Jackbr
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PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:06 am

In around 1970, did the 727 serve all of PSA's destinations, or were some cities exclusively served by the Electra, DC-9, 737?

Also, was PSA a 'big" airline on the West Coast? It probably operated alongside United, TWA etc on some routes - was PSA more a "leisure" carrier, or aligned with the business market? Does anybody remembered what their onboard service product/airport ground services was like at the time? Did they even have F class prior to the L-1011?

The airline made excellent use of its Stewardesses as marketing tools, granted all airlines did this at the time, but the PSA uniforms are legendary even today.

[Edited 2011-08-27 04:09:35]

[Edited 2011-08-27 04:37:33]
 
DesertAir
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:58 pm

In the middle 70s PSA began to serve Lake Tahoe with Electras. They were flown on other routes as "Bargin Birds." I flew one of these Electras from Oakland to Burbank. PSA competed with UA on the SFO-LAX route among others. PSA had service every hour and the famed Midnight flyer. The big trunk carriers like DL and TWA has flights between SFO and LAX using their big planes to pick up passengers for long haul flights or as repositioning. PSA had one class service and served leisure and business markets. Their frequencies made them attractive for the business traveler, like WN is today.
 
28L28L
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 2:30 pm

In 1970, the PSA fleet consisted of the 727-100, 727-200 and 737-200.
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RWA380
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:15 pm

Not the 70's, but when did PSA fly the DC-9-30's and MD-80's? Also what years did the 737-200's operate with them?
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LoneStarMike
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:39 pm

You might try this site for more info:

http://www.psa-history.org/index.php

LoneStarMike
 
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:57 pm

I flew on one of their Electras in 1976, N6130A, from TVL-LAX, and an MD-81 in 1986, N928PS, from SFO-LAX.

Bob Bradley
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LAXintl
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:09 pm

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
Also, was PSA a 'big" airline on the West Coast? It probably operated alongside United, TWA etc on some routes - was PSA more a "leisure" carrier, or aligned with the business market?

PSA was 100% an intra-California airline with the exception of Lake Tahoe which operated under a Federal exemption.

PSA similarly to Southwest Airlines at the time was not managed by the US Civil Aeronautics Board and Federal economic laws but fell under local State legislators as it flew exclusively withing the state.

Its first real out of California did not come until after the US Airline Deregulation Act was being enacted when PSA and other intra-state airlines were encouraged in 1977 to apply for inter-state routes prior to the Act formally commencing. In December 1978 PSA commenced SAN-LAS and OAK-RNO services. A bit later PHX was added from both LAX and SAN.

As far as its size, no PSA was not a "big" airline in my view. As an example in 1974, the year PSA celebrated its 25th anniversary it only served 9 cities, about 2700 employees and operated just about 20-planes.

Might be interesting to know that PSA Inc, was involved in a lot more than just owning an airline.
For example PSA Inc had other aviation related companies such as Arizona and California training schools, management of airfields, franchise for sale of Beechcraft planes in parts of California, two FBOs, and a well regarded maintenance and overhaul organization (they did work for folks as diverse as Air Canada, TWA, Eastern, Mexicana, VASP, Alaska etc), plus and aircraft leasing arm - for example in 1970s it had more than a dozen airplanes such as 727s out on lease around the world.
In addition PSA Inc, had a broadcast subsidiary with radio stations in San Diego, LA, San Jose and Sacramento, had hotel division with diverse properties including the Queen Mary ship which later evolved in a Hyatt franchise agreement. They also had their own car-rental biz which evolved into a Hertz California franchise. They also providing various telephone call center services to companies also from their San Diego reservations and IT center.

All this, but PSA Inc, was still often on financial shaky ground during much of the decade.
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rlwynn
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:13 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 6):
PSA was 100% an intra-California airline with the exception of Lake Tahoe which operated under a Federal exemption.

TVL is in California.
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LAXintl
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:22 pm

Quoting rlwynn (Reply 7):
TVL is in California.

Yes indeed the airport is physically in California, however operations ended up being regulated under CAB as a form of interstate commerce and not the PUC (California Public Utilities Commission) as the airport served the commerce and populance in Nevada.

Hence PSA had to get a Federal waiver to operate there.

More specifically;

"While the small airport at South Lake Tahoe is located in California, the C.A.B assumed that PSA passengers would undoubtedly visit the hotels, gambling halls, and ski-slopes in Nevada. Therefore PSA was dealing with interstate commerce for the first time and would have to obtain certification from the C.A.B. in Washington."

Matter of fact, service to Lake Tahoe started a bit of a political storm between the PUC and CAB, with the CAB even threatening to force any Tahoe air service to be only sold within CA to only CA residents with destinations in CA if the PUC continued on insisting that it held jurisdiction over the route.
Finally the CAB granted PSA the authority to begin service from LAX and BUR in April 1975. Later in 1977 a SFO link was approved also.
However Tahoe service had other problems as well, with the local community vehemently opposed to noisy jets which forced PSA to acquire a pair of used Electra's to commence the service with two more following in later years.

btw - my quote is from the book Poor Sailors Airline - story of PSA.
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Tomassjc
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:56 am

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 3):
but when did PSA fly the DC-9-30's



PSA also flew a pair of DC9-30s in 1967/68 while waiting for delivery of their 737-200s.

Quoting 28L28L (Reply 2):
In 1970, the PSA fleet consisted of the 727-100, 727-200 and 737-200.



First PSA flight: July 30, 1972. My 14th birthday, LAX-SAN.. Flight 62...Boeing 727-214 N540PS. Comedian Jimmy Durante boarded in a wheelchair, and sat across the aisle from me, joking with the hot pink and orange clad stewardesses. I'll never forget that flight, it was the first of dozens and dozens of PSA flights taken up to the end in 1987.

Tomas SJC
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N747PE
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:12 am

I remember my first flight as a unam. I was 7 in 69 and flying a 727-100 LAX to SMF. Those stewardesses thought I was the cutest thing on the planet. I came off of the plane in SMF with a smile that lasted a week. I was in love     
 
futureorthopod
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:09 am

Wow! I remember flying PSA, usually to Tahoe, Reno-Tahoe and SFO with my parents. It was my favorite airline as a child primarily b/c of the flight attendants. I was only 6 when the company was bought out by USAir   
 
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RWA380
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:13 am

I never flew PSA until the 80's, PDX-SFO on a travel agent pass, plane was an old AC DC-9-30 got the last row, on the window, loud as hell, and packed as well, and late enough to miss my connecting flight to LAX on what would have been my first Bae-146 experience, ended up on an MD-80. But my point was, still a great experience because of the employees, even the cockpit crew made funny announcements about had we been ontime, you'd be seeing ... I think it was very sad how it ended for such a dynamic airline folded into a very ho-hum carrier that then just stripped off the routes. I wish I could have flown PS in the 70's, although I lived in LA in the 70's, my folks were too cheap to fly someplqce we could deive in a day.
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Cody
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:47 pm

Many of those "stews" from the 1960's and 70's are still flying for US to this day! They commute from California to PHL and then fly to places like TLV or FCO. I don't know how they do it. I'd be dead tired. It's seems odd that for about 20 years some of them barely left California and now they fly all over the world.
 
timz
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:21 pm

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
were some cities exclusively served by [non-727s]?

6/70 timetable shows one XSu 727 SAN-ONT-SFO; that's ONT's only 727. All PSA's other airports had numerous 727 flights.

At the time they only flew to SAN, SMF, and the Bay Area and LA area.
 
coachclass
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:38 pm

PSA was wonderful for students and sailors because of it low fares; in fact it was called the "poor sailors airline" because it was headquartered in San Diego, home of the huge SD Navy station. Starting at 10 pm PSA offered dirt cheap fares between SFO and SD. It was infamous for its selection of free drinks...some off brand cola drink and the horrible orange drink. Although its fares were lower than UA, PSA met its match when Southwest moved in and undercut the prices mid 70's. The three low cost CA airlines were AirCal, PSA and Southwest. PSA was bought by USAir which never realized the potential and mostly abandoned the intra- CA market; same thing with American buying AirCal at about the same time.

PSA also owned the PSA Hotel on Market St. at 8th Street which later became a Ramada but now is The Whitcomb.
 
LAXintl
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:17 am

Quoting CoachClass (Reply 15):
PSA met its match when Southwest moved in and undercut the prices mid 70's. The three low cost CA airlines were AirCal, PSA and Southwest.

You have your timeline off a bit --

Southwest did not enter California till 1982, and then it was only service connecting LAX, SAN and SFO with Eastward destinations such as El Paso, Las Vegas and Phoenix. As I recall the first intra-CA route was SFO-SAN in late 1983 and then again it was a tag on service headed back to Texas. SWA large OAK operation did not commence until 1989 with service to ONT, SAN and PHX.

SWA did not enter the intra-CA game in earnest till the 1990s when both its Bay Area presence at OAK and likewise LA Basin were somewhat large already.


The other big intra-CA players along with AirCal and PSA were United and Western at the time. Not SWA.
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474218
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:17 am

In 1968 the one way walkup fare LAX - SFO was $14. I was in the Air Force and had been on leave and was returning to base. I bought a ticket and got in the boarding line and realized that I had lost it somewhere between the ticket counter and the gate. I had to run back to the ticket counter (no security check points then) and bought another ticket, which took all the money I had. Ran back to the gate just before they shut the door. Now I do I get from SFO to Beale AFB with no money for a bus ticket? Well we had been in the air for maybe 30 minutes when a FA came up to me and handed me my original ticket. Another passenger had found it and turned it in when they boarded.

Back in those days the ticket was as good as cash. When I got to SFO I just went to the ticket counter gave them my ticket and they gave me my $14 back. A $3 bus ticket to Marysville and lots of money left for til payday.
 
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Tomassjc
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:08 am

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
or were some cities exclusively served by the Electra, DC-9, 737?




I believe when Fresno and Stockton started in 1972, it was exclusively 737. I also remember Long Beach (like ONT) being all 737 when it started a few years earlier.

Tom in SJC
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DesertAir
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 1:44 am

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 18):
believe when Fresno and Stockton started in 1972, it was exclusively 737.

When I graduated from high school in 1972 I treated myself to a round trip between SCK and SFO. They flew 737s into Stockton. I took my first FF trip on PSA: LAX to Los Cabos. Once in a while, PSA would give us 500 FF miles are the heck of it. I recall exiting from the back stairway on their 727s in Burbank.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:46 am

[

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 18):
I believe when Fresno and Stockton started in 1972, it was exclusively 737. I also remember Long Beach (like ONT) being all 737 when it started a few years earlier.

Hi Tom,

For awhile the OAK/SJC-LGB routes were PSA's 727-100 routes in the early 1970s. They flew mostly 727-200s, but I recall their few -100s were on the aforementioned routes almost exclusively. PSA got rid of their 737s around 1974-75 and flew 727s only until bringing on the MD-80s.

The SCK and FAT routes were also operated with 727-200s eventually.

The PSA L-1011s were in service a very short time in 1974 as mentioned in previous threads. I flew on one SFO-LAX as a 10 year old heading to Disneyland. The grandparents booked a PSA package deal. After the long bus ride from LAX to Disneyland, they said "never again". Next time we did Air California into SNA.

The L-1011s did SFO-LAX several times a day with a few continuing to SAN. Remember that PSA had hourly service SFO-LAX then - on the hour southbound; on the half-hour northbound - all the way until the midnight flyer. Most were 727-200s, a few L-1011s and an occasional 737-200.

Just before the end, the L-1011s also did a SFO-BUR and LAX-SMF flight IIRC. Mostly they did SFO-LAX-SAN as mentioned.

The Electras came back when PSA started TVL. PSA tried a few times to get permission do fly the 727-200 into there, but it was denied. At first they did LAX-TVL and LAX-BUR-TVL. Later they added SFO-TVL which Air California did as one stop. (Air California did TVL in the same time frame with SJC-TVL and SFO-OAK-TVL with an occasional run continuing to SNA.). AS Fluggeselischaft mbH">RW also never did SFO-TVL non-stop. They did SFO-SCK-TVL on an F-27.

Those were the days! I'm still angry over what US did to PSA and AA did to Air California. I liked Air California with the sunjet logo before becoming "Air Cal" with the new boring paint scheme.

As has been debated numerous times on A.net, I'm thankful that AS (and maybe the leadership of the rumored suitors also) has the intelligence to let a good well run airline be and not end up like PSA or Air Cal, which is highly likely what would happen if DL or AA or US bought them out. WN may win in an AS buyout, but AS certainly wouldn't.

P.S. Tom, see you at SJC again during Christmas time.
 
whatusaid
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:54 am

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 18):
I believe when Fresno and Stockton started in 1972, it was exclusively 737. I also remember Long Beach (like ONT) being all 737 when it started a few years earlier.

Tom in SJC

FAT and SCK Started on July 10. FAT was mostly 737 but the schedule (I've the first) had a 727-100 on the FAT 1:50 to LAX and SAN.

For a few short months, and I don't remember what year, PSA ran an Electra on a mid-day SFO-FAT-SFO.

My wife was a travel agent back then, her male clients loved PSA. It was the airline of choice for business, but was always #2 behind UA in Fresno - UA had the frequency to LA and SF, as many as seven 737's or 727's a day to each airport while PSA would run 4 to each. It wasn't until after deregulation and UA dropped their intra-state flights, that PSA moved into the #1 spot in Fresno, battling with Air Cal...

I'd love to have PSA back. It was a great airline for the times.
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:01 am

Another interesting point, when I was in grammar school and had a friend who's father was a PSA mechanic. The father told me in effect that PSA felt it would be better for PSA (and Air California) if they didn't compete. Seems like they had sort of a gentleman's agreement. Recall that before deregulation, they really didn't overlap routes. PSA didn't serve SNA or PSP. Air California didn't serve LAX or BUR. Where they did have common cities like ONT and SAN, PSA tended to serve them from SFO and Air California would serve them from OAK and SJC.
 
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Tomassjc
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:28 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 22):
Recall that before deregulation, they really didn't overlap routes




I think the only thing OC and PS competed on pre deregulation was SAN-SJC/OAK. PSA didn't do SAN-SJC nonstop for a long time...always via BUR, or a LAX connection, while OC had a few nonstops. And Air California didn't do SAN-OAK nonstop like PSA, they were always via SNA or SJC, or both!

Tom SJC
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
 
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Tomassjc
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 4:39 am

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 20):
The Electras came back when PSA started TVL


I rode N6118A LAX-TVL in December 1976 just for the ride! One of my favorite stories to tell: I was seated in the cabin forward of the L1 door where there were just 3 rows of seats. When the stew was doing the "Coffee, Tea, Punch or Boullion" serivce at our row, there was a loud thump overhead. She turned to me and said "Gee, I haven't heard that one before" and kept right on serving!


Boeing Guy....I'll be here then...no time off for me for until January.

Tom
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 3:14 pm

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 23):
I think the only thing OC and PS competed on pre deregulation was SAN-SJC/OAK. PSA didn't do SAN-SJC nonstop for a long time...always via BUR, or a LAX connection, while OC had a few nonstops. And Air California didn't do SAN-OAK nonstop like PSA, they were always via SNA or SJC, or both!

Yes, IIRC PSA added SJC-SAN non-stop fairly late in the game. That was not a route they traditionally served. PSA added a SMF-SAN non-stop at one point also. For a really short time, they tried a few odd ball non-stop routes like FAT-SAN and SCK-LAX (not via FAT as it usually was).

Actually, when I was thinking of non-stop routes that PSA and Air California overlapped before deregulation, ONT-SAN was the only one that came to mind.

How do I know all this? At one time I had the most incredibly large collection of airline schedules, going back to about 1970. Of course, I read them. I had tons of PSA, Air Cal, Air West, United, etc all the way to a few obscure foreign carriers. I gave my multiple boxes full of them to a Boeing Marketing guy who I'd befriended after taking a class from him, and I didn't have the storage space at home at that time. Unfortunately, the relatively young Marketing guy came down with some kind of cancer and passed on in 2001, several years after I'd last spoken with him. I have no idea what became of my former collection.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 7:59 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 20):
The L-1011s did SFO-LAX several times a day with a few continuing to SAN. Remember that PSA had hourly service SFO-LAX then - on the hour southbound; on the half-hour northbound - all the way until the midnight flyer. Most were 727-200s, a few L-1011s and an occasional 737-200.

Just before the end, the L-1011s also did a SFO-BUR and LAX-SMF flight IIRC. Mostly they did SFO-LAX-SAN as mentioned.

The Nov 11, 1974 issue of Aviation Week had a lengthy feature article about PSA's L-1011 operation. One of the problems PSA ran into with their L-1011s at LAX was that they were forced to take off on 24 L / R, and sometimes even had to land on the 24s, too, because at the time widebody operations on the 25s at LAX were severely restricted.

Taxiing all the way around LAX between PSA's facilities in T6 and the 24s added at least ten minutes to every L-1011 flight, which in turn lowered aircraft utilization.
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BoeingGuy
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:09 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 26):
The Nov 11, 1974 issue of Aviation Week had a lengthy feature article about PSA's L-1011 operation. One of the problems PSA ran into with their L-1011s at LAX was that they were forced to take off on 24 L / R, and sometimes even had to land on the 24s, too, because at the time widebody operations on the 25s at LAX were severely restricted.

Taxiing all the way around LAX between PSA's facilities in T6 and the 24s added at least ten minutes to every L-1011 flight, which in turn lowered aircraft utilization.

Interesting. What were the restrictions? I do remember seeing the L-1011s taking off regularly on 1L at SFO, which is shorter than 1R and not usually used by wide body airplanes.

I always found the downstairs lounge to be amusing. What was there 20 minutes time in cruise with the seatbelt sign off? Back then, PSA's SFO-LAX flights were scheduled for 55 minutes gate-to-gate.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:20 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 27):
Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 26):
The Nov 11, 1974 issue of Aviation Week had a lengthy feature article about PSA's L-1011 operation. One of the problems PSA ran into with their L-1011s at LAX was that they were forced to take off on 24 L / R, and sometimes even had to land on the 24s, too, because at the time widebody operations on the 25s at LAX were severely restricted.

Taxiing all the way around LAX between PSA's facilities in T6 and the 24s added at least ten minutes to every L-1011 flight, which in turn lowered aircraft utilization.

Interesting. What were the restrictions? I do remember seeing the L-1011s taking off regularly on 1L at SFO, which is shorter than 1R and not usually used by wide body airplanes.

Sepulveda Boulevard is in a tunnel under the 25s at LAX. When widebodied aircraft entered service, the beams of the tunnel could not support the heavier weight of these aircraft. All 747s, DC-10s, and L-1011s were required to take off on the 24s. Some DC-10s and L-1011s were allowed to land on the 25s, if they were lightly loaded enough, but all 747s were required to land on the 24s, too.

The NTSB cited the LAX weight restrictions as a contributing factor to the 1978 CO DC-10 accident at LAX. The aircraft was taking off on 6R, and overran the runway after blowing two tires on takeoff. The NTSB theorized that if the DC-10 had been taking off on one of the 7s, which were 2,000 feet longer, it would have been able to stop without over running the runway.

In 1982 / 83, the Sepulveda tunnel was reinforced to allow unrestricted widebody operations on the 25s.
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WA707atMSP
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:51 pm

To clarify my earlier post, according to the NTSB report on the CO accident, "Runways 25L and 25R, which are 12,000 feet long, are restricted from aircraft which exceed 325,000 pounds gross weight because of runway overpass strength limitations."

As mentioned earlier, the restrictions were lifted in the early 1980s after the overpass was strengthened.
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Tomassjc
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:22 pm

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 25):
At one time I had the most incredibly large collection of airline schedules, going back to about 1970. Of course, I read them. I had tons of PSA, Air Cal, Air West,

I am happy to say that I still do! Most of my PSA/Air Cal items are in storage however. The only box not currently in storage, is the "Air West box". Timetables, postcards, letterhead, etc from Pacific/Bonanza/West Coast through the two- tone Air West days, all the way up to the final Hughes timetable. I remain tempted to start an Air West thread on this forum. "The one airline that just HAD to happen" to quote an old advert.

Tom SJC
When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward -Leonardo DaVinci
 
BoeingGuy
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RE: PSA Early 1970s Questions

Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:58 pm

Quoting Tomassjc (Reply 30):
I remain tempted to start an Air West thread on this forum.

Please do.  

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