Saturday, May 24, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
It's been some time since I've posted any Annual Report photos and I thought it time! Alas, I was HAPPY to have found the 1956 Report, thanks to my friend Gari. THANKS GARI! Here are a few of the highlights...simply click on an image to enlarge it. Enjoy!
Posted by Convair Kid at 9:26 PM
Hello all! I received an email from one of our readers, a former NCA employee, Louis Griedl. Louis had more insights, and some corrections, in regard to 'The Deerslayer' posting of last month that I wanted to share with everyone.
Per Louie's email: "Captain Cuzzort and his crew originated Flight 230/29, June 1972 in GRB with stops in OSH-MKE-ORD. When Flight 230 terminated in ORD, they ferried the aircraft to GRB to originate Flight 292, which was delayed in the Upper Peninsula. Flight 292 left GRB as scheduled with the aircraft ferried from ORD.
Flight 292 called IR (in range) and we acknowledged the call. That was the last we heard from Flight 292. We did however receive a call from the Sheriff's Department.
Air Wisconsin Twin Otter had left MTW, VFR bound for ATW. The mid-air collision happened about 9-10 miles North of OSH.
We received permission from the Banta Paper Company of Neenah to use their Boathouse for the recovery. NCA had a 'Go Team' and they arrived in OSH from MSP within a couple of hours to assist.
The so called 'Black Box' was found and I personally have it to the crew of Flight 454 to ORD. The Black Box is not black but a bright Orange for identification.
The wreckage of the Convair was put on a barge and afterwords, was buried at a location unknown to me. I will NOT go into any detail of the recovery operation. (On a side note, I don't blame you-Peder).
Two of our agents, Korby Ulrich and Lee Miller did a 'great job' in assisting with the recovery. Later, I attended the Court proceedings at ATW.'
On another note, I would like to say HELLO to all retired NCA employees! The way the airline industry is today, I am proud to say "WE HAD THE BEST."
Louie Griedl-Scottsdale, AZ
THANK YOU Louie for your assistance and knowledge with this posting. I'm always pleased to hear from our readers and former employees about any and all related to North Central. A few years ago, I wrote to the NTSB, and received, many of the NTSB/CAB Reports regarding incidents/accidents involving NCA. I've attached a few of those pages to this posting today. Simply click on the photos to enlarge for better reading/viewing...
Posted by Convair Kid at 6:30 PM
Friday, May 16, 2008
I was pleased to hear from Wayne Sherman again! I'm always pleased to hear stories from former/retired employees. Here's the latest from Wayne...
"When I started at Midway, out facilities consisted of a ticket counter about 10 feet long, and an operations office that, size wise, resembled a narrow custodian supply area. Very small. There were two teletype machines, plus a weather printer. It also contained a stand up forms desk, and one roll around chair. It was perhaps 5 feet wide and about 12 feet long.
Behind the ticket counter there was a baggage pass-through door about 3 feet high, and 2 1/2 feet wide with 2 swinging doors. Ticket agents passed bags through the door onto the bag room floor that was actually the sidewalk outside! Our bag transport equipment consisted of 2 hand operated bag carts that we pushed to and from the ramp through the passenger boarding gate.
There was a 4 foot chain link fence, and the gate consisted of a chain stretched between 2 posts. The bag claim consisted of returning the off loaded bags to the gate where we verified claim checks against bag tags, and passengers took their bags. It worked really fast when it was raining or snowing.
Facilities also consisted of a managers office in what was then the OLD terminal about a 1/2 mile South of the main terminal. The only time I remember ever being there was for a training class run by Chuck Vesper. I don't know what his job title was at the time but I later dealt with him quite a bit when he was the Manager of Tariffs and Schedules.
There were 2 sessions of the classes for 2 groups of employees. My most memorable part of the training was when we went to replace the first session class and I met my buddy, Joe, coming out with Chuck just behind him. I asked Joe what did he learn, he responded, 'Bemidji ain't a swear word.' Chuck didn't look pleased.
One of our more memorable days of operations was after a severe rain storm that resulted in a lot of flooding around the city, and severe at the airport. The ramps and runways were a bit higher than the terminal and were above water. Not so for the terminal that had water and 12-18 inches deep! Passengers walked around in their bare feet with paint legs rolled up,and for our boarding passengers, there was a dip between the terminal and ramp that was over 24 inches deep. We put passengers on our hand bag carts and moved them through the deep stuff.
There was a severe electrical outage, except on the West side of the airport, where our hangar was. It had electricity and phones, but we didn't at the terminal. In order to operate, we had one plane remain in the gate with a GPU attached and an agent in the cockpit who communicated with the hangar via radio. Pertinent flight releases were given over the phone from Flight Control along with necessary weather information to an agent at the hangar. He relayed the information to the agent in the gate plane who wrote it down and passed it to the outbound flight crews. Flight movement reports were handed the same way, and for about 8 hours, we were the only carrier able to operate at the airport. The control tower did have emergency power available so they were still in business.
We stayed in these limited facilities for a couple of years until Delta Airlines, that was located some distance from our gate, merged with Chicago & Southern Airlines that was in the gate to the North of us.They had a larger ticket counter facility that we moved to. Continental Airlines, that wanted to start a Chicago operation, sub leased counter space from us in our newly acquired space. That was when we got enough ramp space to upgrade flight frequency from one flight at a time to four at a time.
That was also the occasion when we acquired our first tug. It seems that on the night of the big merger, one of C & S's tugs got a brand new North Central paint job! Now that is real improvisation. No more moving the Hobarts by hand."
Thanks again Wayne! I've heard many replies from people that enjoy reading these, along with others' stories as well. The flooding story reminded me of a photo in 'Ceiling Unlimited' by Robert Serling that should fit this posting quite well!
Take care everyone...
Posted by Convair Kid at 9:43 PM
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Along this journey of mine, I've met some very interesting people (and continue to) along the way. One of these people is Wayne Rippel, a former Radio Mechanic with North Central Airlines. Wayne's is an interesting story in the fact of how he started, and then completed his airline career. Let's hear it today!
Per Emails: "My name is Wayne K. Rippel and I was based at YIP. I started as a radio mechanic on DC-3's in 1958. I always wanted to fly airplanes but I was satisfied being around them. I resigned from NCA in 1963 and went to Zantop Airlines, because Red Wallace and Pete Wall turned me down for a flying job! I would have given anything to fly for NCA but it seemed that they were looking for experience rather than loyalty.
My fondest memories of North Central was flying ACM on my days off, getting a little stick time test on the DC-3. Having a friend like Larry Warinner, who came to my home, and helped me with my written test, and flew with me in my 3rd interest airplane, and helped me with my commercial, instructors and instrument ratings.
My worst memories were when I tried and tried to convince upper management of North Central to hire me, with no success.
On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate my career with North Central a 40, because even though I didn't get to fly for them, their pilots taught, pushed, encouraged and trained me to become what I dreamed to be all my life; a pilot for a major airline. I'm now retired from TWA and have been for 18 years. I spend a lot of time thinking back over my life and thanking God for the help and encouragement I received along the way."
Wayne also shared a few stories and memories for us as well. " I get to thinking back from time to time and always enjoy hearing about someone I know from NCA. I remember shortly after I made Captain for TWA I was in the NCA ramp office talking to some North Central pilots. One of them made the remark, 'there stands the greatest success story there ever was!'
A last note...I fought, struggled and worked hard as I could all the way. I dreamed all my young years to fulfill my dream. Many things stand out in my mind. One, when I first started to fly for Zantop, I was at the terminal in YIP, in uniform, and a little boy looked up at me and said 'are you a pilot?' and also when I made Captain with TWA. I was in CVG and walked back in the airplane. Two ladies asked if I was the Captain, I said yes, and they said, 'oh, you're so young!' When the Chief Pilot of TWA stopped me in the hallway one day and said, 'Wayne, you're going to have to start smiling, you're scaring these copilot's half to death!'
None of this would have happened if it wasn't for my dear friend, Larry Warinner and North Central Airlines. "
THANK YOU Wayne for sharing these stories with us! Wayne shared a few photos with us as well, including a sun drenched NCA DC-3 and Wayne at the controls of a TWA 727...his retirement flight to be exact!
It's true how Herman works in mysterious ways, isn't it? :)
Posted by Convair Kid at 4:57 PM