DTWPurserBoy
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Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:14 am

One of the many details of working for a major international airline is that they are drowning in rumors. The airline grapevine is approximately four times as fast as a prison. Some are true--others less so. I thought it would be amusing for my fellow a.netters to share some of their own. Let's see if we can get them confirmed or denied by others in the know. I'll go first.

In 1990, Eastern Airlines ceased operating and their large L-1011 fleet was flown to the desert for storage. A couple of years later, Delta stepped forward and purchased many of these parked aircraft even though many were in 19 year old range. They were flown to various sites where the interiors were gutted and switched to Delta interiors. During this process, cabin and cargo bay sidewalls were removed. It is rumored that several large caches of illegal drugs were found hidden in these spaces that no one collected prior to the Tristar's being flown west. My guess is that the shutdown caught the perpetrators off guard and the people expecting them lost access to the aircraft.

True or just legend?

[Edited 2013-09-29 18:18:20]
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srbmod
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:28 am

Considering the number of drug rings busted at MIA over the years, this is probably true. Then again, this may just be one of those urban legends that has taken on a life of their own. I had a relative that was a Delta mechanic for a number of years and the only thing about the EA TriStars DL acquired that he told my grandfather (who was an Eastern retiree) was the poor shape of those planes as in the last years of Eastern, they didn't take very good care of those planes.
 
pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:17 am

A simple Google search of the news archives brought up this, which is what you were probably referring to?


'Delta jet purchase nets cocaine cache' - September 1991


http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...4&dq=cocaine+found+on+l1011s&hl=en

[Edited 2013-09-29 20:18:41]
 
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mayor
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:26 am

Well, it's at least partially true........DL did buy used EA tristars and they WERE in bad shape......as far as the cocaine part of it, I had never heard that.
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m404
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:54 am

In the 70/80s Id heard a story repeated about one carrier that was found to have manyt incidents of nosegear changes on US soil after flights from soujth of the border possibly Jamaica. Somehow authorities found that inside the packs of drugs were found. Any confirmations out there?
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Cody
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:07 pm

I can tell you a story I know is true....when USAir bought several former Eastern 757's out of storage, they discovered that the galleys were still full and the lavatories had never been dumped. The smell inside the cabin was just about unbearable and a lot of USAir crews swore it never completely went away over the span they flew them.
 
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:31 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 3):
Well, it's at least partially true........DL did buy used EA tristars and they WERE in bad shape......as far as the cocaine part of it, I had never heard that.

I had, both on birds sent to Delta and I heard HAECO found several bags of marijuana in one CX bought.

EA did fly their L10s to Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, etc at the height of the drug trafficking in the 80s, not really surprising.
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
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n901wa
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:34 pm

I believed it was in ATL Hangar when they found the drugs in the L1011. I use to know the Number but I can't remember it any more. Now The Ghost Stories followed the EA L-1011s around. I was changing a Battery in 78? something, with the power off, and went thru the door in the lower galley next to the elevators, and scared the heck out of the Cleaners, who had heard all the ghost stories from 401. I forgot all about the 401 parts stories. I think 781 is still at Marietta. Her last stop from LAX after the P-Dome incident.
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:55 pm

At Braniff it was fairly common knowledge that drugs were smuggled. We used to joke about there not being any paint left on the screws holding cabin sidewalls In place because they had been removed so many times. I was on a 727 into MSP one day when one of my colleagues was restocking the FC lav--she opened the drawer that contained sanitary supplies--she thought the box seemed too heavy so she opened a box, saw a plastic bag containing a white powder, threw it in the trash. She opened a second box--same thing. It was about the time that she opened the third box that the light bulb came on. Captain reported the find to operations and the police met the flight. They found a substantial stash of cocaine.

I can believe the stories about galleys and lavs not having been cleaned out before aircraft were put into storage. The same thing happened when BN shut down. When Braniff 2 was ready to begin operations the planes stank so bad and the leather seats were all mildewed they had to gut the interiors because the planes had not been properly "pickled."
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mayor
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:13 pm

Here's a rumor I heard when I was working at ORD in the 70s. We all know how fast the CV880 was, I believe. I was told it was possible to "overspeed" the engines (military power setting, considering the engines were the same as on the B-58) and if the flight crew did this, there could be possible disciplinary action taken, up to and including termination.

There was a CV880 flight leaving from ORD......left the gate 45 minutes late and arrived in MSY, one hour early. Apparently, the crew overspeeded the engines to make up the time.


Now, I don't know if this is true or not. All the info I've given may or not be true (except for the fact that the CV880 was very, very fast).
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hOMSaR
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:25 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 9):
There was a CV880 flight leaving from ORD......left the gate 45 minutes late and arrived in MSY, one hour early. Apparently, the crew overspeeded the engines to make up the time.

What kind of schedule did ORD-MSY have back then? A quick check today shows 2h20, so to make up 1h45 means the flight itself (including taxi-out) could only be 35 minutes. At over 800 statute miles, you'd have to average just shy of 1600 mph. So unless they were actually scheduling that flight for 3.5-4 hours, I'm going to say that one was probably not true.
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doug_or
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:27 pm

Quoting hoMsar (Reply 10):

What kind of schedule did ORD-MSY have back then? A quick check today shows 2h20, so to make up 1h45 means the flight itself (including taxi-out) could only be 35 minutes. At over 800 statute miles, you'd have to average just shy of 1600 mph. So unless they were actually scheduling that flight for 3.5-4 hours, I'm going to say that one was probably not true.

Yep. even if the normal 880s were only going .85 (I think they went closer to .88) we know they didn't go supersonic, so making up more than 18% of the flight time would be simply impossible.

Quoting pwm2txlhopper (Reply 2):
'Delta jet purchase nets cocaine cache' - September 1991

Nice find!
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Viscount724
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:15 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 9):
Now, I don't know if this is true or not. All the info I've given may or not be true (except for the fact that the CV880 was very, very fast).

It really wasn't that fast, and when it did operate at anything close to maximum speed it was extremely uneconomic.

Quoting mayor (Reply 9):
, considering the engines were the same as on the B-58

While the CJ805 was based on the military J-79, the civil versions certainly were not equipped with afterburners like the J-79s on the B-58.
 
sunking737
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:11 am

When SY filed chap.11 12/2001 the 727's and 737's went straight to the hanger area @ MSP, without being de-catered. Everything on board froze. No heat on the planes. A friend of mine who worked in Commissary was called back to work as they stopped all flying, to clean and de-cater all the galleys. It was a mess. Cases of soda, beer, everything froze and popped. He spent almost a month removing all the catering from the jets, and cleaning up all the kits.
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mayor
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:26 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 12):

It really wasn't that fast, and when it did operate at anything close to maximum speed it was extremely uneconomic.

I believe it held the coast to coast record for a short time.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 12):

While the CJ805 was based on the military J-79, the civil versions certainly were not equipped with afterburners like the J-79s on the B-58.

I never said it had afterburners.........you can push the throttles into "military" power before you get into the afterburner.

Quoting hoMsar (Reply 10):
What kind of schedule did ORD-MSY have back then? A quick check today shows 2h20, so to make up 1h45 means the flight itself (including taxi-out) could only be 35 minutes. At over 800 statute miles, you'd have to average just shy of 1600 mph. So unless they were actually scheduling that flight for 3.5-4 hours, I'm going to say that one was probably not true.

I DID say it was a rumor. And it has been 2 or 3 decades since I first heard it.
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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:46 am

Quoting doug_Or (Reply 11):
Yep. even if the normal 880s were only going .85 (I think they went closer to .88)

There is a story that spread around NW that a certain 747-400 captain was trying to make his commuter flight home on a flight that departed late from NRT. He was sailing in at Mach .85 and ATC called him and asked "Why are you flying at .85?" His response--"Because it shakes too much at .88."
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DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:54 pm

I have a good question for the former NW folks out there. There was a DC-9-30, IIRC it was N994Z. Story going around the line was that this aircraft was actually the marriage of two other airplanes. One was a former Ozark plane (hence the tail number) that had major wing damage and was written off and the other was the Air Canada DC-9 that had the lav fire that burned out the cabin but left the wings without damage. SUPPOSEDLY someone got the idea to match the good parts together and created a "new" airplane.

This is one I was never sure if it was true or just an "airline legend." Either way that frame went on to fly happily for many years before it was retired.
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:13 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 16):
I have a good question for the former NW folks out there. There was a DC-9-30, IIRC it was N994Z. Story going around the line was that this aircraft was actually the marriage of two other airplanes. One was a former Ozark plane (hence the tail number) that had major wing damage and was written off and the other was the Air Canada DC-9 that had the lav fire that burned out the cabin but left the wings without damage. SUPPOSEDLY someone got the idea to match the good parts together and created a "new" airplane.
Where In The World Is - N994Z (by NWADC9 Jan 20 2005 in Civil Aviation)
 
jfk777
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:14 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 1):
Considering the number of drug rings busted at MIA over the years, this is probably true. Then again, this may just be one of those urban legends that has taken on a life of their own. I had a relative that was a Delta mechanic for a number of years and the only thing about the EA TriStars DL acquired that he told my grandfather (who was an Eastern retiree) was the poor shape of those planes as in the last years of Eastern, they didn't take very good care of those planes.

There were many Miami Herald stories and just stuff of "legend" about Eastern jets in Miami and Drugs. Lots of "Colombian Pharma" discovered when plans went to the hangars.
 
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airzim
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:29 pm

"NW painted their tails red because during the early years, they would crash with enough frequency that the red would stand out in the snow and make it easier to find the wreckage"

At least according to Wikipedia, this is partially true although it doesn't mention this was because of crashes.

"In 1931 Northwest sponsored Charles and Anne Lindbergh on a pioneering test flight to Japan via Alaska, scouting what would become known as the Northwest Airlines' Great Circle route that could save as much as 2,000 miles (3,000 km) on a New York City to Tokyo flight. Northwest developed this route further during World War II, when it flew soldiers and supplies from the Northwestern United States to Alaska. During that time Northwest began painting its airliners' tails bright red as a visual aid in the often harsh weather conditions. The airline's experience with the sub-arctic climate led the U.S. federal government to designate Northwest as the main airline over the North Pacific following the war."
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks PTU--another rumor turned to fact! The knowledge base on a.net is amazing.
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Viscount724
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:46 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 16):
I have a good question for the former NW folks out there. There was a DC-9-30, IIRC it was N994Z. Story going around the line was that this aircraft was actually the marriage of two other airplanes. One was a former Ozark plane (hence the tail number) that had major wing damage and was written off and the other was the Air Canada DC-9 that had the lav fire that burned out the cabin but left the wings without damage. SUPPOSEDLY someone got the idea to match the good parts together and created a "new" airplane.

This is one I was never sure if it was true or just an "airline legend." Either way that frame went on to fly happily for many years before it was retired.

Yes it was true. It's been discussed many times in earlier threads.
 
YQBexYHZBGM
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:00 am

In addition to drugs, I have heard that the EA L1011s that found their way to DL were "roach coaches," for lack of a better term. One would think it would be rather easy to fumigate the nasties to oblivion inside what is essentially a sealed pressure vessel, but apparently not as effective as one might think.

Al
 
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:19 am

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 8):
At Braniff it was fairly common knowledge that drugs were smuggled.

One rumor I'd heard in the mid 80s was that following EA's acquisition of the old BN South America route system, they flew specially trained drug-sniffing dogs into the stations and within 48 hours they'd all been poisoned.

Quoting YQBexYHZBGM (Reply 22):
I have heard that the EA L1011s that found their way to DL were "roach coaches,"

The "roach coach" was the nickname for the JFK-SJU nightcoach by the EA JFK ATO personnel.
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mayor
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:33 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 23):
The "roach coach" was the nickname for the JFK-SJU nightcoach by the EA JFK ATO personnel.

It was also the nickname of the snack wagon that served the cargo area at ORD.
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YQBexYHZBGM
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:30 am

Yes, "roach coach" is a common name for catering trucks, but can anyone confirm if the ex-EA L10s were infested with cockroaches upon acquisition by DL?

Al
 
jfk777
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RE: Airline Rumors--Fact Or Legend?

Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:43 am

Quoting YQBexYHZBGM (Reply 25):
Yes, "roach coach" is a common name for catering trucks, but can anyone confirm if the ex-EA L10s were infested with cockroaches upon acquisition by DL?

They probably didn't have huge amount of roaches but given the state of Eastern when it shut down the planes probably were in poor condition. Delta's L-1011 were kept better then Eastern's because DL has more $$$.