty mid-air collision between a PSA 727 and a Cessna 172 outside of San Diego which killed 137 in the air and seven on the ground.

Here is an interesting article marking the 25th anniversary of the terrible disaster, including the famous front page photo of the 727 hurtling towards the ground.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20030925-9999_1m25psa.html
 
timz
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RE: Old UA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:14 am

"I flew a UA 737 RDD-ACV-SFO, then changed planes to LAX back in the mid-80's. UA used to mix in a lot of mainline with express in CA..."

You're saying UA was known to fly 737s on flights that were scheduled to be Westair-or-whoever props? Pretty sure they never scheduled 737s to ACV or RDD.
 
flyabunch
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 10:35 am

I flew into ACV in 1968 at the start of my freshman year at Humboldt State. It was on an Air West 727 (still in Bonanza colors!). The pilot barely got that thing stopped before the cliff. After that , I do not remember ever seeing a plane that big go in there. The normal was DC-9's and smaller.

On later flights, Air West also used F-27's on that route...now there is an interesting ride.

I think that after my 727 ride in there, most airlines avoided going in there with anything that big.

Mike
 
sccutler
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:42 am

BAE146s between SNA and SFO (on both PSA and AirCal). I really liked those 146s, the howling noise they made as those flaps deployed. Good service, great spirit, amazing how quickly inept airline management can destroy something of real value.

California had two good airlines when I moved there in 1986- and both were gone by the time I left in 1989.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:46 am

I used to fly PSA twice a month, my parents were split up and my dad was living in the Bay Area. I always flew on a 727, from BUR to SJC.
 
N1120A
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:00 pm

>You're saying UA was known to fly 737s on flights that were scheduled to be Westair-or-whoever props? Pretty sure they never scheduled 737s to ACV or RDD.<

Well, I am completely sure that the one time I flew into RDD it was on a mainline UA jet, and that it was a 732. I just talked to my uncle who was in the tower at RDD when I landed and worked at RDD as his first tower assignment for the FAA, and he confirmed it. It was not that they were known to fly them, they scheduled them as mainline service from SFO. As far as ACV goes, it may have been a BAe 146, but it was not a Brasillia, as my first Brasillia ride was BUR-SMF (yes, UAex did that too).
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:35 pm

Worked for PSA as a part of an occupational training program through my high school at ONT. Spent two months between the ticket counter and the ramp. Best two months of work I've ever had.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
N1120A
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:39 pm

Hey Tom, did you go to Chaffey High School? I know some people who went there.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:42 pm

Chaffey was a little east of us as I recall.........I was Claremont High class of '79.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
N1120A
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:46 pm

Oh, Chaffey is in Ontario, that is why I asked. Claremont huh? LA County then, hence not the dreaded 909 Big grin. I was born in Whittier and lived in West Covina before moving to Camarillo at age 6. I am betting both our first flights were out of ONT.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
pilottj
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:55 pm

From what I remember, the UA 727 from ACV I was on was very lightly loaded as it was a pre-dawn departure. I don't think it was charter though. If someone has some 1980s era UA flight schedules or route maps, perhaps you can clear it up.
TJ
God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
 
PSA53
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:24 pm

There are a lot of memories when I was
taking pictures of aircraft.I guess the one that
sticks out is at BUR. Off San Fernando Rd,there was
a insert street that took you right on top of runway 15.
One Saturday, with my aviation radio and camera, a PSA
L-188a approached for take-off.But there was a problem,
because the aircraft stopped in front of me and the pilot
was trying to talked to me through the aviation radio to
inspect something.But the engines were so loud,that I couldn't hear him
and waved him off by using my arms motion over my ears.

Now, I assure you.If I had spotted something, I would have pulled
my tool box out my car,jumped on the wing ,and fix the problem making
the passengers feel really secured!

A photo from Bur,Runway 15, in the late seventies.

http://www.catchoursmile.com/cos98.jpg

P.S.The pilot turn the aircraft around and had it inspected.





[Edited 2004-11-29 06:49:48]
Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
 
flyboyaz
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:33 pm

Wonderful airline, wonderful employees, wonderful memories. Those smiley planes still warm my heart.

Southwest tries hard in CA but they still don't cut it.  Smile PSA was California's airline and in the eyes of many, it still is.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
pilottj
Posts: 274
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:43 pm

Well I was pretty young during PSA's demise, so I was pretty unclear as to the details. Was it a case of wrong place/wrong time or bad managment? From what I remember the FAs were all pretty happy and really seemed to emulate that smile on the airplane. And I don't remember too many empty airplanes, at least on the BUR-SFO or OAK run.

TJ
God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
 
atcrick
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:55 pm

I used to love to go to the old ONT terminal and watch PSA, Air Cal, and Hughes Air West back in the 70's. For you other California natives I went to Chino High School.

On another note, one VP at Allegiant (Jim Patterson) was in charge of PSA Dispatch from the beginning, I believe.

Rick
natch!!
 
WesternDC1010
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:26 pm

I too, used to go out to ONT, as well as LAX, SNA and BUR to watch PSA as well as AirCal, Western, Hughes Airwest, Republic and Golden West. I sure miss those days. I'm also a SoCal native who went to West Covina High School and Mt. San Antonio College studying Air Transport.

- Ron
Western DC-10-10
Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
 
N1120A
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:38 pm

>Well I was pretty young during PSA's demise, so I was pretty unclear as to the details. Was it a case of wrong place/wrong time or bad managment? From what I remember the FAs were all pretty happy and really seemed to emulate that smile on the airplane. And I don't remember too many empty airplanes, at least on the BUR-SFO or OAK run.<

What actually happened to PSA was a combination of bad luck and industry times. The beginning of the end for them was the forced grounding of their new L-1011s during the fuel crisis. They paid a lot of money for planes that, because of fuel rationing, they had to let sit. The lease deals they set up did not defray enough. Second, in the merger happy 1980's, US led the way, buying beloved carriers PSA and Piedmont, only to piss them both away. I honestly think that PSA could have made a WN like expansion if they had held out and restructured their fleet (MD-80s or 737s would have done, with the BAe 146s slowly sold out to Air Wisconsin or Mesaba) while doing a controlled expansion.

BTW, I went to Camarillo High School and graduated UCLA and now am getting a JD and Ph.D at Tulane.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
WesternA318
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am

The only thing I remember of PSA was an MD_80 at the gate in SLC in late '84, just before they stopped flying to SLC altogether. I miss the smiles...:'(
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:18 am

My first flight was actually an LAX-BOS nonstop. But, with my dad still living in the Claremont house, we've done quite a bit of flying into ONT over the years.

Ron,
I was also an Mt SAC student doing the Air Transportation thing. Got my AS in 1981.

N1120a,
Shoot me an email when you get a chance. We can exchange SoCal memories, and complain about the Saints.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
timz
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RE: Old UA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:21 am

" ...the one time I flew into RDD it was on a mainline UA jet, and that it was a 732....they scheduled them as mainline service from SFO."

When?
 
pilottj
Posts: 274
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:23 pm

RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:24 am

So I take it, buying the L1011 at the wrong time was kind of the back breaker. Well the idea was nice, high density short range works great in Japan and one would think there would be a market for that in California. I guess HP got rid of their 747 quick enough before it really hurt them. So if we can shoot around a couple of 'what ifs'...if they had not gone with the L1011 and kept it small scale, would they be competeing with the likes of WN and HP right now? It is interesting to ponder it, and sad at the same time to think such a cool airline could be doing so well if the times were just a little different. But such is the story of many good airlines I guess.

Cheers
TJ
God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
 
m404
Posts: 1875
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:43 pm

RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:43 am

Flyabunch

I flew into ACV in 1968 at the start of my freshman year at Humboldt State. It was on an Air West 727 (still in Bonanza colors!). The pilot barely got that thing stopped before the cliff. After that , I do not remember ever seeing a plane that big go in there. The normal was DC-9's and smaller.

On later flights, Air West also used F-27's on that route...now there is an interesting ride


Thanks for the plug for RW, not too many remember us. If you'd permit I'd like to make a correction. Bonanza never flew B-727s. They were originally flown and delivered to Pacific and first flown ACV-SFO-MRY-SBA-LAX among others. I'd bet however that if you did fly a B727 on us it was in this paint scheme,

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John F. Ciesla


represented on this F27. They have no photo of RW727 in this c/s. It also had orange as BL did and has been mistaken as a form of BL colors. Not. Airwest had four schemes representing the four areas of the west coast served. This one was for Mexico.

If this is what happened here's a little more history. That would have been ship N2979G (GATX Leasing), hull num. 19304 and the only 727 in those colors of the three PC had. Her first flight from Renton was on 24 Jun 1966. Parts of her can still be found high on a mountain west of Juneau Alaska where she was written off 4 Sep 1971 after making an approach to that airport while on lease to Alaska Airlines. The cause has been said to be a problem with the approach navigation equipment on the ground.

If it was not a 727 you rode it may (again forgive me) have been a DC9 in that same c/s or this one which also had the orange and represented the desert southwest.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard



To rejoin the subject of this thread here's another of my PSA memories.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin


Note the PSA ship at the end of the SFO pier. It was too early for this size of plane (our B727) for these cities and PSA could not be competed against in the others. A great company with an outstanding culture.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
Mepjap65
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:48 am

RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:13 pm

The very first memory that came to mind when I read this topic was the horrible crash of 1978 in San Diego. Guess I'm not the only one, as Jetpixx covered this in reply #4. I was a young lad of 14 living in San Diego at the time and I recall the incident quite vividly. The photo in the paper that I saw at the time of the tragedy was different than what's pictured in the link; more up close, and the "smile" on the jet quite clearly seen as it was falling to earth, it's wing on fire.

If I remember correctly, PSA was either based out of San Diego, or it was at least a hub. I remember passing by their brightly colored terminal/hangar building at Lindberg Field. The building is now the airport's commuter airline terminal.
 
pilottj
Posts: 274
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 1:23 pm

RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:25 pm

That was quite a tragic crash. I think it really led to the creation of the Class B/C/D airspaces along with their respective regulations. I saw an old sectional from the late 60s and compared it to a current one, obviously quite a difference.

TJ
God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
 
flyabunch
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:42 am

RE: Old PSA Memories

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:02 pm

M404,

Thanks for the refresher. I could have swore it was a Bonanza, but it was dark at SFO when we boarded. It was definitely a 727, 3-3 seating, jammed with students and all their stuff. I think you are right about the paint scheme. The red tail seems correct...but then it has been a looooong time.

Mike
 
timz
Posts: 6083
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

RE: Old UA Memories

Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:06 am

I was wrong-- UA did fly ACV-SFO and RDD-SFO from 1983-87.

"I think it [the PSA San Diego collision in 1978] really led to the creation of the Class B/C/D airspaces along with their respective regulations."

The first TCAs appeared circa 1971? And TRSAs existed before 1978, too-- did they replace them with ARSAs around that time?
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Old PSA Memories

Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:13 am

>" ...the one time I flew into RDD it was on a mainline UA jet, and that it was a 732....they scheduled them as mainline service from SFO."

When?<

I want to say 1987.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss

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