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Rich International

Thu Jul 13, 2000 11:16 pm

Does anybody have any info on this airline?
I know they were based at MIA-are they still in service?
I know they flew a fleet of DC8-62s and -63s as well as L1011s.
What type of service did they have?
I also remember hearing that they cut a lot of corners on maintainance.
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 12:14 am

There was a thread about nasty Rich experiences about two months ago, just search for it.
They went bankrupt in 1996. In their last year, they had expanded enormously with the acquisition of many old Tristars, probably their ceasing had to do with that (not able to adapt procedures, pay for the aircraft and additional costs involved). They were pure a charter operator and I guess comparible to the Tower Air charter operations: lots of military transports, some holiday charters (also to Europe) and leasing out for hadj transports etc, all with low costs and minimal service (and bad maintainance).
They are around quite a long time, at least since the 70s when they had cargo C-46 Commando's and DC-6s, and they bought some passenger DC-8s around 1980.
Still it was a sad day for aviation when Rich ceased operations, they had the last passenger DC-8s flying.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
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RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 12:51 am

RI also (sort of) pioneered hig-density seating on the L1011-500. Their one and only -500, acquired shortly before they went belly up, was the first of its kind retrofitted with the additional small exit doors just aft of the wing. If you search the, you will find pictures of ATA's new L15's in this configuration now.

BTW - I heard that the L15 was acquired to fly charters for a German/ American tour operator between Hawaii and central Europe, is that right? A couple of years ago I saw some posters regarding such a service at a German travel agent.

Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
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Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2000 2:26 am

RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 2:48 am

Rich International started out as a cargo operation; I have seen pictures of a Curtiss C-46 and a DC-6 or -7 in RI colors. I am not sure if those were the airline's first planes and when they were acquired (no doubt second hand).

In the earlier thread that MEA-707 refers to, I gave a lengthy account of my nasty experience aboard one of their flights. I am not sure when RI started passenger operations, but after my experience, I was convinced that the airline had dispensed with any distinction between passengers and freight.
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Falcon Flyer
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RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 4:02 am

Had the opportunity to fly a Rich 1011 from Paris-CDG to Miami fuelstopping in Gander. The outbound flight was cancelled and we were rebooked on Tower thru JFK. I don't remember the service being particularly lacking. On time departure and arrival, meals and flick. Considering the price of the ticket, I was relatively satisfied. The Tower 747 ended up returning to JFK with an engine failure but we were only delayed by a few hours. Guess I was lucky both ways. Also flew a roundtrip on World on the same route. Outbound with a DC-10, return on an MD-11. Once again, pretty happy considering the ticket price. Outbound was delayed about 4 hours. Remember thinking that the seating density on the -11 was tighter than the -10. Good flights nonetheless.
My definition of cool ? Not trying so hard to be cool.

RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 7:23 am

Talking about maintenance....
On a transport flight bound for Rome,Italy, only of the cockpit windows nearly broke.It had some big scratches , but Rich didnt think about repairing it for again 2 flights.
Tom in NO
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RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 12:02 pm

I'll repeat what I posted in that earlier thread. Some of Rich's ex-1011's were parked at Roswell, New Mexico undergoing some sort of modifications. There was an article in a recent Airliners or Airways (not sure which one, but within the past year).

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina

RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 10:46 pm

Rich stayed a family-run, cargo operation for many years up until the mid-80s. Based out of Miami, they flew Commandos for a very long time and operated DC-8s and L1011s in the latter years.

On Dec 12, 1985 an Arrow Air DC-863 carrying 248 servicemembers on a MAC charter crashed in Gander Newfoundland--lot of conspiracy theories abound over that crash, but the bottom line was that Arrow got the death axe from MAC to fly any more charters. After the Gander incident, Arrow Airlines became more infamous than Value Jet. The CEO of Arrow was George Batchelor.

Well in the mid-80s, along comes Geenie Rich's son-in-law (don't recall his name) who gets involved in the family business. He and George Batchelor make an arrangement for Rich to wet-lease Arrow's DC-8s and L1011s on the high density/Military Charter market. Voila. Enter Rich into the PAX charter market!

All the while, the Rich family is getting more and more POed at the prodigal son-in-law for turning what had been a family business into a shady, fly-by-nite operation. Soon Rich came under surveillance from the FAA for using bogus parts. The FAA also fined them for improper crew training and certification.

Some one reported the cracked windshield incident. Yep that happened and it was shown on 60 Minutes. A flight attendant was filming her adventures because that very DC-8 was flying a full load of troops, homeward bound to a victory party, after Desert Storm! A little trip to the cockpit revealed that the windshield had just cracked after take-off. It was flown all the way back to Fayetteville in that condition.

The 60 minutes episode also had a Captain who got his pink slip when he refused to have the forward pax door sealed tight with chicken wire. (Rich fired him over a positive piss test for THC days after the refusal).

This same Captain also stated that he flew the north atlantic by following other jettrails and aircraft beacons (he was getting real good at it) because all the avionics were regularly INOP.

Well, Rich had to Chapter 11 after the FAA shutdowns and Fines. The son-in-law was being sued (don't know how that turned out), and Arrow continues to fly under the auspices of Fine Air.
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RE: Rich International

Fri Jul 14, 2000 11:03 pm

Hi! Just to add a little bit on this issue, when I got married in September 1987 my honeymoon was in S. Miguel Island - Azores, ( I flew TAP 727-082C CS-TBO up there and 737-282 Adv CS-TEP on the way back... ). One day I went to S. Miguel Airport to see the traffic, well it was not a big deal but....I saw there a Rich International DC-8-62 ready to take some azorean emigrants to USA. Just to end this, it was the most looooooong take-off I ever seen in my life, the runway was short, the DC-8 was and still isn't a very good short take off runner and I suddenly saw that nice Rich DC-8-62 just taking off in the very end of that runway, I was completly astonished!!!! I have the photo of that DC-8 but I still ahve to find where it is!!!
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