aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
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Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:35 am

I was thinking back, a long while ago I was on the inter-coastal in Fort Lauderdale. I remember then I saw my first 747 classic take off. It was amazing. It was a Tower 747 (from FLL). It started off east. I assumed it was going to JFK.

Where did Tower fly? I saw some pictures on the database of them at LAX, London, SJU...Where else did they fly?

Any Tower Air info would be great.
Thanks!
Go big or go home
 
Spruit
Posts: 367
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:39 am

Have you looked at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Air

Tower Air (IATA: FF, ICAO: TOW, and Callsign: Tee Air) was a low-fare and charter U.S. airline that operated from 1983 until 2000, when it declared bankruptcy and was liquidated. The airline later competed with People Express in the high-density U.S. domestic market, but began operations with international

Contains some good stuff!
E=Mc2
 
rjpieces
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:44 am

I flew them JFK-MIA in 1995...I remember them flying to Paris, Tel Aviv, and Los Angeles from JFK....It is very freaky to drive by their old JFK terminal which basically just has a lock on the door as it has the feel of a ghost town.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
dogfighter2111
Posts: 1867
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:44 am

Their destinations in 1998 were:

Athens
Baltimore
Boston
Fort Lauderdale
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Miami
New York
Paris
Philadelphia
San Francisco
San Juan
Tel Aviv

When they folded, i beleive they only had the following destinations:

Los Angeles
Miami
New York
San Juan
Santo Domingo
Tel Aviv

Thanks
Mike
 
777fan
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:49 am

I once flew them and counted my lucky stars upon setting foot on land circa 1999. The "classic" 747 used every inch of runway on departure despite being no more than one third full. Two of the lavatories supposedly filled up during our flight which was amazing considering nobody used them! The food was repulsive, as was the condition of the cabin which appeared to be unchanged since the aircraft rolled off of the assembly line. The retro bulkhead panels and "No Smoking" signs were a trip! All in all, the experience resembled the prologue of a Phuket Air flight before its demise!


777fan
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
OttoPylit
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:50 am

I remember once seeing a Tower Air thread and someone had posted an image of an 18th century slave ship cargo hold as the seating arrangements. Once of the funniest a.net posts I've ever seen.


OttoPylit
I don't have a microwave, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks shit.
 
Alitalia744
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:55 am

flew them once, JFK-ATH, almost kissed the ground when we landed.
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:59 am

I have heard that the service and safety of the Tower planes were lacking...Thanks for the info so far guys!
Go big or go home
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:05 am

Nobody mentioned their penchant for delays and cancellations?  Smile

I took them once LAX-JFK.. and I'll second the everyone else's "I kissed the ground when we finally landed". Talk about shake rattle and roll.. and I'm not talking about the weather.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:06 am

They also flew to Delhi and Rio for a brief while, failing to maintain both beyond a year.

-A.
Live, and let live.
 
rjpieces
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:16 am

I also remember my aunt telling me that she saw Pan Am seatbelts on them once....Which makes sense given where the planes came from.
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
wjcandee
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:27 am

Well...they had a lot of service reliability problems, and some of their old Classics had their share of difficulties, but they never had a fatal accident in 17 years of operation. About the only really good thing one can say about them.
 
richierich
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 4):
I once flew them and counted my lucky stars upon setting foot on land circa 1999.

A common Tower theme, it seems.

I had the [mis]fortune of flying them once as well. I flew JFK-CIA (Rome/Ciampino) many years ago. I've made a lot of flights with a lot of different carriers, but this flight still ranks as one of my most memorable (in terms of scary experiences). The ancient 747 shook and twisted upon takeoff: two things I will never forget about my ride in 'Sam' were the randomly intermittent flashing of the reading lights on takeoff and the bouncing and shaking of the overhead bins during some very mild turbulence upon climbout. I considered myself a survivor rather than a passenger.

The rest of the flight was, thankfully, uneventful - although it did make my PeopleExpress flight of a few years earlier seem luxurious by comparison. Whether you like LCCs or not, there is nothing like Tower Air flying today (thank God), at least in the US and Europe.
None shall pass!!!!
 
Mir
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:39 am

I also had the misfortune of flying them once, from JFK-Orly. We were seated in a bulkhead row, directly behind the bathrooms. Halfway through the flight we noticed that the carpet underneath us was saturated with a certain bluish-green liquid....

What made it worse was that my sister, who at the time was no more than a year old, was in a Tower Air-provided "bassinet" (really a cardboard box), on the floor.

Needless to say, we never flew on Tower Air again.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:47 am

I never heard or read anything positive about Tower Air from a passenger perspective. They had, after PA & TW some of the oldest passenger B747s. One may wonder how they lasted for so long with what seems to have been a really crappy fleet and service.

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 10):
I also remember my aunt telling me that she saw Pan Am seatbelts on them once....Which makes sense given where the planes came from.

That's the fourth B747 built.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Sjögren - Stockholm Arlanda Photography



[Edited 2006-08-08 00:00:13]
 
cedarjet
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:50 am

Quoting AA61Hvy (Thread starter):
London

Tower never flew to the UK, but Air Europe chartered one of their 747s for a summer, and the aircraft was initially in full Tower livery (ie all-white with titles). At some point they changed the titles:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stuart Prince


Scheduled domestic flights were JFK to Miami and LA, sometimes to San Juan. The company was owned (in part) by an Israeli company, which is interesting cos Tower were one of the biggest US airlines involved in Hajj flying, several years running. And also explains their one international route of note, JFK-Brussels-Tel Aviv.

The airline were a byword for shabby inflight service and ancient, scary, clapped out planes. I know the crash in Final Destination is based on TWA 800, which was certainly a geriatric jet, but I always imagine it as Tower Air (their Tel Aviv service may also have transited Paris, incidentally) - the knackered exterior, corrosion etc. The insides of the planes were held together with electrical tape and the toilet walls were covered in grafitti. As close to a flying subway car as you can imagine.

But cheap.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:55 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 15):
Scheduled domestic flights were JFK to Miami and LA

They also flew to SFO before moving to OAK, or was it always only OAK ?
 
dartland
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:09 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:09 am

I flew them JFK-TLV and back in July/August 1997. It was a charter JFK-TLV and a regular flight TLV-JFK. I remember the charter being pretty bad --- but the regular flight was better by comparison -- edible meals (albeit barely) and a movie (1 movie on crappy screens for the 12 hours flight).

The one good thing about them was that they shared security (and other ops also, I believe) with LY (maybe partly owned by the same Israeli company?). This meant that although service was bad, planes were old, delays were common -- you at least felt safe (from one point of view).

But --- kudos to Tower -- if they flew those age old 747s for 17 years with never an accident -- they must have bee doing something right!

Just goes to show that no matter how ugly the plane -- doesn't mean it's a safety risk.
 
richierich
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:19 am

Quoting Dartland (Reply 17):
But --- kudos to Tower -- if they flew those age old 747s for 17 years with never an accident -- they must have bee doing something right!

I think the lack of a Tower Air crash is more because of good fortune rather than great maintenance or safety!

For the record, I flew on this beast (you can just see the name 'Sam' on the forward fuselage):

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl


Did they name all of their planes or was there something special about Sam?
None shall pass!!!!
 
Magyarorszag
Posts: 1072
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 5:53 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:30 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 18):
Did they name all of their planes or was there something special about Sam?

AFAIK, only two! B747-127 N601BN was named "Sam", and B747-130 N603FF was named "Suzie".

Cheers.
 
petazulu
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:34 am

They were so scary! I flew them once on a cheap fare JFK-ORY roundtrip. I almost did not get on the return flight. It was the ONLY time in my lifetime of flying that I was genuinely concerned about my safety. The 747 we were on was shockingly old and had missing pieces, tape, rattles and rolls, etc.

Kudos to Boeing for building such a sturdy craft- because surely their 17 year run was an accident waiting to happen. A yea ror so after I flew them, they did have an accident (not fatal) where one of their 747's nose gear collapsed on landing or taxi (can't remember) at JFK.

The terminal in JFK was basically a cargo hanger. I think there may have been a hot dog vendor and a news shop. HUGE crowds with nothing to do but wait for delayed planes.

I do remember that the employees themselves were quite nice (inspite of all the obstacles to success they had).
 
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spinkid
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:45 am

The terminal at JFK is still their with signs intact. I've been forced to park around it. It now serves as the overflow parking lot for long term parking.

Does anyone think that terminal might ever be used again?
 
dogfighter2111
Posts: 1867
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:02 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:49 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 15):
Tower never flew to the UK, but Air Europe chartered one of their 747s for a summer, and the aircraft was initially in full Tower livery (ie all-white with titles). At some point they changed the titles:

Actually, they did in 1998. I am looking at their 1998 website which shows under reservations that they flew to London.

Thanks
Mike
 
MCOflyer
Posts: 7069
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:56 am

My friends dad flew for them He retired from them and flies for ( I guessing) Polar, or Atlas Air.

MCOflyer
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
donzilasse
Posts: 206
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:19 am

I remember that in 1991 or 1992 I flew with Tower Air from GOT (Gothenburg, Sweden) to Fort Lauderdale. I believe that it was a scheduled flight but some Scandinavian travel agencies bought charter chairs on the flight. The flight was okey at that time. My second experience with Tower was on a flight from FLL to JFK and that was not a good experience. They had at that time only two people for check-in and we therefore ended up to be an hour and a half late out of FLL. Because, of that I missed my connection with KLM to Amsterdam and had to run back and forth between KLM's terminal and the Delta terminal in order to instead get on a later Delta flight. Many people were in the same situation (about 10 or so). The KLM flight was still at the gate but they refused to once again open the door to the plane so that we all could make the flight. That was the last time I used Tower as well as KLM.
 
ualcsr
Posts: 348
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:29 am

Oh God, Tower Air!!! I never flew them personally, but our check-in counter was very close to theirs and we frequently got the "Tower Air canceled my flight" crowd trying to get tickets on UA. I don't think their tickets were endorsable to anyone. They were really something else and it surprised me that an airline with Israeli interests was chartered to go to Mecca for Haj.
 
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LN-MOW
Posts: 1684
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 15):
and the toilet walls were covered in grafitti. As close to a flying subway car as you can imagine.

They've come a long way since then! Took this at VCV last week.

http://www.spotterdude.com/reports/060731_vcv/grafitti.jpg

Incidentally I talked to an AMC Master Sargeant the other day and he told me that Tower only considered a fuelleak a fuelleak if they couldn't step across the puddle ..  scared 
- I am LN-MOW, and I approve this message.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 5129
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:46 am

Quoting LN-MOW (Reply 26):
Took this at VCV last week.

OUTSTANDING!!

Quoting LN-MOW (Reply 26):
AMC Master Sargeant the other day and he told me that Tower only considered a fuelleak a fuelleak if they couldn't step across the puddle

And yet AMC kept using them and suspending them and reinstating them and suspending them and reinstating them and then finally terminated them after a hunk of plane came off in Asia...wait...not that...and they weren't going to be able to fix it for weeks or months or something. (And the troops were complaining and my Senator Ms. Clinton sent a letter to the Air Force asking why Tower was still flying troops and her staff started looking into it.) To me, that's the scariest part.

An airline we like called World actually got that Pacific rotator temporarily while Tower was suspended and then got it for good when Tower's plane broke for good.

[Edited 2006-08-08 02:48:37]
 
ORDTerminal1
Posts: 124
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:12 am

does anybody remember seeing a poem dedicated to Tower Air that was reminscent of "The Night Before Christmas"? It was so clever, if anybody knows where to find it, please post it!

Tower was used in alot of movies as well in the 1990s. Liar Liar and Turbulence come to mind.
717, 727, 732,733, 734, 735, 738, 742, 744, 752, 763, 319, 320, 340, F100
 
charlienorth
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:17 am

They flew military charters into MSP in the early to mid '80's,usually with the old Big Orange N601BN,I remember when it had to divert because Volk Field in WI only had an NDB approach,the fed was right there to meet it and check the fuel gauges for proper amounts for a diversion.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
JAM747
Posts: 524
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:48 am

I believe Air Jamaica leased one in the late 80sor early 90s That was my first and only time I flew on a 747-100. I did not know it was leased from Tower Air untill about last year when I researched to see which 747 I flew on. It was not hard because they only leased 747s a few times. I think I found the picture on A.net and it was old, built on 1970 or 1971 I think.Ontill this thread I did not realise that so many other people had similar experiences I did. First when we were seated there was a leak from the A/C ducts above us. Then we were delayed for a while. The IFE did not work and the lav doors had a hard time closing or opening. The air craft actually creaked in flight and the ride was very bumpy. We were flying from MBJ to JFK and the landing felt like we had hit pot holes. I am not sure but I think it had a Air Jamaica type stripe and the rest was pealing white. Shortly after, Air Jamaica flew for a short time a all white 747 but I am not sure if was the same aircraft repainted of another Tower Air 747. It was my most memorable flight.
 
thomasphoto60
Posts: 3686
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 1:04 pm

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:08 pm

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 29):
They flew military charters into MSP in the early to mid '80's,usually with the old Big Orange N601BN

Your kidding.......Wow! I have many fond memories of '601' when she flew for a REAL airline.

You know, it's really sad to think that Braniff's 'flagship' 747, would end up in the hands of a shyster operator like Tower. While I never had the misfortune of flying FF, I did have the opportunity of flying aboard ship '601' in the spring of 73 as a lad of 8, when she was new and was flown with pride by it's crew and many happy Hawaii bound passangers.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
vtnyc
Posts: 247
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:24 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:38 pm

My one and only flight on Tower (JFK-MIA) was memorable because it was the only aborted landing I have experienced in my life. On final approach to Miami with the runway in sight, the engines suddenly spooled up again and off we went over the airport. Captain announced runway incursion but some of the passengers had a real worried expression on their face.

I like these Tower air threads as they rival the aviation jokes threads for popularity. By the way Hillary was still in the White House, playing President, when Tower went bust.

They served BOM for a while.

VT-NYC
First Flight, PA001 DEL-FRA-LHR-JFK; Dream- JFK-COK on a B6 787
 
richierich
Posts: 3282
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:55 pm

Quoting Thomasphoto60 (Reply 31):
Your kidding.......Wow! I have many fond memories of '601' when she flew for a REAL airline.

You know, it's really sad to think that Braniff's 'flagship' 747, would end up in the hands of a shyster operator like Tower. While I never had the misfortune of flying FF, I did have the opportunity of flying aboard ship '601' in the spring of 73 as a lad of 8, when she was new and was flown with pride by it's crew and many happy Hawaii bound passangers

Please see my pic of '601' in Reply 18...
At the time I flew her, I thought she was an ex-Pan Am bird based on the generic color scheme. I guess I didn't know how cheap Tower was! Anyway, without the great resources of a.net at that time, I had no idea she was the Big Orange!

I will say that poor old 601 was not doing so hot in 1987 - somehow she soldiered on until 1991 or 1992.
None shall pass!!!!
 
BH
Posts: 518
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2001 7:27 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:15 am

Back at my old job we did the ground handiling for them, always late,rollers and the tires in the compartment didn't work. Don't get me started on the cans that were always cut open and the pallets that were bowed up.I would definatley do it again! Some pictures before my digital days at BWI before the international pier was there.

Big version: Width: 1697 Height: 645 File size: 305kb



Big version: Width: 1768 Height: 1186 File size: 318kb
 
charlienorth
Posts: 1051
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RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:18 am

It was strange being in the cockpit of 601 and thinking "this is where it all ended,"the stories of Capt. Charles Lamb and his crew. Should have been put to sleep before Tower got their grubby mits on it!
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
comet4b
Posts: 59
Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:04 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:07 am

In Canada we had an airline Worldways we always used to enjoy making fun of.
Once when I was flying to PIK with my wife and 4 kids(ok so I flew them as well but when you have 4 kids tickets to buy.................)in 1986 our Worldways plane broke down in YYZ and we waited for a substitute aircraft.Well my kids were all excited when we were told it was a 747,none of my kids had flown on one.I was never so afraid on a plane in my life and could not believe such a bucket of bolts would be allowed to act as a bus never mind an airplane.
Not to worry its a good story for my grandchildren!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
mats
Posts: 543
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:20 pm

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:08 am

Tower Air (or "Towers Air" as it was called by the Carey Bus Drivers), was notorious for its long lines at check-in. The lines in New York would be so long that passengers would reach the ticketing desk, only to be told that they had missed the check-in deadline. The FAA eventually fined Tower for this practice. Passengers arrived at the airport on time, but the airline failed to perform its tasks appropriately.

I always liked that the terminals in New York were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 33. And guess who was in Terminal 33...
 
coyoteguy
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 8:58 pm

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:33 am

OK, here is some positive stuff... they were CHEAP.... I flew on them several times when I was living in NYC but needing to get 'home' to MIA or back to NY. Their business class (upstairs on the 747s) was only about $20 more than coach as I remember, with free drinks, and a business lounge at their terminal in JFK which was a welcome retreat from the cattle barn atmosphere of the rest of the terminal. With big leather seats upstairs on the classic, accessed via the spiral staircase, for very few $$$, it was THE way to travel between MIA and JFK. And after a few bloody marys, the aircraft didn't seem quite so terrifying.

I believe they also flew from MIA to Brazil (GRU I think) and the night flight from GRU stopped in MIA, picked up and discharged pax before continuing as a morning flight to JFK.

I also used to fly the TWA 747s and L1011s on the same route, Carnival Airlines, and LADECO's USA Express. Memories... and not so long ago actually, we are talking 1994, 1995 here.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 5129
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:35 am

Quoting VTNYC (Reply 32):
By the way Hillary was still in the White House when Tower went bust.

Yeah, that's right, actually. Brain cramp on my part. The female I was thinking of was our Congresswoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, whose staff wrote an excellent letter to AMC about Tower. One of our two senators got involved as well, but I honestly don't remember which one it was.
 
dairbus
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:44 am

Ah yes, Tower Air. That brings back some memories.


My family and I flew Tower Air JFK-MAD back in 1988 when we went to spend the summer in Spain. I don't remember many details about the trip but nothing "scary" comes to mind. Although being a teenage plane nut they could of strapped me to the wing and I wouldn't of cared less. I have a notion that I flew on N601BN which was at the time the highest time 747 in service with something like 80,000 hours but I can't be 100% sure. However, what made the whole trip memorable was the return leg.

We returned in MAD-JFK in August and after checking in we were told that the flight was oversold. They had seats for us on another airline but we had to run because because it was on the other end of the terminal and it was leaving in thirty minutes or something like that. My family and about six other passengers sprinted down the terminal behind the agent with our tickets. When we get to the gate what do I see, a PanAm 747. Not just any 747 but Clipper Juan T. Trippe, N747PA the second 747 ever built. We are further galdened when we find out that the only open seats are in Clipper Class(business). So we went from a 450+ charter configuration aircraft to sitting in business on The Chosen Instrument. The one and only time I ever flew on PanAm.



The summer of 1990 I worked as an intern in airport operations at BWI. Tower Air flew charters to Rome that summer for tour groups. I remember one memorable takeoff on a hot summer day in august. They used runway 28 which was only 9500ft at the time and they used every last inch of that runway. He finally lifted off and we saw a cloud of dust kicked up as he cleared the end of the runway. We thought the worst but he was still airborne although seemed to be going only forward and not climbing at all. I was watching from the operations office which is on top from C concourse and I swear to this day that he had leaves and branches from the trees at the end of the runway stuck in his gear.


In 1995 I drove to New York to visit my brother who was doing some volunteer work for the summer. I drove to JFK to do some spotting and drove by hangar 17 which looked like Victorville or Marana from all the derilict 747's parked outside missing engines and other components.


A final anecdote is that in my last year of college, the daughter of Tower Air's chief pilot at the time was in a class with me. I believe her name was Zock or something like that. If I recall she graduated and went to work for Atlas Air as a dispatcher. Maybe she knew something was up because she was evasive when I asked her about Tower Air and soon afterward is when they started to get an unsavory reputation.
"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12362
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:48 am

The main business of Tower Air was the JFK-TLV route, as the designated 'discount' airline for that route (like Israir today). I never took them, but I remember they had an office on Park Ave. South near 39th Street and their ads in the NYC newspapers. They offered fares that could undercut those of the LCC's of the time. From what has been discussed here in this and many other posts on this airline, it probably was the worst airline that ever existed. That they stayed in business for 17 years must have been due to Divine Providence (perhaps their Israel 'holy land' connection?). Today, in the post-9/11 world, I doubt they could exist in the way they operated.
 
LOT767-300ER
Posts: 8526
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2001 12:57 pm

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:56 am

Quoting DAirbus (Reply 40):
The Chosen Instrument. The one and only time I ever flew on PanAm.

 rotfl  The Chosen Instrument
 
dairbus
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:45 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:41 am

[quote=LOT767-300ER,reply=42]

Ok. That statement can be seen as a faux pas on my part   but I was referring to the historical perspective of Pan Am as the "chosen instrument" of U.S. foreign policy in the late 1920's and 1930's.

From http://www.centennialofflight.gov/es...mercial_Aviation/Pan_Am/Tran12.htm

Quote:
The U.S. government looked very favorably at Pan Am, and viewed it as its "chosen instrument" for foreign policy by using Pan Am to facilitate economic expansion into Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. government, in fact, awarded Pan Am every foreign airmail route for which bids were invited. These included flights to Havana, Cuba; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Nassau in the Bahamas; Mexico City; and Santiago, Chile.




The phrase is also included in the title this book about Juan Trippe and Pan Am.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067...-4784541-8488721?v=glance&n=283155


Clipper Juan Trippe, "chosen instrument", get it?   

[Edited 2006-08-08 20:43:13]
"I love mankind. It's people I can't stand." - Charles Shultz
 
AirScoot
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu May 12, 2005 6:44 pm

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:48 am

Quoting Mats (Reply 37):
Tower Air (or "Towers Air" as it was called by the Carey Bus Drivers), was notorious for its long lines at check-in. The lines in New York would be so long that passengers would reach the ticketing desk, only to be told that they had missed the check-in deadline. The FAA eventually fined Tower for this practice. Passengers arrived at the airport on time, but the airline failed to perform its tasks appropriately.

I've heard this story before.. and I certainly believe it happened. Do you have a source for the FAA fine? I went looking for it but all I can find is them getting fined for various and sundry other things up to and including faulty fuel valves not repaired after 32 flights... (and I'm not really shocked there either  Smile )
 
bennett123
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:15 am

So were they all scrapped?.
 
richierich
Posts: 3282
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:18 am

Quoting DAirbus (Reply 40):
When we get to the gate what do I see, a PanAm 747. Not just any 747 but Clipper Juan T. Trippe, N747PA the second 747 ever built

Ahhhh, N747PA. I also had the good fortune of flying in this aircraft once upon a time! My flight happened to be on no less than PA103, some time before the tragic Lockerbie disaster. I had no idea at that time that N747PA would become so famous in airliner nerd circles and that PA103 would become so infamous for other reasons.
None shall pass!!!!
 
jmy007
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 2:18 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:29 am

I had the pleasure of flying Tower Air one way, once.

It was April of 1993, and I flew JFK-TLV. This was at a time before their hanger terminal. They flew out of the old Terminal 1 IIRC (This was Eastern old Terminal with the Ionosphere Bar)

The Terminal looked abandon, as I don't think there were too many airlines flying out of it.

I caught a glimpse of the plane while we were taxing on my connection (arrived from STL on TW) and saw an all white 747 that looked, at first sight like a jalopy, and hoped to my self that, that plane, wasn't my plane.

Sure enough it was!
The seats were so cramped in, knee room would of been a luxury. And the service for this long flight was awful. I remember asking for a can of soda, only to get a surely, NO. I remember the soda being an off brand that I never hear off as well. Seat were dirty, discsarded gum on the side of the arm rest. Yuk!

As this was 13 years ago, my memory or details are fading, yet I can proudly say I survived a Tower Air Flight!

(I took DL from TLV-ORY on my was back!)
Cookies are the Gateway pastry. They lead to Éclairs and Bear Claws.
 
eajpecrca
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:03 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:38 am

I flew scheduled Tower service on a 747, JFK-SFO in 1997, if I recall correctly. It was definitely a second-class operation in terms of equipment appearance and condition. But the people were nice, the fare was low!, the outbound and inbound flights were on time and uneventful. Maybe I was just lucky!
 
B747-437B
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Tower Air Thread

Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:47 am

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 9):
They also flew to Delhi

Actually, it was JFK-AMS-BOM and they flew it in 1995-1996.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada

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