KYIPpilot
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The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:22 am

Well, unfortuneatly it finally happened. Zantop has closed its doors for good. I sure will miss the sound of the old Allison engines on the L-188's. Anyone here a former pilot/employee of Zantop, or have any good memories of them? Share them here.


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"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
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rg828
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:23 am

A good friend of mine flew for them while on furlough from UA.

I can tell you though, he had no good memories at all!
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2H4
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:25 am



A good friend of mine used to fly Electras for Zantop. I remember getting a tour through their hangars, and it was like going back in time. The workers all rode cool 1950s cruiser bicycles to get from one place to another. The bikes were covered in decades of grease and grime, but it preserved them surprisingly well.

The bathrooms in that hangar each had gigantic (~15 foot diameter) round sinks, where large numbers of factory workers would all wash up after a hard day's work.

It almost seemed a little eerie to be the only one wandering around in a place that was once so active and busy.

Several years ago, I was practicing maneuvers west of Ann Arbor at about 4000', when an Electra passed overhead, from right to left, about 1000' above me. It was leaving four thin, whispy trails of exhaust as it lumbered out into the afternoon sun.

I wish I had a camera then...it would have been a perfect shot to post in memory of the airline.



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cbphoto
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 2:56 am

Although I never knew the company, the old Zantop hanger is still here in MSP just across the tower. Just a sign that old things still exist in a ever growing world!
ETOPS: Engines Turning or Passengers Swimming
 
FRA2DTW
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:11 am

I spent some time in the Ypsilanti area in the 70's and remember their planes coming in overhead on their final into Willow Run. Quite a busy operation for a time. I guess they flew mostly parts for the automobile industry.
 
m404
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:32 am

Wow. That names a flash from the past. Sorry put I'd assumed they were L-o-n-g- gone. Obviously not. My memories are all about Burbank and the oil stains from DC4's. Loved the growl from one end of the rnwy to the other to get over the cemetery at the south end. Always an interesting fleet. Holding them (the company) together this long has to be a really interesting story.

Several times the topic of carriers that still have the names of the owners like Reeves has come up here but I never heard Zantop mentioned. Was that in fact, a family name?
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tymnbalewne
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 11:36 am

Zantop's History from their website.

C.
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bennett123
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 3:00 pm

What is going to happen to the L188.
 
Spacepope
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:00 pm

Quoting M404 (Reply 5):
Several times the topic of carriers that still have the names of the owners like Reeves has come up here but I never heard Zantop mentioned. Was that in fact, a family name?

Sure was. Ronnie Zantop was my age, and I think we went to some of the same schools in the 80s back in suburban Detroit. Complicated situation because I went to schools based on curriculum, while most people went to ones based on where their house was.

In any case, being fairly close to Willw Run, we'd have their electras flying over low constantly. Loved the sound.
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luv2fly
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Thu Jun 09, 2005 10:05 pm

Having grown up in MI this is sure a blast from the past for me. Having went by Willow Run numerous times to just see the planes and all.
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KYIPpilot
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:11 am

Bennett123, only 2 or 3 L-188's were still airworthy. About 10-15 others are not; most don't have engines and have been parked for years. From what I have heard, they will be cut up for scrap on site.
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
chrisjake
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:18 am

this IS sad news. we've had their L-188's into CLE not too long ago. i sure will miss the sounds of those allison's......


chris
 
atcrick
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 5:01 am

I remember Zantop coming into Minot AFB, ND about 3 times a week back back in 1980/81. Apparently they had one the contract from (IIRC) some outfit called Trans America or something similar. I believe they also operated Electras.
natch!!
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:34 am

Does anyone know why the shutdown of Zantop? Did the family just decide to retire, or get out of the business? Or, did it go bankrupt?

I wasn't able to find a news on the shutdown on 'google'.

C.
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
whitehatter
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 6:46 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 7):
What is going to happen to the L188.

Air Atlantique is always on the lookout for parts or frames at Coventry.
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KYIPpilot
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:03 am

Basically a lack of business coupled with high mx costs finally put them out. The mechanics there said the L-188's were hangar queens, and they have rather poor fuel economy. With the downturn in the auto industry, there was just not enough business to keep them afloat. I am surprised they made it this far.
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
SATL382G
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RE: The End Of Zantop Airlines

Fri Jun 10, 2005 7:24 am

Quoting Atcrick (Reply 12):
I remember Zantop coming into Minot AFB, ND about 3 times a week back back in 1980/81. Apparently they had one the contract from (IIRC) some outfit called Trans America or something similar. I believe they also operated Electras.

That was a Logair flight into Minot. TransAmerica ran primarily Hercs for Logair vs L188s. The Hercs did the transcon portion of LogAir vs L188s doing regional routes. I spent 5 years at Wright-Patt doing LogAir in the early '80s. Got real familiar with Zantop L188s N290F, N289F, N285F, and N345HA amongst others. The L188s seemed to have power for days!! Never seemed to use much runway, of course none of our flights were much over 3 hours so I'll assume they weren't carrying a lot of gas.....

regards
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